BLISS: Your new music video for “S.E.E.X.X.” just premiered recently. What is the concept behind the video?
EDDY BARRENA: Well, The concept behind it is basically a place where all your fantasies come true… kinda like a burlesque, Moulin Rouge but dark and sexy, yet classy and artistically done.
B: What have the responses to the video been like?
EB: So far great, fans like it, so that’s good. It’s totally different than my previous work
B: You are known mostly for modeling and dancing, but you have another song called “State of Grace”, which also has a video. When did you get interested in doing music?
EB: Before becoming a model I was a dancer and a actor for my high school drama club, I grew up loving music. Music was always my biggest passion.
B: Are there any interesting behind the scenes stories that made the video shoot for “S.E.E.X.X.” extra fun and exciting?
EB: It was very exciting in general. We didn’t stop shooting for 7 hours, like nonstop, so it was a lot of fun.
B: Speaking of the title and the way it is spelled…does it have a special meaning?
EB: Well, while writing the track, I didn’t wanna make it like obvious by writing just SEX so I started playing around with the word and at one point I said s.e.e.x.x and it got stuck in my head so that was a good sign.. lol
B: Did you write the song? Also, who did the music and production?
EB: I wrote the song. It was produced by Luke (an Italian producer) and Devon Perry.
B: Do you ever perform your songs live? If so, in what venues?
EB: I have performed in several venues. I performed at Splash, Calypso, in NJ, last year at Hudson Pride. I just did a performance at Bar 13 for my video release.
B: You already had quite a following, especially as a model, and justifiably so, but many people first noticed you in a cult classic music video by Cazwell called “Ice Cream Truck”. How did you get involved in that?
B: What was it like working with Cazwell?
EB: HORRIBLE!!! Lol just kidding! He is great guy and funny.
B: The video is infamous in the gay bars, as well as the Internet, and you guys are known as the “Ice Cream Truck Boys”. Do you find yourself getting recognized as a result of all of this?
EB: Yea all the time! I even moved to Vegas for a few months and someone started to sing the song to me while walking in a mall. lol
B: Your look is distinctive in that your features allow you to transform from pretty boy, to homeboy, to erotic fantasy. What is your ethnic background?
EB: Latino. My family is a mix of Colombian, Spaniard and Italian.
B: Are you a native New Yorker? If not, how long have you lived in the city?
EB: Not a New Yorker but I feel like one. I’ve been here for 5 years.
B: When did you first decide to get into modeling? Who was the first photographer that you ever worked with and do you remember what that first shoot was like?
EB: I don’t know. It just happened! lol I did my first big shoot with Thomas Synnamon and it was bananas from there. It was fun. Good times and relaxing. He gave me good pointers that I still use.
B: Many of the photographers you’ve worked with are celebrities in their own right, and Thomas Synnamon, who did the cover photo is the perfect example. What’s it like working with Thomas?
EB: It was fun. Good times and relaxing. He gave me good pointers that I still use. He’s the easiest person to work with. He’s just a sweetheart. I love when he tells me what to do, like he has this technique to explain what he wants. He’s just great!
B: Let’s go down the list of your photographers and you tell me what the experience was like with each of them.
Michael McCloud: POP!
B: I wanted to ask about one separately because his work is a bit different – Dylan Rosser. His work tends to veer more towards the erotic. What was it like working with Dylan?
EB: Fun! He’s very shy, What I found very interesting, especially for his line of work, but he's a great person and someone who wants nudity to be more than just what the eyes can see.
B: Clearly nudity is not too much of an issue for you, considering your gorgeous work with Dylan. Where do you stand on full nudity?
EB: Well, only if it’s done tastefully, We come into this world naked so why we should make a big deal about it! Artistic Nude is a great way to express ourselves. The art is not perverted - it’s our minds.
B: You did an exceptionally hot shoot with Thomas Synnamon that was featured in Beautiful Mag called Private Dancer where you posed with model Levi Poulter. Is it easier or more difficult to work another model, especially when the concept is of an erotic nature?
