This week saw the release of Matoma’s first release of the year, titled “Bruised Not Broken”. It is also his first collaboration with MNEK and Kiana Ledé and deals with the feeling of -quite literally- feeling bruised in life but not being broken because of it. We already fell in love with the inspirational, club-ready banger and will most likely play it another one or two times over the summer!
It was therefore a great joy when we found out that we had the amazing opportunity to sit down with the multi-talent that is Matoma. In the midst of the current heatwave, we talked to our favorite Norwegian sunshine, born Tom Stræte Lagergren, about all of our burning questions. Whether the questions revolved around the creation of his new track, his collaboration with MNEK or The Vamps or the exciting things he has in store for his fans (hint: there are a lot of things happening soon!), the DJ answered them all just for you.
Check out our interview with Matoma right here:
CelebMix: Hello, hello, lovely to meet you!
Matoma: Hey, lovely to meet you, too!
We’re glad that we got the chance to talk to you! How does it feel to have released your first new track of the year?
It’s great, I feel like we are in a new chapter when it comes to my music and I feel very inspired. I feel like it’s a tune for the summer and I’m really proud of the record as I spent a lot of time making it, just trying to find the right sound and the mold of the song.
We love the track, too!
You do? Thank you so much.
Yes, we listened to it and we loved it! But it is a bit different to your previous records isn’t it? Your previous releases were influenced more by a tropical vibe.
It is a little less tropical but I think on this song, when I made it, I didn’t want to rocket-science it. At the label, we had a discussion about the new sound of Matoma and I really wanted to make something that people can groove to and that they can connect to lyric-wise.
How did the idea for the song come together? What made you think “that is something I have to talk about”?
I think it was a no-brainer. We needed something fresh and cool kicking off this new campaign. This song just had this exact ingredient that we wanted and that we had been missing out on in previous singles. Those have done great but I really wanted to have a sing-along-anthem for people of all ages that listen to all different genres and I think this song is a universal-speaking language which people can connect to in their own way, with the lyrics and production.
How did the collaboration come together with MNEK?
I did the track with MNEK and Ryan (Ashley), we are good friends. I was a bit sad that day because I was missing my girlfriend, she is on an exchange in school. Of course, people that you love complete you and I didn’t feel whole that day, I just had an emptiness inside my heart and I was a bit distracted because of that. And MNEK and Ryan were also sad because that day they found out that they had to leave their studio from the previous location to a new one. We just dug into that energy. There was something magical in the room, I can’t really explain it. We hugged and we just talked for ten, fifteen minutes and we really understood each other. Then I just sat down on the keyboard and played some chords. And then MNEK and Ryan were just like „Wow, we love it“, I recorded it and within forty minutes, we had recorded the whole track.
Wow, that was such a quick process.
Yeah, it was a crazy experience. I’ve never written a song that fast and I’ve never seen a songwriter be that efficient with his work and time. He had literally recorded everything in forty minutes.
How did you guys meet?
So, the session with MNEK was actually something we really wanted to do for a while, he did some work on “False Alarm”. We wanted to go into the studio together but this was the first time that both of our schedules allowed it. And then, when we had done the demo and it was finished, I said to him “it would be really cool to have a girl feature on the song, do you have anyone in mind?”. We went back and forth with some names but then we really liked this girl called Kiana Ledé. Luckily, she was available, so we sent the demo to her. A couple of days later, she responded.
How long did the whole process take you guys?
From the first demo to the finished product, it took 5 months. The main structure of the production and vocals was done in a week. The tough thing was to get all the pieces together for the release.
Is there also a music video planned?
Yeah, the music video we actually shot last week in L.A. and it is coming out later this month. I am excited about that one as well.
So “Bruised Not Broken” is part of a new era, we assume?
Yes! It is the first song in the new second album era! We are going to release a new song in July and one in August. I also have a song coming out with Lukas Graham!
You collaborated with a lot of people in the past, do you have any favorites? Who was the most fun to work with?
I have to say The Vamps, they are such fun guys.
You did “All Night” with them, right?
