The emcee: Mihajlo Peric AKA Valid
By Ayah Alghanem
Mihajlo Peric, also known as Valid, the emcee for the hip-hop duo Beyond Physics, is a first-generation Serbian who was introduced to the world of hip-hop at a young age. In the early ’90s, his uncles in southwest Detroit always blasted rap music from their race cars, something he was fascinated by. Around the age of 10, Peric came across Biggie Smalls’s single “Mo’ Money, Mo’ Problems,” which instantly empowered him, he said.
Peric and his cousin came upon the name “Valid” when he told him he wanted to be acknowledged for his authentic work.
“It has to be authentic, real, genuine and valid,” Peric said.
Valid signed with Titan Records and released “The Maria EP” in 2012, named after the woman he let go of to pursue his music career. Valid said he is always brainstorming new material to rap about in his music, never shying away from talking about his personal life on wax—the good and the bad.
“A lot of MC’s just spit some hot lyrics and that’s cool, I got some joints like that too, but I like my songs to have topics, and that variety of topics is endless,” he said.
The lyrics in Valid’s tracks stress the importance of originality and choice. He said he aspires to open his listeners’ minds and liberate them of herd mentality. He said he’s no better than anyone else, surrounded by triviality and superficial values in the media. In fact, he created the track “Ball & Chain” on his new album where he breaks this concept down uniquely in each verse.
Before Peric began performing with John McIntyre, also known as DJ JMAC, as Beyond Physics, he said he officially made a mark in the Detroit hip-hop scene by releasing three of his projects, making an appearance in XXL Magazine, getting consistent rotation on several internet, college and top radio stations and making it to VladTV.com for his music video “Competitor” featuring SupaEmcee. Additionally, just two days after JMAC claimed his championship at The Shelter, Valid dropped his single “Vintage” featuring hip-hop legend Keith Murray. Combining their forces, JMAC and Valid multiply their individual aptitudes to become the emerging hip-hop collective, Beyond Physics.
Check out Valid at www. valid313.com, where you can stream and purchase his new album “Reach High.”
The dancer: Amanda Riddle
By Mayssa Masri
Creating a platform for your future career is just the beginning. The next step is hitting the stage.
“Dance is a way of communicating without saying a word,” said Amanda Riddle, a WSU dance major who lives and breathes dance.
Riddle said she spends her weekends rehearsing for the hip-hop group the Next Level Dance Company, as well as performing at LUNA, a nightclub in downtown Royal Oak. From performing at the Fillmore in Detroit to choreographing the all-girl dance group Company C, Riddle said her experiences are preparing her for her dream to continue dancing and to open up a dance collective in Detroit. Riddle said she was drawn to hip-hop dancing and performing at a young age. In second grade she began to take ballet, jazz, tap and hip-hop classes.
“(Dance) became a big part of my life right from the time I began elementary school, and since then I just never wanted to stop,” Riddle said. “I was always dancing around the house to any kind of music when I was very young.”
Riddle said she also casts for dance concerts at WSU, like the Spring Dance Concert and the December Dance Concert. As her dance dream continues, she said she also works on her photography business, 313 Photos in the D, where she mainly photographs senior photos and wedding ceremonies.
Her motto is that she wants to “focus on it being affordable for people who want quality photos,” she said.
As a senior, Riddle said she balances dancing at company rehearsals, performing at LUNA and her photography along with her classes at WSU. Her several-hour dance practices are spread throughout the weekend, and she coordinates her other dance practices, during the week, around her class schedule. Although the long hours and injuries take a toll on her social life, she said her passion for dance remains an outlet for her stress.
“Dancing has always been a way to let out all of my emotions and stress and leave it in the studio or on the stage,” she said.
Riddle said that people should do what they are passionate about and not worry what others think.
“Not everyone has to be a prima ballerina to be a great dancer, not everyone expresses themselves in the same way,” she said. “Recently, I’ve realized that someone can have a piece of choreography down perfect, but if the person is lacking emotion or feeling, that dancer is not going to perform as well as the dancer next to them who doesn’t know the whole dance, but is giving it all they’ve got.”
