Lauv puts spotlight on mental health in sold-out Cebu concert
Karla Rule (The Freeman) - May 24, 2019 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines — In his final Philippine show, American singer-songwriter and producer Lauv poured his heart out to his Cebuano fans, saying that throughout his stay, the country has felt a lot like home for him. This was Lauv’s third visit to the country, but it was his first time in Cebu.

Before flying off to Hong Kong, Lauv performed at the Pacific Grand Ballroom of Waterfront Cebu City Hotel and Casino bops like “Paris in the Rain,” “The Other,” “Easy Love,” “Superhero,” “Never Not,” “Adrenaline,” “Enemies,”, “i’m so tired,” and of course, his hit song “I Like Me Better” which was featured in the 2018 Netflix movie “To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before” soundtrack.

His sea of fans – 4000-strong – sang along to each word. Lauv also played a new song called “The Sims.”

“This is my last show in the Philippines. I’m going to give my everything until I pass out probably. It’s going to be crazy and just be a really good time,” Lauv earlier promised in an interview prior to Tuesday night’s (May 21) show.

As a touring artist, Lauv says he’s all about being on the same page with his audience when it comes to performing in places he’s never been to.

“I wanted to explore more of the Philippines and Cebu felt like the natural, next place to go,” he told The FREEMAN. “I’m here to see what everybody’s vibe is. I’m cool with anything. I can play whatever role that needs to be played in the moment.”

For his Manila show at the Smart Araneta Coliseum the night before his Cebu gig, Lauv had a spur of the moment idea and filmed a music video for a song called “Sad Forever” during the concert. It was a song he finished moments before arriving in the Philippines.

Apart from taking the music scene by storm with his easy tunes and earnest lyrics, Lauv is also one to reach out to his fans. The 24-year-old is no stranger to opening up to fans, candidly talking to them in between performances. In turn, fans can share whatever is on their minds by dropping a note in a box Lauv leaves outside his shows.

During his sold-out Cebu concert, he took the time to remind the audience to take care of themselves, especially their mental health. He talked about the struggle people can face when they don’t acknowledge their feelings. Lauv recalled his experience last year where he dealt with feelings of guilt, shame, and disconnection which he eventually recognized as anxiety and depression.

“It feels so good to be back out. I’m feeling a lot better since I took the time out to figure out what was going on. I think it’s very important, especially today, for people to look at the health of their minds the same way we look at the health of our bodies,” he told the Cebu crowd.

“It seems that we take it [mental health] for granted. It runs your entire existence and shapes your reality. If you’re not in good shape, your reality can suck. Even if it doesn’t actually suck, your reality sucks to you and you can lose hope, you can lose faith, and you can feel like s--t. I think it’s important that everybody talks about it and that everybody is there for each other,” said Lauv, before adding, “Take care of yourself.”

After his album “I met you when I was 18,” Lauv said he wanted to work on another project but had not been in a good headspace. He was not productive which led to the album’s delay. When he was in better shape, Lauv came up with “~how I’m feeling~,” a new collection of songs which will be released piece by piece.

Lauv said that most of the music will be released close to the time they were written. The style may not be what most people are used to, but it is in a way personal, as the music might feel intimate and personal since certain feelings might still be present and relevant in Lauv’s life. Then again, what do you expect from a guy who leaks his own songs out of sheer excitement?

“I figured, instead of making people wait forever and making myself wait forever, now I’m in a better place I want to start releasing music as I write it so I can give people music. Most of the songs are very real time.”

The first song on “~how i’m feeling~” is “Drugs & the Internet,” a commentary on the current generation’s struggle to grasp happiness and contentment as they explore life in social media where instant gratification is offered, but at a price.

Throughout the show, Lauv reminded his audiences of people’s tendencies to feel the need to be so many things at once and present ourselves as a brand. He said the internet is both an ally and enemy.

After “Drugs & the Internet,” Lauv shared that “Sad Forever” will be out soon.

“Beats me, I wish I could tell you. It’s so random. That’s the thing, you never know when they’re going to strike,” Lauv said of his writing and lyricism. He observes that he’s freer when he’s just messing around with his guitar, but is more focused when he’s on producer mode.

Asked where he gets the self-assurance to be open and truthful whether through his music or his interactions, Lauv said that he feels it is necessary to form a connection.

“I feel pretty comfortable sharing most everything with the world. I think it’s sort of my job, right? I take it seriously. I take my experiences and create them into something, because I know people go through the same thing. And if they can find an escape. If they can find a place, a home in relating to that then that’s beautiful. I feel like that’s what I have to do.”

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