So High (Doja Cat song)

"So High" is the debut single by American rapper and singer Doja Cat. She originally self-published an early version of the song exclusively to SoundCloud on November 8, 2012 at the age of 17. On March 13, 2014, it was repackaged and commercially released as the lead single from her debut EP Purrr! under Kemosabe and RCA Records. The musical base of the track is the song "Falling Leaves" by French producer Evil Needle.

"So High"
So High - Doja Cat.png
Single by Doja Cat
from the EP Purrr!
PublishedNovember 8, 2012
ReleasedMarch 13, 2014
Recorded2012 (original version)
2014 (studio version)
Genre
Length3:24
Label
Songwriter(s)Amala Dlamini
Producer(s)Evil Needle
Doja Cat singles chronology
"So High"
(2014)
"Go To Town"
(2018)
Music video
"So High (Explicit Version)" on YouTube

Background and recordingEdit

In 2011, Doja Cat began teaching herself how to sing, rap and use GarageBand after dropping out of high school at age 16 while in eleventh grade.[1][2] She revealed that she never had intentions of singing or rapping until she dropped out and needed a job.[3][4] Doja Cat would spend a lot of time browsing YouTube for beats and instrumentals which she would add vocals to using the built-in microphone on her MacBook; all while sitting on the mattress on her own bedroom floor.[1][5][4] She would eventually use GarageBand[6] to sample "Falling Leaves", a single by French producer Evil Needle, officially released on October 16, 2012.[7][8] Doja Cat shortly uploaded "So High" to SoundCloud on November 8, 2012,[9] later revealing that this would be the first permanent track on her account to not be deleted shortly afterwards unlike its precursors.[1] She recalls crying after the track amassed 12 views and two likes on the platform.[1][5]

"So High" would eventually catch the attention of Kemosabe and RCA Records, where she signed a joint record deal as well as a temporary artist management partnership with Roc Nation.[3] While under the two record labels, Doja Cat made her solo debut by releasing a repackaged studio version of "So High" on March 13, 2014.[5][10] An official music video for the song was released a few days later,[11] and somewhat helped gain the song moderate public attention online.[12][3] It would serve as the lead single for Doja Cat's debut EP Purrr! (2014),[13] but would also later lose traction when her Roc Nation partnership ended and she failed to find a "solid team".[1][3] Doja Cat entered a somewhat of a commercial hiatus for several years, but would continue to upload tracks to her SoundCloud account,[5] while the music video for "So High" would also continually gain views during this time.[14]

Critical receptionEdit

At the time of its release, Adelle Platon of Vibe wrote that the song mixes "bright vocals with unfiltered bars" and described Doja Cat as a "psychedelic prodigy".[11] Reminiscing several years later, Nastia Voynovskaya of NPR described "So High" as a "downtempo smoking anthem" which was released in "a year when SoundCloud upstarts like ABRA and Shlohmo shifted R&B in a trippier, more zoned-out direction."[12] Juliana Pache of The Fader described the song as "a smooth, repetitive, Soulection-esque number about precisely what the title suggests."[5] Aria Hughes of WWD also described the song as "a stoner song comparing falling in love to smoking weed".[3]

Live performancesEdit

Doja Cat began performing "So High" at several small local venues and festivals in and around Los Angeles.[15][16] She would also support musician Theophilus London on tour in 2015 and perform "So High" to open each show.[17] An acoustic studio performance of the song was released to YouTube in September 2014.[18] Patrick Montes of Hypebeast noted that with the "new dialed-down version, the modern, blog-friendly R&B/pop gloss of the original [was] eschewed in favor of a more soulful sound that wouldn’t be out of place at smoky lounge’s jazz night."[19] Doja Cat told Noisey:[18]

"So High" was a song that I ended up sometimes playing acoustically during live performances… I really dug hearing how the melody could be highlighted and we decided why not get a live acoustic version on film. I felt very lucky that the Chargaux girls were in Los Angeles to lay it down. We did one take for the audio, which kept it raw, and stayed true to the natural energy we intended to capture.

