Charli XCX’s “Boys” is one of the most fun songs of 2017 so far, but she’s not the only person behind the infectious track. One of the song’s co-writers, Ari Leff, makes his own music as Lauv, and as songs like “I Like Me Better” show, the 23-year-old musician is more than capable of creating catchy earworms all by himself — but he wasn’t always as confident as he is now.
As Lauv explains in the above video, while his early obsession with music started as a beautiful, pure, and fulfilling thing, it later morphed into something that people used to make fun of him, which had a significant effect on his self-esteem:
“[I was thinking] maybe I should act a certain way, maybe I should try to look a certain way. Maybe I should try to write a certain kind of song that people would want to hear. Maybe I shouldn’t even be the person to sing it. Maybe I’m not right.”
It was when Lauv wrote “The Other” in his “windowless basement apartment in New York City” that he found the courage to sing the song himself instead of giving it away to a more established performer. When the song started to gain traction online, he realized “maybe I’m not so lame [laughs], or if I am, maybe everybody’s lame, you know?”
Watch the video with Lauv above to gain a deeper insight into what pushes him to explore his creativity and check out the video for “I Like Me Better,” here.