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CLOSE’s “Base Level” column features the hottest new artists we’re buzzing about. Before they make it to the summit of superstardom, we spot them at base level–the beginning of their hopeful journey to the top.

There’s something dark, yet very eclectic about 23 year old Chris Batson. The Florida native brings his real life experiences to his R&B/Alternative music to craft a sound all his own. #TeamBeautiful caught up with the young musician to discuss his musical inspirations, how he racked up 400,000 views for his newest video and what he was doing snooping around a studio at 13-years-old.

Name: Chris Batson

Hometown: Orlando, FL

Who are some of your musical inspirations? I listened to so much growing up, whether it’s old school records from the 70s and 80s to new school people. But everyone from Donny Hathaway, Marvin Gaye to Usher, The Dream, Coldplay, Kings of Leon. I love those guys. Drake, Kanye West. I’m a fan of a lot of different kinds of music.

What has been your biggest break thus far? I feel like being recognized as an MTV Buzzworthy artist was huge. I even think You Tube getting up to 400,000 views on my video “Never Coming Back” that was a huge moment for me.

What’s your biggest fear as a new artist? The only fear I have is if I do switch up my sound along the way I want people to be receptive to it and not disrespect the art form. I do so many different types of music, whether its urban or alternative, I just want people to be receptive of what I put out.  I know that’s a bit far fetched but I at least want the respect to do what I want to do and create how I want to create.

When did you realize music was your passion? When I was 13 or 14 years old it was my first time in the studio and seeing everything that was going on. I always wondered how music was actually made. For me, being in the studio for the first time it solidified this is what I have to do.

If you could be the love child of any two artists-dead or alive-who would it be and why? I feel like if I could be the love child of any two artists I would choose Aaliyah and Tupac. I feel like Aaliyah has that soulful light sound and I feel like Tupac is so deep and so real and I feel like that’s a great mixture of where I’m at right now musically.

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