Musician and actor Charlene Kaye talks about her journey being an Asian American as a millennial musician, her relationship with her immigrant Chinese mother, and her stories backing up for Gen Z pop stars.
Charlene Kaye: (she/her) Kaye spent her childhood all over the globe. Absorbing both the old soul records of her parents and the 90s grunge on the radio, she quickly became a full-fledged music obsessive, beginning with classical piano but soon abandoning it to teach herself Blink-182 songs on her mother’s nylon guitar.After college, Kaye moved to New York to pursue music. She played bass and guitar in several Brooklyn bands (including shredding as Slash in an all-girl Guns N’ Roses cover band called ‘Guns N’ Hoses’). In 2014, a mutual friend connected her with San Fermin’s Ellis Ludwig-Leone. Impressed with her voice, he asked her to be San Fermin’s new lead vocalist. This led to five years of collaboration and touring with San Fermin, with Kaye’s blistering frontwoman energy propelling their albums Jackrabbit and Belong (Interscope) to international audiences and festivals worldwide. This included tours supporting alt-J, The National, and St. Vincent.
She released the critically acclaimed album Conscious Control, her first full-length in four years, in November 2020. The music video for lead single “Closer Than This” led Rolling Stone to hail her as “a fully realized pop goddess.”
In 2022, she released her EP NEON GOD – a fluorescent collection of songs playfully nodding to her strict upbringing, and how she abandoned it in order to pursue rock and roll. Her single “Lifeline” amassed 120,000 views on YouTube within the first month, with “Neon God” and “Respect Me” following.
Chloe Prasinos is a writer, director, and improviser. By day, she produces, edits, and reports longform audio documentaries. Chloe is a founding producer of The 11th from Pineapple Street Studios, where her work was recognized with a National Magazine Award in Podcasting. Chloe also directed, produced, and sound designed Marvel Comics’ first ever audio drama, collaborating on set with the likes of Bob Balaban, Bill Irwin, and Celia Keenan-Bolger. Her work has appeared on Love + Radio, 99% Invisible, Reply All, CNN, NPR, WBEZ’s Curious City, and beyond. She has a degree in Choreography that she mostly uses at weddings.
Mayte Natalio is from NYC by way of Dominican parents. She studied at the LaGuardia H.S. for the Performing Arts and SUNY Purchase (BFA). She has performed and toured with the Parson’s Dance Company, Camille A. Brown and Dancers, Kyle Abraham’s A.I.M and Darrell Moultrie, Mylene Farmer and Kanye West. Favorite TV & Film credits include NBC’s NYE Special 2019, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel (Amazon), The Get Down (Netflix), NBC’s Jesus Christ Superstar Live and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Netflix) Harlem (Amazon). Favorite regional credits include Stagger Lee and Hair (Dallas Theater Center) and Aida (Ogunquit Playhouse). Off-Broadway credits include the immersive hit Queen of the Night and Third Rail Project’s The Grand Paradise. Choreography credits include The Winter’s Tale (Public Works/ DTC), Red Speedo (Juilliard), Runaways (NYU), Into the Woods (Barrington Stage), Love in Hate Nation (Two River Theater) and Measure for Measure (Public Theater/ Mobile Unit) Hair (The Old Globe) Pippin (UArts), La Hora Santa, written, directed and choreographed by Mayte for Ars Nova’s Vision Residency Program, Pyer Moss’s Haute Couture Show for Paris Fashion Week 2021, Kiss My Aztec (Hartford Stage), How to Dance in Ohio (Syracuse Stage) and The Tattooed Lady (Philadelphia Theatre Company). Mayte is also the co-founder and executive producer of the production company, MinuteZero.