Joe The Storyteller

3 March 2015

Someone who’s not a stranger to Boys by Girls is Joe at Models 1. You may recognise Joe from a previous portrait series. Photographer Sophie Mayanne meets with Joe again, but this time to capture his personality through words. Joe has now been modelling for approximately 8 months. Having modelled for brands such as Stone Island and Moschino it seems that this Model’s 1 boy is no longer a newbie to the industry.

Privileged enough to learn what Joe’s passions are, from shopping to English literature, it seems that he is one of many skills and has ambitions to move to other capacities within the industry. We want to thank Joe for his music reccomendations. When you're feeling stressed classical is the best option, but for this maybe kickback to some Bashment music whilst you read the interview, possibly with some Doritos on the side...

So tell us a bit about yourself?
I’m Joe, but my friends call me Jo Jo. I’m 16 years old. No wait, I’m 17 now. I always do this mistake haha! I’m from Leigh-on-Sea, which is near the beach. I’m mixed race, my dad is American and my mum is English.

You've shot for BBG before, how was that?
It was good, but you’re obsessed with that white wall! (everyone laughs) We kept going back to the same white wall, but it was still cool. The only problem is that I’ve got such big feet, so some of the shoes didn’t fit me.

What are you passionate about?
Hmm I’m passionate about…(Joe continues to think whilst eating Doritos)

Doritos, yes. No, shopping, I really like shopping. I have a passion for shopping. I definitely want go somewhere in life too, I'm passionate about that. I wanna work in fashion somehow, when I'm done being a model. I want to be something quite big.

What would you like to be?
I could see myself going into styling, because I like clothes. Sometimes when I look at someone on the street, I like thinking 'Oh that’s a nice outfit', and find myself looking at what other people are wearing.

What’s your favourite bit of modelling so far?
My favourite thing I did was the Moschino show, but there was this shoot I did for Fucking Young Magazine. I really liked it, because there was a buffet on the table. There were donuts, cookies and everything. Even chocolate croissants.

So the best bit about the shoot was the food?
Yeah like the Doritos today that I’ve eaten most of.

When did you start modelling?
Like January, so like 7 to 8 months ago.I was scouted in Camden.

I was scouted for a few agencies actually. I told my Mum and then we went in to see a few of the agencies, and when I met James and Frankie at Models 1 I got on with them really well, so I signed up with them.

If there was one thing you could do with modelling what would it be?
I just wanna get signed in America and end up modelling there. New York or Miami would be amazing. I really like it out there, because I've got friends and family there. It would be a bit like a holiday with my family. Then I want to do a big big big campaign that's out for six months. Something huge.

If there was one place in the world you could go where would it be?
Neverland. I think it just seems cool there. Peter Pan went there and he never grew up and I don’t ever wanna grow up inside so.

You might not grow up on the inside.
I’m always going to be immature, which is good and bad at the same time. Some people see it as a good thing and playful. I know there’s a time and a place to be immature.

[Rustling of Doritos packet]

How would you describe yourself in three words?
I’m hyperactive around certain people, particularly when I'm comfortable around them. Then they see the real me. Otherwise I can be quite reserved, quiet and laid back. Actually I think it’s a different thing, because I’m quiet anyway unless I get to know someone, but by laidback I mean it's really hard to wind me up.

Tell us three completely random facts about yourself.
My hands are covered in Doritos. No hmm, I want good facts! Let me think. My feet are size 12. That’s one fact. Two, my favourite food is chocolate fudge cake. Three. Oh yeah! My Nan’s good friends with Jimmy Greaves the England football player. It’s not really about me it’s about my Nan, but I’m sure my Nan will be happy I mentioned that!

You said you were into English, tell us a bit about that.
Oh yeah. I used to do English Literature at college. The thing is I like creative writing and poetry. I’ve always been told since I was young in school that creative writing is a strength. I think outside the box and think up crazy stories and stuff.

Do you have a favourite song?
My favourite song. Hmm. What is my favourite song? I like Bashment music. It’s like Reggae, but it’s mixed with… Dancehall.

I'm intrigued.
Think along the lines of Bob Marley, it’s like that, but his music is chilled. It’s like Caribbean music with a lot more energy. At the same time I like chilled music as well. I used to get angry easily when I was younger and my mum used to always put classical music on in the car to calm me down. I’d have an argument with someone or something and I would come into the car huffing and puffing and I remember my mum used to just press 5 on the radio and I would be like argghhh. Then after like a minute of the classical I would be like ahhhh I’m alright now Mum.

What’s your biggest dream and why?
At the end of the day the modelling things is fun, but I wanna end up in a nice house with a nice girl. I just want to be a cool person and have a nice chilled life. I want that comfortable lifestyle. I wanna win the lottery though. That would be cool.

What would you spend the money on if you won the lottery?
I would get a house. Pay off the whole mortgage, so you own the house. Then I would just chill out and buy clothes and an endless supply of chocolate fudge cake. Actually I’d want a private jet, because I’ve always wondered with a private jet can you go to other countries without a passport?

I’m not sure? There is air traffic control.
How do they control people coming in and out of the country? Do they have people that watch the skies? I think that if you get a criminal record you get banned from America, so if someone had a criminal record would they just be able to go wherever they want?

I think you get in trouble for landing middle field.
Well you could land on someone’s roof.

Haha, you could! Do you have a favourite quote?
Oh there was something Kanye West said. I tweeted it the other day, it was really funny. What was it? It can’t be that much of a favourite quote though, because I can’t remember it.

Do you have a favourite word or words to live by?
I like the word progressive. I just like it.

Interview and Photography by Sophie Mayanne.
Words by Rachel Abebrese.

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