Provocative and unfiltered: the triumph of Doja Cat, the singer who confronts her fans People

The Doja Cat doesn’t mince words or need to keep quiet about what she’s thinking. His fans know this, but the artist’s latest attack is on his own followers, who call themselves kitten (“Kittens”, alluding to the singer’s stage name), it seems that was the straw that broke the camel’s back. “If you call yourself kitten or mess kitten, it means you have to give up your cell phone, find a job and help your parents at home”, he taunted them. The consequences of this confrontation came to the fore in the same place where the fight began: on social networks. As a result of those words, Doja Cat lost more than 500,000 followers (only on Instagram it brings together more than 25 million). Instead of giving up, he affirmed his words through a brief text published stories: “Seeing all these people unfollowing me makes me feel like I’ve vanquished a great beast that’s been blocking me for a long time and I feel like I can reconnect with the people who really matter. I matter to me and love me for who I am, not who I am. What was it… I feel free.

Born Amala Ratna Zandile Dlamini (Los Angeles, age 27), her stage name synthesizes the artist’s love for cats and her taste for marijuana, a drug she currently makes sure she no longer consumes . He confessed, “I drink too much.” Rolling stone In December 2021. But besides cats and pot, there’s a third element that defined Doja Cat years ago: the Internet. Like many digital natives, Angelina spent her childhood and adolescence surfing the web, fascinated by the endless possibilities social media and entertainment platforms allowed her to explore endlessly. beats And post songs made from scratch in your living room.

That creative restlessness runs in the family. The daughter of Deborah Sawyer, a graphic designer, and Dumisani Dlamini, a South African stage actor and dancer, she spent her formative years in Rye, New York, where her maternal grandmother lived. He never had any relation with his father. as stated in the magazine Rolling stoneIn the early 2000s, his mother moved with him and his brother to Sai Anantham Ashram, a commune in the Santa Monica Mountains, the site of a spiritual retreat created in the 1980s by jazz artist Alice Coltrane. Surrounded by nature and peace, the atmosphere did not fit with the active character of Doja Cat, who left school at the age of 16 as a result of her ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), as she herself describes it. “My brother loved it. He had many friends. But I didn’t have any. For me it was like: ‘I can’t eat what I want to eat, I can’t really do baby stuff.’

Doja Cat at The Prince’s Trust Gala on April 27, 2023 in New York. John Lamparsky (Getty Images)

After spending some time in a commune, the family moved to Oak Park, a wealthy area of ​​Los Angeles. There, Doja Cat’s life was far from the norms that many children her age followed. Hours on the Internet multiplied without diminishing the creativity of the future singer. During those unfiltered teenage years, she expressed comments in chat rooms that haunted her for some time thereafter: from homophobic insults to racist expressions, from which she tried to distance herself on several occasions, such as when she In a statement released in 2020, she claimed that she was “a black woman”: “Half of my family is black from South Africa and I’m very proud of where I come from”. From controversy to controversy the new York Times he wondered in a 2022 article Can Doja Cat be canceled? ,Can Doja Cat be canceled?,

So far, she has not only avoided all the controversies she has been involved in but has also managed to carve out a prominent place in the music industry without giving up her provocative character. Her career went back a decade when producer Yeti Beats – with whom she had worked until the release of her last album – thanked her for the song. so high, released by Doja Cat to the Internet world. Over the years, he has also collaborated with musician and producer Dr. Luke, co-writer of many of his greatest hits. The producer’s name hit the headlines in 2014 when singer Kesha accused him of rape, a controversy that also affected Doja Cat, who assured that their professional relationship began prior to the allegations against the singer’s producer, giving them a Legal battles were faced during the decade. Resolved this summer.

