"I have a really sad true story…"
How good is speaking to someone who instantly feels like a friend? Lauv (Ari to his family) is one of those people, where four minutes of rapport feels like four years worth.
The 24-year-old singer punches out insanely solid pop songs on the reg, most recently dropping the refreshingly jaded collab with Australia’s golden child Troye Sivan, I’m So Tired. His single I Like Me Better was a multi-platinum hit around the world and when Lauv isn’t working on his own stuff, he’s co-writing stuff with Charli XCX, DJ Snake, Julia Michaels and heaps more. He writes a damn good love song and has a unique take on production that injects freshness into his pop songs.
This column spans a few very relatable topics – bad teeth, lost pets and accidentally damaging someone else’s car, oops. So relatable in fact that Ari and I found ourselves going off on minute-long tangents about the former two, riding the highs and lows of growing up so much that by the end of our chat, I felt like I’d just gone through a session of therapy.
Lauv’s just announced an Aussie tour for this November – his second in two years – so now’s a pretty good time to get familiar with the approachable young star.
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Lauv: Well, my first story; it’s kind of an ongoing thing. People might notice I have a lisp?
Uppy: Really? No you don’t!
L: Oh, I get comments about it all the time. Basically, I had the whole childhood experience of having braces, expanders, every possible thing you could imagine.
U: Oh god, me too.
U: Yeah, I had the elastic bands and everything.
L: Oh, those were the worst!
U: Oh my God. Your tongue would always get stuck in them too, I had ones that went from the left top side to the bottom right side. So through my mouth.
L: Oh no. So did it work for you?
U: It did. Yeah, so I think my jaw was like crooked or something and then I had like, surgeries to get a tooth in the top of my mouth down with a gold chain. Anyway, it was a whole thing, but continue.
L: Damn, so we can relate.
U: We can relate.
L So my bottom jaw is like, it grew too much. And so my bottom and top front teeth don’t touch at all. They have never once touched in their life.
U: Can you make them touch?
L: No, like literally my bottom jaw… like, if I could show you I would show you. But if I bite my teeth, there’s like a gap between my top and bottom. So I have an under bite and an open bite, it’s crazy.
U: Oh wow. You have both?
L: Yeah I have both, so I was dealt the best deck.
U: You’re lucky! [laughs]
L: I just remember being in eighth grade trying to give a presentation, and I just couldn’t pronounce any words which was the most humiliating thing ever because I had the biggest crush on this one girl. And that was of course the time that I got all my orthodontic contraptions. It was so whack but to this day, I still have that same situation. Apparently I can get jaw surgery but then I’d have to get braces on again, and I don’t know if I wanna be 24 with braces again. Sooo I dunno, I think I’m just gonna live with it, you know?
U: Your lisp is definitely not bad. I definitely didn't notice.
L: Yeah I guess it gives me character. I can’t give a full smile, right, I can only smile with my top teeth. I mean, I guess I could but I would look like some sort of bulldog.
U: So how long did you have braces all up?
L: Oh, man. I probably had braces for like four years.
U: Yeah, mine was similar. Isn’t it just the worst?
L: It sucks. It sucks so much. And then the day you get them off, you’re like, ‘hellll yeah.’
U: But it feels so slimy and then you close your mouth weird because suddenly there's all the stuff that's not there and you're like, ‘oh, oh, I don't need to like curl my lips over my mouth anymore.’
L: No, exactly.
U: Did you have crooked teeth before?
L: They weren’t like super crooked, they were kind of just spaced out. And I got my wisdom teeth removed when I was like 16, and I had chicken nuggets the same night.
U: On brand.
L: I had the brand figured out before I even knew what Lauv was.
U: Yeah, that's wild though. I had to get braces because my teeth were like so jagged I was like a shark, you know how they have like three rows of teeth?
L: Oh, that bad?
U: Yes! It was just like, one was ahead, one was behind, the next one was ahead. It was messed up. And yeah, so I had braces for years and then like I was saying, there was a tooth in the roof of my mouth which was my canine that never came down and so they wanted to try and bring it down. So I had to have surgery to attach a gold chain that came out of the roof of my mouth.
L: That is SO fire. That was like grills before grills.
U: Yeah, and I'd like flick it, sometimes the chain would come undone and it would just hang in the middle of my mouth, like it was the worst.
L: Oh my god. It’s like a chandelier!
U: [laughs] Weird flex but yeah, sounds like we both went through the wringer!
L: I have a really sad true story…
U: You can say a sad one if you're up for it, that's totally cool.
L: I’m gonna tell you a sad story. So I just got a pet dog, and it’s mine…
U: Oh no, if you're gonna tell me a dying dog story…
L: No no no. I promise you it won’t be a dying dog story. Maybe something similar. But in the spirit of getting a new pet, Billy is the best. He’s a little Pomeranian.
U: He's so cute!
L: Yeah, he’s super cute. So I had a cat growing up. Her name was Hermione. May her soul rest in peace.
