R&B / Soul
MATEO mixes R&B, soul and alternative music for an exciting modern urban sound. With influences as diverse as Stevie Wonder and Daft Punk, it’s not surprising that his music is such a refreshing blend. A graduate of the prestigious Morehouse College, Mateo majored in music and marketing. He joined the world of finance right out of college and found himself unfulfilled. He quit his day job and his music career began to take shape.
He found a studio in Brooklyn to scratch out ideas for songs and then met producer Jae Staxx, who invited him to write music for Eve’s upcoming television show. Mateo hopped on a plane to Los Angeles and wrote music for “Eve” until mid-2006. Wanting to push himself, he put on his first live show at the Hotel Café in Hollywood. The show was a success and he then posted his first single “Human” on his MySpace page, attracting thousands of fans and 200,000 plays. He was quickly signed to MySpace Records in June 2008.
Mateo also appreciated the freedom MySpace allowed him to develop, musically: “R&B music has turned more into head-bop music; hip-hop beats over hip-hop loops. I want to bring R&B music back to where people actually have some type of emotion when they listen to my music.”
Music is clearly in Mateo’s blood. His father, Roy Gartrell, played guitar with his mom – Mateo’s grandmother – vocalist Kitty Gartrell. And his grandfather, Freddy Jordan, was a studio musician at Kings Records where he played for the James Brown.
In his down time, Mateo follows politics and even sang at several Barack Obama 2008 rallies in Los Angeles and attended the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado.