Pop star and actor Troye Sivan stressed the importance of individuality during the creative process in professor Mary Murphy’s “Entertainment, Business and Media in Today’s Society” class Monday.
Sivan was recently nominated for a Golden Globe Award for “Revelation,” his song contribution to “Boy Erased” — a movie about small-town boy Jared Eamons who is forced to undergo conversion therapy. He also starred in the movie.
“I got a part in the movie as an actor and I was so over the moon about it,” Sivan said. “I thought, ‘I have to weasel myself into the movie as a musician, as well.’”
Sivan said the song was inspired by a sweet, tender scene which had a piano melody in the background but no lyrics. Sivan said he co-wrote the song with a friend in under an hour.
“I am so proud of everything the movie stands for,” Sivan said. “Anything I could have done to amplify the message of the movie, I did.”
Sivan said he wanted to support the conversations the movie started about conversion therapy and society’s treatment of the LGBTQ community.
In relation to his experience, Sivan said that he never anticipated the positive response to his coming out video, which he posted on YouTube in 2013. He said he was grateful to the online community, which served as a source of confidence for him to stay true to himself.
Sivan rose to stardom originally as a YouTube vlogger. He would upload videos of himself singing.
“I uploaded an original song that a record label in Australia saw,” Sivan said. “I got signed, made an E.P., put out a new song. I got an email from [manager] Dani a few weeks later.”
Sivan said being a creative individual in the music industry is a difficult, yet often rewarding experience.
“You need to trust the people around you,” he said. “You need to trust yourself. When you get it right it’s the best feeling in the world.”
Sivan said he draws from his favorite artists and describes himself as a “pop student.” One of his newest singles, “Dance To This,” was inspired by a Janet Jackson song called “All Nite (Don’t Stop).”
Sivan urged the students in the audience to pursue their dreams to full capacity.
“Just start making stuff,” he said. “Reach out to people. Put yourself out there. Find beats on SoundCloud. Do whatever you need to do to keep pushing yourself. It doesn’t happen overnight unless you’re a meme or something.”
Students were appreciative of Sivan’s advice for getting started in the industry and his humility in regard to his own career.
“It really struck me how sincere and candid he was,” said Maya Tribbitt, a sophomore majoring in journalism. “The authenticity that he showed to us made me feel comfortable with pursuing a career in the entertainment industry.”
Sivan encouraged students to work toward their dreams regardless of the potential for failure, which Ana Garay Quezada, a sophomore majoring in international relations global business, said inspired her to pursue her creative goals.
“I love how he talked about everything he went through,” Garay said. “He made me realize that I have some things that I haven’t started because I’m too scared of failure. I definitely want to do it now. He motivated me.”