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Friday March 16th, 2012

Posted at 11:15am

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All photos by: Stafani Bonnano.

It’s one thing to know where you come from, but another to shape where you want to go. Strangely, the two usually have a lot in common.

Still a minor in the states, 20-year-old Mateo Roksandic exudes confidence beyond his years. While not cocky, the young musician has a clear idea of what he wants to do and where to take his craft. Perhaps it’s not surprising then that the drummer, who comes from a family of musicians and was banging on pots and pans at the age of three, was drawn to electronic music – a genre known for collaborations.

“I think the rhythm and percussive elements really drew me into the electronic genre,” said Roksandic. “Then there’s the other things like the lifestyle, the people you meet, the shows you go to – it all wraps together into a nice package.”

Indeed, it’s easy to see that the young musician is humble and hungry to create new music. With an eye on technology, the Tecumseh-native has used it to his advantage as well. Although he has a home studio, Roksandic confesses that many compositions are created on his laptop.

Still, it’s made for some interesting collaborations, including one with The Blue Stones’ Tarek Jafar.

“I sent him a bunch of hip-hop tracks I was working on through e-mail,” Roksandic said of the musician he knew from growing up in Tecumseh. “For some reason, when he heard Destructo Stuff he really wanted to write to it, so he did and the rest is history. It was a great experience, [Jafar]did a rough vocal version then sent it to me. A couple days after, he came over to the studio and we re-recorded everything then fine-tuned the finalized track.”

With a grassroots effort to gain exposure, technology has become a lifeline in the form of social networking too. Using Soundcloud to distribute music without a record label, Roksandic offers free downloads– including the collaboration with Jafar – along with the ability to like, share and comment on the tracks. Meanwhile on facebook, the musician continues to communicate with fans while working on his next batch of tunes.

“I have a hip-hop album I’m producing with a great writer, Ellis ‘The Artice’ Ricketts,” said Roksandic. “I’m talking to a vocalist based out of New York to lay down a couple electronic tracks. I would love to work with a lot more local vocalists too.”

Depending on how the process goes, listeners can expect five to six new songs on the artist’s upcoming EP. While currently in the studio, Roksandic has shows for London, St. Catherine’s and Toronto in the works. He’s also excited about an upcoming performance in Windsor.

“[Local DJ] Colin Mac Donald and I will be playing an opening set for Ken Loi at Revival Social Lounge (300 Ouellette Ave.) on Thursday, March 29,” said Roksandic. “Ken Loi is an amazing Producer/DJ from San Francisco who has toured with Tiesto and many other artists …it will only be five bucks and a night to remember.”

Not stopping there, he’s always asking those interested in collaborations to contact him. With Roksandic’s drive, focus and infectious enthusiasm, it’s hard to imagine someone turning him down.

Mateo Roksandic can be heard, followed and otherwise contacted on his facebook or Soundcloud pages.

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