Posted On 11 Aug 2017
Meet the 22-year-old LAUV! He’s a songwriter and producer from LA that’s blowing up. He graduated NYU music school, signed to Dr. Luke’s Prescription Songs for songwriting while still in college. He also penned the Cheat Codes song with Demi Lovato called “No Promises.”
His first song, “The Other,” is nearly at 100 million listens on Spotify and now his next single “I Like Me Better” just entered the Billboard 200 and he’s at nearly 30 million streams on Spotify in a couple weeks.
This summer, he already had a sold out tour and is playing a few festivals in the next couple weeks – Summerfest and Billboard 100.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7fzkqLozwA “I Like Me Better”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NxKXslcfE3A “I like Me Better” Ryan Riback remix
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSe1adndzfs “The Other”
Learn more about Lauv in the following All Access interview:
Thanks for your time! So where does this interview find you today? Is there music playing in the background? If so, what is it? What’s a song you loving these days?
Thank you! I’m currently sitting in my house in LA, working on finishing some new music actually! my computer keeps freezing…
How is 2017 treating you so far? Did you approach the start of this year any differently then you did last year? What have been some of the highlights for you this year?
2017 has been by far the craziest and most honest year of my life, probably. This year I decided to really focus on my music as an artist instead of so much writing and producing for other artists. It kind of all feels very serendipitous, as my song ‘the other’ started to do well at the beginning of this year. I did my first headlining tour which was almost every single date sold out. I just feel in touch with myself in a way I never have before in my life, which is obviously an incredible feeling.
How did you come up with your artist name? Why did you decide to go by it and not your own name? Do you think it helps create a kind of separation between you the artist and you the real person?
Lauv comes from the Latvian word for ‘lion’…my mom’s side of the family is from Latvia and it’s a place i would go every summer growing up… I’m a Leo myself and my actual name means lion as well. It all just made sense to me.
I’d love to know how you first got started in this crazy music industry. Growing up, was this always something that you wanted to be a part of? Was there ever a time where you thought about doing something completely different?
Well I’ve played music for almost my whole life, starting with piano as a little kid and then viola, but as a kid I actually wanted to be a professional skateboarder. It was my favorite thing ever, until I picked up a guitar and started writing songs. Suddenly I was skating less and less and writing more and more songs. I learned how to produce when I started recording for the band I was in. We did some self-booked touring. I was producing other bands in town too. I had a few other projects at the time. I was obsessed and all I wanted to do was make music.
What was it like signing to Dr. Luke’s Prescription Songs for songwriting while you were still in college? Was it hard to remain in college and finish?
Absolutely insane! It’s all really insane to me. But yeah at the time I was in the headspace of writing and producing for other artists, but funny enough I ended up getting signed largely off of the Lauv stuff. I signed when I was about to be a senior, so I figured I would at least try to finish. I’m happy i did. As much as I wanted to at the time, there was no need to rush life.
Let’s talk about your first single “The Other” that is blowing up on Spotify and elsewhere now. Has the reception from it surprised you at all? Where did the inspiration for this track come from?
It’s been such a crazy thing to watch. I put the song out two years ago so to see it be received the way it did at the beginning of this year was something I never expected for the song. I honestly put it out with no expectations… You know it was my first song and I was amidst a breakup when I wrote it and I just knew that it was a song I couldn’t give away to another artist. It was what made me decide to become an artist again and to create truly with my vision.
I was recently reading the lyrics to your new song “I Like Me Better” and I can definitely relate to feeling like a better person with someone. How did this song come together for you?
I wrote it about when I moved to New York and fell in love with it for the first time. It’s about that feeling of ‘I have no idea who I want to be but I know that whoever I am with you is really tight and I think I’m falling in love’. The interesting thing about creating the whole song was that it came to me sitting in my bedroom in LA after I moved away from New York City. It was like something had been bottled all that time and then all of the sudden it resurfaced.
How do you think you have grown since you released your 2015 EP, “Lost In The Light”? What has stayed the same about your music-making process since then?
I would say perspective. This EP and everything I’m creating now is all very connected, but I’m letting myself go places I’ve never explored before and getting in touch with feelings I couldn’t at the time. My process is very similar in that I almost never go in with specific intentions. My favorite way to work is to always treat it like exploration. It’s about discovering what’s going on deep in my brain and it’s about interacting with the moment.
Are you excited to playing at a few festivals this summer? What’s a typical show experience like for you? What do you think makes for an ideal show for you?
Yeah festivals are very different from other shows, in that the intimacy is different, but they’re a lot of fun in a different way! There isn’t really a typical show for me, and an ideal show for me really just comes down to connecting with the audience. My headlining tour was an absolute incredible experience largely for that reason. I really felt the connection with my fans and met a lot of really cool and genuine people.
Where do you think you are happiest- on stage performing, recording music in the studio or elsewhere?
Oh that changes! But right now, I’m dreaming of touring. the world. Yesterday. (Laughter) No, but I’ve spent years in bedrooms and studios, figuring out who I was and coping with whatever was happening in my life and I’m just excited to bring it all to the stage and connect with people.
What artists have continued to inspire you and your music? Who would you absolutely love to work with in the future?
I honestly found myself inspired by so many different artists and songs throughout my life, depending on where I was at but Chris Martin is definitely one of my all time favorites and inspirations. And John Mayer, Paul Simon and Drake. Also this producer named Sam Gallaitry. The producer in me is very inspired by those who are pushing the boundaries of genre and what’s been done.
What advice would you give to a young person who is considering getting into this music career path?
There are a million things to say, but my best advice is that if you decide you want your life to be about music, you just have to decide that you will not give up ever. Everything else will change a million times, go up and down, but no matter what, you will continue on your journey. Accept that you have no control of anything except for your actions. It is always a journey.
At the end of the day, what do you hope your fans take away from your music? What do you hope is the message of your songs?
It’s all about vulnerability. I just want more people to feel comfortable with being themselves and with sharing that with other people. We go through so much of the same stuff, yet we are so afraid that other people will judge us.