meta-scriptTroye Sivan’s Road To 'Something To Give Each Other': How Transparency & Exploration Led To His Most Euphoric Album Yet |
Troye Sivan’s Road To 'Something To Give Each Other'
Troye Sivan

Photo: VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images


Troye Sivan’s Road To 'Something To Give Each Other': How Transparency & Exploration Led To His Most Euphoric Album Yet

Troye Sivan is feeling the rush, and he wants you to feel it, too. In honor of ‘Something to Give Each Other’ out Oct. 13, takes a look back at the Australian singer/songwriter’s musical journey that led to his most liberating album so far.

GRAMMYs/Oct 10, 2023 - 03:09 pm

Give and take, push and pull, pain and pleasure. Troye Sivan understands how the game of love is a roll of the dice, but Something To Give Each Other is anything but a thoughtless gamble — arriving Oct. 13, his third studio album is a self-assured, sexy climax to his extensive musical odyssey thus far.

Though he’s established himself as an actor, YouTuber and style icon, music has always been the Australian multihyphenate’s one true calling. And what has made Sivan’s music so resonant is that he has always put his cards on the table.

Thanks to the internet, he’s been in the public eye from a young age, accumulating a YouTube following starting at 12 years old. But in 2013, Sivan temporarily hit pause on his goofy, fun YouTube adventures to make way for a different type of video: the story of his coming out.

The day after coming out publicly, the 18-year-old filtered through his inbox to find a congratulatory note from the music label EMI Australia, which he’d been in negotiations with, and he was later signed. ​​"I wanted it to be out so that they couldn’t tell me to stay in the closet," Sivan told The New Yorker years later.

The deeply personal video, which has now garnered more than 8 million views, marked a milestone for Sivan in more ways than one. The moment was an early declaration of Sivan’s firm determination to be in control — of both his identity and his creative ventures. This individualized governance manifests in Something to Give Each Other, in which Sivan discovers himself within the beautiful, rampant anarchy of desire.

Before creating this jubilant, lust-filled album in his late 20s, however, Sivan was still navigating his adolescence — and so came along his first EP, titled TRXYE, in 2014. Debuting at No. 5 on the Billboard 200, the EP demonstrated major promise for Sivan. Its debut single "Happy Little Pill," in particular, was praised by critics for its mature and brooding nature, and it glittered with hints of Sivan’s musical versatility.

Although many of his YouTube videos were personal, his most confessional outlet has always been music. "When I made YouTube videos and stuff, I am the one who's uploading it, I'm the one who's editing it, so I'm very in control," a 20-year-old Sivan told Harper’s Bazaar in 2015. "Whereas in music, it's a lot more of pouring my heart out."

In December 2015, the singer’s emotional outpouring arrived in shades of blue. Building onto TRXYE’s often dark themes, Blue Neighborhood made waves as Sivan’s adventurous debut album. Reminiscent of Lorde’s 2013 debut, Pure Heroine, Sivan’s stirring electropop anthems range from harrowing and hopeful; his explosive single "YOUTH" was particularly popular, topping Billboard’s Dance Club Songs in April 2016.

In its fearless exploration of intense, youthful yearning, Sivan’s debut record proved he had a bright future — and also further solidified a deeper connection with his fans, particularly those who are queer. Sivan, staying true to his YouTube roots, preceded Blue Neighborhood with a music video trilogy of the same name. Narrated by tracks "WILD," "FOOLS," and "TALK ME DOWN," the series spotlights a romantic queer storyline, albeit a dark one, and the trilogy visually demonstrated the intersection between Sivan’s art and identity.

Three years after his debut album, Sivan returned with Bloom, a 10-song LP bursting with loving, intense dance pop. Though Sivan doesn’t completely abandon the aching adolescence of Blue Neighborhood, Bloom is markedly more mature and, at times, more blithe.

If Blue Neighborhood feels like dusk, a first kiss under a flickering streetlight, Bloom settles into the intoxicating night air. On Blue Neighborhood’s "HEAVEN," Sivan contemplates that "If I'm losing a piece of me, maybe I don't want heaven" — but later, on Bloom’s "Animal," love causes his doubt to evaporate entirely. "No angels can beckon me back," he sings on the chorus.

From the colorful passion of "My My My!" to the subtle, smooth lust of "Dance To This" with Ariana Grande, Bloom unfurled its petals as a striking next chapter for Sivan.

In an interview with PAPER magazine reflecting on the album’s title track, Sivan expressed how he wanted the song to capture everything from sweetness to fear to curiosity. The "Bloom" music video is a swirl of budding fantasy, built from a colorful moodboard of references from Madonna to David Bowie.

"It was something I wanted to do my entire life but never really had the guts to do," Sivan shared, reflecting on the "Bloom" music video. Successfully evading the feared sophomore slump — the album hit at No. 4 on the Billboard 200, "My My My!" cracked the Hot 100, and Sivan was nominated for four ARIA Awards  — Sivan found Bloom was his plunge into the creative deep end. "For me, it was just about living that fantasy and creating that fantasy."

As much as Sivan enjoyed fruitfully tapping into fantasy, facing reality is inevitable. One morning, following a breakup with his long-term boyfriend, Sivan woke up from a dream about his ex so intense that it moved him to tears. The unusual, painful start to his day translated into inspiration for the title track of his next project, 2020’s In A Dream, a seven-track EP brimming with potency.

"I would write one song, and the next day I would come in feeling a completely different way and write a completely different-sounding song," Sivan told NME. "I wasn’t writing to write. I was writing because I really needed it at the time."

The exploratory six-song EP takes the grittiest, most experimental bits of Bloom, chews them up, and spits them out in under 23 minutes. With In A Dream, Sivan stretches the limits of electropop and indie, flirting with their outskirts unflinchingly. It’s a relationship’s restless aftermath, a startling gut punch that’s disguised by its dreamy ‘80s beats and feverish dance pop. Though Sivan reflects on the past, he knows that In A Dream is the raw pulse of the future.

The EP’s title signals at being stuck, trapped in dreamworld walls you can’t seem to knock down. It’s full of sweaty sheets, tossing and turning — but, now three years later, Something to Give Each Other refreshingly envisions an escape.

"When you're going through a breakup or a tough time there's this moment where you realize that in this sorrow, there's also possibility and hope," Sivan said to Entertainment Weekly in September.

Moving away from loss and falling back into lust, Sivan taps into the euphoria of his trademark dance pop this time around, all while still exquisitely maintaining that same sonic gravity. Something’s electric lead single, "Rush," overstimulates with sugary allure: "I feel the rush/ Addicted to your touch."

For this project, there were several sources of inspiration that hit a certain "sweet spot" for Sivan. He took after the saccharine warmth of Janet Jackson’s 2004 LP, Damita Jo, and the innovation of Jonatan Leandoer96’s (Yung Lean’s) Sugar World. His spirited second single "Got Me Started" also samples Bag Raiders' "Shooting Stars," escalating and spiraling into unstoppable lust.

Even more inspiration stemmed from late night parties in Melbourne, ice-cold beer, and films like Lost in Translation and Before Sunrise, as he shared with EW. "The idea of two people coming together for a very brief moment and having this deep connection that is going to expire, and the fact that that's sort of okay — that was really inspiring to me," Sivan said of the latter film.

There’s the profound type of love that cuts deep, and then there’s the smoldering chemistry that burns fast and bright. On Something to Give Each Other, Sivan dissects the beauty of brevity, the slip into ecstasy. The glowy album cover shows Sivan, flashing an eyes-closed, candid smile as he leans his head back between a naked man’s legs.

"I was in a record store and I picked up this album called Craig Hundley Plays With the Big Boys, where the guy is smiling super, super big on the cover," Sivan recalled to EW regarding his own cover’s inspiration. "There was something so sweet and genuine about his smile that I felt very connected to him just looking at it."

Gone is the eyeless cover of TRXYE, the underwater blur of In A Dream’s album art — Something to Give Each Other is ecstasy caught mid-laugh, here and now. The rush might be fleeting, but the memory is forever.

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Amaarae performing in London in 2024
Amaarae performs in London in March 2024.

Photo: Burak Cingi/Redferns


10 Can't-Miss Acts At Primavera Sound Barcelona 2024: Amaarae, Ethel Cain, Troye Sivan & More

Barcelona's Primavera Sound shines as a star-studded spectacle every year, but the famed international festival's 2024 lineup is especially lively. Get to know 10 acts you won't want to miss at Parc del Fòrum from May 29 to June 2.

GRAMMYs/May 22, 2024 - 08:43 pm

Since 2001, Primavera Sound has served as Barcelona's kickoff to summer. And with a stacked lineup chock full of effervescent acts for its 2024 iteration, this year's fest will certainly get the feel-good, warm-weather vibes rolling.

Phoenix starts the party with pop rock and new wave on May 29, setting the stage for fellow headliners Pulp, Vampire Weekend, and Justice on May 30. Lana Del Rey, The National, and Disclosure will make everyone's Friday night on May 31. Then, SZA, PJ Harvey, Mitski, and Charli XCX will ring in June on Saturday, before house/electronic acts ANOTR, The Blessed Madonna, Chloé Caillet, and Mochakk close things out on June 2.

