The XX’s Oliver Sim Reveals HIV Diagnosis In New Solo Music

Oliver Sim has launched a solo project until his own name; The xx‘s bass player announcing his debut album, Hideous Bastard, to be released this September.

The record news has been accompanied by the release of Sim’s new single, ‘Hideous’. The song has shown audiences more about Sim both musically and personally. With the project, Sim has revealed that he has been living with a HIV diagnosis since the age of 17.

The video for ‘Hideous’, directed by Yann Gonzalez, is equally as impactful – you can watch the video below:

For Sim, this project has proved to be a crucial part of his journey in navigating his feelings of shame and fear.

“Early on in the making of my record, Hideous Bastard, I realised that I was writing a lot about fear and shame.” Sim has said.

“I imagine that might paint a picture of a dark, “woe is me” sounding album, but in recent years I’ve become a firm believer that the best antidote to these feelings can be bringing them to the surface and shedding some light on them.”

“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.”


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A post shared by Oliver Sim (@hideousbastard)

“Two thirds in, having a good idea of what the record was about, I realised I’d been circling around one of the things that has probably caused me the most fear and shame. My HIV status.” his statement continues.

“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.” I thought I could release it into the world and be done with it. After playing the song to my mum, being the protective and wise mum that she is, she gave me some of the best advice I’ve ever received. She suggested that I spend some time having conversations with people in my life first. Either people I hadn’t told yet, or people I had told but hadn’t wanted to talk much further on it with. Since writing “Hideous,” I’ve spent the past two years having those conversations, which was difficult and uncomfortable to start with, but has allowed me to feel a lot freer and has only strengthened my relationship with myself and with the people in my life.”

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