Desta was born in the small town of Tiqur Wuha near Awassa, Ethiopia. He is the second of three children, all boys. After a few years, his family moved to Shashemene and later back to Awassa, where he finished high school. All three towns are located approximately 250 kilometers south of the capital Addis Ababa.
In 1998, Desta moved to Dire Dawa, situated 515 kilometers east of Addis Ababa, to live with his guardian and work at Cherqa Cherq Yekenet Buden. There, he received basic training in performing with a band and as a vocalist.
In 1999, Desta relocated to Addis Ababa to pursue his music career. He released his first album Anleyaym in 2004, for which he received wide acclaim. Most of the lyrics on this CD were written by Habtamu Bogale, and the melodies of six tracks were composed by (more)