Mateo is creating “music that makes people feel again.” Hailing from Cincinnati, Ohio, the Krucial Noise artist brings a variety of style and depth to be heard in his songs.
The singer-songwriter is excited to release his new EP Love & Stadiums II, which is a spin-off from his Love & Stadiums mixtape. A single from the new EP titled “Say It’s So,” featuring Alicia Keys, has already been released and is available on iTunes. The melodic, slow and sultry song gives a preview of what’s to come on Love & Stadiums II. The video for “Say It’s So” was shot in New York in is set to drop in a couple of weeks.
Mateo also collaborates with artist Dawn Richard among others on the upcoming EP. Love & Stadiums II will come out in early November.
Just what does Mateo have to offer to the music industry? He’s worked with artists like Erykah Badu, Goapele and Mario, and he insists that his music is game-changing.
“The kind of music that I do has a lot of different types of styles. It’s definitely soulful, definitely urban, and definitely has some R&B in it,” said Mateo. “But it also has that organic quality of pianists and guitars. You might hear some big drums that maybe Kanye [West] would use, or even someone like Coldplay or U2.”
Mateo’s family supported him going into music. His grandfather was a jazz blues guitarist, and his grandmother was a touring singer musician. He started classical piano lessons at the age of five and said he regularly embarrassed himself performing at holiday gatherings.
“When I was born it was like, ‘Ok you’re going to do something musical,’” Mateo said.
He went on to major in music and business in college, but Mateo admits that his personal ambitions as an artist were just a side hobby. “I didn’t start doing my own music until I left Morehouse,” he said.
However, the singer recognized his calling once he took a job as a consultant after graduating.
“I hated it. I hated every minute of it,” Mateo said. “It was a dope job—a high and prestigious job to have, but my heart wasn’t in it.”
Mateo found the courage to move to Los Angeles to start his career. “I didn’t want to have any shoulda, coulda, wouldas when I got older. I didn’t want to have those regrets,” he explained.
After some time, he got a deal with MySpace Records, where he got a chance to find his sound and style as a singer as well as the opportunity to tour for his new EP.
Signing to Kerry “Krucial” Brothers’ label Krucial Noise helped Mateo build up to making music with the “big, euphoric sound” that he likes.
“Krucial has changed everything because he works on the Alicia Keys records so he’s used to a certain level of quality, which upped my standards of creating music,” said Mateo. “I went from recording songs in my homie’s bedroom to actually working in huge studios with real equipment.”
He said that he’s grown as an artist since his earlier projects, and wants people to hear that in Love & Stadiums II.
“The quality is crazier,” Mateo bragged. “Like, we dig deeper into getting the dopest sound. Its still the same style though, that big sounding music. That’s why we called the new [EP Love & Stadiums II], because it’s mostly love songs, but it has that arena sound that you kind of hear from bands.”
In addition to his EP, Mateo is getting ready for his debut album and he’s doing more than singing on it. He said that he “pretty much writes on every record” and can barely contain himself from performing any of the unreleased songs whenever he does a live event. Songwriter Carmen Michelle is helping with the debut album also. The album is set to drop early 2012.
Mateo wants to be that artist that stays true to his music. He draws his inspirations from all kinds of artists, leading him to categorize his songs under the term UrbanMod—music that has a kind of modernism that joins together different genres along with fashion and art.