Call him whatever you want — Karizma, Riz, maybe as his Twitter bio reads, “emo post pop cult leader” — but momentum like this demands you’re going to be calling him something.
With over 25 million Spotify streams on self-released music already to his name, Call Me Karizma has officially debuted his first track under the newly relaunched legendary label Arista Records.
“Serotonin” is a song about “my struggle with anxiety and depression,” Karizma tweeted. “This is for us. The Misunderstood. It is yours now, forever.” To start, his voice accompanies a thumping, steady guitar to drive home searing lyrics such as “Break the fucking mirror ’cause I hate the image / Every single tear I cry is wasted liquid.”
In the “Serotonin” music video, which also dropped Friday, Karizma wears an orange jumpsuit and makes intense eye contact with viewers as he stands in an empty jail cell. As the chorus hits, he’s staring into a puddle at his own reflection now fully dressed and in society singing, “Where are you going, my serotonin? / I’m feeling alone, and the world’s so cold.” As a manic beat builds, he raps, “I took a thousand happy pills, but I’m still emo / Acting like I ain’t affected by the hate directed every second / Maybe I should fuckin’ end it now.”
Of the meaning behind the music video, he told Billboard, “It gives a look into the two different worlds that someone who deals with mental illness lives in.”
For many people, his “gloomy cult,” the Minneapolis, Minn. native’s music has long been a way of life. On Nov. 24, he tweeted that 12 new people “got gloomy cult tattoos this week!”
His fan base is so dedicated — connected so deeply with his inner-pain-turned-music in what is the most visceral form of mental health awareness — that in February 2015, as a sophomore in college paying his own way, he was brought onto Mod Sun and blackbear’s 35-date tour after those fans tweeted at them so much directly that they couldn’t ignore Call Me Karizma. As it stands now, the 23-year-old has opened for Wiz Khalifa, worked with acclaimed producers such as David Pramik (X Ambassadors, LANY) and toured the U.S. four times.