YouTube is at it again. Churning out one prominent pop culture figure after another, the viral video giant has successfully birthed society’s newest subcategory of celebrity—an elite group aptly dubbed “The YouTubers.”
Ever enthusiastic on camera and always interacting with fans via Facebook or Twitter, the average vlogger—or “video blogger,” for those of you who are not yet “hip to the movement” and need to know what “the kids are calling it these days” (here’s looking at you, spell check)—posts entertaining videos to their channels to appease loyal viewers. In doing so, they attempt to accumulate more doting subscribers and disseminate their coveted know-how in all categories from makeup to stand-up, fashion to food.
As their fan base continues to expand exponentially, so too does their individual brand. This YouTuber with nine million subscribers came out with a new beauty line, while that one with a mere four million released their second fiction book. Others opt to sing.
Enter Troye Sivan. Don’t know him yet? You will.
Today, 20-year-old Troye Sivan Mellet basks in the warm glow of high praise for his newest EP WILD—a six-song collection of scintillating synth-pop and infectious dance tracks. Born in South Africa, raised in Australia, and often traveling the world at the unpredictable whim of his various YouTube obligations, Sivan boasts talents that are nearly as numerous as the nations he has visited. From child actor to YouTube titan to current singer-songwriter, Sivan has covered much ground in the entertainment industry within a relatively short span of time.
Released on Sept. 4, WILD is yet another addition to Sivan’s already expansive list of artistic endeavors. This anxiously anticipated release follows the singer’s well-received EP entitled TRXYE, a 2014 taste of Sivan’s mature lyrics and ethereal sound. However, while the five tracks on TRXYE tend to blend into one another with a distinct background bass and synth set that changes very little from one song to the next, WILD suggests an increase in artist sophistication thanks to each track’s varied and unique feel.
Among the best songs in a tracklist that seems too small for Troye’s listeners’ likings are “EASE” and “WILD,” arguably the two most dance-inducing songs Sivan has. “EASE” is a smooth, percussion-heavy ballad featuring the band Broods’ whispery vocals which intertwine easily with Sivan’s yearning lyrics. Contrarily, “WILD” is more upbeat thanks to constant claps and chanting background vocals, but it maintains Sivan’s signature extraterrestrial style nonetheless. The repetitive piece “FOOLS” also excites, as its eerie high notes and sporadic expletives suggest that Sivan is finally ready to take greater risks with his work.
And much like a good wine or that beloved “My Musical” episode of Scrubs, the EP seems to only get better with age. Just over two weeks old, news of the release still floods social media forums and rises in popularity as endorsements from veteran music moguls continue to roll in. Taylor Swift tweeted at Sivan, exclaiming rather enthusiastically with the help of caps lock that the EP’s namesake single “IS STUNNING AND AWESOME,” followed by the flattering hashtag #EPgoals—a coveted celebrity compliment from pop’s top princess.
Despite the new alternative-dance hits that will likely ascend the charts in the next few weeks, Sivan’s music still has a few flawed features that need improvement before his next release. Hopefully, future songs will not sound as similar to one another as those on his first two EPs. Straying far outside his comfort zone of overused synths and the same sequence of bass drops would be a refreshing change to the musical monotony the Australian artist has created for himself.
However, unlike the scores of Disney stars and YouTube wannabe singers of today who are slapped immediately onto a record label regardless of whether they truly have singing talent, Sivan emerges from the crowd as a serious songwriter set on improving his sound one successful EP at a time. Amid his plans to continue acting and producing comical content on his YouTube channel, this well-rounded rising star commands the attention of music-enthusiasts everywhere with his honest lyrics and distinct sound.
Troye Sivan is not simply an artist to watch—he’s an artist who deserves a listen.
Featured Image By Francisco Ruela/ Heights Graphics