Today we had an exclusive chance to interview Don Dotta:
What is your legal name and age?
My name is Gary Felton III. I’m 24 years old.
What is your stage name and how did you come up with it?
My stage name is Don Dotta. After I went through a few stage names, I just
liked the way it sounds…. just thought it had a ring to it. When people hear me
say it, they repeat it a bunch a times, so I figured I was on to something with
Where are you from?
Why did you first start making music?
Why did I?… well growing up having a dad with a record label (Major Factor
Entertainment) they constantly made music, & we would always ride around
listening to what they were working on. You know, that made me wonder how
they were doing that. To hear your voice, or somebody you know voice coming
through a car speaker, that’s crazy, especially in 2005. I wanted to know how
they were doing that, so I remember my dad saying I gotta take you to the
studio….like what’s a studio? It just seem like this magical place. Then I also
had a cousin who I would be at his house finding his balled up, folded up raps in
his room somewhere, that’s when I found out how to write a rap…. reading his
stuff, it all came together eventually.
Who would you say inspired you the most, as an artist?
Wow…so you got… it’s a combination. It’s my dad, who I saw make music,
one of his high school friends Kool E, who I got to hear him work on his projects.
Then you got artist like Jay Z, who just grew up listening to, Rick Ross, who had
really big instrumentation. It’s a huge list, even artists who are not rappers
played a part.
Talk us through your creative process.
First I find a beat that I like. I listen to it like a million times. I listen to it in
headphones, in large speakers, in the car… trying to hear all the nuances, trying
to figure out how many pockets I can get in there. Then yeah, its weird…I use to
write from the top to the bottom, like the first line I came up with would be the
first line of the rap, the second was the second, and all that… then I started to
just jot whatever I thought down. Puzzle piece it together once I realized I had
enough bars to write a song with.
Where and how do you work best?
Good question, I would say at home, but I do like being in the studio cause
you can blast the music as loud as you possibly can, anywhere there’s big
monitors & I can just zone out… kinda lose myself in the song.
Have you heard the theory that some musicians write their best music while
they’re depressed or going through a bad time?
Yeah, to some degree I believe that, it’s not cool. Eventually you’re gonna
come outta that, & when you go to make music the fans not gonna be happy. It’s
like “do y’all care if I’m happy or do you just want the music?”
What is still your biggest challenge?
That would probably be how fast I write the records, I never can find that
creative juice I want, It just shows up when it wants to. I wish I could have more
control over it.
How would you describe the music that you typically create?
Lyrical, but not too lyrical…braggadocious, but not too braggadocious, a lot of
attention to word play. I just wanna make something that sounds challenging.
When I hear music it sound like something I could’ve did. The artists that I like..
they make music I have to sit back and say “ could I have written that”
PROBABLY NOT! That’s the kinda stuff I wanna make.
What’s the best compliment you’ve ever received about your music?
”We need more music like that”… for the first record I ever recorded to be “ALL
ON ME” and for people to say that’s a million-dollar record… that’s crazy!
What’s the coolest, most important show you’ve played to date?
That’s good one… the coolest most important… definitely one of the high
school tours. To rap in front of the teenagers is dope, cause I know what kinda
music they listen to daily, I know what type of people they use to seeing on
stages, I know I don’t look like them…no tattoos, no piercings.. just to go up
there and kill it in front of them and show them … it’s a different way to
approach the music… that’s cool… I like that. One of the first schools I did, the
energy… I felt like a star! They wouldn’t let us out of the building.
What’s your latest release?
The latest release is “ALL ON ME” … the record that really started it all. I
remember writing it saying to myself … if this sounds good, imma keep doin it. If
it don’t…. then whateva… I wasn’t really practicing rapping at the time, wasn’t
writing daily…. So let me see what I can do with this…. And I guess it worked.
Who do people say you sound like?
Aww man… FABOLOUS!!! When they say that…. it makes me seem like one
of the dopest rappers ever … I got AZ one time.
If you could go open a show for any artist who would it be?
Of course you got my favorites.. you got RICK ROSS, JAY-Z , you got
KENDRICK… FREDDIE GIBBS, CURREN$Y…. not the super lyrical, but the
people who appreciate the lyrics, definitely, but want the flashy stuff too.
How do you currently feel about the state of Hip-hop in general?
It’s like a hustle now. Definitely a lot less attention to the art & the longevity of
the artist. Some artists are not really striving to make bodies of work that will last
for decades… it’s just about the moment. The viral TikTok. You know
If you could only listen to 3 albums for the rest of your life, what would they
Yea….. I gotta mix it up. It would have to be like…REASONABLE DOUBT,
TEFLON DON, and MICHAEL JACKSONS’ THRILLER. That’s a hard question,
can I do a greatest hits?… Is that cheatin’? Michael Jackson greatest hits
instead of the Thriller album….fosho!
What do you want your legacy to be? How do you want to be remembered?
Someone who came at a time when they were needed the most and delivered.
Showed there didn’t have to be a cookie-cutter way you have to look or act. An
artist coming from Detroit they luv a certain way, like they do a Big Sean,
Eminem, Royce Da’ 5’9… that would be dope!
“All on Me” MUSIC LINKS:
Amazon Music: https://music.amazon.com/albums/B0B623H211?do=play&trackAsin=B0B62N7HCC&ref=dm_sh_ugAHa5mLohoij0Ir9rdaTBUCR
SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS: