Matteo Ornato is a 19-year-old rapper based in Toronto whos’s been writing music for five years and has been pumping out exciting content ever since. His latest single, SWITCH UP is a morose, melodic trap banger with a simple guitar lick, rumbling 808’s and sullen lyrics. He’s also working on a plethora of new releases he can’t wait to share. Earlier this week we had a chance to catch up with Ornato to discuss his beginnings, influences and inspiration for his tracks, here’s how that discussion went.
Trinity Lee: What initially drew you to start your career in music?
Matteo Ornato: Five years ago, I just started freestyling with one of my buddies’ older brothers and as I kept doing it I just grew more attached to it and then started making songs and then just kept with it.
Lee: What do you hope to achieve through your music?
Ornato: I want it to be like my full time job. So, I want it to be able to sustain my lifestyle so that I don’t really have to do another job and focus on my music.
Lee: Are there any new projects that you are currently working on?
Ornato: Yes, like I have an album ready to go and I’m meeting with some people so I think that that’ll be dropping soon, but I also have over a hundred songs just waiting. During quarantine I was making a song a day so that brought up the amount and I had older songs too and right now i’m making new songs. I probably make one or two new songs a week and then I try to make a TikTok like four times a week.
Lee: What are the main inspirations for your music?
Ornato: I use it to escape or just describe my emotions or whatever, however I’m feeling that day I use it to vent. So if i’m happy then I might make a happy song. Most of the best songs that I make are like when I’m really low because the music that I make really helps me get out of that mindset.
Lee: Are there any artists that have influenced you and your work?
Ornato: Yeah, too many to count. I take inspiration from so many different artists and genres and stuff but if I had to pick a couple I would say J. Cole, XXXTentaction and even Kendrick Lamar and Juice WRLD.
Lee: How would you describe your style in music?
Ornato: I don’t really have one, I get bored of doing the same type of songs so I have a very versatile style. Sometimes I’ll even make rock songs just for fun and try out different genres of music too that I don’t have out.
Lee: Which one of your releases are you the most proud of?
Ornato: Whatever one is out latest, that’s just always how it is so it always changes. But yeah my newest one is always the one I’m most proud of.
Lee: What is your least favourite part about the industry?
Ornato: For sure, sometimes like right now even though I am progressively getting more streams and a bigger fan base, I would say the working super super hard, working 12 hour days and staying in the studios until I have to go to bed, putting in all that work and getting barely any recognition for it. That’s usually how it is for the first five to ten years though and it’s just really discouraging.
Lee: What is your favourite part about the industry?
Ornato: The effect that my music can have on people is pretty cool. Like, connecting with people through my music is a really cool thing.
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.