Doja Cat isn’t tussling with hip-hop heads about her rapper title. She’s owning it. But, the 16-time Grammy nominee recently told Variety she understands their confusion.
“I just got an award for a billion spins on the radio,” Doja said, referencing the Titanium iHeart Radio award she won last year. Doja added, “So with that alone, I’m constantly being shoved down’s people’s throats. I would be upset if I saw somebody who has kind of been fed to me as this pop-star girl with a fat a** making it to this level of rap icon after I’ve only been watching them do disco sh*t and pop sh*t all the time.”
Nonetheless, Doja is planning for a 2023 album loaded with her rap and R&B skills. She hopes to put distance between her pop and disco sounds of Say So, Kiss Me More, and Woman and her next ‘masculine’ era.
“I know that I’ve done a lot of pink and soft things, a lot of pop and glittery sounds, but for this next era, I’m going in a more masculine direction.”
In the interview, Doja, given name Amala Ratna Zandile Dlamini, did express pride in a song she says is definitely rap–the Elvis movie track, Vegas. The song samples the classic Elvis Presley song Hound Dog.
“That was one of the greatest experiences because everyone knows Hound Dog , but I was able to give it my own spin. I went in and I was like, ‘Finally I get to rap again. A lot of people discredit me, so it’s nice to put another one in the f**king bucket for a great rap song.”
And Amala isn’t the only one signaling Vegas as “a great rap song.” In addition to being nominated for Best Rap Performance at the 2023 Grammys, the filmmaker behind Elvis Baz Luhrmann agrees Doja is rapper–one that’s hard to compete with.
“She’s an extraordinary rapper, and we have to celebrate her for how brilliantly she rhymes. I wouldn’t like to be in a rap battle with Doja,” Luhrmann told Variety.
Doja Cat Nominated For Five 2023 Grammys, But Winning Isn’t Her Priority
Fans will learn this Sunday, Feb. 5, whether Doja added a second (or more) Grammys to her portfolio of wins. Though rapping more is part of her next era, in this era, Doja is still landing nods for her pop-y sounds, including the hit song Woman.
The track competes in three categories: Record Of The Year, Best Pop Solo Performance, and Best Music Video. Doja is also competing in the Best Pop Duo/ Group Performance category for her feature on Post Malone’s I Like You (A Happier Song).
But getting Grammy nods and even winning isn’t in Doja’s front view. For her, it’s all about the music.
“I think it can become very toxic to focus on stuff like that. And the last thing I want is to forget about the music–forget about why I’m here. So to focus on winning, it’s not going to make my music sound better.”
While Doja hammers out her next project, with no release date yet on the horizon, she hopes to dabble in a different sound: punk. But she’s not talking punk-pop–there’s enough of those artists, she says.
“I feel like we have enough pop-punk artists right now. And if there needs to be more, then let there be more, but I don’t think I’m the one to do it. I want to explore more of a raw, unfiltered, hardcore punk sort of thing. It’s just something that I’m doing for my own personal fun–getting some drummers and guitarists together. And I don’t even know if that’s gonna make it out there.”
Still, the sounds fans can expect with her next project is rap and what Variety writer Chris Willman calls, Rap’s “most natural cousin,” R&B.