The day has come. You’ve waited your entire childhood for this one moment, the thirty seconds that you clamp eyes on them feels like your existence. Your heart is in your chest. Thump...thump, the beats are getting louder. You swallow the lump in your throat and attempt a simple hello, for only a humble squeal to appear. It’s David Beckham. Your childhood idol.
The coolest and tallest kid on the block, Charlie Adshead at Established Models, makes his way into the BBG office oozing a kind of gentle charm about him. With modest confessions of his DJ talents, Charlie dreams of taking control of the decks in the biggest clubs in London. Shot after shot you dance, just like Queen B, as the tunes of the DJ set enter your ears.
Apparently he is also a true romantic at heart, with stories of love poems and theatre dates. Yet, still full of that oh so English sarcastic sense of humor. It's a good combination, and it works.
Happy 21st birthday Charlie!
Who is charlie?
I don’t know. When I read how people do their own ones, it always feels like they are trying to push something about themselves that there not really. I mean as a person, I’m very carefree in most senses. I’m not one of those people that sit there and worry. I know I said I worry about little things, but in general that’s me.
(Cecilie) You’re contradicting yourself there Charlie.
I know that’s definitely one thing about me, I contradict myself a lot. These questions are the ones that always urk me. I never walk around going: who am I as a person.
Instant analogue by Cecilie Harris. Special thanks to IMPOSSIBLE.
Do you want a different, less challenging question?
No, it’s fine, I want to find out who I am. I’m trying to give a proper juicy story here, but I'm struggeling. I tend to turn literally everything into a joke, which is how I think you should go about things. If you're too serious all the time and you can’t turn anything into a joke, then you’ve got a problem going on there. Like earlier you mentioned you're going to a comedy club, me and my friends sit down at the weekend and just lay down jokes the entire time. Not the knock knock types of jokes, but just constantly trying to make a joke out of things.
(Cecilie) I would love to try and observe a conversation between you and Fionn, he is wonderfully sarky as well. Do you try and out-sark each other when you’re together?
Well, that's the problem, sarcasm. I think too much sarcasm results in zero sarcasm. If the only things you’re saying is sarcasm, then who the hell knows what’s going on. You haven’t got a clue have you. That's the problem for everyone else, because obviously a lot of the models that I meet are from all over the place and English people tend to have a stronger grip on sarcasm. It’s a very English thing to be sarcastic, and other people don't always get it. They're always like "are you being serious", and I’m just there like "no mate, it’s sarcasm". I don’t even mean to be, it just comes out. I’m rambling now. I've completely gone off the question. I think that we have solidified that I am definitely sarcastic.
You’re quite tall aren’t you?
Yes, I’m very tall.
How is that working out for you?
Haha, I’ve got a little taller and now I genuinely hit my head on things. I genuinely walk into lights and top of doors. You know them road signs, the big old fat ones that say take the next left or wherever? Obviously I don’t walk into them, because I’m not that tall - but I have a genuine fear, so I duck down a tiny bit when I go near them just incase. Height and sarcasm; there are two things about who I am. The other thing is I’m terrible with money, I mean absolutely diabolical with money. I’m currently minus in my account. I’m revealing very personal things here.
You’re honest, let's add that to your list of personality traits.
Yes, exactly. There you go, honesty. A bit too honest sometimes though, for example revealing my bank statement and details in an interview.
Is that a common thing you do?
I don’t tend to hold back information, it all just comes out. I don’t feel the need to hide anything from anyone. There was an example just the other day in the agency and now I can’t remember it, which is useless to everyone isn’t it.
How were you scouted?
How well do you know Kent? Do you know Bluewater? It was there, just walking past Hollister. I wasn’t going in, because Hollister isn’t me, just to point that out. So I was walking around there and I was meant to be revising for my exams. My mum was on the phone to me shouting ‘get home, you need to be revising’, and this is the first and only time in my life that I’ve ever ignored her, because I went to the cinema instead. Someone came up to me and mentioned modelling, so my two friends standing next to me, who are like 5.5ft, just walked straight off and was like ‘well, that's not us is it’. I never thought about doing it before, and still to this day I never would have thought about doing it. So when I got home, mum was having a go and me and I told her that I had got scouted, genuinely thinking that it was a joke. I gave the thing to her and then without her mentioning it to me she rang them. The next day I came in and she goes ‘we are going up to see them next week, I rang them and it was a genuine thing’. So I was like 'oh ok, fair enough'. We went up there and within five minutes I had signed a contract.
Earlier you mentioned about teaching yourself to DJ.
A little bit of information, I’m 21 on Monday. Anyway, back to the main point; it was about three years ago. You know Disclosure, back then we went to a rave with Disclosure playing their songs live. We were 17 years old and went to Great Sussex’s Warehouse, which was some arch way tunnel place. We didn’t know what was going on and we were borrowing ID’s from our friends, so we could get in. Anyway, turns out it was Disclosure, Scream, Shadow Child and a bunch of other house and techno DJ’s. I’m not actually sure how we got in, because my friend didn’t actually bring a fake ID for some reason, so we got a pen and scratched at his ID, so somehow he managed to get in. Expecting live music, we ended up getting six hours of DJ sets and thought 'fair enough, this is exactly what we like'. From then on we downloaded hilarious virtual DJ, which is the most terrible DJ’ing software on earth, and started sitting with our laptops dragging the tracks in and out, not having a clue what was going on. We were doing that for about a year or so, playing the shittiest music you’ve ever heard, thinking that we were sick. Then we ended up taking it a little more seriously when my friends went to uni. My friend Will proper got into it, as he went to Nottingham and the scene is ideal up there. He started playing in clubs and I thought; 'well, that's annoying, because that’s exactly what I want to be doing'. It’s like a hobby that just turned. Me and my best mate Jim just sit there and fire out music, that's exactly what we want to be doing. Now I’m taking it seriously, because I’ve realised that I’m not too terrible at it.
