Matroda: Blazing a Trail in House Music with Classical Roots and Mastery in Beats

Apr 29, 2023

Photo of Michela Iosipov

Michela Iosipov

9 min read

Croatian-raised DJ and producer Matroda has been on fire in the house music scene for quite some time now, owing to his skill in producing chart-dominating tracks, dynamic energy, and mastery in rinsing some of the most tasteful edits of house tunes. With extensive classical training in violin, drums, and keyboard, Matroda's diverse influences and signature sound have set him apart and put his name in the spotlight.

Influenced by legends like Carl Cox and Justice, classical composers such as Mozart and Beethoven, and iconic bands like Led Zeppelin and The Beatles, Matroda has successfully blended these elements with his classical training to create a distinct sound. Establishing his label Terminal Underground has been a massive step up in elevating Matroda’s career, as he can showcase both his music and that of other gifted artists in the house scene.

Matroda's authentic talent and raw sound have not only earned him a devoted fan base but also garnered the attention of some of the most eminent record labels in the industry. His music has been signed to prestigious labels such as Insomniac Records, Cr2 Records, Repopulate Mars, Ultra Records, and HARD Records, among others. Moreover, he was ranked #19 in the world for Top 101 Producers in 2022 by 1001 Tracklists.

The impressive list of affiliations speaks volumes about Matroda's virtuosity as an artist and is further highlighted by his performances at several famed music festivals and clubs worldwide. He has graced the stages of renowned events such as EDC, Beyond and Nocturnal Wonderland, Amsterdam Dance Event, and Electric Zoo, to name a few. Additionally, he has executed memorable sets at big-league clubs like Club Space, Noa Beach Club, and Ushuaïa Ibiza.

Matroda’s dedication to staying true to his musical vision is evident as he approaches each show with an open mind and a willingness to experiment, never playing the same set twice, and allowing the groove to take control of his creativity. The journey in the world of house music has been nothing short of remarkable for Matroda, and it’s exciting to hear from him that this is just the beginning.

Don't miss the opportunity to catch one of Matroda's dynamite sets on May 14th at Superior Ingredients in Brooklyn, New York, for an Open-Air Sunset Performance that promises to be unforgettable.

Throughout your incredible journey in the electronic music world, which artists or experiences have had the most significant impact on your unique Matroda sound? Can you share a pivotal moment that helped shape your artistic direction?

I've been influenced by a wide range of different genres, artists, and experiences throughout my journey in the electronic music world. In terms of specific artists, I've always been a big fan of Carl Cox and Justice. Their unique blend of electronic music has had an impact on my sound. I've also been inspired by classical composers like Mozart and Beethoven, as well as more contemporary artists like Led Zeppelin and The Beatles.

It’s hard to pin out one pivotal moment that helped shape my artistic direction. I think an artist/producer needs to develop all the time and look at how to be unique and different.

Your classical training in violin, drums, and keyboard has set you apart from other house music producers. How do you blend these classical elements with the influences of Led Zeppelin, Frank Sinatra, and The Beatles to create your distinct sound?

My classical training has had an impact on my sound. I think the key to blending these classical elements with my other influences like Led Zeppelin, Frank Sinatra, and The Beatles is to approach my productions with an open mind and a willingness to experiment.

Ultimately, the key is to stay true to my musical vision while also incorporating different influences and techniques to create something truly unique and innovative. It's a delicate balance, but one that I'm constantly striving to achieve with each new track.

With your label, Terminal Underground, you've been able to showcase your vision and talent even further. What inspired you to create your label, and how do you see it evolving in the coming years?

Creating Terminal Underground was an important step for me in terms of showcasing not only my music but also the music of other talented artists in the house music scene that I like. I wanted to create a platform that will help to support and promote the next generation of music producers.

