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by Claire Nunez
I feel as though the age of the major pop star icon has ended. There are so many artists that release one song and then fade into music oblivion, never to be heard again. It seems as though the days of young people carrying the lunch boxes with the faces of big stars like Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake, and Britney Spears on them are over, but I think that they’re not over. Troye Sivan has been called the “next prince of pop” by Elle and a “21st century pop culture icon” by Dazed. The Australian artist’s fi rst album was considered a breakthrough in the pop music scene, but why? What makes this former You- Tube sensation the next big thing? The answer is a little bit more complicated than it may seem
Troye Sivan is a part of one of the first groups of YouTube personalities. The South African-born, Australian-raised, began posting singing videos to his channel in 2007, but he did not gain much traction on the web until 2012 when he began posting video blogs. As a young boy, he acted in films like Wolverine and starred in the South African movie, Spud, but his passion for singing never died. He continued to post videos of original songs to You- Tube, but it was not until he posted a video about coming out as gay to his subscribers, that he gained immense internet fame. Since then, Troye Sivan has earned 4 million subscribers, and over 200 million total views. Troye took a step back from the YouTube community after releasing his EP, TRXYE, in 2014. He began to post more singing videos and Q&A sessions rather than the goofy collabs and vlogging that he used to.
In late 2015, we found out why Troye made this sudden shift.
Troye Sivan’s debut album, Blue Neighbourhood (yes, it is spelt this way-- he is Australian after all) was released. The dream pop album was a huge success, hanging out at the top of the charts all over the world. His entire Blue Neighbourhood tour was sold out-- in Europe, America, and Australia. Troye Sivan was invited to perform one of his top songs, “Youth” on Ellen as well as The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. He has had immense success for his debut album and it has only been about six months since its release.
The real question is: why has this happened? How has Sivan had so much success with an album that is, yes, incredible, but nothing super different?
A lot of his success can be contributed to his fans (that means me, go @ self *self-five*). YouTube is one of those websites that has fostered incredible communities on and offline-- my friends and I would constantly discuss videos by our favorite vloggers a few years ago. Everyone I know seems to have a favorite YouTuber and constantly supports him or her. I have friends who have never missed a local Tyler Oakley event or who have Zoella’s Instagram updates constantly flooding their phones. YouTube-- when it was more popular-- allowed for young teens to connect to someone that they had never met over something like makeup, music, style, or travelling.
For a time, these YouTubers were able to provide for themselves only with their channels and Twitter accounts; however, when their audiences began to grow up and log off and they, themselves, began to grow up too, they moved in different directions. Grace Helbig, for instance, still posts every week, but she has published a few books and has a show on E!. Helbig is still popular online, but she forced most of her fans off their laptops and out of their beds into the real world-- kind of. Troye Sivan is no different. By producing an album, he lured a lot of his fans onto the dance floor with his upbeat songs and youthful messages. He relates to the shift from being a teenager to being an independent young adult, something most of his fans are currently going through.
Troye Sivan has made the jump from being a face on YouTube to being a face and a voice, well, everywhere. He brought his fans into the real world and has, in a sense, used YouTube as a springboard into the music scene. Musicians always say they would never be where they are today without the help of their fans. Troye Sivan can truly attribute his fame to his subscribers. There is no way that his awesome album would have gained as much success as quickly as it did without the help of all of us. We are the ones that have and will cause him to become a prominent force in the music world-- that was not meant to sound cocky, but it is the truth.
If you’re not a fan of Troye, I highly suggest looking him up because he is a lil’ cutie.