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Ari Staprans Leff (born August 8, 1994), known by his stage name Lauv, is an American singer, songwriter and record producer based in Los Angeles. His debut EP, Lost in the Light,[2] was released in 2015,[3][4] and his first full-length album I met you when I was 18. (the playlist) was released in 2018. He is best known for his singles "I Like Me Better", "The Other", "A Different Way" with DJ Snake, "There's No Way" with Julia Michaels, and "I'm So Tired..." with Troye Sivan. He has written songs for other artists including the singles "Boys" by Charli XCX and "No Promises" by Cheat Codes and Demi Lovato.

Lauv - 2018082185357 2018-03-23 Radio Regenbogen Award 2018 - Sven - 1D X MK II - 0136 - AK8I9866.jpg
Lauv at the Radio Regenbogen Awards in 2018
Ari Staprans Leff

(1994-08-08) August 8, 1994 (age 24)[1]
Alma materNew York University
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
Years active2015–present
Musical career
  • Vocals
  • guitar
  • piano
  • drums
  • viola
Associated acts


Early lifeEdit

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.[5] 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.[4] He started writing songs in middle school, at around 14 years old.[6] During his time in high school, he played in several bands and studied jazz before moving on to electronic music.[4] He has said that his sister would drive him and his friends on tour, where they often played "to zero people."[7]

Leff graduated from New York University, majoring in music technology, at the Steinhardt School, as he had decided to pursue a behind-the-scenes role in music.[4][6] He also studied abroad in Prague.[8] While at NYU, he spent two years as a studio intern for Jungle City Studios, where artists such as Jay-Z, Justin Timberlake and Alicia Keys recorded.[5]


2014–2016: Beginnings and debutEdit

During his college years, Leff strayed from his intensely personal song-writing style and focused on writing and producing for other artists. But during his sophomore year, he stumbled upon an illuminating interview with Paul Simon, in which Simon described his song-writing 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.[9] Shortly thereafter, Leff adopted the stage name Lauv, Latvian for "lion" (lauva), in a nod to his mother's heritage. His first name, Ari, means "lion" in Hebrew, and his zodiac sign is Leo.[8][6]

While getting over a break-up in 2014, he co-wrote "The Other" with Michael Matosic.[5][8] Although he was focused on writing songs to pitch to other artists, he felt "The Other" worked better as his own song. It would be the first song he released under the name Lauv.[8] With "The Other", he also discovered his stripped-down electronic pop sound.[5] 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,[5] went viral, peaking at number three on blog aggregator Hype Machine,[8][10] and hitting the Global Top 100 on Spotify.[11]

After graduating from NYU, Leff signed to the publishing company Prescription Songs.[11]

In 2015, Leff released his debut EP, Lost in the Light, which featured "The Other".[2] Then, apart from releasing the single "Question" featuring Travis Mills, Leff 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,[6] which reached number 7 on the Billboard Pop Songs chart.[12]

2017–2018: I met you when I was 18 playlist and world tour, and touring with Ed SheeranEdit

On May 19, 2017, Leff released the single "I Like Me Better",[13] an up-tempo track inspired by his relationship that began shortly after he moved to New York City.[6] It peaked at number 27 on the Billboard Hot 100,[14] earned platinum certification in seven countries (including the US), and gold certification in three.[12]

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.[13]

It was announced on September 4, 2017, that Leff would be joining Ed Sheeran as the supporting act on his Divide Tour in Asia.[15] Several of Ed Sheeran's Asia tour dates had to be 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[16], 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.[17] 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 commemorates the notes on his blog[5] On August 30, 2018, Leff released the single "Superhero", a song inspired by a note from the box.[18] He performed at Lollapalooza in Chicago on August 3, 2018.[19]

In June 2018, Leff was ranked as 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.[20]

He released the single "There's No Way", a collaboration with Julia Michaels, on September 27, 2018.[21]

In May 2018, Leff released I met you when I was 18, 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.[7][14][22] It has also been described as a "playlist" that Lauv updated gradually until completing it in May 2018.[23] It chronicles his move to New York City and the first time he fell in love.[12][23] By August 2018, it had been streamed over 1 billion times on Spotify.[5]

2019: Asian tour and ~how i'm feeling~ TourEdit

Lauv released the single "I'm So Tired..." featuring Troye Sivan on January 24, 2019.[24] 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.[23][25] They performed the song on Jimmy Kimmel Live in February 2019.[26]

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 will conclude on May 30 in Tokyo.[27]

