We're living in the golden age of fandom, where social media has allowed stans to interact with their idols on a daily basis. Whether you're a barb, lamb, belieber, or registered bardi gang member, you're probably @-ing somebody. On Stan Stories, we meet the internet's most dedicated followers and delve deep into their obsessions.
It's hard to keep up with Troye Sivan, the young Australian pop wonder who found fame on YouTube and has since taken the music world by storm. But one fan has taken the task upon herself: Jovanna, a 22-year-old Texan who runs Twitter's biggest Troye updates account, @_TroyeSivanNews.
Of all the stan account formats, UAs are the most hardcore. They involve late nights and early mornings to accommodate the ever-changing time zones and jam-packed schedules of the stars they follow — it definitely doesn't help that Sivan travels back and forth between the two hemispheres.
But stanning isn't about convenience. It's about devotion! PAPER DM-d Jovanna to learn more about life as a Troye Sivan expert.
When did you discover Troye Sivan, and what drew you to him?
I discovered Troye in late 2012, when he was just starting his YouTube career. At the time I think it was just finally finding someone on YouTube that I enjoyed watching and was relative to my age. He was just beginning with his videos, and it was nice to see someone you could relate to. Also, he is very easy on the eyes, so it's almost impossible not to be drawn to him. Haha.
He had this whole YouTube journey, then made a move into music. What was it like watching that process as a fan?
I always had a feeling he would do big things, he is clearly talented in many ways. From professional acting, to singing, and YouTube, I figured he'd take one of the routes in the long run. But, I never expected it to grow to the magnitude that it has so far, as fast as it did. I don't know if he realizes the milestones he's surpassed in such a short time, it's really incredible to watch.
A big part of his early narrative was coming out on YouTube, and dating fellow online personality Connor Franta. Do you remember watching those videos?
I vividly remember when he posted his coming out video, it was something that will be in the back of my mind sometimes. To see him share his story and how he was dealing with his situation was almost like I was listening to a friend. And like most people you just want to support that friend in any way that you can. Similarly to when he had a relationship with Connor, and other friendships that flourished and faded away, you grow up watching it all and you feel like you're just going through it as well as a "friend."
When did you start the updates account?
I actually didn't create this account, it was created by a friend named Glo. She created it right after another Troye UA had disappeared. At the time there was really only one main UA, so many of us Troye fans were scattered, trying to keep up with him, because he was in the middle of doing radio shows. She had made the account and was looking for co-owners and I had just seen Troye the week before, so I thought I'd give it a try. I used to have another update account that grew immensely for another artist, so I wasn't coming in fresh, I just needed something different and missed giving updates. This was in March/April 2016.
What was your old updates account?
I had a 1D update account where we had 185K followers, but it was hacked and restarting it was so difficult, so we sort of let it die.
Scrolling through your current feed, I see that @_TroyeSivanUpdates was under threat, too. You were almost forced to shut it down completely. What happened there?
Yeah, so we recently got an email due to copyright on a birthday video that we had made to Troye back in 2016. This has been a recent thing, they targeted all 1D UA's a couple of months back and now they're just going through different artists update accounts and reporting any photos or videos as copyright. Which is understandable, but it's ridiculous how most of the posts are from 2-3 years back, and just now they are reporting copyright on posts. They've threatened to suspend our account, so we just went on private for a month and started deleting old photos/videos to hopefully avoid anymore reports.
Is it record companies doing this? You would think they would understand the value of stan accounts and update accounts.
It's different digital media companies who report the tweets to Twitter. It's frustrating because update accounts are a primary source for fans to receive news about an artist besides the artist themselves. It's obviously about the money for the companies because they don't want us posting their photos without buying them. But if you get down to the root of it, no one is going to pay $500 for one photo, and by us posting it we get to share their work with the fans. And it's not like we don't credit them, everything we post has a credit if we can find it.
Totally. What's Troye's relationship like with stans? Have you had any interaction with him?
He's very interactive with fans, which is really nice for us. He's an artist that actually remembers who is who and appreciates what we do for him. When he has the time he'll be on Twitter and just talk with fans about anything. I've actually met Troye a few times, and he follows me on my personal account.
What was it like meeting him in person?
It was everything! I met him after one of his SXSW showcase shows in 2016. He came out back and there was only like five of us so he stayed and talked with each of us. He was/is so down to earth, it was like just catching up with a long time friend. We happened to be walking to the same hotel nearby so spoke then, and we went into the lobby, got to watch him do a little photo shoot on the hotel staircase. It was all a very cute experience!
