Clean interview: Years & Years (English version)

Clean is a huge fan of new talent. Especially when they come in form of Years & Years. Olly, Emre and Mikey together create your favorite new band. You heard the music but to be honest we don’t really know who the band is. Time to get to know more of them! Clean interviewed Olly Alexander, lead singer of the band, about his band and his acting. Want to know if he heard from Blu Cantrell after their genius cover of “Breathe”, how the next single will sound like or why he didn’t take Beyoncé’s role in Dreamgirls? You read it all here on Clean.

What was the first thing you did this morning?
I drank a Berocca and vitamin drink because I got to stay healthy you know.

Can you take us back in time to the day where the three of you thought, “Let’s make music together!”. How did this happen?
Well Mikey and Emre were already making music together and I basically forced my way into the band. We met in weird ways; Mikey and Emre met online and I met Mikey at a dinner party. The first time we hung out as a three we wrote a song.

We need an explanation for the band name Years & Years.
Emre is responsible for that. We pulled names from a hat and that was the one nobody hated.


There were quite a few songs that introduced the band to the world. But it wasn’t until “Take Shelter” and the cover of “Breathe” that got you a huge fan base. Why were these the songs for the best introduction?
We wanted to release “Take Shelter” as our second single following on from “Real” because we felt it showed a different side to us. We covered “Breathe” because Sean Paul is a god.

Let’s talk about the “Breathe” cover; you remembered everyone to the song they used to love but forgot. And made it even better may I include. Why this song?
Haha thanks, it was a good choice because no one had covered it but it’s such a well-loved song. I grew up loving a lot of 90’s and early 2000’s R&B and I thought it would surprise people in a good way.

Did Blu Cantrell herself hear the song? Did she love it?
Somebody called @iamblucantrell tweeted that she loved the song. I’m not sure if it’s actually her, either way it was the best day of my life.

Which songs are on the list to be covered next?
Good question, we probably won’t do another cover for a while. We’ve got to finish all our own tunes! It’s hard to pick a cover as everyone has different tastes.

Clean expected “Take Shelter” to be the number 1 hit in your country, or at least a huge hit. Shall we just keep re-releasing it until it becomes the hit it deserves to be?
Yes I think you should! We could set up a “Take Shelter” radio station that just plays the song on repeat and broadcast it to every country in the world.

Is there a new single in the plans already? If yes, we are dying to know how it will sound…
Yep, we’ve got a new single called “Desire” that’s coming out in November. It’s a bit more dancey than “Take Shelter”. It’s got a lot of energy, I hope you like it.

The video for “Real” was the first Years & Years video ever. How was it to shoot your first video?
So much fun! Everybody worked so hard on it. We are so proud of that video, we made it for no money in less than a day. Nobody got paid but still the cast and crew we’re amazing.

You’re the one from the band that is already used to be filmed. So facts together; you have the best male vocals we heard in ages and you can act. Still you didn’t take role in Dreamgirls. We need an explanation on that!
They offered me Beyoncé’s role in Dreamgirls but I was busy. I regret it slightly now but my agent told me they’re interested in me for the sequel. So we’ll see how that turns out.

How is shooting a video different from shooting a movie?
Just timings really. Music videos take a day or two and then a couple weeks to finish. Movies take months and then years to finish.

Mean question; being a superstar on the big screen or make Years & Years the biggest band in history?
Definitely make Years & Years the biggest band in history! That’s pretty ambitious but why not.


If we give you guys an unlimited budget for your next video, what would it look like?
I’d like for us to be the first band to make a music video on the moon.

For your next single you can call anyone you like too to collaborate with. Who would get the call?
I’d like to give Stevie Wonder a call and see if he’d be interested.

Ariana Grande, Miley Cyrus and Britney Spears become homeless; who would be the lucky one to take shelter in your home?
Ariana Grande’s always welcome in our home.

Name three things in life you shut your eyes for.
Sneezing, sleeping and dreaming.

Which artist makes you breathe faster? Blu Cantrell and Sean Paul aren’t in the options.Flying Lotus and Little Dragon.

Last one; where will we see Years & Years in ten years?
Making a music video on the moon.