Young Fathers win 2018 SAY Award for best Scottish album

Young Fathers have become the first group to win the Scottish Album of the Year (SAY) Award twice, with the trio revealed as the 2018 winners at a ceremony in Paisley on Thursday evening.

Young Fathers won the 2018 SAY award for their album, Cocoa Sugar
Young Fathers won the 2018 SAY award for their album, Cocoa Sugar

The Leith-based band collected a cheque for £20,000 for their third studio album, Cocoa Sugar, which was released in March to critical acclaim on both sides of the Atlantic.

“This is a total surprise and honour for us to win it twice and make history,” said band member Alloysious Massaquoi. “We are obviously a multi-racial group who stand for openness, kindness and love.”

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Young Fathers previously picked up the SAY Award in 2014 for their mixtape, Tape Two. Their debut LP, Dead, won the Mercury Prize in 2014.

The band, who mix elements of hip-hop, pop and electronica, have been outspoken proponents of live music in Edinburgh. They have often criticised a perceived lack of support for live venues in the city outside of the festival season.

Founding members Massaquoi, Kayus Bankole and Graham ‘G’ Hastings first met as teenagers at a hip-hop club night held in the former Bongo Club in Holyrood Road.

They rent their current Leith basement studio from Out of the Blue, the Edinburgh arts charity.

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Robert Kilpatrick, general manager of the Scottish Music Association, hailed Cocoa Sugar as a “world class record”.

“They continue to go from strength to strength, defying expectations and creating some of the best music to come out of Scotland,” he said.

“A truly well-deserved win from an outstanding, crucially important act.”

Now in its seventh year, the SAY Award was established to raise the profile of the music industry north of the Border and champion musicians performing in a variety of styles.

Also on the 2018 shortlist were post-rock titans Mogwai, who released their ninth studio album, Every Country’s Sun, last year.

Franz Ferdinand were also among the big names to reach the shortlist, thanks to their latest album Always Ascending.