Tom Stræte Lagergren, more familiarly known as Matoma by most, has been experiencing a whirlwind of a year earning an exuberant amount of success that due to his persistent dedication and creative footprint that has won him the hearts of countless around the globe.
Tom has been busy carving himself a successful pathway in the music world; headlining his own tour all across the states, performing at the most notable music festivals in the world including Coachella and Tomorrowland, releasing popular singles with notable singers including Becky Hill, and most importantly continuing to produce some of the best feel-good music in the business.
His footprint within the tropical house community is what he's most noted and acclaimed for as he's constantly creating attractive melodies that instantly click with a wide-range of audiences.
What you may not know about Matoma, is that his roots begin in classical, piano training playing Beethoven – a very polar opposite spectrum from tropical house,
I started playing instruments at music school back home in Norway, as a younger brother I looked up to my bigger brother and I wanted to pay instruments myself so I started playing the guitar, but that didn't suite me. I went over to the keyboard and played for a year until my instructor told me to transition to piano till I was seventeen. I was attending youth orchestras back in Norway, and at one point I was practicing too much where I wasn't seeing the joy in it anymore.
Like many producers who stem their roots from classical music backgrounds, Matoma transferred over to the technological side and bought himself a computer at a young age.
Growing up in Norway, the summer season was highly anticipated by Tom and his friends as the cold brink of winter was a time that no Norwegian looks forward to – thus became the birth of tropical house via Scandinavia, an escape from his own reality,
During the winter you are really looking forward to summer, and when the spring comes and when you are a student you start partying more and more and you are just waiting for the summer to start to come and be on the beach (there are beaches in Norway)… Since i was a kid i really enjoy classical music and hip-hop, reggae and dancehall music (Sean Paul) and this kind of music reminded me of Summer.
Matoma is known for his innovative remixes of popular influential hip-hop artists, as these helped eject himself into a large mixed pool of both R&B and dance music loving fanatics, which allowed him to gain success so rapidly.
Some of his remix work includes Eminem, Will Smith and of course his personal favorite the Notorious B.I.G.,
I've seen all the Documentaries and read the biographies on Biggie; he was just like a big teddy bear, and an entertainer with a good heart, but he acted really gangster (which was a persona).
It's no denying that Matoma has single-handily help pave the way for the massive growth of tropical house as a genre. He was one of the first producers to start experimenting with this kind of house and is now seen as one of the key influential leaders in the creative movement,
I feel that when I started making music and releasing remixes on SoundCloud 3 years ago, I wanted tropical island beats that had influenced from nu-disco, r&b, hip-hop to make people dance without raving. Remixing old school hip-hop did that, so I started YouTubing acapella's for Ice Cube, Biggie and Snoop Dogg and when I started making them; the labels wanted to sign them as official remixes
“Old Thing Back”, we got approved by P. Diddy's and Biggie's estate to be made as a collaboration and as a tribute to him, and it's now his biggest song on Spotify! I really think I brought something to that song that wasn't there before.
Mixing two genres that hadn't been introduced much before was another radical idea that was created and Matoma wanted to specifically bring old school hip hop mixed with dance music, in particular, to show the younger generation what “old school” hip hop was and what it meant to most (stemming from what they've known with modern hip-hop today)
Rapping up the year for Matoma means describing the past 12 months of some of the most monumental times in his life.
I just released a new single with the Vamps, “All Night” I really feel like it's a different type of song, that encouraged me to make something different to go outside my comfort. I was really inspired by touring with the Chainsmokers last year, to make something more trap and melodic, but I also put my sound into it to make it my own!
We hope to hear more happy beats from Matoma soon.