Updated: Jun 17, 2020
Bringing the touch of a sunlit soundscape to the sulky February skies of Peckham for B.A.S.S. Vol. II, Adam Ouisellat and Arun Janssens soothed our souls, caressed our eardrums, and captured our hearts with an unforgettable steel pan rendition of Slow Down by H.E.R ft Skip Marley, alongside singer/songwriter Shamanie Briscoe. Somewhere between practicing martial arts, teaching, and laying down grooves on the drums, we caught up with South London Samba band members and B.A.S.S. family, Adam and Arun.
What is your biggest Achievement?
Adam: Starting a band.
Arun: Having the ability to pursue multiple interests at the same time.
What was your first ambition?
Adam: When I was around 7 or 8 I wanted to be a Saxophone player.
Arun: To be a bone surgeon - I learnt a song to memorise all the bones, the whole thing – I was really into bones – it was in that moment… DOPE – I’m going to be a bone surgeon. At the time I was getting hyped about the human body and wanted to do something in biology.
Where would you like to be in 5 years’ time?
Adam: Lots of things would be improved. I’m thinking about starting a family, owning my own house, and growing my steelpan business with my brother Sam - ‘Pan bros.’
Arun: Doing something that involves community wealth and wellbeing - working with the local authorities to strengthen social ties and public inclusion.
What is something you learned today?
Adam: I learned some more chord inversions and some new posture exercises.
Arun: I learned how to stretch my hip flexors.
What drives you?
Adam: The Pursuit of excellence.
Arun: Learning new things. Most days I learn new things. The more education I’m exposed to, the more I realise how much growth there is to attain.
In what place are you happiest?
Adam: Being in the Sun.
Arun: Listening to and playing music. And being in the bath.
What are your thoughts on B.A.S.S.?
Adam: B.A.S.S. made me connect with people I would not have otherwise connected with! I had a meeting with Steph from Indigo Prxject and we are partnering up. The first step is to create something for carnival and spread performing arts among youth!
Arun: B.A.S.S. is sick. I was lucky to see it go from an idea to a community in 3 months. I learned more about how to build a community, by seeing how quickly things can develop and snowball into an open ending Black Solidarity Show that is multi-disciplinary, involving music, social justice, and academia. Inviting people to add something to that space, they can create that space, so they are producing the environment. Additionally, someone who would not necessarily seek out to go and see a talk about Eritrea for example, they get the exposure regardless because they were attracted to Black Solidarity.