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By Liz Slater
Special to The Recorder
Michael Christian Minelli is not your average Central Connecticut State University student. He is determined to have it all.
While Minelli is a committed full-time student Monday through Thursday, the remainder of the week he lives his dream as a vocalist with his band The Goonies, which recently signed a recording contract with the Boston-based New Music Chronicles record label.
Minelli and his band drive to Beantown after class on Thursdays and return home on Sunday evenings. For Minelli, it’s challenging to juggle both roles of a college student, and a recording artist.Minelli says, “I bring my lap top so that I can get a little work done here and there.”
This golden opportunity has been fourteen years in the making. In fourth grade, Minelli started dancing with his partners Ron Adrian-Libatique and Mike Kuzoian in his basement. Eventually their rehearsal and preparation led them to perform in school talent shows. The dance crew became known as E3 while they gradually made their rounds in New England-area dance competitions.
Their hard work and dedication has already begun to pay off. In 2006 they became a part of the United States hip-hop team competing against 32 countries in Bremen, Germany. They placed 31st out of 100 contestants.
E3 continued to win dance competitions including NBC’s Showtime at The Apollo, located in the world famous Apollo Theater in New York City, and BET’s program, Wild Out Wednesday. The exposure gave them the confidence to try out and eventually become contestants on ABC’s America’s Got Talent in 2009.
However, things in Minelli’s career didn’t really begin to change until friend Cory Miranda introduced E3 to record producer, rapper and engineer Juice. The relationship with Juice proved to be a step in a different direction. That’s when he stepped into the role of vocalist and The Goonies were formed.
What’s next for The Goonies?
“Wherever music takes me. Six months ago was my first show with the band. Six months before that I was on America’s Got Talent,” says Minelli. “So, I never truly know where I’m going next. All I know is that I work hard every day to mature my sound as a part of the group, and continue to train to be as good of a performer as I can be. I hope to reach as many people as possible.”
Staying true to himself, Minelli remains grounded. He’s motivated by Boston Celtics’ shooting guard Ray Allen, whose family owns the record label New Music Chronicles, along with Glenn Parrish of rap group Heavy D and The Boys.
Allen, whose star power is recognized all over the world, has taught Minelli that “no matter how much money you have, how famous you are – you must stay grounded.”
It’s been invaluable advice to the budding artist.
The Goonies’ first single from their upcoming album The Life of a Dreamer is currently on sale through iTunes.