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Meet DSU’s Contemporary R&B Band: 222 And Friends

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at DESU chapter.

On Jan. 25 I had the pleasure of seeing 222 & friends perform at the MLK Student Center. It was an amazing hour filled with beautiful covers of songs such as “Session 32,” “Tyrone,” “Me and Your Mama”  (a “staple” for them), and “All That Matters” (my personal favorite). Students and staff were immersed in the music and  some even described the experience as “beautiful” and “an amazing performance.” The guitars, singing, drumming, and more all came together to create a great show. There was even a special performance from Lael Yancey, a cousin of one of the band members.

222 and friends is composed of 7 members: Zuri Brown, Asad Williams, Zion Brown, Elijah August, Isaiah Brooks, Alissa Woodward, and Jacob Collazo. I had the chance to speak with several of them to discuss the history of the band, their hopes, goals, and more.

The stunning 7-piece band has been performing for a little under a year as their first performance as 222 was last spring. In the beginning, they performed in the EH lobby where they “started building connections with administration and professors,” Zuri adds. Since then they have gone on to perform for students in MLK, at the DSU Met Gala event, and in the EH heater. 

The beginnings of 222 started at an open mic event in MLK when they played something on the spot. Fun fact, the name 222 was actually made up on the spot during a gig they were playing.

When asked about their favorite thing about performing, music was the first thing to come to mind as they all “love music.” Zion states that “Being around phenomenal musicians pushes you,” while Isaiah adds that he likes the creativity that can be found in music as “everyone has their own signature on a song.” Zuri feels “engulfed” in the music while performing. He feels “surrounded by music” and adds that “seeing the process of the vision come to life is beautiful.”

While being a musician is not everyone’s life goal, Asad knew he wanted to be a musician ever since he was young. He “doesn’t really see [himself] doing anything outside of the creative field even if it’s not music… it feels like home to [him].” Zuri and Elijah agree that they would have dropped out if music wasn’t an option which demonstrates the intensity of their passion for music.

Elijah’s passion for music has led him to be a part of 222, write music on his own, and be a part of two  other bands. It may sound difficult to balance it all, but he adds that he finds it to be fun. 

222 is ambitious and eager to improve and grow as a band. Some of their  goals include writing original music and playing gigs in bars. They playfully added, “for us all to be in the same rehearsal at the same time” as a goal of theirs. Everyone agreed that they hoped to remain  a band post-graduation,  and it would be easy because according to Zuri, “outside of the music, there is a strong brotherhood.” There’s a strong sense of family and unity among the band’s members – they’re each other’s shoulders to cry on every day.

Being the best that they can be is important to them as they say, “one thing we’ll keep trying to do is better the last performance.” You can expect perfection from them because they say they “will never throw ourselves out there,” and from what I saw, they really live by it with the quality of their performance.

Authenticity shines through them as throughout the entire process they’ve “never worried about getting paid.” Money was never a factor in their performances, which shows it is all about the love of music for them.

They share advice as well for others who are interested in performing. The big piece of advice 222 gives is to “just do it.” Learning to persevere is an important factor as Asad says, “don’t stop trying when it gets hard. Embrace all feelings of it.” Zion advises that “having confidence in yourself” will take you a long way. “Believe that you can come back from failing.”

If it wasn’t clear enough, 222 is an amazing band at Delaware State University that deserves more recognition for its  outstanding musical performances. Be sure to follow their Instagram to learn more, and where you can catch them next.

My name is Savannah Smalley, I am a freshman at Delaware State University, and I am majoring in Agriculture with a concentration in plant sciences, and a minor in environmental science. My goal is to become a successful botanist, and I will achieve that. I am a senior editor for my campus’s chapter of Her Campus. My hobbies include reading, writing, playing video games, growing plants, and playing sports. When I am not writing for Her Campus, I take part in other organizations at my school such as the alliance for minorities participation (AMP), minorities in Agriculture, Natural Resources, and related sciences (MANNRS), and The environmental alliance (TEA). I’ve been writing my entire life through stories, essays, newspaper articles, and more as a way to express myself. I graduated high school with an award in creative writing, and I plan on continuing my writing journey through my college career.