In the Limelight: Andrew ‘Floons’ Stenger finds his sound through hip-hop

Floons is a musician from St. Louis, Missouri. He is a senior at Iowa State.

Collin Maguire

Andrew Stenger goes through his daily life of a Cyclone, but his vision is a little different. Stenger is a senior studying mechanical engineering and simultaneously pursuing his passion for hip-hop. While making music under the artist name “Floons” for the past year, his connection to music is lifelong.

“My mom would drive me around everywhere, and she would always be playing something,” Stenger said.

He listened to 90s alternative rock as a result of his environment. It wasn’t until his adolescence when his love for hip-hop flourished.

“In middle school, my peers started influencing me and it went straight to rap, and it was over from there,” Stenger said.

His initial introduction to hip-hop was through artists like Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Mac Miller. Even though he continued to consume all forms of hip-hop, it wasn’t until his college years that he actually began to rap. He put lyrics down on paper for the first time in 2018.

Stenger is no stranger to establishing his creative vision either. He and five of his friends are a part of a creative group called “The Playground Alumni,” composed of musicians, photographers and even painters.

“We’re kind of a broad collective of creative people from St. Louis,” Stenger said. “We’re just trying to grow and create an inclusive community of people that create together.”

Stenger has also been involved with managerial work within the group since November. He and his team have been working to grow their brand through social media. 

“We need to start having a little more direction, and I think a lot of independent artists just rap, and they don’t really do a whole lot of promotion,” Stenger said.

He emphasized the key to success in some cases is promotion.

“A lot of rappers can make good music, but if they just put it out there with no promotion, that’s not gonna do shit, man. You need to reach people who don’t see you,” Stenger said. “We have to grow listeners first.”

Before he became “Floons,” he spent time in Ireland, giving him time away from his everyday happenings, making it easier to prioritize himself.

“I went and studied abroad in Ireland, and that gave me a chance to reflect on myself,” Stenger said. “Over a year ago, I was really unhappy, and I didn’t know what to do with my life. I started rapping in Ireland, very casually.” He expressed this trip as the spark he needed in order to realize his goals.

Once Floons established himself, he realized he wanted his music to contain substance.

“I definitely want to touch the heart with some of my music. I’ll be very upfront about how I feel,” Stenger said. “At the end of the day, my goal is to inspire people and remind people that we’re all human. I’m trying to show you what I’m going through, whether it’s good or it’s bad. It’s about the art and how to convey things.”

Floons is an artist over everything, and that is something that is very apparent throughout all of his work. In his Spotify biography, he states, “I create a lot of different stuff. Be on the lookout for originality and energy, my uncensored expression in the truest form.” 

Floons plans on releasing a few tracks in the upcoming months, including a “Coffee 2 Bacardi” remix. The Playground Alumni will also be performing at the London Underground in downtown Ames on April 9. 

Editors note: This semester, Limelight is featuring the talents of Iowa State students and local artists in Ames. We’ll be profiling bands, musicians, visual artists, authors, designers and more. If you or someone you know would be interested in being featured for this series contact [email protected].