Birth name: Amalaratna Zandile Dlamini
Born: October 21, 1995
Origin: Los Angeles, California, U.S.
Bio: Amalaratna Zandile Dlamini (born October 21, 1995), known professionally as Doja Cat, is an American singer, rapper and songwriter. She first rose to prominence with the release of the music video for her song “Mooo!“, which went viral in 2018. She subsequently became known for creating music videos and songs that achieve popularity on social media apps like TikTok.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Doja Cat began making and releasing music on SoundCloud when she was a teenager. She signed a joint record deal with RCA Records and Kemosabe Records at the age of 17 and subsequently released her debut extended play “Purrr!“, in 2014. She released her debut studio album “Amala“, in 2018, followed by a deluxe repackage in 2019, which included the singles “Tia Tamera” and “Juicy“. Her second studio album, “Hot Pink” (2019), reached the top 10 of the “Billboard 200” after the remix for its single, “Say So“, which featured rapper Nicki Minaj, topped the “Billboard Hot 100“.
Doja Cat’s fast-rising hit “Say So” is the kind of song that you feel like you’ve heard before. Maybe it’s because of the razor-sharp vocals or the TikTok-ready guitar licks, or… the Nicki Minaj guest rap on its just-released remix? But most likely it’s because the catchy chorus, which is virtually impossible to get out of your head once you’ve heard it, came from Lukasz “Dr. Luke” Gottwald. The same writer who wrote Kelly Clarkson’s “Since U Been Gone”, Miley Cyrus’ “Wrecking Ball”, Katy Perry’s “California Gurls”, Britney Spears’ “Hold It Against Me” Pink’s “U + Ur Hand” and dozens of other hits.
From TikTok to Mainstream Publicity
“Say So” was a real turning point for Doja Cat’s career. It’s also the highlight of her astonishing, unprecedented TikTok reign. Though she only joined the app in late February 2020, at least eight of her songs have generated enough buzz to be considered viral. Even snippets of her unreleased music make the rounds on TikTok, like the recent “N*ggas Ain’t Shit,” in which she snaps, “That’s not cheating if I wasn’t with your ass”. Though there are elements of Doja’s music that make her well-suited for the app, what’s most striking is that her rise from one-time curiosity to bona fide star over the last 21 months mirrors, and was amplified by TikTok’s own shift from quirky novelty to mainstream publicity engine. Without this serendipitous timing, she might not have hit No. 1.