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About Finley Quaye
Finley Quaye lyrics

Finley Quaye (born , Edinburgh, Scotland, UK) is a British musician. He won the 1997 Mobo Award for best Reggae act, and the 1998 BRIT Award for Best British Male Solo Artist.


Quaye is the son of Jazz musician, Cab Kaye the brother of noted guitarist, Caleb Quaye and jazz musician Terri Quaye. Finley's mother, Sharon McGowan, died when he was 10 years old in London of a drug overdose.

Born in Edinburgh, Quaye went to school in London, Manchester and Edinburgh. However, he left school with no qualifications. Before making records he took employment spraying cars, smoking fish, making futons, and as a stage-rigger and scaffolder.

His father was born in London, but considered himself as African. Although known as Cab Kaye his full name was Nii Lante Augustus Kwamlah Quaye and indeed he was a Chief of the GA tribe centralized in Jamestown, Accra. Finley is his youngest Son. Kaye was the son of the pianist Caleb Jonas Quaye a.k.a Mope Desmond, who was born in Accra, Ghana. Kaye did not grow up with his father and only found out, in his twenties, about his father's history as a musician. Mope Desmond, Cab Kaye and Finley Quaye have all played Glasgow's Barrowlands, Wolverhampton's Wulfrun Hall and London's Cafe d'Paris. Finley was on tour with his band when he met his father for the first time in Amsterdam.

Finley was inspired early on in his childhood by jazz musicians, Pete King and Ronnie Scott who started of his musical career making tea and running errands in Finley's father's band, and Lionel Hampton. Additionally, Duke Ellington was Finley's Godfather. Finley heard Jazz as a child living in London with his mother who would take young Finley with her regularly to Ronnie Scott's jazz club catching very rare performances of American jazz musicians touring Europe such as Buddy Rich who recorded his live album there in 1980. His mother introduced him to Lionel Hampton in Edinburgh. Duke Ellington made an indelible impact on Finley's life and his musical outlook.


He made a solo record deal with Polydor Records, and moved to New York. He began working with Epic/Sony when Polydor let him out of contract, and in late 1997 he reached the UK Top 20 twice with "Sunday Shining", and "Even After All". His reputation was established by Maverick A Strike, an adventurous but accessible album released in September 1997. It went gold less than three weeks later, and led directly to the BRIT Award victory. Maverick A Strike is now multi platinum. Two more albums were released on Epic, Vanguard (2000) and Much More Than Much Love (2004). In 2004 the song "Dice", in collaboration with William Orbit, and featuring Beth Orton. Quaye has been living and working in Berlin since 2005.

He is currently working on a new album with A Guy Called Gerald & The Stereo MCs. Finley recorded "Pound For Pound" in 2007 with Reggae veteran Norman Grant of The Twinkle Brothers featuring Sly Dunbar and Lloyd Parks. In the past he has worked with Osibisa, both on stage and in the studio, with Iggy Pop, Tricky, Primal Scream, Lee Scratch Perry and Buju Banton.

He has supported James Brown, Luciano, Weller, The Verve, Ben Harper, Fun Loving Criminals, Robbie Williams & The Stereo MCs and he has had support from Amy Winehouse and her band, Natty, Ken Boothe & Cath Coffey of the Stereo MC's.


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