EXCLUSIVE: Matthew Koma Interview

CelebMix caught up with Matthew Koma, an American singer and songwriter with wicked authentic lyrics, and talent that the music industry would be sorry to miss.

Take a look below, we promise you won’t be left disappointed!


Hey Matthew, thanks for talking to CelebMix were really looking forward to getting to know about you and your music!

Tell us about your new single ‘Hard To Love’

Hard To Love is the story of me – panic attacks and sweatpants addiction all included. I was lucky to work on the production with my friends Louis The Child and bring to life what became one of my favorite collaborations I’ve ever been a part of.
We’re loving the acoustic version – how did it come about?

I always like for my songs to stand alone, as strong on an acoustic guitar as they are in the context of a fully produced version. I’ve always had fun doing stripped down versions to shed light on the words in a different way.

You’ve dipped in and out of different genres of music during your career, do you have a favourite to play or perform?

They’re all a huge part of what keeps me interested and satisfied. From dance music, to singer-songwriter driven Americana, my taste is all over the place…so to work on music throughout the genre spectrum allows me to role play a little bit. I think I always come back to loving the simplicity of sitting with an acoustic guitar and delivering a song without the makeup.

Where do you find inspiration for the music you create? Are there any artists that inspire you or do you find inspiration in other places?

It comes from everywhere I guess. I read a lot. Books and articles tend to plant seeds and ideas that resonate and make their way into my psyche when I’m writing. I think to keep the well full, you’re always taking from different places so it feels new. Life experience, conversations, other songs, people.

How long have you been playing music and performing?

I started playing when I was about 3 or 4 years old – guitar first. I think the first time I performed out I was around 9 or 10. Slaying Soul Asylum covers.

What kind of music were you into growing up? Was music something you were surrounded by or something you personally immersed yourself in?

My whole family was really into music so it was an organic path for sure. I grew up on a lot of singer songwriters and story tellers – Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Tom Petty…that sort of built my foundation.

How do you feel being recognised at the forefront of an album rather than songwriting for somebody else behind the scenes? Does that add extra pressure?

I don’t think it adds any pressure at all. If anything, a freedom. This is a platform for me to introduce ideas and conversations that resonate with me, curate my own world for 45 minutes that people can tune into. When working on other artists’ albums, you’re collaborating to help execute their vision. So it’s shared. I’m excited to feel like I have an opportunity to be as honest as possible,through this music, about who I am, how I think, what I know…

How do you write songs? Your lyrics are deep and meaningful with relevance to your life. Do you think of something and write it down or do you take long writing sessions?

It’s always different and I’m a bit of a mixed bag when it comes to my process. They are born out of so many different sparks. Sometimes it’s a very little idea, sometimes it all pours out on an airplane ride, sometimes it takes a lot of work and I’m crafting around a sentiment for weeks. The only constant is my gut telling me when it feels right, honest and true.

Besides releasing your new single, what is your greatest music achievement?

I’m always a sucker for getting the nod from the people you respect the most. Getting to have a musical relationship with Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Marshall Crenshaw….those are humbling moments and make me feel really blown away.

If you could collaborate with three artists, dead or alive, who would they be and why?

This is the hardest! Okay. Elvis Costello because he has played such a major role in my appreciation for words, melody and the non obvious. Dawes because I think Taylor Goldsmith is carrying the torch as the greatest storyteller of this generation…in a way that is so truthful, classic and beautiful. I’d just love to peak into his process. And I’d love to work with Flume. He’s made some of my favorite electronic music period.

Do you have any bad habits you wish you could break?

Splenda. Gum. Coffee.

Have you any secrets about upcoming events or music you can let us in on?

I’m going to be releasing a collaboration with Jai Wolf and another with Ghastly very soon and I’m really excited about both.

Thank you for chatting with us Matthew – we can tell you have a lot of exciting opportunities upcoming.

If you’d like to hear more from Matthew Koma and his new single Hard To Love, look out for our upcoming single review on CelebMix! Find us on Twitter @CelebMix and Facebook to stay in the loop.

Matthew Koma Today Unleashes the Remix Package for ‘Hard To Love’ with remixes from RAC, Alex Preston and more. Listen here: http://www.matthewkoma.com

Written by CelebMix