Marina and the Diamonds (born Marina Lambrini Diamandis, 10.10.1985) Marina and the Diamonds is a Welsh singer and songwriter who rose to fame after being selected for the BBC Sound of 2010 poll, which was eventually won by Ellie Goulding. The 'Diamonds' in Marina's stage name refers not to her backing band, but apparently to her fans. 'Diamonds' is the translation of her Greek surname. Marina has stated that artists such as Blondie, Patti Smith and Kate Bush are amongst her primary musical influences.
Childhood: Marina Diamandis was born to a Greek father and Welsh mother in Abergavenny, in Wales, where she attended St. Catherine's British Embassy School and Haberdashers' Monmouth School for Girls.
Diamandis' parents separated when she was a teenager. She moved to Greece to live with her father, but returned two years later to live with her mothering Wales. Marina briefly attended university, but dropped out and moved to London, aged 18, where she attended dance school and then a one-year singing course at 'Vocaltech'. She has stated that she was so eager to get into the music business, that she once auditioned for a boy band.
Music: Diamandis' first demo tapes were composed on Garageband (Apple computers' software). The songs that she recorded eventually turned up on her EP 'Mermaid vs. Sailor' EP. This debut Marina and the Diamonds CD was distributed via her MySpace page.
Her music was then discovered by Derek Davies from Neon Gold Records. He booked her to open up for the Australian singer Gotye, where she was spotted by representatives of Warner Music Group. The label eventually signed Marina and the Diamonds to 679 Recordings in 2008.
The debut single proper from Marina and the Diamonds was 'Obsessions', backed with 'Mowgli's Road'. The next release was another EP, entitled 'The Crown Jewels EP', in June 2009. Marina was selected for the BBC's Sound of 2010 poll and on 7th January 2010, it was announced that she had been placed second, behind Ellie Goulding. Other artists on the list included Hurts, the Drums and Delphic. Marina and the Diamonds was also nominated for the 2010 Critics Choice Award at the BRIT Awards.
Marina and the Diamonds' debut album The Family Jewels was released in February 2010. It peaked at number five in the UK Album chart, with a re-release of 'Mowgli's Road' being the lead single form the album, followed by 'Hollywood'. The track 'I Am Not A Robot' was released in April 2010 and received widespread mainstream radio airplay. 'Shampain' was cued up to be the fourth release from The Family Jewels.
Through the early months of 2010, Marina and the Diamonds started collaborating with TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek and the producer Benny Blanco. Marina expressed excitement at working with the pair and hinted at a possible extended re-release of her album, similar to Lady Gaga's The Fame Monster.
In the United States, Marina and the Diamonds are signed to Chop Shop Records, who released the USA exclusive EP, The American Jewels.
The backing band for Marina and the Diamonds consists of Peter Carr and Jonathan Shone on keyboards, Dan Gulino on bass and Sebastian Sternberg.
The last time I saw Marina & The Diamonds perform was way back in 2010 at The Secret Garden Party as she and her band headlined their first festival. In the July summer sun, riding high on the release of her debut album 'The Family Jewels', Marina Lambrini Diamandis captivated the Cambridge crowd in a full length black dress and orange day-glo lippy.
Fast forward almost five years exactly, and Marina and her band came to South East Kent to headline the opening night celebrations for the re-imagined Dreamland Pleasure Park in Margate. The sun shone throughout the day to bless the iconic amusement park's re-awakening, and as Marina & The Diamonds took to the stage the sky was blessed with a fitting, reddish, JMW Turner inspiring infusion to light up the night sky.
Marina, bedecked in cherry bauble headgear, looked resplendent in a body hugging (could have been sprayed on) blue jumpsuit that had an almost metallic lustre (think Poison Ivy meets Catwoman on the set of Star Trek). With her neon mic stand and James & The Giant Peach inspired stage set, Marina and her band looked every bit the part as they set about entertaining the sell-out crowd.
Kendrick Lamar is at Number 1 in both the US and the UK with his third album 'To Pimp A Butterfly', which came out a week earlier than scheduled last Monday.
Hip hop sensation Kendrick Lamar has stormed to Number 1 in the US Billboard 200 Albums chart with his third album To Pimp A Butterfly. It clocked up over 363,000 equivalent sales (totalling physical, track and streaming data) despite being released one week earlier than planned, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
To Pimp A Butterfly has the second highest first-week sales of 2015, behind fellow rapper Drake’s recent surprise release If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late, which sold 495,000 in its debut week back in February.
Kendrick Lamar is Number 1 in the US Billboard 200 albums
Continue reading: Kendrick Lamar Scores First US Number 1 Album With 'To Pimp A Butterfly'
Marina & the Diamonds - One Direction’s Niall Horan was photographed celebrating his 21st birthday with friends and colleges at Shoreditch House, London. - Saturday 6th September 2014
There are numerous much-hyped twenty-something females currently attempting to make waves in the British pop scene (think Goulding, Lott, Faith et al.), all of which have the same frustrating tendency towards similarity and repetition and evoke a feeling that once you've heard one track, you've pretty much heard them all. Unfortunately for twenty-five year-old brunette Marina, and her diamond collective, this is exactly the case with new single 'Shampain', which shows great resemblance to her previous offerings.
Another mediocre passenger on the 'eighties rejuvenation bandwagon, Marina sings in a Debbie Harry-like attitude-ridden punky voice during the verse and a contrasting higher and softer tone during choruses echoing the great influence of Kate Bush all over a tame and unoriginal electro-tat backing. Despite the four B-side remixes offering the song something of a lifeline, Shampain's musical contents are just as irritating as its title, undoubtedly Marina's weakest single to date.
Continue reading: Marina & The Diamonds, Shampain Single Review
Review of Marina and the Diamonds live at The Deaf Institute, Manchester, 21/02/2010