Discovering the boy behind the lens, Reece King stars in "Alien".
It’s 11am in Los Angeles, packed in a car full of pink suits and elaborate headpieces from designers from coast to coast, headed on a road trip to a dilapidated town turned arts hub in the middle of the desert, a place called Salton Sea. It’s been over two years since we’ve had the chance to speak with Reece since the last time he covered Risk, and there’s a lot to catch up on. It’s a long lengthy drive with much ground to cover, but the main bulk of the conversation all surrounding one main topic, and all pointing in the same direction. How to be genuine, find happiness, and achieve growth in the era of likes, brand partnerships, and manufactured content for press.
Without having the intention of it, our drive has turned into the perfect setting for a natural and raw interview. Thoughts interrupted by phone calls, deals and event opportunities being presented on the fly via email and phone call while on the go, lunch breaking up casual dialogue. It’s the never-ending 21st century way of doing things. The pressure of constantly being on the move, juggling multiple jobs and engagements simultaneously, while trying to not only make it look easy, but doing it with a smile on your face.
Reece has spent nearly a month in Los Angeles, with the intention he describes as “having a time to reflect, a time to make things happen for myself, a time to figure out what I want.” He’s organized his own shoots, worked with a roster of Los Angeles talent and photographers, explored his creative prowess, all while chasing and finding out what he wants from the life he’s created thus far.
"I do believe I have progressed as an individual because I feel more comfortable living authentically me, and wanting to participate in and create moments that genuinely connect with me above anything else."
How would you say your life has changed from the last time we spoke?
My life’s pretty much the same since the last time we spoke apart from my mental health and well being feeling more aligned, and feeling capable to handle the ups, downs, and confusion of this space I’m in. Overall it feels like positive growth for myself.
Do you feel you have progressed as an individual, if so/if not, why?
I do believe I have progressed as an individual because I feel more comfortable living authentically me, and wanting to participate in and create moments that genuinely connect with me above anything else.
What’s the biggest drawback or difficulty you face with having internet “fame” or notoriety.
A problem I struggle with in this aspect of my life is that people frequently approach me with a certain perspective or presumption of who they think I am because of social media, and many times they’re so far off from who I actually am. I want people to actually try to get to know me rather than think they already know everything because of social media.
Do you struggle balancing being authentic in the age of social media?
I try not to question it. I am focused on only being myself at this point. In the past on social media I wasn’t always comfortable to be myself, but not anymore. I’m being my authentic self no matter who likes it, because I like it, and I like me.
"I’ve learned negative comments say more about the people bringing the negativity, rather than me. I see myself separate and untouchable from that."
How do you combat negativity in your personal life, as well as online?
In my personal life, negativity and crisis has always been consistent, and it's an ongoing commitment to fix and change those patterns by healing. Online I don’t feel it affects me in the same way it used to because I’ve learned negative comments say more about the people bringing the negativity, rather than me. I see myself separate and untouchable from that.
What’s the biggest backlash you’ve received in your career, and how did you deal with it?
When I shot my first magazine cover, which was actually with you guys, brands didn’t like that it was queer expression, and I experienced losing opportunities that already had my name on them because I chose to showcase myself. I learned to deal with the situation by washing my hands clean from the brands that had an issue with me proudly being myself.
What’s your biggest insecurity, and how do you deal with it? What’s your advice or on overcoming weaknesses/insecurities?
I have always had body issues, problems with my weight, as well as food my entire life. It became increasingly worse when I entered the industry because everything became about how I look. I had to change my approach to eating and how I look after myself, which gladly I’m on an upward positive change in that situation. My advice to everyone experiencing this struggle is to not give up on yourself, and be patient while maintaining and reaching for the goals that you have set for yourself.
Do you feel limited by social media, and what you can do, say, post? How does this affect your personality and well being?
I have at times felt limited in my journey. I’m a young guy just trying t experience life and have fun. I’ve had moments where I’ve had to delete certain things because it’s advised that’s what I should do. I can’t always be perfect or relatable, and I’m not trying to be because it’s not healthy for me. It’s affected me by placing extra judgement on myself, thinking about how everyone will perceive what I’m saying, doing, etc.. However, I’ve learned to let go of that feeling and do what I think is genuine to myself.
"Life is here to be lived greatly, to inspire yourself and others, while doing it all with a pure heart and true intent, regardless if you’re understood by the world or not."
Do you feel you are at a turning point in your life where you are ready to transition into the next phase of your career, personal life, etc.?
Yes I do, I don’t place myself in one box. I see myself as a creative and someone that can adapt and learn in new places and fields.
What’s the greatest thing you can take away from the experiences you’ve had in life so far?
Life is here to be lived greatly, to inspire yourself and others, while doing it all with a pure heart and true intent, regardless if you’re understood by the world or not.
What’s next for Reece King?
Anything and everything is next for me, pure limitless potential.
Model Reece King
Photography Pavel Denisenko
Fashion & Interview Colin Anderson