Being naturally talented enough to appear on shows like The Voice is incredibly rare. Many people enjoy singing and often join the competitions thinking that they could have what it takes. But the reality is that only a few will make it. They have to be strong, they have to be brave, and they have to believe in themselves.
Teenage performer Abobaker Rahman, who competed in “The Voice Kids” Belgium, doesn’t only have to deal with all these ordinary challenges; he also carries the hopes and dreams of his entire family and his shattered homeland.
— The Voice Kids – VTM (@VTMTheVoiceKids) June 2, 2017
This shining young singer came to Belgium as a refugee from war-torn Afghanistan with his family. While Abobaker, who goes by Abu, loves and has covered American singers like Celine Dion and Michael Jackson and European artists like Ed Sheeran and Robyn, he also carries with them the long musical tradition of his people. He sings in Pashto, the traditional language of his family and tribe.
When you first see Abu, you just see a handsome, shy-looking Belgian teenager of 13 years old, but when he opens his mouth and starts to sing, you can’t help but feel as though you are in the presence of someone very special. His voice has not only the power but the sadness of his life experience, having to leave his country of birth behind in order to survive.
Abu’s talent hasn’t gone unnoticed, and in 2017 he auditioned for The Voice Kids. The show uses blind auditions, where the judges (who are also coaches) have their chairs turned away from the contestant. If the judges like what they hear within the first minute, they can buzz to indicate their approval and pick the singer to be part of their team.
— The Voice Kids – VTM (@VTMTheVoiceKids) April 14, 2017
For his audition song, Abu chose Céline Dion’s megahit “My Heart Will Go On.” As he explained in his audition video, he sang that song for the people like him who had to leave their homeland. “The people in Titanic were looking for a new life in a boat going to another country.”
When Abu started to sing, the judges immediately knew they had someone very special on stage. First, their faces lit up with big smiles from his beautiful voice, and one by one, they all buzzed in within the first 15 seconds of his performance! The sign “I want you” (for my team), lit up on all their chairs as they turned to see this phenomenon.
Season 3 of The voice kids Belgie. with #TeamSean, Josje Huisman & Laura Tesoro Privé is now in session!! On 📺 VTM coming April!
Soon, Abu had judge Laure Tesoro opening up her arms like Kate Winslet’s character Rose on the legendary ship and judge Josje Huisman lip-synching right along with him. When Abu hit the key change before the finale, “We’ll stay forever this way / You are safe in my heart and / My heart will go on and on,” he had the audience up on their feet, clapping and cheering. Judge Sean Dhondt jumped out of his chair and went to give Abu a high five.
Meanwhile, his parents and siblings were crying and jumping up and down, blown away by their little brother’s big-league performance. Abu was chosen by judge Josje Huisman, and his team went on to win the competition!
When he opens his mouth and reveals the song: Goosebumps! 💞
Since the competition, Abu has continued to work on his craft, posting cover versions of many different songs both in English and Pashto. There’s no doubt that this young man has the potential to become a major star one day. Perhaps Eurovision will be calling soon! As Abu posted on his Instagram feed, “I don’t just sing. I perform.”