Mateo may be one of the coolest cats in the game. His music is also cool and has always talked about the beauty of relationships and love. However, it seems that Mateo is growing and he is injecting a heavy dose of reality into his new music. He is giving us the specifics about life and letting us know about the good, bad and ugly. Mateo is evolving and as we await new music and his album we will hear lyrics that touch on what is going on not with just him but with us as a whole. Mateo patiently took the time to chop it up with us about everything from his trails and tribulations in his career, new music, his style and his personal evolution as an artist. Check it out.
First Time … I remember the first time my music was posted. Singersroom and ConcreteLoop posted it in 2009.
Next … We just dropped the EP yesterday which was my birthday. We have the single out and it will be impacting the radio soon. The single is “How Good Is Your Love.”
Mood Music … It depends on what mood I’m in … anything can inspire a new song. I could be watching a TV show or hear something dope that makes me play the piano or think of some lyrics. I may be going through something and want to get it off my chest. It could be relationship issues, family issues or career issues which a lot of artists go through. There is always something going on and it doesn’t have to be what I am personally going through. It could be something a family member or friend is going through. I always feel that artists don’t always just interpret their world but the world of others around them.
The Specifics … I started off trying to make the best love songs. I was trying to bring it back to the stuff we as R&B artists used to own like love and romance. Now I’m still doing this but I’m trying to make the best life songs. I want to speak to where people are at now. The difference is now I am not generally speaking but I am being more specific. It’s not just the general idea of love but the specifics of love in detail and the specifics of how to make it in life.
Cold Winters … We were working on the album during the winter in NYC. We were actually at Crucial’s mini mansion in Jersey. I have been living in L.A. and haven’t lived in NYC for a long time so I wasn’t used to the cold so I’m freezing. I’m going through it … getting snow off the car to go to 7/11, my manager had just stole mad money from me and I’m waiting for the label to move. All these different things just had me depressed and going through it. It was crazy and deep. I was on a major label and I was still unhappy about what I was doing. But then it clicked … I was listening to Kedrick Lamar’s album straight through the winter time so we did a remake of “Sing About Me”. Kerry said, “why don’t you flip it?” So I just poured out all that I was going through in the song. I was talking about the struggle of an artist. I was talking about the obstacles you go through when you are a dream chaser… you get a thousand no’s before you get one yes. And I realized this is what I am suppose to be talking about… real stuff. In the situation when you’re trying to chase your dreams it’s a bumpy road but it is all worth it if your story is told. It is all worth it if someone is singing about you at the end and if your legacy continues.
R&B Artist First … I consider myself an R&B artist first. However, the “box” of R&B was never supposed to be that small. Before you could have your own style but it was about how soulful you sang it and it spoke to the urban experience… like urban love or whatever it was. Six years ago you did a club track or you sang over a Hip Hop beat and that was it. Things are different and I am different because I love all kinds of stuff. I like Cold Play, I love electronic stuff and I love Hip Hop so I try to infuse that and it can still be R&B. I think its dope that the genre is coming back.
My Vision … My style is a mixture of all the stuff I love. It has old school R&B/Soul in it with a Rock edge. I have a little Prince in there also. I think R&B and urban music has always had the head bouncing effect but I think it has been missing that euphoric arena sound that makes people scream. U2 had that sound that was perfect for the arena. I think Kanye West did that for Hip Hop. I want to do that for R&B.
New School … I’m a fan of Frank Ocean, Miguel and Alicia Keys. There is a new artist called Maxine Ashley who is crazy good. Ro James is sick … that’s my homie.
Legacy … I want my legacy to be something that makes people remember specific times in their lives. I want my music to make them think of personal memories. I want people to think of a special girl or a girl think of a guy.
Fashion/Style … I just throw on clothes. LOL! It is a little bit of everything … snap backs and tattoos. I would describe my style as Euro/Hip Hop.
Out The Box … The sky is the limit now. We don’t have the limitations of who we are supposed to be or how we are suppose to act. We are getting out of that box.
Dear Fans … I want to say thanks for sticking with me and it’s been years and years of mixtape after mixtape. My fans were wondering if I would ever blow. I was wondering if I would ever blow but they kept me sane. Sometimes you get a fan saying online, “thank you for this song … it helped me through this rough break up”.
Maxwell Loved It … There is nothing better than seeing your fans sing your music. But when a celebrity does it its even sicker. I talked to Maxwell and he told me he loved my song “Complicated”. He said the song was bananas. It’s crazy to hear someone you grew up listening to say that.
Check out Mateo’s new single, “How Good Is Your Love”.
“Peace to Mateo.” – Notorius BIG