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The Haggertys: Hey Hey We’re The Haggertys

By Johnny Griffith

There are times when things just click with someone and you know it from the start. Then, years later you come back across them and it’s almost as if no time has passed. That’s kind of what is like for local Tyler favorites The Haggertys. Having all been members of different bands, some together and some collaborative, over the years, the lineup of “Patrick James” Freden (guitars, vocals), Brad Thurston (bass, backing vocals), and Clint Hiltz (drums/percussion) have been together as The Haggertys since 2013 and have been exciting audiences ever since with their setlists of 90’s standard rock covers as well as reinterpreting some classic songs along the way.

We sat down with the guys recently to get some more history on the band and a better snapshot of the members.

Johnny: How about we start with a brief bio of yourself and your background in music.

Patrick: I was born in Minnesota, moved to Tyler in 1974 and then left in the summer of 1977. I basically grew up in Ocean Springs, Mississippi playing Dungeons & Dragons, riding BMX bikes, and listening to albums over at a friend’s house. My first band was a punk band called Spastic Fury in high school. After that, I did some college in Mobile, Alabama, and eventually came back to Tyler in 1988. I played in bands all through the 90’s and started a solo acoustic project in 2005. I’m a self-employed graphic artist by day building websites, designing logos, etc., and music is my second business. I’m a full-time dad and husband, a professional tinkerer who likes craft beers, Les Pauls, Orange Amps, and hanging out in my favorite music store, Action Sound in Hawkins.

Brad: I’ve been playing music since I was 15 when I purchased my first guitar. It cost me $50 and was in a brown paper bag in pieces. After getting it put together, I started looking around for a band. No one needs a guitar player, so the next year I went and bought a bass, found a band, and the journey began. The start of my high school music career included rock bands like Conspiracy, Guardian, and Blue Steel. After high school, I branched out and did a did brief stint in a country band.

The call of the Hair Bands drew me to California, Hollywood to be exact. I moved in with a friend from high school, joined a band, and played the Troubadour on Santa Monica Blvd. within the first 3 weeks of being in California. I played in other bands there, like Hammer Lane. I did shows at The Roxy Theater and The Whisky A Go-Go. After wrapping up my California time, I moved back to Tyler, found an alternative band, Center Mass, which was later known as “Did Lee Squat?” (DLS?). That’s where I met “Patrick James.” We played venues in Dallas, Houston, Austin, and even Shreveport, Louisiana.

This too ended and I started my family, got a job, and put the band on the back burner. After some time, I started playing with Livid, a cover band around the Tyler/Longview area. This project just kinda wound down and I took a job out of town. More time passed with both family and job changes. I started playing bass in a praise band for Pollard United Methodist Church and did that for a few years until one day Patrick called. No, it was not the “I’m getting the band back together” kinda call. He wanted to redo his current project. I think he said he wanted to play more electric guitar and just rock out…so here we are.

Clint: I’m the baby of the band, born in Austin in 1974. I lived in Alvin, Texas through my 5th-grade year and moved to East Texas in 1986 where I joined the Union Grove percussion section in junior high and continued throughout high school. I played in the band and every sport Union Grove offered. As I got into high school, I was fortunate enough to be allowed to play football then at halftime, I’d take off my shoulder pads and march in the marching band. In 1992, I moved to Tyler and was offered a scholarship to join the Tyler Junior College drumline, better known as the Apache Punch. My hobbies are hunting, fishing, shooting guns, and working out. Currently, I work at Suddenlink as a Commercial Sales Supervisor.

Johnny: Who would you say was personally responsible, individually, for instilling that love of music you’d take the rest of your lives?

Pat: My mom for sure. She was the one that got me going as a kid…from playing Johnny Cash records to buying me a guitar and taking me to lessons.

Brad: My mom, she had me taking piano at the age of six, and we loved Elvis.

Clint: Hands down, my father. He played drums as well and he got me started gigging at the early age of 13 when I would sit in for him and play Wipeout.

Johnny: When did you three first meet?

