The Language Lover

14 April 2015

It's a lovely and sunny afternoon in the Boys by Girls office. The team is working creatively, casually choosing the floor as their method of seating. There is a soft knock at the door, and Elvis Jarrs at Milk Model Management strolls in. Tilly the cat immediately approves of this tall, German boy, her friendly mannerisms even more poignant than usual. Taking up a seat on his lap, she doesn't leave until she's certain she's claimed a new best friend. Elvis approves of this newfound companionship, unable to say no to his brand new, furry and affectionate best friend.

Joining us on the office floor, we quickly ease into a comfortable flow of conversation, chatting about his modeling journey so far, and how he was discovered in his hometown of Hamburg. With a passion for books and language, he shares stories of his recent London adventures, a love for music, travelling and being slightly old fashioned (according to his friends).

Tell us a bit more about Elvis.
Hi, I’m Elvis. I’m 18 years old and I'm from Hamburg. I finished school last summer, so now I’m travelling around a bit. I’m very interested in reading and music. Not like heavy metal music, but I really like soul for example and hip-hop. In a year or so, I think I want to study politics and become a journalist.

How did modelling come about?
It's a bit difficult to explain, I’ve probably been scouted by two or three agencies, however I went to another agency that hadn't scouted me. My mother knows a woman working there, so I already knew the agency was a good one. I sent a snapshot to them, and they asked me to come over. That's how it all started.

Instant analogue by Cecilie Harris. Special thanks to IMPOSSIBLE.

When did it all begin?
About five months or so. I’m pretty new to the whole industry, but I really like it. I like how you get in touch with new people you wouldn’t have met otherwise.

What do you love about it the most?
I love the travelling. I havent been travelling too much since starting. I’ve only been to Paris and London, but I’m looking forward to travelling more, and seeing new places. I travel in my spare time too, although over the last couple of years, I haven't had the opportunity to do it as much because of school. However, the first thing I did when finishing school was to pack my things up and go with a good friend on an interrail ticket around Europe for 30 days. It was only a couple of days after my prom, and was a very spontaneous trip. I might do the same thing next year.

You also mentioned music, politics and journalism.
I think it can be quite hard to explain what people find interesting about music, because I if you're listening to music your way of looking at things just changes. It's hard to explain why, but I really enjoy music and politics. Well, I’m not so much into the idea of working in politics or anything, because you basically have to tell lies as a politician. However, the mission of a journalist is to observe the politicians and give a better view of what's actually going on, which I think is very important.

So you like storytelling?
Yeah, and I like writing as well. You know, writing little stories. I also like football. I played for thirteen years, but stopped for modelling. Every time I go back to Hamburg I’ll start over again and then quit again when I leave and so on.

What's your favourite experience from modelling?
I think coming to London has been great. When I was in Paris, my hotel was in a very rich area. It was very isolated and so I didn't really get in touch with the "normal" parts of Paris too much. But here in London I’m living in Brockley, which is in the middle of nowhere. It's almost like a village, far away, and I have to travel around a lot every day, sitting for hours and hours on the tube and such, so I get to know a lot of places. And I love the vibes here in London.

How would you describe yourself as a person?
I'd say I'm a person who likes to get in touch with people and communicate a lot. Some parts of my personality is - at least according to my friends - a bit old fashioned. For example, I was never really into having a smart phone. I always just had a very old-fashioned flip phone, and then I went to Paris and I “had to” get a smartphone, you know, to get around and stuff. I’m also not really into social media networks either. I’m on Facebook and I’m on Instagram, but it's not like I’m really enjoying it. I also like doing sports and hanging out with friends.

What is your dream?
I would say it's my dream to write a book - to be able to create my own story. A made up one, that is, I wouldn't want to write anything autobiographical or anything like that.

Have you planned a book, or is it just an idea?
I’m coming up with new ideas every month, so it’s changing all the time. I dont think I’m mature enough yet or that I have enough time and focus to say “Ok fuck it I’m writing this book now”, and then see it through to the very end without starting new projects along the way. So yeah, I'd say it’s more of a future goal.

You mentioned music, do you have a favourite band?
I don't have one favourite band, but of course I do have some favourite musicians. For example, this Sunday, Selah Sue is playing a concert in Hamburg and I definitely want to be there. I'm very much looking forward to it. She is a Belgian singer, who does beautiful and simple soul-like music with just her voice and guitar.

Who do you look up to?
I'm not sure I have a specific role model, but if I read a book it's usually very inspiring. There are authors from other parts of the world, describing situatons I’ll probably never get into, and it always gives me inspiration to read other people's stories. It widens your horizon, I’m very interested in languages in general. A famous author, I think it was Wittgenstein, once said something along the lines of “The end of my language is the end of my world”, and I think about that a lot.

Interview and words by Joakim Heltne.

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