But the headliners are just the beginning of what makes this year's Primavera Sound Barcelona exciting. Peggy Gou, L'Imperatrice, or Omar Apollo will likely tease new tunes, as they all gear up for June album releases. And just a month ago, Faye Webster, The Last Dinner Party, and Eartheater all had their respective Coachella debuts, proving they're more than ready to tackle the Primavera stage.

In the festival's jam-packed five-day lineup, hundreds of acts are primed to kick-start summer with a bang. Below, highlights 10 sets you won't want to miss in Barcelona — from Deftones' alt-metal bash to Amaarae's soulful hip-hop.


Performing: May 30, Plenitude Stage

Singaporean musician yeule is pioneering the ambient and glitch pop genres one song at a time. Born Nat Ćmiel, their stage name is based on a video game character, Paddra Nsu-Yeul, which speaks to their artistic steps in and out of reality. yeule's musical (and fashion) aesthetic is defined by the cyberworld, marked by futuristic, alternative styles that bewitchingly break norms.

Though they started out as a bedroom producer, yeule's more recent creative endeavors — like their invigorating 2022 album, softscars — have been more collaborative, adding a new layer of inspiration and beauty to their work. With influences ranging from Avril Lavigne to Radiohead, yeule's Primavera set will be ideal for living out all of your emo nostalgic fantasies.


Performing: May 30, Amazon Music Stage

Get ready to scream with Deftones at Primavera. Winning their first GRAMMY back in 2001, the alternative metal band is still rocking out 20-plus years later — and making waves in this festival lineup. While Primavera tends to be led by various electronic and pop acts, Deftones is uniquely ushering punk to the festival's frontlines.

Banding together in 1988 in Sacramento, Deftones is known for their progressive experimentation within metal and rock, often dipping into psychedelia, post-punk, trip hop. Headed by lead vocalist Chino Moreno, the band's hardcore sound is unabashedly raw, original and heavy, continuing to evolve expansively with the metal genre.

Paving the way for contemporary heavy metal over the years, Deftones is a defiant act you won't want to miss at a major stage at Primavera Sound.

Troye Sivan

Performing: May 31, Santander Stage

Ready to feel the rush? Troye Sivan certainly is.

The Australian pop star is making Primavera an early stop in his tour for Something To Give Each Other, his latest album featuring jubilant singles like "Rush" and "Got Me Started." Once his European tour wraps in Birmingham, England at the tail end of June, he'll be headlining the Sweat Tour with fellow headliner Charli XCX — who coincidentally will be performing at Primavera the next day on June 1.

From the electropop seedlings on his 2015 debut, Blue Neighborhood, to the full-fledged forlorn beauty of his 2020 EP, In A Dream, Sivan's artistry has evolved significantly in the last decade. Today, his music is its most freeing yet, and there's no doubt it'll be glorious (and sweaty) on the Primavera stage.


Performing: May 31, Plentitude Stage

UK-based Nigerian artist Obongjayar's musical style is nearly indescribable. Interlacing Afrobeat, spoken word, and EDM, all of his songs are distinctly tinged with a signature, soulful vibrance, and it'll be sensational to see how Obongjayar takes his pensive profundity to fill the Primavera stage.

Though he might be best known for the Fred again.. collaboration "adore u" (which samples his track "I Wish It Was Me"), Obongjayar's special sound effortlessly meshes with everyone he works with. From "If You Say" with Sarz, to "Point and Kill" with Little Simz, to "Protein" with Jeshi, it would be fair to call Obongjayar a chameleon — except instead of blending in, he's standing out.

Ethel Cain

Performing: May 31, Santander Stage

There's no better word to describe Ethel Cain's music than transcendent.

A master of gothic indie rock, Cain stitches together uncanny Americana and lovelorn nostalgia into a radiant, sensory experience. Her debut album, 2022's Preacher's Daughter, is divine and sometimes disturbing, but its ambience live sends audiences into an impossibly satisfying trance.

Whether you're listening to the enchanting slow burn of "A House In Nebraska" or the eerie roar of "American Teenager," both Cain's storytelling and live performance are infallibly spine-chilling — do yourself a favor and don't miss Cain's hauntingly beautiful set at Primavera.


Performing: May 31, Cupra Stage

Looking for a band that combines jazz styles with hip-hop production? Look no further than BADBADNOTGOOD, an innovative Canadian instrumental band.

After meeting at a Toronto jazz program in 2010, the three-piece band bonded over their hip-hop music appreciation, and the rest is history. Since then, BADBADNOTGOOD (which now features Leland Whitty in place of original member Matthew Tavares) has released five studio albums — fittingly, including covers of hip-hop songs with jazz interpretations. The group has also worked with Kendrick Lamar, Tyler, The Creator, Thundercat, and many more notable artists.

The band's collaborative production and remixing has earned them two GRAMMY wins and five total nominations, and there's no question BADBADNOTGOOD's set will put a spell on Barcelona.


