This is what Lawrence Barasa had to deal with when a shoulder injury curtailed his dream of donning the Kenya Sevens Rugby national team jersy.
His exceptional talent was only beginning to turn heads during his heydays at Vihiga High School. The very same school that arguably produced Kenya’s most iconic rugby player, Collins Injera.
However, as fate would have it, the end of his rugby dream led to the beginning of another.
A choir chairman at his high school reached out to him about joining the choir and this marked the beginning of a truly amazing journey.
His love for music went beyond high school. A chance encounter with a friend who gave him Italian opera singer Luciano Pavarottiâ€™s album, The Duet, had him hooked ever since.
â€œI mimicked Luciano Pavarotti for two years and I fell in love with opera,” he once revealed.
In 2009, he joined a professional choir group called the Kenyan Boys Choir which went on tour in the US and Canada, going on to become the lead singer as well as the manager.
He is currently Kenya’s most accomplished, and arguably the most gifted opera singer.
Barasa has interacted and shared the stage with the likes of the Jonas Brothers, Nelly Furtado, Ellie Goulding, Ciara, Demi Lovato to name but a few.
He was recently named ambassador of WE Charity, formerly known as Free the Children- an international charity and educational partner.
Years of practice have seen the vocalist become a member of the prestigious Eugene Opera company in the US since 2016.
The former rugby star is a recipient of an Encouragement Award at the Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions 2020, 2nd prize winner in the Emerging Artists Division of PNW Sings (a vocal competition), and the Winner of the Carolyn Bailey and Dominick Argento vocal competition by the National Opera Association 2020.
He is currently enrolled at the University of Oregon pursuing a degree in vocal performance.
Watch Barasa’s phenomenal performance below: