When we 1st met Holly Grabarek, she was getting her makeup done and having her luscious locks attended to in a hotel room. Even though the new MTV VJ is only about to turn 20, her level of maturity is nothing short of admirable, especially for someone who was just recently flung into the spotlight this July as the fresh face of MTV Asia. For Holly, the experience was overwhelming but one that she readily accepted. “I feel like I kind of know this generation a bit better than the others. Music-wise, I’m very versatile and it’s not just one kind of style that I listen to,” says the bubbly Singaporean, who’s also a big fan of indie music and drum n bass.
Even without makeup, Holly is stunning right off the bat, an advantage she can certainly attribute to her ethnic diversity-her dad is Polish, her mum is Chinese and her grandmother is a mix of Irish, English and German descent. Since she was named the hostess with the mostest in front of a crowd of 15,000 at MTV World Stage in Sunway Lagoon, Holly has been constantly on the move, with hosting stints at the Paramore concert and Hennessy Halo event in KL. As positive and confident as she might appear, there have been times when her nerves just got the better of her, like when she was in Beijing to host another Hennessy party. “I was really nervous,” she recalls. “1st of all, the person I was interviewing couldn’t speak English; she spoke Korean. She had a translator who spoke Chinese, and there was another translator who translated the Chinese to English, so there were 2 translators and 4 of us for one interview!”
Being the face of MTV must be the stuff of dreams for many young’uns, and while Holly is aware of the fact, she’s maintained her new standing with grace, poise and such friendliness that we couldn’t help but fall in love with her. “I’ve watched MTV my whole life. I’ve seen Utt and I’ve seen Denise, but I never thought I’d be up there!” she beams. “If I were to host my own MTV show, it would probably be something that would involve music and fashion.” As for Holly’s fashion sensibility, it’s all about being fun and young. She sure knows how to rock her clothes and isn’t afraid to play with colours or dress up in some pretty kooky stuff-like how JUICE‘s stylist paired her in high heels and a sabre-toothed necklace. Holly also enjoys fusing high fashion with streetwear. “If it’s too high fashion, it’s too much. But if it’s too street, it just looks kind of trashy,” she notes, before adding that she digs brands like Miu Miu and Topshop.
With her parents based overseas, Holly has been living on her own in Singapore for a while now. Unbeknownst to many, our cover girl used to be an intern at JUICE Singapore at the tender age of 17. “After watching The Devil Wears Prada, I wanted to work in fashion and be a writer. But after working there, I realised that I didn’t want to be a writer!” she laughs. Currently still in school, Holly will receive her Psychology diploma early next year. Balancing work and school life like a seasoned pro, she still manages to make time for the gym. She’s also a stickler for punctuality and has a no-nonsense approach to work.
Jet-setting from country to country for MTV, Holly’s infectious personality has obviously helped her rise to the top, and we can’t wait to see more of her. This VJ might just be starting out, but she’s already setting her sights on the big time. When we ask in jest if she has any plans to take over the world, she chuckles and says, “I’m still working on that!”
For more Holly, head over to www.hollygrabarek.blogspot.com and www.mtvasia.com.