I just admire Matthew Koma. I will always wish him well. The first time I interviewed him (for his first show at Chaos Manila), I was surprised by his wisdom and candor. He says the most practical and at the same profound things. He's witty and chill. My kind of guy.
Last week, March 11 to be exact, he came back for another show, and I did everything I could (which wasn't much, since the people at Chaos were super cool) to score another one-on-one with him for GIST. Matthew was in a better mood. He remembered me!
Told him it was my birthday the day before and that his show was my birthday gift to myself. After the interview, I asked for an updated selfie and told him, 'I want us to look like we're friends,' to which he quickly replied, 'We ARE friends'.
But the best thing that happened that night was he gave me a hug — an actual hug, you know, with pressure.
Again, he said something about craft that resonated with me. He recently wrote an article about finding your voice — really good read — and I asked him about it. Here are his additional thoughts (a complete, barely edited transcript) on finding his voice in his first solo album:
Finding your voice is something that you’re always doing. I don’t know that you ever find it. You’re always kind of trying to honor whatever truth is inside of you, be it a lyric or a genre direction. You’re always developing, you’re always searching, you’re always experiencing and you’re always channeling that into the most honest version of whatever it is. And I think that voice changes through time just like our actual voice changes through time.(By the way, trivia, he yawned in the middle of our chat! 'Excuse me, that's what a 27-hour flight does'—and then casually carried on talking.)
For me personally with this record, I feel like it’s one of the first times that I got to really turn inwards, because I wasn’t collaborating with other artists for their vision, or it wasn't for another voice. It was for me to be able to say, okay well who am I and what does this body represent? What am I saying and why is it different than what I’ve said in the context of songs with Zedd or in the context of songs with Alesso? Why is this mine? So for me I got to speak about really personal experiences and really personal angles of stories and how I told them.
I don’t know that you ever find it. I think you’re always kind of continuously finding it, and as long as you’re honoring that truth, it’s okay to go left or go right. It’s a search, that’s what it is. And I think people subscribe as fans to that search and to that voice because they’re searching, too. So if you could represent that for them and you’re gonna always honor them with the truth, then I think it’s a really fun journey to be on together. [emphases mine]