Lauv FAULT Magazine Covershoot and Interview

Suit: Vintage Versace From Nordic Poetry
Belt And Shoes: Versace

Photography: Jack Alexander

Stylist: Angelo Mitakos

Grooming: Paris France

Words: Fabio Magnocavallo

Lauv is back.

Pre-pandemic, it was quite hard to avoid the 27-year-old from San Francisco, California, as his resume of hits, which include I Like Me Better, I’m So Tired, and Fuck, I’m Lonely, were on heavy rotation on the radio while dominating the charts and streaming playlists simultaneously. After debuting on the scene in 2015, his long-awaited debut album, How I’m Feeling, would eventually get released in 2020 and secure Lauv a gold certification in the US. With a little help from big-name collaborators Anne-Marie, BTS, Alessia Cara, and Troye Sivan, How I’m Feeling to date has racked up nearly 3 billion streams on Spotify alone.

Wasting no time, Lauv’s debut record was quickly followed up by his most recent project, an EP titled Without You. However, over the past year, Lauv took a step back and kept a low profile throughout 2021, leaving fans wondering when he would make a return. Thankfully, he kicked off the year with the single, “26,” and has kept the ball rolling ever since. Lauv’s second offering this year, “All 4 Nothing (I’m So in Love),” would arrive in April with an album announcement. Scheduled for an August 4 release, his sophomore LP, All 4 Nothing, hears Lauv more authentic than ever. His new single, “Kids Are Born Stars,” is another taste of what fans can expect.

During a promo trip to London, Lauv talks to FAULT about what he’s been up to over the past year, his new album, and the creative process behind it.

Is there anything about London that stands out to you?

I think London has always been such an interesting place for me. Even before I was doing music as Lauv, I came here during college and I stayed in a party hostel when I was 18 or something. Every time I’ve come back here, it’s felt cooler and cooler and I’ve since made friends here.

You are releasing your second studio album, “All 4 Nothing,” in August. What has the creative process been like for you? Some say the second one is always the most difficult to make.

I think the hardest part was that I made it while being at home. I guess if I think about it, I went through a few different ideas of what I thought the album was going to be and I had all these titles in my head. The actual songwriting process wasn’t hard, it was probably the easiest because I was just freestyling everything.

For music industry standards, some may say you’ve been fairly quiet over the past year. Is there any particular reason for this?

Yeah, I know! It’s purely because I’ve been making the album and getting ready to put it out. For whatever reason, it just took a sec. I feel like I’ve learned that I wanna be an artist who is putting stuff out all the time. Even if it’s not an album, if it’s just singles or leaking stuff. After I’ve released this album, I feel the floodgates are going to be back open, I’m just going to be releasing tons of stuff. 

Do you feel like you needed the pandemic to feel re-inspired? Do you think you would still be releasing a similar album?

I don’t know anymore! [laughs] For a while, I felt like I really needed it. In some ways, I did because I was really hyper-stressed out for some reason going into it. I felt extremely anxious and then I felt like I had to do some work to feel more grounded again.

Around the time of your debut album release, you had been working non-stop to get to that point. Suddenly, the world shut down. How was quarantine and that weird period for you?

It was weird! I was about to tour the world, like everywhere, and we had to cancel everything. But, I do remember going into that, I was actually struggling a lot. I was more burned out more so than I realised. I think that’s why it also took me a minute to get back out there with this new album.

With the new album, how would you say your songwriting has evolved?

I would say this new album is more raw and direct. I didn’t think about almost anything, it was almost like, I would hear something, get straight on the microphone and record for 5 to 10 minutes and take that part and put it into the song. It was very off the cuff. If I hear it and I like it, and the people that I trust also like it and think it’s a vibe, then that was that. 

“26” became the first offering from the record. What was it about that song that you wanted to kick a new era with?

Yeah, I didn’t even think of it as a proper what today is considered a single. I saw it as an intro to where I’ve been or where I was. I wanted to release that before the others because the album is super different from what I have done in the past. I felt releasing that song would be a good way to show off something in between my old and new sounds.

You followed up that release with “All 4 Nothing,” which ended up also becoming the album title. Did you always know you were going to name the record with that after creating the song?

No, I honestly had so many working titles for so long. There was a different song on the album that I was going to name it after but I ended up landing there with “All 4 Nothing” because it felt it describes in a lax way what the whole thing is. 

Your new single, “Kids Are Born Stars,” is slightly a different vibe for you. What inspired it?

Basically, a lot of what I was doing when making the album was taking me back to my childhood. I was struggling a lot with confidence and naturally what it meant to be a star. I realised that everyone is born with this natural innate confidence and then over time you kind of lose that based on what you go through in life. That’s what led me to that song and honestly a lot of the songs on the album.

Was there a particular song you found most challenging to write/produce that almost didn’t make the cut?

Ooh, yeah. There are some that almost didn’t make the cut. That song “Better Than This” almost didn’t make it. The funny thing is I kept trying to re-do it but once I mixed it, it sounded dope so I left it. 

In the past, did your songs go through a lot of revisions in order to feel complete?

I was the main producer on my early shit so, yeah, I was editing over and over again. Nothing huge but I would keep tweaking stuff. With this one, I was kind of hands off on the production a little bit so a little less of that this time around.

Once fans hear the album, what are you hoping they will take away from it?

It’s a very introspective album for me and it’s one that brings me back to feel about my roots and self-acceptance. As strange as it sounds, I love listening to the album around nature and water. I hope they feel some type of connection to something inside of them.

Is there pressure going into a new album after achieving huge singles? Is there a feeling of wanting to match that success?

It depends on my mindset. On a certain mindset, yeah. But, I feel like thinking of that never gave me any of the success that I had. I’ve had to remove myself from it a bit. 

This time around, there are no collaborations on the album. Did you make a cautious decision to do that?

It was a case of nothing naturally coming up. All of my collaborations in the past happened by me meeting Troye or going to BTS’ show. I guess probably because of the pandemic, I was just at home. I also felt I wanted to do more of my own kind of thing. I love collaborations though. I’ll definitely do a lot more in the future, I just think this was my very introspective moment to tell myself that this is what I need for my inspiration and life to be happy and let’s move forward.

What’s next then? You mentioned before our chat that a tour is on the cards.

Yes, a tour. There are so many tour dates to be announced. Along with that, I’m already figuring out what songs are going to be on the deluxe. I’m also writing more.

Suit: Vintage Versace From Nordic Poetry
Belt And Shoes: Versace

What is your FAULT?

Thinking way too much over everything. I feel like I can turn a good thing into a bad thing real thing by over analysing.