Aayu was born and raised just outside of Philadelphia, PA as Mark Ciccone. He spent most of his childhood teaching himself drums, bass and guitar. His main influences were punk rock and hardcore, playing along to NoFX and Bad Religion records his basement. He was also heavily influenced by early 90's hip hop like Wu Tang Clan, Notorious B.I.G.and the Beastie Boys. Aayu decided at an early age that he wanted to make music his life so he dedicated almost all of his time into forming bands and playing shows (He played bass in Spring Victory and toured with Zolof The Rock And Roll Destroyer, and played drums with Valencia in 2004) but rapping and hip hop were mostly just hobbies.
After an extensive battle with addiction that lead him to being kicked out of every band he played with and being basically blacklisted from the Philadelphia music scene, he found a new way of life and started concentrating on rapping. When asked about this progression from rock to hip hop Aayu responds: "After I sold all my guitars I was left only with my voice, it was the only instrument I couldn't sell. I started rapping seriously because I still wanted to make music, and I had so much I wanted to say. I'm not a very good singer but I was blessed with an ability to rhyme. Music is music to me, whether it be rap or punk or funk or whatever, the right music hits your soul. Underground hip hop brought me back to a time to when the music I loved as a kid was MY music, nobody could take it from me."