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Happy Little Pill (T Sivan/B Rogers/T Tong) 2014

In 2014 Troy Sivan released the EP Tryxe, which hit #1 in 66 countries, the songs were about depression (Happy Little Pill), inner fears (Gasoline), falling in love (Touch), and the song inspired by the tearjerker book and film of the same name (The Fault In Our Stars).

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Happy Little Pill was Sivan’s first top ten hit in Australia, he collaborated with LA-based Singaporean producer/songwriter Tat Tong who had previously written songs for Swaggenautz, The Dro1dz and the Gamechangers, and Brandon Rogers a former US Idol contestant and LA-based backing songwriter/singer. Sivan was inspired by his own concerns about dealing with mental health issues, particularly depression, and the reliance of many people on anti-depressants, the “happy little pills” of the song title. Sivan has also said of the song “I wrote this song during a bit of a rough time for someone super close to me, and for myself, and it still means as much to me as the day I wrote it”. This reference is generally considered to be about Troye’s friend and fellow YouTube vlogger Connor Franta , who was suffering with depression at the time, and subsequently departed the channel One2ndLife to deal with mental health issues, subsequently coming out as gay soon after.

The song and the promo video were characterized by melancholic lyrics, a moody electronic sound with brooding synth-pop layers, and a vocal style reminiscent of Soft Cell’s Marc Almond. The song and the images were not overtly gay, but a more confident and mature Troy Sivan would be more openly assertive about his sexuality in his future work. Sivan’s label mate at Capitol Records Sam Smith, admired the way that Troy openly declared his gender preference before really experiencing any commercial success, “The music industry in my eyes is still pretty homophobic”, said Smith, who came out publicly just before the release of his debut album, “It’s a very  difficult place for any LGBTQ artist to come out and be supported.”   

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Ausmusic Month

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