Minty Fresh: An interview with Yiwei Meng, founder of Minty Boy

Photos by Alejandro Lomeli

Based in Los Angeles, where culture reverberates through a vibrant nightlife, Minty Boi, founded by Yiwei Ming in 2016, is a DJ and promoter collective that’s become a beacon for the independent music scene. As well as LA, Minty Boi puts on parties and shows in New York and across Southern California, focusing on bringing young, emerging artists to new platforms. As part of Asian American, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPI), DICE chatted to Minty Boi to find out what inspires them, why they put on shows, and how heritage influences their approach to live music.

What inspired you to become a promoter?

I went to a DIY show at The Smell when I was in High School. It changed my life. Live music and seeing what it can do to people, inspired me.

What's your approach to curating artists for Minty Boi events? 

It's so simple. If we like the music, we will try to work on it. 

Who are the five artists you've got on repeat right now?

Have A Nice Life, Snow Strippers, Roar, Vs Self, Elliot Fullam. They are all folks we are working with currently. I like listening to our clients' music while we book tours.

She Past Away performing at a Minty Boi Show, April 2024. Photo Credit: Alejandro Lomeli

What's your favourite show of 2024 so far? 

I’m going to include some from 2023 as well, if that's cool? Such a beautiful year for live music. Deftones at Sick New World — such a well-curated festival. Since it's AAPI, I should mention Chino from Deftones is also Chinese. Camilo Wong Moreno. People don't know that, but it's a giveaway in the name! For best pop, Rosalia at Coachella. It was like watching a movie. The attention to detail and how carefully it was executed. So beautiful and so creative.

Some highlight Minty Boi shows were Sky Ferreira at Vermont Hollywood. She's just a goddess. Current Joys at Vermont Hollywood, too. When you hear Nick's voice shiver, you can feel the emotion pierce your skin. Especially in our hometown Los Angeles, the energy is just outrageous. 

Omar Souleyman at The Vermont Hollywood. You feel the power of people when you see folks swinging the keffiyeh (Middle Eastern headdress) and doing dance circles. Just a beautiful moment, celebrating people and culture. Omnipotent Youth Society at Knockdown Center. It's crazy to see 3,000 expats crying to music in their language on thanksgiving. The expats and new immigrant communities traditionally not well-represented or given a voice in America, either due to language barrier or something else, creating a room where they can find support and comfort through music, just meant so much more.  


As an Asian promoter, does that influence how you approach the industry and the Minty Boi brand?

Our team members are from everywhere and of many different descents, China, Brazil, Dagestan, India, and obviously America. Being from these backgrounds really opens up our view by bringing in many different culture, music and art. I think it gives us just a little more knowledge to appreciate other things. 

But the process is very organic, just something we all gravitate towards. Number one rule has always been supporting good art. I am very grateful that we can be a part of it.

And some answers from my teammates! 

Raghav, Talent Buyer 

As the son of Indian immigrants, when I started in the music industry I didn’t see many people who looked like me, but that’s changed a lot over the last 10 years and I see a lot more diversity and multiculturalism. The Minty Boi brand is all about putting the spotlight on artists that may be ignored by the bigger concert promoters. We have a firmly DIY ethos that I attribute, in part, to my “outsider” background in the music industry itself, whether we’re promoting a Chinese rock band, Mexican DJ collective, a niche internet podcast, or Syrian wedding singer, we all are driven by our love of music and art and bringing more attention to overlooked artists and scenes.

I think when our social media followers see Minty Boi promoting an artist they may not be familiar with, they’re more willing to check that act out and give them a listen than if they were seeing that same show announcement from your standard venue or mainstream promoter. Our followers trust that if we give an artist a co-sign, they’re gonna be hearing something new, exciting, and that may be the next big thing.

Gabby, Marketing Content Manager

I would say that growing up in a multicultural household allowed me to be exposed to different people and points of view from an early age. Both of my parents loved music from all over the world, and I believe that this early exposure allowed me to develop an open mind (and an open set of ears) toward a variety of music that strays from the mainstream or perhaps is leaning towards a different point of view. 

What shows are you most looking forward to in 2024?

Everyone we work with :)

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