Ezra Williams, an up-and-coming nonbinary musician based in Ireland, earned a staunch queer after one of their singles was featured on Netflix’s Heartstopper. The song, “My Own Person,” has since surged to over 9 million plays on Spotify, and now the 20-year-old singer-songwriter is carrying that momentum forward to the release of their debut LP.
The single was featured during a pivotal moment in the third episode, when Nick (Kit Connor) is just beginning to question his sexuality and google around for answers. In the background, Williams’ vocals echo his search for a sense of identity.
For Williams, the placement of the song was almost serendipitous. It was a similar sequence in the Norwegian teen drama Skam that inspired the song in the first place. The third season of Skam follows the budding gay romance between characters Isak and Even. In initial episodes, Isak reconciles his attraction to Even by going on a similar deep dive internet search.
“When I was writing that song, I was watching Skam and there’s a scene where one of the main characters is looking up ‘Am I gay?’ quizzes on his laptop,” Williams told NME in a recent interview. “I wrote it around the time I was watching that, so it ending up on the soundtrack of another show where that was happening was cool.”
Williams added that Heartstopper is a particularly special show for them. “Heartstopper is the type of show I definitely would have watched in secret if I’d been 12 to 14 when it came out,” they said. “It would have been an obsession. Watching young queer kids relate and react to it, or love it the way I would have at that age… it’s nice to be part of something that I know would have helped me when I was struggling.”
Williams has been making music throughout their teen years, releasing their first EP “Stuck” in 2021 under their former name Smoothboi Ezra. Their songs explore the nuances of queer identity, mental health and navigating these factors in relationships. Specifically, their first single from their forthcoming LP, “Deep Rooted,” describes dating on the autism spectrum.
Details on the release of Ezra Williams’ debut LP are expected to be revealed soon.