Lauv recruited Troye Sivan for his first release of the new year, “I’m So Tired,” a bitter (yet danceable) tune that’s a complete 180 degree lyrical spin from his super-cute breakout hit “I Like Me Better.” It’s a head-spinning contrast, but one that was completely intentional. The 24-year-old singer-songwriter essentially wrote “I’m So Tired” as a response to the sappy love songs in his catalog.
“After I put all these songs with the I Met You When I Was 18 playlist, all the songs were about one relationship, and I was exhausted by the whole thing,” Lauv (born Ari Leff) tell Billboard. “It was sort of resentment towards that phase.”
He admits that he’s still a very romantic person (“I’m soft,” he jokes), but “I’m So Tired” felt like an appropriate next step as he continues work on his debut album. It quickly proved to be a smart move, garnering more than 66 million Spotify streams in just one month and a stint on the Billboard Hot 100 within a week of its Jan. 24 release. And with the release of the official video on Valentine’s Day as well as a new vertical video on Feb. 26, it feels like “I’m So Tired” is just getting started.
As the song continues to grow, Lauv chatted with Billboard about how he and Troye wrote “I’m So Tired” and what other non-romance songs fans can expect later this year.
How did “I’m So Tired” come to be?
[Troye and I] played a show together after meeting a couple times, and we decided to get together [to write]. At first, we wrote a bad song. I haven’t listened to it since we wrote it — it was one of those. I don’t even remember the title. It probably will never see the light of day.
Then we finished [the bad song], and I had the chorus idea for “I’m So Tired” laying around just demoed on my computer. I have no confidence in any of my songs or ideas, so I’m always really nervously playing things for people. I was just like, “Let me see if he likes this.” That’s sort of my vibe, I guess. And I was like “Yo, what do you think of this idea?” He was stoked, he was dancing around the room. It was tight [Laughs].
You said you had the chorus idea before meeting with Troye — did you two write the verses together?
We wrote the whole thing together. The whole lyrical process was both of us tapping into our experiences. My favorite part is the pre-chorus right after Troye’s verse, “Hurts like heaven, lost in the sound, buzzcut season like, you’re still around” that whole part. We were sitting in my backyard just talking about songs that reminded us of exes and that experience of purposely torturing yourself and listening to those things over and over again until they hurt.
Did you learn anything from the way Troye’s creation process?
He talked about reading books and finding random words, getting inspiration that way. That’s something I honestly don’t do a lot of myself. I’ve found that all my songs that have been ones that have done well or favorites of mine usually come from this subconscious place where I didn’t have anything written down. It’s really kind of annoying, to be honest, because I work with a lot of people who have title ideas and concepts, but I have no idea if anything good is going to come until the moment it hits my brain. It’s sort of like I have no control.
Who’s next on your collaboration wish list?
One person I’ll always say is Chris Martin. I’ll forever put that into the universe. He’s a huge inspiration for me, and I’ve been a huge Coldplay fan for a long time. He writes the best sad songs ever. Even like “Hurts Like Heaven,” any of that stuff — it can be upbeat, but it always has this undertone of melancholy.
I love Cashmere Cat as a producer, he’s somebody I’d really love to work with.
Is there anything you’re looking to do differently with your music this year?
Definitely. “I’m So Tired” is definitely a transitional song for me, because it comes from the place of the last music I put out with i met you when i was 18, but I just got exhausted by the whole romantic phase. The album I’m working on is not just love. Obviously, most great songs in the world are love songs, but it’s exploring other life stuff — insecurities, being a person, the Internet, all this and that. Just more open, full, life stuff.