Doja Cat made her late night debut on Late Night with Seth Meyers on November 11 and it was more iconic than I could have hoped for. Performing the track "Juicy" from her newly released sophomore album Hot Pink, Doja Cat checked all of the boxes for a memorable performance and put her potential on display. Let's break down why it's such an impressive performance. We recommend watching and then reading the rest for full effect.
To start, there's a cohesive theme that's well rounded and well executed. Doja Cat's latex watermelon outfit makes her stand out from her backup dancers who are dressed as lemons, but it still doesn't stray from the fruit theme. Even Tyga is wearing a watermelon-inspired jacket and pants when he comes out for his verse. The costumes also remain true to the song's sexual themes without being gratuitous. Doja Cat instead relies on bright colors and tongue-in-cheek innuendo to excite her audience.
Then there's the dancing. Choreographed routines feel a bit out of touch these days. Unless you're Beyoncé, doing a dance routine during a performance runs the risk of coming off as corny and manufactured. The kids crave authenticity! Doja Cat's performance delivered the perfect dosage of choreographed dance and freestyle. It looks like the dancers molded their moves to Doja Cat's onstage presence rather than having someone come in and tell her how to move. That kind of dancing created a performance that achieved both authenticity and refinement.
And finally, Doja Cat delivers some seriously solid vocals. Even during the small moments when she seems to get trapped in her head, those nerves never appear vocally. The main challenge with rap oriented acts is that their live delivery is hardly ever as buoyant as their studio recordings. Often times, it can sound dry or flat. This isn't the case for Doja Cat. Her live flow is as dynamic as it is on record and actually gives her room to linger onto the more melodic bits.
The music industry has changed since the rise of Soundcloud and other music streaming sites in terms of who is being let in, but the game itself is still in tip-top shape. The late night stage is often a place for emerging acts to experiment with fairly low consequences while still gaining attention from people within the industry. Doja Cat absolutely crushed this well-thought-out performance and hopefully it leads to spots on the likes of The Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live.