Marina Diamandis, better known by her stage name Marina and the Diamonds, is a well-known singer in her homeland of Great Britain, and is quickly gaining popularity in the States with her theatrical style and new take on alternative and indie pop music.
Diamandis was born in Wales and brought up in the village of Pandy. She moved to Greece when her parents separated, and later moved back to Wales.
Diamandis moved to London at the age of 18 to pursue her music career. She attended dance school for only two months and, in 2005, she took a one year singing course at Tech Music School.
Diamandis got a kick start to her future when she auditioned for a reggae band. “I was delusional with drive,” says Diamandis
She decided to disguise herself as a man to get a record deal. Even though her plan did not work, Virgin Records called her back for a contract signing.
“I never envisaged a character, pop project, band or solo artist. I saw a simple group made up of many people who had the same hearts. A space for people with similar ideals who could not fit in to life’s pre-made mould. I was terribly awkward for a long time! I really craved to be part of one thing because I never felt too connected to anybody and now I feel I have that all around me,” said Diamandis during in her early career.
In 2008, Diamandis was discovered by Derek Davies. Davies signed Diamandis to open for Gotye later that year, where she was discovered again by Warner Music Group and ended up signing with 679 Recordings. Diamandis’ first album included “Obsessions” and “Mowgli’s Road”. She soon followed with her second album, “The Family Jewels” in 2009, featuring “I Am Not a Robot”.
In December of 2009, she was listed on the BBC Sound of 2010 poll, where she came in at second place.
Diamandis created the idea of “Electra Heart”, named after a character of her creation. Electra Heart is someone who stands for the illusions of American ideologies.
“Electra Heart is the antithesis of everything that I stand for. And the point of introducing her and building a whole concept around her is that she stands for the corrupt side of American ideology, and basically that’s the corruption of yourself,” says Diamandis.
The first three demos she released at the beginning of 2011 (“Sex Yeah”, “Living Dead”, and “Jealousy”) began to show a pop side to the alternative genre of the album.
The first single off the album “Radioactive” was produced by Stargate, and reached number 25 on the charts in the UK. This uplifting song sounds Gaga-like and can get anyone dancing. It encompasses the array of feelings any girl or guy gets around someone for whom they have strong emotions.
“Primadonna”, the second single off the album, reached number 11 on the UK charts, Diamandis’ highest single to date. This is the perfect upbeat, funky song for today’s teenage crowd. It has a catchy tune and chorus, which is key to top songs nowadays.
“‘Primadonna’ is definitely the best song on the album. It has a great beat, and I listen to it all the time,” says sophomore Grace Jung. “It is comprised of what any girl really acts like on the inside. Demanding, self-centered, all in all just a really vain personality.”
Along the same line, “Homewrecker” is a song on the album that is about being dependent on love for happiness. It is a powerful melody, a way to reach into “Electra’s” train of thought about how American girls behave around boys.
“Marina has created an album in which alternative and electro pop come together to make the ultimate sound,” says freshman Caroline Gavura. “Not only is the music’s beat incredible, the message each song is trying to get across to the audience is brilliant. Even though I’m American, everything ‘Electra’ is saying about us is true.”
“Electra Heart” has earned Diamandis a variety of listeners – from your average pop, Britney-type fans, to the Panic! At The Disco alternative rock style of music. She has managed to incorporate her beliefs of American society and ideology seamlessly into a beautiful compilation of music, showing Diamandis’ talent as a songwriter and a singer.