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The A&R Report got a chance to sit down with LA-based, DJ Carisma. If you are from California you know her name and all about her Young California movement, if not, here’s your chance get to know Carisma and find out about her movement. She’s helped break records for YG and Ty$. She is also working on a project of her own. Check out the interview below.
We are here with the legendary DJ Carisma, first off thank you for taking the time to do this interview. Let’s start out by telling our readers what you do and about your background.
I’m from Southern California. I grew up in the city of Santa Ana, the Orange County area. S/O to Santa Ana, Anaheim, Garden Grove, the whole Orange County! My mom is Hispanic and my dad is German-Italian. I’m a DJ at LA’s POWER 106 and on the side I’m doing Young California.
How did you get into DJ’ing? What inspired you?
I was just always music, music, music. I was big fan of the radio I remember I use to fall asleep with my radio. I would die to hear new music and I loved being that kid at school with all the new music; so that kind of just went with me and I figured out I could make a career out of it. I went with it and started DJ’ing at parties, churches, events; you name it I was there. I worked my way up through the grapevines.
Can you tell us about Young California? People outside of California don’t know much about it can you elaborate on it?
It’s crazy cause it started as an idea that we wanted to start a DJ Crew. DJ Amen from KMEL San Francisco, he was doing the same thing I was doing down here in LA. He was up there breaking local Bay Area artists and I was breaking local LA artists. There hasn’t really been that connection between LA and the Bay Area; so we just linked up and we hit it off.
“We said let’s do this and made a crew, Young California; we’ll get DJ’s from the cities throughout the coast. We’ll work as a team and break these records”
It started to connect with the music too because you started to see YG working with IAMSU and more LA and Bay Area collaboration. For a while Rap/Hip-Hop was missing the Westcoast element. It had such a bad rep with the whole Gangsta Rap era everyone was scared of it and then the Jerkin’ and Hyphy movement came along. There was a lot of street DJ’s doing, but we were the Radio DJ’s that really connected the two and gave them a platform to put out their music. That’s what Young California is about; we’re a bunch of DJ’s that support everything on the Westcoast, everything that is fly, fresh, and the whole new generation.
Who gave you your shot to become a Radio DJ?
There were different people at different periods of time. I remember there was DJ Spider, he game a number of his friend and to hook her up, So S/O to Spider, Smooth D. S/O to DJ Icy who showed me how to mix and this was on vinyl not on computers. Then there was DJ Ron and Mr. Chalk, S/O to Ron and Chalk who also showed me how to mix. From there the next biggest person to influence was Junior Moreno; the one who hired me for Radio and gave me an opportunity. He’s actually DJ Sourmilk’s (of Power 106 and the LA Leakers) brother. E-Man and Yesi also gave me a shot. Amen we just inspired one another and now we’re nationally known, you will hear our names in New York, Atlanta, it’s crazy.
Have you thought about expanding into the Eastcoast, South, and Midwest and have you DJ’d outside of California?
Of course, I love it I’m all about it. It’s crazy how we came up something so simple like Young California. We didn’t think it was going to grow to what it is now. I grew being a huge fan of A Tribe Called Quest, Nas, Scarface, Outkast, so I’ve always been into music from everywhere. Yes I’ve been on a couple different tours shows. I got to do a show this past winter with Khaled, Drama, Premier, Rakim was in the building, and it was crazy.
What’s your take on the rap/hip-hop and R&B music scene right now?
I think right now is a great time for Hip-Hop and R&B music. S/O to Mila J, Kehlani, like all this R&B that’s coming back. I feel like music has gone full circle like we’re really getting back to the 90’s essence-type music. I love it where it’s at and I already know the next thing coming back is Dancehall music, it’s going to happen watch.
So I heard your record “Anyway”, what’s your plan with the record? Are you planning a mixtape, album?
Yes, definitely doing an album and it’s going to be called DJ Carisma Presents. That was just the first single now I’ve released Want This featuring Bay Area up and comer R&B artist Cadence. Check out the singles in iTunes, just simply type in DJ Carisma. I got a bag full of records and album ready to go we are just getting all the marketing right to release the album properly. I’m excited for the people to hear what I put together.
Can we expect the major label artist like YG, Sage or up and coming artists? Is it going to pure Westcoast? Can you name a few features?
You can expect both, major and up and comers. No there’s a little bit of everything, I got a lot of R&B on the album. I got Ty$, Dom Kennedy, YG, Teeflii, Eric Bellinger, IAMSU, K-Camp to name a few. I’m very excited for the project.
How soon can we expect your album to be released?
We’re looking to June, around the summer time. We’re looking to release the next single in April, late April. I’m going to be dropping a lot videos too, so be on the look out for that as well.
Any advice you want to give to our readers?
If you want something really bad, you can get it you jut got to work hard. Don’t expect anything to be handed to you. Don’t complain just get it and your time will come.
Where can artists, our readers, anybody reach you at?
Social media from Twitter to Instagram look for me @DJCarisma. I’m on Power 106 Monday through Thursday at midnight tune in and Young California always on at midnight everynight tune in. Download my app at the AppStore and check out my singles Anyway and Want This Thank you for having me. Peace!