The tune took on a new meaning as he contemplated the effects of #quarantinelife.
“I feel insanely lucky that to me, quarantine is just hanging out with my family and watching movies and working on stuff at home. I get a little bored, but absolutely no complaints,” says Troye Sivan, speaking from his parents’ home in Melbourne. The singer-songwriter traveled to Australia after a movie he was shooting in Atlanta was put on hold as the COVID-19 crisis hit. Sivan decided to channel his fortune and the feelings of helplessness—and ultimately hope—so many of us are enduring right now into the early release of Take Yourself Home, a tender track that’s racked up over 6.5 million Spotify streams since it was released on April 1st.
“I’ve actually had this song for a couple of months,” says Sivan. “Originally it was much more personal and about a moment in my life where I was feeling really lost and had to take a step back and re-evaluate my life as a whole. All of these different elements of who I want to be with and what I want to do with my life; all these questions and honest conversations you have with yourself now and again. The a-ha moment for me was when I realized that the song had taken on a whole new meaning.”
Sivan’s launch of the song coincided with a social media call he made for artists to contribute to its digital presence. “I was speaking to the creative people in my life who are out of work at the moment and it really bummed me out. I thought to myself, I’ve got this music, I’ve got this music video budget that I don’t know what I’m going to do with now. How can I help and share this joy of being creative?” In only a few days, Sivan was able to collaborate with people from graphic designers to his bandmates on several projects around Take Yourself Home, including the production of a lyric music video, and having his band “film and record themselves so we can do a live virtual performance,” he says.
He also worked with artists Jack Taylor Lovatt and Lanning Sally on the creation of three t-shirts which are available now; 100% of the proceeds from their sales will go to the World Health Organization’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund and Spotify’s COVID-19 Music Relief project. “It helps bands and crews—[music] people who are out of work right now,” says Sivan, adding that “like many other industries, the live music industry is completely dead for the foreseeable future.”
Sivan has also switched up his image for the promotion of the new single; he’s seen wearing a bright red wig in several images posted around its launch. “I always knew when I wrote this group of songs that I wanted to feel like I looked really different,” he says. “I had this idea to transform myself into—I don’t want to say a character, but it’s one part of my personality.”
Indeed, Sivan’s rise to stardom has given us a glimpse into his eclectic fashion sense, from a penchant for wearing flamboyant pieces by Spanish brand Palomo Spain to working with Valentino on its Spring 2018 menswear campaign. “I don’t really attach myself to a personal style,” he says. “To me it’s like, what a wasted opportunity to have so much fun.”
In this way, Sivan sees what he wears as part of the package of being a musician—or the kind he wants to be, at least. “Where I enjoy being creative doesn’t stop after I leave the studio. I really enjoy every aspect of my career. That’s why I love being a recording artist,” he says. “The way that I dress and present myself is an extension of telling a story in some way. I really look up to people who’ve done that before, like [performance artist] Leigh Bowery and David Bowie. These are all people who, their entire life is an extension of their art.”
He also finds dressing up a helpful way to uplift himself during quarantine. “If I wake up and feel a little cabin fever-y, I’ll get fully dressed and do a glam routine, and then just get back into bed again and watch a movie,” he laughs. It’s ultimately all part of keeping his juices flowing while waiting things out. “I’m so thankful for creativity in general,” Sivan says. “It’s the thing that’s kept me sane and kept me going my whole life. I’m especially realizing that now that everything has been stripped back to basics.”