New music from Troye Sivan: Angel Baby
Troye Sivan has embraced his Demon Twink energy with the release of the video for his new track, Angel Baby.
It’s a track that he describes as a gushy power-bottom ballad.
The video is probably the sexiest thing that Troye has given us to date.
It’s still very Troye being sweet and dreamy, but it’s not difficult to imagine that seeing the way Lil Nas X is leaning into his sexuality is probably giving Troye some confidence that his fans will respond positively if he amps up the gay a bit.
To be fair, he’s amped up the gay a lot – and we love every inch of it!
What was the drama in New Zealand?
Now we’re at a point where Troye is describing a track as his power-bottom ballad, it’s probably worth reflecting on how we all evolve as time marches on.
A few years back, Troye had a public falling out with an LGBTQ publication because they asked him a sex-related question.
It was a quick-fire Q&A interview. The final question posed to Sivan was “Top or Bottom?” The answer from Sivan that was printed in the interview was “Ooo… definitely passing!”
When Sivan’s fans flagged the interview on his Twitter feed, he confirmed that it was a question that he felt uncomfortable about.
“I thought about asking the interviewer about his absolute fave sex position after that last question…” wrote Sivan. “But then I remembered how wildly invasive, strange and inappropriate that would be. Didn’t stop him though!”
“Next time, I’ll just do a Twitter Q&A…” added Sivan.
It didn’t stop there, though. Sivan also took exception to the way that Out magazine covered his concerns about the sex-position question.
The article in Out described Sivan as hypocritical, and asked the rhetorical question whether queer journalists have to adhere to the same respectability politics as straight ones? Out concluded by saying that “It’s 2019, talking about anal sex shouldn’t be taboo, especially in queer media.”
Here’s the screen-shots that give you Sivan’s full statement, but the key point he made was – “There’s no shame in anal sex or any kind of sex – I just don’t want to talk about it over the phone to a complete stranger.”
Obviously, asking someone what they like to do in the bedroom is tricky terrain to navigate. Unless someone is volunteering that topic as a discussion point, it’s a pretty personal subject. Everyone is entitled to set their own boundaries about what they’re prepared to discuss publicly.
Those boundaries are undoubtedly evolving as he does.
It is easy to see how, as queer journalists, we’re inevitably drawn to asking personal questions – we’re keen to make headline-grabbing conversations happen. It’s so powerful to have a queer musician who is a global celebrity, it’s difficult not to carried away with the idea of how important it might be to hear that celebrity talking about queer sex.
It sometimes seems that we’re asking queer musicians to operate with less privacy than anyone else, but everyone gets to set their own boundaries – just because a question has been asked doesn’t mean that an answer has to be given.
A reluctance to talk about sex can sometimes be driven by bottom-shaming. Bottom-shaming still has a big impact in our community and in our sex lives. Many people perpetuate a perception that being penetrated is somehow a sign of weakness or inferiority.
Having Troye Sivan hit us with a gushy power-bottom ballad can only be a good thing for us all.
Who is Troye Sivan?
Sivan has been working hard in the entertainment industry since about the age of 11, when he started appearing in television shows in Australia where he grew up. He talked publicly about being gay in a YouTube video, when he was about 18 – he’d told his family a few years before that.
“I just got to this place where I was so gay in my personal life, and really proud of it…” Sivan explained in an interview with Vogue. “And I was like, I want to share this with the whole world.”
You get the sense that Sivan has always had a fairly clear and unapologetic view of who he is. What’s fantastic is that it’s working for him – Bloom, his second album, topped the charts and he’s toured extensively - it’s not just the gays that are buying Sivan’s music. Sivan also picked up a Golden Globe nomination for the track Revelation from the film Boy Erased – in which Sivan also made his major acting debut. He’s a major star with wide appeal, but he does question whether being proudly queer sometimes limits his appeal.
“Part of me wonders sometimes if I would be more commercially successful if I wasn’t gay or not as ‘in your face gay’…” Sivan explained to the Homo Sapiens podcast. “Sometimes, it can be frustrating because I’m giving my all and not having some humongous radio smash all over the world. Maybe the music just isn’t good enough, maybe the world is obsessed with hip hop right now and I’m making the furthest thing from hip hop. It could be a myriad of other things, but a part of me wonders sometimes, is the world actually ready right now for what I’m trying to be?”
What’s particularly appealing about Sivan, is that he’s not trying to project some sort of hyper-masculine image - the sexual awakening that he seems to be exploring through his music has an undeniably queer aesthetic.
“Sometimes I really forget that there are straight people in LA,” Sivan said, in an interview with The Guardian. “I have almost exclusively LGBT people around me. That instilled a sense of confidence in me – that I have every reason to be proud of who I am.”
It’s hard to articulate how powerful it is to have queer role models such as Troye Sivan. For young LGBTQ people to be able to support and idolise a successful musician who not only shares a lot of their experiences, but also sings about them - it’s a total game-changer from when pop-stars had to remain in the closet for fear of damaging their career.