R&B Singer Mateo Talks Alicia Keys, Debut Album, Single ‘Say It So’
Krucial Noise singer Mateo, whose musical influences stem from Coldplay all the way to Stevie Wonder, is gearing up to make the last few months of 2012 all his. Since working with Grammy award winning producer Kerry “Krucial” Brothers and R&B queen/label-mate Alicia Keys, Mateo has started to build a loyal fan base that is eagerly awaiting his next mixtape “Suite 823,” which drops August 1st. Follow Mateo @mateoonline.
How did you find your passion for music and was there pressure coming from a family of musicians?
When I was young I was kind of forced to take all the piano lessons or go sing places, but my family more so pushed me to go to school and college. They were never opposed to me pursuing music, but they had seen the good and the bad side of music, like the drugs and alcohol, so they were definitely hesitant but were still very supportive. I went the business route for a second, but I quickly decided that my heart wasn’t in it so I stayed with music.
How would you describe your singing style and where did your musical influences come from?
It’s a mix of all the stuff that I love. You have some soul in there, some R&B in there, and also some pop. I’m a really huge Coldplay and alternative rock fan so it has that element too. I think that urban and R&B music is heading in a direction where you can incorporate a lot of different styles. My influences are Kanye West, Lauryn Hill, Stevie Wonder, and Donnie Hathaway.
How did Morehouse College impact the direction of your singing career?
A lot of people don’t know that you got to have a business sense in the music industry. You don’t just show up and sing because you’re basically a business for yourself since you have all these people trying to help you to the next level. Studying business and music at Morehouse definitely helped me think about how to prepare for my career.
What’s it been like working with Grammy Award winners Alicia Keys and Kerry Brothers?
It’s been life changing to be able to work with “Krucial” whose done all of Alicia Keys stuff. It is incredible. I grew up listening to their stuff when they first started and I idolized Alicia Keys and she’s beautiful too so it’s the best of both worlds. She has great energy about her.
What was your thought process in writing your single “Say It So” and what’s your debut album going to be like?
I wrote “Say It So” on the piano originally and it’s about that time period where you break up with your girl and you hope she’s hurting just as bad as you. You’re hoping she’s in the corner somewhere trying to figure out life because in your life that means the past relationship meant just as much as you. My album is just going to be different and it’s the best stuff I’ve ever heard while having quality life messages.