SHAED and Dounia Deliver Scorching Performances at Billboard Industry Nights Showcase

Nicole Mago

Billboard hosted another installment of its rising talent showcase series Industry Nights on Thursday (Nov. 15) in New York City with D.C.-based electronic pop trio SHAED and Moroccan-American rapper-singer Dounia.

Despite the messy snowstorm that hit most of the East Coast, and both performers’ reported hours-long trek to Manhattan, the two acts made it worth everyone’s while with back-to-back sets that brought the heat.

SHAED immediately shook off the frostiness with some coordinated moves and an enlivening light show during their effervescent opener “Too Much.” The band wasted no time in showing off some of their most distinguished abilities with singer Chelsea Lee’s transfixing powerhouse vocals on the R&B-tinged “Just Wanna See” while brothers Max and Spencer Ernst held down the production by regularly switching between keyboards, drum machines and guitar.

The band is a marvel to watch as you can witness the gears turning during each song; it’s the way Max smiles triumphantly after hitting each pop on the electronic drums or Spencer emphatically crunches the guitar during a slow-burner or the head-nodding vibe that the three maintain throughout the set that makes you feel the strong connection between them.

The band built up to its first bonafide showstopper in “Trampoline” off of their new EP Melt, which recently caught mainstream attention through Apple’s latest TV spot for Macbook Air, that yielded a slew of commanding vocal highlights from Lee. The trio cruised to a smooth finale with the infectious retro pop banger “Gotta Get,” which set the tone for Dounia’s feisty set.

Opening with “How I See It,” one of several singles from Dounia this year, she instantly drew the crowd in with the dynamic tune that showcases her vocal chops and dexterous flow. The young artist exuded complete ease as she addressed the crowd, saying it felt “like a birthday party” as she soaked up the growing energy.

In a set that ranged from moody, introspective R&B to braggadocious hip-hop, Dounia proved she was game for everything. The 2018 single “Avant-Garde” was an absolute heater that brought out the New York-based singer’s punk edge before she pivoted to a series of impressive sung tracks.

She introduced the vibey “East Coast Hiding” from her debut 2017 project Intro To by saying it was time to “humble ourselves,” affably proving that no matter what genre she is tackling, Dounia is always being wholly herself.

Through the ordeal of actually making it to the show, both SHAED and Dounia were ready and able to provide the perfect respite from it all.