In 2018, Hey Alma contributor Mandy Berman wrote a piece called “18 Things You Didn’t Know About Gay Jewish Pop Star Troye Sivan.” At the time, she said, “If you haven’t heard of Sivan yet, here’s your primer. Study up, because he’s about to get a lot more famous soon.”
Excitingly, Mandy’s prediction has come to pass! Since 2018, Troye has blossomed into a major pop culture icon on the global stage, making waves in music, TV, fashion and more.
Before we get into all the new and exciting things, here are some basic facts of Troye’s life that Mandy laid out: Troye was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1995 to a Conservadox Jewish family. When he was 2 years old, the family moved to Perth and became a part of its tight-knight Jewish community. There, he first started singing in synagogue and attended a modern Orthodox Jewish day school until he was 14 (he left to get his start in the entertainment industry). He publicly came out as queer on his YouTube channel in 2013.
OK, with all of that in mind, here are 18 more things to know about Troye Sivan.
1. He’s a Gemini!
2. Here are 10 things Troye can’t live without:
3. According to Rolling Stone Australia, Troye is the 34th greatest Australian artist of all time!
“Artists like Troye break down walls for queer artists to follow in their footsteps, but he also has this level of artistry. Troye takes risks, he pushes boundaries,” Tim Nelson of Australian pop group Cub Sport wrote for Rolling Stone. “He’s in a position where it would be easy to make safe, accessible pop music and follow a line, but he did the opposite of that with the incredible ‘In a Dream EP.'”
4. In 2022, Troye starred in the movie “Three Months” as Caleb, a queer Jewish teen who’s been exposed to HIV and must wait three months for definitive tests about whether he’s positive.
5. Here’s how Troye came to be a part of the project:
“Jared Frieder [the writer-director] and I had known each other socially, I’d met him at parties. I always remembered him when I saw him because he’s very, very Jewish and he loves pop music, and I’m very Jewish and I love pop music,” he said in W. “A couple of months later I read it and I just had an absolute blast, it was really beautiful. And I feel like it was brave to tackle this serious issue with comedy and humor and such heart.
6. Troye’s all-time favorite album is “Back to Black” by fellow Jewish musician Amy Winehouse. He’s even used her as inspiration when writing his own songs.
“She was writing these super-specific lyrics, and you would think it would kind of alienate the audience. But I think it does the opposite — it just brings them in,” he told NPR. “I think people are really good at taking a feeling from a song and applying it to their own lives. And the more specific that feeling is, the better. So that’s something I try and do always in my songs, is just really write from a place of real life.”
7. In “The Idol,” Troye played Xander, creative director and BFF of the titular idol, Jocelyn. Xander is infamous for his (apparently improvised) line in which he calls Jocelyn a “nasty, nasty, bad pop girl” and is tortured with an electric shock collar. Yikes!
8. After acting in “The Idol,” Troye is way less scared of people talking about him online.
9. Troye started an Australia-based company which specializes in “Fragrances for self – objects for space” called Tsu Lange Yor which means “to long years in Yiddish.”
1o. Listen to him talk about how and why he created the brand:
11. Troye designed an $1800 dreidel (yes, you read that correctly) for Tsu Lange Yor.
“An exploration of LIGHT, MOTION, HERITAGE, the dreidel is designed to unwind with you, imbuing sanctuary+self with room for reflection. The dreidel spins, but only with practice,” the site says.
12. Troye’s third album “Something to Give Each Other” debuted on Oct. 13, 2023.
“I was ready to make this depressing breakup album,” he told Vogue (Troye and model Jacob Bixenman broke up around 2020). “And here I was having the time of my life, feeling just grateful for the people around me.”
Instead, Troye says that his third album is a “celebration of sex, dance, sweat, community, queerness, love, and friendship.”
13. The music video for his song “Rush” includes dancing which feels like a queer ode to the bottle dance from “Fiddler on the Roof.”
14. He wore drag and a Star of David in the music video for “One of Your Girls.”
15. And here’s behind-the-scenes of the making of that video:
16. He was nominated for two awards, Best Music Video and Best Pop Dance Recording for “Rush,” at the 2024 Grammys!
— 👼🏼 (@troyesivan) November 10, 2023
17. Troye was parodied in a 2023 episode of “SNL” by Timothee Chalamet and boygenius.
18. Listen to Troye describe the experience himself: