The Inspiration Behind Simon Doty’s Debut Album, Universal Language
Oct 11, 2023
2 min read
Simon Doty’s success as a trailblazing melodic and deep house producer reached its latest apex with the release of his debut album, Universal Language, on Anjunadeep earlier this year. The album followed the release of singles "Follow Me", "Have You Ever?" and "Soulflow", which gained radio support from SiriusXM, KCRW and BBC Radio 1 presenters Pete Tong and Danny Howard, as well as a host of tastemaking DJs including Gorgon City, Diplo, Solardo and more.
When writing the album, Doty was inspired by the disconnect that social media has created between music and people in modern day clubs; instead of dancing, eyes are often glued to phone screens. Doty feels that music of late has become increasingly aimed at creating “Instagrammable moments” and being “TikTok friendly.”
“And so I think for those reasons, we’re starting to lose the core of what it’s always supposed to have been about, you know, just like underground dance music, the character, the soul and the groove and the feel,” he explains in an interview with Gray Area.
For Doty, it was key for his album to reflect a time when memories held more value than video views, and experiences carried more weight than likes.
“All the marketing was showing old montages of clubs and footage of people dancing, before there were phones and all that kind of stuff. And to be focused on getting back to that type of a vibe.”
Universal Language features a range of collaborators including American spoken word artist Ursula Rucker, British duo My Friend, singer / songwriter Tailor, UK-based producer and vocalist Artche, British songstress Ruth Royall, and legendary American vocalist Roland Clark. The album also features a memorable remix of "Closer" (feat. Robyn Sherwell) by JODA, the collaborative project of trance legends Darren Tate and Jono Grant.