When the nine-day Festival Mawazine Rythmes du Monde in Morocco wraps up this Saturday, it will have both a distinct hometown vibe and some Boston representation. Ghita, a current student at Berklee College of Music and a pop singer-songwriter from Casablanca, will open for Maroon 5 at the fest’s closing night, capping off a week-and-a-half of performances for nearly one million people.
This year’s Mawazine also features headliners Jennifer Lopez, Pharrell Williams, Sting, Avicii, Usher, and Placebo.
Ghita’s initiative helped her secure the coveted slot. Through social media, one of her songs caught the attention of a Moroccan radio station. Festival organizers heard the song and invited her to submit videos — including “The Wave” — for consideration. She subsequently gained approval from Maroon 5’s management to open for them.
She had attended the festival in the past. “I was in the crowd three years ago to see Kanye West and it blew my mind. I knew I wanted to be on stage but I would never have imagined this,” she said. “This is by far the biggest opportunity I’ve had. I’ve learned so much already and I feel blessed to be able to open for an international pop star in my own country.”
At the festival, Ghita will perform songs from her forthcoming EP — a collaboration performed and produced by Berklee students and alumni. She wrote or co-wrote all of the songs, described as summertime pop with Middle Eastern, Indian, and Arabic rhythms. While Ghita hadn’t done any songwriting before coming to Berklee, Melissa Ferrick’s Lyric Writing class inspired her to write one song per day.
Check out Ghita’s track that caught the attention of the radio station below, as well as another single, “Trojan Horse.”