With a heart clearly sold out for God, music artist, Andy Garcia, sings with such passion, it’s contagious. He released his debut album, Forever We Sing, July 14th (read the TBAP review here), and the music was as fresh as it was impressive. With the profound belief that his life is nothing short of God’s miracle, Andy, in turn, has developed a love for people that runs deep and will sing to an audience of one or a million. Andy took some time to tell us a bit about himself, sharing a testimony about his life that is both moving and inspiring. Follow our conversation!
Miranda ~ Hello Andy! Happy to have you here on TBAP today. Could you please tell us a bit about yourself?
Andy: Well, let’s see. I want to do crazy things. I love people. I love to laugh, and I love to travel the world! I grew up in Dallas, TX, as a kid with a large extended family. I lived in a bad area of town, and with my mom and grandparents. My alcoholic father left when I was a baby and never returned. At a young age I was presented with many bad options including drugs and gangs. As a child and teenager without a father and living in poverty, I was searching for anything to give me identity. I know my mother’s prayers and example are what kept my head above water and put me in places where I would grow and experience Jesus. Her and my grandfather kept me in church and paid a high price to take me to church events. I also had a youth pastor who came in and loved me as I was. He would actually hug me like a father and pour value into me. Through him, I gave my life back to Jesus and began to help with the church as much as I could. I always had a great love for music, but this was beyond just a normal love of music; it was a calling. And, out of a small prayer meeting that I, with three friends, had every Thursday night, God began to show up in such an amazing way. Now I have a passion for worship, and for His presence. Once you experience His presence, you are forever changed.
I travel around the US doing music and helping churches build great worship teams. I have an amazing wife and two sons who have blessed my life. They want to do crazy things too and carry the same vision. My passion is to see people’s lives changed through music. I want to see stadiums filled with people worshipping, and God just shows up and changes a city.
Miranda ~ What particularly led you into a personal relationship with Jesus? Also, in what way can you say your painful past has led you to become the better person that you are now?
Andy: As a child and teenager without a father and living in poverty, I was searching for anything to give me identity. I had an option to be in a gang, but I had a close friend who was shot by gangsters, and so I didn’t want to go down that road. I know my mother’s prayers and example are what kept my head above water and put me in places where I would grow and experience Jesus. She and my grandfather kept me in church and paid a high price to take me to youth events. I also had a youth pastor who came in and loved me as I was. He would actually hug me like a father and pour value into me. He saw something in me of purpose and would put me in leadership positions. Through him, I gave my life back to Jesus and began to help with the church as much as I could. My life experiences have given me such a deep love for people, their struggles, and have put in me a passion to help them to succeed in life. My goal each day is to help people see who God has called them to be and enable them to take steps to fulfill what they are called to do. I know I would not be who I am today if it were not for the few people who saw something great in me, and chose to selflessly give to see me succeed.
Miranda ~ Who would you say you sing for—the broken hearted, lost etc.? Why do you believe you’ve been called to this particular group of people?
Andy: I have a huge heart to see people rise above the circumstances of life and the boxes that they are in because of what I experienced in my life. My heart is to see people experience God and know His presence. I want people to see that if I can do something with my life, then anyone can. I was supposed to be a statistic—a failure—but God saw different. Throughout the Bible, God chose the nobodies, the failures, and the people less likely to succeed. So, if those are who He chose to bring Him glory, then anyone can make something of their life.
We are not called to live this life for ourselves, but to make Him known to a hurting world. So, my answer to the question of who I sing for is my Father in heaven. If I choose to sing for Him, then my heart will be right, and His presence will show up and impact people.
Miranda ~ What inspired your song, Forever We Sing and, why did you title your album with this song?
Andy: I am honored to feature the song, Forever We Sing, which my son, Sam, wrote with me, along with my wife, my son, Moses, and my producers. We wrote this song late one night as God was stirring in him a heart for music. As a family, our heart has been to write songs that describe God and bring Him praise. So, this song has special memories for me. It has also been a theme of what God continues to tell us—to magnify Him above all else, and to forever sing of His greatness. I was also privileged to finish this song with my producers—some very talented guys—which I also call my friends. They made the song amazing. They put so much heart into it as well.
Miranda ~ Your songs are sung so passionately! What principle guides your choice of lyrics as you write songs?
Andy: When we choose songs or write songs, we want lyrics that will paint a picture of who God is to people. We want songs that will move them and stir their hearts. We want songs that will heal their hearts, and make them dance as well. We are not looking for just a cool song; we want it to change people’s life.
