Andy Mineo held a listening party in Los Angeles for his forthcoming sophomore album, Uncomfortable, yesterday (August 21). The Reach Records rapper surprised fans at an area skate park to play Nerf wars with them and play the album, which is slated for a September 18 release.
“The reason why these events are so important is because one, as a fan of music, this is the kind of stuff that I would want to have as a fan,” Mineo says during an exclusive interview with HipHopDX. “So I always try to create that for my fans. Then two, because we haven’t had like the major mainstream outlets pushing our music, I don’t have any kind of overnight success. All of my success has been built on the faithfulness of our fans and serving them and giving them content that feeds them and helps them grow and do life.”
About 30 fans met in North Hollywood and boarded a party bus to a mystery location, which turned out to be The Skate House in Chatsworth, California. On the way, Reach Records provided pizza and a contest where attendees had to name five songs featured in a rapid fire mix.
Once at The Skate House, Calling All Skaters, a local ministry, performed a skateboard exhibition. Fans were then invited to a room where they could recreate the Uncomfortable cover art with their face on a copy machine. Meanwhile, the skate park was transformed into a Nerf gun war zone with blowup obstacles featuring art from the album.
When fans were invited back into the skate park, they were given Nerf guns and started firing at each other when Mineo showed up. He announced a game of capture the flag and split the attendees into two teams. The rapper joined the black team, which won both games.
Andy Mineo Explains His Bond With His Fans
“My fans are the most important part of my career as an artist,” he says. “So I always wanna make sure I’m taking care of them, looking out for them, giving them cool experiences. ‘Cause at the end of the day, you can have as much media exposure and music videos and radio play as you want, but if you don’t have people that love you as an artist, you have nothing. It’s funny that we, the guys at Reach Records, have a lot more of that than some established artists that are on the radio. It’s a trip. We have an amazing core fan base.”
The rapper boarded the bus with the fans for the return trip to North Hollywood and proceeded to play Uncomfortable. The project is slated to be made up of 13 tracks, all of which were played, including the title track. Mineo entertained questions from the fans after each song. Each selection was received with applause and when the project concluded, Mineo received a large ovation.
Fans expressed that the music was not what they expected and he was praised for confronting issues of race, religion and politics on Uncomfortable.
“We’re connected by so much more than music,” he says of his fans, whom he and the other Reach artists consider family. “We’re connected by our lives and all of our relationships with God.”
Mineo is planning to air the third season of “Saturday Morning Car-Tunez,” which will give a behind-the-scenes look at the album, August 29.