“I’m kind of nervous,” were the first words out of Mateo’s mouth to a room full of bloggers at Premier Studios in NYC. When the butterflies in his stomach had settled, he greeted everyone graciously. “I’ve been doing this for a few years. The people who have really been holding me down are everybody in this room.”
The singer has a reason to be thankful for all of the support he has received in his recent departure from MySpace Records. He’s getting his feet wet in a new venture with Krucial Noise, started by Alicia Keys’ famed producer Kerry “Krucial” Brothers, whom Mateo met while recording in MySpace’s studios. The two are working closely on Mateo’s upcoming mixtape, Love & Stadiums.
According to the former financial consultant, the 17-track freebie sports over-the-top production, or “big stadium, big arena sounding music,” all poured over love songs. Fans will hear some of their favorite tunes sampled, with a Mateo spin of course. “I don’t necessarily want to sing the song over the beat that someone else did—I want to infuse my own style into it,” he explains.
Check below for Rap-Up.com’s 7-track preview of Love & Stadiums.
1. “Shoot Me Down” featuring Ab-Liva and Goapele
Intense production accompanies relationship interplay between Mateo and his girl. “If love is a battlefield/ Then we are at war,” says rapper Ab-Liva at the track’s start. Throughout the song Mateo plays the voice of reason, questioning why he’s with his lady. Goapele’s vulnerability and innocence shine throughout as she sings, “Please don’t shoot me down,” while pulsing drums pound on each beat of the 16.
2. “Get to Know Me”
Mateo smooth talks the girl of his dreams in this tune about first chances. “I put myself right on the line/ Just so I could be your vessel,” he sings, adding that the girl should get to know him completely. A piano saunters around over a sweet symphony in ballad fashion.
3. “Right Thru Me”
A vocoder and a three-voice harmony provide for an interesting effect, as Mateo samples Nicki Minaj’s “Right Thru Me.” Mateo says the inspiration for the electronic vocal melodies comes from British singer Imogen Heap. “I just died tonight/ How do you do that ish?/ How do you do that ish?” repeats the acapella chorus.
4. “In Your Arms Tonight”
The piano and the drums play an integral part in the meaning of this song, which samples Cutting Crew’s “(I Just) Died in Your Arms.” Mateo professes his love, singing, “Like you know my history/ You were my diary.” Synthesized strings can be heard throughout, along with heavy bass. A heartbeat rhythm appears on the bridge, but then it cuts out right before the end, a true sonic decease.
In what starts off as a remake of Snow Patrol’s “Chasing Cars,” the tide quickly turns to Kanye West’s “Runaway.” The lyrics “Let’s have a toast to the douchebags” permeate the electronic beat, as Mateo sings, “Invisible is what you see/ ‘Cause you don’t know when you come where I’ll be.”
In a falsetto, Mateo questions love against all odds, experimenting with different types of drums. “Nothing you ever do turns me away/ Nothing they ever say matters to me,” he croons over a rumbling bass.
7. “POWER” featuring Pusha T and Ab-Liva
Like Kanye’s version, there is African-inspired tribal singing, sans the clapping. Add the piano and heavy drums, while Mateo sings of the opportunities that are available to him in the 21st century, and all of the power that has been bestowed upon him as a musician. “I can’t believe as I look at the crowd, that I have all this power,” he reflects on the life he is destined to lead.