Siva Kaneswaran: Model, Actor, Pop Star


Since 2009, when The Wanted was formed, Siva Kaneswaran has been one fifth of this UK group. In 2010, the group put out their debut album, and their first single debuted at number one in the UK in its first week of release. But long before all of this Siva was already making a name for himself.

By age 19 he was being represented by Storm Models, Britain’s leading model agency. In 2008 he started dabbling in acting on the shows Rock Rivals and Uncle Max. Today, with over 100 000 followers and over 70 000 fans, Siva is nothing short of a star.

TamilCulture: Tell us a bit about yourself.
Siva Kaneswaran: I was born in Dublin and I am the youngest of 8 kids. Both my parents are from big families, so it was quite normal. I used to work so much as a kid. I did everything! Window cleaning, milk boy, paperboy, cutting grass – I was busy! I was also the quiet teacher’s pet in school. My family loves music and we sang together all the time growing up. My two sisters were in the modelling and singing industry, so I learned a lot from them.

TC: How have Tamil and Irish cultures influenced you?
SK: I grew up in Ireland and had a strong Irish upbringing but my Tamil heritage is just as important. It reminds me of where my dad’s family comes from and to respect their traditions and pass their importance to my kids.

TC: How did you get into modelling?
SK: I got into modelling in Dublin, when I was 15. My sister modelled and thought, “Why not bring my younger brother in?” So I started there and when I was 19 I moved to London to do it seriously for Storm model agency.

TC: What was the best part of that industry?
SK: I thought the best part of it was going around the world and meeting so many creative people. Also, I got to know the industry and the business side of things, which still helps me today.

TC: Were there any obstacles you had to overcome to enter modelling or the entertainment industry?
SK: Well I was POOR! Ask anybody, the entertainment industry is a hard nut to crack and going to auditions doesn’t pay the bills. Knowing what I wanted to do was the hardest bit – I didn’t know whether to give up or carry on. With the resources I had, it was a big decision to do anything.

TC: How did you become part of The Wanted?
SK: My older brother knew about the auditions and invited me and my twin. I didn’t want to go – I was sick of auditioning and getting nowhere, but my girlfriend encouraged me to go for it. I went, and many call backs later, I was in! The best part of my experience is getting to live, breathe and sweat music. I always loved music and to have a career in the industry is a dream.

TC: What are your goals for The Wanted?
SK: My goals are to get many more no.1 hit singles all over the world and just to have a blast and enjoy it.

TC: Who would you consider the most interesting person you’ve worked with?
SK: Out of all the people I’ve worked with I think the most interesting person would be Guy Chambers. He’s a character! But most of all his passion for music is inspiring and made me want to up my game.

TC: What advice do you have for others pursuing careers in the modelling or entertainment industries?
SK: Go for it, I say! Follow your gut and work hard.

TC: What can we look forward to from The Wanted?
SK: We have a brand new single coming out and we’re finishing our new album for November. Then our first arena tour is in February. So much to do!

Quick 10:

TC: Favourite type of music?
SK: Soul music (Lionel Richie and Sam Cooke).

TC: Favourite hobbies?
SK: Baking and driving.

TC: You can’t get through your day without:
SK: My phone.

TC: How many languages can you speak?
SK: Two: Irish and French.

TC: If you could live anywhere in the world, where  would you live?
SK: Singapore.

TC: A favourite quote:
SK: “Live fast, die last.”

TC: Who inspires you?
SK: My mum. She raised eight of us, which is a very hard job, trust me!

TC: If you could collaborate with an artist from the past, who would it be?
SK: Luther Vandross.

TC: If you hadn’t modelled, or become a part of The Wanted, what would you be doing?
SK: I studied biotechnology before I moved to London, so probably something in forensics.

TC: Finish this sentence: “To me, Tamil culture is”
SK: Strong and proud and will be every bit a part of me, forever.

—Nive Thambithurai

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Nivethika Thambithurai

Nivethika Thambithurai

Born in Montreal and raised in Toronto, Nive is a dreamer and writer who loves exploring how Tamil culture varies around the world in fashion, food, films and music.

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