interviewed by Calum Donoghue, 30 September 2014
Singer, musician, actor, sportsman.... oh and model of the moment. Tyler Rix likes to keep himself busy, but on a freak spare afternoon when he's not walking for Versace, Ted Baker and James Long he caught up with QH to talk keeping in shape and Nandos - his second home.
How old are you?
21 but anyone who knows me will tell you I act about 12...
Your modeling career has taken off and you have walked in shows around the world – how do you stay in shape whilst travelling?
Staying in shape whilst being away is really hard. You don't get to eat the things you eat at home. So you eat comfort food or fast food, which is usually high in carbs & sugar to keep you going through the day. During fashion week castings you hardly get a chance to eat as you just have too many castings to get to, so a lot of models get skinnier actually. For the girls, great. But for me and the bigger boys who go for Calvin Klein, Versace etc getting skinny & losing that shape you've been working at for months is the last thing you want.
I try to eat lots of nuts and drink lots of water when I'm away. Every morning I'll do a quick work out before I leave the apartment and if I know the area I'm staying in, I'll go for a run in the evening if it's not already 11pm after fittings or something ridiculous!
Do you prefer photoshoots or runways?
They both have their pros and cons. Photoshoots are really fun when there are a bunch of girls and guys on set and you can all hang out and get shot together just doing your thing. But shooting on your own can be hard to get in the zone. Depends on the photographer too. They have a massive effect on me when I'm on set. When they praise your energy and expressions it makes you feel so good.
Runways are a completely different ball game. The amount of preparation for a 10 minute show is absolutely crazy. And for you to be one of those models showcasing a designer's work, there is so much pressure on you - they can't take another photo from a different angle or photoshop it later.. this is it. But that's what's exciting, that adrenaline buzz when you walk out and the lights are so warm & bright on you and everyone is looking at you. It's a really cool feeling and you feel like such a strong team when you've all walked and it's all gone to plan.
The fashion industry is known for its extremes and pushing boundaries - are there any jobs you have had to turn down because of this?
Fashion can be absolutely ridiculous. You see some things and you're like 'really?! Who the hell in the world would wear that?!' And before you know it you're walking down a runway wearing it… or not wearing very much at all for that matter… I'm not against nudity but I wouldn't do it unless it was for a massive brand or campaign and it didn't show anything.
You are a trained saxophonist and aged 14 you appeared on BBC’s Classical Star competition, which first put you in the lime light. How do you find balancing music with your modeling career?
I've noticed a lot of clients really like the fact I play the sax and write my own songs. It shows you're more than just a face, you have a character and personality. I find travelling the world for the modeling gives me the inspiration to write songs - so they work nicely together. I've had some amazing experiences, met some crazy people and seen some incredible things whilst travelling for the modeling and doing it all on your own gives you the time to think of concepts & ideas for songs.
You grew up playing football has this helped with your modelling?
Playing for West Ham United Academy from the age of 7 has made me so diciplined as a person. It also kept me fit of course and I've always watched what I eat. So for the modeling I guess it's helped me keep in good shape and not listen to the clients or agencies that say 'you're fat' or 'you've got a water belly' or 'you need to stop drinking water for 3 days before the shows' … I know what's good for my own body thank you very much!
Do you have any tips or tricks to keeping skin in good condition? And what are your favourite grooming products?
I had really bad acne when I first started modelling and went on Roaccutane, the strongest drug for skin. The side effects are off the scale and I would NEVER recommend it to anyone, after seeing what it did to me over the 7 months I was on it. However it did work & now I just use Tea Tree skin clearing toner from The Body Shop (240ml, £5) every night before I sleep and E45 cream (50g, £2.39) in the day to moisturise my skin as it is super sensitive and dries up really quickly. Fudge have great products for guys' hair, especially as mine is so thick.
When are you most happy and how do you relax?
I am most happy when I'm at home in London, I get to sit at my piano and write songs, play FIFA and hang out with my 3 little sisters, mum looks after me like the best mum in the world, have a few bets with my Grandad on the horses (one of my favourite things to do) and my dad takes me for a Nandos.. ahh I love being in London!
How would you describe your style?
My style is a bit crazy. I always like to wear one item that's a bit different that no one else has. Always wearing high tops and a vintage jacket. I don't really do 'designer this' and 'designer that'. If I get given something at a show then it's very special, but otherwise I like a good old bit of vintage. People say I look like James Dean (laughs). I feel like I was born in the 50's with my teddy boy hair and old school style actually.
What is your favourite place to eat in London? Drink in New York? And shop in Milan?
Nandos in London is my second home. Not even joking. 1/2 peri peri chicken is the one. Drinking at rooftop parties in New York is something I'll never forget and walking past all the designer shops in Milan thinking how one day you hope to be that guy in their front window for their next campaign is fun.
I'll be heading out to New York and Los Angeles soon, but next for me is to be known around the world for my music - my songwriting, my singing and my sax playing and eventually doing iconic campaigns because of who I am as a musician. That's the dream. Things don't come to you, you have to get out there and make it happen. So I hope the next time we speak, you'll have heard a Tyler Rix song on the radio & seen my own aftershave advert on TV!