Article by Kevin Young
Photo by Xue Liang
Koki Tomlinson, gave up studying astronomy after receiving a job offer in New York working as an assistant to a playwright. At 20 he saw this as a way out of Dallas –an opportunity to “take a leap of faith” while still being young. He left behind his treasured motorcycle and family giving away most of his belongings.
Now 22, Tomlinson (6’1.5) lives in the Bronx aspiring to make it in the entertainment industry. He believes his dual heritage as a Japanese-German makes it more difficult to thrive in the entertainment industry.
He became a model by accident upon the recommendation of a friend where they walked in a runway show together. Later he joined EXP, an american boy band for the K-pop market. He’s been signed to Major Models, a high profile model management company for nearly nine months and he’s been part of EXP for over a year. As a model he’s been featured on a campaign for Aéropostale and paraded down Mercedes Benz Fashion Shows for Malan Breton.
Aside from EXP, Tomlinson writes his own songs that he performs on his YouTube channel. Tomlinson gave an exclusive sneak peek singing the chorus to his upcoming original song “Play.”
Before filming Tomlinson sing in scenic Gantry Plaza State Park, a man named Jose approached Tomlinson begging for money because Jose said he had it bad living in a shelter –Tomlinson without hesitating gave him $5.
Looking forward, Tomlinson plans on traveling to Korea with EXP, to hopefully ground themselves in the Korean K-pop market. Yet he continues to land modeling jobs like his recent Airheads commercial. Despite his success in the fashion world he wants people to know one key message.
“I won’t say it’s not fun when you do book a job. It’s cool to see your face presented somewhere online or on a billboard. But It’s not nearly as easy and glamorous as a lot of people think it is.”