The first time I heard about Woodie Smalls I was in Brussels seeing family and friends. I went to Mr Berns’, Sergi’s and Amélie’s apartment in town for pre-drinks as I usually do when I’m around. We were a small group just playing Hip Hop tunes one after another. Every time I meet with my peeps, we have this little ritual of sharing songs and artists we discover. We can argue for days which website is best for discovering new songs but nothing is better than good old friends with some beers playing the dopest hip-hop. At some point during the night I was too drunk to remember which of my friends asked me - “Hey Dan, do you know this new fresh kid called Woodie Smalls?” . Of course I didn’t back then, but the name sounded as good as what came right after that. He played this song called “Champion Sound” and my neck couldn’t stop following the groove. The video is so cool, this kid just walking around this typical Belgian neighbourhood, a pair of Vans on his feet, chinos and a five-panel hat. I was shocked to learn he was a fellow Belgian French fry eater like me and still sounded like a rapper from the Bronx. I dig his style and his flow. I’ve checked out every thing he’s released so far and I’m sure that all of you will hear a lot about this kid soon dear world. Woodie Smalls has been doing music behind the scenes for many years now but as soon as he released his first song less than a year ago, he hasn’t stopped releasing tunes and touring. He is playing at every single festival in Belgium, including Dour.
Jacker / Could you tell us how you started making music?
Woodie / I started making music when I was eight. It was at my uncle’s house. That was where everything begun. He had a music studio and I was often around so I started seeing people making music and recording. That’s when I first got in touch with music with my cousin. With time I started recording freestyles with my cousin and so on and so forth. Seeing the music scene from so close just pushed me from my early age to do music.
J / How did it go from your young age up to now?
W / I kept writing and recording music all the time, going to different studios, with my cousin who makes music too. I was mainly recording freestyles just for fun. Actually my cousin is on my album “Soft Parade”, his name is Grey, I would see him making beats and recording himself and it’s what kept me making music because I thought it was hot. Back then we all found it fun just to make music so we started like that.
J / Did you always had Woodie Smalls as your alias or have you had any other variations?
W / Well, I didn’t have a name or anything when I was youn- ger. We just use to freestyle at the studio, making our own beats. I was 15 when I chose the name Woods, because one of my friends told me that if I ever want to be a rapper I would need a nickname or something that people could pick up real fast and I thought I should call myself Woods. It just sounded good.
J / So where did Smalls come from then?
W / I used to call myself Woodie Smalls on social media, my Twitter and Instagram account is @woodiesmalls. I thought it was something fun to have, I thought it was a fun name. A lot of people think that I got it from Biggie but I just thought it was something that sounded great: Woodie Smalls. Then I chose that name because there is also a band called Woods. They use to play at this festival in Belgium and a lot of people thought it was me. I had to explain all the time that it wasn’t me that it was this other band so yeah, that’s when I decided to change it to Woodie Smalls officially. I also use to get loads of tweets from festivals that were meant for this band and I would get tagged instead so yeah.
J / “Champion Sound” was the first videoclip that you brought to life, how did you manage to buzz so much?
W / That video clip was done with a very low budget, I remember finishing the song and think that people may like it so I decided to make a video out of it. Some friends told me about this guy called Tim who could make it. So I got in touch with him, went to his office, and I think we shot it the week after I met him. I was thinking about a lot of cool places in my city and that’s where we shot everything. We were lucky because the sun was shining the whole day and everything was very clean and neat. I’m very happy how the video turned out.
J / We can also see a lot of skateboarding related stuff on your videos. Do you skate?
W / I have a lot of friends who skate, I don’t personally skate but I love the culture, I like the kids who skate, I think its really cool and that’s why I put so much skate stuff in my videos. Just because I look up the skate community so much.
J / Also, how on earth do you speak English so well for a Belgian?
W / Oh yeah, I get that a lot. When I was younger I use to watch TV all the time in English and a lot of movies and music. Like all the music I was listening to was in English and when you start doing something at a young age you finish by grab it super fast. Just like these kids who start playing football at a young age and end up playing as pros. I guess that’s a fair way of comparing it to my English. I was listening to so much music and so many movies that I became so fluent today.
J / Congrats on Couleur Café, it’s a huge mark for an artist. How do you feel about it?
W / I think it’s cool, last year I really wanted to go but didn’t have enough money to get in and now I’m in playing at it. How crazy is that? It’s crazy how things change and to me it’s a mas- sive step, it’s a big festival. All the festivals I’m playing at are all the festivals I always wanted to go and I never had enough money to go, so it’s a dream come true.
J / You just released “Planet Shrooms”, do you have any funny experiences with shrooms you can share?
W / Yeah well, it was last year. We took shrooms for the first time because I heard a lot about it. I’m only into doing organic drugs nothing chemical, not trying to do some crazy stuff. I heard about the shrooms that it was a really crazy experience and so it just went from there, did some research about it. It was such a cool experience, I felt like a new person, everything was so awesome, I did it with a lot of friends so I had this awesome trip and I decided to make this song about it. Its just pretty much about the experience I had taking shrooms.