It’s uncommon for an artist to double again and shoot a video for a newly well-liked music from a year-and-a-half-old album, particularly when the music in query wasn’t initially deliberate as a single or have a video within the first place. But, that’s precisely what Doja Cat did with the launch of her video for “Streets,” the Scorching Pink music from 2019 that turned the premise for the red-hot Silhouette Problem on TikTok. Capitalizing on the sudden viral success of the non-single in the midst of the rollout for her third album, Planet Her, Doja Cat has simply made a case for a brand new paradigm for a way artists ought to maneuver on this post-TikTok period.
It shouldn’t come as a shock that Doja Cat can deal with fame so effectively, or that she all the time appears completely outfitted to experience the altering tides within the wake of a music’s breakout recognition. When she launched her debut album Amala in 2018, it seemingly got here and went with out making a lot of an influence — after which she made “Mooo!” for enjoyable in her bed room with a sheet for a inexperienced display and a foolish rap about being a cow. In a single day, she turned a sensation — then, relatively than letting the excitement fade away or asserting a brand new mission, she tapped into the colourful sights and sounds it turned out her newfound fanbase couldn’t get sufficient of.
Inside a yr of the breakthrough represented by “Mooo!”, Doja Cat had put out the movies for “Tia Tamera” with Rico Nasty and “Juicy,” including all three new songs to the deluxe model of Amala practically a yr after its launch, boosting it onto the Billboard 200 simply as her second album, Scorching Pink, was about to drop. The place any variety of artists might need anticipated these profitable viral hits to show up on Scorching Pink‘s tracklist, Doja as a substitute used them to bolster gross sales of her debut, preserving the rollout for the brand new album large open(-ish). A remix of “Juicy” that includes Tyga helped carry Scorching Pink to No. 9 in its first week, regardless of the comparatively lukewarm reception for its different singles, “Backside Bitch,” “Guidelines,” and “Cyber Intercourse.”
However then, six months after the discharge of the album, TikTok person Haley Sharpe used “Say So,” a music that wasn’t deliberate as a single, because the backing monitor for a choreographed dance that caught hearth on the app — and caught Doja Cat’s consideration. With the dance lifting “Say So” to bonafide hit standing on the app, Doja pivoted, turning the music right into a single and fast-tracking the music video for it, using Sharpe’s dance steps and giving the viral video star a cameo within the disco-esque clip. Whereas constituting a part of the development of artists releasing singles and pushing TikTok engagement as a approach to drive streams, the actually modern facet was Doja Cat’s willingness to not simply “let the followers choose the one,” however to utterly change her gameplan to include the followers’ keen involvement.
With the discharge of the “Streets” video, she’s doubling down on that wager, towards shifting gears in the midst of an album rollout to make the most of the shock enhance in recognition of a monitor from her final album, relatively than focusing adamantly on the long run. This time, the music in query was even older — practically 18 months previous the discharge date of Scorching Pink, previous any album’s traditional promotion cycle. Nevertheless, this time, the Silhouette Problem had caught flame, its recognition turning into so nice that Doja herself was pulled into the fervor to contribute a TikTok video embracing the development.
She additionally embraces the development within the official music video, using the identical sultry crimson backlighting and poses as a nod to the problem that prompted the video’s creation. In the meantime, the video additionally incorporates high-concept visuals of Doja as a black widow spider, lending the video the air of months of planning, when in actuality, it was created as a response to a sudden pop of curiosity and a focus, not as a part of an in depth plan to stimulate engagement in a previous or upcoming mission. However Doja’s earlier expertise with “Mooo!” reigniting curiosity in Amala seemingly knowledgeable her willingness to backtrack regardless of having a brand new album on the way in which.
The advantages are apparent; Doja directs the brand new followers discovering her by way of her viral moments again to her outdated tasks, the place they’ll start to construct rapport together with her earlier work, changing casuals into hardcore supporters. It additionally builds rapport with present hardcore supporters, making them really feel acknowledged, which they’ll in-turn reciprocate when the time involves launch her new mission. And at last — and probably most significantly in at present’s fast-paced, saturated consideration economic system — it retains all eyes on Doja to see what she’s going to do subsequent, growing her public profile, and producing extra streams, by no means a nasty factor at a time when touring remains to be successfully out of the query.
For proof of those advantages, look no additional than Doja’s practically tyrannical stranglehold over award reveals and late-night tv in 2020. She carried out “Say So,” the music that wasn’t meant to be a single till followers made it one, a minimum of 5 instances on high-profile reveals just like the MTV EMAs and VMAs, The Tonight Present, and the Billboard Music Awards — making her an inescapable, unavoidable family title. She additionally received Finest New Artist on the Billboard Music Awards, simply two years after her debut album did not make an influence on the journal’s charts. Her successes are duplicable — she herself has repeated the feat thrice in as a few years — and must be thought-about an instance for all types of artists trying to maximize their media footprint.
With the arrival of streaming and social media, the principles have modified seemingly day-after-day, however one rule has remained absolute all this time: Content material is king. To paraphrase the poet, the best-laid plans of mice, males, MCs, and media moguls typically go awry, however with the ability to alter on the fly could be the one ability that ensures that all of them get fortunate anyway. Doja Cat’s methodology of letting the tide take her to her subsequent port of name wouldn’t solely have been not possible earlier than these new applied sciences got here alongside, however the lukewarm success of her deliberate singles might need additionally ensured that she turned identified without end as a flop, relegating every new album to no matter shelf numerous different underperforming tasks have ended up sitting on.
As a substitute, by being open, inventive, and keen to make use of her unprecedented entry to followers’ whims, Doja Cat has demonstrated how an artist cannot solely serve their established fanbase but in addition weaponize them towards trade expectations and the apathy of informal listeners. The constructive suggestions loop she created by refusing to get caught to 1 concept of the proper rollout has ensured that each one of her rollouts find yourself being excellent — finally. Clever artists and execs will take be aware, utilizing the larger wealth of instruments at their disposal to maximise their tasks’ potential for achievement as a substitute of writing them off and leaving cash on the desk. In the meantime, Doja’s followers, outdated and new, will proceed to eagerly await Planet Her to see what songs they’ll persuade her to show into hits subsequent.