“Of Brockhampton’s members, Merlyn Wood stands out as the most entertaining and unhinged of them all.” – HotNewHipHop
“Best New Tracks” – HYPEBEAST
“”S.Y.K.” contains all of the best parts of Brockhampton from the last several years, especially the futuristic feel of 2018’s iridescence, and smashes them together with snares straight out of a SOPHIE sample pack.” – NPR
“Merlyn Wood has always stood out for bringing maximum energy to every BROCKHAMPTON track. Whether that was on “1999 WILDFIRE,” “WINDOWS,” or “ZIPPER,” his rambunctious rapping style consistently stands out.” – Sheesh Media
For Merlyn Wood, his only option is sticking out from the crowd. Being coined the most energetic, shameless, and dynamic member of BROCKHAMPTON was no accident for Merlyn, but rather an intentional decision born from feeling like an outsider most of his life. In a group so large, it can be easy to fade into the background — “If you already feel like you don’t belong, you might as well get comfortable standing out”, he so plainly states. From becoming several viral memes to playing world tours to earning Platinum and Gold records, Merlyn has proven over and over again that his can’t-take-your-eyes-off-of-me energy is exactly what will make him BROCKHAMPTON’s breakout star.
Now, Merlyn is setting his own stage by leaping into the solo limelight with an ambition that mirrors his own personality: 4 singles and 4 videos in 4 weeks. In numerology, 444 signifies the end of one phase of life and the beginning of another. One might think to chalk this up to mere coincidence, but perhaps this is Merlyn’s way of further signaling this new era for himself. His time has come, his work is paying off, and we’re about to witness the magic happen.
Ghana born and Texas raised, Merlyn Wood credits his roots in both places as influential to his sound, delivery, and cadence. Vibrancy and liveliness ooze from a Merlyn Wood track as if the characteristics he so adores about the Ghanian people were able to be condensed into a musical moment, while his Texas side provides a Southern swagger and cheeky lyricism for which hip hop from the state has come to be known. His rhythmic and melodic range is apparent, never falling back on a base flow for his verses or hooks and using his attention to annunciation to get his messages across. One never knows what to expect when turning on a new Merlyn track, and that’s exactly what he wants — a surprise every time.
Inspiration is pulled from unexpected places for Merlyn. He often cites science fiction and imaginative novels as one of the ways he gets creative juices flowing, clinging on to the absurd and the surreal to pull into his sounds and visuals. Born William Anku Kraka Mawuli Andoh Wood Jr., even his artist name is inspired by a mythical figure: Merlin the Wizard (a character in the world of King Arthur and The Knights of the Round Table). Merlin the Wizard is King Arthur’s most trusted advisor — he’s eccentric and off-beat, a shapeshifter and a fortune teller. He leads young Arthur to pulling the sword from the stone and inheriting his rightful kingdom.
This story stuck with Merlyn Wood. He wanted to be someone who was a role model, an advisor if you will, for the youth, who encouraged them to stop blending in for the sake of comfortability and rather get comfortable being different, get comfortable being the only one who can pull the sword from the stone. But to Merlyn, all of this means nothing if you don’t take action. In 2022, he will be launching his brand A Really Round Table, or ARRT for short, which aims to bring different communities together through unique goods, human-connection events, and philanthropy. A portion of all revenue will go toward solving hunger in Ghana, another aspect that inspired the name A Really Round Table, and a cause close to Merlyn’s heart.
It’s clear that Merlyn Wood is ready for his next chapter. He’s not scared of failure, and why should he be? Releasing 4 singles with 4 videos in 4 weeks is an explosive way for him to say “I’m here and you can’t ignore me”. When asked about the reasoning behind choosing these specific tracks for his 444 release, Merlyn proved that sometimes the simplest explanations are the most profound: “They’re just fun”. Created in partnership with longtime collaborator CONNIE, who also produced JELEEL!’s breakout single “DIVE IN!”, the two prove intoxicating on each of the 4 tracks and are making themselves known as a duo that doesn’t miss. In his love of bringing fun to life, Merlyn hopes to inspire others to be the main character in their story, to not be afraid of standing out, and to enjoy every second we have on this earth. For Merlyn Wood, this era is an exploration of his own ability to be the only one in his lane and make his dreams a reality, and the result is a disruptive and dynamic debut.