YouTube sensation, vocalist, songwriter, and actor? As difficult as it is to juggle all of these tasks, we know someone who can: Troye Sivan. The 19 year-old Perth wunderkind dropped his debut EP TRXYE in August, a release that offers five tracks of rich, electronic and atmospheric pop. In a recent interview, A Music Blog, Yea? gave Troye a call to discuss creating his first-ever release, love of Tumblr, favourite YouTube video he’s done, and loyal fans. Here’s what he had to say:
AMBY: Hey Troye!
Troye Sivan: Hey, how are you?
AMBY: Great, thanks. How are you?
Troye Sivan: Good, thank you.
AMBY: I have to say, I’m really enjoying your new single Happy Little Pill. It has that Lorde electronic downbeat mixed with an atmospheric pop feel of a Lana Del Rey track. When it came to creating Happy Little Pill, which artistic influences were you channeling?
Troye Sivan: I’m definitely flattered by those two comparisons because they are big inspirations for me. I really like The Weeknd and Frank Ocean as well. There were a lot of different influences I’ve had over the past year that will hopefully be reflected in the music. I’m really, really flattered that you can hear that [laughs]. Thank you.
AMBY: My pleasure. The song is taken from your latest EP release, TRXYE. Tell me a bit about the EP – what was the experience like creating it?
Troye Sivan: It was my first time making any music professionally which was interesting. It was a lot of fun, but it was stressful because it was such a new experience to do everything on that type of scale. I really enjoyed it. It was also my first time writing music, properly, and I wrote or co-wrote all of the songs on the EP. It was a big experience and felt like a massive project to take on. Now I’m kind of working on more music for a full-length album so it feels so much more do-able because of the EP. The EP was a really big hurdle for me. It’s a good taste of what’s to come and I’m really proud of it. The whole process was an amazing one.
AMBY: Things must feel so crazy for you between recording, travelling, and soaking in the overwhelmingly great response to the EP.
Troye Sivan: It was insane. It was pretty hectic because I hadn’t told anyone I was making the EP. Obviously of course family knew and stuff like that, but my fans didn’t know. To keep it a secret was a little bit hard.
AMBY: With such a great fanbase behind you – which all started with YouTube and Tumblr – did you write any of the songs on the EP with them in mind as inspiration for lyrics or videos? The Happy Little Pill video has a very Tumblr vibe going for it.
Troye Sivan: Right. I don’t think I do it intentionally or anything like that; I think it’s just that I’ve grown up on the internet and I’ve grown up with that audience. We’re probably going to end up having a similar taste in a lot of ways. I think that’s what you’re seeing being reflecting. I love Tumblr, I think it’s my favourite place on the internet [laughs]. So yea, that’s cool.
AMBY: Even though you’ve released an EP, you still continue to post your YouTube videos. That’s actually how you unveiled this entire project to your fans. What’s one of the most memorable recordings you’ve done? I’ve seen everything from beer pong to prank calls.
Troye Sivan: Right. I think the more memorable one would probably be my coming out video that I posted over a year ago. I feel like it’s the thing that I’m most proud of because it hopefully changed a lot of people’s lives.
AMBY: Absolutely. And speaking of your connection to fans… your YouTube page now has over 2.7 million subscribers, which is almost more people than Toronto’s population.
Troye Sivan: Woah [laughs].
AMBY: Although there are many of them, you’ve managed to keep an insanely tight relationship with them all via these web vlogs. Is there anything you’d like to say to those who are reading this?
Troye Sivan: “Hello! I’m doing this cool interview. How cool is this?”
AMBY: Best fan message anyone could have heard!
AMBY and Troye Sivan: [laughs]
AMBY: Being a music website, we must ask: Who are you listening to at the moment? Do you have any suggestions for our iPods?
Troye Sivan: Right now I’m listening to a lot of Broods. They’re a brother-sister duo from New Zealand and they’re on tour with Sam Smith around the US. They’re incredible and sososo cool. You’re going to lose your ish when you hear them.
AMBY and Troye Sivan: [laughs]
AMBY: I interviewed them a couple of weeks back when they were supposed to play Toronto with Sam. They’re fantastic.
Troye Sivan: They’re cool, right? And they’re very, very nice.
AMBY: I know that you’re very open with your fans, but what’s something about yourself that most of them don’t know yet?
Troye Sivan: The only thing that I can really think of that I don’t share is probably relationship stuff… That’s probably the only thing I keep a little bit more personal. It might not be in a YouTube video, but it’s in the music.
Thank you Troye Sivan, for giving us your answers!
Interview by Alicia Atout | @AliciaAtout