Ari Staprans Leff is an American musician, singer-songwriter and producer, who has many hits under his name. You still don’t know who he is, right? That’s okay, because Ari is popularly known by his stage name Lauv. Lauv is one of the youngest new artistes, and was to perform in June this year in Mumbai, but like most music events, it was cancelled due to Covid-19.
Best-known for his single I Like Me Better, the musician is well-known in the Indie music society. In the past few years, Lauv has changed his whole appearance and even collaborated with many renowned artistes.
Lauv was born in San Francisco, California, and spent his early childhood in a suburb of Atlanta, Georgia, before his family relocated to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. From an early age, Lauv was interested in music. By the age of 11, he was able to play guitar, piano, drums, and viola. He started writing songs when he was hardly 14. Many of his songs during this period focused on heartbreak and break-ups, despite at the time never having had a girlfriend.
He also played in several bands and studied jazz before moving on to electronic music. He was so immersed in this and playing for shows that he had no interest in anything else that would divert his mind. Leff formed his first band Somersault Sunday and released his first single Say Hello To The Ground. He was known for his basement concerts in his early middle and high school years.
Lauv graduated from New York University majoring in Music Technology at Steinhardt School. While at University, he studied in Prague and was a member of the Zeta Psi fraternity. During his days at NYU, he interned for two of his four years at Jungle City Studios.
During his last year of University, Lauv moved away from his earlier style of songwriting and explored contemporary options and paid attention to production techniques. He was particularly inspired by an interview of Paul Simon, in which he mentioned his songwriting process.
The young musician is of mixed ethnicity as his mother is of Latvian descent and his father is of Russian and Polish-Jewish descent. But the singer holds American citizenship. So it worked for him by choosing ‘Lauva’ which translates to ‘Lion’ in Latvian. Also interestingly his first name, Ari, means “lion” in Hebrew and his Zodiac sign is Leo. With his popularity gaining up, he decided to adopt the stage name ‘Lauv’ in 2014. This take-off on his name gave birth to the song The Other, a mix of rhythmic and indie pop beats.
The Other was co-written by Michael Matosic and released under Lauv’s new stage name. The song came at a time when Lauv was getting over a break-up and needed consolation. Despite not having any big producer to back him, the song went viral, and entered the Top 100 list on Spotify. The song also gained blog attention and, after he uploaded it to SoundCloud in 2015.
Lauv then signed up with Prescription Songs, an American music publishing company. In September 2015, he released his debut play record Lost In The Light, with five songs, including his first hit The Other. The song was also featured in the 2018 movie To All The Boys I Loved Before.
Apart from releasing the single Question, featuring Travis Mills, in 2016, Lauv worked on writing songs for other artistes. Many fans would notice the songs he co-wrote and co-produced, namely, No Promises for Cheat Codes and Demi Lovato which reached No. 7 on the Billboard Pop Songs Chart.