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GRAMMY PREVIEW: DOJA CAT

FAST TRACK TO STARDOM

By Ashley Lyle

When L.A. native Doja Cat self-released the trippy, soulful “So High” and its psychedelic video in 2014, her 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,” says 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. She steadily built a buzz with singles like “Go to Town” and “Roll With Us.”

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. That August, 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” further 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. 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.

“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 are what have 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 completely created her performance of the two songs on the 2020 VMAs,” Co-President Joe Riccitelli points out. “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.”

Lest we forget, Doja is 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.

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