“If your only intent is to be seen, you’ll never be seen. If your intent is to be happy, comfortable, genuine, and true in craft, you’re destined to be noticed” (Doja Cat, 2018).
For my eminent project this year, I chose to research Amala Ratna Zandile Dlamini, professionally known as Doja Cat. Doja Cat is an American singer, rapper, and songwriter. An overnight sensation who, in just three years, became one of the most easily recognizable names in the world. As someone who listens to her music, I’ve been impacted by her fame and publicity, and her well-known personality and humour. As someone who’s always been interested in music and the arts, I was drawn to Doja Cat’s unique lyricism and singing style. I like the way she isn’t afraid to express herself through her music and comedy and doesn’t make an effort to change herself for others. I aim to have the same mindset, improving myself and learning what I like to do not for others, but for myself in academics, sports, and many other things.
At the age of 16, Doja Cat released her first song ‘So High’ on the streaming platform SoundCloud. She was quickly noticed by Kemosabe and RCA Records, with whom she signed a joint record deal a year later. After a flopped debut album in 2018 titled Amala, her self-made music video ‘Mooo!’ became a viral internet meme, amassing over 75 million views. The following year, she released her second studio album, with many of the tracks going viral on the online platform TikTok such as ‘Streets’, ‘Say So,’ ‘Rules’, and more. Although this album was a key point in her career and rising success, it was her third studio album that she released in June 2021 that solidified her as one of the most prominent singers of her generation. ‘Planet Her’ broke records for her and the collaborators, topping charts and winning multiple awards. And just this month, she passed Drake as the most-streamed rapper on Spotify, with over 63 million monthly listeners.
Her music has been a key influence on popular culture, with most teens today listening to her songs, and her name frequenting news and the radio. She’s also famed for being a comedic personality, often connecting with her audience on the internet. In fact, she even wrote the song ‘Mooo!’ alongside her fans on Instagram live. She has cited Nicki Minaj as one of her biggest influences, with critics noting that her latest album seems to have taken inspiration from the artist. Doja Cat’s achievements and influence are on track to only get bigger, with many new artists already listing her as their biggest inspirations, her unique sound and style finding their way into others’ music.
As our eminent project continues, I plan to research more into what made her so likeable as an artist and internet personality, and how she skyrocketed to fame so quickly. I’m excited to research more about Doja Cat, and to share with you my learning!