Doja Cat has responded to the accusation she grew up with no Black influences in her life.
The 27-year-old, real name Amala Dlamini, has a white Jewish mother and is estranged from her Black South African father.
And because Doja grew up with her mom and maternal grandmother, she has been accused of having no Black influences in her life.
“I read something the other day where someone said I was never surrounded by Black people, and I have no Black influence in my life, which is so unbelievably crazy to me,” she told Dazed magazine. “Growing up on the land, it was all Black energy. My family was Black. My mom was the only real white influence in my life.
“It’s easy to make assumptions about people you don’t know. I don’t think people are trying to destroy my light or make me unhappy; I think it’s just that they don’t know,” Doja Cat added.
Doja spent the first five years of her life with her grandmother in New York City before moving back to her home state of California.
Around the age of eight, the pop star moved with her mother and brother to Sai Anantam Ashram, a community in the Santa Monica mountains founded by Black jazz musician Alice Coltrane.
While there, she worked the land and sang chants with Alice.
“That had a huge conscious and subconscious influence on me,” Doja Cat shared. “Every Sunday, we would go to the temple and sing bhajans (chants) with Alice and all the people on the land. I’m happy to have come from such a special part of the culture; I loved all the musical influences around me. It was amazing to have Alice in my presence as a kid.”