Photo by Tyler Ringhand
Karizma (Morgan Parriott) hails from New Prague, a hamlet 40 minutes southwest of the Twin Cities, where he’s been making music since the seventh grade. He’s still in high school (senior), but has already shared the stage with Asher Roth, Astronautalis, and Brother Ali at First Ave in Minneapolis for his Mourning in America Tour.
Saturday, he’s releasing his latest project, Nothing is Noise, with a show at THE GARAGE. We’ve seen him knock it out of the park on our stage before and are looking forward to the new jams, especially after scoping out the B-sides on the After Taste EP. So come see Karizma, then download his 18 new songs he’s putting online for free. Then catch him June 29 at MN Mash Up.
www.KarizmaMusic.com (official website)
THE GARAGE: Saturday’s the big release show for Nothing is Noise. What was it like recording this time? How did it differ from your previous experience putting sound to tape?
Karizma: Well with this record I knew I wanted something different. My past projects were more “fun” rap, with some meaningless rhymes and catchy words. But this album was something I wanted people to relate to on many different levels. I felt it was about time to record something that I was feeling and tell people more of my story rather than just write over cool beats.
THE GARAGE: You already have seven tracks from the Nothing is Noise session on the After Taste EP. What was the selection process like for the full-length versus the EP?
Karizma: Many of the songs on After Taste were tracks that I felt didn’t fit. They were more of the same style from the past two records, Cup Cakes & Duct Tape and It’s Cookie Day. They had that feel good style, which I love doing, but it didn’t work with the concept of Nothing is Noise. I felt they were good songs and deserved to be heard. From the response and support I have gotten over the last month or so from the EP, I am glad I released them!
THE GARAGE: How’d you get started rapping? Was there a certain moment or song that got you started? Are their other artists that influence you to keep going?
Karizma: I started out in 5th grade with my buddies trying to make a rock group. Ha, we loved the band Green Day and all we did was try to be just like them. It ended up not working obviously and all of my friends grew out of the music-making lifestyle. I didn’t.
Anyone that picks up a pen and writes a story about their past experiences is an influence to me.
THE GARAGE: What do your practices look like?
Karizma: It seems like I am always practicing in some way or another. I usually just go into my home studio and start playing some of the instrumentals and rap to them. I don’t really practice what I am going to do on stage. I feel it is better to give the crowd something off the top and exciting, so I usually just go with the flow and whatever happens, happens.
THE GARAGE: Not counting THE GARAGE, what’s your favorite venue to play? Why?
Karizma: I really enjoy playing at Station 4 up in St. Paul. It has that old, rustic atmosphere to it and it is just clustered with metal rock stickers and vintage stuff. Though, I would have to say my favorite venue I’ve ever played at is First Ave. It is a dream for every MN artist to play in the main room where all the famous people today started off. I was just the lucky guy who got to see that dream come true so early in my career.
THE GARAGE: What should the audience expect from your performance this weekend at THE GARAGE? Is there a particular song your most excited to play? Why?
Karizma: I don’t want to give anything away, but I got some new material that I will be playing along with some new fun activities to interact with the crowd. I also put together a little contest for some fans to see who can make the best “Karizma” shirt. Whoever decorates and sports their shirt the best wins some free stuff!
THE GARAGE: This is a different direction, but is there a piece of technology that’s indispensible to you (aside from the obvious, like mics, amps, etc.)?
Karizma: Like my phone? I have that thing on me 24-7 trying to get people to shows or listen to a song. I am very open about talking to friends and fans about new events. I mean, I’m just a regular guy, and any artist who doesn’t interact and talk with their followers aren’t right in my book.
THE GARAGE: Besides you, what local artist deserves more attention?
Karizma: The first guys that come to mind every time is Fre5hAiR. They are a few years older than me, but they attended the same high school as I did. Nicky Gwiggs and Brentley are always hard at work trying to make new material for their growing fan base and they are also on track 4 of Nothing is Noise, which is called “She Tastes Like.”
Every show I book I want them on the bill because they bring a huge amount of energy and are just overall great guys. Check them out!
THE GARAGE: What are you listening to right now?
Karizma: Lately I have been listening to POS, G-Eazy, Asher Roth, and some newer alternative stuff like Atlas Genius. I like a little variety as you can see.
THE GARAGE: Do you have any advice for a fan who wants to rap for audiences?
Karizma: Really it all comes down to persistence. You can’t really take a break from writing, promoting and doing shows. There are times where you might not have a show for a few months or you don’t put out any new music for a while, but you need to stay consistent. This day and age artists come and go so quick! There are many examples of rappers that burst onto the scene and become famous but then they fade away almost as fast.
Take your time, stay connected on a personal level with your fans as much as possible, and do the work necessary. Just have fun making music; the rest will come if you truly believe in yourself and your art.