The Haggertys: During the 90’s, Pat and Brad were playing in a band called DLS? and Clint was in a band called Affinity. The two bands did several shows together, including one at the Oil Palace in Tyler with DLS? as the headliner and Affinity providing support…the friendship and collaboration grew from there.

Johnny: How did the idea of starting the Haggertys come together?

The Haggertys: Sometime in the summer of 2013, Pat was doing his solo acoustic thing and had done some earlier shows with Clint and Brad as the Patrick James Band but these were still “acoustic” shows. After playing these kinds of shows for so long, Pat just got the itch to play with electrics and amps again, and Clint was on board to “get loud.” A permanent bass player was recruited and the band was formed. Really the Haggertys morphed out of the Patrick James Band and the guys started rehearsing so the song list grew. The band covers lots of material but kinda focuses on 90’s rock. The old “If it’s a good song, it’s a good song….doesn’t matter what genre it’s from” always applies.

Johnny: Okay, so the name. Where did it come from and whose idea was it?

The Haggertys: During one of the early rehearsals the idea of a band name came up and of course lots of stuff was thrown around. Pat noticed that all the band members had some righteous beards going at the time and this got him to thinking about people with beards and the one person that came to mind was a childhood hero from the show Grizzly Adams. Pat said, “the best beard ever, in my opinion, hands down, was Dan Haggerty, let’s call the band that!” So originally he wanted the band to be called the Dan Haggertys which morphed into the Damn Haggertys which quickly changed, for obvious reasons, and the band settled in with The Haggertys.

Johnny: When and where was the first Haggertys show?

The Haggertys: The first show was March 22nd, 2014, at Shoguns (#2) under their black tent outside. It was an alright turnout, and the band had fun. We later learned that many people were turned away or had to wait to get outside under the tent because of limited seating and fire codes.

Johnny: How would you describe your sound to a new listener?

The Haggertys: Straight-up, no-frills, fun-having, 3-piece rock cover band with a few surprises.

Johnny: You guys move in and out of different genres and decades of music pretty easily. Would you say there is one you’re more comfortable with than the others?

The Haggertys: Being a 3-piece with everyone doing something, we kinda gravitate towards 90’s rock songs we can easily play and cover well. More complicated songs with multi instruments tend to be harder (or impossible) to pull off with just three instruments, so we shy away from them. However, the art of taking a song and “making it your own” remake/cover is what we strive to do. Really any song we can cover well and make our own stays on the set list.

Johnny: Are you primarily covers or are you throwing some original stuff in the mix?

The Haggertys: We all played in what we called “Showcase Bands” back in the 90’s…all original songs and we all made albums, struggled to get gigs that paid, rehearsed a lot, tried to get signed, etc. Today we just play covers, play a lot, rehearse way less often, don’t care about getting signed, and get paid to play, which is nice. We won’t rule out that one day we might start writing songs again, but it isn’t on anyone’s radar anytime soon. We have done some reunion shows by combining Did Lee Squat? and Sand Dollar band members into a group called Did Lee Dollar. This allowed us to reconnect with old bandmates and fans and play some of the old originals. Come to think of it, it’s probably time for another one of those shows.

Check out The Haggertys online at:



  • Thursday, July 12th – Razzoo’s, Tyler, 7-10pm
  • Friday, September 14th – Gregg County Fair on Dennis Hiltz Memorial Stage, Longview


Profetic Calaveras: Bringing Life Through Music

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By Johnny Griffith

The name is fittingly memorable as the music they create and isn’t what you’ll find on most stages in the area on any given weekend. The Durango, Colorado trio known as Profetic Calaveras (PC) originated right here in Tyler and has been using their music to spread positivity ever since. An intriguing blend of several different influences, PC combines cultures and musical philosophies for a set full of grooves which will leave you smiling and wanting more.

As they are headed back to East Texas for a show at Clicks Live on June 1st, we recently caught up to Profetic Calaveras to find out more about them.

Johnny: What is the current lineup of Profetic Calaveras?

Profetic Calaveras: Alex Ruiz on guitar and vocals, Carolina Ruiz on bass, and Gab Kaplan on drums.

