Wonderland.

KELVIN BUENO

Outer Stella Overdrive’s member talks music, modelling and finding freedom in feeling like an outsider.

Kelvin wearing black fur lined jacket on steps

All clothing by TOPSHOP.

Kelvin wearing black fur lined jacket on steps
All clothing by TOPSHOP.

Taken from the Winter 2020 issue. Order your copy now.

Triple threat Kelvin Bueno’s career has been a string of happy accidents. The Brazilian-born musician-model-actor’s laid-back personality and positive, open outlook on life has opened countless doors throughout his career. “The general theme of my life is just [moments] that suddenly turned into what I’m supposed to be doing,” he shares in a moment of introspection.

For Bueno, 2020 has been a “year of reflection.” When asked about his upbringing and career, the theme of being different and not conforming to society’s norms radiates throughout his considered answers. Some people spend their whole lives trying to blend in — from following the latest fashion trends to feeling the need to act a certain way — but from a young age, Bueno accepted the fact he was different and used it to his advantage.

“I’ve left so many things behind me and come from such a different place. I feel like I’ve known from early that, ‘Oh, maybe I am alone,’” Bueno says candidly, reflecting on his experiences growing up in Brazil before moving to north London at five years old. “We’re all alone. But that feeling of being an outsider, it inspires me. It also just gives me the freedom and the peace to not have to feel like I have to conform with anything or anyone or any styles. Nothing.”

Kelvin wearing black coat in from of car
Kelvin wearing black fur lined jacket on steps

All clothing by TOPSHOP.

Kelvin wearing black coat in from of car
All clothing by TOPSHOP.
Kelvin wearing black fur lined jacket on steps

This commitment to not conforming has played a pivotal role throughout Bueno’s wide-ranging career, and writing for the ‘genre-bending (but grunge and punk-leaning) band Outer Stella Overdrive has allowed him to share his unique experiences. As a band of “thinkers”, Outer Stella Overdrive’s gritty music is an apt observation of the current state of the world. “I think I have a unique perspective amongst my friends [in the band] because I’m from, essentially, a developing country,” Bue- no tells me. “And I’ve witnessed a lot of things that you just wouldn’t witness in this country. Which, I guess, definitely naturally bleeds into all the stuff I write because I have a different perspective that a lot of people don’t have.”

Three-Piece” — inspired by UFC fighter Jorge Masvidal’s famous quote about serving a “three-piece with a soda” — Bueno draws on his experiences growing up in a working-class family in a “rough area” of north London, and ongoing discrimination he’s faced. “It’s an ode to hopefully other people who have gone through the same things I’ve gone through and can relate to what I’m saying,” he explains.

Kelvin wearing black hoodie and shirt

All clothing by TOPSHOP.

Kelvin wearing black hoodie and shirt
All clothing by TOPSHOP.

You may recognise Bueno from his modelling work too, which includes campaigns with Topman and walking the runway for Dolce & Gabbana. “The universe just opened itself for me and it’s just things that happened and put me on this path,” he says, emphasising that he never set out to be a model. “It definitely helps with what I’m doing musically because it kind of makes me comfortable with the artistic side of things — not actually making music, but the whole image side of things […] Musicians and actors and things like that are the trendsetters, so it goes hand in hand with fashion. So I think I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.”

Looking towards the new year and with a foot in a number of different creative industries, Bueno is hoping to continue honing in on his range of talents to “take everything further and do bigger and bigger jobs, write better and better songs.” But whilst he wants to grow in all his different ventures, his main focus is still his music career. “The music came before this,” he stresses, hinting at Outer Stella Overdrive’s “Clout & Self-Doubt” EP, coming out in January, and their lockdown EP dropping later in the year. “For me it’s taking that to the next level, where everything else will be taken to the next level just by default. I just really want to take the music to the next level. Just do the biggest shows, be the biggest band in the world. That’s it.”

Photography
Danika Magdalena
Fashion
Kamran Rajput
Words
Emily James
Grooming
Rachael Thomas
Special Thanks
Indra Studios
KELVIN BUENO