KJ Apa takes the NYLON 19.
Mathew Jacinto-Uhrik

NYLON Nineteen

KJ Apa Is A Day One John Cena Fan

The Riverdale star talks about his album Clocks and his favorite things with the NYLON 19.

KJ Apa didn’t set out to record an album. The actor — who is best known for his role of Archie Andrews, the well-intentioned hothead on the CW’s meandering and fully bonkers teen drama Riverdale — had been writing and recording songs in bits and pieces for over two years. Working out of his living room, he was enjoying the freedom and control that comes with creating something of one’s own.

“I kind of liked that [stripped-down] sound, and I kept everything going like that,” he says to NYLON over the phone from Vancouver, where Riverdale is in the midst of filming its sixth season. “But I only realized that I had an album after I'd finished nine songs, and I was like, ‘Sh*t. I could do something with this.’ And I was proud of it. So I just decided to just put it out with zero expectations.”

That album turned out to be Clocks, mellow, tender, and minimal, with Apa’s vocals and guitar front and center on every track. And just like Clocks coming into fruition on its own, the album’s release date holds a special place with Apa — it came out the same day his first son was born.

Below, Apa answers the NYLON 19, discussing his love for black coffee, his childhood obsession with John Cena, and more.

1. What’s your astrological sign (and do you believe in it)?

Gemini. And no, I don't. It's not my vibe. I don't buy it.

2. Do you believe in ghosts, (and have you ever seen one)?

Yes, I believe in ghosts, or a version of that. I have never seen a ghost, but I do believe in it.

3. What’s your go-to drink order?

Honestly, my go-to drink order is probably a black coffee. I get them when I'm at a restaurant for dinner, lunch, breakfast. Usually the go-to makes me feel comfortable.

4. Who would be the three headliners of the music festival of your dreams?

Steely Dan, John Mayer, and Marcy Playground.

5. What's the weirdest snack that you make?

I'll tell you what I like doing. Do you know how you just get a normal yogurt, just like Greek yogurt? You get a tablespoon, and you get peanut butter and Nutella. You mix a bit of the peanut butter with the Nutella on the tablespoon. And then you put a big thing of yogurt. And so, it's a mix between a vanilla Greek yogurt, Nutella, and peanut butter, in a tablespoon. You put the spoon in your mouth, and you're off.

6. What's a bad habit of yours that you've been meaning to fix?

I'm trying to work on my patience

7. What was the last internet rabbit hole you went down?

QAnon. Am I allowed to say that? That was a whirlwind.

8. What's your go-to breakup song?

“Slow Dancing In A Burning Room” by John Mayer.

9. What was the last DM you received?

The last DM that I received was from my friend, Jake Picking, sending me a meme of an armadillo. And he was saying, "This is me."

10. If you could be in any music video, what would it be?

Probably one of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ videos. I think they have really creative, cool videos.

11. What is your favorite fast food place, and what’s your order?

In-N-Out, for sure. The order is a Double-Double, Animal Style, with Animal Style fries.

12. What was your favorite movie as a kid?

Dumb & Dumber. Jim Carrey is one of my favorites ever. I think he’s amazing.

13. What was your teenage AIM screen name?

I didn’t have one, but my first email account was KJCena@gmail.com when I was obsessed with John Cena. I had posters of John Cena all over my wall as a kid. One of my best mates loved him, too, so we'd be on the phone for an hour. He'd be at his house and I'd be at mine. We'd be on the phone, on our home phones, and it'd just be complete silence the whole time because we were just watching. And every time when something cool happens, we'd be like, "Wow, that was good."

14. What's your favorite meme/internet joke and why?

I don't really keep up with the old internet things. I don't have Twitter. There's an account on Instagram called The Inspired Unemployed. They’re these two Australian dudes who are ridiculous, and they make pretty funny videos.

15. What is your best beauty tip or trick?

I can only speak for men because I'm a man. I say less is more. I don't wash my hair. I wash my hair once every two weeks. And in terms of washing my face and stuff, it doesn't really happen. And I have showers, of course. But I don't buy products. Do you know what I mean? I moisturize every day. That's something good. Definitely moisturize every day. But in the overall scheme of things, less is more.

16. What is your favorite red carpet look of all time worn by someone else?

Charles Melton at the 2021 Met Gala.

17. What is one thing everyone should buy that is under $10?

Everyone should buy tooth floss. It's very important to floss your teeth.

18. What is your go-to sad song?

“Weird Fishes” by Radiohead.

19. What reality show would you most like to appear on?

Whose Line Is It Anyway? I love that show. I thought about RuPaul’s Drag Race, but then I thought about how good Whose Line Is It Anyway? is and how much I used to watch that as a kid.