Doja Cat is a rapper, singer, songwriter and social media personality who, as a teenager, began
uploading original music to SoundCloud. The uploads, most notably the 2012 song “So High,” caught the
attention of RCA Records imprint label, Kemosabe Records. This led to a record deal in 2012 at age
seventeen and later, her 2014 debut EP, Purrr!
She was born Amala Ratna Zandile Dlamini on October 21, 1995 in Tarzana, California to parents
Deborah Sawyer, a graphic designer and Dumisami Dlamini, a South African actor. Her stage name was
derived from her 2012 nickname, based on her cat and a strain of marijuana. She has since expressed
disdain for the name and has since quit smoking both cigarettes and marijuana.
As an infant, Dlamini was moved to Rye, New York, living with her maternal grandmother for five years.
At age eight, she moved back to California with her mother and brother, settling in a Hindu commune in
the Santa Monica Mountains. Growing disillusioned with the Hindu lifestyle as she grew older, she
began attending breakdancing classes and competitions while she was attending Central Los Angeles
Area New High School. She dropped out at age 16, citing her struggles with ADHD. Spending most of
her time online after dropping out, her first permanent SoundCloud upload, “So High,” caught the
attention of producer Yeti Beats (born David A. Sprecher in California). He later became the lead
producer and collaborator on the Doja Cat albums Amala in 2018, Hot Pink in 2019 and Planet Her in
Amala was her debut studio album and was only “moderately successful” as she put it. Although it
produced three singles, the album was critically ignored and failed to chart. A self-published song and
music video, “Mooo!”, was released on August 10, 2018 as a novelty song. The video, featuring Doja Cat
dressed in a black-and-white cow print costume and backed by chroma-keyed footage from the 2010
Cyriak Harris video, “cows & cows & cows” among other cow-themed videos, was written as a joke with
absurdist lyrics. The video soon became a viral internet meme, amassing over 100 million YouTube
views and is credited for setting the tone for her future career. She has become well known for her
absurdist humor on her social media posts. According to writer Robyn Mowatt, Doja Cat’s live
performances “typically are infused with a touch of eccentricity.”
Doja Cat has been nominated for eleven Grammy Awards and has earned a Billboard Music Award,
three MTV Video Music Awards, five American Music Awards and a Guinness World Record. The latter
was for the 2021 collaboration with Nicki Minaj, “Say So.” The song marked the first time a female rap
duo hit number one on the US singles chart.
Doja Cat is scheduled to perform at the 2022 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival on Friday April
17th and Friday April 24 th . KWXY Music Radio supports musicians and artists performing in the Coachella Valley, as well as independent music labels, and emerging talent all over the country.
Listen to the music of Doja Cat on KWXY Presents tonight at 7pm on KWXY
Music Radio 92.3 FM ● 1340 AM ● streaming at kwxy.com and ivoxradio.com