Producer, songwriter, DJ, singer — Matthew Koma is all of the above, and odds are you’ve heard him through one of those roles. He wrote the lyrics and melody to Zedd’s top 10 hit “Clarity,” and has collaborated with stars ranging from Britney Spears to Tiesto to Shania Twain to Tinashe. Lately, he’s been more focused on becoming a lead artist — his swaggering single “Kisses Back” dropped today and a solo album is forthcoming on RCA Records. Whether it’s talking about his brushes with superstars or his own personal feelings, Koma’s got a story to tell, making him a fascinating subject for this week’s edition of Pop Shop’s Headliner Interview.
“On the production front,” Koma explains, “everyone has the same set of tools now that the playing field is so even that it really is up to how creative you can be.” Laptops and Logic are commonplace; Koma understands how an artist’s humanity can set them apart. “[My current solo project] was the first time I made sure each song felt so tailored to me… they weren’t just songs — they were things that other people couldn’t sing because they were super personal or really specific.”
On the flipside, he’s eager to share stories from the studio about the stars he’s worked with — crafting “Clarity” with Zedd, “I Wish (My Taylor Swift)” with the Knocks, bringing his dad to meet Bruce Springsteen and even logging studio time with Britney: “She’s super in touch with what works for her and what she likes. I was surprised even at the music she was playing me — random deep stuff that I don’t know I would have pinned her as a fan for.”
Looking for a peek into the life of a globetrotting DJ/in-demand songwriter? Koma gave an inspirational first-hand account, along with more details on the solo record — who’s collaborating on it, what it sounds like and when to expect it.
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