Words: Yrsa Rún Gunnarsdóttir
Laufey Lín Jónsdóttir is a 23-year-old singer-songwriter who was born in Reykjavík but now lives in Los Angeles. A modern jazz musician, Laufey always wanted to be a singer, but when she was younger she didn’t believe it would happen as she was very shy. Laufey began practising music at four- or five-years old when she started learning piano, and it only progressed from there. “Three years ago I released my first song, called ‘Street by Street,’” she told me when we spoke via video chat in March.
Asked what advice she would give others interested in becoming musicians, Laufey says you “need to love to sing and you need to first do something that’s close to your heart.” She says she draws inspiration just from life and being a young woman.
“I’m inspired by a lot of things, for example the books that I read or movies that I see,” she says. “I might watch a movie and write a song about its title.”
Laufey’s favourite singer in the whole world is the famous jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald. “I listened a lot to her when I was younger. She also has a deeper voice, so I relate to that.” But Laufey’s favourite contemporary singer is Taylor Swift. “Even though our styles are very different, she is a very talented songwriter and she has been producing music for so many years. She has been a huge name for what, 15 years?!”
It’s fun to know that Laufey and I are both “Swifties,” meaning we’re big fans of Taylor Swift. I also learned we have many other things in common, like our favourite animals are rabbits and that we both love hot tubs.
As for her own music, Laufey’s favourite song she has written is “Fragile,” which she says she “associates with Iceland.” Asked who she most enjoys performing for, Laufey says, “I prefer singing to young people, but of course I also perform for adults.”
I asked her a bit about her new record that’s coming out and she tells me, “It’s very magical. The songs are just like my regular songs. I’m not changing anything, but I devoted more time to it, to tell a story.”
I asked for fun what her favourite colour is and she says, “green, because my name is Laufey and leaves are green.” I found that very interesting and a fun answer.
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