A Quick Guide to Marshall Smith
26 October 2004
Author: Zoe Hooper
A little fish has been thrown into a big pond for this year's APRA Silver Scroll Award.
Little-known singer/songwriter Marshall Smith is a finalist for New Zealandís pre-eminent songwriting award.
His song, Grey Boy, features on his independently released album,' Velvet Revolution', and will be competing against songs from Goodshirt, Scribe, betchadupa, Dimmer and Trinity Roots.
"I think itís amazing to be up there with all these other people who are doing what they do really well. I just feel like Iíve joined the club," he says.
Although Marshallís music is not well known in New Zealand, he is firmly established in the music industry.
"Iíve been writing since I was about 14 and been professional since I was about 18."
After growing up in Auckland, Takapuna, he spent seven years in the United Kingdom working as an assistant producer, producer and writer for various leading record companies he also did some graphic design for EMI.
He returned to Auckland to study for a Bachelor of Arts in politics and history from Auckland University. It was there he wrote Grey Boy.
"I wrote it in a university lecture in a very bored moment. Itís just about someone whoís lost at a really young age, and you try to question what it is that happened to them along the way."
Marshall graduated in 2003 and is now working at The Edge performing arts and convention centre as theatre marketing executive.
He also runs his own production label, The New Freedom, and his online biography lists one achievement after the other.
His songs are being used on the VH-1 music channel in the USA for documentaries about pop-stars like Britney Spears and Janet Jackson. In 2003 he was one of around 30 finalists in the International Song Competition, the world's biggest song competition, for his track Rather Be Kissing You.
There were about 60,000 entrants.
"I never seem to win the big prize. I want the $50,000 or the house!" he says.
Despite being the unknown outsider, he is hopeful about the Silver Scroll because the competition is judged on songwriting, not radio play or commercial popularity.