On a Thursday night a couple years ago, at a show in a small run-down bar with a stripper pole placed right in the middle of the performance area, was a local showcase. This showcase, which was held on the East side of Chicago and hosted about twenty-five people, was seemingly nothing different from your normal function. However, outside of the barrage of local artists stood a unique artist. His set-list contained dark melodies and awe-inspiring lyricism, which impressed my musical taste. This artist’s name? Y2Dre, and after hearing the music during his set and watching him perform, I knew this would not be the last time I heard or saw of him.

Two years later and countless shows, I have watched this young artist progress from being someone forced to scrape together a small show at a run-down strip club to an artist who can confidently perform an eight-song set in front of hundreds of people. So when NRMLIZE allowed me to sit down with Y2Dre and talk to him about his new project “Reflections” along with his backstory and some of his major influences, there was no way I could turn the offer down.

K: “How you living, bro? Everything doing alright”

Y2: Yeah, my boy, how about you?

K: “Doin’ good; I heard you dropped an EP?”

Y2: Yeah I dropped a seven-song EP a couple of weeks ago

K: “Do you feel as if it is your best work?”

Y2: I’d say so, I think the time and effort I put into the production and features I feel is the best example of all of the culminations of my styles

K: “Where would you say that your artistic style is influenced by?”

Y2: One of my top influences is my mans Denzel Curry, and I would have to say, Kid Cudi, I still listen to him everyday…

K: “Man on the Moon 2?”

Y2: Man on the Moon 2.

K: “Amazing, " *Laughs* “So tell me a little more about the EP... what producers or production do you have on have on the project”


Y2: So, three of beats are produced by my homie Nabbudah and these rest are just beats I found on Youtube that I fucked with the aesthetic of.

K: “Facts, facts… they had the style you were looking for I feel you on that. Do you feel like working with an established producer like Nabbudah has helped hone on your skills and help your progress more as an artist.”

Y2: Definitely, mainly because, as you said, he is so established, and his sound is so innovative and creative, and it just put a spark inside of me that makes me wanted to bless the beat as it should be… I love Nabbudahs beats man.

K: “He is a very talented artist… So carrying on, for the uninitiated, how would you describe your upbringing? Like who is Y2Dre?


Y2: *Pauses* Well, my real name is Andre but Y2Dre is someone that I would consider like the other half of the Andre you feel me? So I started as Young Dre, but that shit was never going to last, Young? That sounds inferior…

K: “Right”

Y2: So like Y2Dre is kind of the side of me that is constantly evolving, and I’ve learned to put myself into the music that I create… More of who I am as a person and what I think and what I observe, I put it all into the music, and I feel it is helping me evolve as an artist.

K: “Brilliant! that is a very mature standpoint to have I can here it in your music everytime I play it that you are a very introspective artist.”

Y2: Thank you.

K: “No problem, now tell the readers where did you grow up?”

Y2: I grew up off 1st Ave in Maywood… and my Grandma stayed on 24th; she still stays over there. I moved out when I was maybe eight, stayed in Justice, Warrenville, Aurora, and now I stay in the burbs, but primarily I grew up in Maywood.

K: “So it seems like you moved around a lot as a child, do you think that factored that into who you ended up becoming as an artist?”

Y2: I do, I see it as like some long period in my life there was a lot of untapped potential inside of me, but it took another person to awaken the potential inside of myself, so I could have that outlet to express myself.

K: “So you felt bottled up?”

Y2: Of course, I always felt bottled up. A lot of things I’ve been through in my life I have dealt with in solitude. And at the end of the day, that doesn’t help you, so getting into music around 13 or 14 it helped me release a lot of the energies that I had inside of myself.

K: “Yeah, some of the greatest artists of all time have made some of their best music during times of great emotional distress.”

Y2: Emotional music is the best…

K: “So continuing on, if you ever could work with three artists dead or alive, big or small, who would you work with?”

Y2: First off, I would have to work with Denzel. I hope that happens at any time during my career if that ever happens… It’d be busting… Let’s see I would want to do a song with JCole.

K: “Really? I didn’t expect that.”

Y2: Yeah… I also want to do a song with my mans, Kiraly Payne… I don’t want to spoil anything, but we got something in the works…

K: “Okay okay, I see you making moves out there, It seems however that you of one of the more under the radar artists in Chicago… So if someone came up to you and said, why should I listen too Y2Dre, what would you tell them?

Y2: “What I would tell them if you could see yourself vibing on the same wavelength as myself, then listen to my music. But I won’t ever force someone to listen to me, though If you want to listen to it, you should listen to it, and if you can feel the energy inside of my music, then it’s meant for you.

K: “So would you say you would be an artist that would want to have a close relationship with your fanbase?”

Y2: “I’d say so… yeah, of course, whenever my fans reach out to me, I love that shit.”

Thank you guys for reading this short interview! Also make sure to follow Y2Dre on his social media and stream his debut EP, “Reflections” in the links below. Also, make sure to stay up to date with NRMLIZE as we provide dope/undiscovered artists within Chicago a platform to elevate their careers.