The Hunt For HollyPosted January 6th, 2011 At 10:58 am By MTV ASIA
Text and interview: Lennat Mak
After months of searching, the trawl for our next MTV VJ is finally over! Fresh from her win at the recent MTV VJ Hunt competition where the winner was announced on stage at MTV World Stage Live In Malaysia 2010, our latest VJ addition, Holly Grabarek, is simply a new force to behold. Young, vibrant, and ever-so-charming with her smile, Holly shares a little bit more about herself before her journey as a VJ begins on MTV!
Congrats on being the latest addition to the VJ family! Tell us more about yourself.
I am turning 20! I’m based in Singapore for most of my life but I’ve lived in Jakarta for a year and a half. My dad is Polish/Irish/German but American by citizenship and my mum is Sinhalese -Chinese. I’ve different families and friends in America and Asia like Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia and Jakarta. Apart from that, I’ve never been in the media industry before, so this is my first media gig! I’m currently doing Psychology for my diploma, so this is a completely new field of experience for me. I’m extremely excited!
But you are pretty much a girl about town at Home Club and with Juice magazine!
But those aren’t real, proper jobs! [Laughs] Those are more like my hobbies! I go to Home Club a lot because the music is good! As for Juice, I interned there for a really long time. I was the intern who came and never left!
What makes you want to accept the MTV VJ Hunt in the first place?
At that point, I felt like I was just starting school and I don’t have that much school stuff on me. I figured that a year from now, I’d be doing my degree and I would be deeply immersed in my studies! So it’s a “now-or-never!” kind of thing. It took me a day to decide. I was out for dinner with a friend and I was asking him “Do you think I should join? I want to join but I don’t want to be the girl who lost!” [Laughs] So we were the sitting around, milling and pondering about this big decision! And the whole process has been pretty fun so far. All the rest of the VJ Hunt finalists could do different things really well! Kylie and Alice, for instance, do great at outdoor hosting and they can really interact with the crowd! I picked up bits from everyone. It’s still a learning process for me at this point. Hopefully, in a few years from now, I would be able to handle the media with ease and I’ll be at the point where I’m more confident.
What do you like most since becoming an MTV VJ?
The great part of this is it’s so diverse! You don’t have to do a single, particular thing! Everything is really spontaneous. It’s not planned and there’s no certain route to take. It’s been a great eye opener. When I interned at Juice, I got to experience the media industry as an observer. Now, it’s been fun being on the other side of the camera! At photo shoots though, apart from posing, I’m still not quite sure where to put my hands! But I could definitely learn that! [Laughs]
Do you have a favorite VJ?
I like Utt! I’ve seen all the others and I like them all. All the VJs look good in different ways. But I prefer Utt the most! I like the way he connects with people. I just feel very comfortable when I’m watching his shows. I just feel like agreeing with him all the time! I’ve been watching him my whole life and I don’t remember MTV without him.
Is there a particular MTV show that you would like to host?
Everything would be exciting! [Laughs] I think I’d like to do MTV At The Movies! If MTV has a fashion segment at some point, I would love to do that as I really enjoy fashion.
Have you always wanted a career in the media industry?
I like it but I never thought of it as a proper job. But now, the more I do it, the more I love it!
When you were younger, what did you aspire to be?
A whole bunch of things! I wanted to be a zoo keeper, an archeologist, an opera singer, a lawyer, etc. A few years ago, I really didn’t know what I was going to do. So I took a couple of years off school to travel. Then I figured if I take up Psychology, it’s broad so I could many things from there. I graduate next January for my diploma but I don’t know if I would want to continue with Psychology. I might want to do Mass Communications.
What type of music do you listen to?
I have this extremely diverse music taste ranging from Top 40s stuff to indie. I also like dance music, depending on the occasion. I really like Third Eye Blind a lot but I haven’t heard them in a while.
Aren’t you a little too young to be listening to Third Eye Blind?
It’s because of my friend. He programmed my iPod for me and he’s pretty old! [Laughs] He’s the one who puts in all those “old” music for me! But I also like Kanye West, Taylor Swift, bands like Sigur Ros and M83 and local music too! I haven’t been to any local gigs for a while since I started school and my teaching job though!
Tell us a little bit more about your tattoos!
I have four! There’s one that says “protège-moi de mes désirs,” which means protect me from what I want. It’s a Placebo song and they did a French cover of it. All my tattoos are very religious though. I have a cross, one that says “Surrender” and the last one is “kidzactin,” which used to be my Twitter name!
Who do you most look up to?
My younger sister, Chloe! She’s very domestic. She lives with my grandmother, I live with my friends but she comes over often to make sure things are okay and cleans my room and does my laundry! If I ever have an emotional problem or if I’m unsure of something, she’s the one I go to. Before this whole MTV VJ Hunt competition, I was really emotional and had no one to talk to. I called her and she said to me, “You can do it!” and gave me a lot of confidence!