Olly Alexander recently seduced the small screen due to his participation in Russell T Davis successful TV show “It’s A Sin”. Before this, Alexander put his acting career into hiatus for several years making music through his band Years & Years. After two highly acclaimed records, it’s via an official statement, that Olly announced that Years & Years is now his solo project. While waiting for the third album, which is expected to be out later this year, we met Olly on Zoom to discuss his upcoming new era, the pandemic and how social platforms are changing the music industry. So here’s, our conversation!

Hi Olly, you are back after several years of hiatus, what were the main changes since the previous record?

Gosh well, two years ago I remembered, we finished touring and even when Palo Santo was just released I was still writing and doing sessions. When we finished, I started filming “It’s A Sin” before the lockdown in the UK. All over that time, I’ve been making music in different ways, it could be in Los Angeles or at home in the UK. During the lockdown, many stuff changed and it’s been a quite crazy process. At that time, I wanted to be honest with myself and Mike and Emre from the band, we just decided to transform Years & Years as a solo project for me, Olly. Honestly, I think now that the pandemic makes me super honest with myself.

Was it natural to make Years & Years a solo project or it was a long-ago discussion?

Oh well, it felt natural because when we met 10 years ago, starting the band, we were different and then we grew up. Not in a bad way, but things changed like in a family or a couple.

Has your music process changed since going solo?

Yes, well I guess the thing is that when we were making the second album that process was not the same as for the first one. The changes already happened. I was making a lot of music without Mike and Emre and then they came at the end of the process. Then, we prepared it before going on the road. I’m currently working with Mark Ralph, who was with me on the first album as well. Weirdly, it looks like a full circle so the way I’m making music did not change that much. I don’t know how to explain it but it’s a positive change.

You just released a new single “Starstruck”, is an album coming soon?

At the moment right now, I’m finishing an album. I have a lot of songs to finish and I’m excited about the upcoming record, it’s really good! I think “Starstruck” is a good first single, it’s in the mood of what else is coming!

I feel that releasing music now depends a lot on your presence on social platforms especially TikTok. How do you feel about this evolution?

Oh, the first time I was like “Oh my god I will never understand how it works!” It was so confusing because I was thinking of becoming too old for this. But I like the energy of TikTok. You know me, I just love chaos and drama so I think it’s a place for this! It’s also a creative platform and I have a lot of respect for people making videos on TikTok and it’s a huge job to create all that content all the time. I’m a musician and not necessarily a content maker but now I feel it’s a part of my job! It’s challenging and you need to have fun when making this. It’s funny because two years ago we would never imagine talking about how TikTok took such a huge place in the music industry and now it’s a very big deal!

I think it’s a social media where people can’t judge you that much compared to Instagram no?

You might be right because I found out that Instagram is very much for people who follow you and TikTok is more about the algorithm which goes crazy and you are just scrolling to look at random people’s videos. They don’t necessarily follow you and know who you are. But I think on every platform people can be judgemental.

Let’s talk now about Russell T Davis’ TV Show “It’s A Sin”, how was it getting back to acting?

Oh, I just could not believe that because I love Russell T Davis so much and I love what he does. I did acting before but it’s really hard to find a really good role so I was so excited and I could not decline that opportunity. I was very excited to do this! I was kind of nervous too because I just didn’t want to fuck it up!

“It’s A Sin” is about discovering HIV in the ’80s and what was your feeling when you first realized that the Covid 19 was real and becoming a worldwide pandemic in 2020?

When the pandemic first made the news, I could not believe some of the headlines and the rumours about the virus. I just finished filming 6 months before and it reminded me of my character, Ritchie. I was very shocked by that and then we had a year where we got a lot of comparison between HIV and the Covid 19 but the real issue is that we took more than a decade to get preventions for HIV and it’s still an ongoing issue around the world. And that’s why it’s still a stigma. For the pandemic that happened a year ago, the whole world has reacted to it very quickly, I’m glad we already have vaccines and the world has responded so quickly to this. But there’s this social issue where not everyone can be cured immediately. It exposes the disparity of our society, healthcare is still a problem. It’s still unequal as it’s the problem of society.

Are you frustrated not making music on stage due to this pandemic?

Yes, it’s sad but performing live is the best part of my job, I love it so much. When the audience is singing the song with you, it’s the best feeling ever. The funny thing is that recently we were doing a filmed performance without an audience in a park and some people were watching us and it was weird having them looking at us!

To conclude, can you tell me a spicy scoop about the upcoming record?

I want something sexual. Whatever it means, you will make your own opinion when listening to it!