Didier Cohen wants Australia to know he’s not just your regular tattooed 26-year-old with the cool model looks, and he’s right! There’s plenty more to this guy than just a walking coat hanger.
Thanks to a recent stint on Australia’s first series of ‘Celebrity Apprentice’, the country got a real insight into the mind of a once troubled teen who left the seedy world of Los Angeles to turn it all around for a career and lifestyle change in Sydney.
“I moved to Sydney about two years ago because LA wasn’t a good environment for me,” Didier said.
“I signed a modelling contract with Aussie clothing label Industrie, which required me to move and live over here. My life in Australia is much better than the one I was living in LA.”
Following a two year run as the face of Industrie, American-born Didier got the surprising call to be a contestant on the charity driven Channel Nine series ‘Celebrity Apprentice Australia’.
“Let’s be honest, I was really unknown to the public, I thought it was a joke when I got the call to come on the show,” Didier said.
“I thought to myself… I’m not Australian, I’m not a celebrity and they want me on ‘Celebrity Apprentice Australia’? I thought I should’ve been on regular ‘Apprentice’.”
Didier was grateful for his time on ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ because not only did it kick start his career in Australia but allowed the country to get to know the ‘real’ Didier.
“Celebrity Apprentice was just a huge platform and I think it was a great outlet for people to get to know who I really am and that I wasn’t just this tattooed guy on a bus advertisement,” he said.
“I was purely just being myself on the show, I wasn’t going to backstab anyone or anything like that. If I got fired I got fired, I just wanted to be myself and it turned out to be a really awesome experience.”
After being in the country for just a few years, Didier had only ever met fellow contestant Wendell Sailor previously.
He was virtually unaware of the rest of his fellow celebrity contestants, which included Pauline Hanson, Warwick Capper and eventual winner, Julia Morris.
Didier was branded on the show as the ‘International Model’, which he himself didn’t exactly agree with.
“I’m not an international model, I only ever modelled for three years,” he said.
“Industrie was the only big thing I’d done besides some stuff in the States, but the only place I’ve ever been a model is in Australia.
“I don’t even model anymore and haven’t for the last 18 months, I never wanted to be a model in my life. Modelling was a means to an end but I am grateful it brought me to Australia.”
Didier was fired from the contest halfway through the series but later returned for the finale week to help former Miss Universe Australia and ‘love interest’ Jesinta Campbell in her final challenge.
Didier said being on the top-rating ‘Celebrity Apprentice’ was great because it allowed him to promote his charity, Youth Off The Streets, but it’ll be the first and last reality show he’ll ever be a contestant on.
“I’ll never be a contestant on a reality show again in my life. I have ideas later to create shows but will never do an elimination type reality show,” he said.
“However, the show did allow me to promote and raise money for my charity, which helps rehabilitate and counsel homeless and disadvantaged youths. I was one of those kids and I wanted to represent those kids. I wish I had Youth Off The Streets when I was doing it hard in LA.”
With the show now over for the year, Didier is gearing up to be one of this country’s most talked about celebrities in 2012. And first off he’s set to make waves on the club music scene as he unleashes another one of his talents as an MC and DJ of dance music act TEN-DMC.
TEN-DMC is a partnership between Didier and his good mate, international DJ, Tenzin.
“About two years ago Tenzin needed an American’s voice sample on one of his tracks. I said I’d help him out but then he asked if I could rap, I said I could and this year we decided to partner up. He’s the DJ and producer and I’m the MC,” he said.
The pair last week released their debut single ‘Buckle Up’ on iTunes, as well as to the radio airwaves. They also performed in front of a huge crowd at the recent Stereosonic dance festival at ANZ Stadium. Didier said so far people love the combination of him and DJ Tenzin.
“Our gig is cool, we play all the new house tracks and I write raps over those tracks, it’s live remixes and the crowd loves it,” he said.
“We both know a lot about music. I used to work in the music industry when I was 18 and know music production, and Tenzin knows it all as well.
“I wrote all the lyrics to ‘Buckle Up’ and Tenzin did all the production. Dance record label One Love really loved the track and signed us to their label. We have another single ‘Rip The World’ due out soon and maybe one day an album.”
Along with his work with TEN-DMC and releasing his own 1930s to 1950s rebel-style clothing line called Dukes in 2012, Didier is also looking forward to getting back on the small screen in the New Year.