In 2007 while just seven years old, Grace Lydia Amaro popularly known by her nickname Pasha joined the African children’s choir, an organization founded by Canadian philanthropist Ray Barnett.
This was after her parents had moved from Arua to Kikoni, a neighborhood of Makerere University in Kampala.
The choir was seeking to enroll music enthusiastic children. Pasha who loved singing “baby Jesus, I love you,” a lullaby-like song popular with nursery school children found the opportunity to learn more songs ideal.
The teachers at the choir training school taught the children the Ugandan primary school syllabus during the normal working day and trained them in music and dance in the evening.
They organized children’s concerts in different parts of Kampala where the likes of Pasha sung to raise money to help needy children. She also learned to play piano as well.
In 2008, a year after joining the choir Pasha became one of the 22 children who were put on a plane. Their destination? The United States of America! It was a dream flight to stardom, totally unexpected by the playful youngster.
She spent two years with her comrades touring America and staging concerts. “It was fun performing there. I met new people, learnt to socialize and it built my confidence,” Pasha now 18 years old says of the tour.
Her group returned to Uganda in 2010 only to fly out again in 2011, this time to the United Kingdom to prepare for the 2012 Diamond Jubilee celebration of Queen Elizabeth II.
They joined other children from Kenya, UK and other countries forming a choir band of 200 children who rehearsed and sung the jubilee song that was written by Mr Gary Barlon for the grand occasion.
After entertaining the monarch and the gleeful World, Pasha saw another tour of music performance in Australia in 2013.
The following year she largely focused on books as the Primary Leaving Examinations were fast approaching. She joined the Arua Public secondary school thereafter and began to think of music once again.
Ironically Pasha is not studying music as it is not one of the subjects taught there and she would not want to study music anyway.
She is studying with the aim of attaining a degree in law but has no desire to become a practicing lawyer in future.
“In Uganda you have to read. I want to do law and then focus on my music career, make good videos and sing better songs,” she says.
Her musical brand
It was in 2016 while in S.2 when Pasha released her first song. Named “Right Here,” the song was an instant hit addressing the rampant breakup of marriages in her community.
Through the song, Pasha sought to tell married couples and those intending to get married to take each other seriously, warning that life after divorce was full of regrets.
The teenager followed this with “Betrayal,” another love song intended to comfort crestfallen couples and “Kuku” themed around the life of coupling birds.
She plans to launch a full album of songs later in December after the Uganda Certificate of Education examinations when she would be hosting a listeners’ party.
The artiste is grateful for the collaboration she has received from senior stars such as Kennedy Madira also known as JM Kennedy and Adam Mandela who likes to call himself Free Boy.
“We are helping each other. They have taught me how to deal with the crowd and how to perform on stage,” she says.
As she continues to refine her musical talent, Pasha’s main obstacle is lack of finances. She made a deal with DCN studios to record her songs free of charge and she promotes the studio in return.
However you cannot just rely on one studio for quality recording and for this reason Pasha has to rely on her elder sister for money if she wants to record from a different studio which seldom is timely.
Perhaps because of her songs themed around love and marriage life, Pasha gets near constant distraction from stalkers.
“They get your phone number from somewhere and start texting you. Those ones I just ignore,” she says.
Meanwhile some unscrupulous promoters want to underpay Pasha on account of her young age assuming that her expenditure needs are not many. This is why the soft-voiced singer turns down many invitations to perform at events.