Miranda ~ How would you describe your journey in the Christian music industry? How has your journey drawn you closer to God and made you a better person?
Andy: I have been doing music and working with artists for a while. One thing I have decided is that anyone can make it big, but not everyone can make a God-impact on people. I don’t want to be another great singer or performer; I want to leave a legacy. But, that takes much effort, prayer, and strategic purpose to see that happen. I love the music industry, and have, since I was a young child. I have always had a heart to be part of it. I just know that God has called us to do better than the world with our skill, creativity, and influence, and that is my goal.
Miranda ~ Who are the people that have inspired you the most in life and in music, and, in what way have they done so?
Andy: Growing up, I was influenced by many people. I had an amazing mom, grandfather, uncle, and family. I had a wonderful youth pastor and good friends. I loved watching TD Jakes and other pastors on TV. For music, I was influenced by Fred Hammond, gospel music, Kent Henry, Hillsong, Lindell Cooley, Jason Upton and Matt Redman. I was also influenced by people like Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, Keith Urban and other very talented artists. I appreciate music and talent. So, I have a very diverse influence, but all of them had so much passion for Jesus. I must say that, this is my goal, no matter what style I may be playing.
Miranda ~ What moment in your life (apart from when you gave your life to Christ) can you say changed your life forever?
Andy: When I was younger and in youth, I and some friends would have a prayer meeting every Thursday night. When we started having the meetings, I was dealing with depression, heaviness of heart, and suicide thoughts because of the things going on in my life. During these prayer times, God was so real to me. I would feel His presence and hear His voice speaking value and purpose to me. He healed my heart during this time. His presence can accomplish way more in a short time than years of counseling can do.
Miranda ~ What are most grateful for—generally/right now?
Andy: I am most grateful for all that God has done in my life. I could have been a statistic or a lost human being, but God came in and rescued me. I am thankful for all the opportunities I continue to have each day, and the doors He has opened for me. I am thankful for my wife and two sons who support me like crazy, and do everything they can to be a team and help out. I am thankful for some amazing friends and extended family that, also, are so loving and faithful to me. It makes life worth doing. God has been so good to me.
Miranda ~ What advice would you give to an artist who believes that they are called by God and are just starting their journey into the music industry?
Andy: Well, ha-ha, I would say get prepared to do a lot of work! The music industry is not for the faint of heart. To be in this industry takes a person who is not just creative and can perform good, but it takes a person of character, integrity and discipline. I would also say to make sure God has called you here, and that you are not just here because everyone says you sing good or that you should perform professionally. You must be called to be here or you will end up frustrated. There will always be someone who is better than you and more talented, but you have to know your purpose for being here. You have to know God’s heart for each day, and why you are to do what you do. When you have God’s heart and vision before you, then you will be able to get through hard times and difficult people. I have worked with music artists for years and know that pride and selfishness will only turn people away from God, and not make you look like a superstar. So, stay humble no matter how big you make it, and continue to pour into the lives of those around you. It’s all about Him!
This is That (The Fun Questions!)
Coffee, Tea or Mocha? Frappuccino and Iced Tea
T-shirt or Collar shirt? T-shirt
Boots or Sneakers? Sneakers
Breakfast or Dinner? Dinner
TV or Magazine? TV
Rain or Snow? Snow
Gym or Outdoor? Gym
Leather Jacket or Blazer? Leather Jacket
Thank you, Andy, for stopping by today!
About Andy Garcia
Andy Garcia grew up just outside of Dallas, Texas, in a small town called Oak Cliff. As a baby, his dad left him and his mom never to return again. By God’s design, Andy’s uncle took him under his wing as a father to the fatherless. Here is where Andy gained his heart for music since his uncle traveled with a Gospel band all over the US. As a little boy and teenager, Andy experienced much sorrow and pain, but a praying mom, a selfless youth pastor, and the Gospel music carried him through this time. His chance came one night when his cousin happened to hear him singing in the car and knew the youth group needed a new worship leader. Andy, not believing he could sing, and being told he would not succeed in life, decided to take a step and began to sing and play the guitar. From there, he never stopped singing and playing for God. He has led worship all over the US, and has mentored many others to do the same. He loves people like no other and will lead worship for 1 or 1 million. From worship leading, to events, to training up leaders, his heart is to see people moved and blessed through God-filled music. His vision for this world is just as big as his heart—to see people touched—and his passion will never let him quit. He speaks the Father’s heart like no other because he has lived it out. He lives and loves to worship his God.