Exclusive,  Interview

Jon ALi Interviews: Matthew Koma

Earlier this month, I was given the chance to talk to New York-bred singer and songwriter Matthew Koma! After many years of hard work, Matthew is finally on the edge of his big break. He has toured with LMFAO as the opening act, has written for Bruce Springsteen, and is currently gearing up for a fall tour with Owl City. That’s not all, Matthew is making headlines in the EDM world having co-written the hook on Sebastian Ingrosso and Alesso’s smash single “Calling (Lose My Mind)” featuring Ryan Tedder, Nicky Romero and Fedde LeGrand‘s “Sparks,” and is the voice behind two of the hottest tracks out right now: Alesso’s new single “Years” and German DJ Zedd’s new single “Spectrum.” With Interscope and Cherrytree Records by his side, Matthew will release his debut album, Propaganda, early next year. Check out my interview with him below where we talked about all his recent success and his future plans!

BUY Zedd’s hit single “Spectrum” featuring Matthew Koma on iTunes NOW!

Jon: Hey Matthew! How are you doing?

Matthew: Good man. Just enjoying the sights out in California. No complaints.

Jon: Great, sounds good to me. Well I wanted to congratulate you on everything that’s going on in your world right now. Your name is starting to come out of everyone’s mouth.

Matthew: Yeah! Thanks, I appreciate that. It’s been a fun couple of months having all the songs come out like “Spectrum” and “Years.” I’m really happy.

Jon: For sure. I actually just heard “Spectrum” on the radio here for the first time. I thought it was a pretty big deal, It’s blowing up!

Matthew: Yeah, I heard it for the first time in LA about a week ago and it was so cool. The song kind of had life before going to radio in such a organic way and now seeing it build a bigger audience, It’s really special.

Jon: Definitely. It’s been out for a few months but it’s really taking off now and people are starting to discover who you are and you also released your debut EP Parachute a few months ago. You’re keeping busy!

Matthew: Yeah, I put a few songs on the EP that will eventually be part of my full-length record, that will be out next year. I’ve just been doing a lot of features and writing a lot in the EDM world while I finish up my record, which stands a bit outside of that genre. It’s been nice seeing people start to make the connection between the two worlds and seeing stuff like the acoustic version of “Years” and realizing that it’s an artist that stands outside of that lane. Being introduced in the EDM world first, I’ve really enjoyed reaching those fans because those are fans that I typically wouldn’t reach if I hadn’t done these collaborations.

Jon: I agree, you’re definitely reaching a different audience. The fans love the songs and slowly but surely they’re discovering there is a lot more to you than just a voice.

Matthew: Yeah, I appreciate you saying that. It’s a great introduction and I couldn’t be more appreciative of Zedd, Sebastian Ingrosso, Alesso, and all those guys for giving me a chance to be a part of their world. It’s been a really fortunate situation for me.

Jon: Exactly! I know you’re a writer first and foremost but how did all these collaborations come about?

Matthew: My friend at Interscope, who also manages Zedd, called me one day and was like ‘Hey, I know this is outside your usual thing but I have a track from Sebastian Ingrosso and Alesso that I would love for you to take a shot at writing a song to’. So I wrote the song and it ended up being “Calling” with Ryan Tedder on vocals and that was my first introduction to those guys and other DJ’s. We stayed in touch and that’s eventually how “Years” was born. Zedd and I worked together on a bunch of stuff that necessarily wasn’t for our own projects and then It kind of morphed into working on “Spectrum” together and we did a few other things for his record. Once it started, it just took off from there.

Jon: I love that! Before this, were you ever interested in the EDM world?

Matthew: I’ve honestly always respected it and I would update myself on newer stuff but my background is Springsteen and Elvis Costello. My background has always been singer-songwriter driven so I never saw myself in that world but I was always a fan. I think that’s why it’s been so cool for me, to be able to be part of something I never thought I could be a part of is amazing. I’ve grown an even bigger respect for the community and it’s movement. It’s more than just creating an emotion for them. It’s really collaborative and there’s a lot of support coming from everyone.

Jon: Definitely, it’s something I’ve grown a lot of love for over the past year as well. I understand where you’re coming from. Do you have any plans on working with any of these DJ’s/producers for your own material or album?

Matthew: Musically my stuff is really different from EDM. Zedd and I have definitely talked about doing stuff for my record just because musically we really connect. Just the actual soundscape of what I do is quite different so I don’t know if I’d necessarily crossed those paths but having already worked with these talented artists, It’s definitely changed how I approach my production and my songwriting. It will be influenced by it but I don’t know that there will be any direct collaborations for the album. There’s definitely a line that separates my project and the collaborations I’ve been a part of.

Jon: Makes sense to me! This has been a huge introduction for you and I think it’s great that you’re so musically versatile. When will we be hearing more of your material?

Matthew: Next year! I’ll have a single and album ready for early next year. Right now it’s all about the collaborations and I’ll be putting stuff out here and there. I really just want people to get to know me. That’s why I did the acoustic version of “Years,” it doesn’t have to fit into one medium. Everything is still me and what I do. That’s just how I write lyrics and how I produce. I’m looking forward to everyone hearing my stuff as well.

Jon: Good, you should be! Well I didn’t want to take up too much of your time. I’m excited about what’s happening and what’s to come. This is just the beginning, I promise you.

Matthew: Thank you, thank you, I really appreciate you saying that. It’s been great talking to you.

Jon: No problem! Thanks again Matthew.

Matthew: Have a good one!

BUY Matthew Koma’s debut EP Parachute on iTunes (3.99) NOW!

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