Performing: May 31, Amazon Music Stage

Electronica is Arca's playground, and the pioneering producer's set at Primavera is sure to craft a whole new world. Dynamism defines the Venezuelan musician's shape-shifting art; through its avant-garde fusion of reggaeton, ambient techno, and dark electronica, her music is bursting with vigor.

Arca's music often discusses themes of gender identity and sexuality, and her views of queerness center around harmony and inclusion, which reflect in her pristine tracks "Nonbinary" and "Machote" on her GRAMMY-nominated album KiCk i. Having released 10 albums since 2006; worked with artists like Rosalía, Björk, and the late SOPHIE; and even opened for Beyoncé's Renaissance World Tour, Arca brings immeasurable experience to Barcelona.

The producer's music naturally begs to be heard live — it's meant to sweat to and be danced to, and Arca's Primavera set will embody true electronic extravagance.


Performing: June 1, Cupra Stage

This rising Japanese girl group's powerful sound easily warrants a stage name in all caps and with an exclamation point.

Fresh off their U.S. television debut on "Jimmy Kimmel Live!," ATARASHII GAKKO! is ready to tackle the Primavera Sound stage with their engaging J-pop that integrates elements of hip-hop, rock, and jazz. Intrepid and commanding, their live performance features synchronized dancing, matching sailor school uniforms, and occasionally a marching band.

The quartet's upcoming world tour has a handful of sold-out dates. They've already conquered crowds at Coachella and Head in the Clouds — and there's no doubt that ATARASHII GAKKO! will bring their best to Barcelona.


Performing: June 1, Amazon Music Stage

Ama Serwah Genfi — better known as Amaarae — is an alté trailblazer. Raised between Atlanta and Accra, Ghana, the singer crafts mercurial music that is both introspective and stylish, and destined to be performed for vast audiences.

From her 2017 EP, Passionfruit Summers, to her 2023 album, Fountain Baby, it's easy to be mesmerized by her distinct, eccentric soprano and overflowing confidence. Her critically acclaimed "Sad Girlz Luv Money" (featuring Molly and Kali Uchis) charted globally in 2021, and just last year, she became the first Ghanaian American to perform an NPR Tiny Desk Concert. Amaarae's live performances bring her blend of R&B, pop, and afrobeats to a new level, and she's ready to introduce her infectious global beats to Primavera.

Bikini Kill

Performing: June 1, Pull&Bear Stage

Famed pioneers of the riot grrrl movement in the '90s, Bikini Kill is bringing punk fun (and rage) to the Primavera stage.

Influencing alternative stars like Sleater-Kinney, Pussy Riot, and The Linda Lindas, it's no question that the iconic American band has inspired the next generation, whether that be through their music or activism. From "Rebel Girl" to "Feels Blind" to "I Like F—ing," Bikini Kill's beautifully irate music calls for female solidarity and empowerment still resonate with listeners today.

Though the band broke up in 1997, they reunited in 2019 and have since been touring together — and now, Primavera offers a special chance to see another inspiring moment from the revolutionary rockers.

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Kylie Minogue
Kylie Minogue attends the 66th GRAMMY Awards Pre-GRAMMY Gala

Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic via Getty Images


2024 GRAMMYs: Kylie Minogue Wins First-Ever GRAMMY For Best Pop Dance Recording For "Padam Padam"

Kylie Minogue beat out David Guetta, Anne-Marie, and Coi Leray; Calvin Harris featuring Ellie Goulding; Bebe Rexha and David Guetta, and Troye Sivan. This is the first-ever win in this brand-new category.

GRAMMYs/Feb 4, 2024 - 09:02 pm

Kylie Minogue has taken home the golden gramophone for Best Pop Dance Recording — an all-new category — at the 2024 GRAMMYs, for "Padam Padam."

Minogue came ahead of of David Guetta, Anne-Marie and Coi Leray ("Baby Don’t Hurt Me"); Calvin Harris featuring Ellie Goulding ("Miracle"); Bebe Rexha and David Guetta ("One in a Million"); and Troye Sivan ("Rush").

The win marks Minogue’s second GRAMMY win after six career nominations. She had previously won Best Dance Recording for "Come Into My World."

The Australian pop star — along with producer Peter "Lostboy" Rycroft and mixing engineer Guy Massey — are the first-ever winners of the Best Pop/Dance Performance category. It was one of three new categories introduced at the 66th GRAMMYs; the other two are Producer Of The Year, Non-Classical and Best African Music Performance. 

Lostboy took the stage to accept the award on behalf of himself, Minogue, and Massey. 

"Padam Padam" charted at No. 7 on Billboard's Hot Dance/Electronic chart; it was a much bigger hit in the UK, where it was a No. 1 hit. The song was embraced by the LGBTQ+ community on both sides of the Atlantic. 

