With nearly 11 million monthly Spotify listeners and now set to play festivals such as Billboard Hot 100, LA-based producer and songwriter, Lauv, is no stranger to the music industry. We got the chance to talk with him during his sold out tour, "late night, deep talks." See the full interview below:

Thanks so much for sitting down with us at Créer! To start, can you tell us a bit about yourself and how you first got interested in music?

Thank you! I’ve been surrounded by music almost my entire life. My parents had me in piano lessons as a young kid, my sisters played violin and cello, so then I decided to pick up viola. But it wasn’t until I picked up guitar that I started to really get obsessed with the whole thing. I started writing songs when I was like 14, and then I sort of learned how to produce out of necessity to try to record bands I was playing in as a kid. 

Growing up, what kind of music did you listen to? Do you think this has influenced your sound at all?

I moved around a lot growing up, so I went through a lot of different phases in terms of what I listened to. For example, when I was living in Atlanta I got exposed to a lot of the early 2000’s rap that was happening there. But then once I picked up guitar I started listening to and trying to learn a lot of classic rock songs, pop punk, and hardcore. By the time my family moved to Philly, I was super into a lot of hardcore/emo/screamo stuff and all of the music that was popping off out of Myspace. Warped Tour. That kind of stuff. Simultaneously, I had a guitar teacher who was training me via jazz music very rigorously. At the time, I think my teenage self didn’t want to like it, but all of the jazz guitar and theory definitely influences my music in a big way. Especially my sense of melody. But really, I find that all of the different music I listened to finds its way into what I create today, even if it's in the most subtle of ways.

You were born in San Francisco, moved to New York for school, and are now in Los Angeles. Is there any place you feel more creatively inspired in than others?

I also lived just outside of Atlanta and Philadelphia before moving to NY. Now having lived in LA for a year, I feel like New York City is the place that has me most inspired to write songs. It’s a huge piece of all of the music I have out to date, and I find that the general energy of the city is inspiring like no other place.

Anyone in the music industry right now that you would like to collaborate with?

Lots! Chris Martin is one of my all-time dreams. A producer named Sam Gallaitry. Mura Masa. For me, it’s all about wanting to collaborate with songwriters that give me fucking goosebumps and other producers that do things like nobody else.

Your song “The Other” has over 90 million streams on Spotify! Seeing that you wrote this while you were at NYU, how has it been receiving such a positive reaction to this? Did you ever expect the song to get as much feedback as it did?

I released that song over 2 years ago with absolutely zero expectations. I literally did it because I felt that I had to, nothing more. To be sitting at my computer right now seeing it at 90 million streams and to get on stage and have crowds of hundreds screaming the words back to me is a feeling I simply cannot describe. It’s still not real to me. It’s just not real. Thankful is a word that holds 1/100th of what I feel.

Do you have a songwriting process at all? Any routines you go through?

My process is very open ended, meaning every song comes about a little differently. But what I find to most consistently be true is that it’s a discovery process. It’s a psychological experience… therapy. My favorite thing about creating is the freedom that comes from being fully in the moment without any attachment to preconceived notions. Paul Simon is someone who really inspired me to embrace this approach. It’s less about saying what I want to say, and more about discovering what it is that I’m feeling inside that I’m maybe not conscious of or truly acknowledging.

Between songwriting and producing, is there one that you prefer over the other?

No. It sounds kind of weird, but at this stage in my life I see them almost as interchangeable tools for the same purpose. A great production is nothing without a great song. A great song is nothing without a great production (even if that means the production is meant to be a piano and a vocal and that’s it). For me I get most excited about delivering an energy and a feeling. Whether that comes via writing at the piano or by creating a track vibe and finding the song from there, it’s all about that magic. What I will say is in a world where a lot of producers are focused on producing, I view production as an opportunity to create a bed for the song, and as an opportunity to take little sonic risks that push the boundaries of what’s been done before.

Congratulations on touring! Are there any cities you are looking forward to more than others?

In general, I’m just so excited to be on tour and to finally go out and meet fans in all of these cities. But I’ve never been to Chicago or Toronto, and I’m super stoked to experience those cities especially. Gonna get some deep dish for sure.

Any upcoming projects you can tell us about?

What I’ll say is, more music coming this year than ever before. This is the very beginning. 

Follow Lauv: Twitter / Instagram / Facebook

Coverage by Myrah Sarwar.

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