Childhood & Early Life
Carissa Alvarado was born Carissa Martin, on January 10, 1991, in Los Angeles. She is Filipino–American. She aspired to become a singer since she was a child. She grew up with a younger brother, Bam Martin, who was also interested in performing arts. He grew up to be a famous dancer.
She developed an interest in singing, and her family helped her with her career. She attended church with her family regularly and soon joined the choir. She also grew up listening to Michael Jackson and began idolizing him.
She was 5 years old when she became part of the church choir. She spent all her early and teenage years dreaming of becoming a musician. Once she finished college, she could not find a way to break into the music industry. However, that changed after she met Michael accidentally.
In 2011, she met Michael through a common friend. Soon, they started dating. They found out that music was their common interest and decided to make music together. This led to the formation of ‘Us the Duo.’
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Michael had a ‘YouTube’ channel where he uploaded the videos of all his shows. After Carissa joined him, they started making music together and then uploaded their tracks on ‘YouTube.’ In May 2011, they uploaded one of their first songs, a cover of the ‘Hannah Montana’ theme song. The song received a cold response. However, instead of giving up, the duo decided to continue working together.
In August 2011, they uploaded an original song titled ‘Missin’ You Like Crazy.’ The song amassed thousands of “views.” A few months later, the song crossed the one-million mark. This motivated the couple to continue working on their music.
They soon uploaded funny “Vines” along with their music videos. They also publicized their marriage on the platform, which helped them in gaining more subscribers. Additionally, they uploaded successful covers of songs by artists Rihanna and ‘Linkin Park.’
Meanwhile, they amassed more than a million followers on ‘Vine.’ At one point, they were more famous as “Viners” than musicians and they used their ‘Vine’ account to invite more subscribers to their ‘YouTube’ channel.
In June 2012, they announced the release of their debut album, ‘Us,’ through their ‘YouTube’ channel. As they released almost the entire album on ‘YouTube,’ their subscriber base increased. They were trying hard to gain more attention and were waiting for a big breakthrough.
In 2014, the duo finally hit the jackpot with their song ‘No Matter Where You Are.’ The song was uploaded by them in mid-2014 as their wedding video and caught the attention of the creative team of an upcoming animated film.
‘20th Century Fox’ was, at that time, looking for the right song for their upcoming animated film, ‘The Book of Life.’ They wanted a song that would exhibit one’s regard for family and love. They contacted the duo, and the couple finally bagged the career-defining breakthrough they were waiting for.
The song appeared in the final scene of the film and was immensely loved by both audiences and critics. Michael and Carissa were given due credits for the song. Following their success, their ‘YouTube’ channel earned massive popularity. This was accompanied by innumerable “views” earned by their music video of the song ‘No Matter Where You Are.’
Soon, several record companies started approaching them for contracts. They decided to work with ‘Republic Records,’ one of the most well-known American record companies. The couple was also invited by Oprah Winfrey to feature on her talk show.
The same year, they announced the release of their second album, ‘No Matter Where You Are.’ The hype around the title song was immense, and the success of the album was already expected.
By 2016, the couple had starting touring around with their music. They began experimenting with acapella and accompanied ‘Pentatonix’ on their 2016 ‘World Tour.’ They traveled to many major cities around the US and then went to Rome, Tokyo, and Prague.
However, the duo did not stop their old ways and continued to upload covers of their favorite songs on ‘YouTube.’ Currently, their ‘YouTube’ channel has close to two million subscribers, while their ‘Vine’ account has earned about five million followers.
One of the most famous videos on their ‘YouTube’ channel is ‘2015 Top Hits in 3.5 minutes,’ which features them covering a number of songs within a short duration of time. In July 2016, the duo released their third studio album, ‘Just Love.’ The title song and several other songs from the album became hugely popular. Soon, the duo also embarked on a nationwide tour to promote their album.
In 2017, they released an album called ‘Our Favourite Time of Year,’ which was yet another success for them. They have also released two EPs, ‘Public Record’ and ‘Together.’ ‘Public Record’ was solely based on the stories that their fans provided them.
In 2018, they entered the music reality show ‘America’s Got Talent.’ They successfully cracked the audition stage and reached the main rounds. After some good performances, they were eliminated in the semifinal round.