Andy Mineo: A musical journey of faith
A bright display of colorful light beams darted around the Conn Center stage as Andy Mineo, 27-year-old American hip-hop artist from New York, brought his first lively, energetic U-Church performance to the Lee University campus on Sunday night.
The much-anticipated event drew in a massive audience that bounced and sang along to Mineo's music, including hits such as 'You Can't Stop Me,' 'The Saints,' and 'Uno Uno Seis'.
Mineo, who has visited TCC Chesapeake and Liberty University, enjoys performing at colleges since he can personally relate to the students.
"That age demographic is a space I can really relate to and was also the age bracket where I had a lot of transformative experiences in my life," Mineo said. "It feels good to go to those spaces and be able to talk, perform and encourage people."
After the release of his first mixtape, 'Sin is Wack' (2009), Mineo set off on a musical journey that has yielded several albums, sold-out shows and partnerships with other artists such as Lecrae and Trip Lee.
Amid all the experiences and lessons that he has learned, Mineo's faith remains a core part of who he is becoming as a person.
"I think my faith is at an interesting place. I'm being challenged to grow and see God differently and wrestle with different issues, [and] that seems like a pretty consistent trajectory for growth," Mineo said. "The closer you get to God, the more you realize how holy he is, how good he is, how pure he is, how messed up you really are and how much you need him."
Much of Mineo's music serves as proof of his reliance on God and the struggles in his life, which are reflected through notoriously honest and transparent lyrics.
"It's pretty natural for me to bare my emotions, my thoughts, my feelings...it's a comfortable space for me to be vulnerable for the most part," Mineo said. "If I share my pain, my hurt, my struggles or my vulnerability, I know that [they] can help other people, and helping people through my music is one of my greatest goals."
Mineo also seeks to eradicate the boundaries that seem to separate 'Christian' and 'non-Christian' rappers.
"I just think it's important to not limit people - not put them in boxes but to know that all people have been made in the image of God with great capacity to do amazing things," Mineo said. "There's several spaces where that title [Christian] doesn't necessarily do any benefit besides informing people that already agree with you that you're on their team; my mission in music is not to just create music for Christians to enjoy, [but] also to create music for the rest of the world to enjoy and engage with."
Mineo, whose 'Uncomfortable' tour starts this spring, plans to keep helping and inspiring others by making music for as long as he can.
"I thank God that I'm not where I was, but I know that he's got so many more places he wants to take me and so much more growing [in me] to do," Mineo said. "I just hope when [people] listen to my music, that they get a sense of the hope that I have, the joy that I have, [and that] they would see what that's found in."