Women in Music 2018
Troye Sivan on LGBTQ Activism in 'Heaven' Video: 'We've Come a Long Way, But Have a Very Long Way to Go'
"It's an interesting time to be LGBTQ+, that's for sure!" says the 21-year-old pop singer, who also details his next career move.
Troye Sivan's “Heaven” music video came out on Thursday, Jan. 19 for a reason. On the day before Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration, the Australian pop star dropped a visual that juxtaposed footage of LGBTQ protests throughout history with tender shots of same-sex couples, including the openly gay Sivan embracing a faceless male figure.
For Sivan, the latest video from his excellent debut album, 2015’s Blue Neighbourhood, can be seen as a direct rejection of what many perceive to be an anti-LGBTQ administration. "We've come a long way,” Sivan writes to Billboard, "but have a very long way to go.”
In an email Q&A, Sivan addresses the personal importance of the “Heaven” music video, what he hopes his fans take away from the clip, and what’s next for him, now more than a year removed from Blue Neighbourhood’s release:
How did the concept of the video come together?
Having a greater understanding and appreciation for LGBTQ+ history has been something that has been on my mind a lot lately, and I wanted to kind of extend that education process. I am so eternally grateful to those who've come before me and made it possible for moments like this video release to be even a possibility. I think in showing that history, I hoped the video would also instill hope for a brighter future. We've come a long way, but have a very long way to go.
You’ve described “Heaven” as a particularly personal song. Did that make creating a visual for it easier or harder?
I think it did make it easier. Feeling like I'm doing my part to make things hopefully a little easier for someone else was really cathartic for me.
Can you speak about the timing of the video release?
It's an interesting time to be LGBTQ+, that's for sure! I think the most important thing we as a community can do right now is band together, pull inspiration from where we've been, and continue the movement forward stronger than ever.
What do you hope this video communicates to people who are feeling disenfranchised right now?
I hope that the video communicates sort of what I spoke to before - we have always been here, and, no matter how threatened, we will always be here. Everything is going to be okay.
Now that the video is out, what’s next for you, musically and personally?
I'm taking a second to breathe and get inspired before really getting into writing my next project. I promised myself some down time, but I'm already starting to lose my mind a little.