Ari Staprans Leff (born August 8, 1994), known professionally as Lauv, is an American singer, songwriter, and record producer. His debut EP Lost in the Light was released in 2015 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.
Lauv at the 2019 iHeartRadio Music Awards
|Born||August 8, 1994|
San Francisco, California, U.S.
|Associated acts||LANY, Jawsh 685, Tyga|
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. 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. He started writing songs in middle school, at around 14 years old. Many of his songs during this period focused on heartbreak and breakups, despite at the time, never having had a girlfriend. During his time in high school, he played in several bands and studied jazz before moving on to electronic music. He was so "fully obsessed" in making music and playing shows that he had no interest to "drink, or do drugs, or anything". He has said that his sister, Avia would drive him and his friends on tour, where they often played "to zero people." 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 "dreamy" and "whimsical" images to describe love. He also adopted the artist name, Somersault Sunday, and published some songs and extended plays on his Myspace account.
After graduating high school, Leff decided to pursue a behind-the-scenes role in music seeing that his career was not taking off. He chose to study music technology at New York University's Steinhardt School. While at university, he studied abroad in Prague and was a member of the Zeta Psi fraternity. 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. During his junior year, he signed a publishing 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".
2008–2012: Early years and Somersault SundayEdit
Leff began writing music at an early age. When he was 12, he started his first rock duo with his friend Mike Wagenheim, and by age 13, the two teens started a metal band. After starting to try and write music, Leff began experimenting with an acoustic guitar and some synth sounds. A few months later, he wrote his own solo acoustic song called Parting Ways. Leff, then, formed his first solo music project, Somersault Sunday, when he was 14 years old on April 28, 2008. He started it first "as a side project, just for fun," but continued it after receiving enthusiastic online response.
Somersault Sunday is an electro-infused pop rock solo-project. Under the Somersault Sunday project, he was able to release three extended plays namely, Parting Ways EP (2009), Intermission - EP (2010), and Phone Calls & Weekends (2010). Trevor Dahl of Cheat Codes (who was then making music under the moniker Plug In Stereo) featured on his track "Wishful Thinking" from the Intermission EP.  The Phone Calls & Weekends EP, was produced by Kevin Gates, who also mixed and produced some of the songs of Never Shout Never, The Ready Set, and Cady Groves. He posted his songs on MySpace along with some song covers, and kept close contact with his fans through the platform. He had a band playing with him during live shows and concerts. Leff was known for his basement concerts in his early middle and high school years.
2014–2016: Beginnings and Lost in the LightEdit
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. 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.
While getting over a break-up in fall of 2014, he co-wrote "The Other" with Michael Matosic. 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. With "The Other", he also discovered his stripped-down electronic pop sound. 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, went viral, peaking at number three on blog aggregator Hype Machine, and hitting the Global Top 100 on Spotify.
After graduating from NYU, Lauv signed to the publishing company Prescription Songs.
On September 25, 2015, Lauv released his debut EP, Lost in the Light, which featured "The Other". 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, which reached number 7 on the Billboard Pop Songs chart. In an interview with iHeartRadio, Lauv stated that he's been friends with Trevor Dahl from Cheat Codes since "back in the Myspace days."
On May 19, 2017, Leff released the single "I Like Me Better", an up-tempo track inspired by his relationship that began shortly after he moved to New York City. It peaked at number 27 on the Billboard Hot 100, earned platinum certification in seven countries (including the US), and gold certification in three.
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.
It was announced on September 4, 2017, that Leff would be joining Ed Sheeran as the supporting act on his Divide Tour in Asia. 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, 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. 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 mybluethoughts.world. On August 30, 2018, Leff released the single "Superhero", a song inspired by a note from the box. He performed at Lollapalooza in Chicago on August 3, 2018.
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. It has also been described as a "playlist" that Lauv updated gradually until completing it in May 2018. It chronicles his move to New York City and the first time he fell in love. By August 2018, it had been streamed over 1 billion times on Spotify.
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.
2019–present: First full-length album: How I'm FeelingEdit
Lauv released the single "I'm So Tired..." with Troye Sivan on January 24, 2019. 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. They performed the song on Jimmy Kimmel Live on February 7, 2019.
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.
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. 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. Over the next year he released several such tracks including "Sad Forever", "Feelings", and "Mean It", the latter a collaboration with indie pop band LANY. 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. 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. He will be supported in the Asian leg of the tour by American singer-songwriter and social media personality mxmtoon.
On March 6, 2020, Lauv released his debut album How I'm Feeling.
- How I'm Feeling (2020)
- Late Nights, Deep Talks Tour (2017)
- I Met You When I Was 18. World Tour (2018)
- Fall Tour (2018)
- Asia Tour (2019)
- ~how i'm feeling~ Tour (2019)
- Summer Tour of Asia (2020)
Awards and nominationsEdit
|2018||2018 Teen Choice Awards||Breakout Artist||Nominated|
|2019||iHeartRadio Music Awards||Best New Pop Artist||Nominated|
|2019||MTV Video Music Awards||Push Artist of the Year||Nominated|
|2020||Joox Thailand Music Awards||International Artist of the Year||Nominated|
- California Birth Index, 1914-1995
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