Inside The World Of Justanorm

22 April 2014

Deep inside the pages of Boys By Girls Magazine Issue 6 "The Truth About Boys" is pages and pages of beautiful images captured by photographer Alina Negoita. Her editorial also includes an interview that is far from Justanorm-al interview. And this feature includes the full exclusive interview captured on the day.

We fell in love with the the six strong unification of London based models Justanorm (Boyd Alves, Chuck Achike, Dylan Williams, Harry Uzoka, Jeremy Boateng and Jamel Gordon- Lynch) the first time we met them, and their personalities and antics are still just as loveable! With top agencies Premier Models, Elite Models London, Nevs Models and Models 1, these boys know how to rock it on the runway and in front of a camera. But there is so much more to these boys. So many more reasons to fall in love with them.

Delving into ideas of self-discovery, we took a moment to catch up with the boys to talk to them about passion, life, what they have learnt along the way and what being Justanorm really means - Welcome inside the world of Justanorm.

Let's start with the basics, what is Justanorm?
Harry: Six guys, all agency signed models who have come together for global takeover. That’s basically it. haha

That's just awesome. You guys are all friends right?
Harry: Yeah! We met through modelling, but now we are literally with each other every day. It’s not just about modelling now, it's about being there for each other every step of the way.

Polaroids by Cecilie Harris.

How did the idea of the group come about?
Jeremy: Well I was in the lavatory, cooking up some mad ideas!
Harry: Nah, it just happened. It’s weird because I knew we needed to do something, and I was like ‘yeah let’s do something’ and at this time we were already friends with Dylan, Chuck and DJ, talking about how we could create something together. We didn’t even know Jeremy was there already thinking about it.
Dylan: Yeah, we had to strategize and think about a name… that was by far the hardest part! The team was actually made up of eight of us before, but over time it naturally filtered into a group of six of us.
Boyd: A couple of the other boys wanted to go to different countries, so we are all still good friends.

So what does being in Justanorm mean?
Harry: It’s actually mad, because we are doing everything! Modelling, acting, music and presenting. Modeling and music is the thing that we all collectively share. Justanorm TV it’s going to be crazy!

Wow, do you have a YouTube channel?
Jeremy: It’s going to be launching soon!
Dylan: Like you saw, our instagram has six hundred followers and we don’t even have any pictures yet. So God knows what is going to happen in 2014.

Are you guys all similar to each other?
Jeremy: I think the funny thing is that everyone thinks we are really similar, but we’re not at all!
Dylan: Everyone is individual; everyone has their own story.
Harry: Even if you break it down to the music, we all have different perspectives.
Jeremy: Everyone has a different outlook on life. Like, some of the boys are really into being spiritual and positivite about life, which is different for me, but we are all really ambitious and trying to achieve thing with our lives.
Harry: We all have different perceptions, but the foundation is love. They are my brothers.

What impact do you want to create?
World domination! Haha
Jeremy: I think we want to change the perspective of models and don't just rely on modeling. We all have other passions and talents, that we can combine with modelling. We can combine our rapping with rapping about what we do as models for example.

One thing that I find most inspiring about you guys is your friendship and how you guys are a family.
Jeremy: Yeah, for real! It’s funny because we argue all the time, but that’s what family is like.
Dylan: I feel like the people who have stuck together is real. There were a lot of us at the beginning, but you needed to be able to commit and show your true colours - take certain things and accept things. We all respect that everyone has different views, but if you can accept who we are individually, then it’s all love!

In a way as models you are competitors. It’s the same with us at Boys by Girls, all of the photographers are competitors, but we also work together to achieve a common goal.
Harry: We don’t believe in competition, especially amongst us.
Dylan: Our mind-set is, if it wasn’t right, it wasn’t right.
Harry: If you are meant to book something, then you will book it. If Boyd booked something then we have all booked it in a way, as he is part of Justanorm. So if he books Gucci, then we have all booked Gucci. We are all happy for each other's success, and treat it as our own success.

I really love that about you guys; it’s a lovely view.
Jeremy: Hearing that one of the boys has booked something makes us genuinely happy for them!
Dylan: It opens the door for somebody else. Clients are falling in love with the fact that we are unified, because they can see that we are something strong and we have a lot of potential.

