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Ari Staprans Leff, or LAUV to you and me, has already wormed his way into your head as part of the songwriting team behind such hits as Cheat Codes and Demi Lovato’s ‘No Promises’ and Charlie XCX’s recent smash ‘Boys’. Alongside writing these radio friendly hits for other people, he’s been stashing away some of his own plotting his first moves into the spotlight and executing them with consummate ease.

Born in San Francisco, it was when Ari went to New York to study and got his heart broken that he discovered his musical voice, and although he was already writing for other people, he wrote his own breakthrough song ‘The Other’ at this time. Over the phone, from his LA studio, he told Clash: “It was the first time I’d written something really genuine to me, it was about my life…I can’t just give this song away”. Since finishing his studies, and mending his broken heart, he made the move to LA, which he calls “a weird place.”

His first EP, ‘Lost In The Light’, which featured ‘The Other’, introduced him as a solo artist in 2015, where he served up a tender blend of R&B, indie and pop beneath his catchy and sweet vocals. But on his latest single ‘I Like Me Better’ he steps things up a little and introduces more of a groove beneath the track. Although it’s been a bit of a slow burner over here in the UK, it’s currently climbing up the singles chart, having broken the Top 100 more than two months after release.

LAUV has been busy working on new songs for himself, in fact the day we called him he said, “I woke up and I was in the shower and I got an idea and I played it out on the piano, I’m in the headspace of finishing all my music...”

And what is it he’s finishing you ask? Well, “In my brain it’s all being formulated, but definitely something bigger planned, that’s all I can say.” I’ll let you read between the lines there, dear reader.

Where: LA via New York via San Francisco
What: Intensely personal pop confessions

3 Songs: ’The Other’, ‘I Like Me Better’ and ‘Breathe’

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Words: Nicolas Graves

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