Chris, also known as Mere Raj, is an artist from Beaufort, South Carolina, a self-described “retirement town” about an hour away from Hilton Head (best known for hosting The Masters). Chris eventually got into producing through FL Studio that was installed on his dad’s laptop in middle school after picking up music at a young age. Eventually, he went on to pick up a mic and make music under the alias of Christopher Robin on SoundCloud.
Over time, the style of his songs have changed drastically along with his name. He handles all of his own production - including instrumentals, mixes, and mastering. The 23-year-old artist only has two songs currently out on streaming platforms, but has been able to create a huge buzz for himself with just a small catalog. Attention to detail is the story behind Chris, and that is the reason he will separate himself from the pack and be on the front pages of websites, playlists, and selling out venues shortly.
Hunter : Is there a scene in South Carolina?
Mere Raj : "Maybe in Charleston or Columbia, looking toward what you would call a hub. There's a small independent scene and it’s very close knit. The town that I'm from, there is nothing at all. Anything you could say as far as the word culture, there is none of that. As far as having the internet, it’s such a blessing, because I can plug myself in through that avenue even though I'm not necessarily in all those places. I can ride there, I can fly there, but if I can't do that, at least I'm plugging through the internet."
Hunter : Your style of music, and just how you make an influence, would it come almost from an external place? Like not where you grew up?
Mere Raj : "Just YouTube or streaming services. I'm an avid listener of music in general; my pops is a DJ, so if you go upstairs into our attic, there's hundreds, if not thousands, of records sitting in that bitch. I’ve listened to a wide spectrum; Bob Dylan, Queen, Stevie Wonder, all types of shit that he was into. I end up falling into it. It just peaks your interests and leads you to start listening to the next shit, so I would say the influence is definitely there as far as just a wide variety of things."
Hunter : What was home life like in terms of music and how it influenced you? What is that inner drive behind your music?
Mere Raj : "I do everything myself. I do the beats, the mixing, the mastering - every stage. I'm pretty hands-on with it, and that just came from at first it being a necessity. I'm in the middle of essentially nowhere as far as a musical culture is concerned, so if I wanted to do that shit, it's on me. I find my inspiration for the shit, by listening to something else or taking something and flipping it into something. If I feel like I’m ever about to hit a wall with writer's block, or beat block, I’ll cut something on. I find inspiration from everywhere; I'm always walking around singing. There's probably a melody in my head throughout the whole fucking day from the time I get up to the time I lay down."
Hunter : How do you control all aspects of your music?
Mere Raj : "I can take pride in that, now that it sounds like you can sit and listen to it. But when I first started, it sounded like shit, but it only makes sense that it took a gradual amount of time for it to get to that point. It took a long ass time, but granted, I put the time in to get it."
Hunter : Did you venture into music in high school, or when did you pick up a mic or production software?
Mere Raj : "It's been a minute, probably a decade damn near, since middle school. My dad had a copy of FL Studio, but it wasn’t even FL Studio at that point; it was still Fruity Loops, Fruity Loops 7. I took his laptop one day, I remember that night; I stayed up until 1 or 2 AM fucking around with the loops, just stock drums. It had peaked my interest, and I didn't even start out rapping or nothing like that, just making beats for a couple of years. Eventually, i