Unity, that’s strength and power.
Jeremy: The last couple of months have been so positive; we have realized that our music thing can be something! We shot River Island, Jamel and I just shot a charity music video for Children in Need, with an artist from the Voice. We just did a little tune and the whole team is involved with it. It’s even that, just having the whole team involved makes it so much more enjoyable.
Harry: It just feels like we are all chasing that one dream and we all inspire each other to do it at the same time.

Let's talk about you as individuals. Who is Harry Uzoka?
Harry: Harry Uzoka is a free flying soul, not bound by his physical body. That’s who I am! That pretty much defines everything about me. No, I am just Harry. I’m a model; just here embracing life, loving life with my team and with my family.

Tell me about your necklace.
Harry: Ah it’s about my spirituality. This is a whole new thing, you will have me talking for ages! These crystals basically absorb light from the sun and they have certain attachments to points in your body, like your chakras. So this is a sunstone, it helps your positivity and blocks out negativity. I had an amethyst the other day and it has connotations with your third eye chakra and when you lose it, it means it has done its job, you’re alright. I kept losing it so it must have done its job, I must be calm. haha

What about you Dylan, how would you describe yourself?
Dylan: Who is Dylan? I'm the diamond in the dirt.

What does that mean?
Dylan: I won’t allow myself to be a product of my environment. My environment isn’t the best so I try to shine in the worst environment. I don’t want to fit into the stereotype.
Boyd: Dylan is a free man. He is outspoken and does what he wants. Especially with his music, he is very talented. In terms of us doing music he is an inspiration as he has been doing it for so long. I am signed with D music production as well, but it’s good to look at Dylan, it’s like yeah that’s the height that I want to get to. I have known Dylan the longest, he is my boy.

What else should we know about you?
Dylan: There is a lot! I don’t know where to start; it could have been so different. That’s my favorite phrase. It could have been so different, but it’s not. So everything I am doing now is just a blessing. I am also a spontaneous soul, and quite unpredictable. There are so many things I could say; I'm a musician, an actor, a student, I play football and I’m an athlete. That’s why I call myself the diamond in the dirt. Everything I put my mind to and anything I have told myself to do, I have done it.

That’s great. I know Harry from before and he seems like a very driven person. I get the same impression from you!
Dylan: Yeah, I think that’s why we are all so close. We all share the same thing. We all have goals in life and aim to succeed, but you need to be surrounded by others who feel the same.

What does Justanorm mean to you?
Dylan: Justanorm is important to me, because it explains what I do in the easiest way. I walk for brands like Calvin Klein and Givenchy, but then I come back home to a council estate. So to me that is Justanorm, it is just what I do.

Could you describe Jeremy to us?
Dylan: Jeremy! A motivated individual, who will succeed in life.
Harry: He is the dad of the group definitely. Chuck, Boyd and I are the three reckless ones running around town! Haha
Dylan: Jeremy is a definitely a motivator. He will succeed in life just off his motivation and his good heart. You can have so many talents and have everything, but if you don’t have a good heart you won’t succeed. I feel like he has that.

What about you Jamel?
Jamel: I am Jamel Gordon Lynch. I am a man with good intentions looking for answers. I am an honest man, some may say I’m outspoken.
Boyd: Whenever we hang out we will always be like “mmhmm”. That’s his thing, he is always like “mmhmm”. I find it so funny as it’s the first thing he ever said to me and now every time I see him he is always like “mmhmm”.

And how would you describe Harry, Jamel?
Harry: Be honest!
Jeremy: I wish I got to describe Harry...
Harry: Do you know what, Jeremy knows me inside out! Jeremy is the dad, have a go haha.
Jeremy: Harry Uzuka. For me, Harry is on a journey, a journey of discovery. Not even self-discovery, just discovery in general. Despite anything he does, people always see the good in him. He is a natural charmer. By default I could be mad at him, but as soon as I see him I can't stay mad at him. It’s very hard to stay mad at Harry.
(Harry starts rapping) "...You can’t resist the charm, his baby face. Same black skin, he aint been home for days. Chilling with different chicks, me and Chuck, we aint-naming names. It’s safe to say we shouldn’t be… “
Jeremy: No honestly, Harry is a very, very clever boy. A lot of people say that, but his views sound like they come from someone who has been to university. His positive energy is just infectious. If he told you something good is going to happen, it’s going to happen.

