Welcome to Dounia World: the singer’s safe place for us weirdos out there

Meet Dounia: a badass singer and activist raised in Queens and Morocco. The artist also happens to be Galore’s newest Cover Girl, and will performing at Galore’s 2018 Girl Cult Festival.

Dounia cheekily calls her artistry “Dounia World.” A safe space. A space that welcomes all the boss baddies out there killing it at everything they do. A space “for the ones they call weirdos.” A space that’s been growing exponentially since day one and a space that has the entire music industry buzzing and looking for a way in.

The singer made her way into our daily bop rotations in 2017 with the genre-bending “Intro To” EP. She rapidly amassed millions of Spotify streams,  garnered the attention of TIME Magazine and The FADER, and did an iconic COLORS performance that you have to check out.

I’ve had the pure pleasure of joining Dounia on her first nationwide tour with Christine and The Queens. I caught her off guard amidst a 3AM hair appointment in Brooklyn with a few questions. Check out the exclusive cover shoot and interview below!

READ ALSO: Get excited: Girl Cult tickets are officially on sale NOW!

What’s your favorite part about tour so far?

Warming up to the stage every night that passes, meeting people that are touched by my music, and being able to physically work toward my goals.

No matter what’s occurring in the world via the Internet, nothing feels as authentic and tangible as actual real life experiences. I also love hanging out with my professional team everyday. Also, of course traveling is a blessing – duh.

What inspires your lyrics?

Real life experiences. Whether they be my own forefront experiences or the ones that rest in the back of my mind. It all comes to the surface in the studio.

What kind of changes do you hope to see in the music industry as a result of your work/presence?

I’d like to see more souls for the amount of humans we have. I’d like to exemplify how honesty and integrity can be successful. Generally, I would just like to inspire people to embrace themselves more truly and realize the idea of a status quo is outdated.

How has your Moroccan background influenced your music?

I don’t think I was exposed to much music during my upbringing. So, I feel like it allowed me to explore denser mediums and also made me more selective with my music taste. I think both of these things contributed to my craft.

What is a Dounia fan?

(Whispers) A bad bitch.

A Dounia fan is someone who is more fearless than they give themselves credit for. A Dounia fan is a tastemaker and someone who appreciates the details.

What are 3 things you keep around you everyday?

A book. A journal/pen. Incense.

One of your favorite quotes?

Honestly some of my favorite quotes are cliches. But, I mean, they’re cliches because we say them so often so they must hold some truth!

“Everything happens for a reason” is my favorite quote, because I truly believe we’re all exactly where we need to be in the present moment. Whether its for the ultimate good of our personal trajectory or for a collective benefit.

Most inspiring woman in your life?

Honestly, all the female bosses I come across while navigating throughout the music industry inspire me on the daily. In my personal life, it’s the women that are brave enough to be honest and transparent in a world that doesn’t necessarily reward vulnerability. The basic and simple answer is probably my mother and Oprah.

READ ALSO: Sita Abellán is now adding designer to her long list of badass careers

What are some things you do to stay grounded?

Honestly, I think reminding myself that emotions are fickle and I’m here for a greater purpose. Reaffirming the fact that I have a divine path and taking time in myself each day to do so. Being around cool nice people.

Career path if you weren’t pursuing music?

I would definitely be a writer of some sort or a teacher. I wanted to be an English teacher and write books. My absolute dream career was always to be a songwriter, but even that seemed too luxurious and glamorous, so being an artist wasn’t even in the scope of options. I was very realistic.

What kind of experience should we expect to get from your next project?

You should experience a worldwide of emotions and a disparity in vibes  so grand that it won’t even feel like you’re listening to just one artists project. You’ll feel like you’re getting a multitude of flavors.

Piece of life advice to anyone reading this right now?

Just calm down. Nothing exists but the present. Be the best friend and romantic partner that you want for yourself.

READ ALSO: MJ Rodriguez is a ballroom star in her debut role on the new Ryan Murphy show, Pose

You’re always serving looks. What’s your fashion inspiration?

From not caring and just being daring with my choices. I don’t really look to anybody for immediate style inspiration. I just do what feels good.

Ideal date?

I don’t like too much pressure and I also don’t like setting shit up. I just like going with the flow. And if we see each other in person that’s a fun time.

How do you feel about your first cover story?

I think it’s so dope that somebody like me who isn’t traditionally considered a covergirl is now at the forefront of these things. Its also cool because I’ve been working with Galore for a while and doing more behind the scenes stuff. So as I’m progressing in my career, it’s amazing to be able to collaborate in bigger ways with platforms that I love.

Dounia’s new EP will be dropping on 11/30 which includes a feature with  fellow Galore Cover Girl, Kehlani

Interview by Elena De Santiago

Photos by Elena De Santiago

Creative Direction by Dounia Tazi

Styling / Hair / Makeup by Dounia Tazi

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