Worcester bred SUMiT uncorks wine season with his new album ‘Vino: Better With Time’
Worcester rapper SUMiT has seen a successful year musically with the release of his single “Flash” featuring Adriana Rose, “Need a Drink” featuring Just Juice, and completing his album “Vino- Better With Time” all recorded, mixed, and mastered at the renowned Phoenix Down Recording, in Somerville.
Boston Culture: Where are you from/ where did you grow up? What was that like?
Born and raised on the East Side of Worcester, MA. I can’t really say what it’s like because I don’t know what it’s like to grow up anywhere else haha. I love my city though, I’m blessed to have grown up around the people I did and make the friends that I’ve had forever now.
Boston Culture: How did you come up with your artist name?
My boy Pat kind of nudged me into that name when we were in seventh grade, kind of tossing up a couple names. I had really started writing raps heavily and he suggested that I come up with something to call myself as an artist. In a verse I had probably written that fat or something, I said something about reaching the top. His eyes lit up when I asked, “Summit?” and from then on I ran with it. After a few months of that version, I removed one of the “m’s” to make a distinction between the word summit and the name, SUMiT. The lowercase “i”, kind of developed itself as a reminder that “i” should be the smallest and the least, to always have that mentality to remain humble. Maybe 5 years ago I found out that Sumit was a common Hindi name. The part that hit me was that the name actually means “good friend”, which Pat, who passed away in 2005, definitely was to me. I hope to be that for every one of my listeners, too. So I think it worked out perfectly.
Boston Culture: Talk to us about “Vino” from its origin through the creative process. What’s your favorite song on the track? Why?
Phew! Vino was one of those ideas that came out of nowhere and then came to fruition in a way that I just couldn’t have planned (that’s a recurring theme of my creative process haha). The idea is that wine goes through this transformative process from inception of being grapes to this new creation of fermented liquid and then, after being bottled up for years, it can become even better than it was made to be. That’s the way I see what I’m doing by pouring out my heart into this music to eventually let it become something that’s greater than the sum of its parts. As far as a favorite track goes, I really see my projects, whether an album or an EP or anything that I create and curate, as one collective body of work rather than a playlist of individual tracks. There are thematics and textures and changes of pace and moments that belong within the context of the bigger picture that’s being painted. I will say this though, I get excited to do new things creatively and working with unbelievably talented artists (all from Massachusetts) like Adriana Rose, Just Juice, and my long time friend Dezi Garcia, it makes it a lot of fun to make something that ties our sounds together.
Boston Culture: What was the best advice you got early in your career?
I’ve never gotten advice specifically about making moves in the music industry or anything but I can say that any encouraging words anyone has said to me probably meant a lot more to me than the person thought it did. Anyone who told me not to give up unknowingly gave me the best advice possible. It might have even felt like a diss to me at the time. Now those words mean a lot more and I’m hanging onto them.
Boston Culture: What do you dislike about the art world/music industry?
That I can’t figure this shit out! Haha nah, I dunno, I’m not a big complainer though, whatever ain’t for me won’t be for me and whatever I can change for the better for myself and anyone else, I want to do that.
Boston Culture: Who or what are some of your biggest influences?
As far as musical influences, I feel like a long list of names would be such a lame answer for you. There are so many songs and artists that have moved and inspired and shaped me so significantly that leaving any of them out would bother me later. I have artists that have meant a whole lot to me just like anyone else, but the biggest influences for my music are the thoughts and feelings that I experience, the music that draws those out of me. Then the people in my life who love and support me make those words and emotions meaningful and inspire me to dig deeper and keep going.
Boston Culture: Talks to us about your younger mentality and what allowed you to stay focused on your goals.
I am actually not goal-oriented but as I have been making these projects, I’ve fallen in love with the process of putting that big picture together, like I alluded to earlier, and that kind of obsession has accidentally caused me to become extremely productive.
Boston Culture : What do you think of the music scene in MA? Are there any other Boston producers or artists you'd potentially like to work with for the next project?
I love it. I’m blown away and super proud by the talent we have in MA. I think the more we support each other and come together as something stronger we can rep collectively, that way we can make more noise on a national level. Just in my city I think mad artists are incredible in their own right. Obviously Joyner Lucas being from Worcester, already working with some of the industry’s best is someone that comes to mind. He’s one of the best lyricists in the world and has a real knack for conceptual songs and visuals to match them. Jblessn, Ariez, WooCity Pat, are all Worcester rappers that are fire and I’ve talked about doing a track with. Dezi is an amazing artist and performer, I had the honor of working as a lyricist on his latest project “Island” and I just had to get him on Vino because he’s just that good. Adriana Rose, who also is on Vino, has an unreal voice and I think can be a real star in the near future. Ricky Duran just killed it on that tv show… I know I’m leaving out so many rappers and singers with crazy talent out here, my bad but reach out if I’m sleeping! I love that everybody seems to actually have their own sound and I genuinely support all the artists who are putting their heart and soul into their music.
Boston culture: Tell us about working with John Scott at Phoenix Down Recording, why his studio? Give us details
John is amazing. That dude’s just different, I swear he’s like, half-computer. He just goes into total computer mode when he mixes. The shit he does in real-time is just impossible. When I work with him, the track is already recorded because I record with my other engineer at Phoenix, Kurt Beeten, who’s also incredible. So John’s assessing the track, simultaneously diagnosing my vocal while he’s mixing the beat and then doing things I honestly can’t even explain. When you watch the screen, shit’s ridiculous, and then you hear what he did to the song and… shit’s ridiculous. He’s a different cat and I’m mad grateful for his expertise and his work ethic shows how he really invests himself into making music sound the absolute best it can.
Boston Culture : Tell us about your goals for 2021, both personal and business. Any future projects?
My immediate goal starting July 23’rd is to get “Vino: Better With Time” heard by as many people as possible! Definitely more projects on the way, I have a few that are already in the works now. Possibly another EP dropping this winter to cap off the year and a whole lot of other things that I’ve got in the oven that I can’t quite spill the beans about yet. But I’m excited about the rest of 2021 and beyond, for sure.
Boston Culture : What brands should sponsor you?
Any brand who’s about quality. I made a song with Fabolous called Ace of Spades, So if Armand De Brignac wanted to show love that'd be dope. There’s also a brand of wine by Charles Smith called ViNO.Those would be an awesome fit, also Nashoba Winery out in Bolton, they’ve always been a great spot.
Boston Culture : How did you get the attention of collabs like Sean Kingston and Fabolous?:
Persistence. When he wants to get something done, my manager Danny DiRoberto, is the most persistent human being you could ever have your phone haunted by. He’s the absolute best and has enough belief to try some shit that might or might not work, but he also has the grind in him to see it all the way through if there’s even the smallest possibility of making it happen. He made those connections and all I had to do was make good enough songs which we were both confident I’d be able to do. As for who I’ve collabed with...a legend or two, all thanks to Danny.
Boston Culture :Is there anything else we missed you want to tell your followers?
It’s VINO SZN
Follow SUMiT on Instagram @1_sum and is available on all streaming platforms @SUMiT.