Behind The Cover With B.B. Kaye

Beige Summer 2013 Cover

B.B. Kaye is one of the models of the moment to watch and graces the cover of Beige’s summer issue. He has a background in dance and was also one of the stars on the model reality TV show Dirty Sexy Things.

How did you get into modelling?
I’ve been doing it for about three years now and started off as a professionl dancer. I was in a show with a friend, Max Rogers (also assigned to the Storm modelling agency) and he suggested I meet with them. They took some photos and I was signed. I’d been scouted in the past, by Select, but never followed through with it.

And what about your dancing? How did that all start?
I didn’t train in dancing, I just kind of fell into it at the age of 16. I got my first job dancing for Kylie Minogue and that led on to dancing with Will Young, Girls Aloud, Beyonce and Mariah Carey. It grew from there and I trained on the job.

Did you take dance classes to improve your skills?
I was in college with a friend who was an avid dancer and he did lots of classes and jobs and told me about an audition for an Alicia Keys music video that he wanted to go to. I went along to support him and was also asked to audition. I was horrendous, but still got the job. I then started doing classes at Pineapple Studios at the weekends and after school. It was a nice way to spend the time and kept me fit and healthy.

You’ve worked with many celebrities. What experiences really stand out for you and why?
I was always a massive Justin Timberlake fan when I was younger and got to work with him at the Europe music awards several years ago. Something that really sticks out is dancing for Beyonce. That was incredible because it was great to see her in her working environment and just see how she was as a person. The lady is super talented. It was humbling to see someone so talented still working that hard. I also have to mention Christina Aguilera because of her voice. She gave it her all, even in rehearsals.

I believe you also worked with Whitney Houston. What was that like?
Yes, I worked with her when she sang Million Dollar Bill on the X Factor. It was great because we always had her music playing in our house when I was growing up. My mum was a huge fan and I remember thinking that she’d just be really proud. Whitney was great. She seemed very together and was making jokes and introduced herself to us all.

Is there a dance style that you favour?
What I do would be classed as commercial dance, which is the style you see on TV, tours and music videos. I also enjoy watching contemporary dance. It’s beautifully done and very expressive, but I think it’s a bit late to start that now.

Are you more passionate about modelling or dance?
I think with anything you’ve been doing for quite some time, like dancing, the passion doesn’t necessarily dwindle, but you need new, different experiences to keep it fresh. I’ve been dancing for 10 years now, whereas the modelling is still quite new so I find that I’m really thriving on that at the moment. What’s great is when I can fuse the two together, like I did in the photoshoot for Beige. This was very high end fashion editorial, but with some kind of dance elements mixed in. It’s great to find a medium like that where the two work in harmony.

B.B. Kaye in Beige Summer 2013. Photography by Alex Beer. Jumpsuit by Bas Kosters

What other modelling assignments have you done where you have been able to utilise your dance background?
I did a shoot under water which was all about fluidity and being graceful, although it was quite difficult as I was immersed in a tank of water! There was also an assignment in which I was wearing a suit and they wanted to capture my movement in the air. It’s tricky jumping in a suit and making sure the outfit still looks good, but by bringing in a dance element it happened.

How did you get involved in Dirty Sexy Things?
It happened when I first started at Storm and my booker put me forward. I went along for a casting and didn’t think anything more would happen. At that time I was also on tour with Alexandra Burke so I couldn’t make it to any more castings and thought that would be it. Then they called and made an offer and before I knew it I was filming scenes for the production company. It was daunting at first, really quite surreal, but a truly great experience.

What future plans do you have?
I’m very much interested in TV work – presenting and acting. One of the things I’m doing towards the end of this year is going over to the States, just to try and see what can happen. I am already signed in New York to Soul Artist Management. I’m also going to go to LA and see what happens there.

What type of acting roles would you be interested in?
Anything quite serious that allows me to emote and call upon past experiences. I’d rather do those types of role than the comical friend in the bar. At the moment I’m obsessed with Grey’s Anatomy. I love the story lines and it’s full of talent. I also love Game of Thrones, but then who doesn’t? I’d be looking to play parts that allow me to show some depth.

Words: Alex Hopkins

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