M. Pokora biography
Matthieu Tota (born 26 September 1985 in Strasbourg, France) commonly known as M. Pokora or Matt Pokora, is a French singer and songwriter.
Matthieu Tota, is the son of professional footballer André Tota and his mother is Brigitte Tota. His parents divorced in 1998 when he was just 13. As a child, he studied at an elementary school in Hohberg, and later at Collège Paul-Émile Victor in Mundolsheim, and Lycée Aristide Briand in Schiltigheim near Strasbourg. As a young man, football (soccer) became his first ambition and he wanted to be a professional player. But he opted for music.
Matthieu Tota explained about the origin of his name Pokora in an interview during the documentary Mis à jour broadcast on 26 August 2010 about him on NRJ 12 television station. He said he was searching for an artistic name and happened to be talking to his grand mother of Polish origin and the importance of humility came up. So he asked her how do we say humility in Polish language and she said "pokora". So Matthieu immediately decided to call himself Pokora. Matt came form his name Matthieu. So he became to be known by his stage name Matt Pokora.
He earned some public attention as a member of French R&B group, Mic Unity. In fall 2003, he participated in the third season of Popstars, a French talent reality television show broadcast on M6. The concept of the program was to present possible candidates the winners of which would take part in the formation of a boy band or girl band. He was a crowd and jury favourite, and became a member of a boy band called Linkup formed with Lionel and Otis, two other winners in 2003 Popstars. The female winners were formed into another group Diadems formed of Marylore, Angel, Pookie, Ophélie and Alexandra. In the final showdown, the boy band including Mattieu Tota won the series over the girl band Diadems, who ended up runners-up.
Their first Linkup single "Mon Étoile" was very successful topping French charts, and the debut album Notre Étoile was moderately successful. However the second single release "Une seconde d'éternité" was much less successful despite good sales.
The band tried again their hand in a collaboration with the British boy band Blue making a bilingual English/French version with Blue based on the latter's song "Bubblin'". The bilingual English/French Blue/Linkup version was entitled "You & Me Bubblin". Soon afterwards, Linkup disbanded due to poor performance of sales on releases
In 2004, soon after the break-up of Linkup, Mattieu started working preparing for a solo career collaborating with the producers Kore & Skalp.
Under the stage name Matt Pokora, he released his first eponymous solo album originally entitled Matt Pokora. In 2005, he was forced to change his chosen name after a lawsuit from French R&B singer Matt Houston. As a result, he changed his stage name to M. Pokora and re-released the album as M. Pokora.
The debut single from M. Pokora was the very successful. Called "Showbiz (The Battle)" it was a Top 10 hit in France, and also charted in Belgium and Switzerland. The second single Elle me contrôle featuring Sweety reached #6 in France and Pokora received two NRJ Music Awards for the single. Yet a third successful single was released called "Pas sans toi". The album released on Universal was certified gold.
He also started collaborating with Hakim Ghorab who became his long-time choreographer and took part in many of his music videos. He also developed a close collaboration with music video director Karim Ouaret who directed most of his successful videos.