Laufey: The Revival of Gateway Jazz

Jazz unfortunately seemed like it was heading towards becoming a dying art in mainstream media, however, singer-songwriter Laufey has single-handedly taken over the mainstream subsector of the genre, bringing modern jazz-adjacent melodies back to the music scene. The Icelandic/Chinese artist has not only seen her monthly listeners quadruple in the last few months but also gained one of the most supporting fanbases in popular music.

It would be unfair of me to not disclose how many talented jazz musicians are out there within the underrated genre, but nothing is being majorly pushed to a wider audience like the success seen from Laufey’s latest work. Many people have very strong opinions as to whether the artist’s music fits into the jazz or pop category, but the outcome of her latest album should be seen as a huge achievement and recognition for both the world of jazz and pop. 

The artist, who studied classical piano and cello from a young age, released her debut single Street by Street in 2020 (reaching number 1 in the Icelandic charts) from her 2021 Typical Of Me EP, which displays a lo-fi-esque type of bedroom pop mixed with a jazz twist. At just 15 years old, Laufey made her solo debut with the Icelandic Symphony Orchestra, with whom she later recorded ‘A Night At The Symphony’ in early 2023. 

Posting as a regular everyday TikTok user and sharing the reality of feeling behind or romanticising life within her jazz and classically influenced songs, Laufey has captured the perfect audience, catering to hopeless romantics, people in their feels and also an unprecedented group of teenage boys worldwide. The lore behind the connection between fans delves deeper, the more you witness the overall presence of the artist. Despite having such a widely known presence on social media, you may get caught up in the TikTok adventures of Laufey’s identical twin sister Junia who is also active on TikTok with the bio ‘Laufey burner account’, posting day-in-the-life videos along with the ever-changing cycle of trending TikTok audios and exclusive Laufey content which would be unbeknownst to the casual Laufey fans. 

Laufey’s latest collection of musical endeavours entails the album that unexpectedly skyrocketed the longevity of the artist’s career, especially within a more mainstream environment. Laufey’s ‘Bewitched’ accomplished a mindblowing amount of streams from the minute it was released; it also broke the all-time record for the biggest jazz album debut in Spotify history. The jazz/pop album deeply resonates with her adoring fans, with depictions of falling in love, pining, and the feeling of not being someone’s priority, whilst maintaining the same timbre as her previous work, giving the artist a unique sense of familiarity. Using jazz standards such as the classical song Misty by Erroll Garner and Johnny Burke really elevates the experience for the listener with the intimate experience of both old and new sounds. 

Whether you consider Laufey to be a pop artist with a jazz feel or a completely different classification; art is subjective, and my interpretation is that the release of Bewitched has driven more people to explore outside their comfort zones and listen to more jazz standards, taking their listening habits down different paths and deeming the album a type of gateway Jazz.

Explore Laufey

Similar Posts