Generation Z might not be the first thing that comes to mind when one talks about jazz. But Icelandic-Chinese bedroom pop musician-turned-Internet phenom Laufey – yes, she goes by just one name – has managed to become the genre’s latest prodigy. So much so that the Internet has dubbed the 24-year-old a “jazzy Taylor Swift” for her bluesy velveteen vocals and slick musical arrangements that show off her classical training in instruments such as the cello and piano – all while writing some mean love songs. Her most recent release, ‘From The Start’ gained 10 million streams in its first two weeks and is quickly becoming the go-to soundtrack for the many hopeless romantics on the Internet. 

It also helps that the Los Angeles-based Laufey has the personality of a TikTok superstar. On her account – it has slightly more than one million followers as of press time – she posts content that ranges from trying out local snacks at the various cities she tours, duetting to viral tracks or simply just goofing around. And her young audience – whom she refers to as her “friends” – are lapping up that energy. This was evident during her first showcase in Singapore on June 3 as part of the female-fronted Alex Blake Charlie Sessions music festival. Tickets sold out within minutes of their release for her two-hour showcase, which was staged at Pasir Panjang Power Station. (Singapore was also one of the pitstops for Laufey’s first Asian tour, which saw her hitting cities such as Jakarta and Manila.)


Laufey performed at her first Singapore concert on June 3 as part of the female-fronted Alex Blake Charlie Sessions music festival.

On stage and under the spotlight, she stood alone, accompanied by a guitar strapped to her body and a piano on the other side of the stage. Despite having lost her suitcase that contained her whole wardrobe for her Asia visit, she looked charming in a simple black sleeveless top and grey skirt, with red Mary Janes that matched the colour of her guitar. Her young audience cheered and screamed as she worked her charm. “A lot of you have been waiting outside for a while… I’m so sorry,” she said in a supplicating tone.

Below, we caught up with Laufey right before her performance to get to know her a little more.

What is the meaning behind your name, Laufey?

“It’s the name of a Norse goddess, the mother of Loki. The word ‘lauf’ means leaf, and ‘ey’ means forever or island. There are a couple of meanings. But mostly it is about the Norse goddess.”

You’re a multi-instrumentalist. What is the instrument you’re best at, and what are you worst at?

“That is such a hard question. I would say I am best at singing, that’s the one that comes the easiest to me and requires the least amount of practice. I have definitely put most amount of hours into cello. It is very hard to rank, but the cello will always have a special place in my heart.”

Do you handle all your social media accounts?

“Yes, I handle all my social media accounts, especially TikTok and Instagram. I feel like it has to come from my voice, or else it doesn’t feel authentic. But it is also because I enjoy it.”


Laufey grew up in a musical family. Her mother, a classical violinist, gave her her first violin when Laufey was two. She progressed to piano by the age of four and cello – her favourite instrument – by eight.

What has been the weirdest DM you have received so far?

“I’ve seen a lot of funny DMs. I got a really funny message recently that was sent to the Laufey (business) e-mail, so it went to my manager. I had lost my bags (at the airport) in Paris, a couple of days ago before the tour, and I’ve been tweeting about it to the airline to give me my bags back. This 12-year-old kid, who had reached out to the airlines, said that it wasn’t its fault, but rather, it was the airport’s fault. She also said, ‘I wish you the best of luck with your luggage and I think you will find it soon”. At the end, she said, “By the way, I’m 12 and I am a big fan’. I thought it was very sweet.”

What is that one thing in your luggage that is so dear to you that you need to have it back?

“I have a pair of black Mary Janes shoes from a brand called Carel, which was kind of my first big girl buy. I have worn it to so many photoshoots and to so many performances that I have grown quite an emotional attachment to them now. And they’re just vibing there (at the airport). I also bought a Dyson Air Wrap – I was having an inner conversation for a year on whether I should buy it or not, and I bought it a day before tour. Now it’s just in my suitcase.”