By Imelda Argel, LLB LLM
Landing as one of the top 4 Grand Finalists at this year’s “The Voice Australia”,
Fasika Azalea’s triumph is considered a major win by Filipino-
Australians being the first ever to reach this far in a stiffly contested national singing tilt.
Five of Fasika’s singles currently reigns on iTunes:
I Have Nothing, One Night Only, Young Hearts Only, When Love Takes
Over, Love The Way You Lie and Freedom,
But even before adding "The Voice Australia” as
the latest feather in her cap, she has bagged five
first prizes in various talent quests in the last two
years apart from having performed in more than
10 charity events/concerts. “My mother encouraged
me to join “The Voice”. I wanted to take up Journalism.
My parents suggested I take up Media/Law to
make my options wider”,she says.
Unknown to many, Fasika’s mother, Susan Nisperos is a true blooded Filipino. She grew up in
Baguio City. Raised as a devout Christian, she has 10 siblings, mostly living
in Melbourne, some in the Philippines. “Multiculturalism” to Fasika,
means different ethnicities and cultures living
in harmony. This is exemplified by her parents. Susan met Fasika’s father,
Dessaleyn “Des” Ayallew at the University of the Philippines, Diliman Quezon
City. Originally from Ethiopia, he was then completing his Doctorate
in Plant Ecology/Botany, while Susan was studying
Master of Science in Marine Biology. Des migrated
to Australia in 1989 and Susan followed in 1990.
Eventually they sponsored the permanent residence of
Fasika’s grandmother, Felipa and Susan’s sister, Zenia.
Des and Susan have two Australian born children,
Dan and Fasika. A consistent top student from grade
school to high school, Dan has completed his Commerce and Law Degree
from the University of Technology and now works with Brookfield, a
global property developer. Fasika was likewise a high achiever at the Opportunity
Class Dural Public School and Hornsby Girls Selective
High School, before she started her law studies at Macquarie University.
Although there are no career singers from both sides
of the family of Fasika’s parents, Fasika says, “my
mother and grandmother, Felipa Nisperos constantly
made me sing when I was growing up.
Susan says Fasika’s performance at the Voice, was
a dream come true for Fasika’s late grandmother. Her wish was to see Fasika perform
on television. Following the coaching of Kelly Rowland at The Voice, Fasika is now ready
to launch her singing career, with confidence and an open mind. She believes
that she is meant to have a singing career and has now accepted the contract offer
from Universal Studios. This is not to say that her law studies is out of her
plans. She is aware of the value of completing a degree
and intends to complete her law degree part
time. Her goal: “Years from now, I would like to have
created good music that people love and that I am proud of.”
(The writer, Imelda Argel, now retired, was the migration solicitor
for many of Fasika’s relatives)