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Lauv 2019 by Glenn Francis.jpg
Ari Staprans Leff

(1994-08-08) August 8, 1994 (age 25)[1]
Alma materNew York University
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
Years active2015–present
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • piano
  • drums
  • viola

Ari Staprans Leff (born August 8, 1994), known professionally as Lauv, is an American singer, songwriter and record producer based in Los Angeles. His debut EP Lost in the Light[3] was released in 2015[4][5] and his compilation album I Met You When I Was 18 (The Playlist) was released in 2018. He has written songs for other artists including the singles "Boys" by Charli XCX, "No Promises" by Cheat Codes and Demi Lovato and "Imperfections" by Celine Dion.

His debut studio album How I'm Feeling was released on March 6, 2020.

Early life[edit]

Leff was born in San Francisco, California. He spent his early childhood in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, before his family relocated to a suburb of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He went to Radnor High School.[6] As a child, he was interested in music and took piano and viola lessons before learning how to play the guitar at the age of 11.[5] He started writing songs in middle school, at around 14 years old.[7] Many of his songs during this period focused on heartbreak and breakups, despite at the time, never having had a girlfriend.[8] During his time in high school, he played in several bands and studied jazz before moving on to electronic music.[5] He was so "fully obsessed" in making music and playing shows that he had no interest to "drink, or do drugs, or anything".[9] He has said that his sister would drive him and his friends on tour, where they often played "to zero people."[10] His early musical influences were Owl City and Never Shout Never. He would listen to Owl City's "Maybe I'm Dreaming" and study the production style and the abstract lyrical themes that use a "dreamy" and "whimsical" images to describe love. He also adopted the artist name, "Somersault Sunday", and published some songs on his Myspace account.[11][12]

After graduating high school, Leff decided to pursue a behind-the-scenes role in music. He chose to study music technology at New York University's Steinhardt School.[5][7] While at university, he studied abroad in Prague and was a member of the Zeta Psi fraternity.[13] He spent two of his four years at NYU as a studio intern for Jungle City Studios, where artists such as Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake, and Alicia Keys recorded.[6] On his junior year, he signed a record deal after the success of his song "The Other" but he decided to finish university and "enjoy it" having only a year left and because he was also feeling "fortunate enough to be able to go there".[14]


Pre-2014: Leff formed his first band Somersault Sunday and released his first single “Say Hello to The Ground”. Leff was known for his basement concerts in his early middle and high school years.

2014–2016: Beginnings and Lost in the Light[edit]

Leff focused on writing and producing for other artists during college, straying from his personal songwriting style. During his sophomore year, he stumbled upon an interview with Paul Simon, in which Simon described his songwriting approach as a process of uncovering his innermost buried feelings. The interview helped Leff to get in touch with the way he used to write.[15] Afterwards, Leff adopted the stage name Lauv, Latvian for "lion" (lauva), as a nod to his mother's heritage. His first name, Ari, means "lion" in Hebrew, and his zodiac sign is Leo.[13][7]

While getting over a break-up in fall of 2014, he co-wrote "The Other" with Michael Matosic.[6][13] Although he was focused on writing potential songs for other artists, he felt "The Other" worked better as his own song. It would be the first song he released under the name Lauv.[13] With "The Other", he also discovered his stripped-down electronic pop sound.[6] The song is a fusion of rhythm and blues and indie-pop with influence from jazz guitar. The song gained blog attention and, after he uploaded it to SoundCloud in 2015,[6] went viral, peaking at number three on blog aggregator Hype Machine,[13][16] and hitting the Global Top 100 on Spotify.[17]

After graduating from NYU, Lauv signed to the publishing company Prescription Songs.[17]

On September 25, 2015, Lauv released his debut EP, Lost in the Light, which featured "The Other".[3] Then, apart from releasing the single "Question" featuring Travis Mills in 2016, Lauv worked on writing and producing songs for other artists.

Most notably, he co-wrote and co-produced "No Promises" for Cheat Codes and Demi Lovato,[7] which reached number 7 on the Billboard Pop Songs chart.[18] In an interview with iHeartRadio, Lauv stated that he's been friends with Trevor Dahl from Cheat Codes since "back in the MySpace days."[19]

2017–2018: I Met You When I Was 18 (The Playlist) and touring with Ed Sheeran[edit]

On May 19, 2017, Leff released the single "I Like Me Better",[20] an up-tempo track inspired by his relationship that began shortly after he moved to New York City.[7] It peaked at number 27 on the Billboard Hot 100,[21] earned platinum certification in seven countries (including the US), and gold certification in three.[18]

In 2017, he headlined his own Late Nights, Deep Talks tour, in which he performed in eight cities across the United States. The tour began on May 23 in Los Angeles and concluded on June 7 in New York City. On July 9, he also performed at Summerfest in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.[20]

It was announced on September 4, 2017, that Leff would be joining Ed Sheeran as the supporting act on his Divide Tour in Asia.[22] Several of Ed Sheeran's Asia tour dates were cancelled or rescheduled as a result of injuries he sustained from a bicycle accident, but Leff proceeded with promotional tours in cities such as Manila, Philippines[23], officially kicking off the Divide Tour with Ed Sheeran in Singapore on November 11, 2017.

