Marina Diamandis gets what she wants

“I really, really fucking wanted it — like I wanted it in that I wouldn’t accept that I would ever not have it.” That’s how Marina Diamandis has chosen to explain her rise to fame from a small town in Wales.

“I think when you are so driven that you – I wouldn’t say that you’re delusional – but, that you kind of exist for nothing else. I think that’s the most powerful tool that you can have even if you don’t have talent or you don’t seem to have talent. So for a very long time I didn’t believe I would be a singer because I didn’t sing, but I knew that I really wanted to so I think it was just through that over all.

“The story is very long on how I got to this point, but it’s taken about six years. I mean the biggest thing was getting out of Wales and going to London and being on my own,” Diamandis says.

Marina and the Diamonds is part of the new wave of alternative pop music, drawing on numerous influences that are not all limited to music. “I didn’t listen to a lot of music growing up, so I kind of relate everything to music in a very visual way with colours and textures as opposed to influences.”

These influences are very evident in her music videos, which Diamandis says were very fun to make, if difficult at times: “I really love making videos, I think it’s something that comes very naturally to me and I’m very glad because I always enjoyed the idea of making them, but I mean some of them are very fun.

“‘Robot’ was a really special experience in making it, but it was quite unpleasant as well because my skin just came out in rashes all the time because of the constant make up changes and it was seriously tiring, but the things like ‘Hollywood’ were really fun and they didn’t feel like work at all.”


Marina and the Diamonds will be going on tour later this month with her unique 'alternative pop'. Photo: Marina and the Diamonds

The upcoming tour, starting October 19th, also draws strongly on these visual influences. “It’s much bigger this time and it’s really taken it in a different direction. It’s really dark and theatrical, but it still has the humour of kind of 70s pop art. I’ve got some wonderful designers that I’m working with for the tour wardrobe, amazing visuals, amazing lighting, and new props as well so super excited about it.”

Caught between manufactured pop groups like Girls Aloud and solo artists such as Pixie Lott, Diamandis sets herself apart from other solo female artists by her songs’ topics. Instead of the traditional pop love, she sings about ambition and the need for fulfilment. “I think I’m very concerned about society and social issues and feminism as well and especially my next kind of work that is much more applicable in the lyrics and stuff.

“On this one I’m more about success and ambition and questioning social values, whereas the next one is more about why we are as we are, especially with females, that’s what interests me. I think maybe other singers around think about that, but I think they sing more about love whereas I don’t,” Diamandis says.

The “Hollywood” pop queen sings about being “obsessed with the mess that’s America”, but trying to make it over the pond is important to her — despite its challenges for other artists. Diamandis says: “I don’t think you break America, I think you build it because it’s so massive. You can’t go there and do it in one go, you have to go there many different times and you have to tour a lot and kind of build from the ground upwards.”

Diamandis has a few words of advice for those who want to make it in the music business: “Be sure that it’s literally the only thing you ever want to do with your life because that’s the only way that you are even guaranteed a smidge of longevity.

“I think you really have to want this and I suppose it’s ok if you don’t want it to be your whole life and you just simply enjoy doing music, but you have to be really honest with yourself about why you’re doing it. I think that the biggest thing is to be honest and to not compromise.”

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