Laufey shares how she created her unique sound and how she was inspired to start making Jazz music. She opens up about being discovered on TikTok, the advice she’s received from artists such as Norah Jones and Sara Bareilles, being inspired by Taylor Swift’s songwriting, her Grammy nomination for best traditional pop vocal album, the future of jazz and more!
Being a really big Swiftie, I really want to see Taylor Swift, probably like everyone else there, but that’s one person I really want to meet before I die.
My earliest memories of music or all classical music — given that my mom was a violin player and my grandparents were both violin and piano professors — there was just so much music in the house growing up and it was always classical. And then my father really loved listening to jazz music. So I always heard that it was kind of like a sonic blend of those two.
Ella Fitzgerald was my first, like, vocal inspiration. I always had a lower timbre, and as a little girl with a lower voice, I always felt kind of odd. And when I tried to sing, like, the pop music of that time, it just didn’t fit. Whereas when I’d sing, like, the songs that Ella was singing, it kind of made sense.
I started writing quite late, actually, I think I saw myself as such a performer of music or a player of music and not necessarily a creator, or like a writer of music. I was singing primarily jazz, and then I was playing classical music. But then I loved listening to pop music as well and songwriters. But I just, I couldn’t find a way to mix all of those together. That made sense for me around 19 or 20. That’s when I started writing. I think when I started experiencing life a little bit more and grew more confident, just in myself as a person. The first song I wrote that really felt like I had mixed all of my worlds together was the song “Street by Street,” which ended up being the first song I released.
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