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INTERVIEW: MODEL ASH STYMEST ON GETTING DISCOVERED AT 16, WORKING WITH HEDI SLIMANE, AND HIS MUSIC

Ash Stymest photographed by Jeaneen Lund for The Untitled Magazine wearing a coat by Alexander McQueen, skort by Comme des Garçons, and boots by Vivienne Westwood

Plenty of fashion figures are multi-hyphenates, but it’s not often that a model begins a career in acting and music with quite the style or swagger of Ash Stymest. Kickstarting his career at 16 years old, when he was scouted while skateboarding on the streets of Camden, Stymest’s CV stretches far and wide, having worked with greats like Karl Lagerfield, John Galliano, and Moschino, and starred on covers of Vogue and V Magazine. It didn’t take long before he began to dabble in acting, starring in French thriller Sex Doll and 2021’s Phobias, though his passion for music has always captivated his attention the most. Deeming Project Melody Music, whom he recently signed with, as the most suited to his creatively liberated approach, Ash continues to rise as he plans to release a tidal wave of new music.

Read the full Ash Stymest interview from “The REBEL Issue” below.

Ash Stymest photographed by Jeaneen Lund for The Untitled Magazine wearing a t-shirt by Junya Watanabe, boots by Hunter, a necklace by Versace, and a necklace by Vitaly

You have been modeling since you were 16 years old – what was your first big break? 

I got scouted when I was 16 in Camden and next thing I knew, I was on a plane to Japan to shoot the cover of Vogue with Hedi Slimane. It was kind of a trip.

Tell us about your passion for tattoos – how many do you have? How old were you when you first started getting them? Are there any tattoo artists you admire? 

I started getting tattooed when I was about 14. I have too many to count. I think now I’m covered in incorrect spellings and flying penises everywhere [laughs].

Ash Stymest photographed by Jeaneen Lund for The Untitled Magazine wearing a vest and sleeves by Vivienne Westwood, boxers by Marc Jacobs, and a necklace by Eddie Borgo

Aside from modeling, you are a musician and songwriter. Who are some of your biggest influences in music?

My favorite band of all time is Steely Dan, but I wouldn’t exactly say they influence my music style. Honestly, I like a bit of everything, so I try to incorporate that into my tracks. 

Can you tell us about your first band?

I was in a band way back when with some school friends, but my first band that broke was Bones UK; I was playing drums with them, not singing. They are still together and fucking killing it!

Do you prefer to perform as part of a group or as a solo artist?

I like it all. I just wanna perform, really. I was made for that shit.

Has your music and sound evolved over the years? 

Oh, for sure! Over the years, I’d say my style and sound have changed a lot. I used to play a lot of thrashy punk shit, but now it’s definitely gotten more mature.

What are some of the themes you like to address with your music and songwriting?  

I like to address my life struggles with addiction, and really anything else that I feel has shaped me and made me who I am today. 

Back in 2019, you were signed to Interscope Records and Universal International, but felt the major label route was not for you. Why was that?

It was honestly a bit of a mess. I wasn’t in the right headspace at all, and felt like I had to conquer my demons before I could give something my all, you know?

Ash Stymest photographed by Jeaneen Lund for The Untitled Magazine wearing a jacket by Alexander McQueen, trousers by Uniqlo, and necklaces from Joseph Brooks Jewelry

How did you connect with your current label, Project Melody Music? Are you working on any projects with them at the moment? 

I was at Alex da Kid’s house (Imagine Dragons/X Ambassadors) and met up with a friend of his, Rhys, who put me in touch with Andrew Radix (the head of the label), and the rest is history! 

Recently, you starred in the 2021 horror/thriller film Phobias. Can you tell us about your role in the film? How did you get cast for the role? 

I auditioned for the role through my agent at the time, and was lucky enough to be cast. Everyone involved in the movie is super talented, so I’m happy they wanted me to be a part of it. 

How do you navigate working across fashion, film, and music?  What resonates with you the most? 

Music definitely makes me get out of bed in the morning, but I can’t knock the fashion industry. After all, without it, I wouldn’t be where I am today. 

Where do you see yourself in 10 years? 

Hopefully doing what I love and enjoying my life to the fullest. 

Although you are from London, you have also lived in Los Angeles. Where are you based these days? Where do you prefer and why? 

I’ve been in LA for almost nine years, I think. I love it here; everyone is so creative, and it helps being around like-minded people. And the weather doesn’t hurt [laughs].

Ash Stymest photographed by Jeaneen Lund for The Untitled Magazine wearing sleeves by Yohji Yamamoto, a necklace by Maison Martin Margiela, rings from Joseph Brooks Jewelry, and a vintage shirt

Where are some of your favorite places to travel? 

My favorite place in the world is Korea. I briefly lived there and honestly, I would love to retire there and live out the rest of my days there.

As a model, are you interested in fashion? Are there any favorite designers you like to wear? 

I love Hedi Slimane, of course. I feel like everything he does was perfectly made for me. 

What can we look forward to from you in the future? Are there any performances or new releases on the radar? 

My EP will be released as singles throughout the rest of this year, and then next year, I have some big things in the works with music and more.

To read our print feature on Ash Stymest, pick up your copy of “The REBEL Issue” here.

Photography by Jeaneen Lund for The Untitled Magazine
Styling by Patrick Lopaze
Make-up by Mykel Renner
Hair by Christopher Fulton
Photographed in Los Angeles, CA

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