Before the 25-year-old rapper and singer Doechii began opening for Doja Cat on the Scarlet Tour last month, she had a high-profile warm-up gig in Los Angeles, performing before Beyoncé on her Renaissance World Tour.
“Just to be in the stadium was incredible, and it was surreal,” Doechii said on a recent call from her Los Angeles home. “I’ve always looked up to her, and I’ve studied her for a really long time, so it was full circle, and I was extremely honored.”
The opportunity followed years of hard work as Doechii developed her signature flow, which can be bombastic, nimble or melodic. In 2022, “Persuasive,” a bass-heavy track blending dance music and alternative R&B, became her first major-label single when she signed to a partnership between Top Dawg Entertainment (home of SZA, who appeared on its remix) and Capitol Records. “What It Is,” featuring Kodak Black, cracked Billboard’s Hot 100 chart earlier this year.
Now she’s working on a “new era,” she said, inspired by references from movies like “The Wizard of Oz,” her love of Broadway shows like “Wicked” and her penchant for maximalism. “I created this world that I want my fans to live in with me and escape,” she said. “A place to where I can’t be wrong. I can’t be critiqued in this world because it’s my genre and my lane, which is alternative hip-hop.”
(The new era will begin next year, when she releases a new album.)
Before she hit the road with Doja Cat, Doechii shared what’s keeping her sane, creatively agile and dressed to the nines. These are edited excerpts from the conversation.
Apple EarPods (With the Cord)
AirPods suck. You lose them, they fall out of your ears. Nothing is louder than the O.G. Apple headphones. I have accidentally put my headphones in my pocket, washed and dried them by accident, and they still work. So it’s a staple.
Newport Shorts Cigarettes
Every now and then I love a good Newport short. I had a cigarette on the V.M.A. red carpet recently — it’s fashionable in a really toxic way. It’s a great prop and I’ll be using it on tour, but a fake one. Don’t smoke cigarettes, y’all. Don’t do what I do.
Dsquared2 and Early 2000s Fashion
I’ve been obsessed with trashy couture, or at least that’s how I would define my style. Let’s wear a gown with a trucker hat. Why not? Let’s put on a skirt with some muddy boots and a fancy club bag. I just think it’s just so cool, and Dsquared2 is a brand that I’m just obsessed with.
New York City
New York really challenges me every time I go there. The energy is literally a brand. And to me, New York just represents fame. It’s like that classic American dream, and I just love that. It’s not a place that I would necessarily want to live again, only because it’s too cold.
I still don’t know how to use Pro Tools, still don’t know how to use Ableton, Logic, none of those fancy ones. GarageBand has been there for me. It’s easy and anybody can use it. Any upcoming artists reading this, just know that GarageBand is the program that you should start with, and it’s free.
A Girls Night
I don’t know if I would be able to survive without my girlfriends. In the darkest times, a girls night will always pull me out of it. There’s just moments where you have so much clarity over a glass of wine.
Botox and Filler
Yearly, I’ll do a Botox and filler appointment. It’s like an annual maintenance day, facial, massage, Botox and filler. You come out and you’re a year younger.
I hate that I’m saying this because now my team is going to know, but sometimes after a show I’ll just sneak off. I’ll leave the hotel and I’ll go and have a secret spa day alone by myself. And it could be two in the morning, but they have them in New York.
Day Partying in Miami
I love a good day party on a boat, a classic South Beach yacht party. We stop, we do jet skis. We did that in Miami recently when I was recording my album. You just chill in the water, drink, smoke and have a good time. I have to have that in my life. It’s necessary.
Nightlife in Tampa
I would go day party in Miami and night in Tampa because I think that nightlife in Miami gives me more of a Los Angeles vibe. Nightlife in Tampa is more ratchet and just fun and spontaneous. You could pull up to the club in a hoodie and flip-flops and nobody’s going to judge you. It’s not about how you look or who you are. You can be famous and nobody will care. I can just have a good time and be barefoot twerking on the floor and nobody’s going to record me.