Johnny: Who do you individually feel was most responsible for starting you down a musical path, and why?

Alex: My cousin, Emmanuel, was the person who got me to listen to a lot of bands that became really influential for me later in life. He was the first person to get me started on guitar. A lot of my family is musical; I feel like it has always been flowing in my blood.

Cali: In 2015, my brother-in-law had a dream and woke up saying that I was meant to be a bass player. After that he taught me some technique. With my sister as the drummer, me as the bass player, and him (Kendrick) as the guitarist, we started playing. I wrote my first, very basic, riff within a week or so; it took some direction and guidance but that became one of our first songs as a band.

Gab: My parents took me to see The Who (what was left of them anyway) before the age of 7. They always took me to shows and supported me playing music in school and with bands. From high school marching band to college ensembles to Drum Corps International, they were always there cheering me on. As for actually starting, my babysitter Michelle was the one who got me my first guitar.

Johnny: Who were some of your biggest early musical influences?

Alex: Jimi Hendrix, Under Oath, Mexican pop music, Christian radio. I was all over the place.

Cali: Some Brazilian music my parents loved like Antonio Carlos Jobim, Gilberto Gil, Gabriel Pensador, Seu Jorge, and Ana Carolina. And my main bass influence, Victor Wooten.

Gab: The Who, AC/DC, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Rush.

Johnny: When did the idea of PC begin to form?

Profetic Calaveras: After touring with Alex’s previous project called Star Steed, it felt like the music was starting to move in a different direction. All the members at that point begun to go their separate ways and Cali and Alex decided to create a project all their own.

Johnny: So what about that name? How did that originate and what’s the significance?

Profetic Calaveras: We brainstormed for a while. At one point Alex looked at the “Calavera” tattoo on his arm and said the name offhandedly. After that we decided that spiritually that meant a lot more to us. It reminded us of the scripture Ezekiel 37, where Ezekiel is taken to a field of dried bones in a vision and is asked to bring them to life with his words. He does this and raises an army. The band’s name to us basically means that we can bring life and color to people through our music, and its meaning celebrates the beauty of life. The Calaveras aspect is a nod to Alex’s Mexican heritage and the imagery that comes up with the Day of the Dead celebration.

Johnny: When and where was the first Profetic Calaveras show?

Profetic Calaveras: Technically, our first show was in NYC at a place called “The Shrine;” however, right before coming on stage one of Cali’s tuning pegs completely broke off. Needless to say the show didn’t go as planned and is probably one of the worst shows we ever played. So, our first official full band show was at ETX Brewing Company in Downtown Tyler. The line-up was Alex, Cali, Daniel Armstrong on melodica, and Eddie Farina on cajón.

Johnny: About how many shows a month does PC play these days?

Profetic Calaveras: We usually play 2-3 shows a month. We have been in a little bit of hiatus since moving to Durango and we are still trying to do some more recording to release our first album this fall, titled “The Road Ahead.”

Johnny: There is a very cool vibe to your music, a sort of laid back complexity. How would you describe your sound and how did that sound evolve as you started practicing and putting pieces together?

Profetic Calaveras: The sound is truly unique with us having difficulty to really pinpoint a specific “genre.” Sometimes we just tell people it’s like ‘Vulfpeck met Santana’ but there’s also so much more we like to sprinkle in. We like to think the band’s music is a mirror image of us as individuals, and that our differences and similarities form a cohesive unit. Lately, since Gab has joined the band, we’ve been really digging into a more progressive rock sound.

Johnny: What would you say the ratio of cover tunes to originals is?

Profetic Calaveras: Honestly, it’s about 80% original tunes to 20% covers. When we do covers, we really like to just make them our own, messing with different genres and time signatures.

Johnny: You originated in East Texas but are now based out of Durango, Colorado. What prompted the move and how has the reception been to the band up there?

