Andrew Dang was searching for his soul when he arrived at Excelsius Academy. After he graduated from UC Irvine, Andrew pursued a career in music, and in 2007 he became the first American hip-hop artist to headline a tour of Vietnam. Pleased with his success, he returned in 2010 for a second tour, and this time he planned on staying indefinitely.
The lure of fame and wealth was attractive, but Andrew, the son of a former monk, found himself more motivated by the impact he was making on the youthful audience that came to watch him perform. Simply put, those kids were the best fans any entertainer could ask for.
His success, however, came with unintended consequences. Over time Andrew became more aware of the corruption and inequality that surrounded him, and while he lived lavishly, he witnessed others toil. His investors became more controlling and his conscience questioned whether he was becoming a champion of the people or a puppet for the ranks of oppression. Much to the ire of those around him, Andrew followed his heart and abandoned his career in Asia and returned home to America.
Dejected and defeated, Andrew began his life anew, and in his search of purpose he found wisdom from a reliable source, his mother. She told him that he didn’t just have a talent for music, he also had a talent for teaching. In Vietnam, he had the chance to live life as a star, but now, after all his trials and tribulations, Andrew had the chance to become something more meaningful: a role model. It took many years, but Andrew finally began listening to his mom’s advice.
Andrew currently works for the Garden Grove Unified School District as a substitute teacher and test proctor. He is an environmentalist, Vegan advocate, and plans on releasing his first album in 2014.