"It's hugely important to me and so touching," said Minogue of her popularity with LGBTQ+ fans in an interview with earlier this year. "I hope that for that community and beyond, I just want to say I am open-minded and I want people to be happy in themselves. That community needed support and still needs support. I'm here. And they padamed for me."

Keep checking this space for more updates from Music’s Biggest Night!

2024 GRAMMY Nominations: See The Full Winners & Nominees List

Troye Sivan FTN Hero
Troye Sivan

Photo: Stuart Winecoff


Meet The First-Time GRAMMY Nominee: Troye Sivan On "Rush," The Importance Of Dance-Pop & The Spirituality Of Partying

With two nominations at the 2024 GRAMMYs, Troye Sivan's "Rush" is arguably the Australian pop star's magnum opus. But to Sivan, it's more than a smash hit — it's a creative and spiritual liberation.

GRAMMYs/Feb 1, 2024 - 04:11 pm

Troye Sivan didn't tell anyone about his alarm. But at 3 a.m. on Nov. 10, the pop star woke up to not just his alarm, but to dozens of notifications — he woke up a GRAMMY nominee.

"Normally with accolades, it doesn't actually make you feel any different. But this did," Sivan tells "I was sort of floating for a few days and still kind of am… it's something that I've wanted in my entire life."

It's not every day that your love of partying earns you a GRAMMY nomination, but Sivan's passionate, party-starting single "Rush" scored him not one but two nods. At the 2024 GRAMMYs, the track is nominated in the new Best Pop Dance Recording Category, and its equally unapologetic music video is up for Best Music Video.

But despite its thumping beat and chanting chorus, "Rush" is more than an ode to late nights in Melbourne and acting on impulse; it's reverence for real connection. A euphoric representation of its parent album Something To Give Each Other, "Rush" is a catalyst as much as it is a release.

In its music video, striking choreography animates beautifully sweaty corners; "Rush" holds nothing back, spiritedly soundtracking everything from keg stands to glory holes. It ends with Sivan walking home on a bridge, with dawn as the backdrop of his widening, quiet smile to himself. As Berlin warmly unravels below Sivan, the video leaves viewers with the aftertaste of ecstasy — and reminds them of the gift of time and connection.

"Rush" marks a new era for Sivan, who has become dance-pop royalty since first building his fan base as a popular YouTube creator in the early 2010s. But while his latest music is a culmination of years of experimentation — from the darker indie pop of his 2015 debut album, Blue Neighborhood, to the crushing electropop of his 2020 EP In A Dream — the bliss of "Rush" unlocks a fearless part of Sivan's artistry that not only flaunts his creative genius, but his true self.

From his Melbourne home, Sivan sat down for a Zoom chat with about the thrill of his first-time GRAMMY nominations, the electricity that inspired "Rush," and how his art has unlocked a new sense of freedom.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Congrats on your nominations! How did you celebrate after hearing the news?

I didn't go back to sleep because I was too excited. I felt like I had taken this massive international flight and that the whole world was just sort of a big dream, and I just floated around Melbourne with my best friend, and we got our nails done, and I went for a walk, got food. It was a really, really surreal day for sure.

Let's talk about "Rush." Tell me about a moment when you were making that song and you knew you had something special.

I knew that there was a feeling that I had felt a lot over the last couple of years that I hadn't yet captured for the album. It was this feeling of electricity. It's this really kind of turbo feeling of being so hot and so sweaty — drenched in sweat on a dance floor — with hundreds of people that you don't know. 

When I close my eyes and really focus on the music, you can kind of feel the lights going by on your skin — that moment, it's so much more than just a party. It can actually be like a spiritual experience, and quite a meaningful one, especially coming out of these really intense COVID lockdowns. That feeling meant so much to me, and I just felt so connected to myself and to other people and to music and to sex and to dance music.

So I knew that I needed to capture that moment, and we tried so many times and never got that. Then finally, when "Rush" came, I sort of knew that that was it — when I listened to it, it felt like the feeling. It was one of the last songs that came together for the album, and then basically completed the album.

Who was the first person you showed "Rush" to?

I went away for the weekend with some friends… and I played it for my sister in the car. She was like, "Will you please, please, please play that song?" We had all been drinking and we were playing games and stuff like that, and they had a really good sound system, so I was like, "Okay, fine. Yes."

I played the song, which is really out of my character — I was definitely a few drinks in because I don't like listening to my own music. I remember I started playing it and everyone stood up and started dancing. We were already having a good time, so I didn't know what to make of that.

But by the end of the song, they were all kind of singing along with the chorus and it just created a feeling in the air in that room that I was like, Oh my God, I think maybe this is something really, really special. As soon as I got back to Melbourne, I went back like the next day and finished everything.

