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Connected to a Song: ‘Happy Little Pill’ by Troye Sivan

A song that started a new era and completely changed his life — along with mine.

Over the past couple of years, Troye Sivan has become a modern-day pop star.

Sivan, who signed with EMI Australia in 2013, debuted with “Happy Little Pill” in June 2014, a song which anchored his debut EP TRXYE.

Sivan signed with EMI Australia in 2013 prior to the release of “Happy Little Pill.” Since the song’s release, Sivan has issued two albums — Blue Neighbourhood and Bloom  — both featuring singles that have entered the Billboard Top 200.

I first became a fan of Sivan when he posted his coming out video on YouTube in 2013. Ever since then, I have watched him transform from YouTube star to pop sensation. When “Happy Little Pill” was released, Sivan had around 2.4 million subscribers, and he made videos about his life, his singing, and collaborations with fellow YouTuber and activist Tyler Oakley.

Watching his videos, I knew he was going to make it big. With a vibrant personality and impressive voice, how could he not find the limelight? After releasing the single and TRXYE his career began to skyrocket.

“Youth” from his debut album Blue Neighbourhood was played on the radio daily and his most recent album Bloom includes “Dance To This”  featuring Ariana Grande.

In some of his videos leading up to the release of “Happy Little Pill” I could tell that he was a bit off, like something was bothering him or weighing him down. Once the song was released, I got an explanation — and it also seemed like Sivan had brightened up.

During a panel at VidCon he was discussing the song and shared, “It’s about loneliness and the different ways that people cope with the things that are going on in their lives.”

The song had come from a dark place in his life.

The first time I listened to the single was before the official release. Sivan pre-released the single early on his Tumblr account. I stayed up late on a school night so I could listened to the song and I was highly impressed: Sivan would mainly do covers of slower songs, so the synth-pop sound of this tune was something I wasn’t expecting.

“Happy Little Pill” was the perfect song to be his first single. The majority of his songs feature boppy beats and synthetic sounds, just like those featured on the single. His music has advanced, but he has always had the same Troye Sivan sound: happy and energetic dance music.

Being a fan from the beginning is one of the reasons I connect with “Happy Little Pill.” I have been able to see him grow as a person and an artist from the start. He has broken barriers and become the pop star I knew he had the potential to be.

Seeing him live for the first time was something really special. I saw Sivan at Express Live in Columbus, Ohio in 2016, when he was touring Blue Neighbourhood. My sister and I arrived at the venue hours early to secure our spots in line. The venue had an open pit and we had a decent spot in the crowd.

The show featured bright and colorful visuals. Combined with his explosive stage personality, the show was so much fun. He performed a series of songs from Blue Neighbourhood and TRXYE. Dua Lipa was the opening act and seeing her ignited an appreciation for her work as well. She’s now one of my favorites.

“Happy Little Pill” was the best song of the set, everybody in the crowd knew the words and I felt so connected with the music: my 2013 self would have been really impressed with this one.

Watching an artist grow over time and observing their progress is one of the best things about discovering new music. Being able to experience Sivan’s growth from the very beginning has brought me closer to his music.

I started with his YouTube videos, but over time I have stopped watching them as much. He has made the shift from YouTube personality and transferred completely over to music. I

I’m glad that I can still be a fan of Sivan and keep up with his content, just on a different platform. I have more of a personal connection to his music because of my pre-popstar connection to him. 

“Happy Little Pill” started a new era for Sivan that completely changed his life — along with mine and many others who love his music.

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