Saturday, February 25, 2017

Black History Month: KARIZMA

Karizma aka Kaytronik

Kris “Karisma” Klayton was born and raised in Baltimore, MD. He got his start at the early age of 13 DJing fashion shows and college parties. in 1980 he started doing a radio show on the public radio station WEAA playing a fresh mix of house music and hip-pop. Around the same time, he met fellow Baltimore DJ Spen. They soon found themselves working together on a mix show at V103. In the ‘90s he also did a well known weekend mix show with Scottie B and Shawn Caesar (Unruly Records). Alongside DJ Spen, Karizma started working on music production for the Jasper Street Company label and joined the Basement Boys house-music production group. Together, the team worked on remixes for A-list artists like Lenny Kravitz, Erykah Badu, Mary J. Blige, and Bob Sinclair. 

in the early to mid 2000s Karizma released a slew of white label remixes. In ’06, his track, “Twyst this” was given out to a few of his contacts including Gilles Peterson who featured it on his Worldwide program on BBC. The following year Karizma was voted one of the Best DJs of 2007 by XLR8R Magazine after releasing his debut album “A Mind Of It’s Own” on R2 Records. With a full schedule of gigs around the globe Karizma aka Kaytronik stayed busy through the late 2000s and in 2011, he did a mix for FACT Magazine. In the magazine, he was regarded as “one of the world’s premiere house producers for well over a decade.” in 2012 Karizma dropped the limited vinyl, 500 copy only “Karizma Collection 1999-2012” a triple LP. The following year, he released a third album, the double LP “Karizma Wall of Sound” on R2 and collaborated with Rokaz, UK star, Sean McCabe, and others. in 2014, he continued focusing on collaborations with likeminded artists such as Osunlade, Atjazz, and Deetron.

Kaytronik was the recipient of the “Maryland Master” Award in 2015 by the MD State Arts Council’s Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program for Baltimore Club Music. Later that year, he was featured in the New Yorker Mag and honored for keeping his Baltimore roots. To date, Karizma has been sponsored by progressive companies like Puma and Pioneer DJ and toured Asia in support of them. His other monikers include Kohesive, K2, K-man, Kayorcan, Krystopher, Karizma, Ltd., Deepah Ones (with DJ Spen), Izmabad (with Simbad), and Exist (with Atjazz). If you’v never Witnessed a Karizma DJ set, be prepared for a spiritual, funky, high energy set with amazing technical skill and timing. Karisma proved in a fairly short period of time, he is one of the greats.

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