Years & Years

Years & Years Artistfacts

  • 2010-
    Olly AlexanderVocals, Keyboards2010-
    Mikey GoldsworthyBass2010-2021
    Emre TurkmenSynths, Beats2010-2021
  • Years & Years formed in 2010, after Australian Mikey Goldsworthy moved to London from Australia and met Emre Turkmen online.
  • Olly Alexander joined the band after Mikey Goldsworthy heard him singing in the shower. The vocalist recalled to The Guardian: "It was at a house party but I would like to clear up that this was at my house, and I was in the shower the next morning. I've read about this online and it sounds like I was just casually showering and wandering around someone's party, very free in this commune style house. Anyway, I probably sang 'Killing Me Softly' because that's my shower song."
  • Olly Alexander gave up a promising acting career to try to make the breakthrough with Years & Years. He appeared on the West End stage with Dame Judi Dench and Ben Whishaw, in various movies, including Tormented, Enter the Void, and Great Expectations and portrayed Jakob in the TV series Skins.
  • Years & Years came top of the BBC Music Sound Of 2015 list, which highlights the best new artists for the year ahead. The list was compiled using tips from various UK-based critics, broadcasters and bloggers. Previous winners include Adele, Ellie Goulding, Jessie J and Sam Smith.
  • Olly Alexander's lyrics tend to be confessional about his feelings. Asked by Digital Spy if he finds it easy to be so honest, he replied. "Whenever I get a second-guessing voice in my head I just try and silence it, because I think the best songwriting is always instinctive."

    "I've kept a diary ever since I was a kid, so when you read it back, it's the most painful thing ever," Alexander added. "You're so embarrassed that you wrote these thoughts. With songs you just have to be honest and not overthink it too much. That way it's always going to be authentic and that's important to me."
  • Before beginning his music career, Emre Turkmen studied architecture and worked in an architect's office. He helped design Brighton & Hove Albion's Amex Stadium.
  • Olly Alexander is gay and he dated Clean Bandit's Neil Amin-Smith for nearly a year in the mid 2010s.
  • As a gay songwriter, rather than hiding a lover's gender by singing about "you and I," Alexander often explicitly addresses a male lover in his lyrics. For instance in Years & Years' early song "Real" he sings, "You do it boy, well."
  • Years & Years announced in March 2021 that the act would continue as the solo project of Olly Alexander, with founding members Mikey Goldsworthy and Emre Türkmen taking a backseat role.

Comments

Be the first to comment...

Editor's Picks

Loudon Wainwright III

Loudon Wainwright IIISongwriter Interviews

"Dead Skunk" became a stinker for Loudon when he felt pressure to make another hit - his latest songs deal with mortality, his son Rufus, and picking up poop.

Kerry Livgren of Kansas

Kerry Livgren of KansasSongwriter Interviews

In this talk from the '80s, the Kansas frontman talks turning to God and writing "Dust In The Wind."

Lita Ford

Lita FordSongwriter Interviews

Lita talks about how they wrote songs in The Runaways, and how she feels about her biggest hit being written by somebody else.

Paul Williams

Paul WilliamsSongwriter Interviews

He's a singer and an actor, but as a songwriter Paul helped make Kermit a cultured frog, turned a bank commercial into a huge hit and made love both "exciting and new" and "soft as an easy chair."

He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss): A History Of Abuse Pop

He Hit Me (And It Felt Like A Kiss): A History Of Abuse PopSong Writing

Songs that seem to glorify violence against women are often misinterpreted - but not always.

Director Wes Edwards ("Drunk on a Plane")

Director Wes Edwards ("Drunk on a Plane")Song Writing

Wes Edwards takes us behind the scenes of videos he shot for Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley and Chase Bryant. The train was real - the airplane was not.