Okeechobee was an oasis of wobble-fueled fun. The Insomniac run central Florida festival hosted headliners Tame Impala, GRiZ, Porter Robinson, and REZZ, all of which put on awe-inspiring performances on the Be Stage.

The Here Tent hosted huge electronic acts, ranging from Troyboi to Four Tet to CloZee to Manic Focus. It was packed all weekend long and became the raver’s paradise we all need when going to a festival.

The Aquachobee stage was on the beach, covered by a new and beautiful cover-all tent that provided both the very important shade as well as a sweet covering to look up at during the bass-heavy sets. Of The Trees, EPROM, Eazybaked, Tsuruda, Integrate, and tons more had the whole Aquachobee crowd grooving and moving throughout their sets. There’s nothing better than getting down to some bass in your face while your feet is in the sand!

We had the opportunity to interview rising star Drum N Bass act Kumarion Sunday morning ahead of his set that night at the late-night Incedia stage, which also hosted names like Khiva, Freddy Todd, Black Carl!, Nik P and tons of other bass music rising stars throughout the weekend.

Kumarion is a special talent. He has blown up big time over the past few years, with his crowd-shattering live shows and his breakout hit “Want It” off the experimental label Jadu Dala. As he prepares to take off on his co-headlining tour with fellow  DnB phenom REAPER, we got the scoop on his career’s beginnings, what’s next for the brilliant production mind, and what fans can expect from this tour run! Check out the exclusive conversation and get to know this rising star artist below! Featured photos from @markwlsh

HIHF: First off, thanks for chatting with us! We want to start by talking about Jadu Dala, a label that supports smaller artists with big futures. We’ve seen this from them for years, what can you say about working with them and the success of “Want It”? Obviously, some of the biggest DJs in the world have dropped that tune. What’s working with Jadu like?

Kumarion: Jadu Dala, back when I wasn’t shit I was a huge fan of the label, just off Soundcloud. I was sitting on “Want It” for… I actually wrote it after Bass Canyon 2019 after being inspired by the Wakaan takeover. I don’t typically make music like that but I sat on it for the longest time. One of my homies was eventually like “Yo, send it to Jadu Dala!” They actually didn’t respond for like a month or so and I actually almost sent it to someone else! But they responded and said they wanted to sign it. One of the guys who runs Jadu Dala, Nathaniel Kosko, he’s honestly one of the hardest working people I’ve ever met. that dud is so hungry to make his label a success. When “Want It” started blowing up it changed both their lives and my life. It was insane. And the timing of that too, it came out right before quarantine started, and we were hearing it on live streams left and right. I love Jadu Dala. Honestly, I will always come back and work with them. Nathaniel and I have become good friends and he helps me out, sharing and supporting my releases that even aren’t on Jadu Dala. It’s just a loyalty thing.

HIHF: What music do you listen to outside of dance music?

Kumarion: My first tattoo ever was a tattoo of Black Flag. I used to be in the punk scene like way back in the day. I love Bad Brains, Minor Threat, then I got more into Ska. I love Rancid, Toots and the Maytals, more older stuff, which eventually led me into Reggae and Dub. Which eventually got me into Jungle. Which eventually got me into Drum and Bass. A very linear music taste journey haha. It’s just like an evolution of my music tastes that led me into falling in love with Jungle and DnB and bass music in general.

HIHF: Within dance music, who are a couple of your inspirations?

Kumarion: My biggest, biggest, biggest inspiration is Noisia, hands down. They changed the game with OUTER EDGES. I have a poster of that album literally framed on my wall so I can look at it and be inspired. If I can’t think of any new ideas for my music, I just listen to that album and it changes my perspective. Interesting story, the way I found out about Noisia, I was listening to a lot of old-school Jungle and I wasn’t really into the Neuro-stuff yet. This guy just walked by me while I was playing music from my laptop, he came up to me and just typed in the “Shellshock” music video on my laptop and asked if I had heard of Noisia. That’s actually why I started producing, that song changed my entire life and made me actually go and pursue music. I’ve been producing for ten years now but I didn’t start dropping music until 2019. It was a lot of inconfidence and I never thought it was good enough and a lot of my friends convinced me to just start releasing it.

HIHF: If you get any free time outside of producing, what are you using that time for? Any hobbies?

