INTERVIEW: Dot Cromwell

Hi Dot, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Wassup fam, all has been well! All things considered, I’m holding up as well as one can in 2020. It’s bittersweet for me because it feels like the world is burning down around me, but personally I’m seeing so much growth musically and spiritually. In a weird way, the world is quieter now and I think I needed that.

Can you talk to us more about your latest single “Me Ova U”?

Yea, so “Me Ova U” is a record I created with some frequent collaborators of mine, BlVK MVGK on the production and ​Matty Harris​on the mixing & mastering. It’s interesting because the framework of the song I’ve actually had for 6 months now, like I knew the melodies for the hook and the general idea..but I didn’t pinpoint the emotion till this year.

Did any event in particular inspire you to write this song?

I feel like quarantine has been eye opening for everyone, but specifically for me it’s allowed more time to sit down and analyze my situations. Somewhere in my isolation the inspiration for the lyrics just hit me & that’s why you’ll hear lines like “You wouldn’t know I exist if it wasn’t for my phone” or “started the social distance, I’m guessing we can’t stop”. I really wanted to speak on toxic relationships from a vulnerable vantage point, while acknowledging all the weight our current technological and dystopian like reality adds to it.

Any plans to release any sort of video for the track?

You know we’ll have to see, I have some ideas in mind..but right now they all require me to move around and involve people…but you know…covid smh lol. But yea, who knows maybe there’s space to try something even more innovative!

How was the recording and writing process?

Well we started the production in Brooklyn last Fall and then just…kinda forgot about it. I actually tried to give it to a friend and collaborator of mine, Sonic…But I think we caught her in between album cycles. Earlier this spring it just hit me that the world needs to hear this…So I recorded the vocals. Lyrics and song ideas literally hit me like epiphanies now a days. I could be walking down to the kitchen to get something and then BOOM, whole verse…completely forgot why i cam to the kitchen…got this verse tho lol. it’s really crazy.

What role does Brooklyn play in your music?

Growing up In Philly of course I listened to Beanie Sigel & The Major Figgas, but I also listened to ALOT of New York rappers, it was like the epicenter of it all. Biggie and Jay Z are huge influences of mine, so when I started to move around BK it was just powerful to travel through streets, blocks, or neighborhoods that they once moved through. Additionally, I feel like NYC in general has added another layer of grit to my business persona and gives me an edge in a lot of situations now.

How would you say your musical perspective changed as you move away from Philly over to Brooklyn?

I wouldn’t say my musical perspective changed, I’d rather say it evolved. I really learned the tradition of communal music living in BK. We had a creative house that we would always invite artists too, it really became a hub for emerging creatives. I learned so much about my strengths and my weaknesses and more importantly how to push my limits!

Having received the support from both audiences and big names in the industry such as Pharrell – does that put any pressure on you as you work on a new work or rather the opposite?

You know it’s the opposite for me. When I was trying really hard to be seen and doing 100 things at 10%, it felt nearly impossible. But now I focus on just doing a few things at 100% and I feel as though people are acknowledging what I’m capable of. All the co-signs are amazing, but the thing that hits me the most is when a believer or listener tells me that my music has helped them in some way. The idea that something I created in my head traveled across the country or world for that matter and resonated with someone at the exact moment that they needed it…is just amazing to me…I only feel the obligation to keep doing that for the people who need it, ya know?

Does the new single mean we can expect a new material – how’s that coming along?

Yea, I’m fully loaded for sure! I have A LOT of music, like A LOT. But yea I’ve started a skeleton of an album for sure, and depending on what’s going on in the world hopefully we can get to it after 2020, fingers crossed!

Any tentative release date or title in mind?

Def after we leave this crazy year, that’s all i can say for now.

Any plans to hit the road?

I would love to hit the road of course…but…Covid smh

What else is happening next in Dot Cromwell’s world?

Well I started a creative company with my business partner ​DioMara​,called ​Milllion Watts​.The focus of this company is to exalt, protect, & preserve contemporary artists, entertainers, activists, entrepreneurs. We’ve been lucky enough to work with brands such as Belaire, Harman, & Ethels Club so far. As we move into the second half of this year we’ll be putting together some pretty potent campaigns to help power black owned businesses. I definitely look forward to sharing more of that with you as it unfolds. But yea man, definitely more music and impactful initiatives on the horizon for me…Vent Magazine, it’s been real. Thank You

LISTEN HERE

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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