Meet Kaye Fresco— a loving wife, doting mother, musical theatre enthusiast, Kumu streamer, and a relentless Pinay nurse-singer in Critical Care Frontliner for the National Health Service (NHS) in the United Kingdom.
We can say it was chance that brought her to an online talent showcase while randomly checking the explore page on Kumu and it was the right amount of guts that made her register; but eventually it was fate, as if written in the stars, that she was hailed December’s top performer in the show.
Fresco started singing at a young age, she knew what she wanted and was already persistent in asking her parents for voice lessons. The very young Kaye then started her formal training in Grade 3 at age 9. Her childhood dream was to be like her earlier influences and pop idols which included 90’s pop stars Christina Aguilera, Brittney Spears, and the Spice Girls.
In college, she joined an acoustic band, ‘Smooch’. She also became a member of an R&B/hip hop band, the ‘Block’, where she stayed for around 2 years.
The dreamer, whose influences have also changed from Nina and Sitti to Alicia Keys and Beyonce, did gigs, hotel lounge singing, and joined contests like X-Factor Philippines in 2013 together with her group ‘Nightingale Singing Nurses’. In 2019, Fresco was featured in Gareth Malone’s Christmas concert for the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) where she was among the few Asians/ Filipinos.
Kaye always knew what she wanted, and she always fought for it no matter what. Without any theatre background and armed only by her passion for musicals and sheer talent, Kaye tried her luck and auditioned for the Westend run of the musical, “Hamilton”. She received a callback but the pandemic has put a hold on things so the next steps will have to wait.
Covid-19 and other challenges
There was a point in the life of the Pinay nurse-singer when she had to sacrifice her passion for music. She admitted there was a huge gap in terms of her absence in music because she had to focus on her studies, her work as a nurse, helping out the family, as well as raising her own family with her husband Nhel. Another sacrifice was living away from Nhel and their daughter while working in the UK as a Frontliner. But after 2 years of waiting, her husband is now in the UK with her and the couple is working on having their daughter, Juana who is almost 7 years old, join them very soon.
As if the pandemic hasn’t already added to her many trials, Kaye also had to deal with her mother’s condition who was diagnosed with breast cancer. Fresco copes through a lot of prayers and constant communication with the family. Kaye also assures her mom that she isn’t alone in her fight against cancer, that they are all in this together.
The universe might have conspired even in the theme given during the Finale of the onine talent showcase (PalabasTayo’s Wishlist Book 3) as it perfectly matched what Fresco is dealing with in life. They had to choose songs about starting anew, facing challenges and staying strong. Kaye’s first song was ‘Defying Gravity’ the showstopper from the musical “Wicked”. While for her last song, she went back to her roots of R&B and sang a soulful rendition of ‘Better Days’. The last song is very fitting of Fresco’s attitude as she always tries to stay positive amidst everything that is going on in her life. She said in an interview, “laban lang (fight on), there is always light at the end of the tunnel”.
There’s always a lot of awesome non-featured artists vying for the top performer spot but Fresco’s grit, passion, and everything she’s got, she brought it all to the table and served it hot; all these made her earn her much-deserved ‘blue check’, the title of “top performer”, and a network of friends who support her.
Kaye Fresco recently guested in PalabasTayo’s All-Out1 where she shared her story. In the show she appeared like a fierce trouper on the outside but unveiled her soft spot when she started talking about her family whom her heart beats for.
The Pinay nurse-singer is through and through our all-around Pinoy idol – very family-oriented, raises the Pinoy flag, an unstoppable pursuer of dreams, and a modern-day hero who defies gravity and dedicates her life for her craft and vocation.
Follow and catch @kayefresco, as she live streams on Kumu.
1All-Out is one of PalabasTayo’s shows where people get to know more about their favorite artists’ stories, secrets, their music, and everything else in between.
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