YEARS & YEARS' OLLY ALEXANDER RELEASES POWERFUL STATEMENT OF SEXUALITY AFTER BAND RELEASE VIDEO FOR NEW TOVE LO COLLABROATION 'DESIRE' 0 168

Years & Years are back with a brand new music video – this time for their revamped version of former single ‘Desire’, with singer Tove Lo along for the ride as a guest vocalist.

But it’s Olly Alexander – the band’s frontman – who takes centre stage for this powerful video, which he says was important for him to showcase something different to the usual male-female music video romance.

“Most of the pop videos I’ve seen that have any male and female interaction are usually centred around a romance, and that’s great, I am all for romance, but let’s face it there are a lot of other sexualities and identities that are well deserving of some shiny pop video love.

“I’ve been wanting to make a video with some of my queer family for a long time and ‘Desire’ felt like the right time to do it. Every Y&Y video has some similar elements that run through it: magical worlds, symbolism, pretty lights and this time I wanted sex added into that mixture.

I wanted the video to feel sexy. Everyone has a different definition of what they find sexy, so why do we so often get given one version of what sexy is time and time again? Is there a rulebook for men and women on how to feel sexy or what sexy is? For me, whoever it is, two women, two men, a group of gender-queer people, it’s all cute. It can all be a positive and a joyful expression of sexiness and sexuality, you don’t have to be a specific gender to enjoy it.

“Pop music has a pretty good track record of embracing queer culture, it’s been a safe place for some of our most visible queer icons, we have more out and open non-straight stars than ever before. The word queer first started being used in the late 1980’s by members of the community who wanted to reclaim something negative and turn it into a positive. It’s still a painful word for some and lots of people don’t identify with it but for me it’s a helpful and empowering term that unifies an ever growing community.

“I LOVE POP (obviously) so, why is it that in 2016, a Pop video featuring people expressing their sexuality who aren’t cis-gendered or heterosexual, feel at all unusual or progressive? Well for a lot of people, it doesn’t- they live and think outside of the societal binary most of us are used to, but for a lot of other people, myself included, it does. It shouldn’t, but it does. I am an openly gay male singer, in a band called Years & Years, we make pop music. We’re not the only queer-frontman-led acts nor am I the only openly gay male singer but all that being said there aren’t that many of us and at times I’ve felt real pressure to hide or to limit my sexuality. Some of that pressure has come from myself and my own internal struggles and some of it has come from the wider world. Most often I see the following kind of attitude – we don’t mind if you’re gay, just don’t be too gay or that’s a bit much; a bit camp; a bit weird; don’t shove it in our faces etc. Well, if “shoving it in your face” essentially refers to the way that lots of straight pop stars get to assert their sexuality then I’ll be damned if I’m not gonna shove it in your face if I want to.

“So yeah, gay people have sex, and it’s not just gay people, it’s all kinds of people! All these non-straight people, they’re out there, having sex! Sex, between two consenting adults, can be a healthy, positive, safe and enjoyable thing! Hopefully most of you know this and you don’t need me to give you a sex ed lesson (I didn’t have any sex ed at school so I’d probably be bad at it) and to be fair, not everybody wants to hear me bang on about my sex life. But here’s the thing, I like having sex, being able to assert myself and talk about my sexuality is an empowering thing for me. It’s a difficult road from shame to acceptance and part of making that journey easier is owning and embracing it all. As a teenager I was inspired by stars who I felt were doing just that. They were almost exclusively women; Madonna, Destiny’s Child, Alanis Morisette, Britney and Whitney – they asserted or acknowledged their sexuality in varying and different ways and to me they were ways that felt powerful. They were singing about men and I wanted to sing about men. They were seductive and sensual in their videos – I wanted to be seductive and sensual in my videos (and believe me I made a lot of these kind of home videos). They were so much more interesting to me than the majority of male musicians whose Type A macho masculinity felt completely un-relatable. Now, I feel like it’s important to state here that I will never be Beyonce, I am a white male and that is an extremely large privilege, I don’t know what it’s like to be a woman. I can talk about sexuality all I want but I will never know what it’s like to be a woman. Women in Pop music are expected to be sexy, most of the time they don’t have any choice – I have the privilege of choice. I chose to make this video about sex, to portray myself as a sexual character. I choose this because I do not want to hide or limit my sexuality, I want to make videos and songs and art that celebrate all different kinds of sexuality and queer identities.

