For most, success is often limited to one profession. But on the rare occasion, there are individuals accomplished across more than one career path. Junior Choi is one of those rarities. Junior Choi, a 22 years-old model turned musician, has achieved more success in both occupations than many will experience in a lifetime. I was able to catch up with the blooming “it-boy” and find out how he has been utilizing his time in quarantine.
“I’ve been home, making music, playing video games and just focusing on the present,” says Choi. His present is looking promising to say the least, as his latest single “Belvedere” has been his biggest track yet. The star-studded music video featuring cameos from Evan Mock, Fisher Smith, and Cheikh Tall has accumulated almost 40,000 views in the first two weeks it has been online. Such early success probably comes as no surprise for Choi. In his first five years modeling, he has walked for notorious fashion houses such as Givenchy, Issey Miyake and 1017 ALYX 9SM and amassed over 58,000 Instagram followers. Modeling has taken him all around the world, but his career began in his hometown of London. He was scouted in Topman’s London Flagship store where he was working at the time. The stars seemed to have been aligned for him that day. “It was hilarious because I was 2 hours late to work that day and almost bailed.”
Despite the irony of Choi almost missing out on his big break, his nosedive into modeling and music are far from coincidental. He grew up with a love for both, and eventually passion became profession. “I used to be obsessed with fashion” Choi explains. “I guess falling into modeling just allowed me to understand it but music not at all, I really just picked up a mic one day and said, ‘let’s get it’.”
He attributes his go getter attitude towards music to one of his biggest inspirations, Diddy. “His drive and get it done attitude are things I like to look up to.” Choi’s adoption of this attitude is what has allowed him to reach such great success at an early stage in his music career. He likes to control his own destiny, and ultimately that freedom is why he prefers music over modeling. “I prefer music, it’s more in my control. I make what I want, how I want, and release it when I want” said Choi. While modeling has been great to him it unfortunately has not allowed him the independence he desires. “Modeling isn’t really up to you. You can do as much as you want to make yourself presentable but at the end of the day it depends on how that casting director or designer is feeling. I also prefer music because it’s my story.”
And a unique story at that. Choi took a different route to his modeling and music career. Typically, rappers become famous within the music industry and as a result, modeling opportunities come forth. Being a model turned musician, Choi is unique, and because of this he has a distinct perspective.
“A model’s voice is a voice that’s rarely heard so certain things I speak/will speak about have its own audience and people that can relate.” But as Choi grows in both of his career paths, he wants more people to be able to relate and ultimately, appreciate him for all that he is. For those that have already been following Jnr Choi, the future is looking bright as he promises there is a lot more he plans to unveil. “It’s only the beginning” Choi emphasized; you can expect “a lot more music, a lot more me and a good time.” Jnr Choi considers what fans have seen to be just the appetizer of his career. Thus far, he says his career has been a movie, but when the credits come rolling in, all Choi desires is that he is understood. “I want to teach people the way my mind maneuvers, I hope it’ll help a lot of people accomplish things they might feel are impossible.”