Years later, Carishma's doggedness is paying off. The New Jersey native has been earning buzz for her debut single, "Glow in the Dark," which was produced by Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins, the studio ace behind hits for Britney Spears and Janet Jackson, among others. Her second single, "Keep Hangin' On," is a collaboration with none other than Timbaland.
In a Q&A with AOL Music, the sultry triple threat -- she sings, dances and acts -- discusses the importance of hard work and influence of Janet Jackson. She also recalls the sky-high feeling -- literally -- that came with seeing her video debut on MTV.
What was the most important lesson you learned growing up in the entertainment industry?
The most important lesson I have learned growing up in the music industry is to have perseverance, dedication to your craft and to never take "no" for an answer. At one point, I was turned down by a major label, but that made me work 100 percent harder. Eventually I landed the opportunity of a lifetime: recording my first single, "Glow in the Dark," with Rodney Jerkins, and my second, "Keep Hangin On," with Timbaland. If I had given up when I was initially told "no," I would not be where I am today.
You worked with the same producer as Britney Spears, Lady Gaga and Janet Jackson -- have you been able to meet any of these amazing artists? Which of the three would you say inspires your music the most?
Working with Rodney Jerkins on my first single, "Glow in the Dark," was definitely life-changing. I have not met Britney, Gaga or Janet yet, but I admire all of them. I would have to say that Janet Jackson definitely inspires me the most. I fell in love with her message of empowerment after hearing the Janet album, because she let herself show her real, natural and sensual beauty, which is something that I hope to do with my music. I am also in love with her dynamite dance moves!
Where were you the first time you heard "Glow in the Dark" out in the world? Can you describe that moment and the feeling you had?
The first time I ever heard "Glow in the Dark," I was on a plane en route to Miami, and my video premiered on MTV during the flight! I almost jumped out of the seat! When I landed, I checked my Twitter and a lot of my fans had messaged me saying they had seen it as well. That gave me a great feeling of accomplishment and motivation to continue pursuing my craft.