Profetic Calaveras: Well, it started when we introduced a new member to the band, Zion Spencer. We booked a gig at the Venice Beach Bar in LA in September 2017, and were able to put together a West Coast tour that lasted about 3 months. Zion suggested we spend the winter in Durango, since he had lived here for 3 years and had family out here. When we finally got to Durango we fell in love with its chill mountain town vibe. It has been a privilege to grow roots here and call this place home. The reception to our music has been great; there is a thriving music scene there and they have welcomed us with open arms.

Johnny: Profetic Calaveras is playing a show at Clicks Live on June 1st. What brings PC back to East Texas for the show?

Profetic Calaveras: It’s actually a few reasons. We’ve wanted to show our newest member, Gab, our old stomping grounds, and the opportunity presented itself when we were asked to play our friend’s wedding in Denton. From there we decided to do a little mini-tour and go do the fun stuff in Texas — we’re calling it a “play-cation.”

Johnny: What is on the radar for the rest of 2019 and beyond?

Profetic Calaveras: We are planning some more dates around Colorado during the summer, and we’ll be releasing our first album “The Road Ahead” in the fall. 2019 is looking great!

Check out Profetic Calaveras at and

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Al & The Longshots: A Sure Bet For Great Music

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by Johnny Griffith

Webster’s Dictionary defines a long shot as “a venture involving great risk but promising a great reward if successful,” but one listen is all one needs to realize the irony in the name of local band Al & The Longshots. As they are anchored on stage by soulful and raw vocals along with a powerful three piece band, their listeners run little risk of not being rewarded at one of their shows. Together since 2015, Al & The Longshots have been spinning new takes on crowd favorites ever since and continue to increase their stage time in the area as more people figure out these Longshots are a sure thing.

I sat down with the band this month to find out a little more about them:

Johnny: What is the current lineup of Al & The Longshots?

Dusty Douglas: I play drums for the band. Charles Praytor is our bassist, Preston Dotson is our guitar player, and Allison McGee is our lead singer.

Johnny: How did you all meet?

Dusty: I met Charles at TJC while we were both students studying music back in the mid-2000’s. In the summer of 2015, we were both in a production of “The Buddy Holly Story” at Tyler Civic Theatre, and that is when I met Preston. We were all playing members of Buddy’s backing band, The Crickets. I met Allison when Preston and Charles started putting this band together.

Preston: Charles was one of my teachers at TJC in the music program. During my last semester he asked if I would be interested in doing a musical which is where we became friends; this is also where I met Allison. As Dusty had mentioned, we met during “The Buddy Holly Story.”

Allison: I was driving on I-20 and this hairy man waved me down and asked me to be in a band…okay, I’m kidding. Charles pretty much brought everyone into the band. I knew him from some previous theater productions we’d worked on together. I trusted him because I knew he was talented and wouldn’t dedicate time to something he didn’t actually believe in, and he wouldn’t waste my time either. Preston had impressed me in a previous show and Dusty was the new face for me.

Charles: I met Allison in 2004 through community theatre, she was actually the first person I met after moving to Tyler. We reconnected in 2011 to do a Patsy Cline revue, and that was my first introduction to her as a vocalist. I was developing my own project at the time, but I immediately made a mental note to work with her in the future. I met Dusty as a student at Tyler Junior College in 2005. I was a classical-track pianist, but knew I wanted to get into a band eventually. I was enamored with his writing/recording abilities, even though at the time it was about as far away from my own style as I could imagine. I kept up with him when we parted ways for different colleges, occasionally picking his brain through email or a random phone call. I met Preston during my first year as a professor at TJC. I could tell we weren’t that far apart in age, and asked if he’d play for a musical I was working on that summer. He agreed, and we kept up a correspondence over text, mostly bonding over our shared gear-head traits.

Johnny: Are you all local or are there some transplants to the area?

Dusty: I moved to Tyler shortly after 9/11. I was born in Houston and lived there until I was a teen. My family moved to East Texas and I’ve been here ever since, with the exception of a brief stint where I lived in Los Angeles, California.

Allison: I’m a Tyler native with some tenure in Houston as well. Moved back with my family in middle school and been here ever since.

Charles: I was raised in the suburbs of Dallas, and moved to Tyler as a teenager.

Preston: I’m super local.

