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Songtrust Spotlight: Dounia

Raised in Queens and Morocco, singer/songwriter, producer, and visual artist DOUNIA burst onto the scene in 2017. In three short years, Dounia has amassed tens of millions of streams, toured with Marian Hill, Princess Nokia, Christine and the Queens, and garnered the attention of TIME, Billboard, Vogue, The FADER, and VICE.

With her smooth flow, witty lyrics, and unapologetic views, she is the forward-thinking voice of a generation. Dounia's musical style layers vintage R&B melodies over smoked out, updated trap rhythms.


WHAT OR WHO INSPIRED YOU TO GET INTO MUSIC?

I was always a weird kid and found a lot of solace and acceptance in writing. I would write stories, blog posts, poetry, and songs. I read a lot when I was younger. As I got older, I was exposed to Pop and Hip-hop and fell in love. 

HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR STYLE OF MUSIC AND PERFORMANCE? HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR PHILOSOPHY AND STYLE AS AN ARTIST?

I sing and I love writing. I would probably describe it as Pop/Hip-Hop if I had to fit into a classic genre. My philosophy and style are to keep things as unworldly as possible. I like being unique, I like leaning into substance. I have the intention to keep my craft at a high personal standard of courage, skill, and creativity. 

WHAT DRIVES YOU TO CREATE, AND HOW DO YOU DEFINE SUCCESS FOR YOURSELF IN MUSIC?

Creating is very healing for me and helps me transform negative experiences into positivity. You write a song about heartbreak and suddenly, it’s empowering. I just love it. I love being blown away by inspiration. I get excited. Success to me is staying aligned with your integrity, authenticity, and purpose - while also continuing to do it bigger and better, of course.

THROUGHOUT YOUR CAREER, WHO WERE THE MOST BENEFICIAL PEOPLE IN GETTING YOU TO WHERE YOU WANTED TO BE? WAS IT MANAGEMENT, ASSISTANTS, A&RS? HOW DID THEY HELP?

Everybody I’ve worked with has played a significant role. My distribution venture with EMPIRE was definitely an amazing opportunity and start to my career. My management is iconic. My agency is iconic. I'm honoured to work with the people I do. I aim to bring immense value as an independent entity and align with people who do the same.

SOMETIMES BEING IN THIS BUSINESS CAN BE REALLY OVERWHELMING. DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR MAINTAINING PERSPECTIVE AND NOT SWEATING THE SMALL STUFF?

It can definitely be overwhelming. I would say - have the courage to be yourself. Choose what feels nurturing to you. Your creativity is a seed that’s watered through self-care and love. Although conflict and contrast are a part of life, try to hone in on your bigger picture. Your purpose, joy, and drive. Don’t be afraid to step out of the box and then step out of the dimension, if you need to. 

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR YOUNG ARTISTS AND MUSICIANS JUST STARTING THEIR CAREERS, BASED ON WHAT YOU'VE EXPERIENCED?

An art career is basically building a world. Get educated on the industry you’d like to be a part of. Be present and spend time unplugged. Invest in your physical and mental health. Keep your peace a priority. That’s just me.

YOU WERE JUST RECENTLY ON YOUR. HOW HAVE YOUR TOURING EXPERIENCES BEEN? WHAT ARE THE BEST AND LEAST FAVORITE PARTS OF BEING ON TOUR?

Touring and performing really draws in that classic music energy. It feels nostalgic and foundational. Meeting my supporters in real life is an unparalleled experience. Real-life is just necessary. We need that. I guess the worst part is being away from a solid base for a long period of time. I like being grounded... but I also love adventure. Is that a fire/earth sign thing?

WHAT'S NEXT FOR YOU? ANY UPCOMING PROJECTS OR PLANS FOR 2021 - 2022?

My "GLOOM" video should be out by now. Generally, I have storms planned. I'm grateful for those who tap in and enjoy the art. That's the best.

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