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GRAMMY TALK:
TROYE SIVAN
And His Teen Spirit-Powered Time Machine

2018 has been good to Troye Sivan, who made his SNL debut at the top of the year and more recently played his first-ever show at NYC’s Radio City Music Hall. That gig was part of the Capitol pop purveyor’s North American headline run, which kicked off as Bloom—an acclaimed September release that bowed Top 5—surpassed 700m streams. The Perth-raised artist’s set stands tall, basking in the moment of bliss that follows a goodbye to growing pains, painting him as an eloquent surveyor of emotions and their meanings. But seeing this interview in print may leave the “My My My!” singer crying “Why Why Why?”


Bloom finishes up briskly in about 35 minutes. Did you set out with the goal of making something compact and precise?
Definitely. A lot of my favorite albums are around nine or 10 tracks. To me, it feels like a bold statement—being able to define what you’re trying to say, what you sound like and who you are at that time in such a compact space. It was a challenge, but I’m really proud of where we ended up.

Many described Bloom as “darker” than anything you’ve done before. To me, it sounded like it came more from a place of confidence, clarity and invigoration. What did you want listeners to take away from this project?
I really hope people understand the world that we tried to create, sonically, lyrically. I hope they’ve let the album soundtrack this moment in their lives and that it sticks and means something to them. This album is definitely going to serve as a time capsule for me in the future, and I hope it does for them too.

You collaborated with a variety of writers and producers in the making of this album. Any standout experiences or powerful creative breakthroughs?
I started out the process going to my tried-and-true team from the first album. They’re some of the most talented writers in the world, in my opinion, and they feel like home. I also knew that once I’d written the meat of the album with them, I’d want to explore new avenues with new collaborators, like Ariel Rechtshaid, Oscar Gorres and Oscar Holter. Through these new sessions, we pushed the sound, and I pushed myself as a writer. It ended up feeling so good. Kind of like a teenager exploring the world, knowing they have a supportive family to go back home to at the end of the day.

You’ve worked closely with Alex Hope since 2014’s TRXYE, which is particularly special considering how rarely female producers are enlisted. What’s it like tinkering away with her?
The best. Working with Alex really is so easy. She makes me laugh, knows me backwards, and we’ve been on this crazy journey together for a long time now. It’s a joy and honor to call her a friend and collaborator.

You’re on the road now with Kim Petras. Explain your involvement—and the tour’s involvement—with the Ally Coalition (TAC) and the Trevor Project.
Every tour, I try to do more than just put on a good show. The people who show up to these shows are driven, vocal, proud and so inspiring to me that the idea of using the tour to band us all together for a cause is always exciting. We do everything from having people bring socks and tampon donations to shows to working with local teams in each city and the Ally Coalition to cater our services to whatever that particular LGBTQ+ community needs.

You’ve previously been recognized by the ARIA Awards, the APRA Awards and others, but you’ve yet to be nominated for a Grammy. What would that honor mean to you?
Gahh, I don’t even like thinking about it—don’t want to jinx it. It always feels really nice to be recognized by people you look up to and people in your industry, and I imagine that would feel like a really tangible way to hear that praise and recognition.

 

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