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Pop Troubadour Matthew Koma Talks Songwriting, Dance Music and Debut "Parachute" EP [Exclusive Interview]


If there's one discerning quality that all great songwriters possess, it's the ability to skillfully capture an emotion, boil it down to its purest essence and turn that raw sentiment into a timeless melody that's meaningful to people everywhere. Emerging singer/songwriter Matthew Koma is one of those rare songwriting talents who's a savvy observer of life with a keen sense of melody. Whether it's a soaring vocal hook of an explosive dance tune or a full-length pop number, Koma is a modern-day troubadour who knows exactly how to dose the emotional intensity in his music and deliver it with heartfelt gusto.

Following his recent collaborations with Sebastian Ingrosso, Alesso, Zedd and Far East Movement, Koma steps out in the spotlight this week with the release of his debut EP, entitled "Parachute." The New York-born and bred singer/songwriter wrote and produced/co-produced all of the four tracks on "Parachute," working with collaborators Alex Da Kid (Nicki Minaj, Rihanna), The Runaways’ Sam Watters and Louis Biancaniello (Kelly Clarkson, Leona Lewis) and The Smeezingtons’ Ari Levine (Bruno Mars, Bad Meets Evil).

Inspired by classic singer/songwriters like Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Costello, Koma has a very distinct point of view when it comes to songwriting. "I write about things that I know are sincere and that I can speak about from a real place," he tells Arjan in an interview. "I feel that's really the only way for me to connect with people. [Music] needs to come from an honest place. Songwriting is an honest process for me so it is very reflective of what I'm going through in that moment, experiencing or seeing."

Koma adds, "I think there has to be a certain level of experience with what you're writing about to really tap into the main points of that emotion to connect with people in a real way. I think people can tell when somebody talks about something from a real place."

His recent collaboration with EDM artists like Alesso ("Calling," "Years") and Zedd ("Spectrum") has helped Koma to further hone his songwriting craft. "They're all very musical people. It's cool to see things through their eyes and it has inspired me to approach songwriting in a different way," he explains. "The electronic dance music world is so track driven and there's so much focus on the production that when it comes to songwriting it is even more about finding that simple sentiment and tapping into it."

Koma is part of the burgeoning Cherrytree Records family, the pop alternative home of artists like Feist, LMFAO, Keane, Robyn and Far East Movement. The label has been a huge source of inspiration and learning for the young artist as well. "Cherrytree Records is a thousand percent different than a lot of traditional labels," Koma says. "Everybody has their own space but you're also part of this big family, and you work together and collaborate."

"I've gotten to work with people like Ellie Goulding and Far East Movement. It's a very musically-driven movement that truly stands for something with people that are passionate about music and who understand what art is. I'm really proud and honored to be a part of," Koma concludes.

(Download Matthew Koma's "Parachute" EP on iTunes now and look for his collaboration with Far East Movement, Zedd and Alesso soon. Koma is currently touring with LMFAO, Far East Movement, The Quest Crew, Sidney Samson, and Eva Simons on the Sorry For Party Rocking Tour. See them in a town near you.)

May 30, 2012 | Permalink