writer / Mary Ritch
photographer / Nikko La Mere
stylist / Wilford Lenov
groomer / Melissa Sandoval
When I talk to the British electronica synth-pop band Years & Years, they are on their way to vacation in Ibiza after a successful year of hit records, touring and the release of their debut album Communion to glowing reviews in the UK and worldwide. With a steady presence in the media the past year, they have garnered an international fanbase devoted to their holier than thou melodies and soul-awakening music.
The band’s frontman and resident hearthrob Olly Alexander has also become a leader in the LGBT scene, advocating for gay rights and transforming social norms of what a “normal” relationship is. He says, “it’s important for people to see that you can be happy as a couple, and a young gay couple… I think I would have loved to have seen one growing up.”
The way the band started is a modern day story. Mikey Goldsworthy met Emre Turkmen online. After expressing interest in starting a band, Australian-born Goldsworthy moved to London. Shortly after his move he heard Olly Alexander singing in the shower and the puzzle was completed. Olly says, “I had a party at my house, and my friend was friends with Mikey so he was there. He told me he had a band called Years & Years, and I told him I could be in it. In the morning, I was in the shower singing, and Mikey liked my voice so he let me in.”
Years & Years live shows are constantly praised by live reviewers. On stage, they are radiant and bare all. Alexander encompasses a stage persona that is somewhat messiah-like and makes you feel like you are being born again into his world. The music sits in every part of your body. He says that although we are in a modern age, he is inspired by classic performers and lists Michael Jackson as a huge influence.
The band just wrapped their UK tour and are about to take over the world one communion at a time.