Popularly known as Gasha which is a short form of the name Gah-Ndo Ashuembom Amabo, this 26-year-old Cameroonian songwriter and performing artist, has made a name for herself by contributing fearlessly to the stream of voices emerging from the growing Cameroonian music and entertainment industry. Welcome to Gasha’s world!
This musical sensation who currently lives in Douala, Cameroon happens to be just like everyone else! Apart from music, the singer-songwriter loves reading good books and watching anime. She is interested in life and everything that makes life what it is. This should explain why she loves extreme experiences. What would life in the 21st century be without fashion! Unthinkable right! Gasha prides herself in a unique, but pretty chill sense of style which she describes as “Crème.”
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Her passion for music grew with her writing down everything she felt she couldn’t say without being misunderstood “that was pretty much as soon as I could spell (lol)”. Her career started with Pazzo A. K. A Sangtum, who according to Gasha, believed in her and helped her find ‘her Music.’ Later in her career, she worked with the music label Stevens under which she released her first official single KakiMbere. “That was back in 2013 (Yeah) and the ball started rolling.” Her music is generally inspired by old records and artists on the musical scene. She loves the fact that she can almost taste those times (yesteryears) through the music and “I find that very inspiring.” KakiMbere for instance, was very much influenced by the American singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman. Sam Cooke, is another American singer-songwriter who was equally a great source of inspiration for her other song titled There goes my baby. Despite the external influences, Gasha describes her style of music as different or better still refreshing “so I would say I make refreshing music.” Since the start of her musical career, she has released 12 singles and she is aspiring to drop an album soon. To some people music may be mere harmonization of piano or guitar chords and drum beats, but to Gasha music is much more than that. “I tell a different story with each song and I’m attached to all of them in different ways (lol). I am my music. That’s what gives it it’s color, it’s sound, it’s vibe.”
Even though she is a typical lone wolf as an artist, she is open to collaborations with other artists. “I must admit, it’s harder being an independent artist, but that’s okay.” Back in 2015 she collaborated on her song Chill, with the Ugandan artist Eddy Kenzo whom she thinks possesses an infectious and uplifting passion for music. Being the adventurous person that she is, she continues to look beyond Cameroon in places such as South Africa, Nigeria and Ghana where she hopes to make different and daring musical experiences. Moreso, her skill set, success and fame does not stop this “damsel en vitesse” (on speed) from appreciating good music made by fellow artists. She greatly admires, loves and respects Stanley Enow the “hustler”, Jovi, Lady Ponce, AWU, Tzy Panchack, Reniss whom she thinks is a star and Magasco who according to her, is a rare talent.
“At the end of the day, we all belong to what you refer to as the Cameroonian music and entertainment industry. But, I wouldn’t call it an industry yet. It’s the same old ‘Kamer’ (Cameroon), with the same old people running it and with same old ‘beefs’ (issues). It’s all about Unity, Respect and Love. We need to start by loving ourselves and then it grows naturally. There’s enough for everyone. We need more superstars with attitude though (lol). Moreover, young people should really be given the chance to lead. They have ideas which will change everything overnight. We have a long, long way to go in terms of almost everything i.e. our mentality, our goals as individuals and as a unit. We need to upgrade the standards of content, platforms and focus a little more on quality over quantity or at least find a balance in that area. Furthermore, it is necessary to organize more live performances, festivals and most importantly, stay open to new ideas. I dream of a Cameroon with 100 Wizkids, 50 Davidos, 100 Tracy Chapmans and Angelique Kidjos. Many Manu Dibangos and Cynthia Morgans. Colourful, you know! I mean we need a real entertainment industry where every day is popping hard! We need stages bigger than what Naija (Nigeria) has. With people flying in from all over the world for festivals because we’ve got the most juice in all of Africa!”
Anyway, throughout her seven-year career, this young artist has been acknowledged locally and internationally starting with the first edition of the “AFRIMMA“ awards in the United States back in 2014. She was recognized as best central African female artist after her third single “Fire Di burn “ featuring Magasco. An award “which went a long way to tell me that I was going to get heard worldwide if I tried harder. It showed me that this wasn’t just a dream and that many people want to see me go far. As an artist it feels good to know that the little impact you’re trying to make, is actually having an effect and I’m very grateful for that.”
The music and entertainment industry is known to be a ruthless jungle where only the strong survive and Gasha knows this too well to ignore it. Although this applies to life in general, the show-business happens to be that extra wild, wild west. According to Gasha, she has had shocking experiences especially as a woman. However, its important to stay on track in spite of the difficult times. In order to do so she reminds herself daily to stay in her lane, and do her and no one else. “Sometimes I have to do that every hour lol”. This should explain why Gasha is on fire lately! She is currently working on her first Album Polished Shaft, while looking forward to several live performances in order to keep her fans busy! Moreover, she recently released her new singles titled Back to Life and Le Meilleur. “This should give you a little insight into what I have in store for my fans. It’s a new vibe, a new lifestyle!”
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Just like other artists, Gasha has no doubt made a name for herself in the Cameroonian music industry, and the cycle of discovery and fame continues. This industry continues to grow as many young artists discover their talent and find their voices. To such aspiring artists, Gasha has a word of advice for them. “To young artists in any field of art, I would say put God first. Cherish your magic, cherish your gift and be careful who you give it to. Believe in yourself and challenge yourself every day. Be open-minded and loving. Humility is a good thing. And to the young women, I know it gets scary and dark, but trust me, you really don’t have to exchange your body for anything you deserve. Except it’s a happy choice and doesn’t hurt your self-esteem, but there’s always another option. A better option. This is not limited to women though. Young beautiful boys and girls no one should ‘make you’ do anything. Only you can create your future. Be fearless.”
Just so you know, she’s a law school dropout. Sometimes in life, it’s not always about degrees. Talent combined with passion and hard-work can also take you places. That does not mean education is not important. Education will always be important and necessary. Know yourself, trust yourself and remain focused. The magic is all around us.