Years & Years was formed in 2010 in London. It’s worth noting that the band’s founders aren’t British. Mikey Goldsworthy came to London from Australia and got a job as a waiter at a local restaurant. Emre Turkmen moved from Turkey. He was an architect, who helped build Falmer Stadium near Brighton. The young men met on the website findabandmate.com. They were both big fans of the rock group Radiohead.
After meeting in real life, Mikey and Emre decided to form a rock group. They started working together and figured that they need a vocalist. That’s how the musicians found Olly Alexander, who already had experience performing with small groups. Besides, he was an actor and had important connections in the industry. In one of the interviews, group members mentioned that Mikey invited Olly to the band after hearing him sing in the shower.
Soon, Noel Leeman and Olivier Subria joined the band. In 2012, Years & Years released its first single “I Wish I Know” while working with the Good Bait label. In 2013, Noel and Olivier voiced their disagreements with the way the band was going and left it. The same year, the remaining group members signed a contract with a French electronic music label, Kitsune. In September, they released a new single “Traps”. Neither of the two first singles achieved popularity.