When fans got upset with Doja Cat for joking that she “tricked” them with her last few albums, she apparently decided to really lean into the tension between art and commerce. The result: She ended July having lost 250,000 Instagram followers and watched swarms (heh) of Doja Cat fan accounts deactivated in protest. To hear her tell it, though, she’s just fine with that outcome, addressing the dip in followers on Instagram.
“Seeing all these people unfollow me makes me feel like I’ve defeated a large beast that’s been holding me down for so long,” she wrote, “And it feels like I can reconnect with the people who really matter and love me for who I am and not for who I was. I feel free.”
Doja, who has transformed many times over the course of her career, certainly seems fed up with at least some of the trappings of pop stardom — namely, being put on a pedestal by overly enthusiastic fans who feel entitled to her attention. She has said that her new album, which she recently confirmed is called Scarlet, will be different from the “palatable, marketable” releases of her past — which also, presumably, suits her just fine.
Doja also recently announced The Scarlet Tour with another iconoclastic rabblerouser in Doechii, so it wouldn’t shock me to find that more artists start moving in the same direction — a cultural shift, if you will.