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Add-2 Builds A Haven For Chicago’s Arts Community

Written by on September 20, 2023

Andre “Add-2” Daniels stopped by the studio to discuss his his dedication to mentoring Chicago’s next generation of talent. With his mentee Jeremiah Fristoe in tow, Add-2 opened up what’s next for the city’s art scene and community-based recording space, Haven Studios.

South Side Chicago native Add-2 has not released any music since 2019, but his impact on the city’s arts community remains strong. His passion for community activism inspired his vision for Haven Studios, located in the Bronzeville neighborhood, as a space “to build confidence within each student through music, mentorship, and community service,” as their mission states.

Through Haven Studios’ mentorship and programming, Chicago youth can learn vital skills about music production and engineering from some of the city’s most established music professionals. Add-2’s work has received quite a bit of recognition, as former President Barack Obama visited the studio in May.

Beyond Add-2’s expectations, the former president took his time with the mentees, listening to their music and their stories. The youth made a remarkable impact, as Haven Studios received a grant from the Obama Foundation to continue to grow young talent, and several members of President Obama’s staff have returned to engage with the organization.

“It’s just been consistently more blessings and more blessings happening,” Add-2 shared.

Add-2 is a champion for mentorship, and credits much of his success to his own positive experiences with mentors as a young person. Morgan Ciocca/Vocalo Radio

Among his work with Haven Studios, Add-2 has been instrumental in partnering with Chicago Blues Revival and bringing arts back into the community. On September 9, The Windy City Ramblers and Haven Studios worked to make an end-of-summer blues show possible for all ages to enjoy.

The artist also broke down some songs from his 2019 album Jim Crow the Musical, which features a track called “The Secret Life of Blacks,” detailing the beauty of the Black experience. Add-2 shared that listeners can expect another project from him early next year.

Jeremiah Fristoe, Bekoe and Add-2 stand outside the Vocalo studios on September 7. Morgan Ciocca/Vocalo Radio

Keep up with Add-2 on Instagram

Interview and audio production by Bekoe

Written by Blake Hall

Photography by Morgan Ciocca

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