If there ever was a guy who fit the whole jack of all trades kind of deal its DJ Davids. The Los Angeles-based cutie has achieved levels of success in a variety of businesses for years that is nothing short of admirable.
Let’s get this out of the way first: he’s very good looking. Beyond that he’s continued to climb the career ladder beautifully in the worlds of sports, advertising, modeling, fitness and writing. And 2021 will more than likely be his biggest year yet as the midwestern-born entrepreneur has quite a lot planned for his massive fan base to enjoy and partake in.
DJ chatted with us at Instinct about his life during COVID, his new fitness app that launches very soon, his dating life as a single gay man and much more below.
Congrats on your new editor gig at Beverly Hills Lifestyle Magazine! How did that come about?
It’s definitely an exciting new chapter for me. I met Mark, the owner and publisher of BHL Magazine, at New York Fashion Week a couple years ago and at the time we actually discussed me being a contributor. At that point though I was VP of a tech company and really busy with my work there.
Then, in April when the pandemic struck, I made the decision to leave my job and move back to Los Angeles to build my fitness app so we got back in touch and the men’s editor role really was a perfect fit for me at the perfect time.
Between when we first met and now, we stayed in touch about my career in advertising as a writer and creative director, in fitness as a certified trainer on the side, and in modeling really learning the ins and outs of the grooming world. It’s not a combination you come across very often, I guess, and he thought I would be a good fit for the reboot of the magazine he was working on.
I saw your piece on ‘Grooming For Zooming’ which is fantastic. What other kinds of content can people expect from you for BHLM?
I had a lot of fun with that one. I kept laughing at myself when I’d create the “wrong” ways to Zoom.
It’s been great so far, since I’ve been given license to take men’s content in a pretty new direction that really fits what the Beverly Hills lifestyle is to me. We all love a little luxury, but this new column of mine, The Weekly Male, really takes on the angle of a more up-and-coming new hood to an otherwise pristinely established Park Avenue (which our other writers and editors do very well). I want to help guys live the Beverly Hills lifestyle with what they already have at home in their closets and cabinets, making the lifestyle more accessible for everyone.
2021 is going to be a great year. I think the world will start opening up somewhat soon, and people will be ready and grateful to have both new and familiar experiences. Until it does I’m hoping my articles help navigate the almost entirely digital world we live in in fun new ways since we’ve all been doing it far too long. Most of all, I’m hoping what I create is useful and makes people laugh. We all could use more of that right now.
I also know you are big in the fitness world. What inspired you to become a trainer and help others get in tiptop shape?
That’s a bigger question than you might think. I grew up playing soccer non-stop until I eventually played in the premier league and on the Olympic development team. I loved it. For a while. But I think most of us gay men have a complicated journey during our childhoods that inevitably has us feeling like an outsider and I think that’s particularly true in sports.
Many of my clients have talked about the humiliation of gym classes and athletics. It was no different for me, even though I was a talented athlete. Hearing guys talk in locker rooms about getting laid this and p***y that was just too much to handle as a high schooler figuring my sexuality out.
So, I stopped playing to pursue an education at the University of Miami and eventually a career in Advertising. After being heavily into athletics my entire life and seeing What Women Want as a kid — I wanted to be Mel Gibson, that NYC ad executive working on Nike.
And that’s exactly what I did. I worked on a lot of brands like Maserati, Beats by Dre, and of course Nike, winning all sort of advertising awards in the process. After working on a few of their apps, their NYC marathon campaign, and directly with Serena Williams and Lebron James, there came a point where I was like all of this is great and fun — but I wanted to make it more rewarding than selling shoes.
I was training a handful of clients at that point and really enjoyed being a part of peoples’ journeys to becoming their best selves from their body to their beard to their mind. That was what I really enjoyed doing more than the thing I thought I always wanted to do.
So I looked at what I was doing working on Nike and building apps, along with the feedback I was getting from the gay community about not knowing where to start on their fitness goals (because even in the Nike app you don’t see gay trainers). I realized it was a relatability issue. You want to feel like you’ve really got someone with you along your journey, especially ones that may have been hard or embarrassing earlier in life. It’s the same reason I stopped playing soccer, actually — because I just couldn’t relate to any of my teammates anymore.
