Hakuna Matoma: What a Wonderful Phrase

Tom Straete Lagergren, or better known as Matoma, is a 24-year-old Norwegian electronic producer. He broke through the music scene with his collaborative single “ Old Thing Back”, featuring the classic Notorious B.I.G songs as the backtrack. “Old Thing Back” now has over 180 million streams on Spotify, Youtube, and SoundCloud. Matoma is someone to look out for – he has continuously proven himself in the EDM scene and now he is taking the spotlight at the larger festivals, such as Hangout Festival in Gulf Shores, AL. We had the opportunity to catch up with him after his set at the Boom Boom Tent.

Festival Squad: First off, thank you so much for sitting down to talk with us! Now that you’ve had a couple hours to recover from your set at Hangout festival, how was it for you?

Matoma: Aw man, I felt like the crowd was just amazing. The energy in the Boom Boom Tent was just so present and so feel-good. I just fed off the energy from the crowd. To be honest, I was a little tired before I went on. For me, as an artist, to travel that much, it all makes sense when you go up on stage because you just connect with everybody.

FS: EDM is extremely prominent in the music and festival industry nowadays. When a genre becomes this popular, it could become hard to stand out; yet, when someone goes and listens to your music, it is very apparent that you have a unique sound. What would you say sets you apart from some of the other EDM artists we hear from a lot?

M: To be honest, I think maybe one reason why my music is standing out, and also my sets, is because I don’t look at anybody else. I just do whatever I like to do, and I love doing it. I like mixing flavors and mixing genres. I like just experimenting with music, and it’s the same with my sets. I play everything from deep house, to bangers, to new disco, to disco, to old school records, and I just do it in a way that makes people connect with it. It has to have a thread. It can’t just be like play this, play that. It has to have a story. So all of my sets, I just have a vision. I read the crowd, and just try to make the best out of it.

FS: You have a song called “Girl at Coachella” with another Hangout performer, MAGIC!. How did that project come about and what was that process like making the track?

M: Last year, I performed at Coachella, and it was one of my biggest highlights for 2016. During those two weekends I had some time off. Five days. So I went in the studio with Nasri, the main vocalist in MAGIC!, and we wrote “Girl at Coachella.” I told him about like just being at Coachella, and all the girls there, they just like dress in the same way, and all the guys there, they like look at them. It’s just like a funny story about this girl chasing this guy and tricking him. After about an hour, we basically had all of the lyrics.

FS: I’m curious about the same thing with “All Night.” How did you and The Vamps decide, “Yeah, let’s make some music together.” What was that collaborative process like?

M: So my management had been speaking with their management for quite some time. We put together a demo. The original vocal and the demo came from their writing camp they had in L.A. like a few weeks before I heard the demo. I just immediately fell in love with the concept of being up all night, no sleep.

FS: Seems like you do it a lot.

M: Yeah, yeah. I could really relate to that. Just having fun and partying and being creative. So, I really fell in love with the vocals. I just tried to produce it as good as I could, and we ended up with the version I have. People loved it.

FS: I see you have quite the festival itinerary going on from here to Bonnaroo, Firefly, and Electric Forest. Are any of these fests going to be a first time for you?

M: I actually played Bonnaroo, Firefly, and Electric Forest two years ago. Those were the first summer festivals I ever did in the states. I had pretty good slots for my name and for my reputation. My booking agent did an amazing job, but now he’s just crushed it. My set times are just incredible. I’ve gone from playing daytime to now I close some of the stages. For me that just like a big milestone in my career. It’s going to be a lot of fun to go back, so I’m excited.

FS: Is there anyone from this weekend or any of the festivals you have coming up that you’re just super stoked to see?

M: When I heard that Mumford and Sons were playing here, I wanted to go, but I’m a little too tired because I’ve been traveling for a few days. I just came from Norway and did a crazy studio session in L.A. and then some festivals. I think I need to get some sleep because I’m flying out tomorrow back to Norway. It’s a 16-hour flight, and my girlfriend is waiting back home so I need to be rested.

Check out Matoma’s Official Site, Facebook, and Soundcloud!!

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