Music

From Blue Neighbourhoods To Blue – Troye Sivan’s Musical Evolution

Coinciding with personal heartbreak, the album resonated with me immensely - it felt like the album had been made for me specifically. It helped me get through the motions of despair and acceptance, of finally realising that being myself was the only option.

I first came across Troye Sivan on YouTube back in 2013, a decade ago. Back then he was one of the most popular people in the game, doing viral challenges and collaborating with a roster of other YouTube personalities. His first significant foray into music was the song he wrote and performed, inspired by the book of the same name, The Fault In Our Stars. I knew instantly then that Troye was someone with colossal talent but I could never have imagined he would be able to transition to mainstream music the way he did, especially after watching his Coming Out video that came soon after. This was before there were countless examples of YouTube personalities who had managed to leverage their following into legitimate careers, much less queer internet stars.

Nevertheless, I was very excited when he announced his EP, TRXYE. The album debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200 and featured the single ‘Happy Little Pill’. I’ve replayed that video more times that I can count, mesmerised by the fact that I was watching a young queer person sing about life and heartache, unabashedly being themselves.

If I wasn’t hooked already, Troye’s first full-fledged album, Blue Neighbourhood, had me by the neck. The trilogy of music videos for Wild, Fools, and Take Me Down explored coming out to oneself, others, and navigating a post out-of-the-closet world. There weren’t a lot of similar examples from the music world I had access to at the time, especially not from the Indian entertainment world. Coinciding with personal heartbreak, the album resonated with me immensely – it felt like the album had been made for me specifically. It helped me get through the motions of despair and acceptance, of finally realising that being myself was the only option. Since it was so closely linked to personal grief and I moved cities soon after the album was out, I avoided it like the plague for years thereafter. Only recently did I find the courage to look for the album online and listen to the songs again – this time hearing each song as an adult who had long crossed the hurdles sung by Sivan.

In 2018, Troye released his second album, Bloom, a much more experimental piece of work both in terms of musicality and visual representation in his videos. It was clear to see that Troye was more comfortable in his sexuality this time around. The songs were about the bliss of queer love and being able to freely explore one’s sexuality. From alluding to his first time bottoming on the single ‘Bloom’ to being so euphorically in love in ‘My My My’, Troye had ventured into the realm of queer joy. Bloom was festive, no more conservative or inhibitions with being transparent about one’s journey.

On 13th July, 2023, Troye released his single – Rush – from his third studio album, 5 years after Bloom. Quite simply, it is an unabashed celebration of queerness though the music video has been criticised by community folx for its lack of color and body representation. While Troye in 2013 had concerns regarding his future as an openly queer artist, they have been firmly quashed today. The single Rush is not only gay in all its glory but depicts Troye as being part of a world that is unapologetically sexual and passionate in its existence. The song has been made for queer, party dance floors and it works fantastically well.

His album, ‘Something To Give Each Other’, will be out on October 13 and as a fan who’s been here since day one, I’m ecstatic to see what Troye has in store.

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Preston (@olakatu) is a writer, illustrator and architect from Kerala. He was born in Maharashtra and did his schooling in the UAE. Having pursued his architecture degree from Pune University, he currently resides in Bangalore. When not working, he can be found watching art studio vlogs, snacking on cucumbers and hummus, planning his next vacation, curating art events or seeking out the best filter coffee and medu wada in town'.
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