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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > 265 > Years and Years

Years and Years

OLLY ALEXANDER, LEAD SINGER OF 2015’S BREAKOUT POP PHENOMENON, YEARS AND YEARS,TALKS CANDIDLY ABOUT THE BAND’S RISE TO THE TOP,OVERCOMING DEPRESSION, AND HIS RECENT HEARTACHE
MIKEY WEARS BOMBER JACKET BY DSQUARED2, SHIRT BY MCQ, JEANS BY CHEAP MONDAY OLLY WEARS JACKET BY TOPMAN DESIGN, TURTLE NECK BY TOPMAN DESIGN, JEANS BY MCQ EMRE WEARS JUMPER BY CHRISTOPHER RAEBURN, JEANS BY CHEAP MONDAY TOYS AVAILABLE AT HAMLEYS
PHOTOGRAPHY BY RICHARD STOW / CREATIVE DIRECTION BY JOSEPH KOCHARIAN

The Wonder Years

IT’S BEEN A TREMENDOUS year for Olly Alexander and his Years and Years band mates, Mikey Goldsworthy and Emre Türkmen. After building themselves a solid fanbase of loyal fans, the band shot into the stratosphere when their perfect pop single King hit the top of the charts earlier this year. The single Shine followed as a slick summer anthem before album Communion gave them another Number 1, becoming one of the year’s fastest selling debuts. Their music fuses elements of electro pop, classic house and R&B with insanely catchy hooks and refreshingly honest lyrics. Featuring songs written by Olly casually singing about boys, it was a deserving recipient of Attitude’s UK Album of the Year at our annual awards and was a top ten hit across the world. Along with his relationship with Clean Bandit star Neil Amin-Smith playing out in the media like that of other twentysomething celebrities, if you are looking for a figure in popular culture who most fittingly symbolises what it means to be young, gay and British in 2015, look no further than Mr Alexander.

Fame comes with its own complications. Though that relationship is sadly now over, Olly still finds himself at the beginning of an awfully big adventure. As a child he had an unsettled family life, moving frequently between Harrogate, Coleford, Blackpool, and then eventually the Forest of Dean.

“I think that’s why I enjoy being on tour,” he tells me. But when I meet him at our shoot – the first cover shoot that he has posed for – despite his bouncy nature, it’s apparent that there’s a gravitas that emanates from him that belies his 25 years.

The oracle of all knowledge that is Wikipedia says Mikey heard you singing in the shower and asked you to join the group.

What kind of shower was this?

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About Attitude

In a world exclusive first magazine cover shoot, Years and Years singer Olly Alexander tells us about his amazing rise to the top of the charts, his struggles with depression – and dealing with heartache as he splits up from his boyfriend, clean bandit’s Neil Amin-Smith. Inside, our review of the year looks at the most records, films and TV programmes that have shaped your year. We interview the gay owners of the controversial Cereal Killer Café, meet four amazing trans men set to redefine trans awareness and meet a man who is fighting back against the gentrification of the gay scene. Plus fashion, film, fitness and everything you’d expect from a regular issue of Attitude.
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