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Singer/songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Laufey brings a jazz-influenced, traditional pop style into the 21st century with soothing songs inspired by artists such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Peggy Lee, Chet Baker, and George Gershwin. Like a younger sibling to more contemporary acts like Norah Jones and Fiona Apple, the Icelandic-Chinese musician made her official debut in the early 2020s with her viral hit "Street by Street," which was popular on social media platforms and caught the attention of famous fans Billie Eilish and Willow Smith. Laufey's debut EP, Typical of Me, arrived in April 2021. She later expanded upon that with her official first album, 2022's Everything I Know About Love, which reached the Top 20 in her native Iceland. Featuring collaborations with the Philharmonia Orchestra, the more sophisticated Bewitched followed in 2023 and took her into Iceland's Top Five while charting internationally, including a Top 30 placement on the Billboard 200. Born Laufey Lín Jónsdóttir, she spent her childhood divided between Reykjavík and Washington, D.C., absorbing classical and jazz music and even performing with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra as a teenager. Around this time, she also gave the judges goose bumps on Iceland Got Talent, performing a solo piano rendition of Grace Potter's "Stars." The next year, she secured a spot on The Voice Iceland with her take on Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing." When it was time for college, Lín was awarded the Presidential Scholarship for Berklee College of Music in Boston. While there, she picked up modern influences, collaborated with peers, and honed her skills as a vocalist, instrumentalist, and songwriter. After Laufey recorded her first official single, "Street by Street," school was abruptly halted because of the COVID-19 pandemic. During the resulting worldwide lockdown, she began recording and building her audience on social media, showcasing her instrumental abilities on guitar, cello, and piano and sharing her voice with fans around the world. "Street by Street" eventually reached number one on the Icelandic Radio Charts. She soon issued the tracks "Best Friend" and "Someone New." All three songs were included on her debut EP, 2021's Typical of Me. In August 2022, Laufey released her first full-length, Everything I Know About Love. Anchored by the bossa nova-inspired single "Falling Behind," the album reached the Top 20 in Iceland and 14 on Billboard's Heatseekers chart. The following month, she embarked on a sold-out North American headline tour, and the concert LP A Night at the Symphony Orchestra, with the Iceland Symphony Orchestra, came out in early 2023. Released in May, another bossa-styled single, "From the Start," cracked the singles charts in the U.K. and Canada. Featuring appearances from the Philharmonia Orchestra, Laufey's more ambitious sophomore album, Bewitched, followed in September 2023. It debuted at number 23 on the Billboard 200 in addition to reaching number four in Iceland, the Top 20 in New Zealand, and the Top 40 in Canada.
© Neil Z. Yeung /TiVo
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