What was the first time you heard "Rush" in a club or at a party?

When it came out, we went out in West Hollywood and went for a walk down Santa Monica Boulevard where all the gay bars are. And I remember hearing it coming out of, like, four clubs as we were walking down the street. So that was also [when] I was like, I think this is working.

The first time I heard "Rush" at the club, I was in the Castro. Everyone was immediately up when it came on.

Really? I mean, really, it's written for the Castro, so I'm really glad to hear.

2024 GRAMMYs: Meet The Nominees

Your song captures a sense of liberation. When do you feel the most creatively free?

I think I feel the most creatively free when I am bored. I don't know if that's, like, the weirdest answer ever, sorry. [Laughs.]

But I just feel like I get reminded that I'm doing exactly what I'm supposed to be doing when I have more than, like, three days off. Immediately I'll start tinkering with a music video concept or graphic design project or working on music or editing a video or whatever. 

I think my baseline when I have some time on my hands is to be creating something, and it's the thing that I love most in the world. Simultaneously it feels like a holiday when I'm doing it, and that's crazy because it's my job, you know?

Creative freedom can also come from playing with genre. "Rush" is nominated for Best Pop Dance Recording, which is one of the three new award Categories this year. How do you feel that pop dance has evolved in the last few years?

Oh, my gosh, I mean pop dance is such an important Category to me, and especially with this album because that's really what I wanted exactly to make. I love pop dance and I have grown up on pop dance. 

Also, to be nominated alongside someone like Kylie Minogue — just thinking about a song like "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" or these songs that really shaped me as not just a songwriter but as like a human being — it's really important to me, and I also think, in general, to queer people. Because dance music has been so unbelievably important to queer people, and so has pop. So this combination of the two, it's really like it's for us.

Exactly. I think my connection with music helped me realize that I was queer, even.

Yeah, it's definitely a queer-coded Category.

Going back to "Rush," I wanted to talk about the nominated music video. What did the vision board for the video look like?

It started with me and Gordon von Steiner, the director of the video, working together and me explaining to him that "Rush" is this daytime hot sweaty party. We started with so many references of just, like, sweaty skin that was shot on 35 millimeter film, and it was like this sort of deep grimy green. But then also, this warm orange that was really important to me. The clothing was like this burgundy and yellow.

The more we spoke about it, it was super clear to us exactly what this video needed to look like, but more importantly, what the video needed to feel like. And Gordon loves Berlin and partying, and I love partying and I love Berlin… [but] this was sort of more serious than just like a party video. It needed to have that element of rawness and vulnerability that I think comes with those moments. It had to be real.

We went to Berlin and we shot it across two days. Honestly, once we got there, it was like just having a party and filming it… Once the camera was rolling, whatever was happening was happening, and it was such an incredible couple days. 

The cast all knew each other from being queer and cool in Berlin and from partying together. They welcomed me with open arms, and we ended up going out together for real afterwards. It was just a really beautiful couple of days. I feel like you can feel all of that in the video.

Absolutely. What was it like to learn the choreography for the video? And how do you think Timothée's "SNL" choreo stacked up against yours?

I think he slayed it. [Laughs.] It's not easy, so I think he did a good job.

But for me, choreo was something that I have been terrified of my entire life. It was a really big deal for me because growing up in the closet, I used to sort of like make these changes to myself or my desires or the way that I kind of carried myself throughout the world to kind of protect myself. And one thing that I never allowed myself was dancing.

For me to finally allow myself to express myself in that way, it felt just like a big moment for me personally — and really scary, but something that I wanted to do my entire life. So I had the best time.

It was one of the greatest gifts that this album has given me, to find a new sort of expression at 28 that I really, really, really enjoy has been a beautiful thing. It's something that I want to keep doing probably for the rest of my life. It feels incredible, and it kind of gave me the confidence to keep going and dance. Choreography ended up becoming such an important part of the visual identity of the whole album.

You mentioned earlier that the music video's warm orange was important to you. That made me think of the album cover. What was the process like for actualizing the cover?

The album cover is one of my favorite photos ever. I had been at a record store in L.A. and I found this really old record that I haven't been able to even find on Google or Spotify. I took a picture of it, of this guy smiling really big, and I thought that that was the coolest thing in the world. I don't know why. 

I think it was because, normally, vanity is such an important part of what influences these decisions that we make as pop artists — you know, Do I look hot or not? And I thought that there was something so badass about being like, No, that is the least of my priorities. I'm trying to convey a feeling here. I'm trying to convey something real and meaningful. I've been making this album that was all about this like unbridled joy and liberation.

