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Pop icon Troye Sivan is playing Shanghai this week

His lush, confessional vocals often reference the universality of love and call for modern interpretations

Photograph: courtesy organiser

‘Triple threat’ is a term used to describe celebrities and artists who conquer all realms of the entertainment industry. After surveying today’s current pop landscape, superstar and human rights advocate, Troye Sivan, seems to fit the mould.

Riding a year of cinematic and musical successes, he’s scheduled to perform at Shanghai’s Mercedes-Benz Arena on Monday 22 to promote his most recent, critically acclaimed album, Bloom. The show has already sold out.

Born in South Africa and raised in Australia, Troye Sivan began his career as a lead child actor on television series X-Men Origins: Wolverine. A naturally gifted singer, Sivan went on to popularise his music via his YouTube channel and through weekly vlogs chronicling his upbringing in Perth. After landing a series of independent releases, and a record deal with EMI Australia in 2013, Sivan returned with his fourth and most formative EP, Wild. Having hit the ground running, 2015 saw the release of Sivan’s debut album/video trilogy, Blue Neighbourhood, which topped global charts, went gold in four countries and rendered him a powerful figure for the queer community.

Sivan continues to use his fame as a vehicle for queer visibility. The 23-year-old singer has graced the cover of GQ and The Fader, flaunting an aesthetic akin to Elton John 3.0. His lush, confessional vocals often reference the universality of love and call for modern interpretations. In 2018, Troye collaborated on a song with the Icelandic singer Jonsí for Boy Erased, an Oscar-bound film – which he co-stars in – about the realities of conversion therapy.

That August, Sivan released his sophomore album Bloom, named one of the best albums of the year by Rolling Stone, garnering over 1 billion streams globally. Beyond Bloom’s dynamic sound lives the cool vulnerability that helped scaffold Troye’s career. Like his contemporaries – Ariana Grande, Lorde, Tove Lo and Kehlani – Sivan has created space within the pop mainstream for a new normal.

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