VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – “Just being from Virginia Beach, there was a time that we couldn’t be at the beach hanging out and being ourselves. So for me to be down there actually performing where I’m from. Where I grew up at. Where I have so much love for, like it’s an amazing thing. It’s an exciting feeling,” said Fly Papi.

Fly Papi is a Virginia Beach rapper who was born and raised in the Bayside area.

“I’ve been doing music in Virginia for at least 10 years,” he said.

Papi is looking forward to taking his lyrics to the Something in the Water music festival. He’ll perform on the free community stages that are dedicated to local artists.

“I want to be a vibe and I want to give a vibe. That’s all I ever want to do,” he said.

Fly Papi is one of more than a hundred local artists that are getting the chance to perform in front of thousands of people.

“Anybody that’s coming from the area, that’s on the come up and doing things. This is a major opportunity for us, as we get to basically, you know, showcase our skills to different people who may not know about us. And it preps us for that next level. You know, of being at the bigger stages, bigger festivals, bigger shows,” he said.

Fly Papi performs Friday on the Coastal Edge Stage and on Sunday on the 24th Street, Love at First Site Stage.

He is also one of 75 artists that are on the official community playlist for Something in the Water. Organizers of the playlist said they received more than a thousand submissions.

“This whole weekend, being so busy, gives people a sense of importance and feeling like you belong to something. This is kind of what we need as artists to help us evolve to that next stage, to get to those next levels in the music career,” Fly Papi said.

Papi recognized that Virginia Beach and Hampton Roads are healing from several tragedies that have struck the area, such as the Virginia Beach, and Chesapeake mass shootings. He said he wants his music to help uplift people.

“I always want to be a vacation for other people,” Fly Papi said. “I make music to escape from the reality of things. So I am also offering that to people. I want to be their vibe to get away. Whenever they put my music on.”