Article by Abe Plaut
Instagram and Twitter @abeplaut
Kiméon Sumler is a lot of things. Indianapolis native. Audio engineer. Drummer. Musical director. Above all though, Sumler is a musician who has learned the important lesson of serving the song. Paying attention to detail, Sumler successfully walks the tight rope between staying true to the originals and the new.
Before he began studying with IU professor Steve Houghton, Kiméon Sumler had never worked with a private teacher. That doesn’t mean Sumler didn’t start playing at a young age though. In a conversation over Zoom, Sumler told Season about how his parents like to say he was drumming even in the womb. Kicking in rhythm. Sumler was two years old when his grandfather got him a drum set. Growing up listening to the same jazz and R&B his family listened to, Kiméon got his start drumming for crowds in church. Sumler is the only musician in his family.
After honing his skills on the drum throne in church, Kiméon credits his mother for prompting him to explore audio engineering and all the other skills surrounding the performance. Sumler was 16 when he began learning live sound, lighting, and the best techniques for setting up and striking down the stage. By 19, Sumler was running front of house for big venues across Indianapolis.
Running live sound is a great way to diversify your listening. Is it a rock band? Make sure the guitars are loud, but not so loud to drown the vocals. Is it a funk group? Maybe a little extra for the kick drum and bass and let the keyboards or horns shine on top. It also helps to know the venue. Different spaces (and crowd sizes) all call for different levels. This experience in so many different musical situations has also helped Kiméon grow his own company, Havok City Studios Entertainment, offering strategic, artistic consultant and management services to artists and musicians.
Sumler is no stranger to performing at high energy and high profile events. NBA games for the Indianapolis Pacers? Check. Indianapolis 500? Check. Sharing the stage with Rock & Roll Hall of Famer Bootsy Collins? Check.
Sumler is currently in the process of creating his first full-length album, but in the meantime look for his EP You Just Don’t Know wherever you stream music.
*Images courtesy of Kiméon Sumler*