“Perseverance is the path to success.” This mantra, written by one of the greatest entertainers of the 20th century, is even more true for those who owe nothing to chance and for whom nothing was given in advance. Mathieu Koss is one of them. Because nothing was set in stone for this 29-year-old Nancy-born (North-eastern France) Frenchman to end up with millions of streams or to work with some of the biggest names in electro-pop.
This entirely self-taught artist, who admires a spectrum of artists from Coldplay to Avicii to Calvin Harris, to name but a few, is a true alchemist who combines today’s sounds and blends them with the freshest pop songs of the last 20 years. An ungainly mix? This is not what Bob Sinclar thinks, who in 2016 appeared with Mathieu to remix his single Someone Who Needs Me. The 100 million people who streamed Big Jet Plane, his first huge hit (cover of Angus and Julia Stone’s folk song) seem to concur that his inimitable style is an efficacious one.
Mathieu began writing his story the year he turned 14 years old, when, on very much a whim, he bought his very first DJ deck. At the time, quite naturally he was oblivious that his newfound hobby would go on to define his life. Two years later, he created his ‘mobile disco’ to host weddings and birthdays. The story would show however, that the road to success would not be a smooth one for Mathieu. But no matter what the challenges, Mathieu grew stronger as the experiences progressed. Resilience was key, the ability to get knocked down and get back up. “The harder life was for me,” he notes, “the more I pushed myself”.
At barely 18 years old, Mathieu already mixed a lot, with only one goal: to make people dance. His first venues in lounge bars taught him how to get the crowd moving. A year later, he was spending most of his free time “making sound” in a garage, fantasising from afar about making a career of his hobby-cum-profession, similar to that of the stars of the moment. A dream which was 99% unconscious, for who is he to make such ambitious plans? 4 years later, he was combining traditional daytime work and nights producing in the home studio. Cut off from the real world, his vocation exhausted, his career options were slim-pickings. There was only one option left, the reset button. The magic touch to reinvent yourself, shuffle the (DJ) deck and restart from scratch. It was in Australia that the Frenchman decided to (re)start the process.
He returned to France 12 months later, regenerated, and decided to unequivocally dedicate himself to his music. This time round, the interest in him was shaking with excitement. Goodbye polite indifference, it is in a resolutely house style, much like R3hab, that he first made himself noticed. Even better, a title is signed: Need Your Lovin’. The egg is hatching! The song is played by Tiesto, Martin Garrix, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike and many more, posted everywhere online and on major national TV channels. 2 million streams. A buzz. A real big buzz. But above all, it is a major encouragement for Mathieu Koss and the challenges only reinforce your determination.
Determined to get out of the club music ghetto and find his way into a more mainstream electro pop, he evolves his style. He wants melodies, guitar, piano. “My goal is to twist between pop and electro, he says, “ Since I have been following this path, my music has become more natural, less cerebral. I no longer have to fight with myself.” A turning point had been reached. A meeting in the studio with a song writer in Amsterdam will change his situation. This songwriter gives him the key to unstoppable melodies, filled with an emotion that Mathieu reinforces with a string production and reinvented samples. It’s his magic touch that boosts a club title into a chart-topping hit.
In 2017, Mathieu Koss reached another level. More than ever, freed from the constraints of the profession, he allowed himself total creative freedom. And it is the meeting with the famous Brazilian DJ Alok, on their track Big Jet Plane, which will make the records explode. With 200 million plays on all platforms combined, the track became a mega hit worldwide, consolidating this inconspicuous Frenchie among the elite of the charts. This success also validates on a global scale the “Koss formula”, a clever fusion between electro beats and resolutely positive melodies that gives them a sunny colour and a mad energy. The same shock effect a year later with Best Is Yet To Come, featuring Joan Alasta who raked in more than 6 million global plays. A follow up that makes everyone agree: Mathieu Koss is now a DJ and a producer to be reckoned with.
All that remained was to try to produce for the summer of 2019 a most hallucinating mix between French pop variety in its most stimulating form (Only with a certain J.J. Goldman) and the stellar voice of the unescapable Aloe Blacc (I Need A Dollar and the renowned Wake Me Up with Avicii). The result, Never Growing Up, is a powerful vibrant song that radiates, a hymn to the Peter Pan spirit, to youthfulness, a wave of positivity the face of an oft surreal and cynical world. And guess what? Once again, the universe lined up, and in less time than it takes to say, the 5 million streams have been reached, 15,000 cumulative radio broadcasts and summer scenes (including a live Music Festival on France 2 and TV5 to begin with) promise to excite all, including the play count! All the more impressive as the song was only released a few short weeks ago….
It can be said that the young producer has largely taken up the challenge he has given himself: “to move from DJ Booth to mainstream music! “Next stop: a headline in Tomorrowland or Coachella? Why not? Once again, Mathieu’s perseverance and persistence will always be the path to his success…