Tuesday, May 24

Matoma about the turning point: – Happens only once in a lifetime

When the music of Tom “Matoma” Stræte Lagergren exploded on the Internet, it led to a hectic life on the road.

He shelved plans to become a music teacher, and signed a contract with the American record company Atlantic Records. This was the start of a new everyday life, and he got the chance to establish himself in the United States.

But even though the exclusive celebrity life in Los Angeles is the ideal lifestyle for many, there was something wrong with the musician from Flisa.

– The lifestyle you have in LA, especially in that industry, becomes very intense and a lot. I am a very creative soul and I am a creator. And for me to be able to create, I have to have impulses that are right for me, Matoma says to host Dorthe Skappel when they meet for a longer chat.

He can travel to the states and be creative there for a few weeks, but it does not take long before he returns home.

– After those weeks, I want to return to Norwegian nature, my family and my friends, the musician says.

– She’s a mentor

During this period, there was also another obstacle Lagergren had to go through to feel satisfied.

– You are a sensitive soul, what is it like when you come to an industry in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and these American cities that are much more superficial?

– I have always been sensitive, but I have kept it inside me. I do not know why, but maybe like many others, one is afraid to show those sides of oneself. Feeling vulnerable, feeling that it is not masculine, you show a weak side, Lagergren expresses.

Eventually he got to a point where everything turned around, and much of the help came from a very special person for him.

– I met Maren, my roommate. I believe that you meet your soulmate once in a lifetime. That you have such a contact with a human being that you find yourself in that person. And I would say that she has almost been a mentor. Even though she’s younger than me and we’re in a relationship, the musician explains.

COHABITANTS: Maren Gjertsen was the turning point for Matoma. Photo: @Matoma / Instagram

In countless hours of traveling, partying and concert work, his girlfriend was much of the solution to how he felt inside.

– Now that I see myself in the mirror, I love who I am. And that has not always been the case, says Matoma.

Inner well-being

In a hectic musician’s everyday life, Matoma has now found a new method of relaxation, which he was skeptical about at first, but which turned out to be exclusively positive. This was also the girlfriend Maren Gjertsen behind.

It all started with the cohabitant giving him a spa stay as a gift.

– I was like: “Oh no, spa is not me”, but then I thought I should not come up with my pessimistic attitude and we will see what it is. The first time it was a habit, but the second time it was really nice on the body and such an inner well-being, says Matoma.

The spa experience led him to create something he describes as a work of art at Farris Bad. It is in fact the first tailor-made art installation at a sauna ritual.

SPA: Matoma at Farris Bad, where he made music for a sauna ritual.  Photo: @Matoma / Instagram

SPA: Matoma at Farris Bad, where he made music for a sauna ritual. Photo: @Matoma / Instagram

When Matoma creates music, he is present in the moment, and that feeling has a lot in common with being at a spa.

– That’s what the whole point of going into a sauna is: the stress and what you bring in, you have to get rid of. You go in here to take care of yourself. When you come in here, it is the silence, the calm and the time to think about who you are in all this, he says.

Hard love

Although Matoma has now found peace with family, girlfriend and sauna rituals, he has not always been at that point.

When the pandemic occurred, it meant that all the events for Matoma, and the rest of cultural life, had to be put on hold. It affected the musician significantly in the beginning.

– I was worried, nervous, I got anxiety and I felt very sorry for myself, he says.

It was when he spoke to Maren that he received a revelation.

– She said to me: «Tom, now you have to look at the bigger picture here. People die in the world and lose their homes, and then you are worried. I understand that concerts give people joy, but that is not what they need now “, says Matoma.

Everything he did not have time for before, such as being with family and relaxing, he was given the opportunity to do now. He says that his girlfriend said it out of tough love, but that was exactly what Matoma needed to hear.

– In that I spent a lot of time finding out who I am in all this. You end up being in a pattern, which may be a bit repetitive and automatic, without you even thinking about it. In a hectic and stressful everyday life, you actually need impulses like this here to find yourself, the musician from Flisa concludes.


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