Just a few years ago, Ari Staprans Leff was just another LA kid making music in his bedroom.
Now, he's an international producer known as Lauv who is responsible for songs that are giving the likes of Taylor Swift and Ed Sheeran a run for their money on the charts.
What seems like a sudden and meteoric rise has actually been a long and slow process of Ari coming to terms with his creative aspirations.
“I've been making music my whole life and struggled on-and-off with wanting to be an artist when I was a kid and playing in bands and stuff like that, then having a few years when I was at college when I thought it would be more realistic to be an audio engineer,” he says.
“To open for someone as legendary as Ed Sheeran, it's all beyond a dream come true.”
“I struggled as well with confidence and self doubt. I released my first song as Lauv a couple of years ago, 'The Other' [from debut EP 'Lost In The Light', 2015], and it's been such an amazing journey. I'm so thankful for everything that's been happening.”
This year Ari released a self-titled EP under the Lauv moniker featuring smash-hit single 'I Like Me Better', which has already gone platinum in Australia.
Ari explains how, like much of his work, 'I Like Me Better' takes listeners on a personal and emotional journey into his own, past experiences. “I wrote that song about when I first moved to New York when I was 18 and I was in a place where I was trying to figure out myself as a person and who I wanted to be,” he says.
“Then out of nowhere I fell in love for the first time.
“The song is about that feeling of 'I don't know where everything else in my life is going to fit but I know that whatever we have is special'. The interesting thing about it is that I've always found that I end up processing emotions way later.
"So I made the song after moving to LA, after those four years in New York, so it was kind of tapping back into that original time.”
Lauv's adventures have taken him on a whirlwind journey to places he had only dreamed of including a support slot on Ed Sheeran's recent Divide Tour through Asia where Lauv played his first ever arena performance.
“My first time playing an arena and I'm all the way in Asia, which is so incredible, and not to mention opening for someone as legendary as Ed Sheeran; it's all beyond a dream come true.
“I'll never forget the moment of everyone taking their cellphone flashlights out. Looking around to see so many people there and that they were all in the moment was so special.”
With no sign of slowing down any time soon, Lauv seems set to continue his upward trajectory with plans for an Australian tour next year. “I've just announced a world tour for next year so I have some Australian dates and I'm going to be announcing some more stuff.
“I'm definitely coming to Australia next year; I freaked out when I found out 'I Like Me Better' was platinum in Australia and I've never even been there.”
Lauv's self-titled EP is available now.
Tue 13 Mar - The Triffid (Brisbane)
Lauv Tour Dates
Thu 15 Mar - Metro Theatre (Sydney)
Fri 16 Mar - Corner Hotel (Melbourne)
Sat 17 Mar - Adelaide Festival