“Down” by Call Me Karizma Ft. Aviva

Chris James is a German-American songwriter, guitarist and record producer. His songs have been featured in hit TV shows and films, including Morgan Parriott, known professionally as Call Me Karizma, is an American singer-songwriter and rapper from New Prague, Minnesota. His creative approach to music has led him to be featured on Billboard multiple times and tour around the world. We had the pleasure of interviewing Call Me Karizma, and here is what he had to say:

Q: First off, congratulations on your engagement. What advice would you give on keeping a solid relationship while being an artist? 

CALL ME KARIZMA: It isn’t easy, but it is rewarding. Having the girl I love waiting for me when I get off stage is a feeling that is extremely difficult to match. It’s all about trust and managing your time, especially while on tour.

Q: You’ve dealt with mental health issues. How does this song affect you emotionally and mentally?

CALL ME KARIZMA: This song always brings a smile to my face when I hear it—I love the energy of the song and its’ upbeat nature. You can’t help but sing along to it which helps with the feel-good factor.

Q: Back in 2020 you were an independent artist and you made it to the Billboard charts with the support of your fans. You also made the Billboard charts again in 2022. What were three core lessons you learned that helped you achieve this goal? 

CALL ME KARIZMA: Creating a hard-core fan base through touring is the most significant lesson I have learned. I dealt with a lot of issues earlier in my career, but because of the fanbase I built, I was able to weather the storm and grow steadily. Another big lesson I learned was to consistently make music. There are times where I am on tour for 6-8 weeks and can’t record music. Stacking up songs to have for the future is critical. Finally, a lesson I found crucial was to always be true to your art. Labels, managers, fans and others will try to make you create a certain type of music. I take what they say into consideration, but I will always make music that resonates with my feelings before I write for anyone else. 

Q: You’ve worked with multi-platinum artists like Joe Lynn Turner (Deep Purple/Rainbow) and Eric Martin (Mr. Big). What was your favorite thing about those experiences and what did you learn from them?

CALL ME KARIZMAI learnt so much from those guys—they were some damn good times. One of the main things I learnt was how much effort and hard work those guys put in behind the scenes. After belting out a 90 minute set, they could sometimes spend over an hour talking to fans and signing autographs etc. When you’re checking out early from a hotel, have been travelling most of the day, sound checked, then gigged, you can be pretty tired but they never turned anyone away. They signed every last item, which was very admirable.

Q: How did you and Aviva collaborate on “Down?” How did this come about?

CALL ME KARIZMAWe met years ago in the studio with one of my favorite producers, David Pramik. We wrote this song together in 2019 and late in 2022 I found it in a folder of unreleased music, which everyone on my team instantly fell in love with. It’s another inspiring example of making music as much as possible and never deleting it, because you never know when the right time will come to release it. 

Q:  You also just dropped your third album “Francis” in September. All of your music, from albums to singles, has always had an edge to it that I appreciate. What was your creative direction for “Francis”?

CALL ME KARIZMA: It started as a batch of songs that felt cohesive together, and as I listened to it all at once, it felt super personal and raw. There are many songs about my younger life and it seemed to me that I should name it after my middle name, Francis.

Interviewed by Shertara Brazil

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