Ever feel like the city opens up before you when you’re riding your VanMoof? Riding is all about getting even closer to the feel, smells, and sounds from cities all over the world. That’s why we’re teaming up with culture-makers everywhere from London to Tokyo to bring you Traffic Jams – a curated playlist dropping every month to keep you connected and in the vibe while you ride.
“Life inspires us. The little things in life – conversations, experiences, art… literally anything can spark your inspiration if your mind and heart are open to it.”
For our first-ever collaboration, we’ve linked up with SMIB, a creative group from the Bijlmer area of Amsterdam. Through music, culture, and clothing, the SMIB crew aim to find opportunities and create pathways for youth culture in their neighborhood and beyond. We spoke to SMIB to hear a little more about their thoughts on how they get inspired, our bikes, their music… and their go-to restaurants in Amsterdam.
“We are SMIB Worldwide, a creative collective straight out of what we call the Smib, but is formally known as the Bijlmer or Amsterdam South-East,” Myrto tells us. “Just like anybody else we have a lotta dreams and ambition, but the thing that separates us from the average Joe is that we allow our dreams to flourish under one umbrella group. Beside making our own dreams come true, we wanna inspire people to do the same.” Sounds like a dreamy concept, and one that would inspire the many creative people in Amsterdam and around the world to get together and create.
But what inspires the SMIB crew? “Asian, and more specifically Japanese culture has always been an influence in the things we make,” Myrto explains. “Sumibu for instance, the clothing brand that also grew within SMIB, is ‘SMIB’, spelled in Japanese.” The books and magazines SMIB have published are to be read backwards, like Japanese animation or ‘Anime’, and their first collective music project was called "BAKUHATSU", which translates as ‘explosion’. It’s no wonder then that if there’s a type of food that the group associates with SMIB, it’s ramen noodles: “We love Ramen Kingdom! It’s definitely the best ramen spot in town. We take a lot of inspiration from there, and their food is a treat for our taste buds.”
And the SMIB guys’ favorite way of getting around town? It’s gotta be on Amsterdam’s homegrown bike, a VanMoof: “It's like the iPhone of all the electric bikes. A VanMoof is made to be loved: the design is simplistic and the additional features just make you smile. It’s a breath of fresh air.” Myrto and the SMIB team are local riders, so we were excited to see what tunes they’d compile for people all over the world to listen to. “Life inspires us. The little things in life – conversations, experiences, art… literally anything can spark your inspiration if your mind and heart are open to it.” And that, Myrto tells us, was the thinking that inspired their Traffic Jams playlist: “For the playlist we included a whole lotta different vibes – music to ride too, or just for sitting in the park doin’ nothing but listening to music. It’s basically a reflection of our daily soundtracks while enjoying this ride called LIFE."
Want to listen to @smibworldwide’s Traffic Jams playlist? Plug in, pedal down, and ride to the sounds of ‘Dam.