Leff embarked on his first world tour, I Met You When I Was 18, in the first half of 2018. The tour began on January 18 in Seattle, Washington and concluded on April 29 in Oslo, Norway. Artists Jeremy Zucker and Ashe joined him as supporting acts in most of the North American tour dates.[24] During the tour, he had a box named "My Blue Thoughts", in which he told fans to write down anything they wanted to and put it inside. He commemorated the notes on his blog[6] On August 30, 2018, Leff released the single "Superhero", a song inspired by a note from the box.[25] He performed at Lollapalooza in Chicago on August 3, 2018.[26]

In May 2018, Leff released I Met You When I Was 18 (The Playlist), a 17-track collection of new and previously released tracks, including the singles "I Like Me Better" and "The Other", that he had been working on over the course of a few years.[10][21][27] It has also been described as a "playlist" that Lauv updated gradually until completing it in May 2018.[28] It chronicles his move to New York City and the first time he fell in love.[18][28] By August 2018, it had been streamed over 1 billion times on Spotify.[6]

In June 2018, Leff ranked number one on Billboard's Emerging Artists chart, dated June 9. As of September 29, he had been at the top spot of the chart for a total of 13 weeks.[29]

He released the single "There's No Way", a collaboration with Julia Michaels, on September 27, 2018.[30]

2019–present: How I'm Feeling[edit]

Lauv released the single "I'm So Tired..." with Troye Sivan on January 24, 2019.[31] They first met at a rehearsal space, and after writing another song that didn't work out, Lauv played Sivan the chorus of "I'm So Tired..." which he had written a few days prior. Sivan liked it and they wrote and recorded the rest of the track together.[28][32] They performed the song on Jimmy Kimmel Live on February 7, 2019.[33]

In November 2018, Lauv announced his first headlining tour starting the next year in Asia, including India, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Hong Kong, Indonesia, and Japan. It began on May 13, 2019, in Mumbai, India and concluded on May 30 in Tokyo.[34]

On April 25, 2019, Lauv released the single and music video for "Drugs & the Internet", which he says he wrote when he was struggling with feelings of emptiness and depression. It is the second single from his debut studio album How I'm Feeling.[35] He also announced that month that he would unveil his debut album How I'm Feeling track by track as it is being recorded, simultaneously with the tour.[36][37] Over the next year he released several such tracks including "Sad Forever",[38] "Feelings",[39][40] and "Mean It", the latter a collaboration with indie pop band LANY.[41][42][40] In August he released "Fuck, I'm Lonely", a collaboration with British singer Anne-Marie for the soundtrack of the third season of 13 Reasons Why. The track was also included on his debut album.[43] The album is being promoted with the How I'm Feeling Tour, which began in Washington, D.C. on October 5, 2019, and will conclude in Perth, Australia on November 26, 2020. It will travel throughout the United States, Europe, New Zealand, and Australia. Special guests for the tour include bülow, Chelsea Cutler, and Carlie Hanson.[44][45] He will be supported in the Asian leg of the tour by American singer-songwriter and social media personality mxmtoon.[46]

Lauv made his debut in K-pop through his collaboration with BTS for the song "Make It Right", which is an ode to ARMY (BTS fans).

Lauv made his debut in Bollywood through a collaboration with composer Rochak Kohli for the song "Dil Na Jaaneya", which features on the soundtrack of Karan Johar's film Good Newwz starring Akshay Kumar, Kareena Kapoor, Diljit Dosanjh, and Kiara Advani.[47]

On March 6, 2020, Lauv released his debut album How I'm Feeling. He made a second collaboration with BTS for the song "Who". Of all the songs from Lauv's album, "Who" tops highest on the iTunes chart.

