Marina And The Diamonds

Marina And The Diamonds

Last updated: 28 October 2009

Avant-garde spiky pop loveliness from a new indie press darling.

She might have the naming conventions of a group, but Marina And The Diamonds is just one woman - a woman dealing in dainty but heavy, light but dark, challenging but accessible pop music.

Having grown up in Abergavenny and spent some time in Greece, Marina Diamandis moved to London at just 18 and proceeded to drop out of four universities and audition for West End musicals. She even ended up in The Lion King.

But that wasn't for her. "I was never massively musical," she says, "but since I was about 15, I've known I had to be a singer." Setting to work on her own material, she composed and produced her first work on a laptop using Garageband.

Those recordings became a demo which came to the attention of the influential Neon Gold label of New York.

Obsessions/Mowgli's Road came out in February 2009, followed by The Crown Jewels EP in June 2009.

Mowgli's Road is to reappear in November 2009 as her first single for 679 Recordings, a subsidiary of the massive Warners label. Her debut album is being recorded with Liam Howe of The Sneaker Pimps.

She told WalesOnline, "I feel like I was meant to do this... I wouldn't have embarrassed myself so many times if I didn't think I had a contribution to make. I think you should go where your instinct takes you in life.

"I've still got family in Brynmawr and Abergavenny and I used to get back about three times a year but it has been more difficult lately."

While it would be very easy to draw a parallel between her work and that of other current female songwriters with a penchant for the leftfield, she's adamant she can stand independent of journalistic shorthand: "When Britpop was at its peak, all the bands were lumped together. But I do my thing; I write songs, I perform and I couldn't give two sh*ts about what X, Y or Z are doing.

"If 15 girls rise to the top this year and they're all super-talented, brilliant. But good music is good music; who cares if you're male or female?"

Key works

  • Mowgli's Road cover

    Mowgli's Road (2009)

  • Obsessions cover

    Obsessions (2009)

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