Classically trained on guitar, piano and drums, Los Angeles via Budapest producer Mat Cipher has received great praise for his pop-leaning house productions. Having only released music for the past few years, it’s clear that Mat has a definitive and unique sonic palette, which sets him in perfect stead to cultivate a large global following. DMCWORLD checks in with the main man as he releases new single ‘Sand Toy’…
Hi Mat, welcome to DMC! Firstly, where are you in the world and what are you doing right now?
Hey, thank you so much! Currently, I am in Budapest and other than working on upcoming projects, I try to spend time with friends and family.
How did you initially get into music and at what age were you when you produced your first track?
Music has been around me since I was born pretty much. My Grandparents’ upright piano was in our living room so I would try playing on it once in a while. My Grandma taught me some simple pieces but it was just for fun. Later on, I attended guitar classes, piano classes and we had a few bands. Eventually, I got into electronic music and music production, which made me realize how addicted I am to creating songs that had not been made before. I was 17 when I produced my first beat. This was not the first release but I think this was the beginning.
Your new single ‘Sand Toy’ is out today. What was the production process like and how long did it take?
It may sound funny but one lazy Saturday I woke up and I had a melody in my head. I recorded a voice memo, then I was playing around and came up with a guitar hook that eventually became the final one. At that point, I was doing the instrumentation to see how the whole music would sound like. I had some vocal ideas, so I called my friend and frequent collaborator, Manu Beker, to finish the vocal topline. We finished the demo and I found the singer, Freida Mari, by accident on Spotify. I was amazed how good she was so I reached out to ask whether she would be down to sing the topline and she said yes! Therefore, we wrote the song in LA/Mexico City, recorded the vocals in Toronto, I finalized the project in Budapest, and the song was mixed in New York City and then mastered in London. It’s kind of crazy how remotely we can work nowadays.
There is also a music video for the single – what was the inspiration and story behind this?
When I showed the song to the production team we all instantly agreed upon this indistinct visual atmosphere the song gave us of constantly being in a loop- whatever we do we will eventually find ourselves back at the beginning- which I believe is natural to every human being, but quite repetitive, whether it is a good or bad experience.
The team ultimately found their base of inspiration in what keeps them out of the bad kind of loop: the importance of always moving forward to the completion of their dreams, which gives them strength and joy as reward and naturally generates greater goals, of course.
Visually, they prefer symbolic storytelling over a defined message, hence the story setting seen in the music video is a very “simplified” yet metaphorical version of this motivation. I personally enjoy how differently one universal feeling can be experienced and yet connect so many of us. I am sure each individual sees something in it that the other will interpret differently.
Who has been a big influence for you and your production style?
I feel like whoever I met, heard, or worked with, I learnt from them. Originally, I was a fanboy of Green Day, Muse, Avicii, Brian Tyler and Hans Zimmer. When I moved to Los Angeles, I met Matias Rengel, who used to be my music production teacher and eventually we became very close friends. We started working on songs in our free time and I can say that I learned the true essence of small details from Matias. He truly is my mentor and one of my best friends.
If you could collaborate with any other artist, who would it be?
One of my all-time favorite singers is Sia. I remember attending her show at Sziget Festival and she was insane. Til this day, Sia is at the top of my list.
You’re originally from Hungary but now based in L.A. At what age did you move and how do the music scenes differ between the two?
I truly committed to music when I moved to LA, as I was turning 18. I got a scholarship so I finished high school in Los Angeles. Before this, I did not have any music related connections or friends in Hungary, because it was just a hobby for me. When I realized that I wanted to be a music producer, I started going to events, working with artists and just opening up my circle. One of the biggest differences is that the industry is so LA based that you can bump into a lot of people which rarely happens in Hungary; when it comes to the global music scene.
Does your native country have any influence on your music?
It definitely does. Everything that happened to me had a great impact on who I am, what kind of music I like to create and what kind of direction I am going towards. To be honest, I can’t pick one specific thing but I feel that everything that happened, made me who I am today.
How have you been finding lock down?
Fortunately, me and my loved ones are safe and sound, so I keep reminding myself that I am truly grateful. I try to defeat as many obstacles as I can every day and become the best version of myself. We worked on a lot of new records with different artists, songwriters and producers, so it has actually been really dope for me!
What else can we expect from you in terms of new music and shows in the coming months?
We have been planning a few upcoming songs for this year, and so far the feedback has been lovely. Show wise, I am not sure how things will open up, but once everything is safe, I’ll be doing some DJ performances, as well as playing live instruments too.