In terms of how I see Terminal Underground evolving in the coming years, I think the key is to continue to stay true to our core values of supporting innovative, forward-thinking music and fostering a strong sense of community within the house/electronic music scene. We're always on the lookout for new talent to sign to the label and new ways to showcase our artists, whether that's through live events or other collaborations.

Your live performances have been praised for their electrifying energy and connection with the audience. How do you approach preparing for a show, and what elements do you believe are essential for creating an unforgettable experience for your fans?

I never prepare a full set-in advance. I need to see the fans and feel the energy, that's it. And I never played the same set twice. There’s so much new and dope music out there that I love being creative and selective. For me music is the key, everything else will follow.

As a trailblazer in the house music scene, what advice do you have for aspiring producers looking to make their mark on the industry? Are there any specific challenges you've faced in your career, and how did you overcome them?

My advice for you is to stay true to yourself and try to sound unique. Don't try to emulate others or follow trends just because they seem popular at the moment. Focus on creating something that resonates with you and be confident in it. Additionally, don't be afraid to take risks and push boundaries. The music industry is constantly evolving, so it's essential to stay ahead of the curve and try new things.

As for challenges, one of the biggest ones I've faced is staying motivated and persevering through difficult times. It's easy to get discouraged when things don't go as planned or when you face rejection. However, it's important to keep pushing forward and remain passionate about what you do. Surround yourself with positive and supportive people who will encourage and uplift you along the way. Remember, success is a journey, not a destination.

Your journey in the house music scene has been nothing short of remarkable. Can you share with us the story behind your first breakthrough moment and how it set the stage for your flourishing career as a producer and DJ?

My first breakthrough moment happened in 2015 when I released a “California” remix together with Chris Lake. The track ended up charting on Beatport's Top 100 for several weeks, and it put me on the map as an up-and-coming producer in the house music scene. It was a pivotal moment in my career and set the stage for everything that has come since.

The fusion of your classical training and diverse musical influences has given birth to the signature Matroda sound. How do you approach the creative process when producing a new track, and what are the key elements you prioritize to ensure that your music resonates with fans?

When I approach the creative process of producing a new track, I always try to let my intuition guide me. I start with a basic idea or concept and then build on it, experimenting with different sounds, melodies, and rhythms until it starts to take shape.

My goal is to create something unique and different, something that will stand out in the crowded electronic music scene. I believe that authenticity is key, and I always strive to stay true to my artistic vision while also pushing myself to innovate and evolve as a producer.

You've had the privilege of performing at some of the most prestigious music festivals and venues across the globe. Can you tell us about a particularly memorable performance that stands out and why it was so special to you?

It’s hard to pick one moment as every play is a special one. I like traveling the world, meeting new people, and doing what I love. I appreciate every moment of it.

As the founder of Terminal Underground, you've expanded your reach in the house music community. What motivated you to establish your label, and how do you envision its growth and impact on the scene in the future?

Terminal Underground was established to provide a platform for artists to showcase their unique sound and creativity. I wanted to create a space where upcoming talent could be nurtured and supported to reach their full potential. With Terminal Underground, we aim to discover and develop new talent, while also releasing tracks from established artists who share our passion for pushing the boundaries of house music.

As for the future, I see Terminal Underground continuing to grow and expand its reach while maintaining our commitment to quality and innovation. We want to continue to be a driving force in the house/tech music scene, introducing fresh sounds and unique perspectives to the industry. Ultimately, our goal is to contribute to the evolution of the genre and inspire the next generation of electronic music producers.

Having achieved significant success in the industry, what goals and aspirations do you have for the next phase of your career? Are there any dream collaborations or projects that you're eager to pursue as you continue to shape the future of house music?

I have a feeling that I haven't achieved anything yet. I just started. Every day is a new learning experience. For the next phase of my career, I am focused on continuing to evolve my sound and push boundaries in the music genre. I have some exciting collaborations in the works that I can't wait to share with my fans, as well as some new projects that will showcase different facets of my artistry.

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