72-year-old grandfather becomes a hip-hop producer overnight

By Chevaz Clarke

/ CBS News

At 72 years old, Arthur Dubois proves that it's never too late to pursue your passion. The Chicago native has been learning to develop beats of his own for the past six years.

Faced with doctor's orders to stay home, Dubois took the time to study the art of music production and began experimenting with what he had learned.

It all paid off on March 4 as the self-taught producer rallied the courage to go to a local studio to present his work.

Dubois chose Haven Studios, located near his neighborhood on the Southside of Chicago.

"I was looking for someone to mix, master and arrange music for me," Dubois told CBS News.

Andre "Add-2" Daniels is the owner of Haven studios, a place where youth can be inspired to produce music. Daniels runs a free youth mentoring program where young adults, who are not in high school, come to learn.

When the grandfather of three showed up, Daniels did not know what to expect.

Daniels said, "I told him it was a studio for the youth, to which he replied, 'Well, I'm young at heart.'" The two smiled and laughed, and Daniels offered to connect Dubois with some of his engineer friends. However, Dubois insisted on playing his work for Daniels.

"When the bass dropped, my face went into full shock. His beats sounded exactly like the beats I hear my 16, 17, 21-year-old mentees rapping to," Daniels said. "I thought it was a fluke. I went to the next one and it was just as good, then the next and the next. Each time I was in pure disbelief."

Arthur Dubois at Haven Studio. Andre "Add-2" Daniels

Dubois' beats echo the likes of trap music, a style of hip-hop music. He creates his beats at home using industry standard tools such as Protools and Mixcraft. He also taught himself how to use a computer so that he could produce his tunes.

Once Daniels shared his videos of Dubois' talent on social media, the grandfather's beats quickly went viral.

"I recorded it because I felt like no one would believe this story if I told them," said Daniels.

Dubois had initially intended to send his beats out, and had showed them to a select few family members, though he did not get much feedback. "Now everybody likes me," Dubois chuckles.

Daniels and Dubois have both been surprised by the internet response.

His new found fame has caught the attention of Grammy-winning producer, !llmind, who has worked with many artists including Kendrick Lamar, Drake and Jay-Z. The producer retweeted the post on his Twitter page, tweeting it "made my day." There have also been talks about a movie.

Bruh!! Today I met a 72yr old producer who makes TRAP MUSIC!! He said the doctor told him to stay in the house but instead of wasting away he used the time to teach himself how to produce beats. 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾 I'M SO INSPIRED!!! pic.twitter.com/10XIuH8vDe

— Add-2 (@ADD2theMC) March 5, 2019

Not yet on social media, Dubois' new friend, Andre "Add-2" Daniels, helped him set up a twitter account, @BeatsByArthur. He spent a couple of hours last night reading through the various messages.

After spending five consecutive days in the studio, Dubois plans to do the same this week. When asked about his next step, Dubois said, "I don't know, but I'm ready for it. Right now, just staying alive."

Dubois' beats, inspired by modern day trap music, prove that age is nothing but a number.

"If you're 100 years old, if you want to do it, do it," said Dubois.

First published on March 11, 2019 / 4:20 PM

© 2019 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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