Positivity, peace, and perseverance are some of the traits needed for success, which is why it is so hard to attain. How do you keep positive when you do not know how the world will respond to your work? How do you keep peaceful when your work involves traveling the world? And how do you persevere for either of these challenges? Diandra Reviews had the sincere pleasure of interviewing Matoma: a Norwegian DJ/ music producer whose tracks and mixes are rising through charts like champagne bubbles. While some think that such talent and success would turn a young man into an arrogant one, even Matoma, real name Tom Lagergren, would despise egotism, which makes my interview with this rising star all the brighter.
Diandra: Well first off, I want to say that one of the first things said about you when I began research for questions is “He Brought Biggie Back!”. As a huge fan of Notorious B.I.G., myself, are you shocked that anyone in the world would not know him?
Matoma: Well, I come from a small town in Norway’s countryside, and the idea was that even when he was alive no one knew about him but, after his death, he started to become recognized in Europe. My brother introduced me to Notorious when I was a kid just before his Life After Death album would come out. I did not understand the lyrics but I felt the music, and as I grew older and understood the story behind him as a very lovable guy and entertainer who took care of his people, I started looking into Old School Hip Hop. Learning about the East Coast/ West Coast beef was very interesting for me, and I found East Coast Hip Hop to be more suitable for me in how its records brought R&B and funk roots. I really respect Biggie and Diddy for their flow and style, which has inspired me very well.
Diandra: You create songs to uplift people, and your growing as a top choice for music that makes people feel good. What about your style do you think is attracting fans?
Matoma: I feel like that for people that listen to my music and connect with my music it is about having that “Everyday Life” feeling. Like, for example, if you have a bad day, you put on a Matoma track, you feel happy, but also, if you are already having a good day, I encourage that happiness. I want people to use my music when they study. I want people to use my music when they party. I want people to use my music when they go on road trips. I want people to use my music for experiences and situations in life when it is about memories and having a good time. Sometimes, my music can be for sad times, too. For example, my song Becky Hill (False Alarm), I got letters saying you really uplifted my day, and that “I was having a rough time lately but your song keeps me going”. For me, that is very special and I get so inspired by that.
Diandra: Well, what inspires you most in your creative process?
Matoma: Nature is one of the biggest inspirations for me. After my last tour and I wrote “All Night” with The Vamps, I felt a little uninspired because it was after a month on the road, and I missed my girlfriend back at home. So I took my girlfriend to a one month vacation to China, the Philippines, and Vietnam. We saw The Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, the Summer Palace, and we even saw Nemo (he laughs). We tried to learn about local culture, food, and meet people, and, for me, that was very inspiring. Right after that I went back on the road, did two weeks in Nicaragua, where I wrote songs and pretty much finished my new album. This year its going to come out, and I finished my new single which will be released in March.
Diandra: Any titles or information you can give us?
Matoma: Nope. I did a collaboration with a big Hip Hop star and Reggae artist.
Diandra: Any names?
(Emotional Sidenote: I have never been more excited to not receive information in my life.)
Diandra: How would you say your music has evolved?
Matoma: When I started I was very inspired by tropical flavors, but I feel that my music has evolved to include so many different flavors. For example, “All Night” is not a tropical song; it is a pop song. For me, it is not about genres as much as the music, and what it says about you. Right now my is saying, “Hey, I’m happy!”.
Diandra: I know you have mentioned that touring is hard because it separates you from family. What is your best memory with your family that you remember to keep you smiling even when you are away?
Matoma: Right now, I miss most my girlfriend, and I remember celebrating New Year’s, this year, with her and my family, who, of course, I miss as well. I had my brother, my best friend, my manager Stian, and it was a moment of happiness. We did all these activities and just partied and had fun. Sometimes, I just miss the people who know who Tom is; the people I grew up with and are my real friends. I miss my hometown, Flisa. But, at the same, I am very happy to be in the position I am in and to travel the world. I am living a very inspiring and adventurous life. It takes a lot of work to accomplish this adventure and it gratifies me a lot.
Diandra: Well, what are three things that you say, “If you do not know this about me then you do not know Tom”?
Matoma: 1) I really values morals like, being a good person and treating everyone with respect. So I cannot be around people that think they are better than anyone. Those people are not the type of people I like to be around because they they think they are higher than others.
2) I really like activities, like hiking in the forest. When I go back home, and I am Tom, I do back-packing trips. I’m an adventurous guy outside my adventurous life.
3) I like to cuddle.
What is the funniest thing you have ever seen a crowd-member do at your concert?
Up in Whistler, Canada, I was at a Monster event around Easter. We flew up in a helicopter, and brought all our equipment through helicopter to this mountain that was set up like a tropical island. There were 4,000 people there, and suddenly, while playing my set, three guys stripped naked on a scaffold with their “sche-bags” out and just started waving them.
(Mental Sidenote: If I move to Canada, do not move to Whistler…. or should I?).
Welp, that was my lovely interview with a great guy, It is always personally empowering to see a good person rise in what they love and have that love be so well-responded by others. Matoma has great music: plain and simple. Yet, meeting his big heart and determined spirit gives hope to fellow Millennials that wonder whether good work brings good reward. For Matoma, it is, and, for me, that is a story as wonderful as his music. For More Information On Matoma Click Here.