Olly Alexander admits Years & Years split ‘was a long time coming’: ‘We grew apart musically’

Olly Alexander Years & Years

Olly Alexander has admitted Years & Years had “grown apart musically” before deciding he would continue the band as a solo project.

Years & Years was originally formed in 2010 as a trio consisting of Olly Alexander, Mickey Goldsworthy and Emre Türkmen. The band announced in March that its third album would be released in 2021. On the same day, Türkmen and Goldsworthy said they would be stepping down as active members, leaving Alexander to carry on with Years & Years as a solo project.

Alexander said in an interview with Capital FM that musical differences were behind the band’s decision to break up. He explained that the founding members had met “ten years ago”, and in that time, the three had “grown apart”.

“We’ve been in this band for a decade, and in that time, we’ve just kind of grown apart musically, right,” he said.

“We kind of stopped making music together, and when we announced that I was going to be Olly Years & Years, it had kind of been a long time coming if that makes sense.”

He said that the three men had “got into a new way of living our lives and working together quite separately”. Then, the pandemic hit, and Olly Alexander said the increased time apart gave them “time to really reflect on what was going on”. He added: “It made sense that we kind of went our separate ways.”

The trio remain firm friends, Alexander was quick to clarify. While he’s been busy writing songs for his upcoming album, Türkmen has been “working on other stuff” and focusing on his family.

“We didn’t fall out, we’re all mates and stuff, it’s definitely different but I’m really excited as well to kind of do my thing this time,” Alexander said.

Olly Alexander has been busy over the past year. He recently starred in Channel 4’s acclaimed drama It’s A Sin, which has brought increased attention to the history of the LGBT+ community and the AIDS crisis in the UK.

The drama has been attributed with the influx of people getting tested for HIV. UK HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust (THT) said in February it had seen a record number of people getting tested.