Zedd, the producer and star DJ who’s spent the last few days under fire, still isn’t returning it — but he did issue a very controlled, polite and lengthy statement via social media, defending himself against singer Matthew Koma’s accusations that he takes credit for others’ work.
“I just wanted to let my fans know my side of the story,” Zedd wrote in a four-page letter attached to a tweet Sunday night, four days into the controversy. “I have given Matt songwriting credit for every topline he has written,” said the producer, using the term used by contemporary songsmiths for the vocal part of a song that is written over an already existing track in a typical collaborative situation.
Zedd has nary an openly angry word for Koma in his explanatory and sometimes conciliatory-sounding open letter — although he at least hints at pique toward his former co-writer when he says that “accusations like ‘he’s the worst’ and that I now have people produce my music (are) obviously not true.”
After detailing what he contends is the exact breakdown of several songs they worked on together, Zedd says, “What hurts the most is that Matt feels underappreciated and treated unfairly while I have countless times mentioned him (or) his name, while we’ve done promo together, performed our songs live together and I thought I was being supportive. Anywhere you look, you will see Matt credited for his work. I wish he would have just let me know in person what he was feeling. I never want anyone I work with to be unhappy. I treat everyone I work with with love and respect and it hurts me to see someone feeling differently after seven years.”
In the end, Zedd offers to break bread together, saying, “What I told Matt doesn’t change – I am incredibly proud of our work together and I continue to wish him nothing but the best. Hopefully one day we can sit down together again as friends.”
The 590-word statement is quite an expansion on Zedd’s earlier, five-sentence response to Koma on June 7, which many online fans of either artist or both deemed insufficient.
Koma’s tone in the series of tweets that kicked off the kerfuffle was far less measured. “In response to years of: ‘What happened with you & Zedd.’ I want to finally be transparent about this,” he wrote on his Instagram page Thursday. “Unfortunately my good feelings toward those songs have all but disappeared as they were experienced alongside someone so toxic and self serving that it occupied the space where any happiness could exist.”
Zedd recently tweeted that the song “Spectrum” “CAME OUT 7 YEARS AGO AND CHANGED MY LIFE FOREVER,” which is believed to be what prompted the Koma tweet storm that started out merely with “lol you’re welcome” and then became much more heated. Koma complained that he was not invited to the Grammys when another 2012 song, “Clarity,” won for best dance recording.
Zedd’s full statement, below:
I just wanted to let my fans know my side of the story. Nothing will ever change how proud I am of the songs I made with Matt. They will forever be part of our history and even though it’s hard to sit through a personal attack like this, I still love the songs just as much and I still think Matt is one of the best songwriters I’ve ever gotten to work with.
I have given Matt songwriting credit for every topline he has written. There are even videos of me breaking down how the songs were made and where I explain that Matt wrote “Clarity” topline on top of a track I made, called “Lost at Sea.” I told Matt the topline was too emotional for the track and I told him I’d make another song with the “Clarity” topline (which became “Clarity” in the form we know it today).
“Find You” was a song I wrote on a piano in my parents’ basement, recorded on my phone and sent it to Miriam to write to. Later we asked Matt to join and help us finish the song and we tweaked it over a long period of time, partially while we were in Japan on promo for “Spectrum.”
“Spectrum” is a track I made and didn’t have a vocal for. I called Matt to join me in the studio and write a topline together. He came into the studio and we wrote the melody for it while he ended up writing the words over weeks and weeks until we thought it was perfect.
He wrote a song called “Suitcase” and I was sent the topline. I loved the vocal and produced my own version of it which was extremely Zedd-sounding so I wanted it to be my next single. I then found out that Matt wanted to be the artist on “Suitcase,” and not the writer at which point I removed myself from it completely and what happened with the song going forward has nothing to do with me. I didn’t ever hold him back from releasing his song and I would never do that.
And lastly, accusations like “he’s the worst” and that I now have people produce my music (are) obviously not true.
I surely collaborate with others more than I used to but that’s part of becoming more mature and open minded. I used to refuse to work with any other producers and working with people like Grey, Rock Mafia, The Monsters & Strangers, KDrew, Linus and many more made me realize that it CAN be amazing to collaborate with other producers.
What hurts the most is that Matt feels underappreciated and treated unfairly while I have countless times mentioned him/his name, while we’ve done promo together, performed our songs live together and I thought I was being supportive.
Anywhere you look, you will see Matt credited for his work. I wish he would have just let me know in person what he was feeling. I never want anyone I work with to be unhappy. I treat everyone I work with with love and respect and it hurts me to see someone feeling differently after 7 years.
Anyway, I just wanted my fans to know my side of the story. What I told Matt doesn’t change – I am incredibly proud of our work together and I continue to wish him nothing but the best.
Hopefully one day we can sit down together again as friends.