Chatterbox: Call Me Karizma talks to us about his new EP, working with local youth and being blunt.

Hey, thanks for chatting with  us. Could you tell our readers something about yourself that they might not find out otherwise?

There isn’t much I keep out of my music. I am very vocal about being the rawest form of myself in my songs and try not to keep anything out of my writing process. Something your readers might not know is my passion of working with kids. I spend a lot of my time every summer with the youth at YMCA in Minnesota (where I live) and in after-school programs, doing curriculum and going on field trips. I am actually still in college finishing my Family Consumer Science degree with a focus in Early Childhood Development.

How would you describe the sound you’ve crafted over your last few releases?

My sound started out as 100% hip-hop music. I used to find beats on youtube and rap over them, one take, and upload them to myspace. It has evolved into a heavily alternative, yet pop sound, mixed with bluntly written rap verses. In middle school fell in love with bands like Green Day and My Chemical Romance. I loved the raw energy their music gave off, but I am also a sucker for a catchy pop song. So I infused both worlds and added my rap background to create my own sound.

What does the new EP draw upon thematically, specifically?

The Gloomy Tapes: Volume 1 is the first project I’ve made that felt like me. I didn’t compromise anything with these songs. I made a lot of safe pop songs in the last year and I decided to keep all of them off this EP. I felt it was a way for me to be my truest self and almost make it seem like my “first” body of work. These songs touch a lot on my life growing up; anything from having alcoholic family members to the current state of mental health affecting our youth in America is spoken on in this EP. It was by far my most personal body of work and will hopefully give listeners that sense of realness that is lacking in a lot of music these days. My songs should make my listeners feel like they can relate to my struggles and feel less alone.

Did the tracks evolve significantly in the studio from the original demo?

Nearly every song I make is written in my bedroom. It starts with a demo or voice note and once I feel like it is written, I bring it to my producer friends in LA and we finish the production together. “Johnny” specifically is 100% produced by me in my room back in Minneapolis. Every song on this project is very closely sounding to the original demo. I hate going into a studio and it being changed a lot or over produced from the demo. If I could put out only demos of my songs, I would. Something about a raw, unmixed song, makes me feel comfortable. 

What do fans have to look forward to over the next few months?

My fans and my foes alike have one thing to look forward to. Truth. I don’t leave shit out of my songs. I am not an amazing singer that can float over safe pop lyrics. I have a voice that is meant to tell a story, as blunt and as in your face as possible. My music is not always meant to leave you feeling “good” after you listen. I will be the voice for the delinquents; the kids who are voiceless and forgotten. I am the good villain. The kid who will tell it as it is, regardless of who I upset or offend. My fans mean the world to me. I know what it is like to have no one. I am here to tell the millions of youth around the world who feel helpless, that help is here. Gloomy forever.


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