PHOTO MATT IRWIN
Can you tell us a bit about your background?
I was born in Miami to Cuban parents and I think Cuban Americans, Japanese Americans and Japanese people have a lot in common in that they value their culture and maintaining that sense of where you came from. Its also their incredible work ethic which is where I owe my success to. The fact that I work extremely hard, I still do! I still wake up at 4 AM and put in 16/17 hours a day and I say that with a smile on my face because I LOVE what I do. I work for myself and growing up in Miami I never envisioned any of this. When I started blogging, I never envisioned any of this.
Did you envision LA in any of this while you were growing up?
I definitely envisioned LA because I love Hollywood and have always been fascinated by celebrities. The fascination wasn’t with just Hollywood but how Hollywood worked. I recently had a flashback because Billboard magazine started sending me free issues and it brought back memories of my early teens when I would go to the newsstand and buy the magazine which was NOT cheap! Billboard magazines like $5.95 even back then! To any other teenager it might have been nothing, but to me I loved reading it and seeing what musicians were hot and up and coming and understanding the business side of things.
Could you have done what you are doing in Miami?
I knew for me it was important to leave Miami. One of my biggest pieces of advice to anyone younger or older is, “ You should definitely leave where you are from to study elsewhere.” I couldn’t have been openly gay in Miami even after high school just because I wouldn’t have felt comfortable for my own reasons. I went to NY to study acting, I went to NYU, like Lady GAGA we went to Tisch. It was the best college experience ever because NY city was my playground.
You recently went to Tokyo for the first time. Tell us about your experience there.
My love for NY is like my love for Tokyo. My trip to Tokyo last summer was life changing in that I felt like a newborn seeing life for the very first time. Everything looked so different and new in an amazing way. One thing I didn’t know about Japan was that Japanese people know how to party! I loved the sense of community that they work hard but party hard with their co-workers. They go out after work as a group in their nice little fitted work suits in a way that Americans don’t. They love to karaoke and play that amazing pachinko game with the silver balls. Pachinko was amazing! My motto in life is, “ don’t do it if it’s not fun,” and Tokyo was total fun for me. I need to get back there soon.
You brought Lady GAGA onto the radar and wrote about her before any other mainstream outlet. Tell me how you did it.
I’m thrilled that I was personally able to discover her early on in her career and share her amazingness with my readers…and the world! I get a lot of readers.
Im just a big lover of music and I interpret the world through song. A good song is a good song whether I understand the lyrics or not. I supported a Korean girl group, the WONDER GIRLS, years ago on my blog. Just recently, this summer, they asked me to host a show for them put on by CAA. That’s when they told me that they got their gig because CAA had seen them on my site and that was the beginning of their career in America. After that they opened for the Jonas brother and released songs in the states. I love a lot of Asian artists like TWO ANYONE and Ta Ta Yong who is from Thailand.
I know you and GAGA are very close friends. Can you tell me a bit about your friendship with her and the dynamic between you two?
The dynamic is of real friendship and Im inspired by her all the time. She is one of the smartest people I know and she has so many references and experiences that she brings to the table that I would have never thought of or been aware of. We get together and talk about her ideas, my ideas, we basically throw ideas around which is a lot of fun with her.
Who is your favorite celebrity right now?
It’s Lady GAGA because Im her friend but I’m also one of her biggest fans. She is so supportive of what I do and the new projects I am working on.
Speaking of new projects, how is your fashion line going and where do you want to venture from there?
Its more of a fashion blog than a fashion line. Im selling t-shirts on my website, perezhilton.com/shop. I always had this fantasy of being the long lost Hilton sister and being famous in Japan. Niki and Paris are so popular in Japan and I want to have my billboard with my Samantha Thavasa bag! If Tinsley Mortimer can do it I can do it as well.
Speaking of fashion, who is your favorite celebrity designer?
Victoria Beckham has done it really well. She has a love for fashion and copies very well. Her designs are inspired by others, but it works.
What about your music?
I don’t take myself too seriously so I can do all these different things without worrying about what people will think about it. For instance, last summer I released a song with the Venga Brothers from the 90’s (famous for “WE LIKE TO PARTY, WE LIKE TO PARTY) called, “Rocket to Your Anus.” I talk a lot on the song and its silly good fun.
In a recent post, you posted that Jo Calderone(the model for nick night +
nicola's shoot for VHJ vol 5) is your ideal husband. We are curious to know what makes him your ideal husband?
Jo’s got a very sexy nose. When I first saw those photos the person who sent it to me asked, “Do you see anything special in these photos?” My reply was that, “ I would recognize that nose anywhere.” I mean that as the biggest compliment because I love that nose.
What do we have to look forward to in regards to your future ventures?
Im launching another website that is still celebrity oriented but branching out into a different genre, like what I did with my fashion thing.
Im also starting a production company because I would love to produce TV. It is one of my goals to be star and talent but that is not what I will be attached to with this production company, unless they asked me to replace Simon Cowell on American Idol because that I would totally do! The bigger picture is to create my own multi media company. I have my website, radio stations and now I want to get TV covered. I want to live up to my self appointed titled of Queen of All Media.
Im also doing exclusive video content for my website where you can watch interviews with Snooki from Jersey Shore, Marina from Marina and the Diamonds (one of my favorite musicians), Kalice, Kelly Rowland.
You were on the forefront for this celebrity mania. What in your eyes was the turning point where the public became obsessed with celebrities?
I think people have always been interested in celebrities but the only difference now is that 6 years ago, when I first started blogging in September of 2004, celebrity news was not mainstream news. Mainstream media started to notice that reporting on celebrity news was good for business where their ratings went up and attracted more watchers, readers and listeners. Even Vogue US publishes all celebrity covers, we don’t see models anymore.
What was your highest hit posting?
It’s always popular when celebrities do something they shouldn’t. For instance, right now the Mel Gibson recordings are getting a lot of interest. The “secretly” leaked recordings have been getting forwarded a lot. Anything shocking like when a celebrity does inappropriate things.
Heroes, Inspirations, Icons?
One of my biggest heroes and inspiration is Madonna. Her concept of always reinventing to keep relevance has been the biggest lesson for me. I do that with my website with even the most subtle things to improve the experience for my readers. Whether its linking my post to your tweet or facebook or watching videos on my website.
What in your opinion is the best top 5 celebrity gossip/stories/news?
Spring of 2005, Brad and Angelina making their debut as a couple on a beach in Africa. This posting actually crashed my baby website. I coined the term Brangelina but not a lot of people know this.
Britney shaving her head and that entire downward spiral year for her.
3. The Tiger Woods scandal which was really unexpected. This was also the beginning of the “cheating scandals.” He was the first then there was Jesse James.
4. Lindsay Lohan’s ongoing legal woes and her first time getting arrested.
5. The Mel Gibson drama because there is so much. From drunk driving, to anti-semitic, masoginist, attacks about his baby mama, and just so much.
VOGUE HOMMES JAPAN 5 OUT SEPT 10