Before Zaytoven was a fire producer, he was Xavier Lamar Dotson, the kid who hailed from San Francisco, CA to Atlanta, GA, thanks to his family’s military background.

Music has always played a pivotal role in Zaytoven’s life. His first experience as a musician began at Life Abundantly Church located in Conyers, GA, where he served as an organist for the congregation each and every Sunday, according to HotNewHipHop.

Although he was not allowed to listen to rap, the 42-year-old producer still managed to sneak enough songs in to plant the seed, leading to his desire to make music.

And, as they say, the rest is history — Zaytoven has solidified his place in the industry as one of the innovators of the current Trap Music sound we know and love today.

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The Back-Up Plan

He has produced smash hits for artists like Gucci Mane, Migos, Chris Brown, Jeezy, and more, but before things took off with the music, Zaytoven worked as a barber at a local shop, the outlet reports.

In fact, despite receiving roughly $100,000 after his success as a co-producer and writer on Usher’s “Papers,” Zaytoven continued to cut hair, noting that he wanted to have a backup plan in place, just in case his music career didn’t pan out.

“My check from Usher was like $101,000. My parents ain’t even seen that much money together. You know, I ain’t even seen that much money at one time before, but I’m still at the barbershop,” he said during a previous interview with HotNewHipHop. “I’m still at the barbershop because I still feel like ‘Man, that’s a blessing, that’s crazy I got that, but I know it’s over after this. I know I’mma fall off after this.’ That was my mindset. My mindset was like, I’m still gon’ keep cutting hair ‘cause, what if this don’t work out? I can’t really base my life on this right here.”

Leaving It All Behind

It wasn’t until three years after the success of “Papers” that Zaytoven made the final decision to leave the shop, which he actually co-owns, behind.

After working his magic on Migos’ 2013 “Versace” hit, he had to leave his hair-cutting days behind. It was only due to the fact that fans would come into the shop trying to get a photo.

Anyone familiar with Zaytoven knows the legendary producer is as humble as they come. Therefore, you could guess that all of the attention took some getting used to.

For more on Zaytoven’s journey and the chance to see him perform live, click here to grab your AfroTech Conference 2022 tickets in Austin, TX.

For the first time ever, there will be an inaugural music experience. The lineup features Zaytoven, Bia, Bas, DJ Moma, Mélat, and more.

You don’t want to miss it!