Hussein Rassim (Irak) & Octavio Amos (Benin) & Mattias Verhelst @ GC De Kroon

Hussein Rassim

Hussein is a young Iraqi musician, player of Oud (oriental lute), trained in the major music schools in Iraq. He created the band Solo Baghdad and then arrived in Belgium where he recorded in 2015, with MuziekPublique on the album Amerli, from Refugees for Refugees.

He started the band Nawaris and recorded an album with the Homerecord Label. His music is influenced by both traditional Iraqi music and the various musical encounters he has had, notably in Brussels.

On the other hand, he is producing the music for a play, "Les Inouïes", which toured in Belgium and France (Avignon 2018). In parallel with numerous concerts and performances in Belgium and Europe, Hussein Rassim is also the creator of a documentary "The way back", for which he wrote the music with his acolytes Juliette Lacroix and Ersoj Kasimov.

He also performs in a film-concert "Egged On By Music " with Cinemaximiliaan.

Octavio Amos

Octavio began to sing and play the percussions at 8 in Benin when he joined the Church choir. As a teenager, he started up several dance and rap bands with his friends. When he was 15, he studied the piano at the “Institut François de Cotonou” with César Dossou. He quickly joined the bands Jomion and Uklos and toured in many countries. Since 2009, he has been living in Belgium where he’s developing musical and artistic projects. His musical influences are the vodou, gospel, but also reggae, African music, jazz, hip-hop and electro sounds. His single “Bisou” released in April 2019 is a natural antidepressant to listen without moderation.

His very last creation is a Happy New Year song released in January 2020 called “BONANE” recorded with almost all Beninese musicians living in Belgium.

As sound technician and with studio recording, Octavio also works in music and event production since 2014.

What’s more, adding another string to his bow, he discovered a new passion in 2019: fashion and style. Today, he is also referred to as fashion and textile installations designer.

Mattias Verhelst

Mattias is 31 years old and has only very recently started working at De Kroon in Sint-Agatha-Berchem.  Already at the age of 16 he was active in various cultural organizations which specifically target youth as a key audience. This passion led him to pursue socio-cultural studies in Brussels. Among his other primary interests are history and journalism. Obtaining a master in communication sciences was a logical next step. After gaining his first professional experiences at BRUZZ, he felt his heart was still in Berchem where he has been studying drums and saxophone at the music academy and plays in a marching band as well. For this reason he is obviously very excited to be working on the Homelands project, together with professional musicians Hussein and Octavio.

The community Centre De Kroon is a family centre with a strong focus on space for meetings between people, communities and associations. Numerous activities and projects are organised for children and families. D canteen is the café space of the community centre and is run entirely by volunteers. Some of the anchor points in the operation of GC De Kroon are Het Visueel Festival Visuel, projects with BLEDvzw on sustainability, De Kroon Wintert and Zomert. GC De Kroon also has extensive activities in the field of 'artists in residence'. From trajectories, co-productions and residencies, GC De Kroon wants to show new stories and a new repertoire by giving sustainable support to artistic innovation.

© 2020 by Homelands - International Yehudi Menuhin Foundation