L: She was a very sick cat when we first got her but my parents would help me take care of her. Get her healthy. But I remember when I was in high school – and I wasn’t much of a partier, I was super against anything that had to do with drugs and alcohol, I was like ‘no I don’t do that stuff’. And then like one of the first parties I had at my house, one of my good friends was designated driver, and maybe I’m making assumptions but my cat was out that night and he came back and was driving people home like, back and forth back and forth, and he said he saw a dead cat on the side of the road… and then the next morning in the light, he came and told me it was my cat.
U: Oh no…
L: And I dunno what happened, and I always wondered, like he was trying to do something good as the designated driver, so I didn’t want to make him feel bad if he DID hit the cat. You know what I mean?
U: Oh noooo.
L: Yeah, it was pretty sad. And that was the end of Hermione. She lived a pretty long life but rest in peace. Sorry for making you sad!
U: Yeah, I'm a massive cat person, so that hurts my heart.
L: Oh noooo. I’m sorry.
U: That's okay. Rest in peace, Hermione. How old was she?
L: I think she got to be probably like 10 years old or so?
U: Yeah, that's a pretty long life. Real talk though. Like, I have a cat now and I have another cat that lives at my parents' place who I didn't move out with, and they’re both indoor cats because I've had two cats hit by cars and I'm just like, fuck that. I'm not letting that happen.
L: I know, it sucks! We’ve lost other cats and other dogs, it sucks. One of my dogs got hit by a car but luckily she just broke her leg and she was okay. It’s dangerous out there, you know what I mean?
U: And some people just don't stop, they do not care.
L: You know what would be the worst. If you were like texting or changing songs and you hit an animal, you would feel SO BAD.
U: Ohhh yeah. Like, was that worth it? Was switching songs worth that? Yeah, super sad. Anyway, let's talk about your very cute puppy.
U: He is adorable. I love that little song you sang about him and he's like sitting on the piano.
L: He's the cutest, he’s such a little angel. He’s like 13 weeks old, his name is Billy, he’s a little teacup Pomeranian so he’s not gonna get very much bigger. He’s tiny! He’s really sweet. He barely barks, he’s already somewhat potty trained and we have to get little stairs for him so he can walk up to my couch. These mini dog stairs.
U: Ohhhhh. You’re tearing me up. Little Billy! Good boy!
L: Yeah I’m gonna bring him on tour, as soon as he has all his shots, I’m gonna get him a little bag.
U: You gotta get a little Louis Vuitton bag.
L: Exactly! I have little minimal backpacks but nah, you bet your arse I’m gonna get him some Louis Vuitton or Gucci shit. He deserves EVERYTHING!
U: It's really good that he's not yappy, because little dogs generally tend to be really loud.
L: I know!
U: Oh, that's so good. I can't wait to follow Billy's growth on your Insta, but you should also start an Insta for him.
L: I figured I will with the right moment when there’s another build up. I'm trying to get my time with him before that happens though.
U: Yeah, I'll follow that shit in a second.
L: Haha! This is a good one. So I haven't actually told anybody this, so this is like some confessional shit. So basically when I was a teenager, one of my sister’s friends left her car at our house for like a month or two, it was a while. And while she was doing whatever, she said we could use it and I took it out one day to drive it, I was probably like 16. It was like a Mini Cooper or PT Cruiser or something like that. I was driving this thing around with my friends and I’m a great driver, I’m safe, I’m good. But as I was pulling back to the house and where we were parking it on the street, there was like a garden rock wall? And I was trying to pull it close to the curb and I just SMASHED and scraped a big part of the side.
U: Oh man.
L: You could just hear this *CRRRRR* And I was like, ohhhhh shit. Like as a 16-year-old, you’re like OH my god, this isn’t my car. What am I gonna do what am I gonna do?
L: And this is gonna make me sound like such a bad person, but I was panicking and panicking for like days, and eventually decided to tell my dad. But I brought him outside and told him, ‘hey dad, I just wanted to show you this, I don’t know what happened but it looks like part of the car got smashed. I don’t know if that was there before or what, but I just wanted to let you know I was driving around and I saw that.’
L: And like, nothing was ever spoken about. I left for some trip and she came to pick up her car, or so I heard, and nobody said anything. Nobody questioned what happened or anything, so to this day, unless she’s listening… she doesn’t know it’s me.
U: Wow [laughs]. So she was like, ‘oh that sucks!’
L: Yeah, I wonder, I don't know. I don't think she still has the car. I think I talked to my sister about it.
U: That's wild. Well, yeah, confession time!
L: I mean I still feel pretty bad.
U: Look, I feel like if I was 16, I would do something similar.
L: Yeah, there’s just like so much guilt and guilt is the worst feeling. It makes you hate yourself!
U: I’m going to make you feel better by saying she left it at your house! You can't control what happens to it!
L: Truuue. She did say we could borrow it, but I should’ve just come clean. I should’ve said, ‘this happened, what can I do to make it right?’
U: Man, this conversation has been like highs and lows.
L: Yeah this has been some real arse shit!
Lauv heads to Australia this November for the Antipodean leg of the ~how i’m feeling~ tour.
If you’re a musician and have some stories to share and some secrets to tell – be it hilarious or heartbreaking, humiliating or honourable – send us an email at twotruthscolumn[at]gmail[dot]com.
We might be telling the whole world about the time you accidentally killed your brother’s pet snake and replaced it without anyone knowing in no time.