Olly Alexander praised Lil Nas X for breaking music industry barriers with his unapologetic LGBTQ+ artistry.

Since his 2012 debut, Years & Years has released two critically-acclaimed studio albums: Communion (2015) and Palo Santo (2018).

Alongside the plethora of chart-topping hits, Alexander has also been praised for his unapologetically queer lyrics and music videos.

In a new interview with NME, the It’s A Sin actor revealed that he used to be “scared” of highlighting his sexuality in music.

“It’s been an unconscious process, I think – when I look back now, I definitely see how much more relaxed and at ease with myself I’ve become,” he explained.

“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.”

Alongside his personal growth, the 30-year-old singer credited LNX for ushering in a new era for LGBTQ+ artists being fearlessly queer.

“I do think [he] has completely changed the game, if I’m honest,” he explained. “I think there’s a ‘before Lil Nas X’ and an ‘after Lil Nas X’. It’s so undeniable, the success he’s had, that it’s like the industry is now trying to catch up with [him].”


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Alexander also said that before Lil Nas X’s rise to fame, he would get “comments” regarding his shows not being appropriate.

“Even just a few years ago, I’d get comments about my show like: ‘It’s not really family-friendly; we can’t broadcast this [on TV] in the daytime,'” he revealed.

“And it was literally just because I’m gay and had my nipples out or something – there was nothing [sexually] explicit going on… but now, after Lil Nas X, that just doesn’t happen. I don’t think it can.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Alexander opened up about his legendary BBC New Year’s performance and being a queer role model.

During the celebration, the young talent performed various tracks which featured appearances from Kylie Minogue and The Pet Shop Boys.

Although most viewers and critics praised the event, 179 people complained to the BBC about the performance being “too sexy”.

“If I’ve pissed off some homophobes I feel like I’ve done a good job,” he told NME.

“I feel very lucky and amazing to be a pop star, and I want to do the [LGBTQ+] community proud – I do have that in my head at all times and I do want to like, not f*ck things up. So if I can try and push things forward at all, I will do that.”

Watch his iconic New Year’s Eve performance of Sanctify below.