Born eMdantsane, a township in East London, DotCom put out a new mixtape titled, Love & Liquor on the 27th of May. This comes 3 years after he first put out his debut mixtape, Money Over Every Thing (MOET) which was hosted by DJ C Live and boasted features from KiD X, Smashis, Ginger Trill and Hydro. Before that, the hommie was a dancer and a choreographer for shows including So You Think You Can Dance.
He has then put out singles like Izapha featuring Cassper Nyovest, Azishe and featured on DJ Speedsta’s Bad Chick and Showlove’s The One. He has worked with heavyweights like Reason, ProVerb and Kwesta, with the latter being both featured on his new mixtape. The tape features the previously released songs Phola, Bang and 10 thousand.
I recently caught up with DotCom to talk about the mixtape and the sound direction he has taken in the tape. He is to release the official single from the tape soon.
Q: The people got introduced to the rapper, DotCom through the first single that you put out in 2010, Get Mine where you were straight up rapping. Fast forward to now, you got songs where you singing from start to finish. What made you to switch up and how has that transition been like?
A: I would say it’s more about me broadening my horizon and seeing a huge gap in the SA music market. This transition has taken a lot of people by shock because most didn’t know I had this type of vocal ability and nobody has really ever gone into the urban R&B lane and lived to tell the tail. So for me it’s more about creating a youthful market for the genre and taking away that stereotype that you have to be in a corny suit and square toes to sing. Us young jiggy cats can do it and still reach the urban market where the kids can relate withoutbeing cheesy.
Q: You call your sound Thug’nB, can you tell what that is about and how is it different from any other South African vocalist who is also doing R&B?
A: The whole idea behind my Thug’nB sound is being able make R&B music that speaks to not only the women but the urban youth male that vibes to hip hop music through my writing style and approach that is hip hop influenced. What makes me different from every other R&B artist in SA is that I have a Hip Hop background, my music is very urban, has soulful touches but it is not traditional R&B based and the fact that I showcase vocal ability that is not auto tune based says a lot in this day and age.
Q: Many vocalist in our country tend to handle afro soul, afro pop or house in order to achieve mainstream success, what made you to choose this sound and do you think the SA industry and people are ready to embrace that sound right now?
A: A lot of vocalists in SA run towards Afro pop, Afro soul and house because it’s easier to make it in those genres as a vocalist because there is a set foundation for the genre. SA Urban R&B doesn’t have a face or a set foundation that has been carried on from the past like Hip Hop to make it easier for the next generation of young vocalists. I chose this genre because I want to be the face of SA Urban R&B.I want to lay the foundation for all the young guys that are afraid to sing because the system says you look soft singing. I believe SA now more than ever is ready for an R&B sound. But because there is no foundation for the genre people don’t know what it is they are ready to hear. So my current task is to create an authentic R&B sound for SA. Not trap, auto tune singing. But actual R&B.
Q: On the mixtape you worked very closely with 66 beats, how important is it for an artist to have a frequent production house or producer when finessing a sound in order for people to be able to identify your sound?
A: It is very important especially in the beginning stages of an artist’s career to have in house producers as you need to have people who understand your sound, vocal ability and the type of music you are trying to make. So that sonically this make sense when putting together a project e.g Drake & 40.
Q: What do you hope to achieve with the tape and what’s the future like for DotCom? And were you not skeptical about the response that the people would have towards the tape, especially for your fans who maybe like the rapping DotCom?
A: I was a little nervous as there is no foundation for SA urban R&B but the response towards the project have been phenomenal with people even saying that I should have made this ‘Love & Liquor’ Mixtape an album. Right now I’m planning on pushing this mixtape as much as possible, shooting some visuals from the project and doing some live showcases to promote the sound.
Q: So last question, who is Amanda??? LOL
A: Lol. Amanda doesn’t exist. it was just a skit that I thought of having spoken to a lot of guys who have been in situations where they might at times be falsely accused of things they didn’t do in their relationship even though the circumstance are leaning against them.
I really enjoy the mixtape and I believe it will do well and help push the wave of urban R&B in the country. You should check it out.
Pictures courtesy of DotCom’s Instagram