Johnny: What about the name? What’s the story behind Al & The Longshots?

Dusty: We wanted a name that had a nice ring to it, and that would also pay homage to the talent of our singer and frontwoman, Allison.

Allison: “Al” was a nickname I acquired in high school, and it’s followed me right on into my 30’s.

Dusty: We thought it would be a fun surprise for anybody hearing and seeing us for the first time. As far as The Longshots, it fits us backing boys in the band perfectly.

Charles: Fun fact, we originally were going to call ourselves “The Vanguard” but soon found out that was the name of D’Angelo’s band. I think it worked out for the best.

Preston: All my ideas got shot down so I picked the one they came up with that was ok.

Johnny: What first got you into music individually?

Dusty: I first got into music in elementary school when my mother got me a violin and enrolled me in the Suzuki Music program in Houston. I really enjoyed it while it lasted. Later on, as a young teen, I started taking an interest in rock music and my parents bought me a Colgate-green Hohner guitar and Carvin practice amp. I taught myself how to play and have been writing, recording, and performing music ever since. I started tinkering with drums a few years after that.

Preston: My family on my mom’s side was musical, my grandfather played with Elvis a few times while they were in the army and my uncle has played with several large country acts. My parents surprised me with my first guitar when I was in the third grade, and later on when I outgrew it, my grandparents on my dads side got me my first nice acoustic guitar, a Martin which I carried everywhere and played anytime I could. Soon I moved on to electrics and somehow wound up in the music program at TJC playing classical during the day and in country bands at night.

Allison: We’re all singers in my family. My parents raised me on everything good from Al Green to Aerosmith to Whitney Houston to CCR, and I got into musical theater at seven years old. We didn’t have the money for voice lessons, so I just listened and imitated what I heard until my own until my sound started to develop.

Charles: I had an art teacher in Dallas that would do these “performance nights” at her house with her student’s families. There were some incredible artists and musicians in that group. This one family that played violin and cello told my parents to get us in music lessons, even if it was just on recorder. So recorder it was for about 6 months, then we added piano. As a kid I always loved the attention playing a piano brought, so I stuck with it and it’s turned into a career.

Johnny: What was the first show as a band?

Allison: The first Al & The Longshots show was at Click’s in Tyler. The guys were all pretty much pros at performing in bands, but this was my first band gig ever. I’d been on stage almost my whole life, but that show was different than anything I’d done. I don’t think I moved more than three times in 2 hours.

Dusty: Real talk, Al rocked the house that night harder than the three of us combined.

Allison: The set went well and we started a small following that’s gradually grown into a pretty fantastic crowd.

Johnny: How would you describe your musical style? Has it evolved since the band formed?

Allison: We always struggle with this question, because we cover such a wide range of music from jazz to rock to r&b…we kind of do it all. That’s also what I love about our “sound” – you can’t really pin it down to just one thing. I think it reflects us really well – we’re an eclectic group and so is our music.

Johnny: You all have done some fantastic covers in your shows, are there any that seem to have become crowd favorites? Is that the same as the band favorite?

Dusty: There definitely seem to be a few that always deliver. Off the top of my head, I’d say “Kiss” by Prince, “Mainstream Kid” by Brandi Carlile, and “Feel It Still” by Portugal. “The Man” always get the crowd moving.

Preston: I may be biased but I tend to see a large reaction on the guitar heavy songs, “Sweet Child O’ Mine,” “Pride and Joy,” etc.

Charles: I feel like people never get tired of “Folsom Prison Blues.”

Dusty: So true. You can’t go wrong with Johnny Cash.

Johnny: What about originals? Is the band doing any writing at this point?

Allison: We have a few in the works. Between gigs and rehearsals and our “day” jobs, it’s hard to find time to really sit down and write, but we work well together and I’m blessed with a group of talented guys who can easily take something that starts in my head and give it legs.

Johnny: About how many shows a month are you currently performing?

Dusty: Generally, we play about 2-3 shows a month. Typically, these vary from venue gigs to private events.

Johnny: What does Al & The Longshots have on the radar for the rest of the year we should be aware of?

