It’s a hot afternoon in Singapore, but we’re in the midst of someone effortlessly cool. Perhaps it’s the way he’s adorned in an orange silk shirt that looks like it can go from bed to runway. Maybe it’s how his platinum blonde hair glistens under sunlight by the window. Or maybe it’s because he’s simply Troye Sivan.
At all of 23-years-old, the YouTuber turned pop sensation is all grown up; embracing his brink of adulthood with fervour. Since his musical debut in 2015 – with the understated and introspective Wild EP and Blue Neighbourhood album – Troye Sivan has catapulted to teen pop royalty status alongside the likes of Lorde, Dua Lipa and Shawn Mendes, and became one of the bold faces at the forefront of an increasingly pro-LGBTQ pop culture generation.
On the aggressively sensual singles ‘My My My!’ and ‘Bloom’, Troye charges forth musically and visually with guns ablazing, declaring he’s got “his tongue between a lover’s teeth” and throwing aside inhibitions for devil-may-care dance moves. But just where was this inner confidence hiding all along? “Honestly, a lot of it comes from the fans. I meet the most incredible people every single day who just inspire me,” he says with an earnest grin. “You know, they’ll tell me their story of where they come from or what they’re going through, and I see them just like continuing on? And I really just pull from there.”
While it isn’t his first visit to Singapore – the Aussie lad previously visited with fellow YouTubers like Tyler Oakley as part of 2014’s YouTube Fan Fest – it’s the first time he’s dropping by as Troye Sivan, The Pop Star. His gradual ascent to superstardom unsurprisingly warranted a fan frenzy everywhere he went during his Singapore stint, which included an intimate fan signing session and album listening party.
But a very public bike ride around the city documented on his Instagram stories proved that fame hasn’t gotten to his head, instead embracing ‘normalcy’ as much as possible. In fact, he tells us that he much prefers to keep a low-profile (he cites RuPaul’s Drag Race and Thai food as the “perfect night in”) – an eyebrow-raising choice of lifestyle coming from one of music’s youngest and fastest-rising musicians. It’s a trait he shares with close friend Ariana Grande as well; their kinship and similar perspectives on growing up under the scrutiny of the public eye captured succinctly on their latest collaboration ‘Dance To This’ – a laidback anthem celebrating anti-celebrations.
It’s these offbeat choices that set Troye apart from his peers. Even his monochrome album cover for Bloom caused a minor buzz online as fans questioned its stark contrast to its album title. “Honestly, the first thing that popped into my head was that The Devil Wears Prada quote where [Miranda Priestly] is like, ‘Florals for spring, groundbreaking’ and I thought maybe I should try and steer away from the obvious,” he explains. “The album feels like such an accurate capture of where I’m at in my life [currently], and I really wanted to capture what I look like right now so that when I’m like 30, I can go back and listen to the album and be like, oh yeah, this was that time in my life.”
The songs off Bloom are equivalently honest and accurate as they flesh out Troye’s deepest thoughts in between the lines. On the melancholic ‘What A Heavenly Way To Die’, he longingly chimes “Because forever is in your eyes / But forever ain’t half the time”; while the feral confessional ballad ‘Animal’ holds nothing back, professing “An ode to the boy I love / I’ll die to care for you”.
It seems that Troye’s steadfast decision to live his complete truth has led to even more doors opening in what is already a tremendous year for him, which includes performing to a crowd of 60,000 alongside Taylor Swift, and countless magazine covers.
Come November, he would be in the middle of his anticipated trek around the world on the Bloom Tour, and marking his first adult foray into the world of film (well, he did play young Wolverine in 2009’s X-Men Origins: Wolverine). His blue eyes widen in excitement while describing his upcoming role: “The film is called Boy Erased. It’s about a boy who gets sent to a gay conversion therapy camp, where they basically try to turn kids straight. It’s based on a true story and I think the movie is going to be really, really powerful and important.”
It’s safe to say that 2018 is a year of growth for Troye Sivan, as he continues to tackle new projects in his ever-expanding resume. And in that growth lies the constant underlying message of acceptance and positive change, proving that he isn’t just in bloom; he’s full on blossoming into the perfect role model for the new generation.
Get Troye Sivan’s new album Bloom here.