Too often do I get emails from people claiming so-and-so is the next biggest thing in music. Most of the time they are horribly wrong, but in Mateo's case, they might be horribly right. I was a Mateo virgin until not too long ago when Quddus from the Q side, (among other things) emailed me Mateo's remix/re-interpretation of T.I.'s and Rihanna's "Live Your Life" (easily the biggest song of the last 6 months). Basically, he's doing what many rappers do in their mixtapes (most famously, Lil Wayne): he's putting his own vocals over instrumentals we'd recognize. To reiterate Q's email, I didn't think anyone would spin "Live Your Life" this way.
Because of my Mateo cherry-poppin' happened late in life, I asked what was Mateo's story, here it goes:
Well he comes from good musical genes- his grandfather was a guitarist for King Records and even collaborated with James Brown. Mateo got a degree from Morehouse and a job consulting in NYC but the artist itch was too strong to go that route so he quit his day job to come out to LA where he helped out with the music on the UPN show that Eve starred in but at the same time he was also developing his own stuff. Then when we met 3 years ago he was just starting to do shows and he came up with a song called 'Complicated' that was the song I needed to be able to get him a deal at Myspace Records. Here's a great new "making of" clip that'll give you an idea about his process:
He was also a writer on a song called "One Night Stand" on Jazmine Sullivan's new album. Rumor has it his new mixtape Underneath The Sky Ch. 1 will be leaking very soon. Patiently waiting for that. Until then, listen to "Get Out Of My Head / Live Your Life"
His voice is reminiscent of Ne-Yo and a little Chris Brown Bastard, no?
PS: That photo up there is fantastic. I asked for the Hi-Res, like a big dork. I feel like blowing it up and putting it on this blank white wall I've been staring at for days! I hope that's okay Mateo :)
PSS: Have you received your $12K Stimulus Check?