Entertainment & Arts

Mercury Prize 2014: Young Fathers win

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Media captionYoung Fathers' Dead beat 11 other records to win the Mercury Prize

Edinburgh-based hip-hop trio Young Fathers have won the 2014 Barclaycard Mercury Prize for the best British or Irish record of the last 12 months.

Their record, Dead, beat 11 other albums from acts including Damon Albarn, Bombay Bicycle Club and bookmakers' favourite, FKA Twigs.

"We'll take it in our stride," said band member Graham 'G' Hastings.

"We always wanted to make something bigger than the city we were living in."

The winner of the £20,000 prize was announced by DJ Nick Grimshaw at the Roundhouse in north London.

In a brief acceptance speech, the band's Alloysious Massaquoi said simply: "Thank you, we love you, we love you all."

"We go out and do what we do," he told reporters afterwards.

"Young Fathers have a unique take on urban British music, brimming with ideas - forceful, unexpected and moving," said Simon Frith, chair of this year's judging panel.

Diverse influences

The success of Hastings, Massaquoi and Kayus Bankole will be considered an upset by many in the music industry and beyond.

Alt-R&B singer FKA Twigs, poet and rapper Kate Tempest and rock duo Royal Blood had been the bookmakers' picks ahead of Wednesday's announcement.

Young Fathers, in contrast, had been just 14-1 to collect the prize.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Many had expected FKA Twigs to take home the £20,000 award

The trio, who met at an under-16s hip-hop night, have developed a reputation for making a unique blend of music, utilising diverse influences that reflect their different backgrounds.

Massaquoi is originally from Liberia, Scots-born Bankole has Nigerian parents, while Hastings hails from Drylaw in the north of the city.

Dead was the second lowest selling album on the shortlist, having sold just 2,386 copies since its release in February.

Out of this year's nominees only In Each and Every One, by experimental jazz outfit Polar Bear, has sold fewer copies.

James Blake was the winner of last year's award, which is judged by a panel of 12 critics, DJs, musicians and other industry figures.

Other recent winners include Alt-J, The xx and PJ Harvey, the only act to have received the award twice.

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