In the brand new video for “Need to Know,” a single off the upcoming album, Planet Her, Doja Cat playfully grinds the air to dance in her lingerie, then performs her PlayStation 5 alongside her troupe of baddies. The small element is one more instance of how the pop artist and TikTok viral sensation threads video games into her work.
The music video is a comparatively customary idea: Doja and her ladies have an evening out in town. There’s only a slight twist: They’re all aliens — Doja herself resembling Aayla Secura from Star Wars — and it takes place in a retro-futuristic Blade Runner-esque world. Instead of depicting them getting all glammed up and placing on make-up, we see the group lounging on the sofa, and pregaming with video games. It’s attractive. It’s cheeky. And most of all, it’s oozing with Doja Cat’s traditional playfulness as she dances on the couch and easily grinds the air to dance alongside her ladies.
“The concept truly came from Doja and her team,” director Alex (AJ) Favicchio advised Polygon over e-mail. “Planet Her was the information and she or he actually had a terrific base story for the visible.” Favicchio directed the music alongside Miles Cable, with help from their manufacturing firm, SixTwentySix Productions. And what’s noticeable about Planet Her is how Doja manages to seize the spirit of being scorching, but in addition, you realize, appearing like a typical 25-year-old.
Leading up to “Need to Know,” Doja has continued to mess around within the games area. She has a Twitch stream every so often the place she spins hilarious, off-the-cuff raps whereas taking part in. Her music video for “Kiss Me More” additionally featured a fictionalized sport. She goes off in interviews concerning the sorts of games she likes to play. (More recently she’s been playing Gang Beasts and Inside, in case you have been questioning.)
Doja Cat is a part of a pattern of mainstream artists dipping into gaming and animation tradition. Megan Thee Stallion has rapped about Naruto, posted photographs in Kakegurui cosplay, and even collabed with CrunchyRoll to make her personal line of anime-inspired clothes. The hip-hop artist Lil Nas X has sci-fi futuristic themes in his music as nicely, carried out on the kids’s gaming platform, Roblox, and even launched a sport the place you twerk for his single, “Montero (Call Me By Your Name).”
Unlike most of her contemporaries, Doja Cat is a celeb who embraces gaming like a traditional particular person would: not as a distinct segment factor to be into, however as a type of media that simply exists. In her world, games are similar to music or tv — they’re there. And the 2 administrators of Planet Her, Cable and Favicchio, really feel the identical. It’s probably not about “nerd culture,” it’s simply one thing that’s cool, interval. “We’re all nerds behind the camera, just pick your department,” Favicchio stated.
“This never felt nerdy in my eyes,” Cable stated. “I’m a big gamer and just overall geek. Always being attracted to 3D art and video games, I’ve been itching to dive into this type of work.”
What’s extra is that the music video wasn’t simply impressed by video games, it additionally used expertise from video games to make it occur. Cable created the entire 3D scenes utilizing Unreal Engine, comparable to the particular results on The Mandalorian.
“Unreal Engine is beginning to migrate into the production world and I feel like we are one of the earlier adopters of it.” Cable stated, “Unreal Engine has been so fun and daunting at the same time, but as I get deeper into it, AJ and I are learning how we can keep utilizing this tool for more and more projects in the future.”