I sat down with Matoma after his set at HARD and talked about his favorite rappers, the sets he plays, Jason Derulo, and… Cocoa Puffs.
I’m here with Matoma, can you just introduce yourself really quick?
Hey it’s Tom, I’m known as Matoma and I make good vibe music
Good vibe music!
So were you a big hip-hop head as a kid?
Yeah, I started listening to hip-hop when I was 6, actually my brother introduced me to the American hip-hop stuff. Biggie – the old school stuff – Tupac, Warren G, Ice Cube, Dr. Dre, XZibit. I didn’t understand shit.[lol]
But their flow and their beats and their passion… you can hear the passion in their voice when they’re rapping, and especially the rhymes really hit me. So I started listening to the hip-hop stuff when I was 6 or 7 years old, I really liked it. And when I was 15 – 16 years old I finally started to understand what they were saying, what the meaning of the lyrics was, and then I was just blown away because it was like poetry.
So when was it that you realized your Biggie remix was going to be such a big hit?
I was back in Norway preparing for my bachelor thesis in music production and suddenly I got a comment on my Facebook profile, my Matoma profile, “Your Biggie remix is number one on Hypem.” I didn’t understand what Hypem was so I had to look it up. And Hypem is like the biggest community for music that is written about by blogs, so it was number 1, the most popular track on Hypem. And suddenly my track had like 4-5,000 plays and I couldn’t believe it and my followers just started growing. And it’s crazy to look back at the year that has passed. And in one year and three months I went from 200 followers to 162,000.
And over 75 million plays just from SoundCloud
Insane. So it’s been a giant year for you?
What has been your favorite festival that you’ve gotten to play?
HARD was really fun but I have to say Bonnaroo. The set time was the sickest, I played at a stage called the Caribou Stage. It was 12 at night, probably around like – I don’t know how many people it was – it was people for as far as the eye could see. And people were just enjoying my music and it was so much fun. I also played the festival in Norway called Stavern Festival. It’s one of the biggest festivals in Norway. I was headlining there and just to see the crowd its just amazing.
Amazing! Well I did get to catch your set just as I was walking in, it was perfect for a summer festival, just exactly what you need.
Yeah I play all this different stuff. 70% of the stuff I play in my sets I produce myself. And I don’t just make hip-hop and tropical, I produce all types of music, so I play a lot of my own mashups because I can do that when I play live. But I try always to keep my sets interesting and have like a roller coaster and play all this different types of genres, but have this red thread be happiness.
Yes, I love that. Alright so, I’d like to talk about something that maybe nobody else has gotten to ask yet, it’s pretty new but its all over the radio – Jason Derulo and J-Lo? Can you tell us about that?
Yeah, I was so lucky to be introduced by the team, because he is signed to Warner and I am part of the Warner family now so I had like an instrumental that was sent to all the A&R’s and the A&R for Jason Derulo, he picked it up.
Were you surprised?
Yeah I was really surprised, my manager told me hey Jason Derulo wants your instrumental and he wants Jennifer Lopez to be featuring on it.
That’s huge! Did you ever think you’d be here a year back, 200 followers.
No way! So I went into the studio with Jason and Jennifer for a couple of days and made a track and it was so much fun. They are both really talented and really nice people.
Good to work with?
Yeah, really nice! Jason has the best energy and he’s so talented!
Cool, well I’m sure our followers are definitely going to hear it on the radio!
I think like, put aside, it’s a pop record – it’s a really nice, good feel, tropical record.
It still has the vibes, yeah, and there’s not really a lot like it out there right now
Yeah! Could be changing the industry…
Yeah maybe, I hope so! So yeah, it’s doing really well. He released his album last month and it has already had on Spotify, like 4 million plays I think.
Wow. Well is there anything else you’d like to say to our readers?
I’m coming with a lot of new stuff, originals that I’ve been working really hard on and new concepts that I think people will like, so just stay tuned for more Matoma.
Alright, I have one last question, what’s your favorite cereal?
Yeah, do they have cereal in Norway? [lol]
Yeah, I think it has to be, uh – in Norway its called – uh, Cheese Doodles.
Yeah, but its not cheese
And it’s a cereal?
Yeah, it’s with chocolate and it looks like a Cheese Doodle.
Why do they call it cheese? [I’m very confused]
Maybe it’s Chocolate Doodles, I don’t remember but I had them when I was a kid, I don’t eat that much cereal
Aw, you have to wait until you’re back home
Yeah I’m more of an eggs and bacon guy.
I would bring cereal with me from home if I were you.
Yeah? What do you like?
I like Cocoa Puffs.
Cocoa Puffs! Yeah that’s the name!
Cocoa Puffs? Oh, similar to Cheese Puffs, okay. [lol]
Okay well I guess that about ties it up! Thank you!
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