Oak Park Alumni : Bryan Sammis

Sammis: “It's amazing being able to listen back to something you create.”


Photo Courtesy of Travis Keaster

Oliver the Kid, Bryan Sammis's stage name, performs at the Constellation Room in Santa Ana

Screaming fans, flashing lights and roaring speakers have all become routine for Oak Park High School alumnus Bryan Sammis.

Sammis is the lead singer for the band La Bouquet and creates his own music under the stage name Olivver the Kid. He has toured around the world with artists like Halsey and FMLYBND. He also founded and played drums for the band The Neighbourhood, but split with the group in 2014 after the album “I Love You.”

Sammis graduated from Oak Park High in 2008 where he played football, founded Poetry Club and was the school mascot.

“My fondest memories are of micro-interactions with friends — the ‘birdcage’ at all sporting events was a highlight for sure,” Sammis wrote.

Sammis said he believes memories are a vital part of the high school experience.

“High School is just the beginning,” Sammis wrote. “[It] was an amazing time that I look back upon fondly but I know that it was just the beginning to an even greater adventure.”

Along with memories, Sammis was able to find mentors at Oak Park High. He mentioned Athletic Director and history teacher Tim Chevalier and social science teacher D.J. Cook as people who helped guide him through his high school career. Cook reflected on Sammis’ personality and the music he created.

“[Bryan] was very intelligent, slightly quiet, very passionate, and was already very versed in music,” Cook said. “He was in a band at the time … he handed me a CD one time, and I went home and listened to it and it blew me away. It was awesome, it was really good.”

Chevalier, who taught Sammis in Government and Economics, recalls his time with Sammis.

“Bryan always had a really strong work ethic, especially when he was doing things he was strongly passionate about, and one of the things he was most passionate about was music,” Chevalier said.

Whether it be with his high school band or for La Bouquet, Sammis has been creating music for years.

“I can make any type of song I’m in the mood for and it all comes from nothing,” Sammis wrote. “I can wake up and a song doesn’t exist and go to bed that night and it does. It’s amazing being able to listen back to something you create.”

Sammis has performed at a variety of venues such as Coachella and The Observatory, and has been able to travel around the world for his job.

“I played a couple shows in Russia that were very interesting and fun,” Sammis wrote. “Being that far from home and seeing kids come out to the shows was a very humbling experience.”

Sammis’ work has amassed many listeners, his song “Attica ‘71” has more than 1.4 million plays on the streaming platform Soundcloud.

“Practice, network, take every opportunity that comes your way … music is a marathon, not a sprint,” Sammis wrote. “Take risks. Be yourself. Don’t listen to anyone who says you can’t make a comfortable living making music.”