It’s hard to find music artists who can reach and inspire a global audience before even debuting an entire album. With her hit single, web “Glow in the Dark, physiotherapy ” breakout artist Carishma has hit the charts as a new talent that the music world is paying a lot of attention to. Read on for our exclusive interview with the latest music star to go viral! 
Carishma Glow in the Dark single

Viral Fashion: Carishma, you are a breakout artist with a beautiful voice, and in the short time since your video and single have been released, you have been endorsed by celebrities like Ryan Nickulas of the A-List, and you have already worked with Timbaland and Rodney Jerkins, as well as many other top names in the industry. When did you start singing? 

Carishma: I’ve been singing my whole life. My mom has appeared in Bollywood films and she’s also a recording artist, and my grandmother was a very well-known folk singer in India, so I grew up around music. I began taking dance and voice lessons as a kid and recording when I was a teenager. 

VF: How did you come to the decision to make entertaining your career? You can grow up with music in your family, but choosing that for yourself and for your career is a big decision.

Carishma: It was kind of natural to me growing up. I always knew that I loved performing, and that was the one thing I was always passionate about. I loved entertainment, especially singing. I started taking voice lessons when I was 12 as I started doing more school musicals. That’s when I really started to focus on singing, falling in love with it. 

VF: What was the first venue you performed at? Was it a recital, or something bigger?

Carishma: I’ve been performing for as long as I can remember. I was singing and dancing in recitals in pre-school. However, I started taking acting lessons in elementary school, while performing in a bunch of plays and musicals. That experience led to one of my most memorable childhood performances, which was playing a lead role in an HBO movie at 8 years old. 

VF: How was it being on the set of an HBO set while so young? 

Carishma: I think since I was so young, it just felt exciting and fun. I love being in front of the camera, and it’s a place where I feel really comfortable. My mom was there with me on set and she helped give me confidence as a performer. It was a great experience and I remember getting really close with and connecting with all of the cast members who became like a small family to me.

VF: What was the turning point in your music career? Was there a moment when you knew that this was going to take off?

Carishma: Well, I started recording as a teenager with an independent label. After high school, I was accepted into NYU for music business and performing arts, where I was always on my grind. I met my best friend Carrington (who’s now part of my team) in freshman year and we just worked our way into the studio with whoever we could. We worked with a lot of up and coming producers like Freddy Wexler, and in my last year of college I got the opportunity to work with Timbaland

That came through a lot of auditioning and back and forth. I knew someone- who knew someone- who knew the manager, and I was able to hustle my way into having a chance to go down to the Hit Factory in Miami and audition. Timbaland let me come down and do a test because he heard some of my music. He said, “you can definitely sing.” He only works at in the middle of the night, so I had to go in at 2a.m., which is when I cut vocals with Jim Beanz, a vocal producer that works a lot with Timbaland. Tim came in when I was done cutting vocals at about 7 am, and he said, “If I think you’re wack, I’m gonna tell you that you shouldn’t be singing anymore, and you should just do something else.” 

As he listened to the song, he started bobbing his head, and he goes, “You killed it. I’m gonna get on it.”So then on top of producing the song, “Keep Hangin’ On,” for me, he was featured on it, himself, which was so exciting!  He was later overheard saying, “She’s dope, I wasn’t expecting that from her.” That was the coolest part about the whole thing, and it really opened up a lot of doors to other producers I’m currently working with, like Rodney Jerkins. I also recently finished a song with Claude Kelly who wrote “Grenade” with Bruno Mars. I feel so blessed to be working with such super talented people!

Carishma singer of "Glow in the Dark" produced by Timbaland

VF: What’s your take on the pop-dance music genre? How has that genre affected your sound in particular? How did you decide what kind of sound you wanted to go with?

Carishma: My sound has always been progressing. In high school I was doing more R&B. I’ve always loved dance music, and dance music of the 80’s and 90’s. Music changes the way fashion changes, so you kind of keep up with what’s going on, but put your own unique spin on things. I love Lady Gaga’s music, for example, and she’s one who’s responsible for bringing dance music to the pop scene. I’m still in the early days of figuring out what the exact sound is going to be, but I love music with catchy hooks, great melodies, that’s fun and energetic, so it’s going to sound like that.

