Theo Misiedjan: “Tilburg is the city of urban culture”

| Sanne Leenders

In this new Unfiltered edition, we speak with Theodorus Misiedjan, abbreviated to Theo. Besides rapper T.O. he is also known as a Tilburg urban maker. Where music started out as a way for him to express himself, it is now a way to connect Tilburg youngsters. He does this with his urban platform WAYNG. "I want to offer added value to the city through music; my passion." With WAYNG Theo hopes that urban culture will be displayed even more within Tilburg because according to Theo Tilburg is the city of urban culture. You can read about that in this latest edition of Unfiltered.
Photos: RAWCAT Media

Let's go back in time a little. It was 2010 when Theo Misiedjan participated in the Talent exChange for Climate Change action through ROC Tilburg. The project was a collaboration between Plan Nederland and Mundial Productions with the aim to involve young people in climate change and its consequences thereof. For Theo, the competition came at exactly the right time. "At this point in my life, I was busy writing music. I had released a hit called 'Single en alleen' which suddenly appeared everywhere on TV, on channels like TMF. With my new hit 'Alles One' I won the competition and was allowed to go on an exchange trip to Kenya. The fact that I could convey such a big message with music only made being a musician even more beautiful for me." Once back in the Netherlands Theo noticed that he wanted to pass his story on to many more young people. "In the end, I have been an ambassador for Plan Nederland for some time now and have been active in all kinds of Tilburg institutions, such as PACT in Tilburg Noord. I also give workshops at schools in which I teach young people the history of hip-hop. With the urban platform WAYNG, we ultimately hope that urban culture will become even more visible within Tilburg."

Maker from Tilburg

Theo is a fine example of a real Tilburg maker; an urban maker. Within the city, he knows his way around as an entrepreneur, musician, and maker. "I founded the urban brand WAYNG to give young artists a stage in Tilburg and to help them improve their lives at the WAYNG Academy, a kind of development trajectory for young urban makers. I love entrepreneurship and the search for the connection within the city." A good example of his social role is the festival WAUCE. At this annual urban festival, urban culture and talent come first. Young people from 13 to 18 years old are guided and trained here to change their lives with music. Something that also helped Theo in the past. "To see how everyone within Tilburg is involved with each other gives me energy. Together we make these things possible. I am therefore glad that I can contribute to the beautiful city of Tilburg in this way."

"The municipality of Tilburg believes in me as an urban maker"

"Because I received a subsidy for my cultural plans through the Makersfonds, I noticed that the city really stands behind me and wants to invest in urban culture within the city. They believe in a sustainable cooperation between me and them. With the subsidy I want to give even more Tilburg makers a stage. I am always looking for that connection.”

Tilburg is 100% urban

"If you look at the city with its diversity of cultures and activities, I can certainly say that Tilburg is part of the urban culture." Still, according to Theo, there is still work to be done. "There is a lot of demand for the urban market, for a platform, structure, and events. We already have WAUCE festival, WOO HAH!, Ladybird Skatepark, Urban dance in Factorium, but the real raw street culture can only be seen at WAYNG. The guys who now, so to speak, pick up thousands of listeners in a garage box, leave for the Randstad. Why are they leaving? Because there is still a lot to improve upon in Tilburg. I would like to contribute to that. I hope to realize this with WAYNG.”

Theo remains proud of Tilburg

In spite of the fact that, according to Theo, part of the talented youth is leaving for the Randstad, he remains hopeful that Tilburg will one day be able to turn this around. "I see real potential in the city. With the open attitude and flexibility, we certainly have the opportunity to grow into an even bigger hotspot for urban culture. Thanks in part to WAYNG, many urban makers are coming to the city, but the piece of facility and structure is still missing. A wish, for now, would be to enter into negotiations with the mayor in an urban way. Like two kinds of Theo's among each other, I think that would be nice! I would like to ask him questions from citizens and the city itself. How urban does our mayor think Tilburg is, for example? And what can we do to strengthen this? I think that together we can ensure that Tilburg becomes the main attraction in the field of urban culture."


Within this section, we give creative people from Tilburg a stage. A ticket to... the expression of their unfiltered opinion about the city. Are you curious who else has something to say about Tilburg besides Theodorus Misiedjan? Then read these interviews:

  • Chris Oomes: ‘Black and white, lots of contrast, with a story or a wink.’ 
  • Rob van Trier: ‘Rob van Trier wants to catch the light of Tilburg.’
  • Marc Storms: ‘Taking the strolling slats.’
  • Ruud Lemmen: 'The sound of Tilburg is outspoken.'
  • Tim Henrik Scheider: 'Building mazes means having my whole life in order.'
  • Lois de Jong: ‘This is a typical city that suits me. The plants are starting to grow.’
  • Lotte de Laat: ‘Lotte portrays Tilburg’
  • Anja Reinhardt: ‘Unfiltered Anja Reinhardt.’
  • Ruud van Eeten: ‘Now it's the Reeshof's turn!’
  • Rob van Steen: 'At Theaters Tilburg we think even smarter than your supermarket around the corner.' 
  • Ron van Gestel: 'Tilburg is by far the ice hockey capital of the Netherlands.'
  • Stefan van Aarle: 'Tilburg, dare to show more urbanity.'
  • Hans van Dongen: ‘The filter is coming off at our new city photographer 2020: Hans van Dongen.'
  • Fiona Zachariasse: ‘The Tilburger can be more proud of the city.’
  • Magic van Heeswijk: ‘I really think Tilburg is a city for skateboarders.’
  • Joris van Corven: ‘More opportunities for entrepreneurs to showcase themselves.’
  • Michel Deneef: 'With us, not 1.5 meters away, but 1.5 meters of Villa Pastorie experience.'
  • Joep van Gassel: ‘We are becoming more and more well-known as a city, but we also have to stay raw.’
  • Jet van Baast: "Tilburg is carnival and carnival is Tilburg"
  • Tim Frenken: “10 years ago they didn't understand why I went to Tilburg, that's different now.”
  • Piet van Dycke: "I hope Tilburg continues to dream."