Young DRA—a 24-year-old Delaware transplant to Chicago—is bringing back the authentic sounds of hip-hop through intricate rhyme schemes and upscale production—and a dash of soul. Fusing 90s rap with modern beats, the artist is taking on the industry with his newest single, “Passengers,” produced by Grammy-award-winning producer Xcelence. With its video garnering more than 370k views on YouTube, “Passengers” is paving the way for the aspiring artist, who is endlessly passionate about his craft.

“A lot of inspiration don’t come until I’m in the studio,” says the artist of his process. When it comes to making music, Young DRA works with the same producer for 95% of his tracks. Once he’s settled on a beat, the artist starts writing based off the vibe he picks up from the composition. “Sometimes I knock out 2-3 songs in one night,” quips Young DRA. “I’m used to being able to have a quick output.”

Perhaps the reason music comes so quickly to him is because there’s nothing Young DRA doesn’t love about making music, the entire process. “I would love to record in different cities with different people. Now I’m in my own bubble—local—but that doesn’t bother me too much.” While the artist can’t wait to level up, he recognizes the road to success is often long. He sometimes gets frustrated when “things aren’t moving as fast and they’re supposed to in your eyes.” Yet, “this is the most consistent I’ve been at anything in my life,” he shares.

Would Young DRA recommend any of his tracks over any other? Absolutely not. “There are no skips on this project—any track is classic. It depends on the mood I’m in at the time. For me to put one over the other isn’t accurate.” It’s this exact versatility of sound and mood that makes the artist’s songs so appealing to listeners. “I want them to be able to feed off my experiences,” says the artist of his fanbase. “I want them to learn something. The hip-hop audience sometimes comes from lifestyles different from what you’re living. I want them to see my perspective.” Introspection is key to the artist, who can’t emphasize enough the importance of learning from our experiences and sharing them.

Later this year, after a handful of singles coming out in spring, we can expect a mixtape—“Da Muscle”—from Young DRA this autumn. Also on his 2022 bucket list? Performing. “I like to connect with fans on a personal level. The studio is isolated. 1-1 is important.” While Young DRA is looking forward to spending quality time with his listeners, right now he’s focused on preparing them for what’s up next—music that is different. “If you a fan since the first project, be open minded. My sound has transitioned, elevated. I’m a multi-purpose kind of person. I give different perspectives, vibes, sounds. I pride myself in that.”

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