Music videoEdit

The official music video was released on March 25, 2014.[11] Filmed in the salt flats of California, Doja Cat described it as somewhat a "high-budget" project for an artist as small as herself.[1] In the video, she is dressed as an Indian goddess and primarily stays seated on a lotus-styled throne while doing flowy arm movements. She revealed in an interview that her child experience of practising Hinduism influenced the aesthetics used in the video, stating: "The world of the video for 'So High' comes from my personal life, my past, it is not something that came out of nowhere.”[20] Doja Cat would later become a subject of cancel culture as she began gaining popularity, with some people accusing the music video for "So High" of "sexualizing and appropriating Hindu culture".[21]

Remixes and mediaEdit

"So High" received remix versions by both American producer StéLouse,[22] and Dutch DJ San Holo.[23] At the time of its release in 2014, the song caught the attention of people such as Australian DJ Elizabeth Rose,[24] labelmate Becky G,[25] and American singer Billie Eilish when she was just 12 years old.[26] "So High" was featured on the first season of American TV series Empire (2015) in the episode titled "The Devil Quotes Scripture".[27] The official music video has amassed 37 million views on YouTube as of November 2020.[28]

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ a b c d e f DJ Vlad (August 19, 2018). "Doja Cat on Dropping Out at 16, Slowing Down After Signing Deal (Flashback)". Retrieved May 5, 2020 – via YouTube.
  2. ^ Alemoru, Kemi (August 29, 2018). "Speaking to Doja Cat, the IG Live auteur behind viral hit 'Mooo!'". Dazed. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d e Hughes, Aria (October 30, 2018). "Who Is Doja Cat?". Women's Wear Daily. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  4. ^ a b Schiller, Rebecca (November 19, 2018). "Get to Know 'Mooo!' Singer Doja Cat: Watch". Billboard. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  5. ^ a b c d e Pache, Juliana (September 19, 2019). "Doja Cat will do whatever she wants". The Fader. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  6. ^ Martin, Felicity (March 20, 2019). "Doja Cat is ten steps ahead of your favourite rapper". Dummy. Retrieved November 25, 2020. I made ‘So High’ on GarageBand
  7. ^ "Doja Cat's 'So High' - Discover the Sample Source". WhoSampled. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  8. ^ Yung, Phillip (October 16, 2012). "Evil Needle - "Falling Leaves"". Earmilk. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  9. ^ DOJA CAT (November 8, 2012). "SO HIGH". SoundCloud. Archived from the original on November 16, 2020.
  10. ^ "So High - Single by Doja Cat". Apple Music. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  11. ^ a b c Platon, Adelle (March 25, 2014). "Premiere: Doja Cat 'So High' Video". Vibe. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  12. ^ a b Voynovskaya, Nastia (June 26, 2018). "NPR Music's 40 Favorite Albums Of 2018 (So Far)". NPR. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  13. ^ Turner, David (August 5, 2014). "LA Singer Doja Cat Drops Her New EP Purrr!". The FADER. Retrieved May 11, 2020.
  14. ^ "Doja Cat's YouTube Stats (Summary Profile) - Social Blade Stats". SocialBlade. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  15. ^ Marshall, Michael (November 5, 2014). "Doja Cat - "So High" at Ham On Everything's Plur Party: Halloween Kawaii Kandi Rave". YouTube. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  16. ^ Daduder, Erik (August 18, 2014). "Doja Cat - So High (Live at Echo Park Rising — 2014)". YouTube. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  17. ^ Gwen, Pamela (March 3, 2015). "CONCERT REVIEW: Theophilus London, Father, Doja Cat @Echoplex 03/02/15". UCLA Radio Fall '14 Intern Blog. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  18. ^ a b Muller, Marissa G. (September 22, 2014). "Doja Cat's Strings-Laden Rendition of "So High" Will Pull on Your Heartstrings". Noisey. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  19. ^ Montes, Patrick (September 19, 2014). "Doja Cat - So High (Unplugged)". Hypebeast. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  20. ^ "Kush Hour TV x Doja Cat "So High"". Kush Hour. December 26, 2016. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  21. ^ Haylock, Zoe (May 27, 2020). "Doja Cat's Controversial Career, From Overnight Star to Canceled Overnight". Vulture. Retrieved November 26, 2020.
  22. ^ Nappy (April 15, 2014). "Doja Cat - "So High (StéLouse Flip)"". Complex. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  23. ^ McGiverin, Jon (January 25, 2018). "Doja Cat - So High (San Holo Remix)". Your EDM. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  24. ^ Faulkner, Noelle (May 20, 2014). "Listen to Elizabeth Rose's new remix". Elle. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  25. ^ Becky G (April 1, 2014). "👌💜 Doja Cat". Instagram. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  26. ^ Eilish, Billie; Patrick, O'Connell (May 22, 2020). "unusual". me & dad radio (Podcast). Apple Music. Event occurs at 20:41. Retrieved November 15, 2020.
  27. ^ Clark, Heather (August 30, 2020). "The Stunning Transformation Of Doja Cat". TheList.com. Retrieved November 25, 2020.
  28. ^ "Doja Cat - So High (Explicit Version)". YouTube. DojaCatVEVO. March 27, 2014. Retrieved November 26, 2020.