Olly Alexander is ready to turn up the volume

Years & Years frontman and It's A Sin star Olly Alexander has been very busy lately. Not only did he release his chart-topping third studio album Night Call earlier this year to critical acclaim, he also embarked on his first international tour as a solo artist, performing covers for fans Crystal Waters' 1994 single "100% Pure". Love” and Estelle and Kane West’s late-’00s duet “American Boy.” Now, Alexander’s latest musical venture comes in the form of The Absolut Choir.

Launched on November 8 as part of Absolut Vodka’s Born To Mix campaign, Absolut Choir delivers a simple message, literally and figuratively: “Whether it’s drinks, ideas or people, when we mix, life changes It’s more fun.” It’s a sentiment Alexander takes to heart. “I fundamentally believe that diversity is key to helping you understand the world,” the “King” hitmaker told me via Zoom. “There is so much power in diversity, but society as a whole needs to recognize that.”

Absolut Choir also aims to spotlight inspiring individuals from all walks of life and amplify causes and conversations including body positivity, LGBTQI+ rights and disability awareness. “The choir is really a great representation of amplified voices,” Alexander said of the event. “It’s very rewarding for me to face this diverse group of inspiring, creative change-makers.”

These changemakers include trans rights advocate Kenny Ethan Jones, disability champion Sian Lord, body positivity advocate Nyome Nicholas-Williams, Trans Voices Choir members and directors ILĀ (they/them) and Coda Nicolaeff (them/them), and from the Trans Creative Collective (TCC).

“Forming the Absolut Choir has been an incredible experience,” added Sebastian and Garabov. "It becomes a space where we can celebrate our voices and sing our hearts out." Nicholas-Williams agreed, adding: "I want people to see themselves represented in the choir and know that community and mixing It’s such a beautiful thing.”

The 16-piece choir have come together to record a new, powerful and progressive version of Years & Years hit single "Shine" and will perform the reimagined song live for the first time on November 22nd. Fans can keep an eye on Absolut UK’s social channels for more information about the event. “It was a perfect song choice,” Alexander says modestly. "I don't like to toot my own horn, but it's a lovely song. It's about finding the light in the darkness. It's been one of my most positive singles."

Advocating for positivity has become second nature to Alexander, who often uses his platform to spotlight issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community and beyond. “The media and political sphere has become a hostile environment, particularly for trans people. The so-called debate around trans issues in the UK has boiled down to an ugly culture war that breeds hostility towards the trans community. This It’s scary. “But there’s light in the darkness,” he told me, citing the work of Munroe Bergdorf and Black Pride UK co-founder Lady Phyll. "They are the ones making positive change in the UK. Forget about real government, the Conservatives are a complete mess. I'm watching them with their mouths hanging open at this point."

Oscar J. Ryan

With all this in mind, what advice would he give to younger generations, or even his peers? "I want young LGBTQ+ people to know they are loved. Remember you are not alone. There is nothing wrong with you and you deserve the same opportunities as everyone else."

The singer-turned-actor's words of encouragement are likely to be welcomed by fans, many of whom were first introduced to him through his powerful portrayal of Richie Tozer in Channel 4's It's a Sin The history of the HIV and AIDS epidemic in the UK. After being nominated for a BAFTA award, Alexander left the Russell T Davies-written drama with the "bigger context" of his own life.

“The show explores a history that I never fully understood,” he explains. “I was born in 1990 and went to school under Section 28. It was an openly homophobic society. Working on It’s a Sin helped me develop a fuller understanding of how and why the HIV and AIDS crisis occurred. To this day, this crisis remains a huge collective trauma for the queer community. Making this series helped me understand its ripple effects.”

Channel 4

Despite the record-breaking success of It's a Sin , he has "no immediate plans" to return to acting. However, he would "definitely" be open to it if the right role came along. "Maybe it has something to do with horror?" he mused. "I love movies like Insidious , The Conjuring and The Omen , but my favorite horror movie is Mulholland Drive . It's so scary."

As for music, Absolut isn’t the only project Alexander is working on. "I can't say too much, but I've started working on my fourth album. It's crazy," he added, noting that he has previously collaborated with the likes of Elton John and Kylie Minogue Having worked together, he aspires to one day work with Cher and Rihanna. "I could perform with her at the Super Bowl. Maybe as a guest...can you imagine?

The limited-edition Absolut bottle designed by Alexander is now available online.