Justin Tranter Donates Brand New Recording Studio to Chicago Academy For the Arts

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Thomas Mohr
Justin Tranter performs at The Chicago Academy for the Arts.

Anyone who loves modern pop music should know Justin Tranter’s name. The former frontman of Semi Precious Weapons-turned-songwriter has been behind some of the biggest hits of recent pop music, including Halsey’s “Bad At Love,” Imagine Dragons’ “Believer,” and many more.

But along with his record of massive hit songs, Tranter also has made a name for themselves as a generous benefactor for his community. That was evident when the songwriter announced earlier this week that they were donating money to fund a state-of-the-art recording studio to The Chicago Academy for the Arts, the school that helped make them who they are.

The Justin Tranter Recording Studio was revealed in a ribbon-cutting ceremony yesterday (September 20). The donation helped convert three rooms at the school into a cutting-edge recording studio, complete with a control room, a tracking room, a four-station music production classroom, ultramodern recording technology and even a new Contemporary Writing and Production course that students can take to learn about modern songwriting.

“There’s no point in having privilege unless you pay that privilege forward,” Tranter said in a statement. “Now that I’ve followed my dreams and have had financial privilege, I want to pay that forward as much as possible. Not only will this give students an amazing way to make music, but it also creates a very employable skill – engineering – for students going to The Academy.”

According to a press release, Tranter spent much of his early life in public school, being bullied violently on a regular basis. But after eventually transferring to The Chicago Academy for the Arts, the future songwriter found themselves in a welcoming, creative environment that helped mold them into one of pop music’s most prolific modern songwriters.

This also isn’t Tranter’s first major contribution to the Academy; as a student back in 1997, Tranter founded and started the school’s first AIDS Benefit, a variety show by and for students to help raise money for HIV/AIDS advocacy groups. Since then, the school has continued that tradition and will hold its 22nd annual benefit today (Sept. 21).