Earlier today the band were named as winners of the annual prize, which is voted for by 139 music industry tastemakers. It has previously been awarded to Adele, Sam Smith, Ellie Goulding and Jessie J. They covered Haim’s ‘Don’t Save Me’ in the BBC Radio 1 Live Lounge after the win was announced. Click above to watch their performance.
Years & Years were picked out of a longlist of 15 acts, including BRITs Critics’ Choice winner James Bay, who came in second, grime artist Stormzy who was third, singer-songwriter Raury and spoken word artist George The Poet, who came fourth and fifth respectively.
Speaking about the award, Years & Years frontman Olly Alexander called it “pretty overwhelming” and said the band would continue on as normal. “It’s a mixture of emotions – mainly so grateful and happy that we’ve got this recognition, but also quite terrified of crashing and burning!” he said.
“We’ve all been doing our own thing for long enough now, so we’re not going to let this disrupt us. We’ve taken a lot of time to discover stuff and make mistakes and learn about the music we want to make. We’ve always done everything ourselves – the music, the videos – so it feels like we know who we are now. That’s done us alright so far, so our plan is to keep the blinkers on and keep doing that.”
Years & Years have been making music since 2009, releasing singles through electronic label Kitsune before signing to Polydor in 2014. The band supported last year’s winner Sam Smith on tour in 2014.