Olly Alexander: 'The landscape has changed for queer artists'" width="1024" height="576">
"Coming to terms with your own identity can be really painful," says Olly Alexander
Growing up in Blackpool, Olly Alexander lived next door to a church. As a young gay man, that presented him with a dilemma. "I was always aware that, in the bible, homosexuality was viewed as sinful and that's always stayed with me," says the singer."But I really love religious iconography and religious language because it's so powerful and so evocative... so now I love to play around with that and subvert it."He certainly achieves that goal on Years & Years' recent single, Sanctify, which characterises being gay as a sacred act. ("Maybe it's heavenly," sings Alexander in the bridge.)"I love a bit of drama," laughs the singer, "and it doesn't get more dramatic than sanctifying your sins when you pray."
The 27-year-old was inspired to write the song after a brief relationship with a straight man.
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Years & Years

Years & Years release Palo Santo on 6 July, and play BBC Music's Biggest Weekend in Swansea on 26 May.
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