Allison: We really want to get writing. It’s finding the time between gigs, which is a good problem to have, but that’s where we want to go.

Dusty: Agreed. We’re also playing more and more private gigs, which is really fun. Venue gigs are great too, but being able to provide the soundtrack for someone’s special event can be a really rewarding and intimate experience.

Johnny: How would you describe your show to a first timer?

Dusty: Pure fun. Our goal has always been to use our band and musical abilities to lift spirits and provide an outlet for folks to come out and have a good time. Nothing satisfies us more than playing in front of an energetic crowd that is letting the music carry them away for a few hours.

Allison: We like to play with our crowds. That can mean getting someone to sing with me, or Chuck and Preston mingling with the crowd while they’re playing. More than half of our shows end up as a dance party anyway so we figure, why not go with it? Make it fun. Make it interactive. We’re goofy people, and we don’t take ourselves too seriously. People respond to that.

Johnny: Thanks for taking the time with us.

Band: Thank you!

Keep track of where Al & The Longshots are online at


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Karisia Hernandez: Learning To Fly

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By Johnny Griffith

It’s easy to be impressed with the resume of Karisia Hernandez. This past year alone, she was nominated in three categories at the ETX Music Awards, taking home two honors. Oh, and she had only been performing publically for about a year when she was originally nominated. Now add in the fact she’s only 18, and on top of teaching herself piano at age 13, and guitar a couple of years later, she’s also a senior at Tatum High school, a Lieutenant of the Tatum Drill Team Eaglettes and the Vice President of the Tatum Drama Club.

Yeah, impressive is an understatement.

Now, fresh off releasing her first single AND a video back in November, Karisia is geared up for the last half of her senior year, and she isn’t content to just sit back and look at the trophies on the shelf, she’s intent on continuing to make her mark on the local and regional music scene. She took time out of her busy schedule this month to answer some questions for us about her journey so far and what’s in store for her next.

Johnny: What is your first memory of music in your life?

Karisia: Besides my mother singing Spanish lullabies to me, my first recollection of music was in our church. When I was young, our church in Tatum was very small and had no choir. So, my mother and my aunts and uncles made up our church choir. I remember my aunt would play the bass, my uncles would play their guitars, and my mother sang.

Johnny: When do you recall first taking an interest in being an artist?

Karisia: In the summer of 2010, we had family members that would travel for work across the state stay at our house in between jobs. In their younger years, however, they had a Tejano band. They performed around Texas in the 1980s. Anyway, while they stayed at our house they would stay up all night singing and playing songs. I remember them telling stories about touring and how many people they had met and places that they saw. I think that I took an interest in becoming an artist listening to those stories, thinking about how cool they were. They use to kid me and say, “Let us be your roadies!” or “Let’s buy a bus and we’ll take you to sing.” To this day they will call out of the blue and ask if I’m ready to purchase that bus!

Johnny: Who has been one of the biggest influences musically in your life to this point?

Karisia: Billie Eilish. Definitely. She is such a well-rounded artist on so many levels. Her voice is crazy good and her lyrics are incredible. I am absolutely in love with her songs and how they sound. It’s like she can put any thought into words perfectly and her musicality is amazing. So, basically, every time I write a song I think about her songs and think, “Okay, this is your goal.” Not that I want my music to sound like hers, but she definitely inspires me.

Johnny: When was your first public performance? What did you learn from that first experience that has stuck with you?

Karisia: Besides open mics and public competitions, the very first place that I was asked to perform was the LifeBridge church for a back to school bash. I only performed one song, “Riptide” by Vance Joy, but to this day I believe that was one of my best performances. One of the things I learned that has struck me is to always be prepared for questions. Whether it be the person that hired you, or the person that announced you, or even people after your performance. People always have questions, and you have to be prepared for them. If not, you’ll end up stuttering for forever! I know I do! To this day, even if I am prepared for a question I always say “um” in almost every sentence. It’s something I’m working on.

Johnny: At what point did you think this might be something you’d want to take a little more seriously than just a hobby?

