Laufey shares the fusion of classical music and jazz on his debut album Everything I Know About Love – The Daily Texan
September 19, 2022
Entertainer and multi-instrumentalist Laufey wraps his songs with experiences from all areas of his life, bringing timeless genres to life. Having grown up surrounded by musicians, the romantic singer-songwriter embraces the genre of her close-knit Icelandic musical communities and the classical styles of her Chinese background.
Ahead of his sold-out Austin show, The Daily Texan spoke with Laufey about his penchant for classical and jazz music, which shines through in his debut album. all i know about love.
The Texas Daily: all i know about love is dedicated to “old souls” and “romantic companions”. How have you used classical and jazz music to express your vision of the world?
Laufey: Classical music and jazz are the most romantic musical genres. It’s music that often illustrates scenes from romantic movies, and we associate it with a certain reverie because it’s been around for so long. You don’t necessarily associate it with a certain period or decade. It’s more associated with a certain feeling.
DT: What messages were you trying to convey in your album?
L : Musically, my message was that classical (and) jazz music can exist in this decade. …Lyrically, I wanted to illustrate the complex mess of the early stages of adulthood and everything that follows…It’s like a post-college world (where) it’s okay to be confused all the time , and you have the highest highs and the lowest lows .
DT: In a previous interview, you said that people tend to have this “academic approach” to classical music because of its technicality. How do you break down this preconception and make these genres more digestible?
L : A lot of young people are afraid to approach these genres, because it was made to look like something so scary, but if you don’t open it up to new audiences and listeners who don’t have the same background in the industry than me, it’s going to die out fast… The way I try to do it is through social media… (putting) classical and jazz music on TikTok is one of the fastest ways to do ( that music there).
DT: Title-wise, “Above the Chinese Restaurant” stands out and makes listeners feel like they’re flying. What is the story behind this song?
L : I’m half Chinese, and I grew up in a very Chinese family who spoke Chinese and ate a lot of dumplings… I thought “Above the Chinese Restaurant” was a cool title. I was walking through Chinatown and saw an apartment above (a restaurant). It’s the only song on my album that isn’t a direct story of my life, but the message comes a lot from my life. You don’t really know what you’ve got until you’ve got it… I tried to write in a way that every song shows the setting and what’s going on, who’s there, what you’re eating — everything.
DT: Your album ends with “Night Light”, which is your way of expressing this reluctant but inevitable transition into adulthood. What childhood lessons do you still take with you into your twenties?
L : My dad told me an Icelandic (proverb that) basically (says that) everything will go as planned. Everything is understandable, and I always tell myself to remember that.
DT: Is there a particular reason why you put this song last in an album centered on love?
L : Absolutely. This album marks my entry into adulthood. When I was writing all these songs and recording the album, I graduated from college, left my childhood home, and developed this career in life that I never expected. I grew up fast (in) a short time… I thought having the last words, “Keep the night light on,” is a reminder that wherever I go, I will always have that little spark of childhood in me. me.