Were you really made in Chelsea? Where do you live in west London and why?
Not quite! As a child I claimed to be born in Africa like my older sisters, but the truth is a little less exotic – I was born in Surrey. I grew up in Norway, spent a few years in Scotland then went to boarding school in England. I spent time in Moscow, Texas, Damascus, Reykjavik and Copenhagen; so I cannot claim to be made in Chelsea.
I live in Kensington – it’s the perfect location: close to my friends and gallery, and a stone’s throw from the V&A, Harrods and Wholefoods. I go running in Hyde Park when I want some open space and it’s not far to Heathrow so there is no better location!
How did you come to be fluent in Arabic?
I wish I were fluent in Arabic! My parents lived in Syria for three years – I was infatuated with the place – the people, the culture, food and the history. Learning Arabic was a natural step and I took it up at Bristol University. It’s a beautiful, rich language, which lends itself perfectly to music. I practice whenever and with whoever I can, but I’d love to be fluent one day.
What do you do for fun in west London?
I’ve recently launched a private gallery dealing in contemporary art, GEIST. I’ve always loved art and I really enjoy sourcing hard-to-come-by works. When I’m not focused on the gallery, I’m working on new material for a music project, LOKI. When I do go out, I like the Arts Club, Dorchester and Mamounia.
What’s it like working with fellow Made in Chelsea cast member Francis Boulle off-screen?
I’ve known Francis since school, so we’re close and work well together.
How do you relax?
I don’t feel I need to relax, as I love what I do. I feel incredibly fortunate to be in my position. Having said that, I hit the gym most days. It clears my head and keeps me focused. I also play the piano every day. Sleep is the biggest luxury and I definitely don’t get enough.
Tell us about your success as a sportsman?
I had a skiing accident five years ago in Verbier and damaged my shoulder. Even after multiple operations, this put an end to my sports aspirations and stalled my violin playing. I swam competitively and played a lot of football and rugby when I was young, but I now compensate by running and working out at the gym.
How would you describe your personal style?
Being a model spoiled me, as I had access to some amazing clothes. On a day-to-day basis I keep it simple – black Armani jeans and a black polo neck or a nice COS jumper. I’ve recently got into dressing smartly – you can’t beat a tailored suit from Saville Row. I also have some great velvet jackets from a tailor in Damascus. I love Ralph Lauren, Armani and Balmain, and Icelandic knitwear.
Where was your most recent holiday and what did you get up to?
I spent Christmas in Copenhagen and New Year’s Eve in Reykjavik with my sister and her husband Bjarni Biering, a wonderfully talented composer. It was great swimming in the snow and the fireworks were crazy.
What’s in your fridge right now?
Milk, fruit and vegetables for juicing, honey mustard, haloumi, skyr (an Icelandic strained yogurt), tabasco, dozens of chillis, limes, and coriander – essential ingredients for any meal.