A Platform for Ethnically and Culturally Inspired Music
The Arsov Bel Project
United Kingdom
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About: From the video
The Arsov Bel Project represents a colorful mixture of traditional Soukous-African dance music and European pop tradition.

Jeannot Bel is a member of the world-known group Kanda Bongo Man. He visited Slovenia in the summer of 2011 with this vivid traditional soukous group and with the other group he is a member of, Kasai Masai (both at the Okarina Etno Festival in Bled, Slovenia). There he met Aleksander Arsov on the streets of Bled, the most beautiful touristic attraction in Slovenia, where he lives with his wife and two sons. And that was the beginning of a beautiful musical friendship!

Jeannot is a distinguished author of learning tutorials for the soukous technique of guitar playing. He was born in Kinshasa, DR of Congo, and he lives with his family in London – with his wife and their 4 kids. Aleksander took his lessons seriously and with pleasure, and the teacher of the soukous was very satisfied with him, so Jeannot took the privilege to be "only" the lead vocal in this unusual, mind and ear-catching music, the mixture of African tradition and Western pop. The best of it – dancing music for all generations all over the world.

(P.S. We are still looking for a booking agent or manager.)

About the band:

Slovenian producer and multi-instrumentalist Aleksander Arsov creates music in many genres and is featured on several international compilations. Aleksander won the 1st Prize in the “Best Jingles in a TV Commercial” category at the Slovenian Advertising Festival (SOF). Since 1993, he’s been the author of the official aviso for the highlighted annual Golden Drum International Advertising Festival. Aleksander started as a guitar player on the legendary Gastrbajtrs’ album. Then came his solo albums: Mindless (a downtempo album released in Chicago), Dear Aunty Stork (music for children), Discodrama (as a member and author of Neurobic), and popular Etnotronika (his covers of Slovenian Folk songs, featuring 12 best-known vocalists from Slovenia). He is a member of several international compilations: The Mistletoe Lounge (USA), Definitive Chilled (UK), New Sound Theory volume 4 (USA), Roxy Remodeled (USA – charted on both the USA Billboard’s Hot Dance Club Chart and Dance Singles Chart), Sound Solutions (USA), Elektro Stars and Etno (Slovenia, Sigic). Currently, he is also involved in a couple of his projects: El-Classic.com and EtnoKronika.

Jeannot Bel is a rumba and soukous guitarist. Born in Congo, Jeannot Bel (stage name) was raised in Kinshasa. He started to play the guitar after being inspired by Dr. Niko, Luambo Makiadi, Pepe Felix, and Tshimpaka Roxy. As early as 14, J. Bel started getting gigs and was playing with bands fronted by Lassa Carlito (OK Jazz), Debaba (Viva la Musica), honing his guitar skills and learning music technology at the University of West London. He began traveling with Kanda Bongo Man and eventually moved from Kinshasa to London. He recorded with Debaba and many African musicians such as Lazare (Alpha Blondy Pianist) and Massamba (Africa International). In addition to these ensemble performances, the soukous community regards him as an influential solo guitarist, and his style was marked by an advanced linear technique, sophisticated harmonic sense, fast tempos, and is now using his music experience to teach followers of African music how technically to play soukous and rumba. He recently made two albums – Etike and Cherie na Nga.

Mateja and Nadja Skumavc are two remarkable sisters from Bled with a great love for music and singing and with the sweetest voices ever heard.

They started singing when they were little, then they were singing everywhere, in the shower, at parties, in karaoke, while driving in the car, at successful performances of singing competitions, in choirs, eventually with kids, and now…

The Arsov Bel Project is their pleasant challenge, and they are a really valuable part of this inventive and colorful music story: Sweet Sisters Skumavc!
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