In 2014, I founded a column on the blog of my publication The Adroit Journal. It was called “The Beat Converses,” and it was an interview series. Through that wonderful column, I was fortunate enough to speak with Louisa Wendorff before she became Social Media Famous (TM) via Taylor Swift, and India Carney before she stunned us all on The Voice USA. Ultimately, however, the journal’s blog underwent changes and the column was phased out.
I’m here to bring it back—with a couple of adjustments, and a swanky new title. Through this column, I want to devote a space to sharing the startling, intimate, necessary work that web-based artists are doing. (As an online publication ourselves, Adroit might be biased here.)
The first-ever Inspirational Artist of the Month title simply has to belong to Troye Sivan.
Twenty-year-old Troye is an Australian actor, singer and songwriter who rose to fame through his tremendously popular YouTube channel. He’s been named one of Time‘s 25 Most Influential Teens of the Year, and for good reason—his most recent album Blue Neighbourhood is delicious and beyond inspirational; in conjunction with Lana Del Rey’s immortal Born to Die, it’s been #fuelingthepoems and #fuelingthefeels since I listened to it last month when it came out. (Five days before my birthday—totally not a coincidence at all.)
Troye Sivan is proof that web-born artists and writers can—and should—be taken seriously. Heck, he was just on Ellen earlier this week (performing his *incredible* song “Youth”), and was on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon earlier this winter.
Through this album and earlier work, Troye has also contributed to the visibility of the queer arts community. Particularly, his stunning music video trilogy from last year—which served as a sort of opening sequence for Blue Neighbourhood—embodies his identity as a queer musician and human, while inspecting the harmful presence of societal masculinity, and thank the powers that be for it: