The boy wonder who’s gone from making videos in his bedroom to being the country’s most exciting new music act.
On August 7, 2013, Troye Sivan uploaded a video to his Youtube account. Until then, the 60 or so clips he’d posted ranged from song covers to light-hearted relationship advice, but this was to be his most personal. “This is probably the most nervous I’ve ever been,” he says, talking directly to the camera. “This could change everything for me.” Sivan goes on to explain the date marks two years since coming out to his family as gay. It was the frst time he’s revealed it publicly. Two years on we’re in a Sydney photo studio, Sivan having jetted in from LA. Skinny and boyish, the 20-year-old was born in South Africa but grew up in Perth – and when not travelling, he still lives there with his family. Sivan’s Youtube videos have now been viewed 205 million times, and he has more than 10 million followers across social media. Last year, his frst album, TRXYE, went to No.1 in 66 countries, and new EP, ‘WILD’, debuted at the top of the ARIA charts this September – Sam Smith and Taylor Swift quickly tweeting their approval. His next full-length album, Blue Neighbourhood, is out December 4. As GQ’S stylist fts him into the frst of his looks – a Dior tuxedo specially flown in from Shanghai – it seems Sivan was right all along. Everything has changed.
What impact did coming out have?
I get messages about that video every day – it’s the most important thing I’ve ever done. I don’t really believe in God, but if there’s a single reason I was given this Youtube audience, it’s to maybe help LGBTQ [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer] kids watching my videos.
Do you ever reflect on how many people follow you?
I remember when I had more subscribers on Youtube than people who live in Perth. I was looking at the city thinking about the kind of infrastructure required, if I got everyone together – it would be like a city. That was a mind-blowing moment.
Besides Youtube, you’ve dabbled in modelling and acting. Are you more into music now?
For sure. My Youtube channel has always been a place to connect with people, and what’s cool is the music seems to be getting as much response as any other videos I’ve put out – I’m really excited they care.
Were you surprised how well did?
TRXYE Crazy surprised. I’ve grown up with the internet so I’ve been building this connection with people who I’ve never met. But I wasn’t sure it was going to translate to music sales.
Your fans are pretty passionate. Are you ever worried they’ll just buy anything?
There is that, but I’ve had other press – it’s not just fans who are hearing the music. I’d say I have a good balance of unconditional love and people who are ready to have a go if the album’s not that good.
Does it feel like music is now your profession?
There’s a lot less money in music than elsewhere. Music is my day-to-day job, but it’s a passion project, 100 per cent. I love what I do. I would pay people to let me do this.
You’re pretty active on everything from Snapchat to Tumblr. Ever get tired of it all?
I enjoy the process because you post something and get an immediate response. I’ll just sit there, hitting refresh and reading people’s replies. It’s like a drug.
Clockwise, from top left: black wool/mohair jacket, $4600, black wool/mohair waistcoat, $980, white cotton shirt, $1050, black satin bow tie, $180, black wool/mohair trousers, $1200, and black satin cummerbund, $660, all by Dior Homme. Wool/cashmere jacket, $4300, cotton shirt, $640, and silk tie, $500, all by Dior Homme. Grey wool/silk jacket, $3600, navy/grey wool-blend vest, $3600, white cotton shirt, $640, black silk/satin tie, $230, and grey wool/ silk trousers, $1000, all by Dior Homme. Wool/mohair coat, $5000, wool/mohair jacket, $4600, wool/ mohair waistcoat, $980, cotton shirt, $1050, satin bow tie, $180, wool/ mohair trousers, $1200, and satin cummerbund, $660, all by Dior Homme. Grooming: Tiarna Carmont at Detail for Men.