Popular Youtuber turned fully fledged popstar Troye Sivan has had quite a year. In fact he’s had quite a few years since publicly coming out to his millions of subscribers via his Youtube channel (actually the third-most-subscribed YouTube channel in Australia) back in August 2013. This year South-African born and Australia raised Sivan scored his first Billboard 100 hit, peaking at no.23 with ‘Youth’ from his debut album Blue Neighbourhood. He’s not only been a constant presence pon the world wide web but is also taking over our TV’s with performances on Ellen and at the 2016 VMA’s.
Honest, articulate, stylish, criminally cute and quite tall, Sivan is part of the vanguard of artists leading the way in redefining what it means to be an openly queer popstar – you can throw Years & Years’ Olly Alexander on that list too. Smashing out hits about love with the unapologetic declaration that he loves boys and it’s totes fine, this is the now, this is the future, get with it already!
We stopped by Sivan’s recent show in Berlin to take some snaps, have a chat and read his tarot!
Since we’re reading your tarot, what it’s like to have your life scheduled out so much in advance?
Until February next year I pretty much know what I’m doing on a day to day basis. I’ve got my calendar so I can go in and check. It’s weird, it’s new because for a long time it was the opposite, I had no idea where I was going to be at any given moment. That planned lifestyle is very specific to touring because there’s so much planning that goes into it. You have to get transport and ship all your gear, so everyone knows months in advance before we go anywhere. It’s nice actually because what it does is, it gives you on time and off time and that’s the way I like to work. I’d rather have a really hectic couple of weeks and then two weeks where I literally don’t even look at my emails.
I was reading a bunch of interviews you’ve done lately and everyone seems to bring up Years & Years when talking to you. Do you think it’s slightly offensive for people to assume all the gay popstars know each other?
Yeah a little bit [laughs], we do actually know each other though so it’s different. Everyone really, really wants us to make a song together. I would love to, but if it’s going to happen it’ll happen kind of thing.
You’re Jewish and it’s not like everyone asks if all the Jewish popstars hang out is it?
No, it’s not like me and Barbara Streisand are best mates.
Do you feel a responsibility to represent the gay community?
I don’t feel so much a responsibility as I do a privilege. I feel really lucky to have the platform that I do and I want to make sure that I use it for good. LGBT people in the past had to do the gnarliest things to just survive – things have been easy for me so I just want to make sure I’m doing my part. I have been given this platform and I’ve got to make sure I actually use it for good and not be complacent. I want to be grateful and thankful to everyone that’s worked so hard to get us to this point and do my best to progress us to the next point.
I love that show, I love Josh. I met him a couple of times and he’s so so so sweet and I’ve been wanting to do something with them for a really long time.
Like a cameo?
I hope so, that would be really fun to do. Plus Josh always casts the hottest boys to be his boyfriends.
Slight abuse of power there!
A little bit. I’ve done the exact same thing in my music videos so I can’t complain.
Why do you think people are surprised that teenage girls are crazy into a cute gay male pop-star that’s singing about exactly the same things that they’re into?
I don’t know! I do think it’s fairly promising. It reflects really well on the kids at the show, it shows that they’re cool and open-minded and they’re not just there to try and get in my pants; obviously they can’t. I sort of came out without telling anyone I was going to do it because I knew everyone was going to be like, “what if you lose your fans?” and all that stuff. I weighed up that possibility and it paled into insignificance compared to how important it was for me to be happy and open. I’d made that decision and I didn’t want anyone else weighing in on it because it was a personal decision I needed to make. Now I’m so stoked with the way it worked out because everyone still seems to be into it so it’s all good.
I was checking your Twitter and there is so much positive energy coming from you. I interviewed Alessia Cara the other day who you’re friends with and it’s the same with her.
We’re fresh faced and yet to be jaded by the music industry and the world! Cut to Alessia and I in five years being so fucked up and sad.
How has your relationship with the internet changed?
It’s still one of the most comforting things in the world to me. I can be completely alone somewhere and open Twitter or Instagram or Snapchat or whatever and feel completely at home. I think I’ve found my balance of what I like to share and what I don’t, which is also nice, to feel safe in the space. There’s so much going on all the time.
What happens if you don’t Tweet for a day?
People ask if I’m dead.
Viviana: This is not about the future, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but we can get a glimpse into the subconscious which can be more fun and according to that you can figure out what there is to be answered. So basically this is about revelations, things are going to be revealed.
T: I’m scare that something I would never talk about in an interview is going to come up in your cards!
V: Take the cards in your hands and mix them a bit and while you do that, think about a question that is important to you. Focus on something, one aspect of your life. If you don’t tell me the question then it’s going to be more generic in a way.
T: Let’s be mysterious, I’m interested in that.
V: This card is the obstacle: The Moon. The moon is the feminine side of yourself and at the same time it’s intuitive, so everything that’s happening in the shadows. The moon is the obscured and the sun is active energy. So your obstacle is this perceived femininity, we don’t understand why right now so we proceed.
Troy: This would have been a lot more accurate when I was younger before I came out and started accepting my more feminine side…
V: The next card is The World. The way of liberating yourself from this dark femininity is by opening yourself to the world.
V: The need card represents the action to liberate yourself, The High Priestess. Going more inside yourself on a spiritual path, no sexuality, sitting on the edge of knowledge looking out. The card number is two which is focusing on more spiritual aspects.
V: The transformation you will go into once you realise this is the hangman. This means more mediation, more surrender. We are born but that doesn’t mean we cannot be reborn in the same life.
T: I’ve steered clear of any form of spirituality or religion when I first started to realise I was gay because I thought it was incompatible. In the process I’ve taken a lot on my shoulders, I put a lot of pressure on myself to make everything work out and very rarely feel I can surrender to anything else except for my own self. I think it’s something I’d like to do to be able to meditate and surrender to the universe and be like whatever happens, happens.
V: So final card, reveals what you here for. The Devil. The reaction that the card usually generates is excitement and fear, is what the card means. The entity is both male and female: a third gender in a way. No fears, no morals, no ethics, finding your own path only through creativity and creation.
T: This is funny to me, that’s the way conservative religious people talk about people like me, being possessed by the devil and all that shit. The fact that it’s not a gender conforming person is hilarious to me. If I’m the devil then so be it, if that’s my purpose to be this gay devil then cool fine fair enough that’s me.