They often say that music is the best medicine, and that’s no doubt true for talented songstress Sasha Rechichi. Throughout her life, singing has been a source of joy and passion for Sasha and has seen her through both great and challenging times. Now, she’s giving that gift back to the community and helping others raise their voices and find a little bit of hope through these trying times. GABRIELLA PAYNE tuned in to learn more.
Joyous and bubbly, Sasha Rechichi is the kind of person that can light up any stage.
A naturally gifted performer, the young vocalist has a winning smile and an effortless charm that can captivate any audience – not to mention a powerfully soulful voice to boot.
She may be a talented songstress in her own right, but these days Sasha is on a mission of a different kind.
For the past three years, Sasha has been going above and beyond to help people in the community fall in love with music and find their own voice through song, and after founding her own space, the Music School of Hope, she is well on the way to achieving this dream.
“Music is so good for mental health, and it’s a great form of expression,” Sasha said.
“So I’m so happy to have created a really nice safe place for students to come of all ages and being a teacher now and a mentor, I just never thought that I would be here.”
Having always been drawn to music, Sasha said that singing was always a part of her life, but it wasn’t until she faced some challenging times as a child that she discovered it as a source of healing.
“I went through a trauma when I was really young and was bullied at school,” Sasha said.
“And so I started taking singing lessons when I was around 10, and I found that that was the only thing that really helped me.”
“I had been to lots of different psychs and nothing was helping, but when I was singing, that was the only thing that helped me through all that trauma and the struggles I went through,” she said.
“And so that’s how I came up with the idea for the Music School of Hope, because music really did give me hope – I don’t know where I’d be without it.”
Nestled above the Purton Place Pre-loved Op Shop on Purton Road (which is run by her mother, Angel Chichi) lies the safe haven that is the Music School of Hope.
For three years now, Sasha has been building up her school and teaching a range of students, including some of those who, like her, were in need of a helping hand.
“I work with a lot of disadvantaged families and over the years I’ve done a few ‘pay it forwards’, so I’ll do like a year’s worth of lessons for free for families that are struggling,” she said.
“I also work with students with all different levels of needs including people with disabilities.
“I actually have an intellectual disability myself, so I feel that I really connect with them,” she said.
“Music is just so good for confidence and everything like that, especially for me coming from a place of no confidence and not being in a very good mental place from being bullied.”
“I never thought that anyone would give me a chance, because I have that disability and everyone put me in the ‘too hard’ box, and I thought no, I’ll be my own boss,” Sasha said, and it seems the rest is history.
Over the years, Sasha has helped countless people find their voices and built up an impressive performing career herself, despite the challenges the live music industry has faced during the pandemic.
Last year, Sasha was invited to be part of Australian Eurovision star Isaiah Firebrace’s latest music video for his single “You” and had the chance to collaborate with iconic music label, SONY in the process.
On top of that, Sasha was chosen to be a part of hit TV show ‘The Voice Kids’ when she was just ten years old, and only last week, she auditioned to be on the newest edition of ‘The Voice’ in her bid to expand her platform and build a name for herself.
A Pakenham local, Sasha is passionate about her hometown community and is constantly giving back to others in whatever way she can.
You may have seen some of her volunteer performances at many an event with the Living and Learning Centre, or perhaps busking at the Lakeside Market – but it’s clear to see that no matter how busy she is, Sasha always finds time to give back to the community she loves so dearly – something she believes her parents instilled in her.
“I’ve always been like that and being around my parents, they always taught me to be giving and help others when they’re in need,” she said, clearly following in the footsteps of her kind-hearted mother, Angel.
“Mum has been a huge inspiration for me too, she’s always helping others and I’d love to be like her.”
Although the last 18 months have been filled with struggles, Sasha believed that music was a source of light that every one of her students should continue to pursue, no matter their circumstances, and so during last year’s lockdowns, she generously provided all her online classes for free.
“I just wanted to keep them engaged and give them something to look forward to,” she said.
“Everyone was losing their jobs and I just wanted them to have some sense of normality.”
“I think sometimes it’s not just about performing, it’s about doing it for your mental health and remembering why you started music and why it makes you happy – because that’s the most important thing.”
Sasha said that with restrictions easing soon, she hoped to have more performance opportunities in the near future and said that the Music School of Hope’s door was always open to anyone who needed a hand in finding their voice.