Sometimes a strong name can overshadow a person, appearing more exciting than the person wearing it. In the case of Jet Axel, the immediate buzz his name conjures up is only enhanced by a meeting with the London born and raised musician – in fact his name contains just the right amount of mystique, cool and uniqueness that Jet embodies.

The creative talent is the latest find by model scout Cesar Perin and is set to take on the fashion world, alongside music stages, as Unsigned MGMT‘s newest face.

Jet recently spent a day with portrait photographer Grant Smith who was able to capture the model-musician’s rare beauty. Grant later said of that shoot: “I found Jet to be so unique, understated & soulful. He oozes talent not only from an exterior point but also internally, which is captured in his music. He’s not just a model with looks, but a creative mind that is truly from the underground. I chatted to him whilst doing the shoot. Once you crack that outer shell, something I don’t think he let’s happen often, you become aware of this incredible character containing a deep passion for his craft.

We sat down with Jet Axel to discover where this mysterious soul comes from and what it is that inspires his creative output, both on-stage and in front of the camera.


Name? – Jet Axel.

Where did your name come from, it’s amazing?! – Thank you. I think my parents just have good taste.

How old are you? – I just turned 22.

Starsign? – Aries, I think?

Hometown? – London.

Best thing about your hometown? – It’s one of the most diverse cities in the world.

Where do you live now and why? – I still live in London. I wanted to go to Japan, but unfortunately things didn’t work out for me.

How did you get into music? – My father was a musician, so I guess it runs in my veins. I’ve been making music for as long as I can remember, but I started taking it seriously in my first year of university, making hip hop beats in my bedroom.

Who are your musical influences? – Oh boy. A lot of great UK artists like James Blake and Actress. Every artist who has ever released on Brainfeeder, Raster-Noton or Eglo Records. Countless Japanese artists from all kinds of genres – Ringo Shiina is my favourite. Great hip hop producers like Kanye West and the late J Dilla. A lot of jazz, Playstation 2 games, my friends, random members of the public who inadvertently say profound things on the news. I had to trim this list down a lot.

What’s your favourite instrument and why? – The piano. I can’t play anything very well, but the piano is incredibly flexible. You can compose basically anything on a piano, and nothing sounds as good as a grand piano in the right room.

You’ve recently started modelling, how did you get scouted? – A little over a year ago, Cesar Perin ran into me and my then girlfriend while I was crate digging in Shoreditch. He seemed very enthusiastic. It was quite a shock. I only just started recently because I wanted to focus on my degree first.

Are you more comfortable performing on stage or in front of the camera? – On stage, because it’s all about giving your all in that exact moment.

Were you interested in fashion before you started modelling? – Not particularly? I followed a few blogs on diversity in the industry, and I like to know what’s going on, but I’ve always just dressed like me.

How would you describe your style? – Understated, usually all black during the winter. I don’t like to feel flashy.

Most loved possession in your wardrobe? – My Nike Air Jordan 1s. They’re the Retro ’94 version in Powder Blue. Probably the cheapest ones you can get, but they get a lot of compliments from strangers on the tube. They’re also by far the most eye-catching clothes I own.

Most played tune on your iPod this month? – “Na-Mellow” by a Japanese all-female punk band called Tsu Shi Ma Mi Re. I think they’re singing about sea food, but it’s still very emotional.

What does the year ahead hold for you? – That’s a good question, and I’m not entirely sure. My dream is to go to Japan, but I’m not quite sure how to go about it. Regardless, I’ll be making lots of music. I’m working on my first proper release, and I want it to be perfect.

Photographer – Grant Smith 
Scouted by – Cesar Perin 
Interview by – Chimere Cisse 
Agency – Unsigned MGMT, London