Our long time friend Mike Scocozza is currently a contestant on America’s Next Top Model’s first co-ed season. We asked him to give us some background on his life in the music industry and how it’s all led him to “smize” in front of the one and only Tyra Banks.

Music is my passion and my soul. It’s what I’ve been doing for almost the past decade now. I started touring with my own bands when I was 17. I played guitar in hardcore and metal bands that were inspired by artists from the last 90’s/early 2000, such as Poison The Well, From Autumn To Ashes, GlassJaw, Hatebreed and others. After touring most of the country in my own bands, I moved to Los Angeles, and started tour managing for my friend’s bands. I traveled the country multiple times and met some amazing people. After life on the road for a few years, I got a job with a management company any did day-to-day management for a number of notable artists.


After a number of years there, I branched out and started managing bands on my own. To help earn some extra cash, my friend hooked me up with a job on an ice cream truck called Coolhaus (www.eatcoolhaus.com). But this isn’t your ordinary Mr. Softie truck. We’re a gourmet, customizable ice cream truck. The company started in LA, where they now have 4 trucks, 2 storefronts, as well as trucks in New York City, Austin, and Dallas. Working on a food truck in LA, especially a dessert truck, means a lot of high-end events, such as celebrity birthday parties, weddings, and lots of catering to TV/film sets. I’ve met a number of famous actors and celebrities, but the one who would change my life is the one I didn’t even recognize.


I was working a regular old shift, the day after Thanksgiving actually. Towards the end of the shift, two girls came up to the truck to order something and we struck up a conversation. They were very nice and towards the end of the conversation one of them asks me “have you ever done any modeling?” My response was “no” to which she replied, “well I’m casting for America’s Next Top Model, where doing guys and girls this season, I think you’d be great on the show. Can I get your number?” It was once she asked me this that I realized that I was talking to none other than Tyra Banks herself. I fumbled around for a moment and she said “I’m not hitting on you, but I’d like to get your info so I can send it to my casting people.” I then wrote down my name, email, and phone number on an order ticket and handed it to her. She smiled and the two girls walked off.


It was such a random coincidence, that I didn’t think it could actually be real. But sure enough, about two weeks later, I got a call from the casting department at America’s Next Top Model. After a number of phone calls, emails, and video exchanges, I was invited out to the final round of auditions for the show (casting week). Sure enough I ended up in the final cast, and the rest is history.


When it comes to the show, you can expect drama as usual. However being the first coed season, there will also be plenty of flirting and hooking up. The show loved to push the boundaries between the contestants and certainly put them in plenty of scandalous situations. The challenges and photo shoots are over the top, with plenty of great cameos as well.


For me, I found a lot of similarities between music and modeling. The feelings behind what you’re doing are the same. Being able to portray an emotion though any sort of art form is an incredible thing. I was always around cameras and sets, but now I’m the one in front of the camera. It’s been a change of pace, but one that I’ve fully embraced and come to love.


My style is casual, but still a bit gritty. I love a nice pair of dark jeans, a vintage t, and some worn in boots. I rarely wear sneakers, I feel as a man you have to wear shoes. There are some many different options for guys now and you can wear them casually or dressed up. It’s important to buy clothes the properly fit your body type. The fit makes all the difference. And of course, nothing beats a guy in a nice tailored suit.