The same relatability issue exist in the grooming space too, especially for gay men, who dare I say tend to be a bit better groomed than straight men — or at least try to be. And where do we go for grooming information, Sephora? You can find anything scouring the internet but there just wasn’t much out there for men all in one place.
So I wanted to use my expertise in app building and in fitness, health, and grooming, to build one app that had it all in one place. And that’s how BrütCamp was born — in a pandemic with the ability to train anywhere in mind with a trained pro to guide you every step of the way that just feels like a friend you’re working out with. The same way you can DM any questions to or check in with a friends on video calls, you can with me in the app.
What did you find was the hardest part of your job during COVID?
The isolation for sure. It leaves people feeling really unmotivated and even if you’ve trained your whole life you can only workout where you work, sleep, and eat all day every day so often. And that goes for myself and for my clients.
I think everyone is struggling with that. And as gay men, I think the struggles are even greater, since so many of the ways in which we gather have been canceled — like bars, gyms, parties, circuit parties, sports leagues, etc. So there’s an extra bit of isolation that comes from not having the world we get to be ourselves in with the people we love. That has really been tough to keep clients motivated through and on track to reach the goals we know they can reach.
Tell us about your new fitness app that just launched?
I’m really excited about it and proud of the work my team has done to really bring it to life in a way that’s like no other app. It’s called BrütCamp and it’s built to be a lot more than just a fitness app. It centers around workouts for sure and the personalized program every individual receives, but I really wanted to develop an app that made it feel like you were working out with a friend every day and had him (me) along with you through your entire journey to be the best possible version of yourself.
I think most of us have been forced to either spend $500+ per month on a personal trainer, cherry pick what we think is best from programs designed for guys whose bodies just don’t work like ours do, or from apps with pro athletes who behave more like drill sergeants. I wanted to make this fun, gamified, and feel like you’ve got someone with you every step of the way — because you do. I’m always just a click away to take out the guesswork.
Your personalized program comes after telling me your fitness level (beginner, intermediate, advanced), your goal (gain muscle, get shredded, lose weight, or just live healthier), and if you’ll be working out from home or in a gym.
The app also includes video tips from me on why your program was set up the way it was for you, videos on health, nutrition, grooming, and fun daily challenges that also serve as helpful tips to keep things interesting and fun. You earn stars as we work toward your goal together as well, so if you’ve got a friend with the app it ads a little competition aspect.
I had a great team working with me, so shoutout to them, from videographers to a masters level kinesiologist, mental health professionals, and even a medical school dean to make sure we got it all right.
What are the price points for it?
$15 for a standard membership and $25 for a premium membership — a stark contrast to the $500-600 range people normally pay for these really personalized, direct-contact experiences.
Like my work in Beverly Hills Lifestyle Magazine, it was my mission to make getting healthy, feeling your best, and looking your best accessible to everyone — and I think our team has done a really incredible job at that. I’m definitely excited about it.
I’m also going to continue working with private clients that include a really tailored experience, video check-ins every week, and in-person sessions.
Are you single or in a relationship? If single what do you look for in a guy?
Single, and have been for a pretty long time now. I had a couple bad dating experiences that turned me off to all of it for a while and I’m just now starting to test the waters again. In a pandemic that’s definitely not easy.
When it comes to what I like in a guy I’m usually attracted to my complete opposite. I just find that in a relationship my opposite really challenges me in areas I haven’t been before and I learn a lot in the process. He quite literally is my other half because he possesses all of the qualities I don’t. And it also leads to a lot of tension at times which can be pretty hot.
Finally what are you looking most forward to in 2021?
Travel, travel, travel. I love seeing new places, meeting new people, and experiencing new cultures. I love learning, about anything really, and you can only learn so much from reading or seeing something online. I’m a get out there and experience it kind of guy, even if I don’t know what I’ll be experiencing that day. I’m always up for an adventure.