This week’s Featured Artist Friday is Laufey, whose transportive songs of young love and wanderlust bring jazz to Gen-Z. The Los Angeles-based singer, composer, producer, and multi-instrumentalist creates songs about young love and self-discovery. Yesterday, she released her sophmore project with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra.
The Icelandic-Chinese artist grew up playing cello and piano, inspired by her violinist mother and music professor grandparents. After digging through her father’s records, she became obsessed with the jazz standards of Ella Fitzgerald. That moment redirected Laufey’s career as a rulebreaker who pushes pop music and sophisticated genres to all generations.
In the two years since her 2020 debut of “Street By Street,” the 23-year-old’s accolades include winning Best New Hope in Jazz and Blues at the 2021 Icelandic Music Awards, opening for Ricky Montgomery and Alexander 23, performing a live session for KEXP, and getting her own weekly series on BBC Radio 3 and BBC Sounds, “Happy Harmonies with Laufey.” And that is on top of making her TV debut on Jimmy Kimmel and even recording with London’s legendary Philharmonia Orchestra.
A Night At The Symphony by Laufey and the Iceland Symphony Orchestra
Her debut coming-of-age album, Everything I Know About Love, was nothing short of grandiose moments full of sweeping orchestral arrangements, and an indominable Old Holywood presence. However, her sophomore album, Night At The Symphony is a new 14-track project recorded during her sold out two-night run at Reykjavík’s Harpa Concert hall last year.
It features the Iceland Symphony Orchestra reperforming songs from her debut album and 2021 EP, Typical of Me. The project also includes reworks of Hoagy Carmichael and Ned Washington’s “The Nearness of You”, Cole Porters’ “Everytime We Say Goodbye” and Elly Vilhjálms’ “Ég Veit Þú Kemur.”
Laufey is also set to perform at Newport Jazz Festival and Montreal Jazz Festival later this year.
What do you think of this week’s Featured Artist Friday, Laufey? Let us know in the comments!