So I knew that I wanted to smile on the album cover, and then I loved the idea of sitting between someone's legs. It just felt so intimate to me and kind of like this implied sexuality. But another thing that I love is that you don't see who it is [behind me], and you just see me and you realize that this moment is about connection with someone, but it's really about connection with yourself and allowing yourself to enjoy life and your body and your sexuality.

When it came time to shoot it — I'm really bad at smiling for photos, and I think you can always tell when a smile is real and when it's not. We spent the whole day shooting and I didn't smile once. Then for this one frame, the guy who was sitting behind me kneeled down, and he tickled my ribs, and I threw my head back and I laughed and it was one frame. And that was the album cover, and I love it so, so, so much.

**It's also very different from the blurriness of In A Dream, or on Bloom, where you can't see your face. How does this latest cover represent the evolution of your music or yourself?**

This album was really about communication with the world. I feel like I wanted to scream from the rooftops about the message of this album. I wanted it to be in every single layer of it, whether it's the album cover or one of the videos or one of the songs. I wanted to show people exactly how I was feeling.

In the past, I've felt comfortable being a bit more mysterious, or making people intrigued and then having them listen to the album and take what they want from there. Whereas this time, I just felt so loudly proud of myself and the experiences that I was having and everything that I really just wanted to be a little bit more bold with it.

You've had such a loyal fan base from a relatively early age. How does it feel to have a lot of your supporters grow up alongside you and still be connecting to your music now?

I really do feel like the luckiest guy when it comes to the people that listen to my music. I think a really important part of us connecting is that it feels like these are people that I would want to be friends with if I knew them in real life. They're really funny, they're really smart. Nothing gets past them if it's not genuine — like, they know when something is real, when it's not. It's like I'm speaking to a friend.

[Albums are] kind of like these time capsules for me in my life of different chapters of my life. But it's also kind of like an update to everyone being like, "Oh, hey guys, what's up? This is what's been going on for the last couple years." It's just a very special relationship and I'm so thankful for them.

That makes me very excited to tour, to go out and see some familiar faces… I started making YouTube videos when I was 12 and I still meet people on the street or whatever that will be like, "I remember when you made this video" and it's, like, from literally 14 years ago.

Not too long ago, I was reading this interview with boygenius where they said that queerness is inherently creative, and it also involves creating a different future for yourself. That really stuck with me. What are your thoughts on that, and what do you want your future to look like in terms of that?

I definitely think that my queerness and my creativity are inextricably linked. I think that me being closeted, not 100 percent feeling like the real world was somewhere where I felt completely comfortable or seen, made me retreat to my bedroom and to my creativity in a way that was sort of my education on how to do everything. It's where I learned what I liked creatively, and I don't think I would have felt that way if I was, like, the sort of cool sports star at my school or whatever. I would have been too busy doing other things.

I'm really grateful for that time of introspection, and sometimes kind of loneliness, and just all those big feelings — and that sensitivity that I think came from being a queer kid. I think that really informs who I am today and everything that I do. That's really beautiful, and something that we can be really proud of.

Troye Sivan's Road To 'Something To Give Each Other': How Transparency & Exploration Led To His Most Euphoric Album Yet

{From Left To Right] Bebe Rexha, Calvin Harris, Kylie Minogue, David Guetta, and Troye Sivan


Here Are The Nominees For Best Pop Dance Recording At The 2024 GRAMMYs

Take a look at the inaugural list of nominees for Best Pop Dance Recording — one of three new categories at the 2024 GRAMMYs — which features hits from dance legends and pop superstars.

GRAMMYs/Nov 12, 2023 - 05:31 pm

One of three new categories debuting at the 2024 GRAMMYs, Best Pop Dance Recording will be hotly contested in its first year.

The inaugural round of Best Pop Dance Recording nominees features not one, but two [David Guetta]( collaborations ("Baby Don’t Hurt Me" with Anne-Marie and Coi Leray, and "One In A Million" with Bebe Rexha), and the long-awaited reunion of [Calvin Harris]( and [Ellie Goulding]( on "Miracle." The new category also features two earworms from Australian pop dance exports: [Kylie Minogue](’s "Padam Padam" and [Troye Sivan](’s "Rush." 

Ahead of the 2024 GRAMMYs on Feb. 4, 2024, get to know the five nominees in this newly minted category.

David Guetta, Anne-Marie & Coi Leray -"Baby Don't Hurt Me"

In a year defined by dance producers putting a modern spin on dance music’s past, David Guetta reached back to 1993 to interpolate Haddaway’s dance-pop hit, "What Is Love," for "Baby Don’t Hurt Me." The song is a fitting follow-up to Guetta and Bebe Rexha’s 2022 hit, "I’m Good (Blue)", which winkingly rekindled Eiffel 65’s Eurodance anthem, "Blue (Da Ba Dee)".

