Matoma talks about his tropical flavour

IMG_4064_reAs Matoma, 24 year old Norwegian producer Tom Lagergren helped define the Tropical House sound of 2015.

In just one year his releases have amassed over a quarter of a billion streams, earned him an incredible and ever-growing fanbase, and cast a spotlight on what he does next.

Now he’s ready to release his debut album ‘Hakuna Matoma’, but the Norweign producer is using an alternate method to get his music out to the masses.

‘Hakuna Matoma’ is being released in a totally unique way – using the playlist format to see the album expand and evolve over time.  Available on every download and streaming platform now, this first-of-its-kind format will allow the album to grow as more tracks are added.

Listeners can subscribe to ‘Hakuna Matoma’ now to hear the music and get notifications on upcoming additions, and be a part of his album campaign as it unfolds.

In addition to five new originals, ‘Hakuna Matoma’ will see the inclusion of some fan favorites.  Along with ‘Old Thing Back’ the album also launches with ‘Try Me,’ a collaboration with superstars Jason Derulo and Jennifer Lopez, his massive new re-imagination of One Direction’s ‘Perfect’ and most recently ‘Stick Around’ alongside Akon.

New music will constantly be added to ‘Hakuna Matoma’ every few weeks through to early next year, making it a truly unique approach to the album cycle.

OUTinPerth caught up with Matoma ahead of his first Australian tour.

This will be your first trip to Australia, what are your expectations?

I only expect it will be good fun! My manager is from Australia and tells me all about it, we’re going to do some meetings and studio sessions and hopefully also have a day off to explore. But mainly excited about the shows.

Since I started putting music out I’ve always had a lot of messages online from fans in Australia so I can’t wait to play and have a good time. Wherever I go in the world that’s what it’s all about for me!

How have you gone about creating your album ‘Hakuna Matoma’; you haven’t taken a traditional path.

When I started putting music out on Soundcloud I was just really enjoying making music I loved and getting it to my fans immediately and hearing the feedback and positive comments really inspired me to keep going. When I signed with my label I wanted to make sure I could do the same thing, and keep delivering content to my fans constantly.

So when I started making my album “Hakuna Matoma”, we came up with an idea for how we could do that using a playlist to house the album and to have it grow over time. So far I have put 5 new singles in there and I have many more surprises to come!

Tropical house is huge this year, do you ever worry about being pigeonholed in a genre?

I think that what I do has a tropical flavour but is also so much more diverse and I will always keep evolving my sound so I’m not really worried about how people categorize it.

For me I just want to make music that I love and gives people a good time, and right now I think my sound is not just tropical – it’s a bit of old school hip hop, some Caribbean reggae influence, some folk and emotional music and some pop!

That’s another reason for the way I want to release my album over time, because it will keep evolving as I get different inspirations and I want my fans to be a part of that journey with me.

What was it like working with Akon?

It was really great. We had a night in the studios in LA a few weeks ago and worked on this idea. He was always a big inspiration to me from his “Freedom” album and I really admire the work he does in charity, and he was just such a great friendly guy.

Seriously his voice is just so different, I think it reaches listeners in a really strong way, and he nailed the vocal and I finished the music and we’re all really happy with the result!

What’s the craziest gig you’ve played so far?

Seriously this year has had so many crazy gigs! One of my favorites would be when I played at this show called UKA in my home city of Trondheim a few weeks ago. I was there with my brother and all my friends and there were 6000 people just going crazy to my music.

When did you first start making music?

I learned piano when I was little and always loved music and experimented with making it all my life. But just over a year ago I started making music as Matoma and putting it on my soundcloud and it kept growing and growing and here I am today!

I just want to make music that makes people happy and Im really so lucky to have the fans that I have that enjoy my music and give me inspiration every day.

Catch Matoma on his Australian tour.  Thursday 3rd December at GoodGod, Sydney, Friday 4th December – Northcote Social, Melbourne , Saturday 5th December – The Plot, Sydney and Sunday 6th December – Sets of the Beach, Perth.

Check out this fan video for Matoma’s remix of One Direction’s ‘Perfect’.



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