Questions & Answers: Marty Smiley

31 August 2012

You may have noticed a little less energy in your media class this semester. Or one less fro’ bobbing along South Lawn in a multicoloured jacket. That’s because Melbourne uni student Marty Smiley has packed his bags for a new life in Sydney. Why? Marty has loved music all his life, has wanted to be a TV presenter since he was fifteen years old and loves to share music. If he could’ve hologram-ed anyone to this year’s Splendour in the Grass, it would’ve been Michael Jackson. It seems like he was made for his new job as the winner of Channel [V]’s 2012 Presenter Search, and he’s not looking back.

So far, the new job is all Marty hoped it to be. “I knew that it would be a really exciting lifestyle and job to do every day,” he says. “You know, getting to meet the most interesting people and hearing some pretty unique stories. It’s beyond what I thought it would be.”

The decision to enter the Presenter Search was a fairly simple one. “One, I just really wanted to work in music television. Two… I think I just really had a passion for music—listening to it, commenting on it, watching it live, dancing to it,” Marty says. “It made sense being able to put those two things together.”

It also made sense to Marty to approach his campaign in a way that others hadn’t thought to. Entering in the last week of the competition meant that Marty realised it was going to take more than simply pledging “I just, like, love music! Music is my life,” he jokes. “I wanted to do something different. So I guess my approach was doing what other people weren’t, and being myself at the same time.” This amounted to dancing on the city streets, beatboxing on a tram and sharing music with his fellow commuters through his headphones.

Although Marty completely put himself out there, he had his share of obstacles. During the final month of the competition, Marty was battling a demanding semester at uni. “As it came to the final weeks for submission of assignments, I was up in Sydney doing challenges for this competition, whilst trying to do assignments—it was the most hectic period of my life!” Marty laughs. It didn’t seem to bother him that he had to cancel his flight to Europe the day before departure, either. “There were all these things that I’d planned to do, but it was like, I just got something better than all of it!”

Marty recently experienced his first round of interviews at Splendour, where he got to meet and interview Hilltop Hoods and Explosions in the Sky, to name a few. “I got to hear from artists that I’d admired and listened to their music and you know, had been inspired by, and I got to interview them!”

“Beyond that was just getting to meet all the people that work in the industry with me across different areas, which was really cool as well,” he says. “There’s a whole bunch of creative people that get to work in television, that’s for sure.”

Aside from this creativity, Marty believes that creating your own opportunities will get you one step ahead in the television industry. “The training comes from just getting experience on camera all the time… In front of the camera, behind the camera, learning all the jobs associated with it,” Marty explains. “I bought a camera so that I’d be able to start showing my own stuff and I think it’s just really important to create your own experience.”

Some things do come naturally, though. “I think what I learnt is that I wouldn’t have got the job if I didn’t already have the experience in being myself on camera,” Marty reflects. But there is one thing in particular that makes Marty shine: “I know that I don’t have to act in any certain way, or tailor my mannerisms or character to anyone.” He can be himself—energetic, unafraid and honest, on the small screen as Channel [V]’s newest presenter.

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