Matthew Koma has always been a rock guy.
The 27-year-old Seaford native was raised on Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Costello and has played guitar pretty much since he was old enough to hold one. He headlined CBGB with his band while still in high school.
However, after his collaboration with EDM producer Zedd yielded two No. 1 hits -- "Spectrum," which was the top dance song of 2012, and 2013's "Clarity," which won the best dance recording Grammy -- Koma became one of the dance world's most sought-after artists. And he began stretching his idea of what a Matthew Koma performance could be.
"I've been able to do a bunch of different kinds of sets," Koma says, calling from his Los Angeles home. "There's so many different platforms that people who come to see won't be seeing the same show.
"If they're coming to a club at 1 in the morning, chances are, it's not going to be one of my intimate acoustic shows. It's probably going to be a DJ set, which is a blast because it's been a really good excuse to play a lot of my friends' records and remixes I like and a lot of songs that I've written over the years."
Koma will bring his DJ show to New York for the first time on Feb. 27, with a set at Pacha in Manhattan, one that is similar to his residency at the Wynn Las Vegas casino and he will bring to the Ultra Music Festival next month in Miami. But he will also show off his singer-songwriter rock side when he performs as part of the Cherrytree 10th Annual Musical Celebration, where he will celebrate his label's anniversary alongside Sting, Feist and Far East Movement, at Manhattan's Webster Hall on March 9.
"To tell you the truth, I'm not actually sure how I'll be performing at the Cherrytree show, whether I'll just grab an acoustic guitar and do some songs or if it will be more of a band setup," Koma says. "Each Cherrytree show is really a different experience. They're not necessarily planned out. It's more about performing with a shared spirit."
And as Koma's reputation in both the pop and dance worlds grows, more and more people want to share in his spirit. He is set to perform at Coachella for the first time this year, after years of guest appearances in others' sets. And in addition to wrapping up production on his debut album, Koma has been working on songs for Kelly Clarkson's upcoming album and working with Britney Spears and Weezer's Rivers Cuomo.
One collaboration Koma is extremely excited about is a song on the comeback album of legendary disco producer Giorgio Moroder, who more recently worked with Daft Punk on the Grammy-winning "Random Access Memories" album.
"He's influenced so much -- Donna Summer, Blondie -- he's the man who created that sound," Koma says. "When he approached me to work on a song, I was excited because the tracks that he sent me were so in that lane, except it wasn't somebody copying Giorgio Moroder. It was Giorgio Moroder. It was really rad to be able to write a song to his tracks in that world. . . . It's definitely different for me because I haven't really collaborated with anyone as funky as that 74-year-old man. And it was fun as hell."
For Koma, watching the convergence of rock and electronic dance music has been fun as well. "Growing up in New York, I had so many friends who were in that scene, and we never really collaborated even as recently as five years ago," he says. "The kinds of songs I was writing and the kinds of songs that were getting played in that scene at that point weren't even in the same realm. As time went on, the space between those two worlds became smaller and smaller and then they sort of became joined. It wasn't that far of a stretch."
That convergence will also be seen in his debut album, due out later this year after numerous delays. Koma says it all worked out for the best.
"I wouldn't have had it any other way just because the past two years of working with everyone under the sun in the electronic world has been such a huge influence on what the record became," he says. "It wouldn't be what it is without having gone through all that. I'm just happy to have a body of work to be able to stand behind."
WHO Matthew Koma
WHEN | WHERE 10 p.m. Friday, Feb. 27, Pacha, 618 W. 46th St., Manhattan
INFO $19-$45; 212-209-7500, pachanyc.com.
It's no wonder Matthew Koma has A-listers like Kelly Clarkson and Britney Spears lining up to work with him these days. His work behind the scenes in recent years speaks for itself.
"Spectrum" (Zedd feat. Matthew Koma, 2012)
KOMA ROLE Singer, co-writer with Zedd
RESULT Song reaches No. 1 on the dance charts and becomes the biggest dance song of 2012
"Rocky Ground" (Bruce Springsteen, 2012)
KOMA ROLE Remixer with Ron Aniello
RESULT The "Modern Mix" of "Rocky Ground" became the second single from Springsteen's "Wrecking Ball" album
"Clarity" (Zedd feat. Foxes, 2013)
KOMA ROLE Co-writer with Zedd, Porter Robinson and Holly Brook Hafermann
RESULT Tops the dance charts, reaches No. 8 on the pop charts and wins 2014 Grammy for best dance recording
"Wasted" (Tiesto feat. Matthew Koma, 2014)
KOMA ROLE Singer and co-writer with Tiesto and Twice as Nice
RESULT Hits No. 1 on U.K. dance charts, No. 2 on U.S. dance charts and is featured in the movie "22 Jump Street"