Lauv interview: “I’m trying to concentrate on doing good for the world”

While on tour, Ari Leff packs a crate with him and brings it to each stop. Each night, the crate is placed on his merchandise table. Some fans leave personal messages anonymously. The song “Superhero” was inspired by one of my blue thoughts.

Lauv’s single I Like Me Better — which was released more than a year and a half ago — is now on the Radio 1 playlist and he has over 14 million monthly Spotify listeners.

WunderMusic interviewed Lauv in July, but no recordings from that interview were made. In an effort to recover those recordings, WunderMusic scheduled a second interview with Lauv. The recordings from the first interview were discovered, but after the second interview had already taken place. There you have it, readers—a little peek behind the curtain. Although there are two interviews interwoven, it doesn’t sound right to call it an interview. Inspect the connections and see if you can find the joins!

Have you noticed how different the blue thoughts of people from one country to the next can be? UK teenagers’ concerns may diverge from those of US high school students.

That is a very correct assumption. There doesn’t appear to be any notable difference. Now that the Superhero has been revealed, it will be interesting to see how he/she adapts. Typically, it involves family matters or someone they’re in love with… But it will be interesting to see if others write about aspects of their culture and background that are specific to them.

Let’s discuss the color blue. It’s a good color.

A lot of my life is due to coincidence. One of my best childhood friends, I remember talking to him about a concept I’d had in mind, about creating a blue rose. He took the time to find information about Yves Klein, and as a result, I’ve developed a deep appreciation for his work. There is no way that blue can ever go away as part of my personal brand and my vision for the future.

What was on your mind when you were, say, 15?

Oh my goodness. I was sober at the time; I wasn’t drinking, smoking, or doing anything else. A lot of my friends started smoking weed and so on, and I was just getting into writing and producing, so I was just focusing on that.

Did you avoid hanging out with friends because they drank and smoked?

When my best friend started smoking, I felt like I was being abandoned. I wasn’t interested in going to parties. I tried to avoid doing that. My freshman year of high school was hard for me because I didn’t really fit in or connect with my peers. I didn’t enjoy small talk, as if I felt a connection with someone, I would want to spend more time getting to know them. But it was difficult for me at the time because I was trying to figure out how to feel like I could be a part of the group. In my late teens, I began weight training and a regular exercise regimen. In other words, I didn’t play any sports at all. It was very aware of itself.

Do you still work out, and is it still for the same reason?

Now, I think differently. Exercise is nice, but I care more about overall health. I go for runs and leg presses, but lift only a minimal amount. Once upon a time, I was obsessed with lifting heavy weights and eating copious amounts of protein, resulting in my becoming muscular. I don’t think he was truly insecure, only superficially so. In the past, my relationship with fitness has revolved around being healthy.

Is there anything you like to do that doesn’t relate to your career?

I’ve been reading more than ever. And I’ve been trying to do more art museums.

You had a sort of album out recently —  a playlist of all your music so far. How is your first official album going?

To be honest, I can’t comment on any specifics; however, I am planning on releasing music soon, and yes, I am working on a much larger project. I’ve thought through multiple album concepts in my head. Exciting but hectic. It’s early in the game, so everything is still new and exciting. But it will be great, and I will not release it until it is the greatest ever.

A lot of people are listening to “I Like Me Better” on the radio in the UK right now. It debuted nearly a year ago! Do you get a feeling that you’ve been given all the attention and it’s fine, but you’re ready to put your focus on something else now?

I realize that, but when I feel like that, I check myself because I’m extremely fortunate that people are paying attention in the first place. It’s completely beyond anything I could have ever hoped for. It’s really wild to me: I finished it in May, and every time something with it happened, I thought: “This is the point of the song.” ‘This is the critical value.'” The concept was a hit on German radio, but had yet to be a success in the United States, until it became a huge hit on the US radio airwaves. As of today, it is popular in the UK as well. I believe that last week was our biggest sales week in the United States, which is very good.

In terms of music, who is currently raising the bar for you? Who is the man to beat?

Pop music seems to be in an interesting position at the moment. The musicians I aspire to be like are those who are most unapologetically honest; I absolutely love Phoebe Bridgers’ album. I think Kanye has the reputation of being someone who pushes the creative envelope. I’m really impressed by Charlie Puth, he’s a talented musician.

How about outside music?

My mom is a really big role model for me. She’s a research scientist in the vaccine field. She works at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and she is in charge of research on vaccines to fight the AIDS virus. She is a huge inspiration to me. There are so many different bullshits that it’s easy to get lost in them. I’m putting all my efforts into doing good for the world.

Your interest in large fluffy coats. We’re heading into coat weather. You seem quite autumnal as an artist. Autumn is a good season for coats. Is large coats your thing?

I do love a big fucking coat. And once in a while, no matter how much I try, it won’t make sense — I leave the stage and I’m all sweaty. Having a big coat gives you a sense of security. It’s the best of the best. It’s absolutely the best.

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