1. He’s YouTube royalty.
Troye Sivan, 19, started vlogging back in 2012, since then his channel has amassed over 2.5 million subscribers and 100 million views. He’s collaborated with A-list YouTubers like Zoella, Hannah Hart and Marcus Butler. His friendship with Tyler Oakley has spawned its own fandom, one with its own shipping portmanteau (Troyler, obvs) and the power to win the boys a Teen Choice Award.
3. His personality hasn’t been sanitized an overly cautious management team.
Like most teens, Troye’s got sex on the brain and a sense of humor that would make most parents blush. Unlike most teen stars, however, these aspects of his personality haven’t been sandblasted away in an effort to make him seem as non-threatening as possible. He announced the release of his music video with a vlog in which he also pondered the consequences of horizontal butt-cracks.
4. He created his own opportunities.
Before he signed with EMI Music Australia, Troye wrote and released a lot of music independently. He recorded videos of himself singing cover songs, wrote musical year-end recaps and released an independent charity single inspired by The Fault In Our Stars. He wasn’t just handed a record deal because he had 2 million followers, he worked hard for it.
5. His Tumblr-inspired aesthetic is the real deal.
When you look at the visuals for TRXYE it’s obvious that years of reblogging has paid off for Troye. While other, older pop stars pluck indiscriminately from Tumblr’s pages in an effort to stay relevant, Troye’s moody, colorful aesthetic is clearly homegrown.
6. He’s outsourced promotion to his dedicated stan-base.
All Troye did to promote TRXYE was talk about it on social media; he didn’t do a press tour or give interviews. Instead, he relied on the power of his fans to propel him to the top of the charts with their GIFs, hashtags and vlogs. It ended up being a smart strategy because both “Happy Little Pill” and TRXYE debuted at the top of the iTunes chart in dozens of countries around the globe.
7. He’s openly gay.
This shouldn’t be a big deal, but when you can count the number of out-and-proud pop stars on one hand, it kind of is. Especially when you consider the fact that Adam Lambert, Frank Ocean and Sam Smith all waited until after they had experienced some success before to talk openly about being queer. Troye, however, came out a full year before his major-label debut.
8. His EP, TRXYE, has been out for less than a week and it’s already charting worldwide.
What’s the point at which someone stops being Internet famous and starts just being plain-old famous? Surely it coincides with debuting at the top of the iTunes chart in fifty different countries and cracking the Billboard top five, right? It must.