Atlanta, Georgia-based rap/trap producer Xavier L. Dotson (aka Zaytoven) played a central role in popularizing the wave of trap music -- particularly in his home city -- that began in the mid-2000s. Dotson was born on an army base in Germany in 1980, although his family moved to San Francisco shortly after; when he left his family home Dotson moved to Atlanta. Before entering the world of rap, Dotson was a church musician who, after dabbling on the drums, quickly turned to the organ and piano. In 2002 Dotson met Radric Davis (aka Gucci Mane) for the first time, and the two quickly decided they should make music together; from there Dotson would produce Mane's debut album, Trap House, as well as at least one production credit on every subsequent Mane record. As time went by, Dotson worked with a number of Southern rappers, including Migos, Future, Waka Flocka Flame, and Lil Uzi Vert.
His work garnered a lot of attention over the years -- with his piano lines becoming a signature of his productions -- resulting in his first Grammy in 2011 for his work on Usher's Raymond v. Raymond. Toward the mid-2010s, public attention grew toward producers, with names such as Mike WiLL Made-It, Metro Boomin, and Boi-1da becoming stars in their own right; Zaytoven was no different, gradually moving further into the spotlight. By 2017 Dotson had begun touring with the musicians he produced for -- playing various pianos and keytars on-stage -- as well as signing to Motown in preparation for his full-length debut album. ~ Liam Martin