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LAUV Review

Author Name: Brendon | OCL Student Ambassador at Kent State  

Published On Feb 15th, 2018

With one smash hit already under his belt, there is nowhere to go but up for the American musician, Lauv. Born Ari Staprans Leff on August 8th, 1994, Leff took to music at an early age. The San Francisco native began piano and viola lessons at the age of 11. This inspired him to relocate to New York and obtain a degree in music technology from New York University.
During his time at NYU, Leff spent most of his time writing and producing for others, rather than his own. It was not until Leff came across an old Paul Simon video that described Simon’s singer-songwriter approach that Leff began to crave his own music. The interview led him to begin to write songs that were more personable to Leff. It was during this time that Leff chose his stage name, Lauv. Lauv has multiple meanings to Leff; his first name, Ari, means lion in Hebrew, lauv is Latvian for “lion”, which his mother is Latvian, and oh yeah, he’s a Leo, too.
Lauv has described his music as “very romantic and slightly R&B influenced/pop." This can be heard all the way back from Lauv’s first single “The Other” co-written with Michael Matosic. Dealing with a heave breakup in 2014, the 2015 single lyricizes the hurt that Leff feels. 
Back and forth now I'm feelin' guilty
Cause I just can’t stop this pendulum in my head
Though I know that our time is ending
I’d rather lay forever right in this bed
This first single gained some attention virally through blogs and even earned a spot on Spotify’s Global Top 100. He released an EP, Lost in the Light and later signed a deal with Prescription Songs.
The next year was quiet for Lauv with more behind the scenes work. Most notably, Leff can be credited with the co-writing and co-producing of the smash hit “No Promises” by Cheat Codes and Demi Lovato. With the same sounding indie-pop you can find in his original EP, it is easy to hear the influence of Leff within the song. The song peaked at #18 on the Billboard Top 100.
2017 was the year that Lauv needed to jumpstart his personal career. When Lauv first moved to New York to pursue his studies at NYU, he fell in love. He described the love as not “know[ing] who I was or who I wanted to be. But I knew that with this person, I just liked myself better.” On May 19th 2017, Lauv released the summer banger “I Like Me Better”. A personal favorite song of mine, the song peaked at #16 on the Billboard Top 100. Lauv takes us through the journey of being a young adult in New York being fully in love with his counterpart. The same romantic and synthesized R&B/pop sounds can still be found and you find yourself jamming to the song right away. This landed him the opening spot for Ed Sheeran’s Asian leg of the Divide Tour in the later part of 2017. 
With that being done, Lauv is now embarking on his own headlining world tour, “I Met You When I was 18.,” which began on January 18th. The future is bright for the San Francisco born lion.