Interview with Don Dotta rapper

Interview with Don Dotta rapper
Interview with Don Dotta rapper

Interview with Don Dotta rapper

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…. 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 that.

Where are you from? Detroit. Westside.

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 seemed like this magical place. Then I also had a cousin who, when I would be at his house , I’d find his balled up raps in his room. That’s how I learned 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. My dad, Gie Felton, who I saw make music, one of his high school friends Kool E, who I got to hear work on his projects. Then you got artists like Jay Z, who I just grew up listening to. Rick Ross 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 most music it sounds 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 tour shows. 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’re used 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 other ways 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. 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 Soundcloud. Whateva…

If you could only listen to 3 albums for the rest of your life, what would they be?

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?

As someone who came at a time when they were needed the most and delivered. Someone who showed there didn’t have to be one cookie-cutter way you had 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!






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Interview with Don Dotta rapper

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