Troye Sivan proves YouTube a viable option for success


CJ RobinsonReporter

Hundreds of fans mob towards the stage, hoping to get a look at the young, curly-haired singer. As the first song begins, voices ring out from all directions, singing along to one of Troye Sivan’s hit songs: BITE.

The electronica beats of Sivan began with his rise on YouTube in 2008, his first video covering Tell Me Why by Neil Young when he was 13 years old.  Since then, his fan base has grown to millions and he’s recently come out with his new hit album—Blue Neighborhood.

The line for the Seattle show of the Blue Neighborhood tour started nearly 10 hours in advance. Many young fans brought camping gear, food and items to keep busy to wait in order to get the best view of Sivan when the time comes.

The young artist has truly achieved a celebrity status, and this isn’t exclusive to him alone. Many YouTubers of this generation are gaining fame on and off the Internet.

2015 was a year for literature for the modern generation. A large majority of popular YouTubers published books based off of their specialized fields of videos. Rosanna Pansino, creator of the channel Nerdy Nummies, released her cookbook based off of popular items in nerd culture, like the death star from Star Wars, apple pi pie and 20-sided-die cookies.

Dan Howell and Phil Lester, two British vloggers, released a joint authored book called The Amazing Book is Not on Fire, a combination of their two YouTube usernames (danisnotonfire and AmazingPhil). The book describes their rise to success and a more in-depth look at their lives than a vlog format can provide.

Many YouTubers have gone much farther than their original intent behind vlogging and creating a YouTube Channel. Connor Franta, a young and well-known YouTuber from the U.S., has started his own record label called Heard Well and a company selling coffee, albums and merchandise branded as Common Culture. Franta is also now the newest member of The Recording Academy, the organization that awards Grammy’s.

Many YouTube content creators have gone from making low-quality covers of songs to writing and releasing their own music through record companies. The most famous example of this is the infamous Justin Bieber, who found his fame at a young age through viral videos of his performances.

For the time, this medium was new and unknown and attempting to get rich through it sounded impossible. Today, it seems to be happening more often than singers are found through the old-fashioned means.

Sivan’s case is a prime example of how to make it big by starting out small. After singing for a few competitions and small-scale events in his home country of Australia, he turned to YouTube as a singer and subsequently a vlogger. Sivan released his first vlog in 2012 after five years of singing on the channel, and a year later he was signed with EMI Australia, a Universal Music Australia label. He first released TRXYE, a 5-song EP in 2013 and went onto release his debut album, Blue Neighborhood, in 2015. Now, Sivan is selling out venues like the ShowBox Sodo in Seattle, with hundreds of fans waiting to hear his music come to life.

There’s a sense of community around these fans because many of them have watched Sivan since he began uploading and now seeing him perform at this stage is a cathartic experience. Waiting in line and attending these events gives them an outlet to see other fans in a place other than the Internet.

Jared Fluhrer, a student at Pierce College, attended the concert on Feb. 4.

“The energy of the crowd was different from anything that I’ve been to before,” Fluhrer said. “It probably is because his fans are so much more dedicated and have been with him for so much longer.”

Moving from the Internet into the real world isn’t always successful. With the growing number of people discovering this medium, it’s becoming harder and harder to complete the first step on this path to fame—gaining support online.

Some who wish to take their already successful channels outside the bounds of YouTube are having problems. The Fine Brothers, known for their React series on YouTube, recently ran into some trouble when attempting to trademark their show. The premise of the channel is to have children, adults, elders and famous YouTubers react to different viral videos, video games or foods. Many viewers and commenters saw their copywriting as an abusive system because it limits others from a broad spectrum of production. The “react” idea, they claimed, isn’t original and would stop too many creators from enjoying the freedom to make videos they want. Subscriber counts dropped while negative comments and dislikes increased until the channel finally withdrew their trademarks.

Even still, it’s important to remember that it’s not completely impossible to succeed on YouTube. Many may still come out of this system and open up the world to a whole new set of entrepreneurs, musicians and content creators, just like Sivan.

The Puyallup Post is the award-winning student news of Pierce College Puyallup in Puyallup, Washington. Copyright The Puyallup Post 2017. Twitter/Instagram @puyalluppost

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Troye Sivan proves YouTube a viable option for success

by CJ Robinson time to read: 3 min
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