In Focus: Eliad Cohen, From Model to Mogul
We sat down with Eliad Cohen to discuss about stuff like work and his insights on dating and life in general.
Israeli entrepreneur Eliad Cohen is the founder and producer of the world-renowned Papa Party, a gay circuit dance party that’s teeming with hot men and famous for its spectacular events, world-class DJs, and high-energy dance music.
But did you know that before Papa Party, Eliad held various jobs?
Interestingly, he was a personal trainer, a bartender, and he also dabbled in hosting and modeling but prior to these, he was in the army. His diverse interests and the wide range of skills he earned from his previous jobs proved to be more than helpful once he decided to embark on his business venture.
Anyway, when a person literally parties for a living, it’s easy to get caught up in the moment and get completely lost but Eliad remains grounded. In this interview, Eliad shared with us how he started from the ground up, what his secrets to success are, how it was like to come out to his family, and why being yourself is important in navigating through life.
1. Before venturing into modelling, hosting, and entrepreneurship, you started out bartending. How did that experience help you out in your future ventures?
- After the army, I moved to Tel Aviv and worked as a personal trainer during the day, and as a bartender at different gay parties most nights. This helped me meet people and introduce myself to the gay scene, which I was just starting to explore. After two years as a bartender at most of Tel Aviv’s gay parties, I made many friends and was a recognizable regular in the scene.
2. How did Arisa approach you to take on the role of presenter of their party series?
- Arisa contacted me through Facebook and asked if I’d be interested in modeling for their new video series. We shot the first video rather simply and in less than two hours, but it went viral on the internet. This exposure helped me massively increase my followers and become more known in the gay world.
3. Did you expect your partnership with Arisa to be as successful as it was? Why do you think it was an international success?
- I didn’t expect my first video with Arisa to go viral and gain popularity so quickly. I think the video was such a success because the process was fun, enjoyable and real, which I think fans witnessed. I never expected our partnership to grow as it has, but I’ve just been trying to have fun with it. Laughter and love are the best tools for success.
4. What inspired you to come up with the PAPA Party series? What makes it stand out from other events?
- I started Papa Party 7 years ago during Tel Aviv Pride. The first party was in a small club with 2 DJs and I was personally hosting the party. The party was sold out and people had the best time even though it wasn’t a main event. A year later, I did a large production and promo video for the party which became viral around the world. Right away, I started receiving offers from Mexico, Spain, Australia, Italy, France and more who were interested in the Papa Party series. What makes Papa parties unique, besides the best DJs and amazing production, is the simple message of positive energy and love above anything else.
5. What advice would you give to aspiring gay entrepreneurs?
- Do what you feel is right and don’t worry about falling on your face or tripping on your high heels. Failure is essential to future success even if you don’t feel it is.
6. How does it feel to be a gay sex symbol?
- It’s very flattering to know people find me attractive and it’s actually not bad for business. But in my personal life, I really don’t see myself as a sex symbol or anything like that. I see myself as a loyal, caring friend. I surround myself with people who care about who I am, and not what I am.
7. How did your image (as a gay sex symbol) affect your dating life? Is it harder to find a lover and while we are at it, are you dating someone else right now?
- I am a normal gay man that has normal relationship needs. Being a symbol of sorts hasn’t affected my personal life as that always stays private. While we’re at it, I did start seeing someone which feels great even though it’s new.
8. What dating advice would you give to Adam4Adam users?
- Be yourself and follow your standards and morals. That’s when you will find someone who can be your partner, and understand the way you need to be understood. Find someone with whom you can share every imperfection. That’s when you know you found someone worthwhile.
9. What was it like to come out to your parents? To the Israeli society? How did it change your life?
- I came out to my family when I was 21. It wasn’t easy for me or them in the beginning, and they were shocked. My family is from an area of the country where being gay meant acting feminine. With time they’ve learned to accept me and be happy that I’m living my truth. My mom eventually started cooking for me and my ex and even spent weekends with us in Tel Aviv. I feel very lucky and proud of my family. After coming out of the closet, I felt complete. No more lies! Just me.
10. What is that one piece of advice you would give to anyone who wants to come out to their family and friends?
- The monster seems much scarier than he is. We only live once and we have to live life in in our truth.
Want more of Eliad? Know more about him here: