Dounia by Chorouk Akik April 25, 2019
Dounia, née Dounia Tazi also known as the Douns is a Moroccan-American singer, songwriter, and rapper from Queens.
Previously known on IG as haramshordey777, for her eye-catching fits, cascading curls, and overall conveyance of body positivity. As an ambassador of “thicc body culture,” Dounia found her beginnings modeling for Forever 21 and later Fashion Nova.
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Dounia’s music career began on SoundCloud with the release of several acoustic an R&B songs and until she found her signature sound. Dounia lists a diss-track subbing an ex-boyfriend in high school as her debut into music.
Dounia’s music marries R&B and hip hop and with influences from her roots, she has created a successful formula.
Her sexy laid-back voice inspires a chilled out vibe. While rap-singing over vibey rolling beats, Dounia often pays respect to the places that made her, repping Queens and Casablanca.
She wore a caftan over a tube dress to the 2018 VMAs.
Her first EP Intro To released in Oct. 2017 highlighted the struggle of flunking out of high school, slaving away at retail, and doing it all with her mother’s approval was at stake. The song “Shyne” makes a plea for pride from her mom and a promise to win a Grammy one day.
“But I hope I make you proud still, mama //
Hope I hold a Grammy up like a diploma”
She first released “Shyne” as a single then rereleased it on Intro To.
Her second album The Avant-Garden Vol. 1 released in Nov. 2018, showed growth towards a sound that is less R&B and more hip hop. Still, it had a very chill-wave. The album also cements her as a lyrical heavyweight, with bars on “King of Queens Intro” like,
“Hop on the Douns train, don’t be a Douns target //
Anyone with taste is my motherfuckin’ market //
I’m a starlet, self made, you a plant //
How you gon’ grow with the shade? No, you can’t”
The album also features Kehlani on “Rich Girl Mood.” The music video follows both stars as they break into a mansion and lounge among cash and expensive clothes, then fleeing the scene.
Dounia’s music often highlights party culture with an emphasis on drugs and alcohol that clashes with her young Muslim upbringing.
A universal experience that she taps into among her fans that also face certain societal pressures having been raised more conservatively than their peers.
Dounia often expresses her opinions in a way that challenges the negativity of the music, media, and modeling industries in general. Her understanding and rejection of Eurocentric beauty standards, informs her body-positive stances.
Dounia’s early activism stems far back to her teenage years.
The artist’s outspokenness fits in with her decision to keep her music independent. As a co-founder of Tired Studio, an “all-in-one creative studio,” Dounia vows to make sure her music is authentic.
Her latest releases “ROYAL” and “Lowkey Girl” continue the feminist message of being outspoken and taking control of your narrative.
“Lowkey Girl,” also disses men who seek to be romantically involved with strong women but also become irritated with their large personalities and try to dim them down.
“You supposed to be her mascot, ‘posed to be a fan //
Gettin’ insecure, you supposed to be “the man””
By popular demand, Dounia raps time and again in Darija, the main form of communication in Morocco. “Lowkey Girl” features Moroccan Doll, a moniker for Dounia’s verses in Darija and French.
The releases keep us in anticipation for her next album, what will the Queen of Queens give us next?