I did two songs with them. “All Night” and also “Staying Up”. For the latter, they came to Norway to shoot the music video and we had so much fun. I also enjoyed working with Becky (Hill), of course. Enrique Iglesias was a lot of fun to collaborate with, Jason Derulo, MNEK. Oh, and, Noah Khan, he was so easy to work with. I actually never had any main problems with a collaborator, everybody I collaborated with seems so nice. I always want to have people with an energy that is equal to mine. And I feel like my energy is being a happy and outgoing person and I want my collaborators to be the same.
Is there still someone you would love to collaborate with in the future?
I am always getting back to that name but I would love to collaborate with Will Smith. He is my all-time goal.
Didn’t you remix some of his older stuff?
I did but I also really want to go into the studio with him at one point. A day with him, it would be so inspirational and fun!
You do always seem to have such a positive vibe to yourself; your playlist is called “Hakuna Matoma”, and your music is always very uplifting: why is that so important to you?
Music should not be rocket-science, it is just feelings. I feel like it is my job to create music that makes people feel good. And ever since I released Hakuna Matoma, my mission has been to spread love and positivity and my music represents that. Even in my last tour, I was speaking with my manager about different names, and I said to him, “I want to have something easy, something fun, something that represents me”. Ever since I started speaking English more because of the industry, there is one phrase that really stuck with me and it is “Holy Moly”. On stuff that I find really exciting, I say “Holy Moly”. So I said to him “Why can’t we call the tour ‘Holy Moly’” and we ended up naming it that way.
That is so cool. Is that also one of your inspirations behind your music: to create something fun, something that makes people just want to enjoy life?
Yes, I want to make music that connects people with each other and that makes them feel something. And with all my previous music, I realized that music is very powerful, people use it in their daily lives and I really want to be a part of it and give them some sort of feeling so they can relate to it.
We read through some comments about your new track on Twitter and we feel like people can absolutely relate to this one because they felt that way at one point in their lives and they are happy that finally someone talks about it.
I think it’s cool to talk about it that way. The lyrics are very straight-forward and also powerful and they take on a subject that not a lot of songs are talking about.The beat and the melody are so uplifting, you get both worlds: you get those deep and influential lyrics, on top of a fun beat.
We heard about your upcoming podcast: is it also going to deal with topics like those?
The podcast is actually called “Superpowers” and it is going to be something where I talk about how in every human there is something like a superpower. Not in the superhuman strength type of way but more in the overcoming obstacles way: having perseverance, for example. Those subjects, that people don’t usually talk about, I just want to go in-depth with. It could be with regular people, politicians, maybe influencers, athletes, musicians. I want to talk about faith, maybe being humble, and so much more. There are so many different ways for people to be great and that is really interesting to me.
That’s so cool, how did you get the idea?
I was sitting on an airplane, thinking about how I really like talking to and connecting with people. And I just found it so interesting that I decided I want to do a podcast with people that influence and inspire me. I think it can be a cool thing to reach out to people to find out about their journey.
Will you let fans ask you questions in advance so you can answer them in the podcast?
That’s actually a great idea, maybe we should do that! I hadn’t thought about it before. They could send them to an email-address and I could pick out the ones, I find the most interesting.
Exactly! Do you have any specific plans about the first episode yet?
I think we are trying to launch the first episode in August or September and then every month, we are going to release a new episode. It’s going to be on YouTube and also on Spotify, as an audio but also as a video. I’m also doing a mixtape called “Force of Nature” so that – for every season of the year- I’m going to release a mixtape with both unreleased and previously released music of my own but also of other people, with songs that I’m listening to at the moment.
So much stuff happening! So one last question: What is most important to you in life?
I am very grateful for the opportunity working with music but the most important thing is my girlfriend, my family and friends. I wouldn’t be where I am without them.
Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to us!
No, thank you! It was so much fun!
“Bruised Not Broken” is now available to purchase and stream on the digital retailer of your choice. Also be sure to see Matoma live if you have the chance to and follow CelebMix to stay up-to-date with his upcoming projects.
Be sure to also connect with Matoma on his socials:
What do you think about Matoma’s latest single? Have you found out anything you did not know before? Tell us all about it @CelebMix.