Remember Myspace? For those of you too young to know what it was, it was 2006’s happening social network, and it was so powerful at one time, it contained a record label. Back then, it looked like Mateo had it made.
But like Katy Perry, who was dropped from record labels several times, Mateo couldn’t have predicted Myspace’s demise nor his next moves in the music industry. Besides, life has a way of working out for the best: he signed with Krucial Noise, a record label from Alicia Keys’ power producer, Kerry “Krucial” Brothers, and in 2012, moved on to an Interscope Records contract.
For a gentleman whose name mean’s “God’s gift,” it really was a gift from above…
How was touring with Keyshia Cole?
It was dope! It was my first official national tour. Keyshia’s fans are amazing and high energy. Every show was a constant reminder that there are people that are all about the music and having a good time. It was also great to get to know Chrisette Michelle, who is high-larious, by the way.
You had a good luck period for some time. And got signed to a then big corporate label! What went wrong with Myspace Records?
I feel like my good luck period came during and after Myspace Records. I call that period my incubation period. During that time, I was still getting ready for the big stage. We dropped several mixtapes and the Get To Know Me EP, which is really how I got known in the blogosphere. No, they never released an official project for me, and no, they never promoted me outside of the MySpace home page, but it did prepare me for Krucial Noise and Interscope. So I still got love for Myspace.
You’ve talked about how you disliked singing over beats, but what exactly happened that it didn’t work out?
It wasn’t really that I didn’t like singing to any beats. I just felt like R&B was getting confined to singing over hip hop loops. People would tell me that in order to get famous, I must make a club record. That wasn’t where my heart was. It didn’t inspire me. So, I went back to the basics.my keyboard and guitar. I definitely sing over beats now, but they are all unique and not cookie cutter.
Would you ever consider bringing back a Boys II Men sound….for a new generation?
Ha. Hmmmmm. Well first, I was a huge Boys II Men fan back in the day. I’m still trying to get my sound out there, so I don’t know about bringing back their sound, really. It would be dope to hear a new R&B group bring back the harmonizing that Boy II Men was known for.
You said you want your songs to rekindle memories for people listening. What do you remember from your own life when you hear your music?
I remember where I wrote the song, whether it was at my keyboard, looking out my bedroom window or at a fresh studio overlooking Times Square. It also takes me back to the people who were around me…relationships, friendships, etc. They come and go, but the music reminds me of those moments. Sometimes, it also reminds me of how broke I was at the time I wrote it…ha.
Would you always recommend that people quit their day jobs to pursue their goals like you did? Why or why not?
Hell yeah, I would. ‘Cause thats what I did. But don’t quit your job without a plan or if you think that chasing a dream is easy. It’s hard work…it’s stressful…it can bring you to your knees…but it still worth it because it’s YOURS. You thought it up and made it happen. So if you’re miserable in your job right now, make a change…get your exit strategy together. Who wants a life full of shoulda coulda wouldas? Make it happen.