American singer-songwriter and producer Lauv (Ari Leff) has had more of an impact on the music industry than many of us could have ever guessed. From working behind the scenes on some of your favourite pop hits to developing his own blend of indie-electronica sounds in his Platinum-certified singles such as ‘I Like Me Better’, if he’s not on your radar by now, where have you been?
Lauv grew up learning more traditional instruments like the piano, viola and guitar but quickly fell in love with electronic music as a teen. He began crafting his own originals as a 14 year old with a flair for the dramatic as he wrote break-up songs before even experiencing one himself. Studying music technology at New York University, the gifted artist began to write and produce for other musicians, building his repertoire and skill set. Even now as an established artist, he still works with the likes of pop sensations Charlie XCX and The Backstreet Boys for their individual hits ‘Boys’ and ‘Nobody Else’. His signature writing style that bleeds honesty continues to grab the attention of his musical peers as his list of credited songs continues to grow.
In 2014, he co-wrote the mellow yet cutting break-up single ‘The Other’ with fellow songwriter Michael Matosic. Originally intending to pass it on to another artist, the connection felt with this song gave him the push he needed to kick-start his own singing career. It premiered on the Oblivious Pop in March 2015 and quickly spread across the pop blogverse, leading to it reaching number 3 on Hype Machine. Four years later, it stands with 195 million plays on Spotify and the music video which was released in 2017 has 2 million YouTube views.
Rather than choosing to release physical or even digital versions of an album, Lauv opted for a more contemporary method as he gradually updated a compilation album in the form of a playlist. Featuring 17 songs written over the course of three years, it was titled I Met You When I Was 18 (The Playlist). The first tracks added were ‘The Other’, ‘I Like Me Better’ and ‘Paris In The Rain’ in October 2017, and it was finalised in May 2018 with ‘Enemies’ and ‘Never Not’. The collection of tracks are about Lauv’s relocation to New York when he was 18 which led to him falling in love and searching for a sense of identity in the big city and in the presence of a significant other. Lauv states “It’s a story that, since I released my first song ‘The Other’ in 2015, has been told a bit out of order. In pieces, in fragments and in moments reminisced but now here it is, in it’s entirety: I met you when I was 18. Not an album, but a body of work nonetheless.”
Just three months after the playlist’s completion, Lauv released his next single ‘Superhero’ which was inspired by notes from fans given to him at shows. This was followed by piano-lead track ‘Theres No Way’ featuring Iowa popstar Julia Michaels, and the Platinum-certified single ‘i’m so tired…’ with electro-pop sensation Troye Sivan.
In 2019, two led singles from his upcoming album ~how i’m feeling~ have been released. Off-beat, stripped down RnB jingle ‘Drugs & The Internet’ came out in April and discusses how detrimental social media can be on mental health. In an interview with Forbes, he said “I wrote the song a while ago when I was not in a great head space. I had just gotten off tour and I was reflecting on how easy it was to become so self-obsessed with the way you present yourself to the world.“
Just last week, he released the music video for ‘Sad Forever’ which was filmed during his recent concert in Manila, Philippines. He has also announced that all the proceeds from the track will be donated to mental health organisations, for example in the UK they will go to Time To Change.introducing / lauv