|BUILT ON STILTS| Sum’s Professional and Self-Development Journey
North Carolina native Sum is a music and artist branding professional with over 10 years’ experience. After finishing undergrad studies in Biology at Morehouse College in Atlanta, he decided to cultivate his natural talent as a writer and pursue his dream of making an impact on music history. The journey began with trying his hand at music journalism and freelance copy writing, once certified by the School of Visual Arts (NYC). Shortly thereafter he became Associate Editor at RIME magazine where he curated a one-of-a-kind front section that featured the outer reaches of art, design, and technology. Such coverage in music publications is now the norm but was fairly unheard of over a decade ago.
After moving to Los Angeles to be closer to his fiance’ and music collaborators (the collective that would eventually give birth to his band, The Milky Way) he founded an online music community and social media examiner called The Good Look. This was a subscription-based service used to engage his fanbase and help pay the bills. While managing this community, he created a unique voice and brand position. This work put him on the radar of LA’s startup world and the “Silicon Beach” tech community. Soon he found himself using his unique skill set to manage online communities for Fortune 500 clients (Microsoft, FOX, Disney, FX, etc.). Later he became Music Supervisor and Curator for high tech music company Earbits.com, who are backed by Y Combinator, Charles River Ventures, the founder of WordPress and other notable investors. Under his PRECIOUS METALS CREATIVE consultancy banner, Sum has helped fellow entrepreneurs launch several successful ventures. He is currently leading brand and strategic partnerships at Stampede Management, managing collaborations between high profile music talent ( i.e., Snoop Dogg, Busta Rhymes, RiFF RAFF, Far East Movement, etc) and global brands.
Beyond being a driven and ambitious businessman, at heart Sum is a humble artist, happiest when creative. He has fashioned a music career through an insatiable need to create and express himself through music and performance. This constant striving and thirst for reinvention of personal expression has lead to several notable accomplishments. Some of these include being nominated for the 2014 Independent Music Awards for “Best Album of 2013”, regular song placement on high profile television shows (Breaking Bad, Sons of Anarchy, etc), film, and video games, and having his band selected to appear in the 2015 Toyota Camry ad campaign, just to name a few milestones. He has worked with legendary producers as friends, collaborators and mentors, including the late great Ikey Owens (Mars Volta, Jack White), Needlz (Bruno Mars, 50 Cent) and Ira Ingber (Bob Dylan, Captain Beefheart). “Sum” is Cantonese for heart, and music is indeed his.
He is a martial arts, fitness and holistic health enthusiast who believes in healing through the diet (hello Biology degree), an avid popular science fan, potion maker, stargazer, and hopeless romantic. His wife, Nzinga Kadalie, is also his bandmate and frequent collaborator, while enjoying her own successes as an accomplished film maker, television and screen writer.