“romance repulsed"

So Nik you hale from your place name New Hampshire is that correct? How was life growing up? what sort of child were you? 

New Hampshire was fairly low key.Mostly woods, a lot of snowboarding, hiking and cliff jumping as a kid. I was always a bit out of step with everyone. I moved around often as a kid so I was always “the new kid”. Made it hard to have long time friends which are kind of important in the high school days. I was also one of the only black kids in my school as New Hampshire is only like 1.3% black haha. So yea, always standing out a bit but honestly I liked that. Kinda thrived on it. Made me more resolute on being myself and being original.        

Did you dig the alternative side of life when you were younger or is this something that you have discovered later on in life? 

I have always been a bit on the alternative side of things I guess.Rarely ever a “trendsetter” like I always kinda did my own thing and people thought I was cool for doing it (or at least never mocked me for it) but never cool enough that they wanted to do what I was doing. “I could never pull that off” type comments were frequent. Which again, was fine by me, I like just being uniquely myself.

As a Black man in todays society how do you feel peoples attitudes and opinions have changed? Or indeed have they? Do you feel that there has been little progress? Do you think Social media has a part to blame? 

I think social media and the camera phone is one of the best things that have come along to furthering the discussion of racism. It has given the voiceless victims of racism a voice. Before, where white people could say “you’re exaggerating” or flat out accusing us of lying, NOW we can show them video’s or collectively speak out together to share stories of the various degrees of oppression we face as a people. People still say we’re exaggerating or lying but at least now we have a voice and evidence to back us up.  I think most people are coming around especially with new generations but the more progress we make, the harder those that want things to stay the same, will fight back and the louder they’ll get. Don’t get me wrong, I think the situation is worse than most people think it is, but I do believe it’s getting better. We just need people to really stop being so defensive and listen and understand what we’re saying about the system we live in as people of colour and why it needs to change even if that means giving up bits of power and comfort that white people have been afforded their entire lives.  

You’re a self confessed aromantic can you explain to us what this is? What do you think this stems from? 

Aromanticism is the inability to experience romantic love or attraction. It’s an orientation same as being straight or gay or asexual. While I think trauma can trigger similar feelings (or lack thereof) for me (and most aromantics) I think we’re just born this way the same way others are born the way they are. Some people fall in love easily and deeper than others. We’re just at the other end of that spectrum where we don’t experience it at all. Some of us (including myself) can even be “romance repulsed” meaning we mentally and even physically recoil at being involved in romantic relationships. Literally my longest relationship was 8 weeks and the longer I was with them the more alienated and uncomfortable I felt until I just had to leave. My emotions simply don’t work the way most others do.  I’m still allosexual (or someone that experiences sexual desire and attraction) I just don’t have the capacity to fall “in love” with someone. I love my friends and family but thats the extent of how my love works. Whatever that extra bit or kind of love is that make people do crazy romantic things and want to be with a partner forever, I don’t have the capacity for it. I often explain it like this: I’m partially colourblind. I know there are some colours that exist in the world that everyone else can see that I simply cannot see. Same thing, Romantic love is just an emotion that my mind doesn’t have access too, which is fine by me. Being freed from the troubles of romantic pursuits has left me with a great amount of time to work on and know myself better!     

Would you call yourself a Nomad? Can you see yourself settling in one place eventually? If so where? 

I guess I’m a bit nomadic but I don’t think I’d identify as a nomad. I’ve always had a place to call home and my space is actually quite important to me. I need a place to get back to, call my own and recharge from the rest of the world. Despite all my travelling I’m actually a notorious homebody haha. As far as long term settling, it will really depend on where life takes me. I’d like to think I’ll make it back to New Hampshire when my adventuring days are behind me so I can be around my family again. I miss them a lot.    

You are a model and influencer but you also like to get behind the camera now, what do you prefer? 

Depends what I’m trying to get out of the experience. I feel more artistically fulfilled behind the lens. You just have much more control of the final product as typically the location and concept are on you as the photographer and obviously the edit is on you as well. But being in front of the lens puts the spotlight on you for those looking at the work and I like being the centre of attention sometimes haha. 

As I said you’r a bit of a wanderer where has been your favourite place to visit? 

London is one of my favourite places to visit. I just have such good friends there and I found everyone to be so welcoming to me. I love the mixture of history and modernness along with the various cultures that mix throughout the city. It’s really such a great time which is why I typically go back twice a year for a month at a time. Shout out to Hobo Jack and Love Sick London as some amazing companies and even more amazing friends that bring me back often! <3    

What keeps you up at night? 

To be honest, nothing haha. I lowkey think I have a mild sleeping disorder and it literally never takes me more than 2-3 minutes to pass out cold haha. But if you’re asking more metaphorically, the current election is really on my mind. Another 4 years of trump sounds like a nightmare. The state of the environment and how not enough people (mostly corporations) seem to be taking it seriously or doing anything about it. Racism in the world still really concerns me a great deal. Honestly just big global and societal issues are where my concerns are.

What are the last 3 things in your search engine? 


White Fragility by robin diangelo 

Lupe Fiasco Los Angeles Show   

Whats the dream? 

The dream is to do more of what I want and less of what I don’t. To just create and travel and help others as much as I can! Hopefully have some kids at some point too!

More images below from Danny Woodstock Photographer   

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