Pin It
2014 Barclaycard Mercury Prize Winners Young Fathe
Young Fathers accepting the 2014 Barclaycard Mercury PrizeBarclaycard Mercury Prize

Young Fathers don't talk to right-wing press (and that's OK)

The manager of the Mercury-winning band explains why they refuse to speak to newspapers like the Sun

Young Fathers caused one of the biggest upsets in music this year when they walked away with the Mercury Prize, beating out the frontrunner and bookies' favourite FKA twigs. But the Scottish hip-hop and electronica trio also raised some eyebrows in another way: as the band did the press circuit, first as nominees and then as winners, they emphatically refused to talk to music journalists from right-wing newspapers. In fact, they actively demanded the removal of Sun and Daily Star reporters from the red carpet area where musicians are expected to do interviews.

Obviously, said journalists were pretty pissed off. In an article for Drowned in Sound, Daily Star freelancer John Earls slammed the Scottish hip-hop trio's "wilful truculence", which he notes has "won them enemies throughout the national press for their win".

"Kayus Bankole claimed in their press conference that the band want to be heard by as many people as possible," Earls argues. "You don’t do that by trying to have publications thrown out and refusing to engage with them."

Now Young Fathers' manager Tim Brinkhurst has waded into the controversy, explaining that the band's politics mean that they don't talk to the right-wing press "as far as possible".

"Young Fathers have never courted the right wing press. They don’t want them," he writes. "This is a stance the group have maintained for years, but obviously remained unnoticed until the Mercury Award nomination."

He adds: "It's neither pretentious nor childish not to do what a bunch of couldn't-give-a-toss snappers tell you to do. The correct reaction is pretty much, in those circumstances, to tell them to fuck right off." 

Brinkhurst's entire article is a DGAF middle finger raised to the British right-wing press and the commercialisation of music over art. You can read the whole thing here. It also serves as a handy intro to the band and its blistering refusal to compromise, even after winning the most high-profile British music prize going. A modern hip-hop group that actually stands for something? We can get behind that. 

Listen to "Get Up" below: