Boys by Girls nourish talent and have the upmost admiration for those people that create opportunities for themselves; those that follow their passion to drive them to the top. It’s a sign of justice when good things come to those who work hard and never give up. Inside everyone is the potential and energy to be whatever they want to be. Having the courage to step out of the comfort zone and overcome the fear of failure seems an impossible task, but be ruthless to break past the boundary of yourself; the only thing standing in your way of success is you. Roman Kemp epitomises this and defines ambition.
We first met Roman in 2012 where Cecilie Harris photographed the bright youth in a selection of suave suits for editorial ‘Suit Up’. Recognising a talented spark, we met him again for an interview, where we questioned how he would possibly bring all his amazing skills together to get the greatest job in the world - three years on and Roman has achieved just that. Roman left the modelling industry in order to embark on a journey into his passion of football, creating YouTube videos with his knowledge of how to behave in front of a camera. His goal orientated nature and charismatic personality drove him to create opportunities for himself. Through a series of viral videos, the world saw the rise of Roman.
His respectable maturity and work ethic is complimented by his friendly, warm personality. You can’t help but love him. Cecilie Harris captures him at his ‘space ship like’ studio at Captial FM, where he is now their youngest presenter. His composed and charismatic demeanour commands the environment with confidence, showing that it is more of a home than a workplace for him.
The story of Roman is inspirational and can give us all hope and motivation to realise who you want to be, what you want to do and how you are going to get there.
What have you been up to since last time we saw you?
The last time I saw you I was a young boy trying to figure out what career path to go down. I left the fashion industry after I realised my personality didn’t match the others within fashion. I think if you’re a creative person, it’s hard to be in situations where you have no say in what is happening. I remember a conversation with my mum where she asked me what I love doing, to which I replied "talking about football". I was in a bit of a situation after leaving my agency though, because I had no back up plans for income. I didn’t have any contacts within the sports industry either, so had no one who could help me to get me where I wanted to be. I then started working at my local gym, cleaning the sweat off the equipment to save up and buy my first DSLR. I prepared a plan for myself and set the goal that within two years I wanted to be a Football Presenter of some kind. I knew how to edit and I knew the end product I wanted, so I created my very own football channel on YouTube. It was funny and informal, and just got to show my personality, which people started enjoying. After about seven months of posting videos and trying to immerse myself within the online community, people started to take notice and asked me to present content for their channels; mostly Football Daily & Copa90 to whom I'm so grateful to. After the World Cup things started to go crazy. Adidas and Capital FM came in for me in the same week, it was the oddest week I've ever had; from hoping my card wouldn't get declined in Tesco to being asked to interview World Class footballers and have my own network radio show. It was so overwhelming and the most incredible experience. I’m one of those people who think if you really want something then you can do it. Unless the goal is there to be had, then where are you going?
That’s such an inspirational story; you took something and made it for yourself.
Yeah, haha, I suppose so. People expect that if you have slightly famous parents then everything is handed to you, and that’s why I am so proud that I have a catalogue of work I naturally made for myself, and you can see my progression through it.
So tell me about the show. We are at Capital FM today, it’s pretty, I’m going to call it a space ship. Tell me about your Capital journey.
I currently do Sunday Breakfast, which is at 6am. It's been great so far, because this is the first time I've ever had my own radio show up and down the country, a great learning slot. Capital have been amazingly supportive, really teaching me the craft and we're now talking about other time slots, which is fantastic. It’s very weird, because capital was the station I would listen to on my way to school, and it’s really weird for my parents, because they would have their records played on similar stations. With live radio it’s like being thrown in the deep end, but the best thing about it is that you’re allowed to make mistakes, just laugh it off. If you’re a listener then you want to know it’s a human being on the other side, not just a perfectly spoken robot. With my show I like to interact with my audience, especially from online because that’s where I started. I love reading out the stories of people tweeting in, because it’s great fun.
You’ve also had the chance to talk to a lot of celebrities too. Do you have a favourite interview?
Speaking to Ed Sheeran was very cool. It’s always the people you are such big fans of and who inspire you that are the best to interview. When I’m interviewing though, I think it’s important to not just poke a microphone in their face and ask question after question, because that’s just boring. I have a lot of fun with the interviews and want my viewers/listeners to be having fun with them too.
What is your favourite music of the moment?
At the moment I'm loving the British acts, Ed Sheeran & Sam Smith have been incredible, but the British success stories keep coming. Years & Years, Charli XCX and even artists like Stormzy are starting to announce themselves to the world, it's great to see.
How do people listen to radio these days, has it been changing?
Radio is now accessible anywhere. There are so many platforms, but it’s still a very personal experience. Radio keeps people company, and when I present I don’t talk as if I’m talking to a group of people, but more like connecting with one person.
What are your biggest inspirations and what are your next goals?
My biggest inspirations have always come from the people closest to me. My dad is and always will be my hero. To be able to say that you've conquered the music world at the age of 18, been through life threatening operations and come out of it as a successful TV actor and director, how is that even possible? My mum, my sister and my girlfriend are the ones that inspire me and are constantly pushing me to better myself and never settle. They keep me motivated and grounded at all times. My goals at the moment are to continue being part of projects I enjoy, numbers don’t matter, it’s about having fun. I enjoy my job so much, it doesn’t even feel like a job to me, which is the best thing about my life at the moment.
When I heard you were doing radio I thought it was perfect, because you can take all your skills and put it into one.
I’ve got a face for radio, haha. I have done so many jobs now, modelling, acting, music, I’ve done too much for my age haha. But I have learnt so much from all of them, and with the fashion industry I had to be someone else, and now when I can be myself it’s easy - I can do what I want to do. Whatever the future holds, I will hone my experiences to it.
You’ve always been ambitious.
You have to be ambitious, because if you’re not being ambitious then what are you doing? I would rather aim to be very big than mediocre, because then you are never settled and always on your toes.
What else have you been up to?
Other than Capital FM I present an online show called Gamedayplus for Adidas, where I get to interview and hang out with the biggest and best stars of world football. I cried when they gave me the job. I worked it out recently that I made a video about the Bayern Munich manager, Pep Guardiola. I shot it in my basement with a little printed picture of him in a frame where I spoke about his tactics etc. A year later to the exact day; there I was stood opposite the man himself interviewing him. I still can't believe it. My ultimate goal is for me to present entertainment shows on TV, because that’s what I enjoy watching.
You have an exciting road ahead, so when we next interview you it will be interesting to see where your road headed.
I’m just going to keep working hard, keep my fingers crossed and hope good things keep happening.
Do you have any inspiration words of advice for boys out there who want to reach their dreams?
No one owes you anything; you have got to do it yourself and work hard at it. Remember that if you aren’t enjoying what you are doing then why are you doing it?
Interview and Photography by Cecilie Harris.
Words by Tim Sprague.