[Interview] Who is this young Brussels based beatmaker called ‘TMB’?

We recently met TMB a Belgian trip hop instrumental producer based in Brussels. Best known

for his collaboration with the Antwerp rapper Woodie Smalls, the 20-year-old producer offers a really interesting, smooth and jazzy universe with a bunch of vaporwave-stylized music videos. We asked him some questions to get to know him better.

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What were you doing in life before starting music?

Before making beats I used to take piano lessons and play basketball (I started both at the age of 8). At around the age of 16, I got bored of it for some reason and decided to get serious into beatmaking. I still play piano and basketball, but just for fun.

How did you get introduced to music?

When I was a kid, I really liked « La Tribu De Dana », which introduced me to hip-hop. I remember being in a flea market in Nieuwpoort with my parents and there was a guy selling albums. I bought my first CDs from him. Those albums were: Dr. Dre’s « 2001 », Snoop Dogg’s « Rhythm and Gangsta » and Hip-Hop: The Evolution from « Warner Music » (that contained songs from De La Soul, Naught by Nature, ODB, Busta Rhymes and more). At that time, I didn’t understand English but I already knew that it was my type of music, especially Pharrell and Snoop’s “Let’s Get Blown”, which opened new doors for me.

Please describe your music in a few words

In general, smooth and simple. But I do like exploring new things. For example, I can make you a laidback beat and the next day I’ll be making some « Jo Def » style beats. It depends on my mood, where I am, where I’ve been or who I’m with.

For you, what is the role of music in general?

Bringing people together on the same frequency.

What is the role of your music?

I don’t really know. There are some people reaching out to me because they wanna rap on my beats and, on another side, you have people that just listen to my music because they want to relax and enjoy themselves. At the end, it’s all about the love of music.

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In which neighborhoods of Brussels do you feel the most at home and why?

I’ve spent my whole life in Ixelles. I love Ixelles. I think it’s the best neighborhood. We got everything we need, it’s multicultural, you got places like Flagey, La Cambre, Matonge and it’s very close to downtown. I just really like the vibe it’s giving me. I’m also familiar with places like Etterbeek and downtown Brussels but Ixelles is where I am feeling the most at home.

What kind of things or places inspire you to make music?

Just music itself inspires me to create new content. I used to make my beats on Logic but lately I’ve been sampling a lot and producing on MPC. As a consequence, I’m on the hunt for « rare » records and just buying LP’s and listening to them makes me discover a lot of things. I’m in a phase where I’m learning and trying to create a personal sound, which is not easy. Besides that, green tea and herbs is all I really need to start. I’m also much more productive at night, I don’t know why.

What are your international musical influences?

I listen to a lot of music; I’m always open to hear something I’ve never heard. But the artists that influence me are people like Guru, Erykah Badu, J Dilla, MF DOOM, Roy Hargrove, Nujabes, and many more… There are too many to name them all.

Which Belgian artists you are currently following?

The homies “Woodie Smalls” and “K1D “. They’re always showing love. Shungu as well. He has beats that I can listen to all day long. The same goes for POMRAD, as his songs make me feel nostalgic for some reasons. I saw him live at the Boiler Room in the Atomium; he fucking killed it! Yellowstraps are also very good. Damso of course. Shady who I know for a moment now, and just the Belgian hip-hop scene in general. I think we’re finally getting somewhere.

With which artists would you like to collaborate ?

I think that a verse from Rejjie Snow or Loyle Carner would be very cool, but that’s certainly not for now. There might be something with “TUT the house in the future”, who is an Isaiah Rashad related rapper. And I’ll hopefully make it to Woodie Smalls and K1D’s upcoming projects.

For which activity do you put your cell phone on « airplane mode »?

When I go on trips with my homies to discover new realities.

This young and very talented beat maker will be performing at “Le bar du Matin” at 22pm this Saturday. It’s an event you shouldn’t miss. Chill vibes guaranteed!

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Check TMB on Soundcloud, Youtube and Facebook.