After her continued teasing of a possible future collaboration with R&B singer SZA on Twitter and Instagram, pop/hip-hop artist Doja Cat, known for hits such as “Say So” and “Streets,” released her newest single “Kiss Me More” on April 8. “Kiss Me More” brings yet another instant hit for the summer.
The music video, created by American director, illustrator and designer Warren Fu, follows a bright, colorful and somewhat strange style and plot that is often associated with Doja and her productions. Wu, who is credited with creating music videos for prominent artists such as Dua Lipa, Hayley Williams and The Weekend, centers the “Kiss Me More” music video around an astronaut played by Alex Landi, who is most notably recognized as Dr. Nico Kim in “Grey’s Anatomy.” The video portrays Landi landing on an alien planet called Planet Her, in which Doja and SZA are goddess figures that allure and trap men who visit. The pink, purple and white tones throughout the video add an element of playfulness and flirtatiousness, seen in scenes that cut back and forth between Landi and the two artists seducing him for fun. This detail adds an artistic element to the video that is only further complemented by the intricate outfits, jewelry and makeup that the two women don.
Doja is known for her unique style both in and outside her music videos, and the “mother nature” imagery that is often associated with her co-artist SZA is also demonstrated in their beautiful outfit design. Fans and new viewers were in awe at SZA’s beautiful pink flower two piece that complements her natural hair and includes an orbit of planets around her. There is a specific scene where Doja wears an outfit created by French fashion designer Jean Paul Gaultier, who she has worked with in the past. The video is vibrant and the overall plotline and sci-fi imagery seem a bit strange to those not familiar with Doja’s work. However, with the color scheme and the added fun and humorous nature of the video reflecting the upbeat nature of the song, it serves as a continuation of the brand Doja has established for herself in her previous album, “Hot Pink (2019).” “Kiss Me More” acts as the perfect segway into her album coming this year, “Planet Her.”
The essence of Doja is epitomized in the ending scene of the music video, in which Doja and SZA play a video game created out of Landi’s consciousness after he is captured and put into a glass tank. Both artists clearly present the fun-loving and down to earth nature throughout the video; Doja herself is known for her amazing online personality outside of her music career, often releasing songs that are more satirical, acapella versions of whatever song is on her mind. She has had recurring Twitch streams where she plays video games for fun and for her fans, a possible inspiration to the video game element of the video.
Aside from the great music video, the song serves as a perfect mixture of both artists’ stylistic choices and presents a sound that is likely to bring fans of both artists to listen and enjoy. “Kiss Me More” samples “Physical” by Olivia Newton-John, a 1981 hit that remained No. 1 on the Billboard Top 100 for 10 weeks; the sample likely hinting at why this new single has already gained such a strong and positive reception. Traditionally, SZA falls into the alternative R&B and neo-soul category of music, with a sound similar to that of Christopher Brent Wood, an American singer-songwriter and record producer from Maryland better known by his stage name Brent Faiyaz, and Jorja Smith. SZA’s most recent album, “Ctrl (2017),” reflects mostly on her relationship with modern romance, coming into her womanhood and societal perceptions of women in general — a stark difference to her feature in this song. Doja, on the other hand, typically creates singles that are less focused on introspection and have generally sexual and fun-loving undertones, similar in nature to that of “Kiss Me More.” She rose to fame with the release of her first hit titled “MOOO!” in 2018 and has released hit after hit since then. Garnering her fame from platforms like TikTok, where her songs are commonly used to create new dance trends, Doja has emerged as a talented and creative artist — a fact clearly shown in this release. Regardless of the clear differences in music style, the mesh of these women has produced a song that incorporates the neo-soul sounds of SZA with the bright and pop sound of Doja, a recipe for a great song.
“Kiss Me More” is a sneak peek to what fans have been anticipating from Doja. Doja’s upcoming third studio album “Planet Her,” which is expected to be released in May, is likely to produce more hits for the artist. With the added fame and production value, this album is likely to only further Doja’s career, placing the down-to-earth, talented and funny artist on a more public stage that expands into other genres, tones and collaborations.
Carisa DeSantos is an Arts and Entertainment Intern for the spring 2021 quarter. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.