I can believe that! He was in our issue two and he made the photographer read a book. He said if you want to understand me then read this book and she did.
Harry: Haha I am just that sort of soul.

Hey Chuck, let's take a moment to talk about you.
Chuck: I would say that I love being. I just love being.

Is that why you’re so chilled?
Chuck: Yeah, I just love being! I appreciate everything, down to drinking a drink, to smoking, to all the women in life! I appreciate it even more than I used to. I have found a different side to love; I didn’t think you could just like a drink, a person, or an emotion. There is no boundary to love.

How would you describe Boyd?
Chuck: I have a really strong relationship with Boyd. He is a reserved character; I feel that some people take that for granted. I was a reserved character, but people couldn’t take advantage of me because I am quite aggressive and I have my guard up. Boyd is reserved but he doesn’t have is guard up, so people might take advantage of that, but he is one of the strongest individuals I know. He is so clever, where people might think strength is in fighting, Boyd is so strong at decision making and taking charge of a situation. He won’t put himself forward to take charge, but if you say "Boyd can you take charge of this situation", then he will and he will be on top. Boyd cooks, Boyd cleans, Boyd makes sure everything is perfect. He is the mostly smartly dressed, he is the most correct and I learn from him, because I am the opposite to him. I am more laidback, like ‘whatever the weather’. Sometimes Boyd will do something and I will think ‘ah I should have done that myself’. Or I will think "how come Boyd never loses his headphones"… I always lose my headphones. It makes you realise that you need to stay on top of things and you need to be organized. Boyd has the organizational skills and his own presentation down to perfection.
Harry: Boyd is the loveliest, friendliest most loving giant. You might think he is tough and rough, but he is a lovely guy and genuine. He always looks after us. We will go to Boyd’s house and he will cook up a storm in the kitchen for us. He is a good man!

Oh, hey Boyd!
Boyd: Hey, what’s up guys, I’m Boyd Alves! I can’t really describe myself because I don’t feel that I have found myself yet. I am on that journey, trying to find myself at the moment.

Chuck and Harry just did a great job at describing you though. What are you hoping to find?
Boyd: I am not sure yet. I am trying to find something that defines me, I want to see who I really am. You know when you have just been through different stages in your life. Where for example this time last year I wasn’t modelling at all, I was playing football and I thought I had everything sorted and that I was going to be a footballer. But now I am on a different path, and I feel that I am a different person to who I was this time last year. I believe that I have grown and I have realized that some things in life may not happen how you want them to, but it’s about understanding that and growing as I person. It’s good to have all my Justanorm boys with me!

What does Justanorm mean to you?
Boyd: They have all helped me in different ways. Jeremy, being the "older wise man" will speak to me on a wiser level. He will call me up and ask me if I am working well and how my financial situation is. He put me into that mind-set where I need to get up and do things.

Dylan described Jeremy as the motivator.
Boyd: Yeah, I would definitely go to Jeremy for advise. I also spend a lot of time with Harry and Chuck, and they also bring out the best in me and I can be a free soul. I can be who I want and say what I want, there is no judgment. When I am not with my Justanorm brothers it’s like I am missing something, but then when I am with them it’s like "ah its complete". I like that feeling, there are not a lot of people who you can get that connection with and I am really grateful that I have them in my life.

I am very jealous of you guys. I am most jealous of how you support each other.
Boyd: Yeah, I feel like our support system is really good, everyone looks after each other and there is no competition.

I think you guys are so inspirational! More young people should support each other like you do.
Boyd: That’s the thing, that’s what we are trying to do. We are trying to show that there is a way of doing things that you all want to do without being in a race or a competition. I believe that in life, obviously there are times when you need to be competitive, but I don’t think that is what it is all about. You should be happy for all your friends and make people around you happy. It’s all about positivity!

That’s beautiful guys. I can't express my adoration for you enough. Alina and I want to be part of Justanorm!

Interview by Cecilie Harris.
Words by Sophie Mayanne.

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