Pop singers are a dime-a-dozen, but it isn’t every day you come across one like Carishma, who has the seductive beauty of Pussycat Doll Nicole Scherzinger and J.Lo!
MJ is always scouring the ‘net for young talent and it’s safe to say – Carishma is worth getting to know! So, we caught up with the Jersey girl about her career, her musical inspiration, what it was like working with Timbaland, and so much more!
Get to know Carishma:
I loved recording that song with Rodney Jerkins. I feel like it’s a really relatable song about first love, so to see it connect with so many people has been really exciting. At the same time, I am at the beginning of my journey so I am looking forward to putting out some more music and showing people other sides of myself. It was also great to work with someone as talented as Taj Stansberry, the video director. He also did J.Lo’s “On The Floor,” which has the 2nd most views of any music video on Youtube. He was great to work with, and really helped bring my vision to life on screen. It really portrays what my romantic night on a beach would be.
MJ: Tell me what your life is like now?
My life really hasn’t changed. I work really, really hard. I worked really hard during college at NYU and having recently graduated, I’m working just as hard at music but I love it so much more! Having a career in the music industry is a lot more work than most people think it is. It’s not just photo shoots and talking to media. I’m in rehearsals, in studio, recording and writing songs, doing vocal coaching, learning choreography, talking to my lovers on fb and twitter, and to bloggers like you!
What I love about being an artist is that every day is totally different! Today I woke up around 8am, had a meeting with the label, went to the gym, then went to rehearse for an upcoming show. Right after this I’m meeting with my stylist to discuss outfits for the show, & then in the evening I am off to the studio to record for the album. Sometime in between all of that I find time to eat, tweet, and check up on my e-mail! Tomorrow will be something completely different!
MJ: Where do you go for musical inspiration?
To my iPod! I love listening to my favorite old romance and soul songs because they have so much feeling. I’m inspired by a lot of different things though; everything from listening to music, to paging thru fashion magazines, to watching old movies, going to museums. Anything that inspires beauty or emotion can be expressed creatively.
MJ: What was it like working with Timbaland? After spending time with him in the studio, I have to ask — what’s his hit-making secret?
Recording with Timbaland was one of the biggest things that happened to me while I was still in college. It’s a long story but I randomly met a friend of Timbaland’s manager’s girlfriend who introduced me to the girlfriend after I told him I was an artist. After singing for the girlfriend and a ton of follow-up phone calls, she introduced me to Timbaland’s manager. I auditioned for him in Miami, and then a few weeks later got a call saying I had scored an audition with Timbaland. After I sang for Tim, he said he’d give me a shot. We went to work a few weeks later! Tim only works at night, starting around 2am, so I spent the whole week prior being nocturnal, sleeping during the day and staying up at night so I would have enough energy in the session! Anyhow, I started recording at 2am, finished by 8am, at which point Tim came in the room and said, “I’m gonna preface this by saying if I think you’re wack, I’m gonna tell you that you shouldn’t be doing this anymore, and you should be doing something else.” I was so shocked that he would say that, so I just said, “Ok” nervously. He heard the record, and was bobbing his head the entire time. “You killed it. I’m gonna get on it,” is what he told me as soon as it finished playing! I was overjoyed and so surprised that he wanted to do a feature just off of hearing the record once! As far as his hit-making secret, Timbaland is a musical genius. He just has that innate ability to hear things that other people can’t. It’s like a dog whistle. He can just hear something and just know that it’s going to work in a way that few people can.
I have gotten that, and it’s a huge compliment. She’s a gorgeous girl who also happens to be an incredibly talented singer and dancer.
MJ: Who are some of your musical inspirations? (List some artists who inspire you)
I love Michael & Janet, I love classic soul like Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder. I’m really inspired by Diana Ross and Whitney Houston, they both are strong iconic female figures whose music is timeless. They are beyond inspiring to me. I listen to a lot of current pop too and I love Rihanna’s sassiness and Gaga’s creativity. Nicki Minaj is also a favorite of mine.
MJ: Who would you love to collaborate with and why?
I would love to collaborate with Nicki Minaj. She is my favorite rapper out and I think we would make a great girl power team! She is such an individual spirit and has really created her own lane by being the only female rapper and singer in today’s pop realm. She is bringing a unique sound to the scene. I’d love to work with her and see what we would be able to come up with together.
MJ: You recently moved to LA — yes? — how’s that going? Did you ever think you’d end up in Hollywood being from New Jersey?
I am loving it so far, the weather is great, the quality of life is great, the food is much more healthy than in NY, and I am kind of a health nut. The majority of the creative side of the music industry is here. It’s great to be in a place where everyone around you is also doing something similar. Being here is an opportunity to work on my album and live show. Spending my time working on my craft every day with talented people has been great. I also used to fantasize about being on big movie sets out here. Who knows, maybe someday I’ll pursue my passion for acting too.
MJ: What does it take to “make it” in the music industry nowadays — and — what does “making it” mean to you?
I think extreme passion, drive, and work ethic. Working your way into things and creating opportunities for yourself. It’s about hustling too! My vocal coach always said, “if it’s gonna be, it’s up to me.” I’ve been working at this for a while, and don’t expect anything to be handed to me. In order to “make it,” it takes hard work, perseverance, talent, that “it” factor, and a sprinkle of luck. A funny “hustling” story was during college at NYU. My best friend Carrington and I heard that Clive Davis was speaking at a Billboard event, so we offered to volunteer for free to help set up the event just so we could maybe get a chance to meet Clive. We heard one of the program directors get a call that Clive was downstairs, so we rushed down, and when he came into the building we followed him into the elevator, so we could talk to him. I was so nervous, all I could say was, “it’s a pleasure to be in the same elevator as you!”
MJ: Tell me one thing people don’t know about you:
Ever since I can remember, when I am in the studio I love to have Butter Finger hot chocolate before I record, it’s a necessity! It recently got discontinued and I am so disappointed! I tweeted at Nestle, and they replied that there is no more in stock anywhere. I know there must be a few packages left somewhere in the world, anyone reading this who can find me some let me know!
Yes, she was one of my biggest inspirations. I think she had the greatest voice to ever grace a microphone. “I Will Always Love You,” was my favorite song of hers. When I was younger my dad had a red sports car that I called the “magic car.” Every time we rode in it, I would ask him to play, “I Will Always Love You,” over and over and over again. He would say, ‘all you have to do is say, the word again,’ and it will play. So I’d just say, “again, again, again” and the song would play, instantly. Little did I know my dad was pressing a button on the steering wheel each time I was saying “again.” I didn’t realize till I was much older what was actually going on!
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