Tom Stræte Lagergren, more commonly known by his stage name Matoma, is a Norweigan DJ and producer recognized for his remixes and electronic dance music hits. The Foghorn had the opportunity to interview Matoma during his tour across five countries, including the U.S. He has collaborated with many well-known artists, including Noah Cyrus, The Vamps, Noah Kahan, MAX, and many more. His top songs, “All Night” and ”Old Thing Back,” helped to spark his popularity, as shown through his 8.5 million monthly listeners on Spotify.
Matoma has had a very unique career, leading him to become the DJ he is today. He has been a life-long musician, as he has played classical piano since he was seven. After high school, Matoma served in the Norweigan military, where he brought his computer and equipment and produced music whenever he had time. He then pursued a bachelor’s degree in music technology at the Norweigan University of Science and Technology, where he was introduced to a community of fellow musicians who inspired him to become a DJ. While getting his degree, he played his remixes to small audiences on the weekends. Matoma credited their feedback in shaping his musical career, saying, “It gave me a good direction of if the song was good or not.”
Before he was signed, Matoma would spend 10-12 hours a day, for five to six days a week, in his bedroom working on his music. When his SoundCloud remixes started gaining attention, he was signed to Atlantic Records. Speaking to that experience, he said, “I had to pinch myself and take a moment to really digest what was going on … I just looked back at my career and looked back at the days I was nonstop making music, and it was the best feeling.”
Matoma’s songs are consistently upbeat and happy. When asked how he stays so positive, he stated, “I want to connect with my audience with love and positivity.” His deep connection to his audience pushes him to continue to make his work optimistic as a way to bring out the same positive emotions in his fans. He said, “Spreading love and positivity is one of the reasons why I am on this planet.” Reflecting on his journey, he said he wouldn’t be where he is today without the love from his supporters.
He explained that if his career did not lead him to become a DJ, he would have become a music teacher. This idea stems from his past of being taught to play classical piano from a young age. He said that as a music teacher, he would have the ability to spread his knowledge, as well as learn new skills himself, and serve as a role model to young people. Regardless of his career’s direction, he wants to stay connected to music while inspiring others.
As for the future, fans can expect a new album to be released around April. He is also planning to attend popular music festivals such as Coachella, which he said will be a huge highlight in his career.
Follow Matoma on Instagram @matoma and check out his upcoming tour dates at https://www.hakunamatoma.com