HITS Daily Double


A musical savant, L.A. native Doja Cat took ballet, tap, and jazz-dance lessons while also recording herself over beats she found on YouTube. When she self-released the trippy, soulful “So High” and its psychedelic video in 2014, Doja’s uniqueness was already apparent, leading to a deal with Kemosabe/RCA at the age of 17.

“Doja Cat has always been an imaginative, colorful, forward-thinking artist with her own unique approach,” recalls RCA EVP of A&R Tunji Balogun, who first met her in 2013.

Doja’s 2018 debut album—titled Amala after her first name—was a colorful rollercoaster ride, revealing a young woman coming into her own, exploring her voice and finding her way through life. She steadily built a buzz with singles like “Go to Town” and “Roll With Us.” Talented at both rapping and singing—weaving bars with a tone akin to how seamlessly Mariah Carey slides in and out of her falsetto—as well as songwriting and production.

“Her versatility and talent are infinite,” Gordon Dillard of Sal & Co. Management raves. “She’s truly a one-of-a-kind human and artist, and what you see is what you get.”

In the surreal “Mooo!,” released in late 2018, Doja envisioned herself as a cow, while the accompanying video portrayed the artist dancing in various cowgirl-inspired outfits in front of anime clips and images of farms. The witty record went viral and won praise from artists like J. Cole and Chance the Rapper, who saluted the rapper for her creativity. At the same time, some on social media labeled her as a parodist in the tradition of “Weird Al” Yankovic.

But as more people discovered her following the release of her single “Tia and Tamera” f/Rico Nasty in early 2019, Doja Cat began building a rep as a rapper with serious talent. The braggadocious record—containing the key line Have a seat bitch please, IKEA”—was further illuminated by a vibrant, wacky video that pulled inspiration from the 1997 cult-classic movie B.A.P.S., the golden era of game shows and hues reminiscent of Lisa Frank stationery from the early 2000s.

As 10Q Management’s Lydia Asrat notes, “When writing music, her creativity takes her through the visuals for the song we’re making at that same moment. When your passion and vision align effortlessly, that’s a true superstar—and that’s Doja in a nutshell.”

Then, in August 2019, the video for her platinum single “Juicy” f/Tyga racked up 7 million views in a week. The absurdist clip further displayed Doja’s ability to create hit records and have fun while doing it. At that point, it was apparent that Doja had arrived as an artist.

Subsequent singles and videos including “Bottom Bitch” (co-produced by Doja) and “Rules” furthered pushed the creative envelope and showed her diversity as a songwriter. Late in the year, she released her second album, Hot Pink, while also contributing the song “Boss Bitch” to the Bird of Prey soundtrack.

Early this year, Doja released the single “Say So,” accompanied by a retro-style video that showed her hanging out in a mid-century-modern house and tearing it up on the dance floor. Captivating performances of the song on MTV and Vevo, along with a Nicki Minaj-assisted remix, catapulted the record to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

“When we heard the Hot Pink LP last fall, we felt that both ‘Say So’ and ‘Like That’ were big hits,” Co-President Joe Riccitelli points out. “Doja completely created her performance of the two songs last week on the VMAs, right down to the MTV News piece. She’s a legit quadruple threat as a writer, singer, rapper and dancer, and the VMAs were the perfect platform to showcase all of it. [ViacomCBS President of Music, Music Talent, Programming & Events Bruce Gillmer and his team recognized this as well. It’s great that she won the PUSH New Artist Award, because the PUSH campaign was part of the strategy.”

Doja Cat is frequently compared to female rap legends like Lil Kim and Nicki Minaj, an acknowledgment of her superstar potential.

“Doja has proven herself as an all-around creative who is in a league of her own,” says RCA Chairman/CEO Peter Edge. “As a rapper, singer, songwriter and producer who leads the creative direction for most of her own visuals, she captures fans and brings them into her world with each new piece of content. Her unique vision, genre-bending approach and appeal to a wide audience is what has contributed to her global success.”

Co-President John Fleckenstein concurs. “Doja Cat does what Doja Cat does,” he offers. “In presentation, she is utterly irrepressible—spontaneous, wild, and silly—but the truth is, she’s also an extraordinarily talented artist who can truly sing and rap with the best. She’ll write a song about literally anything, but never forget: There’s an incredible mind behind it all.”

Doja Cat is a gifted young Black female who is also coming to terms with living in the public eye. While she’s no stranger to controversy on social media, Doja has navigated through strife by always being transparent about her needed areas of growth and dedication to her craft. Lest we forget, she’s only 24, and even with a bevy of wins under her belt, she’s really just getting started on what promises to be a long and fruitful career.