‘Queen’ has a new kingdom

FAMU grad Marquavia Smith is now working in New York.
Photo by Melody Timothee

Most people on FAMUs campus remember alumna Marquavia Smith by her nickname, “Queen.”

And nowadays Queen has a new kingdom: New York City.

Im so far from where I want to be, but Im so happy with where I am now. Im never settling though,” Smith said in a phone interview.

She was best known for her killer death drops at pep rallies, her unforgettable reign as the 2015-2016 Queen of Orange and Green, the  impact she had as a student in the School of Journalism & Graphic Communication, but mostly for her flamboyant and genuine personality.

After graduating from FAMU in 2017, Smith went back to her hometown and got a job at 99 Jamz, one of the top radio stations in Miami. Although she loved it and all was well at her job, she felt as if she was settling in at home and that was not where she wanted to be in life.

I was in the process of learning and moving up from what I was doing, but I felt like I was settling in Miami and I just did not want to be there. It was never my goal,” she said.

Smith recently relocated to the Big Apple to start her job as a producer, shooter and editor at Meredith Corporation.

Photo by Melody Timothee

Ive produced shows and edited content that has been used on TV networks, and that have reached over hundreds of thousands of people on social media. Im the triple threat behind the scenes,” Smith said.

Her goal after graduation was to obtain a job in California doing something in the film and production industry. Unfortunately, that didnt go as planned. Later, she expanded her job search to different cities such as Atlanta and New York. She was ecstatic to finally hear back from Meredith, a media company in New York City.

I just knew I was going to end up in California. That was my plan; to graduate and get a job in Cali. But God said nope, you arent ready yet, and humbled me quickly,” Smith said.

She wasnt the only one excited that she was taking the big leap to New York. Her mother, Synetta Payne, is proud of the woman her daughter is becoming in the media industry.

She has made me a very proud woman. Ive seen her as a host for her brand TellMeMo Media, a co-host for the A-List Podcast, and now a content creator in New York. My daughter has always been an independent, hard working woman. Thats how I raised her,” Payne said.

Smith considers her path to success one unlike any other. Content creating for Meredith isnt the only thing keeping her busy. One of her most recent personal media projects has been her YouTube channel.

Smith covered a Baby Gender Reveal that has been catching the eye of many viewers on social media. The video showcased her talents as a producer, host and editor. However, Javanique Jackson, the new mother in the video, considers it something much more than just social media.

Quay did a great job, it was genuine, it was herself and we all had fun. I was very thankful she was able to host and document something so precious and memorable for me, the family and my new blessing on the way,” Jackson said.