Rising R&B singer Mateo inspired us last year with his soulful re-working of a modern classic: his butter-smooth spin on Alicia Keys’ hook from Jay-Z’s “Empire State Of Mind”. Little more than a year later, Mateo has returned with “Say It’s So”, a bold new jam that includes background vocals from none other than Ms. Keys herself (along with her superstar husband Swizz Beatz). The song is Mateo’s first song from his upcoming Love & Stadiums II EP (due Dec. 6), the followup to his well-regarded mixtape. Watch Mateo reflect on his lost love in the concrete-and-glass canyons of (where else?) New York in the David “Dahveed” Telles-directed video below.
The track itself was produced by Keys’ longtime collaborator Kerry “Krucial” Brothers, and Mateo’s lyrics about the bittersweet leftovers of a broken relationship are neatly captured in the video. Mateo told The Boombox that the song deals with how “you go through a break-up and a relationship and you hope that that person is hurting as bad as you are… It’s kind of warped in a way but it’s the truth. You want the person to be hurt just like you and I’m really saying I know this don’t sound right, but I hope you’re hurt like me. Then I know that you feel something or that our relationship meant something.”