Morocco is the only North African and Arab country featuring in the competition.
Rabat – Moroccan young singer Nizar Abouelfadl, known by the stage name Drunk Panda, performed admirably in the third season of “Take Back the Mic” (TBTM), an African music talent search program.
In an interview with Morocco World News, Drunk Panda, who had qualified for the finals of the show, expressed his pride and happiness to represent his home country in the continental competition.
“Our country is filled with talents in all genres… our culture is filled with many forms of arts,” he told MWN, stressing the need for Morocco to value art and artists.
“We [artists] are special, and I will make it my career’s mission for people across the world to realize that,” the 21-year-old said, calling on Moroccans to support him throughout the final stage of the TBTM competition to help “Morocco to reign as the continental champion.”
Talking about the beginning of his music journey, Drunk Panda told MWN: “I started my career two years ago with a couple of my friends on a rooftop. We had one the most humble beginning ever, but we did what we loved and we fell in love with the process.”
Born and raised in the city of Casablanca, the young artist developed a passion for art and music at an early age. “I grew fond of writing about life and what it has to offer and along the journey I found myself trying to be more diverse in my craft,” he explained.
In preparation for the finals, the competition sent a crew to Morocco to create an artist profile and a video clip for Drunk Panda. “I took them to the Atlas Mountains to show off the beauty of our country,” the young Moroccan artist said.
“The lack of opportunity and support never stopped me,” Drunk Panda said during his artist profile video, explaining that the challenges he encountered gave him more “fuel” and made him an “angry” and ambitious artist.
Talking about his experience at the TBTM competition, Drunk Panda said that the journey made him feel that his “emotions” and all the hardship he went through were validated. “It is a very nice feeling … it is something that you cannot express in words no matter how many songs I could write about it.”
Highlighting African talent
The Dubai-based competition aims to highlight African talents and help emerging artists develop and reach the international musical scene.
According to Drunk Panda, the competition also aims to raise awareness about global issues, including global warming and network availability on the African continent.
The competition, which includes three rounds, is currently in its third and final round. Each of the participating countries had a national final round in the semi-finals, which ended with Drunk Panda being chosen as Morocco’s champion.
The competition includes 10 African countries, with Morocco being the only North African and Arab country participating. Alongside Morocco’s Drunk Panda, the competition features nine young artists from Ethiopia, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Senegal, South Africa, and Tanzania.
The artist who receives the most fan interactions on the Take Back the Mic application and website has a high chance of winning the grand prize, the Golden Mic. In addition, the winner is set to receive a cash prize of $25,000 (MAD 275,287) and will feature on a billboard in Times Square in New York.
The “Road to the Finals” episode will take place on Sunday, October 23 at 5 pm (GMT+1), with the aim of “getting more in touch with the artists,” Drunk Panda indicated.
The voting will start at the end of the episode and will last for five days. The final episode of the TBTM talent show will take place on Sunday, October 30, when the winners will be announced.
Source: Morocco World News