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Olly Alexander in Digital Spy interview

[2015]

Monica reported that Olly Alexander, an English actor, scriptwriter, and lead singer of the band, Years & Years referenced Joni while interviewed by Digital Spy on July 8th.

'Real' is one of the few moments on the album where there's a gender specific reference that you're singing the song about a male lover. Was keeping that more neutral throughout the rest of the album a case of allowing a wider audience to be able to relate to it?

"Most of the album is written like that because that's how I've grown up listening to songs. I've thought a lot about this, that relationship of 'you and I' is so prevalent among music and all my favourite song-writers. I remember listening to Joni Mitchell and how she would write songs, and she was talking about how as soon as she put herself in, then that 'you and I' relationship is what unlocked all the songwriting places for her. I think that's just how I learnt to use my voice as a songwriter, like whenever I write a diary because I wanted to hide who I was writing about, it would always be 'you and I'. But then it was important for me to get some male pronouns in some of the songs, so I did it for 'Real' and 'Memo', and then one song on the deluxe. It is kind of sad to me that we don't have gay popstars singing about men using a male pronoun, but that could change hopefully."

(Contributed by Monica)

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