“What do we expect from pop music? From our pop stars? What do we expect from the ones that are gay? I don’t know the answers to these questions but I for one don’t want to see a narrow representation of gender and identity on our screens or in our music. I want diversity. We shouldn’t have to feel scared about putting our sexualities and identities on display in all their beautiful, interlocking, multi-layered multi-coloured glory. I want to be proud. Proud to shove it in people’s faces if I want to.

Thank you for reading – it’s the support from you guys that has got me to a place where I’m able to say things like this, to not feel so scared to shout about what I believe in. Hope you enjoy the video. Lots of love, Olly xxx”

Previous ArticleNext Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

P!NK CONFIRMED TO PERFORM AT 2019 BRITS; RECIPIENT OF OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO MUSIC AWARD 0 24

We are thrilled to announce that multi-million selling global pop icon P!NK will be honoured with the prestigious Outstanding Contribution to Music Award at this year’s ceremony. P!NK will be the first international artist to receive this award.

Seven studio albums and one greatest hits album on since her debut in 2000, totalling over 60 million global sales, over 8 million in the UK alone along with over 12 million UK single sales, P!NK is a musical force to be reckoned with. With seven Top Five albums – with two going No. 1 (Funhouse and the most recent platinum-certified Beautiful Trauma), three UK No. 1 singles (‘Just Like A Pill’, ‘So What’, ‘Lady Marmalade’) and 32 Top 40 singles, 19 of which going Top 10, including ‘Try’, ‘Just Give Me A Reason’ and ‘What About Us’, P!NK has become one of the UK’s best-selling female artists and one of the world’s greatest singers, with her inimitable powerhouse vocals and show-stopping stage performances.
 
Over 2 million tickets sold in the UK alone to date, nine BRIT nominations, and one win for International Female Solo Artist in 2003, and a string of other prestigious awards and accolades including three GRAMMY awards (20 nominations) and two Billboard Music Awards, P!NK’s career sees no sign of letting up with her first UK stadium tour in five years booked for this summer, including two nights at London’s Wembley Stadium.
 
P!NK said: “I am so honored to be recognized with the Outstanding Contribution To Music Award at the 2019 BRITs! Since the beginning of my career the British fans have been some of the most fierce and loyal in the world. I am humbled to receive this honor and be in the company of an illustrious group of British icons!”

BRITs Chairman and Chairman & CEO of Sony Music UK and Ireland Jason Iley said: “P!NK is a trailblazer, a phenomenally talented singer and songwriter, and truly one of the greatest artists of our time.  It is a real pleasure to honour her at this year’s BRIT Awards with the Outstanding Contribution To Music Award. With her remarkable career spanning nearly 20 years, P!NK is one of the most successful artists in the world, consistently releasing multi-million-selling albums and selling out tours all over the globe. I am really excited to welcome her back to The BRITs and to recognise her prodigious success.”
 
P!NK joins an illustrious list of previous BRIT Awards Outstanding Contribution to Music recipients including Sir Elton John, David Bowie, Queen, Spice Girls, U2, Sir Paul McCartney, Oasis, Robbie Williams and Blur. The award was rested in 2013 to make way for a Special Recognition for War Child to mark the charity’s 20th anniversary. P!NK will be the first international artist to receive the honour, a decision taken by The BRITs committee to open the award up to overseas acts who have achieved long term success in the UK, and P!NK will be awarded in recognition of her significant impact on British music and her incredible musical repertoire over the past two decades.

Like all winners on the night, P!NK will be presented with an exclusive trophy designed for this year only by Sir David Adjaye OBE, and she will close the show with an exclusive performance on the night, showcasing her extraordinary talent which continues to wow audiences all over the world.

CLEAN BANDIT TO PERFORM AT BRIGHTON PRIDE ON SATURDAY AUGUST 3 0 24

We are thrilled to announce Clean Bandit are joining a stellar line up for the main stage at Pride In The Park, part of the Brighton & Hove Pride Festival, on Saturday 3rd August 2019.

From their origins as part of a string quartet, Clean Bandit have consistently pushed the boundaries of modern pop with a diverse blend of electronic, dancehall, classical, R&B and pop. Breakthrough success came in 2014 with the single ‘Rather Be’, feat. Jess Glynne, a Grammy award-winning worldwide hit that has now surpassed 10 million global sales.

Further success came with their 10 million-selling single ‘Rockabye’ feat. Sean Paul and Anne Marie shooting to #1 in over 40 countries. Their last single “Solo” feat. Demi Lovato has recently been nominated for two Brit Awards. The band have now notched up 9 UK top five singles, more than Bruno Mars or Adele.

We are excited that Clean Bandit are bringing their brillant catchy tracks to Pride and look forward to an amazing afternoon dancing in the park with them.