(AllHipHop Features) Trap music pioneer Xavier “Zaytoven” Dotson has a catalog of production credits that features works with Gucci Mane, Usher, Future, Migos, Jeezy, Young Dolph, and countless other performers. In addition, the self-taught instrumentalist has also been locked in the studio with emerging singer-songwriter Natasha Mosley.
The Atlanta-based duo of Natasha and Zaytoven was the force behind the recent single “Comin Back,” and an entire body of work is set to follow. Listeners can be on the lookout for Naytoven, a portmanteau of the German-born producer and the Gwinnett County raised vocalist’s names.
Naytoven will follow Mosley’s 2015 album Rose Hall. Prior to breaking out as a solo artist, the relative of Blues icon Bessie Smith spent time as a member of two separate girl groups - The Feisty Girl Project which was started by Jermaine Durpi’s father Michael Mauldin and Juice which was under the tutelage of former Xscape singer Tiny Harris.
Mosley is now signed to the independent label ISO Music. With Zaytoven also in her corner, the Collins Hill High School representative is currently setting forth a path to leave a measurable mark on the R&B picture. Discover more about Natasha Mosley in this exclusive interview with AllHipHop.com.
[ALSO READ: EXCLUSIVE: Zaytoven Talks Producing Recent Songs For 50 Cent, Jeezy, Future & Fall Out Boy]
At what point did you connect with Zaytoven?
The first time we ever did a song together is going on two years ago. The first song we ever did was called “Face In The Pillow.” I always heard about Zay and wanted to work with him. Mike Fresh - a writer and artist I’ll be working with - was the first person to take me to Zay.
When I met Zay, I walked into his house and he said, “Oh, so you sing?” I said, “Yeah.” He was like, “Sing me a song.” I sung for him and he said, “Oh, we definitely gotta work.” After that, we’ve been working ever since.
And now you're working on a joint project?
We have a project coming out called Naytoven. He actually came up with the name. I thought that was pretty dope.
Is it going to be a full album or an EP?
We’ve been going back and forth so much on exactly what we want it to be. We keep changing how many songs we’re going to put on there. We keep making more songs. We don’t know if it’s going to be 10 or 15. At first it was going to be about 5 songs, but we keep changing because we’ve got so many good songs. We’re probably going to pick the best 10 songs that we have together, so I think it’s going to be more like an album.
He’s producing all of the tracks, but have you worked with any other artists?
I worked with a lot of artists in the past like YG, Tyga, Gucci Mane, Jeremih, Lil Wayne, and Young Dro. I think this project is going to be just me.
You mentioned the song with Jeremih. That actually ended up on the Magic Mike XXL soundtrack. What was your reaction when you found out the song was part of that project?
I didn’t think it was for real. My friend that told me is always playing around, so I was thinking, “Yeah right.” He said, “Tasha, I’m for real this time.” When I actually saw it was serious, I was like, “Oh my god! I’m going to be in a real movie! Aside from me being on a major artist's song, we’re actually going to be in a major film in theaters.” And in the movie it’s my part that’s playing, so it was an amazing feeling. It’s a blessing.
Your performance on the song “Comin Back” felt like it had more of a rap delivery than a traditional R&B delivery.
Everybody be at Zay’s house. That particular day, Yung L.A. was there in the studio writing this song. I walked in and said, “Man, this is hot. What’s this?” I just kept hearing him say, “Comin back to you. This is for a girl.” I said, “This is kind of what I’m going through right now.”
He was in the studio writing it. I sat down next to him, and I started throwing words and concepts at him. We ended up writing the song together. Then Mike Fresh came in and helped with some of the words as well. We kind of molded the song to have that rap feel. Especially with Yung L.A., because he’s had so many hits. He gave it that rap feel.
The content on your other single “Stranded” is interesting. What inspired that direction?
I actually wrote that song in like the 8th or 9th grade. I was in a relationship with somebody. I thought I knew what I was talking about and I was all in love. I felt like, “If he leaves me, it’s the end of the world.” That was kind of the mindset that I was in at that time.
I said, “Isom [ISO Music's head], I think I should re-sing the song, because when I sung it I was so young. I don’t even know if I can hit the notes any more.” He said, “Yes, you can.” I put the song out. It got such a good response. I just love it. I can’t wait to sing it live, because those emotions and everything I wrote the song about was real.
The combined total for your “Anything” video has over 4 million views on YouTube. What do you think it is about that particular song that has caused it to connect with so many listeners?
From the feedback that I’ve been getting, I think it's that whole woman empowerment - “I’m sexy,” “Anything she can do, I can do better” - that whole confidence level thing. I’m small and petite. I don’t have this big booty or big titties, but at the same time I’m still showing my confidence.
Mind you, I’m talking about being in a strip club and seeing what she can do on the pole. I’m over here saying, “I can do just what she’s doing and better.” I feel like that makes the women cling to the song. That’s just off the responses I’ve been getting. You know my girls tweet me. They tell me, “That’s my song. That’s my new twerking anthem.” So I can kind of tell how it makes them feel.
I saw a tweet that you retweeted where basically the person was saying how they appreciate how your music helps them through a low point in their life. When you get responses like that, what is your reaction?
My reaction to that is don’t stop, keep going, don’t give up. The main thing that inspires me the most is when people tweet me and say, “You’re music is giving me life.” To me, that’s the best feeling ever. To know I’m giving somebody life through my music, it makes me never want to stop.
Where would you like to see your career in five years?
I want to be a megastar. I want to be at the awards. I want to be touring. I’m out here working, grinding, and getting to the next level. Inspiring people is my main thing. When I was growing up I loved Beyoncé, Christina Aguilera, Tamia, and Brandy. Just seeing how they make their fans feel - they put people in their real emotions. That’s what I want to do.
[ALSO READ: Three Questions With Natasha Mosley]
Stream the Rose Hall below.