Written By Miranda Owen
Amala Dlamini, or Doga Cat, is a rapper and singer from Los Angeles. Doja Cat’s rise to fame is an interesting and inspiring story. In her childhood, Dlamini was influenced by musicians like Erykah Badu and Tupac, took dance lessons, and learned to skateboard and surf. Eventually Doja Cat dropped out of high school to pursue a career in music. She created her own beats using GarageBand and continued practicing dance. She released tracks on SoundCloud and YouTube but didn’t start creating on a large scale until she signed with RCA Records at age 17. With RCA Records, she was able to release her first EP, Purrr! which featured five mostly self-written unique tracks. Songs like “No Police” and “So High” were widely listened to and enjoyed by lovers of alternative R&B (I listened to the EP religiously during my high school years). After Purrr! Doja Cat went on to sign with OGG, and began collaborating with other artists on certain tracks, though she remained low-key until about 2018.
In 2018, Doja Cat started to again release music, this time for a wider audience. “Go to Town” and its music video, and other promotional tracks (like “Candy”) were released on streaming platforms in early 2018 to tease the upcoming release of her first studio album, Amala. The promotional singles grabbed the attention of her fans, and expanded into a broader audience as some of her singles became popular on TikTok during 2019. What really brought the attention to Doja Cat’s music to the populous was her upload of “Mooo!”, a self-produced music video in which she sings about being a cow. This, of course, got the attention of the American music scene and popular demand led to Doja Cat releasing the song as a single.
After the buzz about “Mooo!” died down, Doja Cat continued to write and produce hit singles like “Tia Tamera” and “Juicy,” which landed her Platinum status and gave Amala a debut on the Billboard top-200 album chart. She continued to generate hype following the release of singles “Bottom Bitch” and “Say So.” These tracks would eventually make it on her second album, Hot Pink.
Doja Cat’s story is one that is unique: she found a balance of talent and luck that after nearly a decade of work allowed her to become famous and successful in the pop and rap genres. Part of her success can be attributed to the millions of fans who discovered her music through a newer social media platform, TikTok, which increased her name recognition and caused her to gain a huge influx of new listeners. Doja Cat is a unique personality in music today, truly one of a kind.