Norway’s Tom Straete a.k.a. Matoma figured out the formula for amazing summer time listening. Classically trained with a degree in music coupled with a childhood spent listening to rap lead this producer into becoming a trailblazer of one of the most popular sub-genres of EDM. Recognizing the similar swing of hip hop and tropical house allowed Matoma to combine two seemingly different genres of music and create an all new auditory sensation.
The track that put Matoma on the map with Big Beat Records and eventually Atlantic Records was his mash-up of Notorious B.I.G. x Ja Rule x Ralph Tresvant entitled “Old Thing Back”. He came across the acapella for “Want The Old Thing Back”, deciphered the melody of the vocal, wrote his own instrumentals using Biggie’s flow as inspiration, and a tropical house favorite was made. In a recent interview, he recanted his emotions from the day:
“At the time, I didn’t think the track was so special,” he said. “You see remixes of Biggie all the time that pop up on the Hype Machine and on the Internet, but with this one, the reaction was so much stronger.”
Despite his humble feelings the track was deemed very special. Catching the attention of Big Beat Records, Warner Music Group’s dance music label under Atlantic Records, Matoma was on his way to having an official remix for one of world’s most recognizable names in hip hop.
“I just sat down in my apartment and started crying. It was so huge because The Notorious B.I.G. has been, like, the biggest influence for me in music.”
Another notable song in the Matoma discography that has garnered millions of play is his remix of Jay Z’s “Roc Boys”. The beat transports listeners off to a desert island while Jay’s recognizable voice makes for a perfect summer time sing-a-long. Available for free download, this tune would be the perfect way to pre-game before his performance at Pittsburgh’s Diesel Club this coming Thursday August 13th. Tickets range between $15-$40 and the event is friendly to ages 18+. Buy your tickets now.
Born and raised in chilly Norway, it’s interesting to hear why the producer chose to make warm, tropical beats:
“We always look forward to the summer. In the springtime, we always prepare ourselves for the summer. We’re watching surf movies and playing tropical music, because we have the huge difference between winter and summer, so I think the contrast there is really nice.”
Matoma has no plans to adhere to a strict tropical-house-only agenda despite his massive success in the genre. His live sets on tour will be comprised of a little bit of everything:
“I’m making all types of music. I’m trying to adapt, but with a smooth transition so people don’t get shocked. Actually, I make all kinds of music. That’s the best thing about having the opportunity to go on tour, because my sets are like a roller coaster. I stay in the general tropical, but I play in all different types of tempo.”
M A T O M A