The Tanning Interview with Nigel Sylvester
April 2, 2012
For my latest interview with Steve Stoute’s site The Tanning of America, I had the opportunity to talk to BMX pro Nigel Sylvester. Check the intro, a video of him biking through NYC (he’s from Jamaica, Queens), and the link to the interview below…
African-American professional BMX bike rider Nigel Sylvester is one of the premiere sensations in his rapidly growing sport. A native of Jamaica, Queens, Nigel first got put on to the pro world of BMX at age 12 while watching the X Games on television. He immediately went outside, grabbed his bike, and tried to mimic every trick he had just seen. Since then, his number one passion in life has been riding BMX bikes and embodying the culture that goes along with it. After crafting his style on the streets of New York City, he was noticed by legendary BMX rider Dave Mirra, who gave him his first sponsorship. And now, he is sponsored by enormous brands like Nike 6.0 and Gatorade, and leading the sport of BMX to the next level through his exciting, hip-hop infused videos, filmed worldwide. The catch is that he doesn’t compete anymore. He’s a pro street rider, for real.
In this in-depth interview, Nigel talks about how he handled being called “whiteboy” as a young teenager due to his interest in BMX, his run-ins with the police in New York City parks, his experiences traveling the world as a pro, and his hands on involvement in the production of his BMX videos. Plus, he discusses interracial dating, his love of hip-hop music, how he felt seeing Pharrell ride a BMX bike in N.E.R.D.’s “Provider” music video, and what exactly being a professional BMX bike rider entails for him in 2012.