You’re seriously lacking if you haven’t heard of New Gen yet. Compiled and organised by UK Rap auteur Caroline SM, and in conjunction with XL Recordings, the debut New Gen album is an authentic celebration of the UK scene’s current health. It dropped on January 27th, and features the likes of Bonkaz, 67, A2, Avelino, Renz, Abra Cadabra, Stefflon Don (among MANY more we feel bad for not having the sentence space to mention).
Though they’re all unique in their own manner, New Gen‘s standout track for us was Dotty‘s ‘Thoughts’. Utilising a instrumental reminiscent of the ‘boom bap’ beats of Golden Era Hip Hop, ‘Thoughts’ is a triumph of honesty, shining through with sincerity. In the era of Drill, where emotions are stifled with skunk zoots and drowned out by ‘skkkkkkkkrs’, Dotty’s confessions represent a more intimate approach to UK rap. This sentiment clearly struck a chord, as we noticed people all across Twitter praising Dotty’s contribution:
@DottyLDN Just heard your shit on the New Gen album! Mad talent! Need to hear more stuff!!
— Mista P. (@simplydamz) February 5, 2017
— AJ (@iiiSAndmaniii) January 30, 2017
@DottyLDN thoughts is incredible start to finish
— ♨ (@_Sonaism) January 30, 2017
Seeing as the track left such an impact, we reached out to Dotty to ask a few questions about New Gen and ‘Thoughts’, which he was kind enough to assist us with – catch up below:
What does ‘New Gen’ mean to you?
NewGen is a family, a movement, a statement! The name NewGen is just an abbreviation for New Generation, which fits perfectly for all of the artist on the album, as we are the New Generation of artist about to take the game by storm.
How did you first get involved with the New Gen squad?
Bonkaz, DJ Hacko and I have been close friends for the past 15 years, long before we ever thought about being involved in the music industry. They’re some of the founding members of NewGen so it’s like I was always bound to be a part of the team.
Apart from your own, what is your favourite track on the album?
It’s hard to say because I’ll have a different favourite depending on my mood but I think my all round favorite is A2‘s ‘Vanilla Skies’. That guy is one of the best artist’s we’ve got in the UK in my eyes, especially when you see how he pieces a song together from scratch into a masterpiece.
As part of the album, you got to spend a lot of time with some of the biggest UK talents of the moment – did you learn a lot from this process? If so, can you elaborate?
Yeah, of course! I learnt about the actual time and effort it takes to put together a proper song and not just writing bars. Any artist that I’ve been in a session with teaches me something even if they don’t know they have.
Tell us a bit about ‘Thoughts’ – you open up a lot on that track, was it a difficult writing process?
At the time of writing ‘Thoughts’ I was doing a lot of reflecting a lot of realising that we live in the real world where a lot of real things that I’m going through other people may be too. When I started writing it, it came out so fluently. I don’t normally feel comfortable talking about my personal life but putting it into a song felt right. Some of the things I said on there I’ve never even spoken about.
You have managed to bring a very modern and progressive feel to Boom Bap with ‘Thoughts’ – are you going to fuck with this production style more?
Whatever mood I’m in when I’m writing will determine what kind of sound I’m going for, you’ll never know what to expect.
What’s next for Dotty – is there anything you want us to shout out?
I’m just recording, recording and more recording right now. I’ve got a lot of material that people need to hear so I’ll be releasing stuff left right and centre very soon! Look out of da team Londonxliving & Them Vs Us.
Me and my brother Charlie Rose have got a lot of material coming as well – he’s dope if you haven’t heard already. Obviously shout out the whole NewGen family. Go grab the album NOW NOW NOW!