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Beats By Arthur Dubois


Let's meet Arthur Dubois. He's 72 years old, a grandfather, a resident of the great city of Chicago and a hip-hop artist.


SIMON: Around six years ago, Mr. DuBois taught himself how to produce hip-hop beats; this week shared his talents with Haven Studios. That's a music mentoring program on the South Side. The owner of Haven, Andre "Add-2" Daniels, was wowed to put it mildly, putting a video of his reaction on Twitter.


ANDRE DANIELS: Right. It's just not what you would expect, right?


SIMON: That video has been viewed and shared thousands of times, even catching the attention of some famous hip-hop producers. Mr. Dubois joins us now from Haven Studios in Chicago. Thanks so much for being with us.

ARTHUR DUBOIS: OK. Great to be here.

SIMON: What did you do before you became a world-famous musical artist?

DUBOIS: I don't know - just a human being (laughter).

SIMON: There's no such thing as just a human being.

DUBOIS: OK. Well, I had jobs and stuff like that, but I was old and I quit my jobs and retired when I got sick. So I had to find something to do.

SIMON: How do you make your music?

DUBOIS: Well, I do mostly samples off of Mixcraft and Pro Tools. And I had to learn how to do the computer and the music at the same time.

SIMON: So you're there at Haven Studios, right?


SIMON: What are you learning there this week?

DUBOIS: A lot because I'd never used Instagram, Twitter and all that other stuff that I would've never seen before because I didn't believe in that stuff myself. But now I got to have it (laughter).

SIMON: So what's it make you feel like when suddenly someone from - I'll just guess - Abu Dhabi is following you?

DUBOIS: I was shocked. And when it happened, I broke down and cried 'cause I didn't know that many people liked me.

SIMON: What do you hope for next - Grammys?

DUBOIS: Not really. I just want to put it out there, let other people hear my music. I don't care about the Grammys or nothing like that, just that the people know who I am.

SIMON: Well, may you make a lot more. Arthur Dubois, thanks so much for your time, sir.

DUBOIS: OK. Thank you, too. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.