Artist Info: In his early teens, Ari Leff picked up a guitar and started writing songs that uncannily captured all the nuance
In his early teens, Ari Leff picked up a guitar and started writing songs that uncannily captured all the nuance of heartbreak. “For whatever reason, before I ever had any sort of relationship, I had this weird obsession with writing love songs and breakup songs,” says the L.A.-based singer/songwriter/producer. “I remember being a kid and my dad asking me, ‘Why do you write all these sad songs all the time?’ But to me that’s always been one of the most beautiful ways to connect with people on a real level. There’s nothing like openness of being in love, and for me that vulnerability is maybe the most important part of being alive.”
On “The Other”—Leff’s breakthrough single under the moniker of Lauv—that unguarded honesty instills a slow-burning fusion of R&B and indie-pop. Featured on Lauv’s independently released debut EP Lost in the Light, the quietly aching track shot to #11 on Spotify’s Today’s Top Hits playlist and has now amassed over 100 million streams on the platform. With “I Like Me Better” (a spring-2017 single that surpassed 100 million streams in three months), Lauv offers up a more uptempo track built on gracefully sculpted beats and shimmering melody. But even with its brighter mood, “I Like Me Better” still delivers the soul-baring lyrics and intimate vocals that perfectly reflect Lauv’s artistic mission.
“Being vulnerable is the hardest thing for so many people, including myself, but it’s also the most satisfying thing,” says Leff. “In day-to-day life there’s so much that’s calculated: so many fake, surface- level interactions that don’t amount to anything. Getting away from that and being completely real in my music has been so cathartic for me, and my hope is that my songs can somehow empower people to be real with themselves and with other people too.”
(Wednesday) 7:00 pm - 11:30 pm