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LA-based artist Lauv seemingly came out of nowhere with his self-released track “The Other.” The single has garnered over 50 million streams on Spotify and the talented producer/songwriter has left an indelible mark with new fans. He is pumping out sonic goodness with more on tracks on the way.
GroundSounds recently caught up with Lauv to talk about his breakout track, new music and more, check out the exclusive interview below.
For those just discovering Lauv, can you tell us a little bit about your background and how you got started with music?
I’ve been playing music most of my life, starting with piano as a kid, to viola and then really fell in love once I picked up the guitar. I started writing my first songs when I was like 13 (they were awful), and from there became totally obsessed with everything about the process of creating music. For the longest time I thought I wanted to be a professional skateboarder, but then I discovered songwriting and that was it. Then I went to college and decided maybe I’d try writing and producing songs for other artists instead of myself. I was focused on that for a couple of years and then Lauv was born really naturally. I’d been going through some stuff and wrote a couple of songs that felt different…like I didn’t want to just give them to someone else…I had to do them. And here we are!
How did you decide on the moniker Lauv?
Well I knew I didn’t want to just release music under my real name, but I wanted my name to be attached to my actual identity. Lauv means “lion” in Latvijan – where my mom’s side of the family is from and a place we’d go lie every summer growing up. Me being a Leo and my real name also meaning “lion,” it felt right.
What do you enjoy most about Los Angeles?
Honestly, probably the weather. Or the sushi. I definitely wouldn’t say the people.
“The Other,” has reached over 50 million streams on Spotify, congrats! Can you tell us about the writing and creative process involved with this track?
It’s crazy. It’s crazy how slowly yet how quickly it’s all happening. I wrote the song with a close friend of mine named Michael Matosic like 2 and a half years ago sitting in a basement apartment in New York City just on acoustic guitar and so much has happened since then. I actually produced most of it in my school library pulling an all-nighter. To watch it suddenly start exploding almost 2 years after it came out is something I never thought I’d experience. Where music is at right now with platforms like Spotify is incredible. I’m thankful. I mean what this song has taught me, and what all of my best work reminds me, is that if you just stop trying to be something and just truly surrender to whatever is true in your life and create in the moment, you get something real that only you could make. As much as possible, I’m trying to live my entire life like that.
Can you tell us about signing a publishing deal with Dr. Luke?! What was it like the day you actually signed? What were you feeling/thinking?
One of the most surreal moments of my life. When I first got to college, one of my most clear dreams was that I wanted to sign a publishing deal. I didn’t truly even understand why, but I knew I just wanted it. I started talking to all the different publishers right after I released “The Other.” From the moment I flew out to LA to meet the whole RX team, I knew it was exactly the home I wanted. So sitting in my attorney’s office and signing that deal was definitely a huge moment for me. You know we did the thing and popped a bottle of champagne, but no one would drink any except for me. I was still in college at the time, so I decided to bring the rest back with me to the dining hall, haha.
What musicians/bands are you currently listening to?
Ahh the question! My life is such a mixed bag right now. I’ve been listening a lot to this dude Apparat – really cool mix of instrumental, almost cinematic stuff, and vocal songs. Mount Kimbie. Mansionz, I love that album. Coldplay always. I love this girl Frances…a couple of her songs really get to me. Mura Masa. Some of the old Paul Simon classics. A lot of different stuff always.
What is it about R&B infused pop that attracts you to this sound?
To me, it’s the melodies…the emotion in the melodies. I love how conversational a lot of 90s R&B lyrics were. I’d say candid is the word. I just love to create things that are minimal and making a statement. Simple. Not too complicated.
What advice would you give to independent/up-and-coming musicians?
Write as many songs as you can. Throw them out. Write more. Create. Do whatever it is you imagine doing, don’t give yourself excuses. If you don’t know how to do something, you can learn. Don’t chase a sound. The world is here to hear what you want to say. Don’t be afraid to say it. I know I was. I still am all the time.
What’s next for Lauv, what can fans look forward to?
I’m going on my first little headlining tour this May/June, called “Late Nights, Deep Talks.” Come to a show! I have so much new music on the way. Stuff that I truly feel like is my best work to date. And of course, some more surprises I can’t talk about yet.