Youtube wunderkind Troye Sivan: on coming out, finding fame on the internet, and being a musical polyamourist.
Thursday, September 10, 2015 - 19:30

This is almost definitely Australia's most famous 20 year old. His name is Troye Sivan. Born in South Africa, raised in Perth, the openly gay actor, YouTube vlogger and musician released his debut album Wild last weekend. It went to #1 in 41 countries. He has 3.9 million YouTube subscribers and 200 million views. He was on Time Magazine's list of Most Influential Teenagers of 2014; he played a baby Hugh Jackman in Wolverine; and he's the model of a very modern kind of fame.

The stats around you are incredible; it's insane. Do you feel famous?

No, I don't think so. I think the thing with YouTube is that it's quite a personal fame. Someone like Katy Perry - you know exactly who she is. Whether you like her or you don't is kind of irrelevant because she's on the TV, she's on bus stops, she's on the radio all the time. Whereas someone online you have to actively go and search for their content and actively go and find them. And once you do, your mates could have absolutely no idea who that person is, but you've watched them every single day, you read their tweets every single day, you follow them on snapchat and you see what they are eating for lunch. It's just an interesting dynamic.

Although you're now also on bus shelters as well.

Right, so that's happening now.

I guess the thing that I found most beautiful was your coming out video. You watched a bunch of coming out videos before you posted that; why are they important? Why is it important to have that stuff up there for people to find?

Maybe this is one of the reasons why I have such a strong connection to the internet in general; when I didn't know who to turn to I would put on private browsing and be on LGBT forums and watching coming out videos. I'd turn to the internet when I literally had no one else that I could talk to about this particular thing. Having that resource for me was a complete game changer. Also I wanted to tweet about boys and stuff.

When I did it I felt anxiety; your mind goes at a million miles an hour and you end up somewhere absolutely crazy in your head. It's like, all of this is going to end as soon as I post this video, or I'm going to get dropped by my record label. None of that happened. Everything worked out.

What makes you nervous?

Performing live.

Yeah? Why?

It's such a different ballgame now. I used to do it all the time when I was younger. But it was always karaoke tracks for YouTube when you're singing someone else's songs, or corporate events where people are clanging their knives and forks. Obviously doing your own live show with your own songs and your own lights and your own audience who have come specifically to see you...

There's a lot of expectation there.

It's different. It's so different.

Is it true that you wanted to quit singing at the age of twelve?

My voice started breaking and it was scary because I'd been singing since was eight. So at  13 or 14 I just thought, maybe this isn't something that I'll do professionally. I'll just do it at home. And also I kind of got a little distracted with acting.

Distracting with acting? You were in Wolverine!

All of these amazing things started happening with the acting stuff, and so I decided to just put music on the backburner and turn it back into a hobby that I did in my bedroom. Then I ended up writing a song called Fault In Our Stars in my bedroom, and produced it in my bedroom, and made a music video and uploaded it, and that was what ended up getting me signed. When I had the record deal in front of me, I thought, is this something that I even want? It had been a good few years of it just being something that was personal and something that I really enjoyed. But I just decided to go for it.

I find the best way to deal with it is to try and write a lot, and write with people that you trust. Because it's vulnerable, writing. I had a lot of really horrible sessions. It's like dating or something; I'm a polygamist in that I have a few of my people that I love and trust.

I just realised that's going to be the pull quote.

That's right. "I'm a polygamist!"

Right now I feel like this is the sound and this like the best that I can possibly do. The idea that I can constantly be growing is really cool and exciting to me. It makes me never want to stop.