HOMETOWN: Long Island, N.Y.
INFLUENCES: Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Don Henley
ALBUM: As-yet-untitled LP, out 2015
The son of a New York singer-songwriter, EDM musician Matthew Koma aspired to write compelling songs at a young age—and he succeeded, landing a publishing deal at just 16. “My favorite songwriters are the ones who tell stories that are rooted in real emotion, but who find a way to get there that isn’t obvious or direct,” he says. After signing a recording deal with Interscope Records in 2012, Koma toured alongside such artists as LMFAO, Ellie Goulding and Charli XCX—and attracted further notice as the co-writer of Zedd’s Grammy-winning track, “Clarity.” Koma, 27, is working on his debut album, slated for release in 2015. “There are so many roadmaps to a great song, so many different ways to get to that destination,” he says. “The challenge of carving out my own path and speaking from my perspective—as I’m looking for it and defining and redefining it myself—is always an inspiring and exciting thing.”