Tom Leigh Talks Chopin and 2Pac

13 November 2012

Hailing from right here in London, 18 year old Tom Leigh of Elite Models London was an absolute pleasure to photograph and interview. We previously presented you with a beautiful series of portraits by photographer Cecilie Harris; now the ever-caring team at Boys by Girls is giving you the chance to see what’s going on in this charming boy’s head.

From the offset it was clear that Tom was a humble, artistic character, we soon learnt that like many of our favourite boys he has a musical background; classical no less! Try as we might to encourage him to demonstrate his talents at the piano, we could not squeeze it out of him… Maybe next time Tom! Considering his two musical loves are classical and R’n’B we’re sure that any of his explorations into writing his own will be super exciting.

Make sure you stop to look at Cecilie’s photographs of Tom and read on to learn more about Tom's thoughts on YouTube, modelling and stripey shirts.

How long have you been modelling?
I got scouted by Elite a couple of months ago.

Good, they're good people. What have you done in your first couple of months modelling?
So far it's been good, I've done Topman, FTape, Co:Lab and a commercial video.

What are you hoping to do moving forward in terms of modelling?
I'd love to do Burberry.

What are you passionate about?
Music is a passion of mine. I've always been into music, and have family history with music. Since I was a little child, I always wanted to do something within music.

Do you play any instruments?
Yes, I play the piano. I'm classically trained, and have been playing since the age of four.

We have a piano there under our pile of fashion magazines if you'd like to impress us?
Haha no I'm alright, it's too early for that. And I wouldn't want to ruin your lovely piles of magazines stacked up. I'm starting to drift into modern music now, and starting to write as well, including some more commercial mainstream and hip hop.

What is your favourite classical music?
Oh that's a very good question. My favourite would probably be the Black Key Étude or Nocturne in E Flat Major by Chopin. There is a lot of nice music around. I also like modern and more mainstream music, but it' good to have that classical background if you're planning to study music. I often use classical music as inspiration chord-wise when working on modern music.

Can you give us a few random facts about yourself?
I love ToffeeCrisps!

Ah I love ToffeeCrisps! You shouldn't have said that, I'm trying to be good!
Next random fact, I play golf. Which most people don't do, cause people think it's an old man's game haha.
And I also play table tennis.

Are you English?
Yes, but also my mum is from Israel.

Have you got a favourite piece of clothing?
I love a stripey t-shirt. I'm known for my stripey shirts. Topman do some good ones.

Can you give us a playlist of your 5 favourite songs?
"Ghetto Gospel" by 2Pac
"Changes" by 2Pac
"Wonderman" by Tinie Tempah
"Blame Game" by Kanye West
"Drunk In The Club" by Bei Maejor

Have you got a favourite video on YouTube?
Yes I do! Something called "Dude Perfect". It's a basketball video where these basketball players try to do impossible things. It’s wicked you should check it out.

What's a typical day like for you?
I wake up early. I get up, have breakfast and three out of seven days I go to the gym. Probably pop into town, as I work at Abercrombie and Fitch.

Shocker….
I know right haha, but it gives me great flexibility to go to castings.

If you were to open a shop, what would you sell?
That's another great question. Probably clothes. Like American style clothing, yet still fashionable.

Tom Leigh_Tilted Polaroid1
Follow us on Instagram @boysbygirls
View Clarity of vision, sweeter than a caged smile. The Book of Happiness brings together @_farhaannnn_ and @timgnk_ in this colourful... View What would a smile be if we caged it? Sour. Sweetness quickly rots when it can’t dance and a tooth’s... View ‘Try to hold it in your hands and watch it slip away like water from your palms - too fast... View In collaboration with @aceandtate, photographer and editor @cecilieharris presents you with the key to unlock joy: The Book of Happiness... View Close your eyes and breathe it in. Closer to ‘glede’ with every new frame. The Book of Happiness: an exclusive... View Senses delight in a purple explosion as we transport you across fields of endless lavender with an exclusive @aceandtate collaboration... View Growing up as a female, @krowwithak walked a fine line between self-love and self-hate. Now, he embraces himself wholly and... View ‘One of my favourite moments was the first time I was able to use the men’s washroom. I was always... View In a homely studio in London, we are taken down @krowwithak ’s road to ‘glede’, and learn that beauty can... View For model @krowwithak , Cosplay and music are the guiding lights during times of darkness. Discover the beauty in both... View It’s a name I chose for myself when I was 12 years old. It came to me one day when... View @krowwithak found the confidence to transition after immersing himself in the Cosplay community. @cecilieharris talks to the model about his... View Running free amongst the open fields, sheep and stunning views, memories of childhood flood the senses as we find cover... View ‘Having previously told me about how he loved to roam freely in nature as a kid, letting him run free... View Closer to the ocean, yet not quite there. A secret hideout - that kind of hideout we all need sometimes... View Cecilie Harris captures cover boy Louis Baines for BBG Issue 15. A boy that pulls at the human strings in... View Allowing ourselves to escape sometimes is key to our happiness. In our fashion cover story with @louis.baines , we rediscover... View ‘I didn’t see the Dylan I see now or really come into myself until I was 23. I hid everything... View ‘I think you should put some pressure on yourself in leaving behind a good legacy. I think you owe it...