NME People Of The Year 2016: Matty Healy

For being a rock star people can believe in

Who: Singer in the band The 1975

Why: The 1975’s credo is this: create as you consume. So if you and your fans listen to everything from post-
rock to neo-soul, it’s fine for your band to make that music too. That’s why ‘I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It’, our Album Of The Year, is so far-ranging and able to connect with so many people. Matty Healy has applied this philosophy to his stage persona, too, taking a bit of the David Byrne jitters, a touch of shirtless Jim Morrison preening, a pinch of Michael Hutchence posturing and an ounce of Kanye West’s ego to create a style he’s described as “sexually confused Edward Scissorhands”. Really, Healy’s genius is to deliver madly egotistical proclamations about himself, his band and their music, and to do it using words Russell Brand might need to look up, while understanding he’s walking a tightrope between legend and w**ker. In a time when social media has made people afraid to say anything much 
at all, Healy says whatever he wants: about mental health, music, drugs, celebrity, feminism, God, politics and his favourite subject: himself.

What he says: “My ego’s daft. It’s like having a hat on – as soon as you knock it off, it’s gone. It’s not a real ego. I can’t not take the p**s out of myself.”

What people say about him: “When he sells out The O2 in three hours, I’m like, ‘I can’t believe you came out of me!’” – his mum, Denise Welch

How he made the world a better place: Made an amazing album. Created the year’s most visually stunning live show. Brought personality back to music. Revived the saxophone.

See more of the NME People Of The Year 2016 profiles

Beyoncé

Millie Bobby Brown

Pikachu

Skepta

Margot Robbie

Phoebe Waller-Bridge

Héloïse Letissier (Christine & The Queens)

Girls Against

Riz Ahmed

David Bowie

Kanye West