What sort of music do you listen too?
I hate saying it, because it sounds so basic when I say Techno. It sounds terrible as far as I’m concerned, but that’s exactly what it is. Basically the base needs to be very present, I have a weird thing for over powering base lines.
Are there any artists that inspire you music wise?
Yes, but with making music I wanted to do it completely off my own back, not by getting inspiration from other people. Obviously I’ll listen to tracks and think I like that, but because there's such a broad range of music in those genres, there are like five billions different ways you can go with that. So I mean theres DJ’s that are obviously an inspiration, but a lot of them don’t actually make music and their ability to DJ is just beyond anything. Sometimes you find the biggest inspiration where you don't expect it.
You keep mentioning Jim.
Don’t get me started. You want a story? We went to primary school together and we were on the same football team - standard English boy things. We then went to the same secondary school, but we were pretty much best mates at primary school. Then we went our separate ways in secondary school, because we were in separate forms. I know the exact date that the friendship rekindled as it were, because I came back from Paris that day. I went out that night and got obliterated (that’s going to make me sound classy on isn’t it) and Jim was there. I hadn’t seen him in a while, because he left school at 16 and I stayed on for six form, so when we was all drunk he went ‘why doesn’t everyone come back to ours’ which was a ridiculous idea because it was completely inconvenient in every single way. From that day on I’ve probably spent every single day around his house, just because we are like half decent. I've got my mate back. I’d say for the last two and a half years, I’ve probably spent about 90% of my time around his house. The amount of jokes we have got about him being my boyfriend are endless, so we just play up to them now. So, that’s Jim.
Have you mastered any other talents apart from musical orientated ones or handstands?
Well, the handstands no longer exists. I used to be relatively good at football and general sports, but that was just because of the schools I went too. Although due to being plagued with knee injuries that is no longer a thing. Everything really goes into music based things, which is incredibly boring of me, but that is what I do. I probably do have some other talents somewhere, but I can’t remember them. I’m pretty good at Guitar Hero.
What’s been your favourite part of modelling?
My favourite part is probably the Louis Vuitton show, because I had only been modelling for two months. I did the Topman show in London and then went to Paris and got told that I had been booked to walk for Louis Vuitton. It was mad, genuinely mad. Then I met David Beckham. He’s a beautiful man. Not the tallest, but he’s a pretty beautiful man. In terms of just going 'wow, this is pretty sick', that was probably the best moment. Obviously I’ve had loads of good times, like outside of doing work. Last summer, Milan was probably the most fun I’ve had in a long time. There was around 15-20 of us staying in one apartment, which was outrageous. Everyone goes to their casting and shows, then gets back and starts drinking. I’m not very lad’ish by nature, but that was the general vibe. It was just the most fun I’ve ever had. It was 30 degrees, just sitting on the balcony - going out every night and being idiots.
What was it like growing up in Kent?
Everyone I went to school with always says that it was bullshit, but I got into football and instantly joined the team. So everyone I went to school with was on the same football team, and we just played off of each other - it was so much fun. My childhood was so much fun. Then secondary school was awesome too, it was an all boys school and we were just loud and rowdy. It was decent, really good. A lot of people complain about their childhood, but not one point in my life has been boring, because I’ve always just had friends around.
Cecilie reminds us to talk about his feelings. So Charlie, how are you feeling?
I’m feeling open, I feel like a lot has come out. I've revealed the truth about David Beckham, so that's off my chest now. I’m feeling alright, I really enjoy interviews. I think people don’t expect it, because obviously I talk a lot. I had an interview a couple of months ago and I don’t think the girl really expected me to open my mouth quite as much as I did.
We embrace that, you’ve been talking for a good 28 minutes.
I’ll take that.
We should finish the interview with a question from Cecilie.
Oh my god, come on.
(Cecilie) Have you ever been in love?
I am currently, with my girlfriend Lucy. You didn’t ask a question, I mean I didn’t want to plug her with mentioning it all the time. Like one of those people that bang on about the person that they are with. That would be well annoying of me if every five seconds I was mentioning her name. Her name is Lucy, we were friends for like… I’ve got to get this right if it’s going in this interview.... I reckon I was in year nine, so 2009. Let's go with seven years. Yes, we were friend for ages, and have now been together three years.
How does she feel about you spending all your time with Jim?
Oh, she hates it, haha. She’s the one that makes most of the jokes about him being my boyfriend, which is obviously hilarious to everyone else apart from us. It’s probably because we spend an outrageous amount of time with each other and then I go and see her and she asks what I have been up too. I’m like ‘me and Jim have just been cooking salmon’ and I’m bringing home a microwave chicken tikka masala for her. She thinks I treat Jim like he’s my wife. That’s just how it is.
What’s the most romantic thing that you have done for her?
I am quite romantic as a person. I buy her flowers once every couple of weeks, surprise her with jewellery occasionally, but I’m a bit poor so that hasn’t happened in a while. She loves the theatre, because she’s studying that in school and loves to sing. She has a sick singing voice, so I bought her a couple of tickets to see a show. I like to occasionally buy her little things.
What is the most romantic thing that you have done for Jim?
I mean I don’t stand there with an apron on serving him up food in the morning, bringing it to him in bed. It’s not like that… all the time haha. I don’t actually do romantic gestures for him, I don’t bring him flowers. I don’t think I’m very romantic to him, which is probably a good thing, as Lucy really wouldn’t appreciate that. Questions really would be raised then wouldn't it.
Words and Interview by Rebecca Jones-Clarkson.