Lead singer of red-hot British pop group Years and Years, 27-year-old Olly Alexander is, in some ways, breaking ground. He isn’t the first openly gay pop star, but he’s owning his sexuality and judiciously pushing buttons in a way that calls to mind some of the best, and most successful pop icons before him.
He’s Paper Magazine’s latest cover boy. The photos are sexy AF.
Question: Is this the first photo shoot ever to be wardrobed by both Versace and Nasty Pig? The pics feature Alexander and a male model in various states of undress. We only see the model from the neck down, and Alexander straddles his thigh in one shot, rests his head there in another.
It’s a fun and insightful interview, too. Alexander discusses his influences (Madonna and Whitney Houston, among others), and homophobia in the music industry and beyond.
Years and Years’ critically well-received second album Palo Santo is out now. A few years ago they released their first record, Communion. On the new record, Alexander sings, innuendo-free, about sex with men.
In the interview, Alexander makes a point that he couldn’t have written the songs in Palo Alto as they are a few years ago. So this means, maybe, boys can sing explicitly about liking boys now. All eyes are on Alexander to see where he takes it from here.
Before fronting Years and Years, Alexander was an actor, appearing in Gaspar Noe’s film Enter the Void and TV’s Penny Dreadful and Skins.
Check out more of the interview, and Olly in a jockstrap, at Paper.