Riddle said she lives by the words, “No matter what the dance is, even if it’s not your favorite piece, dance your heart out. Give it everything you have.”
Riddle performs at LUNA on Thursday nights at 11:30 p.m. Follow her on Instagram: @tappyfeetamanda.
The artist: Ashley Nivison
By Spencer Genrich
What started off as a career path in art therapy became so much more for senior Ashley Nivison. It was after one of her first days of classes at WSU that she realized there was another route for her than just majoring in art and minoring in psychology.
“A major ‘aha’ moment for me would be the first day of my fibers class. It was just like, this is what I’m supposed to be doing,” Nivison said.
The art of fibers includes any natural earth material such as cotton, silk, rayon, linen or and it’s the manipulation of that, such as fabric dying or screen-printing.
Nivison describes her take on fibers as a contemporary spin on traditional fibers practices such as adding paint or screen prints over different dye works. Pulling different geometric and bold inspirations from other artists such as Sollewitt, Frank Stella, Donald Judd and Andy Warhol, Nivison would love to be the next pop artist. However, she said she does not only pull inspiration from other artists, but also from the city of Detroit itself.
“My hometown, Midland, is like white picket fence corporate America. It’s all chain (stores) and nothing local… but Detroit is up and coming. The art scene here is huge … there’s a lot of creators, a lot of makers here.”
While art therapy is still one of the main end goals for Nivison, she said she would also love to hold a career in fibers.
“The thing about college is that it’s not going any where though so if I want to get multiple degrees, who says I can’t?” Nivison said.
“I would love to be a fabric designer, so look out JoAnns!”
Students were able to view Nivison’s work in fibers during her open gallery at her apartment off of Warren and Second during Dally in the Alley.
CORRECTION: Ashley Nivison's last name was previously spelled "Nivision" in the headline published in this month's "Back to School" print issue.
The makeup guru: Lexxus Clark
By Alisha Dixon
“Every day is a fashion show, and the world is the runway,” said fashion icon Coco Chanel. Lexxus Clark, a Wayne State sophomore and business management major, said she lives those famous words.
With Detroit and WSU acting as her runway, Clark, 19, juggles school, makeup, hair and fashion. For her, she said, it’s a lifestyle.
Clark was introduced to the field of cosmetology through her mother, a cosmetologist, and her father, a barber. Clark said her mother and grandmothers’ styles inspired her to pursue a career in makeup.
“Growing up I always watched my mom do her hair, whether it be her natural hair or weave. I’ve taken mental notes since a young age,” Clark said. “I used to watch my grandma do her own makeup every weekend before she went out, so I give credit to her for wanting to do makeup.”
Clark said she began to experiment with makeup in seventh grade. While in high school, she began to style her friends’ hair.
“I used to do natural hair (styles like press and curls) for a few friends,” Clark said.
She said initially doing hair and makeup was a way to relieve stress.
“I started doing hair and makeup as an escape from everyday life,” Clark said.
She said she has always experimented with makeup, but didn’t really begin to start pursuing a career in makeup until this year.
“Earning a spot in a salon has allowed me to perfect my craft,” Clark said.
Clark uses social media platforms like Instagram to promote her work.
“Recording hair and makeup videos gives me exposure for what I am destined to do,” Clark said.
Professionally, she looks up to Cliffvmir, an 18-year-old Instagram celebrity weaveologist, who, like Clark, began his career at a young age. Clark said Cliffvmir is an inspiration.
“He’s young and definitely showing out in the hair world,” Clark said. “I normally never get the urge to travel to get my hair done but when I do, I want him to do it.”
Clark said her career in makeup is important, but school is most important because it will contribute to the success of her career. “Graduating from college is my priority,” Clark said.
She will graduate from WSU in 2018, she said, and her ultimate goal is to start a hair and makeup company.
“Owning a hair and wig company and makeup line … I want to brand myself and turn my company into a multimillion-dollar business because money never fades in the beauty industry,” Clark said.
For makeup services, contact Lexxus Clark at 313-729-3150 or at Modish Salon located at 14141 West McNichols in Detroit.