Known as one of the internet’s favorite “shredders”, Brazilian native turned Los Angeles transplant Mateus Asato has combined his impressive skills on the guitar with smart marketing to become the Instagram/YouTube sensation he is today, more on this later. Of course, he was also helped along the way, just a bit, by the extensive training he received at Musicians Institute. To further explore the phenom that is Mateus Asato and how he reached the echelon of success he has found, let’s look back at his early years:

Mateus Asato, The Early Years

Asato’s amazing career found its beginning when he was a mere 10 years of age. He decided he wanted to play the electric guitar after beginning to mess around with an acoustic version, and his mom made a deal with him. She would buy him an electric guitar, but only after she was sure he would stick with it for the long haul. She said “let’s see if you’re going to like the instrument for real. If you like it, then I will buy you an electric guitar.” Asato signed up with a local music teacher and began taking lessons on the acoustic guitar, lasting for around a year. He described the lessons as “informal and chill.”His mom followed through on her promise and purchased him his much anticipated electric version. It was then that the shredder we know today began to emerge.  

His First Gig Was Not What You Might Imagine

With a name like “King of Shredding” you might be inclined to imagine his first gig would be a smoky local venue or festival stage, but his first gig came at an unlikely place: his local church congregation. At the tender age of 13, the worship leader at Asato’s church told him “If you want to join us, I would like you the chance. I like to support new talent.” Asato said he was “totally down” with the proposition.

When Asato Made The Move to America

It was when Asato turned 19 that he made the decision to take the next step in his musical career. He felt like he had to move to America to reach the heights he was aiming for in his career, so he moved to Los Angeles and promptly enrolled at MI to further chase his dream.

Musicians Institute Was Key to Making Asato What He is Today

There is no doubt that Asato was already supremely talented when he arrived at Musician’s Institute. However, the lessons he received at the institute helped transform his raw skills, honing and polishing them till they became something that could no longer be ignored or overlooked by the music industry. He studied recording and theory at the Musician’s Institute as well as learning Logic and Pro Tools. Asato himself says his training at MI and the connections he acquired therein was the bridge between he and Tori Kelly and led directly to his obtaining that all important gig. Asato once posted a brief video of himself nailing “Universal Mind” by John Petrucci at only 12 years old, and it shows the amount of natural born talent MI had to work with when he came for further training.  

{“Universal Mind” is taken from a portion of Petrucci’s metal supergroup Liquid Tension Experiment. Since the release of the song, portions of it have been incorporated into Dream Theater’s live performances.}

Mateus Asato Guitar Player

How Did the Pair Up With Kelly Happen?

According to Asato, Stig Mathisen, who is the director at Musician’s Institute was contacted by Tori Kelly’s director of music. He communicated “We need a guitar player for a Capitol Records artist. Can you name a few students?” Stig recommended Asato and three other students. Asato then had to audition for the first time in his life, to get the gig of a lifetime—talk about baptism by fire. Thankfully, MI provided training for how to audition. Nonetheless, Asato was understandably very nervous. Thankfully, he said the entire audition was “very chill.” This isn’t to insinuate, though, that they were “easy to please.”  

Asato said Kelly’s people were really picky and wanted him to prove his creativity. For example, Asato said at one point they asked him something like “Imagine we have a song here and there is no guitar and we need an intro. What would you come up with?” Tori Kelly herself wasn’t present during the audition process, which Asato says is for the best because it would have only added to his nerves. She was shown the videos of each audition after the fact and chose Asato herself. She said “that’s the guy” when she saw him and branded him instantly as “the guy with the pink guitar.”

Asato Developed His Groove Over Time

Asato’s ability to play double-stops at terminal velocity, perfect difficult-to-play contrapuntal voicings, and intricate chord/melody arrangements have made him a “musician’s musician.” However, one of his most notable and enviable features, in addition to being able to alternate between traditional finger/hybrid picking and extended metal techniques is his ability to “groove” when playing. His distinct sound informs his feel and note choices, making him capable of almost anything within that framework. This groove aspect was helped greatly by Asato playing with a real drummer, recording rehearsals and recording himself. Of course, the Kelly gig was also immensely helpful, according to Asato, because her R&B style gave him a different taste and feel than he had previously enjoyed with his hard rock/progressive rock background. According to Asato, rock players tend to get ahead of the beat and play tight. Kelly, during their first rehearsal together said, “You’re rushing a little bit. Try to lay back and play a little behind the beat.” This went a long way in developing Asato’s beloved “groove” skills.

The Internet Sensation That is Mateus Asato

As mentioned earlier, Asato is somewhat of an internet sensation. Astao enjoys an impressive Instagram following as well as many subscribers on YouTube and is active on other social media platforms as well. More specifically, he boasts 707k followers on Instagram and has 237k subscribed to his Mateus Asato YouTube channel. If you want to know more about him, visit his Instagram here and his YouTube channel here. Take a minute to watch a sampling of Asato’s videos and you will understand why he “owns” the internet. This shredder is just getting started, though, and he already has accomplished so much. His continued commitment to posting consistently and always producing quality content has made him a fan favorite who is surely here to stay.


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