Editor’s note: This article is written by Cornelious Jones, one of four participants in Flintside’s Journalism Fellowship program. Developed as part of our On the Ground initiative in Civic Park, the fellowship is designed to equip those who live and work here with the skills and an opportunity to tell the stories of Flint — the stories of their own neighborhoods and the experiences of their neighbors.
FLINT, Michigan — On my first day of school in my senior year at Flint Northern High School, I had just gotten into class and was about to sit down when I noticed a lot of commotion coming up from the hallways.
As the chatter got louder all I saw was a young Aviacchi Marsu with the biggest smile on his face that I ever saw on anybody before. You could tell he was happy to be in high school and was definitely not about to last too long there.
Mrs. Iker told me to talk to him before he got thrown off campus for his boisterous behavior. I was a teaching aide at the time and we often hung out in her class to help the freshmen in mathematics.
From that day forward I took up the cross — helping young people to mature and grow into the people we were always meant to be. And for Aviacchi, he was meant to become some form of artistic performer.
He was always well versed in handling large crowds and captivating them with his cunning and witty lyrical abilities — a true poet for the people who understand, know and deal with struggle on a daily basis. Welcome to my hometown Flint, Michigan, where we live fly and stay fresh.
As a visionary, it is my job to tell the story of the people and the projects and innovations that they are creating. In order to establish a lasting relationship with the community, I believe it is important that we dedicate time to researching the history of artists and the communities they come from and represent.
And so, I present to you my artist spotlight on Aviacchi Marsu and his daughter, ShayShay.
Aviacchi Marsu is working on a new album, where he tells the truth from his perspective through street conscious rap. He works with locally brewed producers, videographers and a team of engineers to produce his music. Alongside him is his daughter ShayShay — a 9-year-old videographer, business partner, actress, daddy’s-girl, and inspiration to many. Her given name is Sharon, but most know her by ShayShay and Aviacchi wants her to understand the importance and impact of working hard for a particular outcome.
Music artist Aviacchi Marsu creates his music as part of his Ghetto Entertainment recording label, also based in Flint.
Who are you as a person and artist, who is your target audience?
Aviacchi: I’m 100% human, which means I’m far from perfect. I try my best to excel and prosper in any and everything I do. I’m loyal to myself and the people I love. I don’t cater to a certain crowd because I make music for the masses. A lot of my music has pain, turmoil, struggle, and words of encouragement.
What are your dreams, goals and aspirations — what makes you tick?
Aviacchi: My dreams are to spread love and open up doors for me and my peers. To guide my daughter in the right direction and show her a way of living that I didn’t have the luxury of having growing up. I love music, but I know my purpose on earth is bigger than me.
When do you plan to release your up and coming project and where can supporters purchase your work?
Aviacchi: I plan on releasing my mixtape “Michigan State of Mind” in the beginning of October. My music will be available for streaming on all platforms via internet as well as hard copies at merch tables.
Where have you been in the capacity of your work and do you plan to take your career in the near future?
Aviacchi: I’ve performed on various musical platforms from Michigan, Atlanta, Las Vegas, the state of Washington as well as Utah. I plan on letting my music be a stepping stone to movies and beyond. I’ll never stop until I achieve those goals.
Why do you create music?
Aviacchi: I have a forever burning passion for music that I can’t escape. I wake up out of my sleep to write music sometimes. My mind is always on music and has been since I was 12 years old. Making music is my way of speaking to the masses from the heart. It just feels good to connect with people who don’t even know me.
How do you plan to make your unique situation work for you?
Aviacchi: I plan to create my own wave so that no one ever say I sound like another artist. That will separate me from the rest and create longevity in the entertainment industry. I plan to give the world what it so badly needs — which is a real man who’s optimistic and understands the world as a whole. I plan to touch lives and help as many people as I can, in any way that I can.