EB: Well, if there are no egos, it’s the coolest thing to do. You can make new friends along the way. Levi and I had great chemistry and it showed. Funny thing was I always looked up to his work while growing up. I just couldn’t believe when I walked into the place and saw him. I wasn’t star struck, but to me it was a little surreal. After that we became good friends.
B: It seems like some of your most memorable photos were done by Thomas. Would you say that he is your favorite photographer to work with?
EB: He’s more than my favorite photographer, he is my friend.
B: I have a wish list of models that I hope to work with in the future, and obviously you are on it. Are there any photographers that you admire and hope to work with one day?
EB: David Lachapelle. His style is just dope!! I like that crazy, pop style.
B: You’re also a dancer, which people outside of New York may not know about you. Where do you dance?
EB: Right now I’m focusing on my music career so basically I dance for my shows.
B: When did you first get into dancing and how long have you been doing it?
EB: I was like 3 years old when I started dancing so pretty much my whole life. That was my personal way to express my feelings.
B: You’re kind of an all around performer. Have you ever been interested in acting?
EB: I did some in high school and college. I love acting. Who knows if I get into that later on.
B: I don’t know if you are aware of it but you have a reputation for being very genuine and sweet. You are also very interactive on your Facebook page and post so many positive comments. There are people who assume that models that look like you are going to be conceited and standoffish. Have you always been so warm and giving or did this develop over time?
EB: Well, I think people who are shallow and vain are all around ugly, they can be perfect outside but if you’re cold inside… that’s just bad. I mean I’m the same kid I was 10, 20 years ago, just a little more mature but with the same heart and dreams. I think the outside looks fade, so I like to see people for who they really are and I don’t take shit from anybody. I don’t if I can use that word here, but yea, I mean I keep it real and honesty I’m a family guy and my family values are my rock.
B: Physiques like yours don’t often come naturally. Do you work out often and adhere to a strict diet?
EB: Yea I workout 6 days a week plus cardio practice for an hour. I try to eat as healthy as I can and I don’t call it diet, that word scares me, I call it healthy lifestyle.
B: There are so many comments on your photos about your physical perfection but if you could change anything about your appearance what would it be?
EB: Well, I don’t know about perfection, I’m far from perfect, thank god for Photoshop!! LOL. Well we all have little things we would like to change. I wanted to have my dad's blue eyes. I had this thing about my nose when I was a little younger but by now I like it.
B: You’re very vocal about your admiration for a few pop icons like Michael, Brittney and Madonna. What do you think of the new crop of performers like Lady Gaga and Rihanna?
EB: Umm I love Rihanna. She is hot, sexy, hip. Her music is fun. Plus I love her style! Lady Gaga is ok. She's bringing awareness to LGBT matters, so that's great.
B: Everyone has their own perceptions about the people they see in photos and in most cases those assumptions are way off base. Can you tell me 5 things about yourself that even the people who know you would be surprised to learn?
EB: I’m a good cook, I hate going out to clubs, I love video games!, I watch Japanese anime in Japanese, no subtitle even though I don’t know what they saying lol, I wanted to be a priest when I was a little kid. Wow times have changed. I’m not even religious anymore lol.
B: You’ve posted anti-fur images with the slogan “Ink not mink” so I assume you are socially conscious. What are 5 things in your life that mean the most to you?
EB: Animals, Kids(bringing awareness of childen issues), Equality, Education, Anti-Bullying agenda.
B: You’re an excellent role model for those who are trying to get their foot in the industry. What advice would you give to a new model about this business?
EB: It’s not an easy one; people will have the wrong ideas about you and even hate you for no reason, so create a tough skin without changing your essence.
B: The music video is your current focus but what other projects can we look forward to this year?
B: This is a question from the fans: When are we going to be able to get an Eddy Barrena calendar?
EB: I DONT KNOW! I haven’t thought about it!.. Umm that's actually a great idea to keep in mind.
B: Speaking of the fans…any last words for them?
©2012 – Sean Dibble