Music

Olly Alexander finds top or bottom speculation ‘surreal’

Josh Milton January 23, 2022
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LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 11: Olly Alexander attends day 1 of the Capital Jingle Bell Ball at The O2 Arena on December 11, 2021 in London, England. (Photo by Samir Hussein/WireImage)

British singer and It’s a Sin star Olly Alexander said he finds fan speculation about his sexual positions “surreal”.

In a wide-ranging interview with NME magazine, the 31-year-old reflected on how some Years & Years fans try to pigeonhole him as a top or a bottom.

Reflecting on his upcoming third studio album, the synth-pop infused Night Call, Alexander said that some of the tracks explore how such rigid positions – and the associations stuck to them – can limit us.

“You know, being an artist is definitely a strange experience,” he said, “because when I put a song out, I have no idea how it’s going to be taken – and sometimes I can be surprised.

“People commenting on how you have sex is quite surreal, I suppose, but I’ve made my peace with it now.”

Olly Alexander wants to play with ‘dom-sub dynamics’ in his music

Olly Alexander said he now enjoys “playing with people’s expectations” when it comes to his sexuality. Bottoms can be dominant, tops can be submissive – sex is far more complex than a typical Grindr user may view it as.

“Take ‘Crave’, for instance,” Alexander said. “I thought there was something really empowering about going to this potentially really humiliating place and asking someone to hurt you.

“I’m deliberately playing on the kink and [its] dom-submissive dynamics. It just amuses me.”

Olly Alexander at the MTV EMAs 2021. (Kevin Mazur/WireImage)

Other fearless queer artists such as Lil Nas X, the champion of clapbacks who once gave Satan a lapdance, have emboldened the It’s a Sin star to take such risks when it comes to his music-making.

Nas, Alexander said, has “changed the game” for other LGBT+ recording artists. “I think there’s a ‘before Lil Nas X’ and an ‘after Lil Nas X,'” he added.

Time has also been a factor in how Olly Alexander’s music, once about sweetly asking an ex to “let me go”, has changed to subbing and domming in the bedroom. “It’s been an unconscious process, I think – when I look back now,” he said.

“I definitely see how much more relaxed and at ease with myself I’ve become.

“Obviously, the songs I wrote when I was 22 or 23 are different to the ones I’m writing now. I think, in the beginning, I was really quite scared.

“Putting the word ‘boy’ into a song – it felt like there was quite a lot of jeopardy there. Like, it felt risky in a way that it just doesn’t now.”

More: It's a Sin, Olly Alexander, Sex, Years & Years

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