Robbie Williams names the one British star he thinks stands out in ‘boring’ modern music scene

Former Take That star lamented the ‘death of friction, danger, personality’ in contemporary pop

Kevin E G Perry
Thursday 04 April 2024 20:00 BST
Robbie Williams - Netflix documentary trailer

Robbie Williams has claimed that The 1975 frontman Matt Healy is a rare exception to the “boring” contemporary music scene, arguing the singer is “the only commercially viable Pop/Rock star that I can see who is willing to be something other than beige”.

Williams, 50, was one of the most successful British pop artists of the 1990s.

Writing on his Instagram account, he asked: “How boring is the music scene right now? Im not attacking the music itself. im just lamenting the death of friction, danger, personality.

“I’ll admit I’ve vanilled myself into a corner trying to chase what’s gone. I get it everyone’s scared. No one knows what you’ll say that will get you cancelled. No one knows what you’ve already said or written that will end you. So many people to offend.”

He singled out The 1975 singer, 34, for praise, saying: “Matt Healy is the only commercially viable Pop/Rock star that I can see who is willing to be something other than beige. I really like Matt he’s unhinged, super smart, super talented and willing to upset. Upsetting for a cause. The cause being a complicated inner life a rebellious streak and boredom.”

Williams added: “I’ve gotta get some of that energy back in my musical life. Like I say ‘’so many people to offend’ I hope I have time to fit them all in. It’s time to take the piss again…and im looking forward to it.

Robbie Williams (left) and The 1975’s Matt Healy (Getty)

Healy has attracted a string of controversies since the release of The 1975’s debut album in 2013. Last year he sparked an international incident after kissing a bandmate onstage in Malaysia in protest at the country’s anti-LGBT laws. He has also been heavily criticised by label mate Rina Sawayama, who introduced a performance of her song “STFU!” at Glastonbury by saying: “Tonight, this goes out to a white man that watches Ghetto Gaggers, and mocks Asian people on a podcast... he also owns my masters... I’ve had enough.”

Last year, Williams opened up about his history of mental illness and self-harming in a frank discussion with The Independent around the release of a documentary chronicling his life, along with sharing what he regrets most in his career.

The four-part series, simply titled Robbie Williams, saw the “Angels” and “Let Me Entertain You” singer provide commentary as he watched footage from the early 1990s right through to the 2010s, showcasing his stratospheric rise to fame and the numerous obstacles he faced as a result of his struggles with depression and addiction.

“As humans, nobody likes looking at photographs of themselves and no one likes hearing their own voice, so if you multiply that by watching yourself suffer with mental illness, breakdowns, alcoholism, depression, [and] agoraphobia, you’re in a tortuous headlock where you’re forced to watch the car crash in slo-mo,” the singer told The Independent. He wryly added: “It’s all right – it’s gonna work out for me.”

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