Young Fathers Reject Tabloid Culture
Edinburgh based band Young Fathers last week won the Mercury Prize adding it to the SAY Award won earlier in the year. The band have since been slated for their attitude to the tabloid press – an attitude which Bella salutes them for.
This from Dazed:
“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.”
Anyone who takes a stance against the likes of the Daily Star, which is basically long-form porn must be applauded.
Brinkhurst @timothylondon continues: “The satanic contracts taken out by many pop performers with the tabloids have often resulted very badly for pop minnows. Journalists might think they are lone freedom fighters for the truth, but when an otherwise ordinary person is confronted with the mass ranks of photographers and journos it can be hard to tell them apart, particularly the following morning when the minds behind the smiles behind the questions have decided to create a negative from a positive, out of pure malice. They are an army, a powerful army.
That there should now be a story about the fact that a group didn’t smile or jump through the wee hoops as expected tells much about the industrialization of the pop industry and about how even the most, apparently credible artists have been frightened into talking to pretty much any mainstream journal…”
We need more wilful truculence like this. All Hale the Daddys!