At the listening session for his upcoming “Love & Stadiums” mixtape, I had a chance to catch up with Krucial Noise signee Mateo who talked about what to expect on the mixtape, his sound of music, working with Kerry “Krucial” Brothers, what differentiates him from other upcoming artists, and when to expect a debut album in the future.
YouKnowIGotSoul: We just heard some songs from your upcoming mixtape and you talked about working with Kerry “Krucial” Brothers, who you’ve been working with for awhile. Talk to me about how you originally linked up with him and what it’s been like working with him.
Mateo: I originally linked up with Krucial through Quddus who used to be a VJ on TRL. I was at MySpace Records at the time, because of Quddus actually who brought me over to MySpace Records, and we wanted to do a remix to a song called “Complicated”, and I met Krucial then. So years later when I was leaving the label, he had his own label that he was trying to sign artists on, so it was like the perfect timing.
YKIGS: What’s it been like working with him?
Mateo: Oh it’s been great. It’s always great when you can do music you love and you want to do, and you can even raise the bar and take it further. Someone like Krucial has been working with Alicia Keys and a lot of other artists so he’s been able to make some great recommendations on my music and it just takes it to the next level. I was making music out of a studio in a bedroom for four or five years, so now to work at this nice studio and to work with someone who really knows music and appreciates stuff like that has been great.
YKIGS: Talk to me about the song you have out now “Power”. Give me some background on the song and tell me how it came together.
Mateo: We were trying to come together with mixtape joints and figure out what we wanted to do and I love the song “Power”, so I had this idea where I wanted to remix it so it sounds like this epic song. So I thought what if I sang some of the lyrics he’s actually rapping, and then it just kinda unfolded from there, and we were able to get Ab-Liva and Pusha T to jump on it.
YKIGS: I got a chance to hear some of the songs from your mixtape here tonight, but for those who haven’t had a chance to hear them, what can they expect to hear on the mixtape you’ve got coming out?
Mateo: You’re going to hear a lot of things that are familiar like songs you definitely know of, you’re going to hear some new stuff in those songs because we totally remixed them and totally mixed them up. I think we not only are trying to go for big powerful music, but also go for stuff that’s intimate as well. So that’s the whole name of the mixtape “Love & Stadiums”, it’s a play on a big stadium and epic music but it’s all about matters of the heart, so that’s how it came together.
YKIGS: You mentioned that on the mixtape you were going to try some different things and some variations of sounds. But when you’re going to put your album together, what’s your style of music? How would you describe your sound?
Mateo: My style is influenced by so many different types of music. It’s got some hip hop elements, like the sound of the drums and the percussion sound, but they’re played in a way that’s more alternative. I love Coldplay type of stuff, very soothing melodies and great production with everything usually piano based, the music and the songs originate from piano. So that’s my style, it’s kinda like a little bit of r&b and soul, but also has a little bit of pop and alternative to it.
YKIGS: For artists like yourself and others trying to come up and make it in this industry, it’s such a struggle. What qualities do you think you possess that give you an advantage to be successful in this industry?
Mateo: I think it’s always persistence. You’re going to get 1,000 “no’s” before you get that one “yes,” so it’s always about pushing through. I remember reading this quote that I got from this booklet I got on Kanye West’s tour and it said “Would you believe in what you believe in if you were the only one who believed it?” I believe in that, I’m going to stand fast and hold to what I believe is great music and keep pushing. So it’s that, and also discipline and just knowing you can’t just make music, you’ve got to get it out there so you’ve got to be able to get into the business side of things and try to mix it up and make things happen.
YKIGS: Looking past the mixtape, what’s in the future for Mateo in terms of a debut album?
Mateo: Can’t wait to release the mixtape, but we’ve also been working on album songs so an album will be released this year. So I’m looking forward to that and just making a really big impact on the music industry in this next year.