Music maven! Doja Cat made her mark on the entertainment industry well before she dropped her first record in 2018.
The California native, whose real name is Amala Ratna Zandile Dlamini, dropped “So High” on SoundCloud in 2012 and has since become a household name. Before making her way into the music business, Doja dabbled in a variety of dance styles.
“I was taking ballet, tap and jazz. I stayed a lot in Malibu and surfed in a surf camp for years around that time,” the singer told Dazed in August 2018 of her life as a teenager in Los Angeles. “After moving from Oak Park around the age of eleven-and-a-half, I started to take up break dancing. I danced in a crew and competed around Los Angeles in organized underground cypher/battles.”
It wasn’t until she dropped out of high school in the 11th grade that she switched her focus to music.
“Some friends in high school would tell me I should sing. I started teaching myself to sing in my room,” she explained. “And [I] would make songs on GarageBand with my desktop computer on the floor on a mattress.”
The rapper went viral in 2018 after dropping a pixelated homemade music video for her song, “Mooo!” The funky video showed Doja dressed in a cow-printed top and matching skirt while eating French fries and drinking a milkshake as different graphics popped up in the background.
At one point she rapped about being a “cow” and then chowed down on a burger before dancing in a denim bikini top and jean shorts. The video has 2 million likes and has been viewed more than 92 million times.
Doja’s love of video games and computers has also inspired her to pick up producing, which she revealed has only enhanced her music career.
“I’ve been making beats and writing songs in my room since [about three years ago],” she told the outlet. “I think I should take piano lessons and delve a little deeper into the more complex areas of producing. I just want to excel.”
The “Woman” singer was announced as the 2021 MTV Video Music Awards host earlier this year. She is set to run the show on Sunday, September 12, and will also take the stage to perform.
Scroll down to learn more about Doja ahead of her VMAs gig: