SEEN had the opportunity to get to know Detroit artist Sheefy McFly. Read about his creative talents from art to music.
By Rachel Schostak
1. Can you share a bit about your professional background? Hi, I’m Sheefy McFly (Tashif Turner), and I am the greatest artist alive.
2. Have you always been in the art space? I’ve been making art for as long as I can remember.
3. Do you recall the first piece you ever created? I remember my Momma showing me how to draw Fred Flintstone when I was 3 or 4 years old.
4. Can you share some of your career highlights? Any moments you are most proud of? Some of my most special moments as an artist and musician is Red Bull Cycle 10, working with Moodymann & DJ Godfather, creating my own fanbase with over 100 self-curated parties and exhibitions, and being able to see my art and music go across the globe from Detroit.
5. Tell us about your art and music connection? How do the two mediums correlate in your life? I feel as if art and music is the reason I’m living. Both help me express myself and become more open minded because I always want to try different medias and genres to help evolve my own personal creative output. It’s a spiritual release that I can’t live without.
6. You founded the company #TAUT — tell us about the mission of #TAUT? #TAUT (The Air Up There) started as a showcase I created nine years ago because I was too young to perform in venues. So I started throwing my own rap showcase at Bob’s Classic Kicks, helping myself and dozens of other rappers to a dope platform including Dej Loaf, Danny Brown, Boldy James, ZelooperZ, Chavis Chandler and many more.
7. Who inspires you in the art world? Sydney James, Hebru Brantley, Keith Haring, Mario Moore, Tony Whlgn, Sixmau, Phillip Simpson, Sintex, Shades, Tyree Guyton, Picasso, Dali, Warhol, Naturel, Nina Chanel, just to name a few.
8. Who inspires you in the music world? Moodymann, Esham, Danny Brown, Amp Fiddler, Waajeed, Nick Speed.
9. Where do you get inspiration for the music you produce and artwork you create? My inspiration comes from my life. My work is virtually a loose autobiography and a unique depiction of Detroit. The mystique of my hometown is the greatest inspiration.
10. How has your art evolved? Over the years I’ve developed into a subconscious freehand style to help create my own universe and characters in a abstract and surreal manner. I can also paint a lot faster than I used to. I still develop my foundation skills in different media, but lately I’ve been sticking to pastels, spray paint and acrylic.
11. Where can we find your artwork? I have murals all around Detroit (Eastern Market, Rosdale Park, Corktown), and I always preview my work from upcoming exhibitions on my Instagram @sheefymcfly.
On to your Local Love List…
13. Favorite spot in Detroit to listen to music? My room (I don’t leave the house much unless I’m throwing a event.)
14. What do you love most about our community? What I love most about the Detroit community is that it’s very unique and there’s so much talent here. It’s like an incubator for legends, and once you evolve from here, you become a Global Artistic Force if you are dedicated to your craft. There is no other place like it.
Now on to personal style…
15. Three words to describe your style? Unique, legendary, panache.
16. You’re never fully dressed without______? My Carties.
17. Favorite album, record or sound you’ve ever heard? Best sound I ever heard is a black woman saying “I love you” to me and meaning it.
18. What are you currently listening to? My unreleased music and slow jams from the ’60s to ’90s.
19. What is one interesting thing most people don’t know about you? I’m sure there are many, but let us in… One time I ate 10 cheeseburgers from Telway and a loaf of bread worth of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches in one sitting.
20. Favorite quote or words to live by? “Vita brevis, longa ars.” (Life is short, but art is forever.)