Great Britain

Meduza on their Grammy nomination, the making of ‘Piece Of My Heart’ and latest single ‘Lose Control’

IN less than a year Meduza have gone from three unknown Italian producers to the toast of global electronic dance music.

The production trio of Mattia Madwill, Simon de Jano and Luke Degre have received a Grammy nomination for their debut single, multi-platinum smash hit, ‘Piece Of Your Heart’ which was a collaboration with British production trio Goodboys.

Nominated for the category of Best Dance Recording, the trio will compete against the likes of The Chemical Brothers, Rufus Du Soul, Bonobo and Skrillex & Boys Noize on January 26 at the STAPLES Centre in LA.

After the huge success of 'Piece Of Your Heart', Meduza returned in October with ‘Lose Control’, collaborating again with Goodboys and also this time with British artist and songwriter Becky Hill.

We caught up with Mattia from the trio to find out more about Meduza, how it feels to be Grammy nominated for their debut single, going from zeros to heroes and why house music continues to dominate across the globe.

Firstly, congratulations on the Grammy nomination for ‘Piece Of My Heart’. You guys must be super excited? What was your reaction when you found out?

It’s truly incredible. We were quite emotional in all honesty as this is our first single. Now we have calmed down! It’s testament to great house music and having a super team around you meaning anything is possible. The secret is to never, ever give up.

How does it feel to be competing with the likes of The Chemical Brothers and Skrillex for the 'Best Dance Recording' award?

To be nominated alongside these artists is incredible, we should also mention the other nominees, Bonobo and Rufus du Sol who have also been making some amazing music this last year.

It is a hell of a way to announce your arrival on the scene, with now two global hit records with your second single ‘Lose Control’ smashing it alongside your Grammy nomination for ‘Piece Of My Heart’ which was many peoples song of the summer. Can you give us a bit of background to Meduza?

We are three Italians from Milan, we have been making music together and going to clubs for many years in various forms, Mattia (myself) I used to be a librarian, Luca is a music Producer and Simone is a music teacher, we came together as friends to make music and have been for many years, it’s been a long process for us from house clubs years ago to long days and nights in studios to now making ‘Piece Of Your Heart’ and ‘Lose Control’.

It's been many years since a house music record like ‘Piece Of My Heart’ went to daytime radio across the world, were you expecting this?

No not at all, like most artists / musicians, we didn’t set out to make a ‘hit’ we were just having some fun in the studio with some friends from London and this record came together in around 15 mins. The radio and dance floor success of the track is really about the right record at the right time. House music has been bubbling towards radio for a while now, a lot of European and international day time radio stations wouldn’t touch the genre for many years. But with the likes of Camelphat (with ‘Cola’) and Fisher (with ‘Losing It’) this has broken down the barriers somewhat for radio, the appetite for radio to play this sound has returned, couple that with a willingness from a new generation of kids on the dance floor to hear this kind of sound, this summer has been like a perfect storm.

We should also mention that the resurgence of old skool or classic house events (Glitterbox being the perfect example of this by Defected) the older generation along with the new generation simultaneously listening to / wanting the same kind of sound has contributed to ‘Piece of your Heart’ being so big.

Dance floors are full of kids loving house music again, it’s amazing to see, every corner of the globe we have played this summer is enjoying the sound, radio stations are on board also, what’s not to love about this? Couple that with a generation from 20 years ago also wanting that sound via the radio, this is a powerful movement happening.

What’s the future hold musically for you?

Our second single came out in October and is doing really well with Polydor UK and Virgin Germany. In 2020 we have club records with Defected and a few other labels we love and respect and as we are all musicians, we are working on something fully live, more about that another time though.

We didn't see you in Ibiza during the summer, why is that?

As a team with our management we decided to sit Ibiza out in the summer of 19, we got offered a few shows here and there but didn’t feel the time was right to come into the market, with no shortage of shows around the globe, we prefer to wait for Ibiza and come to the island when the time is right.

Tell us how ‘Piece Of Your Heart’ happened?

We were in a studio session in London in the summer of 2018 and made a few records in that session, at the end of one of the days, we were messing about with the writers in that day (Josh and Connor) and Luca inadvertently left the mic on when we were looking for a hook for the record you hear now, he recorded it, added it for fun and at the end of the week when our managers came to listen to what was made, we very nearly didn’t play this as it was just a bit of fun, we are glad we did though, as they literally went crazy for this track. Meduza socials were set up with 0 fans across them all, a little promo to R1 and a major label fight for the record and here we having released it just 10 months ago and it’s done a billion streams across all platforms and top 10 in the official charts in 30 plus countries.

And the follow up record ‘Lose Control’ really builds on your debut and takes things up a notch. The vocals from Becky Hill are lush. Can you tell us a little about how you guys came with work with Becky and also Goodboys?

‘Lose Control’ was written and produced in the winter of 2018 with vocalist Josh Grimmett from Goodboys and co-writer Conor Blake, most of the song was actually written in that session. Months after this we were excited to have the talented Becky Hill come through to write and finish the song adding her amazing vocals. The first take of the vocal by Becky was in fact recorded lying down on a sofa but we knew immediately we had something special. Josh and Becky's voices complimented each other so well it made the track feel different and fresh but still our sound of Meduza. The reaction in the clubs, on the radio and across all streaming platforms has been nothing but incredible, following “Piece Of Your Heart” was always going to be difficult as it was such a huge monumental record for us but we hope “Lose Control” delivered everything it needed to be and more to our fans around the world and would like to thank them all for their continued support.

What do you think of the scene itself internationally at the moment, after the boom / bust of EDM. Do you think the scene is in a good place ?

It's readjusted as it always does, I think the scene has lacked real strong brands and artists because of the lack of Radio play for electronic music, go back 20 years and you had Erick Morillo, Armand Van Helden, Roger Sanchez etc hosting huge events and festival arenas whilst at the same time having hit records across the globe on the radio, EDM for all its bad points (and some good) did the same thing with acts / brands and Radio support. This looks like being the next cyclical change for electronic music, we have to thank EDM somewhat though, a tonne of kids have filtered through entry level EDM and now are wanting a cooler more accomplished musical slower sound, we hope us having a hit globally with Piece of your Heart helps other house acts do the same, pushing a house music narrative is something we have done in all radio interviews this year for the single, we believe strongly in this.

What do you think of phones in nightclubs and the IG generation documenting their ‘moments’ ?

People should use their phones less in clubs and get lost in the music / journey the DJ / Live act / Band are taking them on, conversely, many people using phones can find out about a track or DJ / Act / Band via social media posts so it’s a double edged sword sadly, for sure though kids should go back to 20 years ago and get stuck in instead of filming every single drop so their mates can see them living their best life.

Finally do you have some words for unknown artists trying to make it in this business ?

If we can have zero IG Followers, zero FB followers and 0 followers anywhere, make a record, get it signed to a label and have a global hit, so can you! Find a great team of people who believe in your music and the rest will fall into place. Believe in yourself.