Musician Ari Staprans Leff, better known as LAUV, stopped to chat with The Knockturnal on the pink carpet of the 2018 MTV Video Music Awards last month where he chatted about touring with Ed Sheeran, his dream collaborations and more before hitting the stage for a very special performance.
The 24-year-old San Francisco native who is best known for his upbeat hit, “I Like Me Better” first came into the spotlight back in 2015 when he released his debut EP Lost in the Light. Since then the NYU graduate began to write and produce songs for other artists, most notably co-writing and co-producing “No Promises” for Cheat Codes and Demi Lovato, while releasing more of his own work and touring around the world.
To check out The Knockturnal’s interview with LAUV, look below.
The Knockturnal: So what does it mean to be at the VMAs right now?
Lauv: It means a lot, this is my first time being here. Every opportunity I can come back to New York City, its been a huge city for me. I went to school here and this is just one of those really, I guess legendary things, so to be here tonight and the fact that I’m doing a special performance and stuff, I’m just really thankful.
The Knockturnal: You just seem like you’ve had a whirlwind year, can you reflect a little bit on it? You toured with Ed Sheeran, right?
Lauv: Yeah well I went on tour with Ed Sheeran at the end of last year, I’m going on tour with him again in like a month actually so I’m really excited. I wish I could encapsulate it all cause it’s been so much but I’m just really thankful for it. I’ve had a lot of new experiences, connected with a lot of my fans around the world which has been really special, the most special part about it really, and gotten some tattoos, eaten some good food, and lived some life.
The Knockturnal: You co-wrote the Cheat Codes Demi record and that was a mega mega hit, can you just reflect on co-writing it?
Lauv: Yeah, that was funny cause I started it with some friends of mine called Loote and we started it here in New York.
The Knockturnal: We just interviewed them recently.
Lauv: Hell yeah! Homies! Homies, homies homies, close to my heart and we like, that whole day, my experience with that day was we were sitting in the room and we had a vibe but … the song wasn’t quite happening and then like the last hour all of a sudden it started to come together and the chorus came and the ideas started to click so it was actually kind of a learning experience for me because sometimes you can’t predict a creative process and to just like know that you have no control over it and to just be down to hang and whenever things come to be like down for it.
The Knockturnal: Has all your global travel helped your song writing or impacted it in a new way?
Lauv: Yeah, I think it’s honestly like hard to tell yet because I’m still in the midst of all it but it’s definitely, ya know I’ve had a lot of experiences that I would have never had ya know had I not been doing this so I’m sure it’s gonna be, yeah and the new music I’m working on it’s gonna come out.
The Knockturnal: It’s your solo project right now?
The Knockturnal: Are there any people you’d love to collaborate with? Dream collaborations?
Lauv: Yeah, for sure. I mean Chris Martin from Coldplay. I don’t know what they’re doing right now but that would be sick. John Mayer for sure, John Mayer’s a legend. And then like I’m also, this is outside of music but I’m a huge fan of Eric Andre, you know from the Eric Andre show?
The Knockturnal: So you might do some acting maybe?
Lauv: I mean, I don’t know. Who knows. I wouldn’t consider myself an actor but who knows.