Olly Alexander, the 27-year-old out frontman for Years & Years, believes now is the best time to be an openly gay artist.

Speaking with PAPER Magazine, Alexander said: “In many ways this is the very best time to be a gay artist ever. We wouldn’t be where we are today without all the gay artists that have come before us and broken down so many barriers.”

“But barriers aren’t gone. Particularly for less privileged members of the queer community. There is this very insidious casual homophobia that exists in the fabric of everything including the music industry. When are we going to see a gay artist really thrive and succeed? Selling out arenas, hitting number ones.”

“I guess that kind of happened with Sam Smith, but I just think from my personal experience, the amount of comments like, ‘Oh, this is very gay’ or, ‘This is going to turn some people off’ is a real problem.”

“I would hesitate to say, ‘Yes, I’m engineering this brave new frontier of queer music to infiltrate the masses with my gay agenda.' But that’s kind of what I want to do and has always been one of my goals. Now seems like the right time,” Alexander added.

Last week, Years & Years released its highly anticipated sophomore album, Palo Santo.