New music from @CallMeKarizma connects again with pensive “Leave Me Alone. Sad”

CALL ME KARIZMA, “Leave Me Alone.Sad”

Minnesota’s engaging rapper and sometime singer Call Me Karizma continues to regularly bring us new songs, this time with “Leave Me Alone. Sad”.  It’s all about being trapped with conflicting emotions, questioning what many younger folks experience when trying to devote as much time to friendship and companionship, leaving less time for oneself, particularly when down or sad.  ‘Riz quickly and softly gets to his point in mainly a pretty minimal arrangement which picks up and gets a little meatier musically in the song’s last minute or so.  Few singers and songwriters can get inside the thoughts of their audiences like Call Me Karizma, which is simply why his fan base continues to grow and grow, as his recent U.S. tour has also proven.  Check out “Leave Me Alone. Sad” at the Spotify link above.

Published in: on April 20, 2017 at 10:59 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Poignant, direct lyrics and edgy but heart-felt lead vocal makes @WittLowry’s “Let Me Know” (feat. @ToriSolkowski) sink skin deep

WITT LOWRY featuring TORI SOLKOWSKI, “Let Me Know”

Connecticut-born rapper Witt Lowry returns with possibly his most personal song to date with “Let Me Know”.  Usually when records are produced, some of the more natural effects of a voice are smoothed over.  But in “Let Me Know”, you can hear Witt’s voice break numerous times, and it drives the honesty and poignancy of the lyrics home.  Tori Solkowski’s supporting vocal is a knowing, perfect foil for the heartbreak and edge brought up front by Witt.  Kudos for the production team for thinking outside of the box to make a straight-forward song much, much more.  Club DJ’s should give it a spin – it’s a head-turner.  Listen to “Let Me Know” at the link above.

Published in: on March 31, 2017 at 11:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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“Rain”is a singalong highlight of @CallMeKarizma’s new EP Emo, featuring #ErikAstle


The prolific Minnesota rapper/songwriter Call Me Karizma brings us his most recent EP Emo, following the single “Disconnected”, where he showed off his equally fine singing voice.  Emo sticks to Riz’s trademark downbeat rap style, which always has a lot to say, expressed often in amazingly simple words.  Such is the case with “Rain”, a singalong in which he duets with lower-voiced Erik Astle, after a few past ones with women such as Cass on “F U Till I F U”.  So in “Rain” the guys mope away while recalling past relationships wanting those old feelings to ‘wash away’.  It’s very much like bored kids just sitting by the window watching it rain, and perhaps that’s why Riz samples the voices of children, including what sounds like one from the classic Little Rascals movie series.  Nonetheless, it’s no mean feat to right simple-sounding songs, and few people get it right, but more often than not Call Me Karizma always finds the right words in the songs on Emo, including his tip of the hat to those who have experienced mental illness in “Zombie”.  Check out “Rain” and the Emo EP on Spotify.

Call Me Karizma is in the midst of a US tour also featuring Cosmos & Creature (and I’m sooo jealous as it isn’t coming anywhere near me).  Check out Call Me Karizma’s website for tour details.

Published in: on March 4, 2017 at 10:12 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Check out @Vastamusic’s ear-popping remix of @TPain’s “I’m Sprung”

T-PAIN, “I’m Sprung” (Vasta remix) (free DL)

I don’t usually write about older songs let alone songs that I’m not crazy about in general, but sometimes a creative remix allows me to put that aside.  Relative newcomer Vasta totally nails it with this reimagining of T-Pain’s “I’m Sprung”, which was his first huge hit back in 2005.  If you’re looking for the trademark (and to me,now outdated) vox effects of a T-Pain song then this isn’t the place.  “I’m Sprung” is now in a highly danceable deep house remix which should easily win over club DJ’s looking to inject surprises into their sets that will cause immediate reaction.  Think of this version of “I’m Sprung” as T-Pain channeled through gentler 90’s house music, giving it the effect of a mid-tempo ballad.  Download it for free above; an extended remix for clubs is available too!

Published in: on August 21, 2016 at 3:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Everyone sing! “f u till i f u” by @CallMeKarizma featuring #Cass

CALL ME KARIZMA featuring CASS, “f u till i f u”

To initiate his album due for official release tomorrow called Uninvited, Minnesota rapper and birthday boy Call Me Karizma has followed a similar pattern with this third preview, “f u till i f u”, as with the BILLCS Top 30 top tenner “u suck” – centre a grab bag of emotions around a great female vocal. Cass’ perfectly suited, somewhat disaffected sounding vocal, which carries the song with its refrain, is counterpoint to Karizma’s love-you-hate-you outpouring which his fans will just love. Plus like many of his best songs, you will find yourself singing along in no time. It’s not a story that everyone goes through, but Riz gives you his take and we can still all relate, younger and older.