VF: What are your biggest influences? Are there any artists in particular that helped you to mold your sound?

Carishma: I’ve always loved early Janet [Jackson] records, and I’m a big Michael [Jackson] and Madonna fan. I love the Immaculate collection. I used to put whole shows together for my parents when I was little and perform in the kitchen. I would choreograph and sing “Vogue” and “Like a Prayer,” and wouldn’t let them start eating until I was done with my performance! I love classic soul like Luther Vandross and Stevie Wonder. I’m really inspired by Diana Ross because she’s such a strong iconic female figure and her music is timeless. I listen to a lot of current pop too! Right now I really enjoy listening to Adele because she’s so soulful and sings with so much feeling. Her recent performance at the Grammy’s was especially moving.

VF: Who has been your number 1 supporter?

Carishma: It started with family and they really are a great support system for me. They are great role models, and I’m so lucky that I have them. But also the team of people that are around me- from Carrington, my best friend, and Raj, who’s doing A&R, to the producers I’m blessed to be working with- everyone on my team is so supportive and passionate about me.  They genuinely believe in me, which gives me the strength to keep moving forward. From my family to my team- they are the force behind me, pushing me to succeed, and they are truly amazing. I love them all so much.  

I want to thank Ryan Nickulas, he’s a wonderful part of my team as well. I appreciate having someone who knows how to keep my hair healthy, shiny, and beautiful. Ryan is the bomb for that! He’s a great person with a huge heart.

I also want to thank my fans, because their support means so much to me! I read all of their comments and it’s really encouraging. 

VF: In our interview with Ryan Nickulas, he referenced you as an incredible talent, and extremely hard worker. Has it been an easy transition for you? To what do you attribute your success?

Carishma: I attribute my success to my work ethic. Ever since I was about 13 I was going at this really hard, and I do hustle- I would attribute it to persistence. I won’t take no for an answer, and I’ll keep going. I think it’s so important not to be discouraged, because there’s been so much positive feedback for me. There are always people who say negative things, and I think it’s important to not let that stop you and to keep going. Never give up! 

VF: So transitioning between the work and now seeing the result- does it feel any easier now that you’ve gotten to this point? 

Carishma: It’s easier now that I’m not in school full-time, so I can really put 100 percent towards just my career and music and everything that goes along with that. At the same time, it’s new and everything that’s happening keeps getting more hectic and busier- I think with time I’ll get more and more experience and get used to it. I think there are two sides.

Carishma singer of "Glow in the Dark" produced by Timbaland

VF: As your career progresses, are there any artists you would hope to collaborate with in the future? 

Carishma: I would love to collaborate with any of my inspirations. Collaborating with Timbaland was a mind-blowing experience – he was one person I always wanted to work with growing up, especially as an Aaliyah fan.
I would love to work with Nikki Minaj, it’s great to see such a talented female rap artist in the pop field. I’d be interested to see what we could do together.VF: What is your favorite song that you’ve done so far? Were there any tracks that held special meaning for you?

Carishma: Yes. I just finished writing a song called “Like A Rainbow” with Claude Kelly. It means so much to me. It’s all about freedom of expression, being yourself, and embracing who you are. I can’t say too much about it because I don’t want to give it away too soon! But I’m really excited about it. We’re gonna be releasing it this spring along with a video.

VF: So what’s next for you? Will you tour, are there any projects in the works that you can let us in on?

Carishma: I just moved to LA to work on the remainder of my debut album, where I will be working with some great producers. I’m also going to be working on my live show, and hopefully be doing some shows by late Spring! Overall, I will be working in studio, songwriting and doing vocals, honing my choreography, and rehearsing my live show. We’re releasing “Like A Rainbow” this Spring and shooting for a summer release for the album. 

VF: What advice do you have for undiscovered artists who are fighting to make it in this industry?

Carishma: I would tell them to never give up. There’s so many times where I could have given up, and you just have to keep going. If you really want it and you’re really passionate about it, just shoot for your dreams. Lastly, my dad always told me, “Your career is a marathon, not a sprint. Just enjoy the journey.” I always keep that sentiment with me.

For more information on Carishma, check out her personal site and social media below!

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written by: Will Chaparro of One Sound Label and Rachel Margaritis