In April 2019, Leff 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, and which will appear on his upcoming LP ~how i'm feeling~.[28] He also announced dates for touring his debut album. The ~how i'm feeling~ Tour will begin on October 5, 2019, in Washington, D.C. and will conclude in Perth, Australia on November 26. It will travel throughout the United States, Europe, New Zealand, and Australia. Special guests include bülow, Chelsea Cutler, and Carlie Hanson.[29][30] He also announced that month that he will unveil his upcoming album ~how i'm feeling~ track by track as it's being recorded, simultaneously with the tour.[31][32]

Awards and nominationsEdit

Year Award Category Result
2018 2018 Teen Choice Awards Breakout Artist[33] Nominated
2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards Best New Pop Artist Nominated



Year Title Release details Peak chart positions


2018 I met you when I was 18. (the playlist)[40] 50 30 64 77 40 105
2019 ~how i'm feeling~ To be released


Year Title
2015 Lost in the Light[2]
2017 Lauv (Japan)

Remix albumsEdit

Year Title
2018 I met you when I was 18. (the extras)


As lead artistEdit

Title Year Peak chart positions Certifications Album
"Reforget" 2015 I met you when I was 18. (the playlist)
"The Other"[51]
"I Like Me Better" 2017 27 8 5 62 27 7 13 25 23 58
"Easy Love" [A] [B]
"Paris in the Rain"
"Superhero"[62] 2018 [C] [D] Non-album singles
"There's No Way"
(featuring Julia Michaels)
37 [E] 94 86
"I'm So Tired..."
(with Troye Sivan)
2019 81 11
22 57 40
42 9
40 8
"Drugs & the Internet" [F] [G] ~how i'm feeling~
"Sad Forever"[73]
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

As featured artistEdit

Title Year Peak chart positions Album

"A Different Way"
(DJ Snake featuring Lauv)
2017 23 59 78 [H] 65 63 85 TBA
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


  1. ^ "Easy Love" did not enter the NZ Top 40 Singles Chart, but peaked at number five on the NZ Heatseeker Singles Chart.[60]
  2. ^ "Easy Love" did not enter the Swedish Singellista Chart, but peaked at number 12 on the Swedish Heatseekers Chart.[61]
  3. ^ "Superhero" did not enter the NZ Top 40 Singles Chart, but peaked at number 19 on the NZ Hot Singles Chart.[63]
  4. ^ "Superhero" did not enter the Swedish Singellista Chart, but peaked at number two on the Swedish Heatseeker Chart.[64]
  5. ^ "There's No Way" did not enter the NZ Top 40 Singles Chart, but peaked at number 10 on the NZ Hot Singles Chart.[65]
  6. ^ "Drugs & the Internet" did not enter the NZ Top 40 Singles Chart, but peaked at number 11 on the NZ Hot Singles Chart.[71]
  7. ^ "Drugs & the Internet" did not enter the Swedish Singellista Chart, but peaked at number 18 on the Swedish Heatseeker Chart.[72]
  8. ^ "A Different Way" did not enter the NZ Top 40 Singles Chart, but peaked at number five on the NZ Heatseeker Singles Chart.[74]

Writing creditsEdit

Year Title Artist(s) Album
2015 "Faking It" Olivia Noelle
2016 "Broken" Tritonal & Jenaux featuring Adam Lambert
"No Party" Daniel Skye
"Plastic" Laura Roy Laura Roy
"Because of Me" Billy Gilman The Complete Season 11 Collection (The Voice Performance)
2017 "All My Love"[75] Cash Cash featuring Conor Maynard
"Boys"[76] Charli XCX
"No Promises" Cheat Codes featuring Demi Lovato
"Sorry for Myself" CADE
"Made of Gold" Olivia Noelle
"How Was I" Jessica Jarrell
"Idea of You" Arty featuring Eric Nam
"Beg" Jack & Jack
"Cross Your Mind" Wingtip featuring morgxn
"Never Loved Me" Griffin Oskar Hostage
2018 "High for Me" Olivia Noelle featuring Kid Ink If Boys Could Cry
"Fck Around & Fall in Luv" Olivia Noelle
2019 "Hundred" Khalid Free Spirit
"Nobody Else" Backstreet Boys DNA



  • 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
  • Asia Tour (2019)
    • India, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan (10 dates, May 13 - May 30)
    • Opener: bülow (singer)
  • ~how i'm feeling~ Tour (2019)
    • US, Germany, Netherlands, France, UK, New Zealand, Australia (21 dates, October 5 - November 26)
    • Opener: Carlie Hanson


  • 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 1 date in US (July 26), but show was canceled

Personal lifeEdit

Lauv dated pop musician Julia Michaels for several months in 2018, before they broke up at the end of the year.[7][77]


  1. ^ California Birth Index, 1905-1995
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  73. ^ "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.. 💙". May 22, 2019. Retrieved May 23, 2019 – via Twitter.
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  76. ^ LAUV (26 July 2017). "Boys - Charli XCX".
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External linksEdit