Charlene Kaye spent her childhood all over the globe—having lived in Hawaii, Singapore, Hong Kong, Arizona and Michigan all before she turned 18. 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 piano but soon abandoning it to teach herself punk songs on her mother’s nylon guitar.
After college, Kaye moved to New York to pursue music. She toured nationally on her first two records from 2012-2014 and 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. The two hit it off and, impressed with her voice, Ludwig-Leone 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 electric frontwoman energy propelling their albums Jackrabbit and Belong (Downtown) to international audiences and festivals worldwide.
Her first release as KAYE, 2016’s Honey EP—produced by herself and Elliot Jacobson (VÉRITÉ)—is a joyful, raucous collection of pop songs that reflects the sensibilities of an artist who was once equally as obsessed with Destiny’s Child as she was with Nine Inch Nails.
She began work on her upcoming full-length, Night Had Brilliant Eyes, in 2018, co-producing it with guitarist and producer Kirk Schoenherr (Nick Murphy/Chet Faker).