Electric Years & Years top BBC’s Sound of 2015 list

Years & Years, winners of BBC Music Sound of 2015. Pic: Chuffmedia

Years & Years, winners of BBC Music Sound of 2015. Pic: Chuffmedia

The winners of the BBC Music Sound of 2015 list were announced as Hackney-based band Years & Years on Friday.

DJ Huw Stephens, who announced the band’s victory on BBC Radio 1, said: “Years & Years have already and will continue to capture imaginations with their electronic melodies and lively on-stage sets.”

The achievement was also celebrated on Twitter as BBC tweeted: “We have a No 1! Years & Years are #soundof2015”.

Rooted in the “Soulful Electronic Pop” genre, according to their Facebook profile, the trio is comprised of Olly Alexander, 24, Mikey Goldsworthy, 25 and Emre Turkmen, 26.

The group have been together for five years and come from different parts of the world. Australian bassist Goldsworthy moved to London and met Holland-born, Turkey-raised keyboard-player Turkmen online. Later British vocalist Alexander was enlisted into the band after Goldsworthy heard him singing in the shower.

The band, which now has 18, 226 subscribers to its YouTube channel and 33, 719 SoundCloud followers, announced their joy at their success on Facebook:

Years & Years enjoyed a highly successful  2014, performing at festivals such as Bestival, Latitude, and The Great Escape as well as playing support slots with Clean Bandit and Sam Smith.

They said in in a BBC interview: “2014 has been a rollercoaster…exciting, non-stop, quite crazy, tiring, happy…”

Kate Blakemore, music supervisor at Lime Pictures said of the trio: “Infectious and uplifting beats, I love the energy of this band. The dancey vibe is combined with soulful vocals giving their tracks a lovely rich vibe.”

The band, rooted in 90’s R&B and whose influences vary from Stevie Wonder and Joni Mitchell to Radiohead and TLC, have won over critics with a series of hits such as King (out March 1), Desire and  Take Shelter, which reached the number one spot on the iTunes UK Singles Electronic Chart last year.

The video for their third single “Real” features celebrities Ben Whishaw and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett.

Alexander, who has previously appeared on the West End stage with Wishaw and Judi Dench, in films such as Gulliver’s Travels and The Riot Club and also in the TV series Skins, is now moving away from acting in order to make a breakthrough with the band.

Singer Sam Smith, who won first place on the BBC Sound of 2014 list, went on last year to become the only artist to sell more than a million albums in both the UK and US and nabbed six Grammy Award nominations as a result.

Winners of previous years include Jessie J in 2011, Ellie Goulding in 2010 and Adele in 2008.

Other artists in the 2015 list are unsigned Croydon-based grime star Stormzy in third place, Atlanta R&B prodigy Raury in fourth and spoken word artist George the Poet in fifth.

Leave a Reply