Doja Cat graces the cover of ELLE’s June/July 2022 Women in Music issue, on newsstands June 7. The artist speaks about reconciling with fame, her social media presence, what to expect in her next album, which will be predominately rap and staying true to herself: “There’s no formula to win, but I think there’s a formula to lose. If you don’t believe in what you’re doing, people aren’t stupid—they’re going to pick up on that real quick. You just have to believe in yourself. It really sounds like some sh*t out of ‘The SpongeBob Movie,’ but it’s true.”
On being authentic and how whatever comes out of her mouth will be 100 percent her: “There’s no formula to win, but I think there’s a formula to lose. If you don’t believe in what you’re doing, people aren’t stupid—they’re going to pick up on that real quick. You just have to believe in yourself. It really sounds like some sh*t out of The SpongeBob Movie, but it’s true.”
On how she shape-shifts in musical genres—from hip-hop, Afrobeats, and frothy, high-femme pop to heartstring-pulling ballads – and being a role model in the music industry: “I play with genres that I’m not really used to, and I’m inspired by things that are new to me. That’s the game of it all… It means a lot to me in the sense that I didn’t have that either. And if nobody could be that girl for me, then I might as well be that girl for someone else.”
On her social media presence: “I put a lot of things out there about myself. I’m just constantly on live. Sometimes I look at myself and I’m like, Well, if you could just f**king turn off your phone for, like, five minutes….” But she thrives on the direct contact with her fans. “When I’m getting creative in any way, I like to see what people think of it. I’ll be like, ‘Should I do this hat or that hat?’ Or ‘We’re going to do a ’90s- inspired makeup thing today.’ Or ‘My wig is falling off the front of my face. Do you want to watch me reapply it?’” It’s reminiscent of her Periscope days as a teen, where Doja would spend upwards of 10 hours at a time making beats. “Now I just go online and scream at people, and that’s kind of a fun hobby for me,” she deadpans.
On her takeaways from various social media controversies: “I just turn off my phone. I delete things and re-open them when I’m ready. That’s kind of how that works for me.”
On how it is an exciting era for young female rappers, many of whom Doja has already collaborated with, including City Girls, Rico Nasty, and Saweetie: “There’s an explosion of amazing female rap talent out there right now. It’s so cool to see that, because we didn’t have that when we were younger.”
This article appears in the June/July 2022 issue of ELLE.
Cover: Trench Coat by Duran Lantink | Brooch by Tiffany & Co.
Image 1: Jacket, Shirt, and Tie by Sportmax | Crystal and Gold Bra by Area
Image 2: Jumpsuit and Bracelets by Alaïa
Styled by Patti Wilson
Hair by Nikki Nelms
Makeup by Raisa Flowers
[Photo Credit: Marjon Carlos/ELLE Magazine]
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