The xx’s Oliver Sim disclosed his HIV status in a new statement discussing his latest single and his forthcoming debut solo album, Hideous Bastard.
Oliver Sim has revealed that he has been living with HIV since he was 17. The xx bassist and vocalist, now aged 32, discussed his diagnosis publicly for the first time in a new statement shared today (23 March). The statement landed alongside a new single called Hideous and news of a forthcoming debut solo album, entitled Hideous Bastard.
Hideous features guest vocals from Bronski Beat’s Jimmy Somerville, who Sim described in the statement as a “guardian angel”. It’s the opening track on the forthcoming record, which was inspired by Sim’s personal life experiences as well as his love for horror movies. Hideous was shared alongside a new music video from French director Yann Gonzalez. Sim recently worked on an upcoming queer horror short – also called Hideous – with Gonzalez. The film premiered at Cannes Film Festival yesterday (22 May).
Hideous marks the first time that Sim has spoken publicly about his experiences surrounding HIV. “Early on in the making of my record, Hideous Bastard, I realised that I was writing a lot about fear and shame,” Sim wrote in the statement. “I haven’t written the record to dwell, but rather to free myself of some of the shame and fear that I’ve felt for a long time. So, I hear a lot of the music as joyous, because the experience of writing and recording it has been the complete opposite of what fear and shame have been for me.”
Speaking the new single specifically, Sim added: “I realised I’d been I’d been circling around one of the things that has probably caused me the most fear and shame. My HIV status. I’ve been living with HIV since I was 17 and it’s played with how I’ve felt towards myself, and how I’ve assumed others have felt towards me, from that age and into my adult life… So, quite impulsively, I wrote about it on a song called Hideous.”
Hideous Bastard was produced entirely by Jamie xx. The 10-track record, which is slated for release on 9 September via Young, features previously released singles Fruit and Romance With a Memory.
Watch the video for Hideous in the player above and pre-order the LP here. You can also read Sim’s statement in full below.
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