Boy you need to know: Singer-songwriter Troye Sivan

22 August 2019

WORDS BY Fashion Quarterly New Zealand

Making his success just across the ditch, Troye Sivan’s star has officially risen and the whole world’s watching.

Troye Sivan, the South-African Australian taking the world by storm has so much to show for himself at only age 24.

From attending the coveted Met Gala to his two albums Blue Neighbourhood and Bloom, not to mention his work with some major fashion and beauty brands we know and love, his effect is being widely felt throughout the globe with no signs of slowing.

Our digital content producer Maxine Fourie chatted to the celeb and got the inside scoop on all things Troye Sivan. Here’s what she found out:

Miss FQ: Growing up in Australia and then moving to settle into LA would be a massive change. Have you found any things in particular that make you feel back at home?
Troye Sivan:
Quite close to my house there’s this little strip of shops and they’ve got an Australian cafe and personal training centre there, so a lot of the personal trainers and clients are from Australia. It’s kinda like a mini Aussie close to my house, so I go there really often and just see the action and eat some food that feels familiar; it definitely helps.

How did you find growing up with a massive following and keeping that relationship up throughout your growth in stardom?
I feel really lucky because I feel like now, it’s been long enough and so the relationship is really deep-rooted. I first made accounts on Twitter and YouTube well over 10 years ago now so a lot of the people that I speak with on there, I have really grown up with, so I don’t feel the pressure. But the relationship feels a lot more rich and meaningful than it ever has, so it’s one of the things that I’m most grateful for in my life and I get to see it in real life when I’m playing shows and looking into the crowd and I see a familiar face or something like that, it’s really special.


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What are some things that help you be (or stay) confident when you aren’t naturally feeling it at that moment?
For me, I accept that I’m never going to be something I’m not and so the only option is to turn inward and ask ‘how can I make something that excites me, that’s genuinely exciting that I’m proud of and how can I do something that I’m proud of that reaches outwards as well? Is there some sort of give back opportunity that I can work on right now?’ And just take the attention and the pressure off my own self for a second and focus on things that I think are really important.

You’re a MAC Cosmetics and Glossier Play ambassador; how important is it to you that you can represent the transition from beauty cosmetics being predominantly perceived as a female-only ‘right’ to a gender-inclusive space?
Firstly, it’s a no-brainer for me because I really love makeup. A lot of these things that I think I would’ve been really scared of as a kid, because they’re considered stereotypically feminine or girly, are the things I’ve grown to really love in my early adult life. So getting to celebrate that and have fun with that is always nice, so I was really really proud to be a part of it.


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What are your favourite products that you love to experience or play around with?
I’ve been really loving this product called Boy Brow from Glossier – it gives this really natural fuller brow, so I’ve been enjoying that. For me a constant thing I’ve found with my skin is just about keeping it as simple as possible to let my skin do its natural thing. I use very gentle products and little ingredients as possible.

What would you say your favourite designers, labels and brands are who help you express yourself?
I’ve always loved Yves Saint Laurent so much and Valentino who have been so incredible to me over the last couple years. Their clothes always make me feel so special and youthful. I really like wearable vintage that makes me feel like a completely approachable, normal and comfortable. And then lastly, I feel like if I want to find a happy medium between the two, I’ve always found that Acne Studios is a really great brand that is everyday wearable but still elevated.


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What was modelling for Yves Saint Laurent like?
So wild honestly. The Yves Saint Laurent show was my only time doing a runway show and it’s just insane. It’s a completely different world and it’s really overwhelming. One thing I’ve learnt about fashion coming from Perth and then ending up somehow on these crazy big fashion shoots working with these crazy brands, is that it’s really like The Devil Wears Prada which is really basic truth. I found that people are a lot nicer than they are in that movie… but it really does feel like Zoolander or The Devil Wears Prada sometimes.

Do you have any advice for a young person who may be struggling to come to terms with their sexuality or come out to their family?
From experience, the best advice I can give is to reach out to people, even if it’s a private experience. Like for me it was going private browsing so none of my history would be saved and going on YouTube and watching coming out videos – and it was completely quiet and discrete and it gave me the space to find a community of people, without outing myself or putting myself in some kind of uncomfortable scary situation.

It was resources like the Minus18 website or the Beyond Blue website or organisations like Rainbow Youth that provided me with such comfort at a time where I didn’t know where else to turn. So I would say don’t be scared to do your research and take your time and just start looking for it – because it’s out there; that community who’s going to love you and accept you for exactly the person you are, it exists and it’s everywhere. So you’ve just got to take a deep breath and give yourself the opportunity to find that for yourself.



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How do you stay authentic?
For me, I’ve always found that part the easy part. I don’t know why I’ve always been such an open book, but for me, music is like a really safe space where I feel completely comfortable spilling my guts and in fact, I think that’s the only way music has made sense to me, through doing that. I don’t really understand the thrill of the alternative and keeping things to yourself while you’re making music. I’ve always responded to music where someone’s putting their heart on the line and the specifics about the things they’re going through. I always try to be as absolutely real as possible; sometimes the struggle is making it feel like a great pop song or sound sonically the way I want it to – but it always has to come from the heart.

What does 2019 look like besides your tour?
I am so so proud of the tour, that’s a big part of my year. But then, I’m itching to get back into the studio – I have a lot of studio time planned, sessions, plans with people that I’m really excited to work with and so I want to make some new music. I’ve got a bunch of other projects outside of music on the go and I’d really love to make another film- that’s a big dream of mine. It’s also really nice to be home and work on those bigger, life things, long term that require you being a little bit bored sometimes. So I’m excited to get bored but get creative.

Troye Sivan is playing at Spark Arena, Auckland on September 13 2019. For tickets, visit LiveNation.co.nz.

Interview: Maxine Fourie
Photos: Instagram


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