They call themselves Demonlow Studios.
These are young artists and entrepreneurs who have come together to bring music to Staten Island.
âThere’s not really a studio that we can depend on to go do our thing,â said co-founder Dennis Richardson. âIn terms of community, it’s really for them to have a place where they feel comfortable having a place to express themselves through music, through art.
“Family atmosphere, just with a little rage, can you feel me?” Demonlow is for the people, âsaid co-founder Sonny D’usse.
For this group, music and community go hand in hand. In the summer, they helped organize a Black Lives Matter rally on Hylan Boulevard that brought together over 10,000 people. And they organized a toy drive during the holidays.
âWe felt really good that we were able to motivate and help people come forward, support and share a voice,â said Richardson.
Richardson said it was all about having a positive influence on the community.
âWhere we’re from, there isn’t a lot of positive motivation. Being able to show people who can connect with us that we are giving them a chance to see that they can do things differently, âsaid Richardson.
It became even more important when a member of their Demonlow family was shot and killed in the studio on Van Duzer Street.
In January, Richardson and others were together at the studio when an unidentified gunman entered and killed Jahade Chancey, 23.
âToday, January 16, has gone from being an ordinary day to one of the worst days of our lives,â said Richardson.
Jahade’s family and friends called him “panda”.
âWhat the animals symbolize, it all makes sense, a loving, one of a kind creature. It looks good on him,â said Richardson.
Jahade’s mother Lashon Stockton said it was still too difficult for her to talk about her son. She sent NY1 a letter saying, âJahade would help the elderly, volunteer for youth programs, anything to support individuals. My son loved hosting. His heart and soul were good. “
An investigation into Jahade’s death is underway. There have been no arrests and the studio has since been closed. It was difficult for the members to be there. For now, they are working from home and are planning to open another location soon.
âAfter something so tragic we can always go on, we can always try to move forward and do more things. It can give people a lot of inspiration by opening a studio. If we could just help. a few kids, maybe change their perspective on how they live, how they move, we’ll take that, âsaid Richardson.
Richardson and the rest of Demonlow say they are committed to making the studio a success in honor of their friend.