I'd love to know how you run the account day to day. You're experienced with UAs — how do they work exactly? How do you keep up?
I haven't been very active the past couple of months because I've just gone through an internship and transitioned into a job, so it's been crazy for me in my personal life. But basically the day to day of a UA for me is waking up and immediately checking all social medias for any new posts from the artist or people who they work closely with. After that it's just checking about every hour through tagged posts/hashtags to see if anyone has posted anything new relating to the artist. There are several websites that filter Twitter posts/Instagram posts, so going on those and just typing the name of the artist helps filter any new content of them being posted. On a show day or event day, it's much crazier. I check through tags, hashtags, filter posts every second that I can. There's usually pre-event glam time so that's when I really check on people who work close with an artist. During the show or event I check more of the tagged/hashtags for posts. If they're on tour usually post-show it kinda slows down. But if it's during an event, especially in LA or NY, there is usually an after party. So now you have to look at other artists for after party posts. When I have the time — planning around what time I should wake up to be in the right time zone, and when things are going to start, is a struggle. Also I've definitely had a lot of 4AM/5AM nights staying up because of after parties, or if Troye specifically is in Australia doing something.
I didn't have a job when I began updating, so that was never a problem until now. Now I work with a program for people with cognitive disabilities, and I have shifts that can go as long as 12 hours. So it's definitely difficult to try and squeeze in a time to update, but whenever I have a small break is when I can check out everything and post if something has come up.
Do friends and family know about your account?
People in my life actually don't know anything about me handling update accounts. I'm a very dedicated person to music, I love keeping up with my favorite artists and having updates throughout the day. But obviously I can't say the same about other people. I guess I just always found that people would find it rather strange that I would dedicate my time to keeping up with someone hour by hour every single day.
Running an updates account, do you ever worry about harassment or privacy issues?
Of course there's always that thought in the back of my mind: "Is this something Troye would like people to know? Is this too personal?" I did have an instance when I first began where we had information that had not been released yet, we got a message from his manager asking us to remove a post because they still wanted to keep it under wraps for a couple of days. As time passes you become better at being able to judge what is public news and what is private. Nowadays I always try to keep posts focused on Troye's projects rather than his personal life, unless he's posting about it as well. I'd hate to be the person to invade his privacy.
What are your favorite albums and songs of his?
I would say my favorite album is still Blue Neighborhood. I have a lot of memories associated with that album as it was the soundtrack of my life for quite a while. My favorite song is "Ease," it's a song that I've been able to relate to for so long and continue to do so. It definitely helps me when i'm going through a tough time, it reminds me of how even my favorite person feels the same way I do at times. That said, I have a lot of love for the Bloom album. You can really hear the evolution of Troye a musician and as a person.
What about your favorite memes, videos, interviews?
I can't pin point a specific meme because honestly we make everything Troye does into a meme, lol. I will say the photos of him throwing the flowers in the bin was pretty funny after a couple of days! As for videos, my favorites from his music are the Blue Neighborhood trilogy. The emotion and story line is incredible, it feels like you've watched an entire lifetime in a couple of minutes. Also the "HEAVEN" music video when he really showcased his relationship with Jacob [Bixeman, Sivan's partner] it was so powerful. They're both too precious for this world! My favorite recent interview would have to be the one he did with iHeart Radio in a Super Fan Trivia game. He actually competed against one of our co-owners, Ky! It's so funny to see Troye's reaction to Ky and how fast Ky is able to respond to the questions with no hesitation.
You referenced the infamous incident where Troye was photographed throwing flowers from a fan into the trash. What was your take on that?
I definitely think things blew way out of proportion with that whole situation. Per usual, the media and people who aren't fans really took the whole situation to another level. I saw people trying to paint him as a celebrity that had no love for his fans, which is far from the truth. I just think that it's unrealistic for people to expect him to keep every single thing he receives, especially when it's something like flowers, which last for such a short amount of time. Also, there was no context to the situation when those photos were released, so for people to just assume he was dumping the gifts right after receiving them was annoying.
Will you stan Troye Sivan forever? What does the future hold for your updates account?
I can definitely say that I will stan Troye forever. He's a genuine soul that has come so far already, I can't wait to see him continue to grow and expand as an artist. As for this update account, I'd like to see it continue to help other fans. As I grow older, my life gets busier and my attention gets put onto other things. It's sad to think that one day I won't be updating anymore, but I hope that before then I can help find people who love Troye so much that they're willing to put in the time & effort it takes to run this account.
Photo via Getty