ADRIAN GOMIS EXPOSITO. Hello Rayan! It’s an incredible pleasure to have you back in Yummy. Last time we talked, we caught you in Dubai escaping the European cold weather. Where do you find yourself at the moment? How are you?
RAYAN RICCI. I am good, undergoing a significant change at the moment as I just moved to Los Angeles and am trying to adapt to this city. I thought I knew it already, but being a new French boy in town isn’t as easy as it may seem, ahah.
A.G.E. Last time we talked about many different topics, from your origins to your professional life. This time, I would like to keep it more personal. First, I am still curious about your cultural heritage as you're French with Italian and Lebanese roots. What does that multicultural combination look like in your daily life? For example, what type of food do you eat, the literature and music do you prefer, and what languages do you speak?
R.R. Well first, I have to say, food-wise it is the best. Growing up having an Italian mom allowed me to get the best Italian food at home, and imagine adding Lebanese meals on top of that; my dad was a perfect cook and took pleasure in mixing his roots in the kitchen. So I would say I had the best culinary experience growing up. Now, of course, life doesn’t limit to food (I wish) but also to some different energies, including religions. Even though we always spoke French at home, my Dad is Muslim, my Mom Christian, so let me tell you, it wasn’t fun all the time. What I thank them for is that they raised me and my brother out of any religion, allowing us to decide later on as adults what we wish to believe, if we ever feel the need to believe in something. That allowed me to grow up listening to whatever I wanted, disco and house music most of it, as it was what my mom used to listen to at home while cleaning. I love vintage music as movies, everything between the 50s to the 90s you can count me in. Not a big fan of anything past the 2000s.
A.G.E. You travel quite a lot. What motivates you to travel, and how does it enrich the way you see the world and life in general? Why do you enjoy travelling? Tell us about any life-changing travelling experiences you’ve had.
R.R. Growing up, the only travel my family and I were doing was to go to Lebanon. Each year we had the opportunity to go for one month during the summer to see my Dad’s family. So I always had this need to discover new places, meet new people, and new cultures. I always knew I didn’t belong to Paris and wanted to move to the US really bad. So I learned English the best way possible and declined going to Lebanon anymore from my 17th birthday, started travelling, and realized I loved it. My first travel out of Lebanon was to Barcelona, and I remember being like a Chinese tourist in Paris, haha. I was taking pictures of everything; luckily I had some Spanish skills from school, so it wasn’t hard for me to be understood, and I met amazing people. Travel allowed me to start modelling. I wasn’t really their type in Paris, I guess, but as I say, your worth changes depending on where you are.
A.G.E. You mentioned that your community followed your body transformation. How do you feel your physique has evolved from the first time you appeared in Yummy 4 to your current physical appearance shown in Yummy 8? What are you most proud of regarding this evolution?
R.R. When we shot Yummy 4, I was a totally different person. I was in a relationship, new in London, starting a new proper diet I still follow today, and it was my very first full naked shoot. Until that, I only shot in underwear or swimsuits, nothing less. So the shoot we did with Smiggy gave us amazing pictures, of course, but between that shoot and the one I had with Christian Oita for this current issue, so much happened in my life. During that, I had the time to really take conscience about my body, and the image I wanted to give (almost) and work out hard. I personally don’t see the evolution of my body as much as my community does, as I see myself every day. But it encourages me and makes me really happy when someone says that I am a source of inspiration to them, of course. Who wouldn’t be when you are doing what you like and getting the support of people around?