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'Moroccan Doll' Dounia: R&B, Feminism, and Body Positivity

posted on: Aug 17, 2020

"Moroccan Doll" Dounia: R&B, Feminism, and Body Positivity
Dounia – source: blendednyc.com

By: Laila Shadid/Arab America Contributing Writer

With a head of voluminous curly red hair and a blunt in her mouth, Moroccan-American singer-songwriter, Dounia, poses for a mirror selfie—one of the many Instagram posts which characterize her feminist, body-positive platform.

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by haramshordey777 🇲🇦 (@dounia) on

The 23-year-old Muslim artist was born in Queens, New York, raised in Morocco, and then returned to the American city before adulthood. Full name Dounia Tazi, she grew up in a traditional Muslim household. In an interview with TIME magazine, the singer said that she did not listen to music until high school.

“I’d never really been exposed to music, because I’m Moroccan; Muslims don’t listen to music that much. Especially strict Muslims. So in high school is when I went out of my way to find music I liked, and started writing,” Dounia said.

Edgy, raw, and poetic are the words to describe Dounia’s lyrics.

When Dounia returned to Queens for high school, she did not know English. According to Moroccan Ladies, Dounia taught herself the language in her local library, but eventually dropped out of high school and began working at American Apparel.

Now, Dounia has 231k Instagram followers and millions of Spotify downloads. The modern R&B singer has been recognized by Vogue and Billboard, among other well-known publications.

Dounia’s Original Sound

Edgy, raw, and poetic are the words to describe Dounia’s lyrics.

Her most recent album THE SCANDAL, released in 2019, includes the song “LOWKEY GRL” featuring Moroccan Doll, Dounia’s alter ego who raps in Arabic.

Dounia sings about an ambitious woman with a man who is insecure about her success:

Said you want her independent with her own bread
But every time she make a move, you in your own head
You supposed to be her mascot, ‘posed to be a fan
Gettin’ insecure, you supposed to be “the man”

Toward the end of this feminist track, Moroccan Doll takes over with an Arabic rap, creating a melodic fusion between English and Arabic.

Another Arabic track includes “Darija Freestyle,” on her 2018 Avant-Garden Album, where she raps in the Moroccan dialect she spoke growing up.

In Dounia’s 2017 Intro To Album, her song “Shyne” discusses her upbringing in Queens:


It ain’t about the money, it’s more about the pride
But I hope I make you proud still, mama
Hope I hold a Grammy up like a diploma
And when I do go to school, have my bread up
We’ve been in debt enough
We’ve been stressed enough.

Through beautiful, emotional, and catchy beats, Dounia tells stories of struggle, success, and confidence.

Platform for Change

"Moroccan Doll" Dounia: R&B, Feminism, and Body Positivity
Source: teenvogue.com

The singer’s career also includes modeling and activism.

Dounia is a plus-size model who promotes body positivity on her social media platforms.

According to Dazed, “Dounia is a fierce advocate for PoC and women who don’t conform to unrealistic, toxic Hollywood standards of ‘the perfect body.'”

“I don’t really care about people calling me ugly or fat or whatever,” Dounia said in TIME. “But what I do care about is when people are coming at my discourse, the ideas that I’m putting out, challenging me in a way that’s antagonizing rather than productive. That’s the hardest to deal with, because sometimes you do get misconstrued.”

Recently, the artist released t-shirts with the painted message “Skin Deep,” and plans to donate 100 percent of profits to different charities every month.

Be on the lookout for this Moroccan star!

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