Andrei Tiberiu Maria (born 27 July 1983 in Pitești), better known by his stage name Smiley is a Romanian singer, songwriter, composer and record producer. He was part of the band Simplu and since then he developed a solo career. In 2013, he won "Best Romanian Act" during the MTV Europe Music Awards held in Amsterdam. He had been nominated as a solo act three times for the same award in 2008, 2009 and 2011 and twice in 2006 and 2007 as part of Simplu. He is also part of the Romanian Euro-House project Radio Killer where he is known as Killer 1. As of November 2013, he is the new Goodwill Ambassador for UNICEF Romania. He is also a television personality having hosted Românii au talent for four consecutive seasons (2011–2014) and being a coach in Vocea României also for six consecutive seasons (2011–2016).
He started in music at a very young age. For three years he was part of the Romanian group Millenium 3 and was noted by Gyuri Pascu as a potential star. He also tried for the band Akcent in a bid to join the band.
In band Simplu
After an invitation by CRBL, he joined the singing and dancing band Simplu (stylized as SIMPLU). The members were CRBL, Smiley, OmuNegru, Piticu and Francezu. Because of his reported cheerful attitude, he was nicknamed Smiley by the band, a name he adopted for his career, soon becoming the frontman of the band, at the same time developing a solo career.
Simplu released with Smiley four albums: Oare știi (2002), Zece (2004), RMX Simplu (2006) and Oficial îmi merge bine (2006) in addition to the compilation Simplu Best Of. In 2008, Smiley and Simplu won "Best show" during the dance program Istoria Dansului. In 2007–2008, he was also in the TV series One Step Ahead as Sebastian 'Seba' Novinski and subject of lead role in the 2008 film Un film simplu directed by Tom Gatsoulis.
Solo career and awards
In 2008, Smiley released his first solo album În lipsa mea which was certified gold in Romania and won three awards during the Romanian Music Awards: "Best Album of the Year", "Best Single of the Year" for the title track song and "Best Solo Artist" for Smiley. His follow-up album Plec pe Marte won him "Best Pop Dance Album of the Year". In 2011, he released his yet most successful single "Dream Girl" that won him "Best Male Artist" and "Best Pop Artist of the Year" during the 2011 Romanian Music Awards followed in June 2012 with In June 2012 with "Best Producer" and "Best Website" during the Awards gala in Craiova.
Smiley has also formed the Romanian Euro-House project Radio Killer launched through an initiative of Smiley and his HaHaHa Production company. Radio Killer is made up of seven members:
- Killer 1: Smiley
- Killer 2: EleFunk (Serban-Ionut Cazan)
- Killer 3: Cell Block
- Killer 4: Karie
- Killer 5: Boogie Man (Don Baxter)
- Killer 6: Crocodealer (Alex Velea)
- The Real Killer: Paul Damixie
The group released the single "Be Free" in 2010 on Blanco Y Negro label, the international release "Lonely Heart" on various labels in Romania, France, Spain, Italy, Netherlands and Sweden in 2011 and "Don't Let The Music End" on EMI in 2012. The band also enjoys popularity in Russia. In 2013, Radio Killer released a joint EP Clothes Off with Francesco Diaz & Young Rebels with various mixes of their hit "Clothes Off".
In 2009, Smiley founded his own production house HaHaHa Production. Acts he has produced include Radio Killer, Alex Velea, Randi, Mishelle, Mihai Ristea, Shaka Muv, Sore, Boier Bibescu, Don Baxter, Cabron, Dj Cell Block and Simplu. He has written and produced on occasions various songs and recordings for Morandi, Puya, Delia, Wanda, Zero, Elena Gheorghe, CRBL, Anda Adam, Andreea Bănică, Mandinga, Loredana, Andra, Corina, Cream and Emanuel. From international act productions, notable acts include amongst others, Italiajn band In-Grid and American rapper Sway.
In popular culture
In 2007–2008, Smiley was in the TV series One Step Ahead playing the role of Sebastian 'Seba' Novinski. He also appeared nominally in other films like The Godmother and Selfie.
In 2008, he had lead role in the comedy Un film simplu by director Tom Gatsoulis. The comedy inspired by the group Simplu and Smiley's career, it is about difficult choices Smiley has to make: his band mates and friends or international fame as he is confronted by an American talent scout who is offering him a lucrative deal provided he quits his band, Simplu. The band members realize what's going on and they don't like it. Smiley also meets Mia, a mysterious girl. is it a love of first sight or a new hurdle?
Hosting Românii au talent
Smiley has been a television personality co-hosting the TV show Românii au talent with Pavel Bartoș for six consecutive seasons, starting with the inaugural season 1 in 2011.
In Vocea României
He was also invited as a presiding judge in Vocea României, the Romanian version of the international music competition franchise The Voice. Ştefan Stan from Team Smiley won the first ever title in Romania for season 1 of the show. Ştefan Stan released his debut album Povestea mea with Smiley's production HaHaHa productions releasing "You Give Me Love" written by his coach Smiley before signing a deal with Universal Music Romania.
Smiley went on to coach for season 2 and season 3 of the show.
Awards and nominations
- 2006 and 2007: Nominated as part of Simplu (twice)
- 2008, 2009 and 2011: Nominated as a solo act (three times)
- 2013: Won "Best Romanian Act" (once)
- Business24: DJ Project a castigat premiul Best Romanian Act la MTV European Music Awards (Romanian)
- ^ B1.ro: Smiley este marele câștigător al „Best Romanian Act”: Artistul are șansa să meargă la MTV EMA din Amsterdam (Romanian)
- Gazeta de Sud: Smiley, câştigător la categoria "Best Romanian Act" a MTV European Music Awards (Romanian)
- In Simplu
- 2002: 'Oare stii
- 2004: Zece
- 2006: RMX Simplu
- 2006: Oficial îmi merge bine
- 2006: Best of Simplu
2011:Dance or die triyng
- 2008: În lipsa mea
- 2010: Plec pe marte
- 2013: Acasa
- 2009: "Designed to Love You"
- 2009: "Be Free" (feat. Radio Killer) Singles Top 40= peak 33
- 2010: "Plec pe Marte" (feat. Cheloo)
- 2010: "Love is for Free" (feat. Pacha Man) Singles Top 40= peak 12
- 2010: "Lonely Heart" (feat. Radio Killer) Singles Top 40= peak 40
- 2011: "Dream Girl" Singles Top 40= peak 33
- 2012: "Dead Man Walking" Singles Top 40= peak 2
- 2013: "Cai verzi pe pereți" (feat. Alex Velea and Don Baxter)
- 2013: "Acasă"
- 2014: "Nemuritori"
- 2014: "I Wish"
- 2015: "Oarecare"
- 2006: Meseriasii as himself (1 episode, TV series)
- 2007–2008: One Step Ahead as Sebastian 'Seba' Novinski (26 episodes, TV Series)
- 2008: Un film simplu as Smiley
- 2011: The Godmother as a priest
- 2014: Selfie as Pepenar 1
- Television personality
- Românii au talent (co-hosting the show)
- Vocea României (judge for three consecutive seasons)