interview by JANA LETONJA

Multi-Platinum singer, songwriter, producer, and multi-instrumentalist Lauv asserts himself as a storyteller first and foremost, enchanting audiences everywhere by converting his real life experiences into generational anthems. With over 10 billion streams and counting, Lauv started his career in 2015 with viral sensation ‘The Other’, followed by his career catapulting megahit ‘I Like Me Better’. This year, Lauv will embark on the new chapter of his music that promises to continue his ascent as a global musical force to be reckoned with.

Let’s start at the beginning. How and when did your passion and love for music develop?

Well, at first, my first passion growing up was skateboarding. I was obsessed with skateboarding. And then music developed for me after that by just listening to so many different styles of music growing up. My two older sisters played violin and cello, so I played viola and then I picked up guitar. Once I picked up guitar, I started writing songs around like 12 years old and I just became obsessed from there.

We all remember your first two hits, ‘The Other’ and ‘I Like Me Better’. How do you look back on those singles and how have they defined your career?

‘The Other’ was quite literally my entry into being an artist as Lauv and in a way, that song was what actually started me getting any attention. I’ve always been an artist. When I was a kid, I had other projects, but ‘The Other’ was kind of the first thing that started to blow up. And then ‘I Like Me Better’ just totally took my whole life by storm and just changed everything, and showed me I could really do this as a full time thing. Ilook back very fondly at those early songs.

How would you describe yourself as an artist, and how have you developed from your first single til today?

I would describe myself as a very sensitive, heartfelt guy who just wants to have fun and who loves people a lot. And I would say I’ve developed in a way where I’ve become a lot more confident, experimental and exploratory, but I’ve also come full circle back to the things that got me loving music originally.

And how would you describe your musical style? What are the things that make it unique and what the things we’ll always find in your songs?

I would say dreamy pop. One of the things that make it unique and one of the things you’ll always find in my songs is that you’ll always find my voice.

Which of the songs you’ve made so far has the deepest and most special meaning to you and why?

Aside from the stuff that’s coming on this next album, which is definitely the deepest so far, I would say maybe ‘Modern Loneliness’. That song really encapsulated something I felt for a long time and didn’t know how to articulate
before it came out. And then the pandemic happened and it just became a whole other level of meaning. I have a tattoo of that song, I love that song.

You not only sing, but also write songs and produce. Where do you usually find inspiration for your new music?

I find my inspiration from just living life. So anytime I’m not in the studio, I draw from my experiences falling in love, getting hurt, hurting people accidentally, my family, my dogs and other art that I love.

sweater & pants HONOR THE GIFT
earrings Talent’s Own

You’ve written many songs for other artists as well. How does writing for others differ from writing for yourself?

Writing for others is different because it’s a little bit less personal in my story, but sometimes it can get personal because it helps that I’m not really thinking about what if I sing this, and it allows me to just say whatever is really happening. But as a whole, I would say my music that I release is more my personal story. 2024 has already proven to be an exciting year for you.

Tell us more about what is coming up this year for you.

I just put out my new single ‘Potential’ and that’s the first single from the new album that I’m finishing. I’m doing some tour dates this summer in South East Asia, which I’m really excited for. I’m just really stoked to keep building my
community and to do what I love.

You’re doing a series of collaborations this year, including with K-Pop and Chinese artists. How did these collaborations come about and what prompted you to explore the K-Pop music?

I met BTS at their show in London at Wembley and they asked me to do the remix of ‘Make It Right’. I was super honoured that they would ask me and obviously said yes. Then I sent them a demo of my song ‘Who’ and they loved it, so a couple of them hopped on ‘Who’ and that was iconic, and I really appreciate that.

From there, I just started playing a lot of shows in Korea and I have such a big fan base there. I’ve met different K-Pop idols and artists, and just got the chance to hang out with other artists from South East Asia. It’s just come about super naturally based on where I’ve been embraced and the love that I feel for those people and the respect I have for them in their craft.

Is there an artist that you’d really love to collaborate with in the near future?

Chris Martin from Coldplay.

sweater & pants SEBASTIEN AMI
t-shirt AYR
necklace TIFFANY & CO.
earrings Talent’s Own

talent LAUV
photography JASON KIM
grooming CLAY NEILSEN using LEONOR GREYL and HOURGLASS COSMETICS at Tracey Mattingly
styling assistant NELLY YAPO
production ANNEE ELLIOTT
interview JANA LETONJA