He may not be your quintessential English gentleman but 22-year old Dot Rotten knows how to rock a tailor-made Sauvage suit. With a passion for aesthetics, feng shui, photograph, literature and writing lyrics in his head, he's not your average rapper, producer or songwriter either.
"Joseph is very calm and collected, very cool, not on a hype…" he says of himself. But under his Dot Rotten alias, this south Londoner brings the heat. And a lot of it. Recent work includes a remix for The Streets 'Going Through Hell', while his production CV boasts cuts for Spark, Griminal, Ghetts, Maxsta, P Money, Tinie Tempah, Wiley and the rest.
Building his first beat on an Atari aged seven and his first rap just a year later, Dot Rotten was never going to be the accountant his mum predicted. With no GCSE's, Dot Rotten's number game became the art of perfecting 64 bars. With a love for skateboarding and rock climbing, it was an accident when he was nine that would change everything. After being run over by a car and fearing he'd never walk again, the eight-month recovery period kick started an interest in spirituality and "the unexplainable stuff." Unable to lead the same active lifestyle, the bedroom beats stepped up a bpm.
Although very much of the So Solid, Dizzee Rascal and Wiley era, Dot's inspiration ranges from Timbaland and Lil Wayne to Bob Marley, ELO, Jamiroquai and Portishead. "Sting's definitely one of my favourites too along with Wu Tang and Eminem where lyrics are concerned…" Currently listening to battle rappers like Iron Solomon and Murder Mike, Dot's back catalogue has grown with him.
As a teenager he took to the Delight FM radio waves alongside his crew Y2twisted, going on to record with local legends Essentials. Working the circuit a job at the renowned Saxon Studio's ensued. A four-year learning curve as an engineer allowed Dot to watch the likes of Maxi Priest, Phillip Levy and many reggae greats in action. Able to work on his own material he released two mix CD's, This Is The Beginning in 2006 and R.I.P Young Dot in 2008, produced in their entirety by Dot himself.
Unsure of his path and losing interest in life in general, Dot took a hiatus, moving to Hertfordshire to live with a friend. "I couldn't be bothered with anything anymore. I just wanted to see if I could stop doing music…" Thankfully he couldn't. "I kept writing and ended up making loads of beats, probably because for once in my life I was actually just enjoying time and relaxing." Deciding to get back on point he returned to Balham, selling beats to anyone with the cash; a 16 bar would have set you back £100 with a feature coming in at £250. But times done change.
With the help of Little Man's Studio, Dot was able to finish off his own songs, releasing two mixtapes - S.O.O.N (Something Out of Nothing) and Extra Attention - in 2009, garnering him critical acclain from the likes of RWD and Mixmag. Having floated through last year, releasing a few freestyles and beginning work with producers du jour TMS, the preparation for what's to come has been done.
With five management offers on the table, a recent holiday to the Dominican Republic signaled 'make your mind up time'.
But while many may have gone before, Dot Rotten's as confident as they come. Where his album is concerned don't expect any features. From the TMS produced 'Free' to Craze & Hulks' 'Syco' ("that's a harder, pull your balaclava down tune") and 'Normal Human Being', which is on rotation now, his debut Voices In My Head (the title track a soulful hip-hop venture from Naught Boy) will put any doubters firmly back in their place.