HomeWorld News‘A ball of positivity’: Mike Treez, Indy music promoter and city … – IndyStar
‘A ball of positivity’: Mike Treez, Indy music promoter and city … – IndyStar
September 5, 2023
Mike Treez loomed so large on the Indianapolis entertainment scene for so long that radio personality B Swift can’t remember how they first connected.
The DJ at Hot 100.9 and emcee for the Indiana Pacer knows though that Treez had been a jovial gentle giant of encouragement throughout his career.
“He was applauding my achievements and just telling me how proud he was every time we’d see each other,” B Swift said.
It was a sentiment expressed by hordes of performers and producers online over the weekend.
At the vanguard of 90s hip-hop scene in Indy, and later a community activist, Mike Treez — born Michael Chappel — was about connecting and promoting Indianapolis talent.
It was a mantra.
He typically signed off on his social media platforms with #WellConnected. That’s because he was the man to go to when you wanted to reach some person, venue or other resource for a project.
His own have included a DJ collective, hip-hop concerts and comedy shows; sometimes to promote community initiatives.
“He knew everybody. He could put people together that needed to be put together; or if you needed to find somebody. Everybody knew him,” B Swift, born Germaine Russell, said.
Chappel’s LinkedIn profile described him as everything from a roadie to backup singer-vocalist to promotions specialist: “If I had to say one thing that sets me apart from others is my willingness to work with others regardless of what the task is ….my motto is ‘I bring good (people) together to do great thangs’.”
Mike Treez dies in shooting on West 37th Street
The Indy entertainment scene lost that connector over the weekend when Chappel, 53, was killed in a triple shooting on Indy’s near northeast side early Sept. 3.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said officers responded to a report of a person shot in the 1000 block of West 37th Street just before 12:30 a.m. to find a woman and two men with gunshot wounds. Indianapolis Emergency Medical Services transported all three to area hospitals.
Chappel was pronounced dead shortly after arrival.
He was among a group of people standing and talking outside of a relative’s home before the shooting, his daughter, Ebony Chappel, said.
Police had not released any details about the suspected shooter or what may have lead to the shooting as of Tuesday morning.
‘A man of many talents’
Chappel organized shows to spotlight local artists, but he also did concerts with national artists. Project Pat was among the performers at a recent rap concert he promoted.
“He had his share of national artists that he’d been doing business with for many years that would call and check on him any time they came into the city. Well connected,” B Swift said.
“He was a man of many talents,” his daughter said. “He was somebody that had a big personality. He had a lot of wisdom and stories to share. And he just really liked to help people make their dreams come through.”
Those talents were shown in several acts throughout his life.
Michael Chappel graduated from Ben Davis High School before joining the U.S. Army, where he worked as a behavioral specialist.
In the 1990s and 2000s, he was a pillar of Indy entertainment, said consultant and community activist Gregory Meriweather, who grew up with the connector as Meriweather’s maternal aunt married Chappel’s paternal uncle.
“Mike brought people together and he was an agent of support,” Meriweather said.
“He had an eye for local talent. But he was also a pretty wise soul; a guy who can really dive deep into you and help you see who you could be. And not only that, he’d be the person who wanted to help you become it,” he said. “He was just a ball of positivity.”
The last five or six years saw Chappel involved in grassroots community work, his daughter said.
Chappel also is survived by daughter Renee Davis; his wife, Monique Chappel; two step-children, parents and a brother.
‘My dad loved this city’
Mike Chappel championed Indianapolis, warts and all, Ebony Chappel said.
“Gun violence is a major issue. I want more resources to help resolve it. But I don’t want people to just paint the whole city as horrible and irredeemable. I know our city is better than this,” she said. “My dad loved this city.”
B Swift said the death of his friend has been hard for him to process. He immediately dismissed the first Facebook post early Sunday morning that indicated Chappel had died. After going to sleep, he woke up to more such posts. That’s when it sank in, he said.
“It didn’t make sense for anybody to hurt Mike Treez,” he said. “To hurt Treez is like to hurt a ladybug.”
“He didn’t bother anybody. He wanted to see everybody win. He wanted to see everybody prosper. He wanted to see everybody do better.”
Have information about Mike Treez’s killing, here’s how to reach police
Police are asking anyone with information about the incident to contact Detective Ronald Sayles at 317-327-3475 or email him at Ronald.Sayles@indy.gov; or call Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at 317-262-8477 (TIPS) to remain anonymous. Tips submitted directly and anonymously to Crime Stoppers are eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 if the information leads to a felony arrest.
Contact IndyStar reporter Cheryl V. Jackson at firstname.lastname@example.org or 317-444-6264. Follow her on Twitter:@cherylvjackson.