Carissa Johnson Is “Running Uphill,” As She Climb's To The Top


Photo by: Joe Macfadzen

Who is singer-songwriter, Carissa Johnson? Well, simply put, she's well-known for her straightforward, no BS lyrical approach.


Hailing from Boston, MA, Carissa Johnson has excellent energy that propels her songs in a forward direction. She strives to be as authentic as possible and does so by offering a raw, almost unplugged-like sound within her music. She isn't afraid to be her natural self, and she proves this to be true within each and every release she provides to the music world. The latest offering from the rhythm-driven artist is titled "Running Uphill," which is accompanied by an official music video.



Featuring artist Cliff Notez, "Running Uphill" is a great representation of what Carissa Johnson is all about, music-wise and mindset-wise. She's giving that real, straight-up performance she's often known for and letting listeners explore her inner thoughts in the process.


"Running Uphill" is driven by a guitar-based melody, which fluctuates between rhythms. Carissa Johnson truly exudes an energy that's infatuating, one that sends a subtle current through listening ears and bodies.


Carissa Johnson took "Running Uphill" as an opportunity to share lyrics that work to exhilarate listeners to keep a strong mental mindset. She brightens minds with positively impactful words, which leaves a warm mark in our listening books. Whatever Carissa Johnson is up to next, we're absolutely wanting to hear the product of it.


"Running Uphill" is now available on digital streaming platforms.


Photo by: Melissa Desmond

Welcome to BuzzMusic, Carissa Johnson. "Running Uphill" seemed to have a powerful mantra embedded within a catchy and straightforward melody. Can you share more on the intentions behind the lyrics for this particular song?

This song came about a couple of years ago when I felt slightly lost and exhausted from the lifestyle I was living. I got used to playing shows every night and traveling so much and began feeling like sometimes I wasn't going anywhere. The song is about perseverance and standing firm and fighting on despite obstacles and setbacks. It was born from a feeling of determination mostly, and it's a song I somewhat wrote to myself, to tell myself to keep going and to remember that it's not the end of the world and what can sometimes feel like a never-ending uphill climb will all be worth it in the future.


How would you describe your collaboration with Cliff Notez in "Running Uphill?" Would you work with this artist again for future music?


Cliff is so fun to work with! I've always admired his work and his ability to bring people together through art and music. He's such a strong and positive force in the community of Boston and an incredible artist. I was honored he was down to work with me! His verse gets stuck in my head all the time, and I'm just so happy with how it came out and how it compliments the rest of the song. I'd love to collaborate with him again, and I hope we can do more together in the future!


Do you find your Boston roots are often integrated into the very music you release? Do you see any Boston-inspired elements within "Running Uphill?"


I think so! Boston is in everything that I do to some capacity because it's my strongest sense of home. I've experienced so much of my musical career beginnings and the journey there, and this song touches on a lot of that. The feeling of always wanting to grow and push beyond my limits is evident in this song, as well as the angst that forged the initial path for my first solo album in 2015. Any time I realize I'm doing the same thing over and over again, I try to reassess and redirect. This song is about that kind of turning point when someone realizes it's time to make a change, to embrace the journey, and to recognize that the path is all we have and the destination doesn't exist. It's a lot of feelings at once, and it's mostly just about trying to push through when you don't know what is on the other side and just not being derailed by fear or frustration.

How did you find your experience in recording a music video for "Running Uphill?"

When I wrote this song, I immediately pictured a sunset and a desert and pictured more western elements. I think primarily because of that loner-cowboy-lost in the hot desert kind of vibe that I feel from time to time. I wanted to put myself there. So my brother, who's a drone pilot and videographer, and I went out to the Southeastern CA desert and filmed in Glamis at the incredible dunes there. It was the hottest and most exhausted I've ever been in my life, and I felt like I was living the song while filming it. The wind was blowing hard, and it wasn't easy to run the equipment we had, but we made it work! Also very difficult to run on pure sand. The dunes are all naturally windblown sand, and that's it for miles, and I had never seen anything like it. We only had one day set aside for filming (two music videos - our other video for "The Sound" was also filmed in the same desert), so scouting the locations had to happen fast. I don't think any of us planned for how hot it would be or how much it would take out of us. I love collaborating with my brother, it's always an adventure, and it's fun to challenge each other.


What's next for you?

The new album 'Blue Hour' comes out November 12th, and I'll be playing an album release show with my band that night at Sonia Nightclub in Cambridge, MA! It'll be available online, as a CD, and blue vinyl, which I'm excited about. More music videos are in the works, and I can't even begin to express how excited I am for those to come out. More music is on its way, and hopefully some more tours down the road as well!


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