The turning point for the artist came in 2018 in the most unexpected way. His first album that year, love her, a direct reference to her real name. However, this did not lead to a boom in his career. artist reached virility with theme Moo! (Onomatopoeia of a Cow Mooing), a song that perfectly synthesizes Doja Cat’s sound and aesthetic: humour, excitement, extravagance and catchy beats between pop, hip hop and rap. The chorus was intentionally nonsensical—”Moo, I’m a cow”—and the video, with typical scenes from the manga, low-resolution stock photos of farms, and cutaways of Doja Cat dancing while eating a hamburger, milkshake, or some chips, Collected millions of copies (it currently has over 125 million views). plays, The theme was conceived as a “joke”, as acknowledged by the artist, but it worked so that his name would be heard beyond the virtual world.

Internet certainly had another important role in the development of his professional career. During the pandemic, when a large segment of the population took refuge behind screens for endless entertainment, Doja Cat increased its visibility manifold. Subject say sowas released just a few weeks before imprisonment and was related to their second album, hot pink, became one of TikTok’s musical successes, where users of the platform contributed to its spread by creating choreography. When in May 2020 they launched remix By singing with Nicki Minaj, he achieved his first number one single on the Billboard Hot 100 list and paved the way for what came next.

Exclusive press defined their third album, planet his, as one of the great releases of 2021. The nominations and awards didn’t wait. Subject kiss me more, a collaboration with singer SZA, broke several music records. In addition to winning a Grammy in the category of Best Pop Duo/Group Performance at the 2022 ceremony, the song made history as the female collaboration that spent the most weeks on the Billboard Hot 100 list. In addition, the album was the most played last year by a female rapper in history on Spotify, according to data provided by the platform. As if that wasn’t enough, he ended 2022 with seven songs on the Billboard Hot 100 list, tied only with Bad Bunny.

Turned into one of the artists of the moment and contrary to what it might seem due to her defiant attitude and lack of filter when expressing certain opinions, Doja Cat exudes her own character in each of her public appearances where no There is no room for chance. Five years after becoming famous because of the song in which she sang that she was a cow, she walked down the stairs of the Metropolitan Museum in New York dressed as a cat as a guest at the Met Gala special. For her debut at the party, she was transformed into a feline thanks to some ultra-realistic and quite disturbing prosthetics. Signature styling by Oscar de la Renta was a nod Choupet, Designer Karl Lagerfeld’s inseparable cat, around which the theme of the celebration revolved. Her appearance at Haute Couture Week in Paris was also highly commented on, when she attended the Schiaparelli show wearing a suit made of 30,000 tiny crystals, which were distributed and affixed to her scalp, face and body. When it comes to playing with his image, whether it is shaving his head or shaving his eyebrows, the artist underlines the versatility that is also present in his musical works, which are difficult to sum up in any one genre.

Doja Cat at the Met Gala on May 1, 2023 in New York. Jamie McCarthy (Getty Images)

Doja Cat perseveres and shows no signs of tiredness or fatigue. In 2023, he has been recognized as one of the 100 Most Influential People of the Year by the magazine Time, On the other hand, he has just announced the release of his new work, RedOut of which two singles have already been released, Comment And paint the town red, both a direct indication of the confrontation he maintains with some of his fans. “It’s stupid, you follow me but you don’t care about the music,” he sings. Comment, Excitable and restless by nature, born in V Magazine He has reoriented his career by making sure that he is making “tasteful, commercial, easy-to-sell” music during these years. “It has allowed me to be where I am. Now, I create music that allows me to express exactly how I feel to the world around me.

At the moment, he is still one of the fashionable artists. During these months, he was able to add to his list of awards with several MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs), including Artist of the Year. In addition to Best Video of the Year, Best Direction and Best Art Direction Comment and best cooperation for I Like You (A Happy Song)with Post Malone.

And beware, because the musical field is starting to get too small for the American. That’s how he confessed this August Harper’s Bazaar commenting on his interest in being involved in “other kinds of projects”. These include fashion and makeup. But, above all, cinema: “I want to discover acting. I want to make films that I believe in. I’ll have to pause with the music for a bit. I love comedy and action movies. i want to learn martial arts and make a movie john wick (action saga starring Keanu Reeves)”. Time will tell if he is serious.

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