andy-mineo

Andy Mineo – About the Artist

Interlinc Article

Whether he’s on stage bringing an audience to its feet with his riveting performance or off stage fielding interview questions with a potent combination of intellect and wit, it’s obvious Andy Mineo is a born communicator and hip hop music is his instrument for reaching the masses. “It is absolutely undeniable that hip hop is becoming the universal language,” Mineo says expressing an unbridled enthusiasm for his artistic vehicle. “It’s so influential because you are able to say so much in a short period of time. The essence of hip hop is the boldness of it so you’re able to be exactly who you are. You are able to say exactly what you want. You represent exactly what is deepest and dearest to you and people respond to that. They respond to that realness.”

Listen To Andy Mineo- Never Land feat Marz

That musical authenticity, heart for people and keen insight into the human condition coalesce on Mineo’s Reach Records debut Heroes for Sale. “We make heroes out of a lot of things,” he says. “We make heroes out of people. We believe ourselves to be greater than we really are. We make ourselves look like heroes to other people. What I really wanted to do is show the brokenness of the heroes that we create and the heroes that we try to be in order to show that there is ultimately only one great hero.”

To underscore that message, Mineo was willing to strip back the layers of his own life and be honest with his audience. “I get really transparent on these songs,” he confesses. “I want to let people see into my brokenness in hopes that other people would identify with that and ultimately know that they don’t have to be great. Their God is. Also I just wanted to have fun. I wanted to show off my love for hip hop. I wanted to try some things. You’ll see a bunch of my big personality come out. I let people see who I am.”

Andy Mineo – Saturday Morning Car-Tunez

A native of Syracuse, New York, Mineo grew up in a single parent home and was a troubled kid who was kicked out of public school because of his anger issues and aggressive tendencies. Sports and music became positive outlets for Andy’s excessive energy. “I was more involved in basketball and football until one of my friends and I just started rapping as a joke,” he remembers. “We used to buy singles because we couldn’t afford anything else. When you’re 10 years old and you’ve got two or three dollars, you buy the CD single instead of the whole album. The CD single would have instrumentals, so we would just write our own raps to the instrumental on the CD. That’s kind of where my love for it began. My buddy got a program for the computer and we were recording in my living room. I put together my first rap and I fell in love with it the moment I heard myself on the beat. I said, ‘Man, I want to do this forever!”

Mineo became a hard-working young entrepreneur and not only recorded his own raps, but started a studio in his house where he recorded other young hopefuls. He became a local hero and at 17 had money, success and everything most young guys are looking to achieve. “When I got to about 15 or 16, I got all the equipment I needed to not only record myself, but have my friends come over and I’d record them,” he says. “Other people got wind of that and said, ‘Hey I’ll come over and I’ll pay to let me record,’ so I started doing that. The business kept on evolving. I started making more money and bought more stuff, moved it into my basement and built a full studio with one of my friends, who was a carpenter. We created a little ghetto basement studio. That’s how I made my money all throughout high school.”

Yet even with Mineo’s worldly success, there was still an emptiness and restlessness in his heart. He found what he had been looking for when his sister Mary went to work at a church camp one summer and took Andy with her. “I was surrounded by loving people,” he recalls. “There were a couple of guys that invested in me that summer, shared the gospel with me, showed me what it is to follow Jesus, and that’s when I had my first real encounter with Jesus.” When he returned home, it was hard to grow in his faith. “All throughout high school it was really difficult to follow Jesus without having any community,” Mineo says. “I didn’t have any home church. I didn’t have any men to disciple me. Nothing. When I went to college is when I started to get that. In college, I got away from the situation I was in. God put me there and he put me around a bunch of people that loved God, people that looked like me and talked like me. They were into hip hop like I was and it was really a blessing to meet some of these guys.”

Mineo met producer Alex Medina (Lecrae, Trip Lee) who encouraged the young artist to check out T.R.U.C.E. “It was a group of young people that would gather on Saturdays to work on performing arts for the purpose of evangelism,” he says. “I got invited to come check them out at a rehearsal and there was a whole bunch of men there, people my age, and they all loved God. They were an encouragement for me to start walking with God again. They showed me that I could use my gifts for him. I didn’t have to live the way I was living. I didn’t have to make the music the way I was making it. I could actually use everything that I have for Jesus. I got connected with people that showed me that I could do more with my life and my music.” Mineo traveled with T.R.U.C.E. and began making a name for himself with such projects as Sin is Wack Vol. 1. Soon others were enlisting Mineo to add his considerable skills to their projects. He’s been featured on Tedashii’s Blacklight, Ambassador’s Stop the Funeral, Flame’s Captured and Lecrae’s “Background.” “That was the first song we collaborated on and since then we started to build a relationship,” Mineo says of working with Lecrae. “He came to New York and we shot a music video for it. We started to realize that we both had a similar vision, a similar mission in what we wanted to do with our music. They were looking to sign a new artist and I just seemed to be the right fit so I signed with Reach and it’s been a heck of a journey ever since.”

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