Fresh off of dropping a brand new bop with Troye Sivan, we catch up with the singer-songwriter.
Oh Lauv, how we love you. Last time we spoke to Ari Straprans Leff in 2017, he had just dropped a heart melting new track “I Like You Better” after busting out songwriting credits left, right and centre with co-writes on Charli XCX’s “Boys” and “No Promises” by Cheat Codes and Demi Lovato.
Now the 24-year-old songwriter is kicking off another year with yet another bop in the form of “i’m so tired…”, featuring former Wonderland coverbabe Troye Sivan. A dreamy pre-Valentine’s bop channelling a lot of our collective feels about a day full of vom-inducing #CoupleGoals instagram captions and overpriced chocolate, it’s an absolute banger about trying to get over that ex that keeps running round your mind.
“I’ve been a huge fan of Troye’s music and what he does for the world for years, so working with him was an absolute honour.” Lauv says. “When we wrote ‘i’m so tired…’ he just sounded too good singing it, so I think it was just natural to do the record together. This song is also the last song I’m going to be putting out until I have my debut album ready, so I figured we’d go out on a heartbroken banger vibe so it’s sad but fun.”
We caught up with our fave singing sad boi to find out even more…
Did you always know you wanted to be a musician?
I wanted to be a professional skateboarder, but I didn’t have the balls. Once I realised that, I became obsessed with music, as I was already playing as a kid. All I did was write songs in my room, and record local bands, and put music up on MySpace – I got super into that when I was like 14 / 15. From there I just became obsessed.
Who did you listen to growing up?
All sorts of stuff, because I moved around a lot, but I think some of my favourites were John Mayor, Paul Simon and Chris Martin. I went through a big phase of more Emo stuff, stuff like Taking back Sunday, but I listened to some jazz as well…I really listened to everything for the most part growing up, and I feel like I’ve been influenced by all of it in some way. As a producer now too, all sorts of electronic music has really inspired me.
Your sound has been described as everything from romantic to emotional to understated…how would you describe your sound yourself?
It’s funny because I feel like genres obviously exist, but more than ever they’re bending. I feel like fashion is doing the same thing, where people are pulling influence from different eras and combining them. I would consider myself a sort of modern, new version of what you might look at a singer/songwriter as; I try to write songs that feel classic, that you can play on guitar and piano, but I also am a nerd who produces weird stuff on my computer. I kind of love really like minimal production that does something a little bit different. I think vocally it’s maybe a little bit of a soul influence, but yeah, I don’t know, it’s always quite a weird thing for me to try and describe!
You’ve done quite a few collabs. Who else is putting out stuff you’re liking right at the moment?
I’m a big fan of what Troye Sivan is doing, that’s really dope. Also Khalid is really dope, and just a great person!
Do you enjoy collaborating with others?
Yeah, for sure. I feel like even if it’s a song that’s for me, I love writing songs with my best friends: I really do feel like, in most cases, more minds are better – obviously to a certain degree, depending on your vibe and how comfortable you are with each other, and so on.
Who would your dream collaborator be?
Honestly, I think the biggest one for me would be Chris Martin. I’m sure a lot of people would say that, but yeah. I’m probably on a long list (laughs).
You just added another date to your Singapore tour diary, how does it feel to have such popularity in so many different places in the world?
It does, it really does. People ask, you know, ‘how does it feel to have like a billion streams on Spotify’ or whatever it is, but you don’t really get a feeling from that. The feeling is from showing up somewhere, and – especially when I was playing these places for the first time – seeing people all show up, and a sold out room singing all my words, that’s what really feels like a humanity thing, it’s really cool. Don’t get me wrong, it’s all super incredible, I I just think there’s a difference between seeing something on your phone and seeing it in person
What’s the best gig you’ve ever done?
That’s so hard (laughs), the first one that comes to mind is when I played in New York City. All of the songs on ‘I Met You When I Was 18’ are about my time in New York city. I played there, at Irving Plaza, and that was such a magical night. I think that was the first time that I felt I had really opened up in a way I hadn’t before on stage, and that was a super special one. Playing Koko in London was so sick, because that’s such an iconic venue for so many different reasons, and it’s so beautiful. I’m also looking forward to playing Shepherd’s Bush!
How much do you think you’ve grown as an artist since you first started out?
So so so so so much. When I first started putting out music in 2015, I was scared to put my face on it, and scared to be who I really was. I would always be so weird about putting things online, because I felt self-conscious. I’m not going to pretend that I don’t get insecure as a person – I definitely do – but I’ve become more comfortable and open, and I feel like I’ve built a platform with my fans where I can be as I am, and they connect with that. We have inside jokes…it’s awesome. I also feel like every song I make, whether it comes out or not, teaches me something.
Do you have any particular memories of encounters you’ve had with your fans, in person or online or whatever, that stick out?
There’s a few. I think the biggest one for me was the first time I saw someone with a tattoo of my lyrics on her finger. Now so many people come up to me asking me to write lyrics to get tattooed, and I’m like ‘my handwriting sucks, you don’t want me to do this!’. Another fan made me these really cute enamel pins which say an in-joke we have on them – they basically say ‘Synergistic Business Solutions’, which is super random, but now, when I take a photo of a crowd, I always ask my fans to shout ‘Synergistic Business Solutions’ (laughs), my sense of humour is very weird, so I feel like when I can have a moment like that with somebody whose at my show, it’s incredible.
What’s next for you?
I have a few more shows this year, and I’ve been working on some new music. I’m going to be going in really heavy working on my album, which I’m really excited about.
When’s that due?
I can’t say I have a date yet or anything, but the top of next year will be the first time I’ve had in like two years to just focus on writing without doing anything else, so I’m really excited. Other than that: Asia, then the album and new music, and who knows what else.