"Baby Don’t Hurt Me" brings Haddaway’s irresistible hook into 2023 with distinctive verses from British vocalist Anne-Marie (who memorably joined Marshmello on 2018’s smash  "Friends") and fast-rising Boston rapper Coi Leray. 

Paired with a video that references ‘90s clubbing and cult movie A Night at the Roxbury, "Baby Don’t Hurt Me" is a familiar sugar rush that plays to the individual strengths of its perhaps unlikely trio. 

**Calvin Harris featuring Ellie Goulding - "Miracle"**

Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding are a dance music dream team, having previously released "I Need Your Love" (2012) and "Outside" (2014). After waiting almost a full decade to reunite, the pair returned in 2023 with their third collaboration, "Miracle."

An out-and-out trance-meets-Eurodance throwback (think inspirations like Robert Miles' "Children"), "Miracle" aims straight for the nostalgic pleasure centers. Harris told Apple Music that he needed Goulding's "angelic" vocal talents, and the British singer skillfully plays off the song's maximal production. Working alongside his longtime studio partner Burns, Harris packs the rave euphoria into a crisp three minutes, right through to the unexpected breakbeat outro. 

The non-album single signaled a new phase for Harris, and follows 2022's Funk Wav Bounces Vol. 2 as well as his ravier experiments as Love Regenerator. In July, Harris returned to the trance sounds of his teen years with "Desire" featuring Sam Smith, proving these faster tempos are not just a passing phase. 

**Kylie Minogue - "Padam Padam"** 

Now 16 albums into a glittering career, Kylie Minogue is a true icon of international pop. However, not even the most ardent Kylie fans could've predicted her 2023 glow-up, courtesy of viral sensation "Padam Padam." 

The song first came to Minogue in a demo version by Norwegian singer/songwriter Ina Wroldsen and UK producer Lostboy, which immediately caught her ear. "Straightaway, I was in," she recalled to, noting that she knew it was "perfect for me."

The first single from the Australian singer's latest album, Tension, the instantly danceable beat and one-word hook of "Padam Padam" inspired countless TikTok videos and memes. "I finally get TikTok. Yes, I've been slow but I finally am there," Minogue admitted upon Tension's release.

Minogue also celebrated the queer community and Gen Z's embrace of her runaway hit. "I hope to continue having fun with that," she added. "It was really organic. I don't think you can force that. It happened and I loved every second of it."

**Bebe Rexha & David Guetta - "One In A Million"**

Ever since co-writing Eminem and Rihanna's "The Monster" in 2013, Brooklyn-born Bebe Rexha has mastered the art of collaboration. Over a prolific decade, including three albums of her own, the pop singer/songwriter has teamed up with a diverse range of artists, including Nicki Minaj, Doja Cat, Florida Georgia Line and Dolly Parton, to feature on her songs.

In the pop dance world, French hitmaker David Guetta is Rexha's most reliable collaborator. After striking gold on 2022's "I'm Good (Blue)" — which peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard Hot 100 at the top of 2023 — the pair returned with a new standalone single, "One In A Million."

With a piano line that evokes Guetta's own "When Love Takes Over," "One In A Million" channels the giddy feeling of new love over a racing beat. The song arrived in a typically whirlwind year of collaborations for Guetta, who also mined the past alongside Jason Derulo, Oliver Tree and Zara Larsson. 

**Troye Sivan - "Rush"**

After a long wait between solo releases, Australian pop chameleon Troye Sivan boldly announced a new era with "Rush." Released at the height of summer as the lead single from Sivan's third album, Something To Give Each Other, "Rush" instantly hit its mark as a celebration of queer pleasure-seeking. In a statement, Sivan described the single as an accumulation of "all of my experiences from a chapter where I feel confident, free and liberated."

The song's lusty bassline, exultant piano-house keys and chanted chorus perfectly play off Sivan's falsetto, creating a heady mood of dance floor abandon. (Fittingly, the Berlin-shot music video is a parade of sweaty bodies in motion.) A ready-made anthem, "Rush" set the stage perfectly for the assured and life-affirming *Something To Give Each Other*, leaving no doubt that Sivan is thriving in 2023. 

The 2024 GRAMMYs, officially known as the 66th GRAMMY Awards, returns to Los Angeles' Arena on Sunday, Feb. 4, 2024, and will broadcast live on the CBS Television Network and stream live and on-demand on Paramount+ at 8-11:30 p.m. ET/5-8:30 p.m. PT.

The Recording Academy and do not endorse any particular artist, submission or nominee over another. The results of the GRAMMY Awards, including winners and nominees, are solely dependent on the Recording Academy's Voting Membership.

2024 GRAMMY Nominations: See The Complete Winners & Nominees List