Cooking Vinyl

Will Young

Will Young has spent much of the last two decades at the forefront of pop in the UK, having won the inaugural series of Pop Idol at the age of just 22, which shot him to national fame and to the top of the charts. One of the very first success stories of televised talent shows, Will Young’s Pop Idol victory and unprecedented subsequent chart-storming career became an iconic part of noughties pop culture.

Four #1 and two #2 chart-topping albums, two Brit Awards, and four UK number one singles followed, with hits such as ‘Leave Right Now’ and ‘Jealousy’. An acting career blossomed concurrently, with roles on screen and stage, including Baz Lurhmann’s Strictly Ballroom in the West End, and presenting gigs on TV and radio. Young is also an active and vocal campaigner for the LGBT movement, and his podcast Homo Sapiens, which he co-created and co-presents with his friend, the filmmaker Chris Sweeney, has been such a huge success that Young and Sweeney are planning to grow it into a festival, and potentially even expand into children’s books, with a focus on diversity.

Will achieved the No #1 Midweek Official UK Album Chart position with his seventh album ‘Lexicon‘, which was released in June 2019. The record is his first release through an independent label and has had over two million streams since its release in late June. Overall, it achieved the weekly No #2 position after Lewis Capaldi.

Unlike records he’s made in the past, Lexicon isn’t what Young calls a “heart-pulling album“; in fact, it’s been filled with fun and freedom: “I revel in the music”. The joyfulness around making Lexicon lit a real spark of creativity for Young and the album provides a sense of new beginnings, of liberation and freedom. “They’re things that could have been in place a lot sooner but they wouldn’t have been able to because I hadn’t got there. It just takes some living. It’s living, it’s having a breakdown, it’s reassembling the pieces, literally, day by day. It’s really hard work,” Young explains. “But then once it’s reassembled, it’s strong.”