British singer Olly Alexander’s solo project Years & Years dropped a brand-new remix of “Starstruck” on Tuesday night (Feb. 15), joined by rising J-pop singer-songwriter SIRUP.
The release of the new remix comes on the heels of Years & Years’ latest album Night Call debuting at No. 1 on the Official UK Albums Chart, becoming Alexander’s second chart-topping set.
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“Starstruck (SIRUP Remix)” adds the 34-year-old J-pop artist’s uniquely groovy style of rap and vocals over Alexander’s feel-good vibes. The It’s a Sin star shares how the collaboration came about: “I heard a song SIRUP made with another British artist, Joe Hertz, called ‘MAIGO.’ I loved that song, and thought his style would really suit ‘Starstruck,’ because he does a lot of dance music with some soul and R&B in it.
“He’s got a lot of personality in his voice!” he adds. “In ‘Starstruck’ there’s a lot of ad-libs and noises, so I thought SIRUP would be a great fit if he were up for it. I’m really happy that he was, because he added so much cool stuff! I can’t wait to perform it together. It’ll be really fun. Next time I’m in Japan, we’re gonna do it.”
SIRUP had always been a massive fan of Years & Years. “I love Years & Years so much that I’ve even covered their song ‘Desire’ before,” says the rapper/music producer. “So I really enjoyed working with him! I think Olly’s vocals have some soul and R&B elements that are similar to mine, and it was fun to put my own voice over his. I’m positive that his delightful vibes will cheer anyone up! I can’t wait for everyone to listen to this song, and I want them to just be happy and not think about anything else while listening to it. I’m really looking forward to performing this with him one day!”
Years & Years continues to push boundaries by challenging notions of identity and sexuality in pop music. The act has had three successful albums to date and earned five Brit Award nominations, surpassed 4.4 billion global streams, and performed in various major festivals and venues including Glastonbury’s Pyramid Stage to The O2. Last holiday season alone, Alexander hosted The Big New Years & Years Eve Party concert special on BBC1 — with guest appearances by past collaborators Kylie Minogue and Pet Shop Boys — and starred in the Christmas Day special of The Great British Bake Off alongside the cast from the record-breaking, award-winning Channel 4 drama series It’s a Sin.
SIRUP is Japan’s fastest rising star in the independent music scene. His modern, edgy, innovative style combined with straightforward, piercingly honest lyrics transcends genres and breaks down barriers. His previous EPs and albums have all reached No. 1 on Apple Music’s R&B chart, and his music has garnered over 300 million global streams. He supported Tom Misch’s 2019 Japan tour and performed with Corinne Bailey Rae, BJ the Chicago Kid and Yuna at one of Japan’s largest festivals, Green Room Fes. This year, SIRUP was selected as the first Japanese artist to participate in the Apple Music Home Session, a global project that began in the wake of the pandemic featuring artists such as Romy from The XX, Kylie Minogue, Years & Years, Ellie Goulding, Arlo Parks, slowthai, and London Grammar.
Listen to the “Starstruck (SIRUP Remix)” here and watch the lyric video below.