Kumarion: I like to play a lot of Video Games; old medieval stuff like Mount & Blade, Total War, RTS games, and stuff. Other than music, that’s hard haha. That’s a lot of what I do! Usually, I don’t play that much videogames, just spend time with my girlfriend and dog. We like going out and eating. Now that we moved to Denver, there’s so much shit to explore.

HIHF: What was working with Deadbeats like? You opened for Zeds Dead for a couple dates, you had “Aura” out on Deadbeats, you had “Conka” with Dirt Monkey. What was all that like?

Kumarion: Mind-blown honestly! That was my manager and I’s goal to work with Deadbeats. I love their shit, they are one of the few American labels that started putting out DnB and supporting that sound. We have a lot of cool shit coming up together that will be announced soon.

HIHF: We want to know about working with Dirt Monkey on your collab as well as the Depolarized Tour with Dirt Monkey, playing alongside other artists. Give us the rundown on that.

Kumarion: I love Patrick (Dirt Monkey), he really put me on, to be honest. He supported a lot of my work. I’m very thankful he took me on tour and showed me the ropes, gave me some great advice. It was super chill on the tour, we were all like friends even though we were all working, it felt like we were on vacation almost. With Digital Ethos, Ravenscoon, unfortunately, me and Sippy kept switching off shows, but we did meet afterward. She’s also on Deadbeats, so we met in D.C. at that Echostage show. She’s super dope, even though we didn’t meet on tour we instantly got tour vibes. Everyone on that tour was super cool. In terms of Dirt Monkey, he pulls from a lot of reggae and dub, he’s more dub than step. He’s got great taste in music and is just an amazing person.

HIHF: What would a dream collab look like for you?

Kumarion: I’d like to eventually work with Zeds Dead at some point, that would be sick. I really vibe with Liquid Stranger and LSDream, I really love those guys. I’m not always like, looking to collab, but if it happens it happens. I’d work with anybody honestly! Someone I am supposed to work with at some point soon is Nitepunk, he is amazing. He is the future of dubstep, the breaks stuff he is doing, not many people are doing that.

HIHF: What can fans expect from your upcoming tour alongside Reaper?

Kumarion: A lot of Drum and Bass. A LOT. We are working on something together coming up. What’s cool about the American Drum and Bass scene is that there are so few people who are actively on the touring schedule, that it never feels like a competition. It feels like we are all on the same team. It’s crazy to see how DnB actually started getting a lot more popular here. I remember it was dead in 2013. Nobody liked it, everyone liked the big room sound. Now, I hear DnB at every single festival. There’s a lot of halftime here at Okeechobee. I think all the music that’s been played this weekend has been really awesome. But, Friday, I was hyped to hear some DnB. I need a full set though.

HIHF: Well thank god you are here because the people are gonna get that tonight, and I know for a fact they are as hyped as you are. This one;’s a bit deeper – pressure to constantly post music and content on IG/Tiktok. Do you feel that pressure or struggle with that?

Kumarion: Actually yes, I do. If it wasn’t for like having to constantly keep up with it, i don’t think i would ever post. I feel like I can do rhetoric but in terms of taking pictures or videos, it’s just not my personality. It feels kind of forced.

HIHF: Fans should want artists to be themselves. That draws people towards those genuine artists.

Kumarion: I don’t know, I just am kind of against constantly putting yourself online, you open the door to people having a say in what’s going on in your life. I’m only going to let people see the music stuff, not the other stuff. It can get really toxic nowadays, it is not healthy.  I try to be more cautious about what and how much I am posting.

HIHF: Last question, what is one thing outside of performing your art for your fans that you love about touring and playing shows?

Kumarion: Meeting people. Meeting artists that have a similar vision. I like to hear other artists’ perspectives. This whole entire journey because it is really hard to keep this project going. It can get rough! For example, I’m going from here to Jacksonville to L.A. to San Diego, and just trying to keep up with that is mentally draining. I’m totally grateful. But it can get tough, but I’m gonna keep pushing it. DnB 2022!

HIHF: Thanks for taking the time to chat with us! We can’t wait for what’s next from you. Be sure to keep up with Kumarion as he embarks on his b2b tour with REAPER. You can grab tickets here and be sure to support on socials!

Support Kumarion on Socials: Twitter | Instagram | Soundcloud | Spotify

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