Brandon Pacheco

Brandon Pacheco

When Brandon Pacheco first began posting covers of his favorite songs on YouTube in June 2009, he didn't have any reason to believe they'd garner much attention beyond his immediate family. Since then he's become an accidental star; garnering over 950,000 hits on his various YouTube videos, and attracting the attention of music industry heavyweights who, like his growing fan base, find the thirteen-year-old singer's talent and irrepressible charm impossible to ignore.

Although Pacheco has been singing as long as he can remember, initially all he wanted to do with his music was to lift the spirits of his mother, Manuela -- who lost her sight at age twenty-nine owing to complications arising from a bout of Glaucoma -- and to reconnect his father's family, who he sees less often since his parents' divorce.

His first post was Taylor Swift's 'Our Song', a track chosen partly because it was his favorite song at the time, but also because he felt it was appropriate. "I was mostly doing it for my mom, to show her not all was lost, but also because I didn't see my dad's side of the family, so I started putting my stuff up on YouTube. Then I got into singing a lot."

Soon enough Pacheco found himself taking requests from friends at his east end Hamilton school, and posting tracks by Justin Bieber, Lady Gaga and others. The more he posted, the faster and farther word spread. "I remember coming home and my step dad was like, 'you hit a milestone', and I was like, 'what?' He's like 'it's a laaaaarge number.' I checked it out and it was 300,000 views. I was definitely overwhelmed."

Almost immediately, the sheer number of fans viewing his YouTube channel attracted attention from local media. Over the course of two days in July 2010 the young singer appeared on the cover of The Hamilton Spectator, had one of his videos featured in a national newscast on CHCH Television and was interviewed live by CHML 900's Scott Thompson.

Enter artist manager, 'Parkside' Mike Renaud... While Renaud primarily works with indie rock acts like Imaginary Cities and Said The Whale, the Spectator piece caught his attention, and after viewing Pacheco's growing catalogue of homemade pop videos he felt compelled to make contact.

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