Personal life[edit]

Lauv dated pop musician Julia Michaels for several months in 2018, before they broke up at the end of the year.[10][48]

His mother and his maternal grandparents are Latvian and Lauv has frequently visited Latvia to visit relatives and spend summers in his grandfather's cottage in the seaside city of Jūrmala.[49][50]




  • Late Nights, Deep Talks Tour (2017)
    • US (8 dates, May 23 – June 7)
  • I Met You When I Was 18. World Tour (2018)
    • US, Canada, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, UK, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway (36 dates, January 18 – April 29)
    • Openers: Ashe, Jeremy Zucker
  • Fall Tour (2018)
    • Germany, UK, France, US (17 dates, September 15 – November 8)
    • Opener: Charlotte Lawrence
  • Asia Tour (2019)
    • India, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan (10 dates, May 13 – 30)
    • Opener: bülow
      • Note: The show in Jakarta, Indonesia was cancelled due to political aftermath.
  • ~how i'm feeling~ Tour (2019)
    • US, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, France, UK, New Zealand, Australia (21 dates, October 5 – November 26)
    • Opener: Chelsea Cutler & Carlie Hanson
  • Summer Tour of Asia (2020)
    • India, China, Taiwan, Indonesia (6 dates, June 16 - June 27)
    • Opener: mxmtoon


  • Last to Leave Tour – Louis the Child (2017)
    • Supporting on 5 dates in US, October 12–21
  • Divide TourEd Sheeran (2017-18)
    • Supporting on 6 dates in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, India and United Arab Emirates, November 11–23, 2017; and 5 dates in US with Snow Patrol, October 27 – November 9, 2018
  • Tell Me You Love Me TourDemi Lovato (2018)
    • Was going to support on one date in US (July 26), but show was canceled


Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Award Category Result
2018 2018 Teen Choice Awards Breakout Artist[51] Nominated
2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards Best New Pop Artist Nominated
2019 MTV Video Music Awards Push Artist of the Year Nominated


  1. ^ California Birth Index, 1905-1995
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  3. ^ a b Lauv (October 3, 2015). "Lauv - "Lost In The Light - EP" (Official Full Stream)". Retrieved May 27, 2017 – via YouTube.
  4. ^ "On The Rise: An Interview with Lauv".
  5. ^ a b c d "Lauv - Biography & History - AllMusic". AllMusic. Retrieved May 27, 2017.
  6. ^ a b c d e f g Bruner, Raisa (August 17, 2018). "Meet Lauv, the New Voice in Pop Making Hits Out of Heartbreak". Time. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
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  8. ^ Bruiner, Rasia. "Meet Lauv, the New Voice in Pop Making Hits Out of Heartbreak". TIME. Missing or empty |url= (help); |access-date= requires |url= (help)
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  10. ^ a b c Stewart, Allison (December 3, 2018). "Jingle stuff, youthful pop stars, Sabrina Carpenter, Lauv and all that fame". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  11. ^ Zack Sang Show (May 3, 2019). "Lauv Talks Drugs & The Internet, Depression and New Music". YouTube. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  12. ^ Somersault Sunday. "Somersault Sunday on Myspace". Myspace. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  13. ^ a b c d e "NYU's Own Lauv Hits Big With First Single, "The Other"". NYU Local. April 23, 2015. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  14. ^ Zack Sang Show (May 3, 2019). "Lauv Talks Drugs & The Internet, Depression and New Music". YouTube. Retrieved February 24, 2020.
  15. ^ Han, Alex (March 18, 2018). "Review: LAUV discovers himself through his music". Eagle Eye. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  16. ^ "I'm watching Lauv at Ones To Watch!". Ones To Watch. Archived from the original on July 5, 2017. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  17. ^ a b "Lauv - Foundations". Retrieved April 14, 2019.
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  19. ^ Mastrogiannis, Nicole (July 10, 2017). "INTERVIEW: LAUV Reveals The Touching Inspiration Behind 'I Like Me Better'". Retrieved October 29, 2019.
  20. ^ a b "Lauv Premieres New Song 'I Like Me Better' Before Upcoming Tour: Exclusive". Billboard. Retrieved July 22, 2017.
  21. ^ a b Cirisano, Tatiana (December 24, 2018). "Lauv On Touring With 'Nicest Person' Ed Sheeran, Pulling All-Nighters in Tokyo & His Favorite Moments of 2018". Billboard. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  22. ^ "Independent singer, songwriter and producer Lauv will join Ed Sheeran through his Asia tour, 14 date run commencing in Osaka". Retrieved September 4, 2017.
  23. ^ Words by Bandwagon (October 16, 2017). "LAUV to perform in Ayala Malls". Bandwagon. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  24. ^ Payne, Chris (October 23, 2017). "Fast-Rising Pop Artist Lauv Announces 2018 Headlining Tour". Billboard. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  25. ^ Maldonado, Jennifer (September 7, 2018). "<3: The True Story Of How A Fan's Anonymous Note Inspired Lauv's Song 'Superhero'". J-14. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  26. ^ Sunkel, Cameron (July 30, 2018). "FIVE UNMISSABLE SETS TO CATCH AT LOLLAPALOOZA 2018". Retrieved May 13, 2019.
  27. ^ Hoffman, Lauren (April 2, 2019). "EXCLUSIVE: 5 Things You Don't Know About Lauv". 94.7 The Wave. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  28. ^ a b c Sahai, Fred (April 12, 2019). "Q+A with Hopeless Romantic Lauv". L'Officiel. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  29. ^ "Billboard Emerging Artists". Billboard. Retrieved October 2, 2018.
  30. ^ Blistein, Jon; Blistein, Jon (September 27, 2018). "Watch Lauv, Julia Michaels Miss Out on Love in 'There's No Way' Video". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  31. ^ "Troye Sivan and Lauv Announce New Collaboration 'I'm So Tired'". Billboard. Retrieved April 14, 2019.
  32. ^ Schiller, Rebecca (March 19, 2019). "Lauv & Troye Sivan Say 'I'm So Tired' Is About 'When You Miss Somebody & Everything Reminds You Of Them'". Billboard. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  33. ^ Reed, Ryan (February 7, 2019). "Lauv, Troye Sivan Stage Backyard Hang With 'I'm So Tired' on 'Kimmel'". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  34. ^ Billboard Radio China (November 20, 2018). "Lauv Announces 2019 Asia Tour: See Dates". Billboard. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  35. ^ Mercuri, Monica (April 29, 2019). "Lauv Talks New Single 'Drugs & The Internet' And Being Open About Mental Health Struggles". Forbes. Retrieved May 15, 2019.
  36. ^ Shaffer, Claire (April 4, 2019). "Lauv Announces 'How I'm Feeling' World Tour". Rolling Stone. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  37. ^ Yglesias, Ana (April 5, 2019). "Lauv Announces World Tour, Shares Personal Message About Mental Health". Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  38. ^ "SAD FOREVER. i wrote this song at a really shit time in my life. it's coming out the 31st. all proceeds are going to organizatins working to end the stigma around mental health. hope you enjoy.. 💙". Twitter. May 22, 2019. Retrieved May 23, 2019.
  39. ^ Hudelson, Molly (September 19, 2019). "Lauv has a lot of "Feelings" on his new single".
  40. ^ a b Hudelson, Molly (October 3, 2019), "Lauv shares new single "Sims," announces '~how i'm feeling~' release date", Substream Magazine, retrieved October 3, 2019
  41. ^ Aniftos, Rania (June 4, 2019), "Lauv's New Song 'Sad Forever' Will Help Various Mental Health Organizations", Billboard, retrieved August 2, 2019
  42. ^ "Lauv has teamed up with Anne-Marie for his new pop bop, 'fuck, i'm lonely'". Dork. August 1, 2019. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
  43. ^ Roth, Madeline (August 1, 2019). "Lauv And Anne-Marie Are Lonely As Fuck On New 13 Reasons Why Song". MTV. Retrieved August 2, 2019.
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  45. ^ Brooks, Hayden (April 4, 2019). "Lauv Announces 'How I'm Feeling World Tour': See The Dates". iHeartRadio. Retrieved April 13, 2019.
  46. ^ mxmtoon (confirmed account) [@mxmtoon] (November 18, 2019). "ahhhh i am SO so excited to announce that i will be joining @lauvsongs on the ~how i'm feeling world tour~ summer tour of asia, 2020!!!..." (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  47. ^ Yadav, Monica (December 23, 2019). "Lauv makes his Bollywood music debut with 'Dil Na Jaaneya' in Akshay Kumar and Karan Johar's Good Newwz". Retrieved December 23, 2019.
  48. ^ Chiu, Melody (January 3, 2019). "Julia Michaels and Lauv Split as She Shares New Year's Resolution: 'No More Dating Narcissists'". People. Retrieved April 30, 2019.
  49. ^ Ziediņš, Uldis (September 4, 2017). "LAUV - iespējams, slavenākais latvietis popmūzikas pasaulē!" [LAUV - possibly the most famous Latvian in the pop music world! (Interview with Lauv, September 1, 2017)]. Latvijas Radio 5 (in Latvian). Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  50. ^ "Izrādās, Demijas Lovato un Charli XCX šī gada hitus sarakstījis latviešu izcelsmes mūziķis. Iepazīsti - Lauv!" [As it turns out, this year's hits by Demi Lovato and Charli XCX were written by a musician of Latvian origin. Get to know Lauv!]. ParMū (in Latvian). September 26, 2017. Retrieved October 9, 2019.
  51. ^ Vacco-Bolanos, Jessica (August 12, 2018). "Teen Choice Awards 2018: See All the Nominees and Winners". Us Weekly. Retrieved May 13, 2019.

External links[edit]