Karisia: Well, I always sang here and there at family reunions and such, so people knew that I sang. It wasn’t until a family friend requested a song for me to sing and post that I realized I wanted to take singing more seriously. The video was recorded in a closet with me playing the keyboard and singing and my sister accompanying me. Once we posted it the responses were all so great. I just knew I wanted to entertain people with music. I went to an open mic at Kawa’s where Matt Coats had let me go up and sing a song. I was so nervous! One song and I was trembling. Now, I play three hours and I’m ecstatic coming off stage. I truly love performing.

Johnny: Your bio simply describes you as an “alternative” artist, but there are obviously influences from several different genres present as you perform. How would you describe your style to someone about to hear you for the first time?

Karisia: From what others have told me, I would say that my style or sound is very easy to listen to. I’ve been told my voice is soft, which that I believe. Genres that I usually listen to and feel my music should be placed in is indie. I think my style fits and leans more that way, anyway.

Johnny: At what age did you write your first song? Do you still perform that first song?

Karisia: I wrote my very first song at 15 years old sitting in my room with my keyboard in the middle of the night, which, to this day, is about the time that I do most of my writing. The song was called “Pretty Boy” and it was a very upbeat song and sounded very much like a 15-year-old wrote it! Maybe one day, I might go back and rewrite some lyrics and put it out. But for now, no, I don’t perform and have never performed the song live. Yet, it is one of my mother’s favorite originals of mine.

Johnny: Being still in high school, have you had any challenges juggling school and music?

Karisia: All of the time! There have been multiple occasions where some of my activities overlap and I have to choose one over the other. For example, the date I scheduled to record new music happened to be the same day of my town’s Christmas parade which my drill team participates in. It gets a little hectic sometimes, but I have my mom always pushing me and helping me to stay on track. Honestly, if it wasn’t for her I probably wouldn’t be able to do all the things I do.

Johnny: At the 2018 ETX Music Awards you took home Junior Artist Of The Year and Latin Artist Of The Year. How did it feel be the top of the class in those two categories and what sort of pressure, if any, do you feel to build upon that success?

Karisia: Before the awards, I had only been doing music publicly since October of 2017. So, even getting nominated in one category was surprising, let alone three. Taking home two out of three nominations was such an honor. Everyone seemed to know what to say when they went to accept their awards but I was searching for words the first time and didn’t know what to say the second time. It was all so amazing, though. There’s some pressure from winning those awards. Like I have to uphold a reputation, kind of. However, it’s all uphill from here. Everything I do, I make sure it’s at least a little better than what I did before. Each gig, song, cover has to be better in some way. The pressure pushes me, though, in a good way.

Johnny: You recently released your first single back in November, “People Bore Me,” and a video to accompany it. What did you learn from that experience that you feel has helped improve you as a performer?

Karisia: “People Bore Me” was a song that I performed at the East Texas Music awards. With all the positive responses I got from it, I decided to get it recorded and out. I was blind going into the recording studio and didn’t know what to expect. Thankfully, Orlando Williams, my producer, helped guide me every step of the way. The process was way different than what I was expecting and he pulled me out of my element to get great sounds for the track. Juays Photography is responsible for my music video. The music video also pulled me way out of my comfort zone. I am really shy and awkward so I felt really odd at times, However, they helped me and gave me some tips and overall made my first video really amazing. All of this, recording a song and shooting a video, helped me improve as a performer in a number of ways. I play with different sounds on songs to see what sounds best and now I’m not afraid to make some faces to go along with songs. For the most part, I’m no longer just singing songs, I am performing them. Even if I am sitting down.

Johnny: What is on the horizon for you in 2019 that excites you in music?

Karisia: For my music career, 2019 is a very exciting year in itself. I will be releasing two more songs in the beginning of April and they sound SO good already even though they aren’t done yet. They are a little different than my first single, but I love them and I am so excited for everyone to listen to them. I also will be moving out of East Texas and closer to the Houston area because I will be attending Sam Houston State University where I will pursue forensics but minor in music. I have already started booking over there for later in the year. I’m very excited to be playing in new venues and growing my audience.


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