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Woodie Smalls x Bershka
Woodie Smalls in his Bershka merch design

Woodie Smalls is the Brussels MC with West Coast steeze

The Belgian artist first broke out with a psychedelic viral video – now releasing a steady steam of breezy hip-hop, he’s celebrating a stellar Bershka clothing collab

The visual that saw Belgian MC Woodie Smalls hit the peaks of online virality happened to be about another – more psychedelic – high. “Planet Shrooms”, a woozy retelling of Smalls’ first time taking magic mushrooms, is a hazy, enveloping ride into the MC’s lyrical flow and bouncy beats. “Planet shrooms / Got me feeling like I'm Mr. Do!/ Man, I'm trying to see kingdom soon / Looking at the stars and the moon,” he raps across a gloriously weird, Odd Future-flecked jam.

Since his first single “Champion Sound” aged 19, a stellar debut album Soft Parade in 2015 and the aforementioned URL breakout of sorts in 2016, Smalls has been garnering a buzz both online and off. He’s stomped stages of the summer’s biggest festivals like Pukkelpop and onto a SXSW showcase, while dropping a series of fire singles – the sunny, breezy “Tokyo Drift”, the bass-thumping, yearning recent “Pending”. The Belgian rapper’s output recalls the west coast suave of Cali rather than Charleroi, a Tyler, the Creator aesthetic and Pharrell confidence, with a Jay Prince sound.

Now, as part of Bershka’s continued On Stage series, Smalls is set to bring his show to the Bershka Rue Neuve store in Brussels. The showcase marks the end of the bombastic series partnership between Bershka and Dazed, that brought emerging musical talent from across Europe to small, intimate venues. Each live performance was celebrated with a special Bershka collaboration in which the artist produced their own piece or capsult collection. Let’s Eat Grandma repped in London, while German R&B singer Ace Tee brought the house down in Berlin, Milanese rapper RKOMI got things going in Milan, Aly Bass brought the party to Paris, and the bewitching Nathy Peluso headlined for Barcelona. 

As part of the series, Woodie has designed a merch t-shirt – the minimalist design on a classic white tee references his most recent tune, “Pending”, with simple black text of the lyrics: “It’s two sides of a story I’d like to tell”, while on the back, it says starkly: “Join the parade”, in homage to his Soft Parade LP.

The limited edition tee will be available to buy from selected stores in Beligum and The Netherlands, then dropping online for fans on October 24. If you’re a Woodie fan who happens to be bopping around Brussels, you can apply for free tickets to Woodie’s Bershka in-store gig here.

Woodie Smalls plays Bershka’s Brussels store on November 7 2019. To check out the On Stage series so far, featuring killer performances and exclusive interviews with the burgeoning stars of the year to come, you can go here.