It’s been a life-changing year for Lauv.
The 24-year-old independent singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer scored a big hit with “I Like Me Better,” which earned platinum certification in seven countries, gold certification in three and scanned platinum in the U.S.
Lauv just added his latest song “Chasing Fire” to his ongoing project titled I met you when I was 18., a collection of songs written about young love and self-actualization while he was a student at New York University.
Here are five things you need to know about the rising star:
1. He’s a lion — (almost) literally.
Wondering where he got his name from?
“Lauv comes from the Latvian word for lion, and my mom’s side of the family is from Latvia – it’s a place I’ve been probably 15 times or more,” he says. “I’m also a Leo and my real name Ari means lion.”
2. Some of his greatest opportunities have come as the biggest surprises.
The year 2017 will always be one to remember for Lauv. Not only did he co-write Demi Lovato and Cheat Codes‘s collaboration “No Promises” — which reached No. 7 on the Pop Songs chart — but he also had the chance to open for Ed Sheeran’s Divide Tour in Asia. So how did it all come together?
“‘No Promises‘ was awesome because I started that song with some friends in New York. I’ve known Trevor from Cheat Codes for years, so we got them to be a part of the song and they loved it,” he says. “They were like, ‘We found the perfect A-list female superstar to feature on the record, but we can’t tell you until she gets back from Africa.’ We were trying to figure it out, but then we found out because we saw a photo of Demi in Africa with some kids.”
And discovering he was about to tour with one of the most successful pop stars in the industry was also a “crazy moment.”
“With the Ed tour, I was just taking a run around my neighborhood at 7 a.m. and my manager calls me and was like, ‘Hey, what do you think about going on tour with Ed Sheeran in Asia?’” Lauv recalls. “I think I called my parents first.”
“It was my first time being in Asia, my first time playing in arenas in front of tens of thousands of people,” he continues. “I had heard Ed was super down to earth, but he was beyond all my expectations and it really inspired me to watch him every night. It was really, really incredible.”
3. Traveling the world to play music for his fans is more than just a job.
And he’s learned from the best. After completing his opening gig for Sheeran, Lauv set out on the road to headline his very own first world tour.
“It’s really crazy because I think a lot of people, especially when ‘Like Me Better’ started to blow up, would just be like, ‘Oh, it’s just a Spotify thing,’ whatever, but the fact that most of the shows sold out immediately and the rest of them sold out … has been really gratifying for me,” he says. “I went from playing for nobody and having awkward experiences at award shows to now being all over the place playing sold-out shows for people who know all of the words. People come up to me with tattoos of my lyrics!”
When the stage isn’t taking precedence, he hits the streets to get cultured.
“One of my favorite cities is Tokyo because of sushi and Asian food in general, but then also the way Tokyo operates because it’s so clean and there’s space for a lot of variety of stores,” he says, adding, “going all over Australia and New Zealand for the first time was incredible.”
“The show I played in Auckland might have been one of the top three craziest shows, and then New York City is always really special for me because it’s personal,” he continues.
4. He draws inspiration from artists across genres.
“Musically, I’ve moved around a ton growing up, so I went through a lot of different phases, but I’d have to say John Mayer, Coldplay, Taking Back Sunday, Green Day, which was some of the first stuff I ever played on guitar,” he says. “I went through a hardcore scream-o phase — Skrillex before he was Skrillex.”
5. Days off are usually still centered around hitting the studio, but when they are not…
“Right now, I’ve been finishing up a lot of new music, but when I’m not working on music I’ve been trying to do more exploring,” he says. “I like going to random coffee shops or finding good spots to have margaritas, I love skateboarding, so I’ve been trying to get back into .”
“I feel like I haven’t had a proper day off in so long,” he continues.