Published in: on April 27, 2016 at 10:21 pm  Comments (1)  
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Entertaining Beasties-inspired rap from NYC’s The Village Sound (@tvsoundmusic) with “Circles”


NYC group The Village Sound – focusing on the Brothers Gorman, particularly vocalist Dan – provide a great introduction to what they’re all about in “Circles”.  There is so much familiar in this particular rap and hip hop style – particularly Beastie Boys, but Eminem, Linkin Park, and Korn all come to mind as well – tough and on-point, but fun and eminently listenable as well.  “Circles” is all about people listening to the voices of only a select few, when others have something potentially important to say.  So the Gormans definitely get their digs in while injecting ribald humour into the proceedings as well.  Dan makes a convincing, and commanding case in the video which would translate well on to the stage, and the camera clearly loves him 🙂  While rap is not always a style that’s in my regular wheelhouse of tunes, The Village Sound know their craft and their audience – do check out the well-shot video below.

Published in: on March 13, 2016 at 8:11 pm  Leave a Comment  
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#BILLCSTop30 #477 – February 22, 2016

I’m humbled by the amount of new visitors I’ve had recently to this blog and Twitter.  The BILLCS Top 30 is my personal chart of favourites which started out online in 1998 as the monthly Tuned-On! Top 10 and quickly grew into a bi-weekly Top 30 on a web page hosted by Geocities (remember them?).  Its focus over the years has shifted depending on what styles of music I’ve been drawn to the most.  It largely focuses on singles but album tracks are included.  Songs can only appear on the chart for 10 appearances (20 weeks) which keeps the new songs flowing.  In 2003, music was becoming much more globally in sync and I allowed songs to appear on the chart providing they were released … somewhere.  In 2009, a free download hit #1 for the first time.  A song must be ‘released’ (for pay or for free) in order to qualify to appear on the chart – a You Tube or Soundcloud post that is not consumable does not qualify.  Official remixes may chart instead of the original if that’s the version I prefer.

With that update provided, on to the new chart 🙂


The Top 10




  • The ongoing revival of Simon Curtis “8bit Heart” continues to grow as the cover to his upcoming book “Boy Robot” (cover above) was premiered by Just Jared Jr.  The book would not be forthcoming without Simon’s original 2010 mixtape (still available for free at which has recently been re-recorded as Super 8bit Heart and now available everywhere for purchase.  “8bit Heart” is still so much of a personal favourite, and continues at #1 for a second appearance in its delightful redux version.  The new version of “Super Psycho Love” joins “8bit Heart” in the Top 10, rising 16-10.
  • MAX (Schneider) holds at #2 with “Wrong”.  Do check out the infectious remix recently unleashed online by RyanEXOE featuring Taylor Bennett, above.

  • Before my next chart, the album 55 by The Knocks will finally be on release and should be the soundtrack to the first part of 2016, given that I heard most of the songs at their Toronto concert in January.  “Kiss The Sky”, featuring a fantastic vocal by Wyclef Jean, climbs 7-4 and is definitely eyeing #1.

  • Coincidentally, The Knocks are back-to-back with their own label signees, Sofi Tukker.  The NYC duo holds steady at #5 with the irresistible “Drinkee”.  Yeah it’s all in Portuguese, but no matter!

  • This chart marks the mini-invasion of the Top 10 by songs by the latest boy wunderkind, Troye Sivan.  The glorious “Talk Me Down” advances 12-7 while the heart-wringer “Wild” climbs 14-9 (both above).  And Troye’s “Fools” (below, rounding out the Blue Neighbourhood trilogy of videos) is the fastest riser, movin’ on up a few notches below 26-17.  This only means one thing: If you haven’t heard Troye’s Blue Neighbourhood, you are missing out.  Troye is playing a sold out show at the Danforth Music Hall in Toronto next week.

More Songs Movin’ On Up

  • Brandyn Burnette’s hip hop flavoured “Down” from his Made Of Dreams EP rises 15-12.  He and his gal Molly Moore (sitting pretty at #8 with “Blood. Sweat. Tears.”) have joined forces as Cosmos & Creature and will appear as the featured voices in an upcoming song by dance music performer Vicetone called “Brightside”!  Watch for it!

  • Elephante’s original “Age Of Innocence” (featuring Trouze and Damon Sharpe) is one pumped up slice of emotional EDM with a melody that stays with you for days.  It moves up 18-15.

  • Like “Hello”, it looks like Adele’s “When We Were Young” is about to dominate the dance charts in its remixed version.  But the still stunning original from the 25 album climbs 21-16.

  • Calvo’s “Vicious Girl” continues to be embraced by DJs throughout the world thanks to a memorable keyboard melody and an odd vocal that works quite well.  It jumps 27-20 and is well on its way.  It’s also a co-write by the talented Daniel Volpe (who as a performer is none other than Zorro Blakk).


  • It may be their best song yet.  Canadian bros DVBBS feature a Torontonian singer Dante Leon on “Angel”, which bows at #23.  DVBBS have previously charted with MOTi with “This Is Dirty” (#9) and with Sander van Doorn and Martin Garrix on “Gold Skies” (#3).
  • A bit of summer is upon us courtesy of the driving beat of the Cloudchord remix of “Loud Places”, an alternative hit last year for Jamie xx featuring Romy, from Jamie’s Grammy-nominated album In Colour.  This tropical anthemic remix stands on its own and arrives at #24.

  • Sweden will simply have to share its current #1 with us.  That song is “Faded” by Norwegian producer/DJ Alan Walker, which originally started as an instrumental called “Fade”.  It premieres at #25.
  • And at #27 is “u suck” by Minnesota rapper/producer Call Me Karizma (aka Morgan Parriott).  Its clever featured chorus from the song “Why Don’t You Do Right” is sung by UK vocalist Bev Lee Harling.  “u suck” is a wonderful slice of what sounds like ‘new era rap’.

Listen to the songs or watch the videos using the links on the pictures on the pretty and detailed web edition of my chartGo on, have a look and listen/watch 🙂

Listen to the BILLCS Top 30 Songs on Spotify!  Click on this link to take you there, and follow me on Spotify 🙂 BILLCS Top 30 Songs

Although it will not air this week, you can usually hear me online on every Monday at 9:00 pm EST counting down a Toronto Top 10 chart from yesteryear, and then again every Thursday in a rebroadcast at 7:00 a.m. EST on WROCK!


Minnesota rapper @callmeKarizma strikes a chord with “Euphoria”


KARIZMA, “Euphoria”

With his new song “Euphoria”, 20 year old Minnesota rapper Karizma wants everyone to know that it’s okay to fall in love.  He’s all about peace, love, co-operation, unity – positive messages from someone who enjoys the stage but never feels that he’s above anyone else.  He’s had his successes in the hip hop scene in the Twin Cities and deserves to breakout nation-wide.  I caught Karizma (aka Morgan Parriott) opening up for MAX (Schneider) in concert last month, and his energetic and personable set was a breath of fresh air, sort of like the kinder side of Eminem.  “Euphoria” (which revolves around a sample from “Radio” by Alkaline Trio) is a standout song and contrasts a downbeat melody with convincing lyrics that make you feel good.  He calls his largely teen fans ‘losers’ because he cares – he’s been down and out, and knows how to rise above it, and they’re all in this together to have a good time.  Give a listen to “Euphoria” below and be sure to catch a Karizma show when he comes to your city – guaranteed to make you smile.

Published in: on November 28, 2015 at 5:18 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Part 1 of Previews from @BrandynBurnette’s upcoming Made Of Dreams EP: new video for “I Wanna Be (Free)” featuring Nevelle Viracocha

BRANDYN BURNETTE featuring NEVELLE VIRACOCHA, “I Wanna Be (Free)” (video)

This is part one of a series of previews from Brandyn Burnette’s Made of Dreams EP, which will arrive on November 13.  Track listing:


I don’t usually write more than one or possibly two posts about the same song, but after it spent five non-consecutive appearances at the top of my personal chart, and after hearing a couple of remixes and watching the original and fan videos for Brandyn Burnette’s “I Wanna Be (Free)”, the song has become a key part of the core of my music in 2015 and likely this decade so far.  In no matter what form, the song takes hold of you and does not let go.

This new interpretation, featuring rapper Nevelle Viracocha, only goes to show that a great song is diverse and adaptable to many styles of music.  I originally thought “I Wanna Be (Free)” to be this carefree, southern California-influenced summer beach song of escape (from whatever you want).  I still fondly think of it this way for my own enjoyment.  But I’ve come to discover that the song was intended to be so much more, both a powerful and a societal statement about the desperate need to be free in various ways and forms.  

“I Wanna Be (Free)” is all Brandyn, including production, and he also co-directed the new video, which has a chaotic feel to reinforce the emotion in the song.  I’ve played this version for a few people, and some of them prefer it over the original.  Nevelle’s powerful rap to me almost overwhelms the gorgeous piano at the start but the hip hop style sets the no-nonsense tone for the scenes that follow.  This version is also a perfect companion to Brandyn’s other recent song “Stand Down (2150 A.D.)” .  By the time the video is all done, the need to be free still continues, it’s a dream we all chase.  

Watch the video above.  It’s the kind of video that will make you react and want to say something.  Feel free to add a comment on this blog post or tweet me @billcs .

Watch this blog for more previews from the Made of Dreams EP 🙂

Published in: on October 29, 2015 at 10:32 pm  Comments (1)  
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@OhJerzee and @Crystalynemusic smash it together on “Back Where We Started”

JERZEE featuring CRYSTALYNE, “Back Where We Started”

From the moment Crystalyne sings her first few notes, I could imagine “Back Where We Started” lighting up a room when it’s played.  The force of the song performed by rapper Jerzee and his fellow Canadian Crystalyne together should have no problem nailing the end-of-school-breakup-start-of-summer song category.  It’s great when rappers can show their flow from heavy-edged rap into pure pop soul and Jerzee perfectly complements his partner, who reminds me when I first heard Ariana Grande – I’m not looking for the whistle notes, just a solid delivery.  Well done – in tandem with “See You Again” by Wiz Khalifa and Charlie Puth, and one of my other faves, “Chasing Stars” by Canadians Corey Niles and Alex Lacasse.

Published in: on April 26, 2015 at 10:31 pm  Comments (2)  
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