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KANM Takes SXSW Part 5

March 31, 2019

At SXSW, I sat down with Lexi Aviles, the singer behind the dream-pop solo project Love You Later. She was wearing happy face overalls and hard blue bangs, and she had a warm, peppy energy about her. Among the hundreds of emails from different artists showcasing at SXSW, I instantly fell in love with Love You Later’s music; her voice is deep and soulful, but her music has a fun, upbeat vibe. I sat down with her to hear more about her history. Tell me a little about your background – where did you grow up? I’m from Orange County originally, but I recently moved to Nashville in August. I definitely took [living in Orange County] for granted, I miss the beach a lot. I love Nashville, it’s just full of artists and creatives. Not necessarily just musicians, but just people who are super passionate about what they do. It’s super inspiring, it’s the main reason I love it so much there. How did you wind up in Nashville? Mainly because of music… I originally moved there for school but it wasn’t right for me. I’m a very independent person, and Love You Later was like my little baby. I just wanted to put all of my energy into it, so school was taking up a lot of time and I wanted to focus on music. How long have you been performing? I was born into a musical family and did musical theatre for a really long time. I did my first musical when I was like four… I was a blue bird in Snow White and that was literally the first time I performed in front of an audience. I did that for a really long time and then I got my first instrument, a ukulele, when I was eleven and started writing music. I was always doing something, I just love to entertain. When I do shows a lot of my musical theatre self comes out because I just love to entertain and make people interested; not just with what they hear but what they see. Who are some of your inspirations for your music? I love the Japanese House, The 1975, Bleachers, Hippocampus, Bad Suns. I also love 80’s music. Stevie Nicks for life. The Japanese House I would say is my biggest inspiration just because the first time I saw her live she opened for The 1975 and I was not expecting to love her that much. I had chills the whole time, it was incredible. Now every time I listen to her music I get those same feelings, how I felt when I first saw her live. That’s incredible that she can make people feel that way, just by one live performance. I realized I want to do that, I want people to literally be affected [by my music]. Aside: during one of her shows, she asked that the audience stand up and dance to her new single “Harder on Myself,” and it made for a really engaging performance. Where did you get the name Love You Later? I wish I had a better answer for this, but I just really like alliteration. My first single was Lost in Los Angeles, so I guess I like the L alliteration. I guess the main thing is that most of my singles that are out are about a guy or romantic, or lack thereof, so I wanted it to be something about love and relationships. I think that I chose Love You Later because I wanted people to make it what they wanted to be. I’ve had a lot of people ask me that question and my answer is that it is whatever you think it means. I don’t really wanna say a story behind it because I think it’s more personal and impactful if you just think about it. The first song of yours that I listened to was Emily, and the story just sounds really interesting. What’s the story behind it? Well, the girl isn’t actually named Emily. It’s exactly how it sounds, I was seeing a guy and he was one of the first guys I really really liked. The first heartbreaks are the worst. I just remember on our first date he threw it out there that a few months before we started dating he was in a relationship but he claimed he was over it. But he really just threw it out there and I didn’t think much of it. But then a few weeks went by and after visiting him in Nashville, I got a layover on my flight home and got this huge long text that said: “hey I still love her and I don’t want to do this to you.” It took me a really long time to not hate him [laughs], so I wrote Emily a while after this happened. I got to a point of acceptance that he didn’t want to drag me into it, and it really wasn’t that long. I got invested because I am the person to do that… but I realized I really just wanted him to be happy, and if that’s who he was in love with then great. SO Emily is coming from the perspective that I understand that she is the one for him… go be with her, I don’t want to feel like a burden. So it’s less of an I-hate-you sort of song, just acceptance. What’s your favorite song that you’ve released? Harder on Myself, the new single I just put out. It’s really really fun to perform live, and it’s super upbeat. I just feel like it has a cool groove that we didn’t plan for, but when we were producing it, it became really cool. I like dancing to it too so. What would you do if you weren’t a musician? I would be a makeup artist. I just love makeup so much. I used to do my friends’ makeup in high school for dances and stuff… even when I did musical theatre, I loved doing special effects makeup. Weid makeup, colorful makeup. Last question: would you rather look like a potato or feel like a potato? [pauses, then laughs] does it mean just like, gross? Is it a cooked potato? It’s up for interpretation. I think I would rather feel like one. Oh, or look like one or feel good. Everyone looks like a potato with a face. Yeah, just different shapes! There’s no specific shape of a potato. They’re different sizes and colors and types. They all taste the same though. My final answer is that I would rather is I would rather look like a potato.     Written by: Taylor Zeitlin Interviewer: Taylor Zeitlin 

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