One of the primary members of South London creative collective 'House Of Pharaohs' and rising actor, Nyshai Caynes has seen 2022 pop off, with a major role in Netflix 'TOP BOY' season 2 as 'Romy'. Always championing the next to blow we linked with Nyshai (Bandanna) and laced a sick lookbook shoot and video as well as getting an exclusive insight to his talents, TOP BOY and his music career - let's gooooo:
- Music and acting play a big role in your creative life. Tell us a bit more about how you got involved with Top Boy?
My manager sent me an open audition, obviously i’ve been doing music for a while now, but as my music manager he thought it was a good opportunity, so i ended up going - i didn’t really think i would get it, but i had faith in the process, doing the lines, but yeah, they called me back about a month later and said that i got the role. But the role i initially auditioned for, they gave me a bigger role than the one i read - so i pulled up, did my lines and got a bigger role like that. I only learned about that when i got to the set and i had my own trailer, with a shower and a TV and all that! Jokes!
- With regards to your character ‘Romy’ his storyline is becoming more developed as the show progresses. Can you give us a bit more insight into his character and his role in the show?
What’s funny about that is that on the first season i didn’t get much time or an opportunity to develop Romy because i was on holiday when the role was confirmed, so even though i went straight to set after getting home, there was limited time and space to develop Romy how they wanted to in season 1. For season 2 i’ve had time to develop the character and make him my own. No one ever said ‘this is how you should be’ - i just embodied what i thought the character should be like and ran with it. The character is very close to home. i’m from an area where those things are normal - to talk and act like that - there’s people and characters that act like that - so to embody that for Romy, i know how to do that. Also Romy as a day to day character is not very aggressive really - he’s more funny, joking around a lot and that side of me comes out when i’m acting.
- Are there any particular routines or things you do as 'Nyshai Caynes' to prepare to get into character for Romy?
You know what, it’s just about learning from the other actors and how they get ready for their scenes and to go on set. Sometimes before i go on set i try not to talk to people, just so i can get into my character, get the lines straight, be on cue when necessary and be calculated for what i’m doing at that time.
- How do you handle the obvious media circus that comes along with the show and essentially that elevation in your own public profile? Is that a challenging process?
Not really you know. Because i’ve been doing music such a long time, i would get stopped sometimes - and people would ask and talk about that quite a lot - so it’s not really overwhelming that it’s happening, more like they are clocking me from a different angle now, which is the acting side. Really it’s very humbling you know. Every time i see people i just show love and keep it moving you know.
- Let’s move onto music as you are one of the main members of House Of Pharaohs. For those that don’t know give us a little run down into the collective
So House of Pharaohs is a collective of creatives and individuals that do their thing under one umbrella - like a camp. Shout out to Sam Wise, Danny, Kevin Taylor, shout out to Blaze YL - they’re my bro’s. We all came together, we were all friends anyways. At the start we were just linking up, dressing a certain way, parties etc, and then people started to gravitate towards the vibe and the music and fashion/style side came to the forefront of the collective. It came about really from being friends from the start and following our passions.
- What's in the pipeline for musical releases for 2022?
Music wise, i’m gonna be dropping more singles and get a tape out this year and hopefully my own headline show at the end of the year. Definitely some more acting, and i’ve already got music in some short films. Anyone who wants to listen can find me on spotify and socials - bandanna or bandannaclips on soundcloud.
- How big a role does style and fashion play in your life - is it something you’re conscious of considering the publicity around your music and acting?
You know what's so funny, is my mum used to colour co-ordinate me when i was younger. My mum is very fashionable and taught me how to put outfits together. My mum is mad designer and used to dress me in all that, but i’m not mad materialistic so i can go to a charity shop and match it with something high fashion and make it work. Style is very important to me just because its what i grew up around and yeah i like to pull up and look good! Naturally - not for the clout, just i like to naturally look and feel good haha.
- On the Top Boy set who are you closest to?
Definitely Jas (Jobson) and Josh (Blissett). I worked with them daily and closely and we talk to each other on the phone and face time even now. For season 2 i got close with Kano too because we did a few scenes together and we always got out make up done next to each other in the mornings. We’d come in, get our breakfast and then get make up - all the actors no matter what time you were shooting. So we’d always talk and i’d ask him questions like ‘do you listen to your own music bro?’ :) So we’d vibe and have a lot of conversations. Kano is mad cool, Asher too is cool, he’s a joker, a proper joker.
- Finally any advice for aspiring up and coming music artists and actors?
The truth is - follow your dreams. Stay consistent in what you want, don’t stop for people that don’t have the same aspirations as you. Sometimes people have dreams but they’re not around the right people. Put yourself around the right people and make sure they are pushing you to the best of your ability.
Big Up Bandanna for dropping all the gems. Keep your eyes peeled on the show and look out for all the KING cameos and also check out our other actor/character showcases with Ashley Walters (Dushane) Joshua Blissett (Kieron) and OG from Summer House season 1+2 Scorcher (Kamale). All of the items featured in Top Boy as well as a whole lot more can be purchased on our special Top Boy section right here.