A RIBBLE VALLEY teenager has used his troubled past to help him become an internet sensation with his latest EP.

But it hasn’t been an easy journey for rapper and producer Cristian MJC, who suffered from a rare disease in childhood, leaving him deaf in his left ear.

The musician, whose real name is Matthew James Clarkson, has released a song Born A Star, a combination of singing and rapping, revealing the tough journey he had in childhood.

“It hasn’t been easy for me but being partially deaf hasn’t stopped me from reaching high. I find it difficult to pan from left to right when I am mixing but I try not to be negative, I can do it,” said the former Clitheroe Royal Grammar School student.

Cristian’s deafness was caused when he was three, by a rare disease, Kawasaki’s Syndrome, a condition that mainly affects children under the age of five and if untreated can be fatal.

He also battled a benign tumour as a child, leaving him with a huge scar on part of his head that Cristian said made him a target for bullies.

“No matter how hard times get, or how bad life hits you, by having faith in yourself, you can always get back up and recover using setbacks and failures to your advantage.

“I moved around four different primary scho-ols as a child because I was frustrated. I felt that people didn’t understand me and it was hard,” said Cristian, who lives in Mellor.

The 19-year-old’s latest single has had over 4,000 hits on YouTube in less than a week and his new mixtape ‘Overly Motivated’ will also be released for free later this year.

Cristian’s producer Darren Martyn, has told him to continue ‘aiming high’.

Cristian said: “Impossible is not a word in my dictionary. I was told I would never be successful in the music industry, but I am clearly proving them wrong. I have got the deter-mination to go far and prove that if you put your mind to something you can do it.”

On the subject of influences, Cristian said: “Kanye West is a musician and rapper that I admire. He’s a little arrogant but he voices his opinion in his music and doesn’t care what he says.”