We had the good fortune of connecting with CW Allen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi CW, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
I am a Hip Hop artist based on the Southside of Chicago. My art reflects the stories and experiences of the Southside. My music has been used to encourage community members and event guest of all ages. We are currently planning a huge block party/festival for our community.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am a Hip Hop Artists and song writer. I make music very much thinking about my faith, and listeners. I’ve never been the type of artist who flashes money or brags about what he has. I just believe my gift is for the betterment of my community. I’ve been blessed to have many exciting moments in career and my last project is one of those moments. It’s called Still Dreaming and its a live album I wrote during the pandemic. I almost gave up on music during the pandemic. All my shows were cancelled, I lost multiple friends to gun violence, My community began to riot in protest, I felt like eI aged out of music, and I just found myself depressed and unmotivated. I felt very much like my career was over as I began packing my sound equipment up. After a series of conversations God began to show me that my dreams as an artists hadn’t died but they just evolved into something different. I was Still Dreaming. We are never to old to dream and pivot.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If my best friend visits Chicago there are so many things we would to check out. Of course I would tell them to come in the summer because there is no city like summertime Chi. We would start the day off checking out my community. We have a lot of black history here. The World’s fair happened here in 1893, Emit Till’s house is here, Baraka Obama’s home, and so much more to see. Next we would probably go hoop and then go downtown to grab some deep dish pizza. But the Deep dish has to be from Lou Malnati’s because its the best spot to get it in the city.(Don’t let anyone tell you different.) While were downtown we would take in the sights on the magnificent mile. We might get lucky and catch a free concert as its that time of year. In the evening we have to check out Navy Pier and take the arcitechure tour. Dinner would be at a local taco joint on the southside.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I would like to shout out my place of employment Sunshine Gospel Ministries. I started working at Sunshine in 2009 and it has been life changing. I learned so much about myself, my history as a black man, and the purpose God has for me in this season of life.
Frank Gill Jacqueline Allen Andrzej Grynpeter