Oliver Sim – Hideous (Official Video)
Early on in the making of my record it had become clear I was writing a lot about fear and shame. I can imagine that might paint a picture of a dark, “woe is me” sounding album. But I’ve become a firm believer in recent years that the best antidote to these feelings can be bringing them to the surface and shedding some light on them. Pride and celebration have also been invaluable tools for me, but they haven’t always worked on their own. I haven’t written to dwell but rather free myself of some of this shame and fear that I’ve felt, so I hear a lot of the music as joyous. Despite some of the themes, there’s humour & celebration, because writing about it has been the complete opposite of what shame has looked like for me.
Two thirds into the writing of my album, having a good idea of what it 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. I’ve lived with my status 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 in the song Hideous and thought I could release it into the world and be done with it. Having played 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 spent 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. I’ve spent the past 2 years since writing Hideous having those conversations, which was difficult and uncomfortable to start with but has allowed me to feel a lot freer and has only strengthened the relationship with myself and with the people in my life.
One of the most special relationships I’ve gained from this has been with Mr Jimmy Somerville. I knew for Hideous I wanted a guardian angel to appear in the song and sing to me the words I needed to hear. Not only has Jimmy been such a powerful voice around HIV & AIDS for decades but the man quite literally sounds like an angel. I reached out to him as a complete fan boy but now consider him a real good friend. He encouraged me to do the song for myself rather than seeing myself as a martyr for a cause. He’s taught me glamour is a Scottish word and most importantly he’s reminded me not to take myself too seriously, no good comes from that!
“Am I hideous?” No longer feels like a question I’m asking to the outside world but rather a counter active one for myself. Scary as it still feels, I’m excited to share this music with you and I hope you enjoy it. Lots of love, Oliver Sim xx
Hideous. Taken from Hideous Bastard, the debut album by Oliver Sim. Available to pre-order now: https://oliversim.ffm.to/hideous
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Written & Directed by Yann Gonzalez
Producer – Luke Tierney
Director of Photography – Vincent Biron
Production Design – Jabez Bartlett
Executive Producers – Simon Guzylack, Luke Jacobs, Scott Wright
Produced by FRIEND
Thank you to Dior and Kim Jones for their support.
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