Years and Years, a UK-based electropop and R&B project, has recently begun riding solo, consisting of only British musician, singer-songwriter, and actor Olly Alexander. Initially formed in 2010, Years & Years started with five members: Mikey Goldworthy, Emre Türkmen, Noel Leeman, and Olivier Subria. Leeman and Subria stepped down in 2013, turning the band into three-piece. In March 2021, the band announced that Goldsworthy and Türkmen have stepped down as active members. Goldworthy intends to continue to play live with the band.
A multi-talented artist, Olly Alexander, formerly the band’s lead singer, seems well equipped to run the solo project: the 31-year-old has been making music since he was ten years old! However, outside of music, Olly Alexander also has an impressive acting career. He dropped out of his performing arts college to pursue acting.
His acting career begins with Summerhill, a British children’s TV drama released in 2008. His appearance in the film Bright Star, nominated for an Academy Award, would follow soon after. Most recently, the artist-actor extraordinaire played a leading role in HBO Max drama. It’s a Sin, released earlier this year. The show depicts gay life in the 1980s and 1990s during the AIDS crisis in the UK, a subject that is close to Olly Alexander’s heart: he is openly gay and publicly advocates for safer sex, HIV screening, and anti-LGBT bullying.
Alexander joined Years & Years after Goldsworthy heard him singing in the shower and liked his voice, inviting him to be the lead singer of the project he was working on at the time.
Here are some of Years & Years greatest hits over the years:
The single that Years & Years is best known for, “King,” appears in Years & Years’ debut studio album, Communion. It was the then-trio’s first number-one single and biggest hit yet. Topping the UK Singles Chart, “King” also reached the top ten in Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, Denmark, Germany, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Ireland, and Switzerland. In addition, it boasts over 400 million streams on Spotify.
If You're Over Me (2018)
“If You’re Over Me” is the second single from Years & Years sophomore studio album, Palo Santo. The song reached the top 10 in the UK and went on to certify Platinum. It also achieved top 10 in Ireland and Scotland and peaked at number 16 on US Billboard’s Hot Dance/Electronic Songs Chart.
Released in April of this year, “Starstruck” is an excellent teaser into what is to come for the newly solo act. It is the lead single for Years & Years’ upcoming third studio album, which was announced the same day as Goldsworthy and Türkmen’s departure from the act. It is the first release as a solo project and provokes excited anticipation for the third album. The song already boasts over 20 million streams on Spotify. In April, Alexander performed the song live on The Graham Norton Show and The Late Late Show with James Corden.
The following month, Years & Years released a remix featuring new vocals by Australian singer Kylie Minogue.