Written By: Hadiya Cambridge
Rapper Andy Mineo is many things, and a dope artist is at the top of the list. Mineo’s current project ‘Work In Progress’ dropped Friday (Aug 23) and is a mixture of music followed by podcast recordings that explains his unreleased tracks that sat in his musical vault for years. This self-reflective project gives his fan’s the opportunity to tune into Mineo’s vulnerable side as he bares honesty and creativity in his music.
In his interview below, Mineo explains his inspirations behind Work In Progress, being labeled a Christian rapper, the difference between radio fans versus core fans and his thoughts on becoming a mainstream artist.
What was your motivation/inspiration behind your latest project Work In Progress?
- “There’s a lot of things that contributed to making this project. For starters, I wanted to show my fans a side of me that they’ve never seen and that itself was a work in progress. There were so many things I was dealing with and I wanted to give them a piece of myself that they could relate to and that started with me reflecting on myself and my past and the music I already had given them. It’s basically a mix tape-podcast hybrid consisting of records that’s been sitting on my hard drive for years, some of these songs never even saw the light of day until now. Each record has a clip from my podcast that basically explains what each song is about, some personal, some influential, etc. basically giving my fans a blueprint inside of the things I’ve experienced on this journey. It was also a mixture of a lot of things, my faith, getting back in the studio, my marriage, and turning thirty which was a huge milestone in my life.”
You have many inter-sectional labels being a white, Christian, Rapper, have you ever been judged and/or stereotyped based on who you are or what you represent?
- “Yeah, there’s a lot of stereotypes that comes with all of those things. I think it’s just easier for people, in general, to understand the world if they put them in boxes. I mean I am a Christian and I’m never ashamed of that, and I’m also a dope hip-hop artist. That label, “Christian, hip-hop” is kind of funny because it actually gives the music less of a chance because I think when people hear that title, they think of this weird corny music. I also think the perception of what it is versus if someone would just put on one of my songs and listen is completely different. I often get “Yo, your music is nothing like I thought it would be like.”
How do you separate the two — from making sure your music finds a balance and it isn’t to secular or hardcore rap?
- “I think music is a great intersection for honesty and creativity and I think that’s what makes really good music. Honestly, I’ve never tried to smudge the lines in a way that would work a system — I’ve always tried to be myself. And I never want to be the kind of person that judges or criticizes anybody else because of the music they listen to or even the way they live their life. I just want to offer my authentic perspective. You just have to do what’s right for you and I think my fans continuously show up and show love for me because they know exactly who I am.”
You previously made a comment in a video posted to your Instagram about the difference between core fans and radio fans — Do you think the presence of radio has a bigger impact on the amount of fans you again?
- “No, I definitely think core fans are most important because the core fans are people who show up to your shows, buy your merchandise and support you. Radio fans are more fickle because it’s a very low level entry support. All they really do is turn on the radio wherever they are — it’s more so about leisure and comfort for them while a good song plays in the background, whereas your core fans will go out their way because they genuinely love your music. I guess that’s also why I’ve never really had a big hit in radio but I’m still able to do what I do and in a lot of ways, sell more albums, do more shows, sell more tickets than other artists who do radio.”
Are you expecting any of your songs on ‘Work In Progress’ to be a radio hit?
- “Nah, I don’t think any of them are to be honest. I think they’re all going to do well in their own respective field. Like there some records on there that’s going to go crazy on rap playlists and then there’s some records that’s going to go one some wedding playlists or R&B playlists. I think we live in a world now that’s ran by streaming and so playlists is like the new radio. You don’t have to fit the format of a 2-3 min song for it to work on the radio. Like ‘You Can’t Stop Me’ a record that I did that went gold, it got long rap verses in it, there’s screaming in it, there’s no melody — and it went gold because the right playlist loved it. Also, I think nowadays, more than ever, we live in an era of niches where your record can thrive and succeed by finding its own pocket of people. But I love the radio too!”
What would you say is your favorite song off your album and why?
- “Ummm– Probably ‘1988’ just because it’s most personal to me and I really like that record. I like ‘I Don’t Need You,’ I think the second verse on that record is also very vulnerable and just some of my own personal work with going to therapy and working through my own stuff. I also like ‘Till death’ it’s like a funk record, I recorded in an old studio with a band and it’s in dedication to my wife. We’re going on five years this year so– it’s like a wedding record and I made this so people will be able to play this at their wedding, wild out and have fun. There’s a lot on there that I like and I’m pretty proud of this record.”
Do you think being a low key artist as opposed to a main stream artist who has to deal with all the craziness of fame saves your marriage?
- “Yeah, I think the bigger the artist, the bigger the microscope you’re under. I don’t envy the tabloids and all the stuff that comes along with it. I don’t — But it’s apart of growth man, like the bugger you are, the more access your music has which is what most artists want you know. I always tell people I’m regular famous because I walk around without a body guard but I still get stopped a few times for pictures. But I think having a successful marriage is hard work no matter what position or profession you have. You still have to follow similar principles and spend time with your wife, do things that makes her feel loved, and don’t out anything above that relationship, but it’s worth it if you value marriage.”
Have you ever been compared to another artist?
- “I think early on when I first started, I was going back and forth between singing and rapping and that was also the time when Drake started to blow up and I would get that comparison sometimes and that guy makes incredible music but I think I have my own type of sound that I stick too.”
Where do you see yourself as an artist in the next five years?
- “In the next five years, I don’t know — I don’t even know what I’ll be doing in the next five minutes, like maybe get some food or something. But maybe we can have another interview in another five years to see what’s going on with me.”
You can find Andy’s music and latest project HERE:
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