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Marina Diamandis
MarinaDiamandis
Name Marina Lambrini Diamandis
Birth date October 10, 1985 (age 32)
Birthplace Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, Wales
Genres Indie pop, new wave, synthpop, dance-pop, electro-pop
Years Active 2005-present
Occupations Singer, Songwriter
Labels Neon Gold, 679, Atlantic, Chop Shop, Elektra
Associated Acts Charli XCX, Coldplay, Katy Perry
Website MarinaandtheDiamonds.com

Marina Lambrini Diamandis (born 10 October 1985), better known as Marina and the Diamonds (sometimes stylised as Marina & the Diamonds), is a Welsh singer-songwriter. Her stage name, "Marina and the Diamonds", consists of Diamandis' first name and the Greek meaning of her surname, which translates to "diamonds".

Although "The Diamonds" are often mistaken for her backing band, they in fact refer to Diamandis' fans: she explains this on her MySpace page, stating "I'm Marina. You are the diamonds."

Diamandis' musical style ranges from keyboard-based ballads to more up-tempo New Wave-style songs with full band backing. She has cited a wide-range of influences such as Daniel Johnston, Blondie, The Distillers, Patti Smith, Tom Waits, Nirvana, PJ Harvey, Kate Bush, Britney Spears, Yann Tiersen, Elliott Smith, Dolly Parton and Madonna.

Life and careerEdit

Early yearsEdit

1985–03: Early lifeEdit

Marina aged two in 1987

Marina was born in Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, Wales to a Greek father and Welsh mother. She has one older sister, Lafina. She grew up in the village of Pandy and attended school at Haberdashers' Monmouth School for Girls, the school she accredits for allowing her to "find her talent there". Self-described as "the one who always skived off choir, but I had an incredible music teacher who managed to convince me I could do anything", Marina was musical from an early age and expressed a desire to become a performer from as early as age nine. However, her parents divorced when she was sixteen, and she moved to Greece to live with her father. She later returned to Wales when she was eighteen.

2004–05: Career beginningsEdit

Marina at a dance competition in Wales aged 14

Marina moved to London at eighteen where she attended dance school for two months. Following this, in 2005 she took a one year singing course at Tech Music Schools. Diamandis enrolled in a music degree at the University of East London, transferring in her second year of studies to Middlesex University, but later dropped out. She went for many auditions including the West End musical, The Lion King. Diamandis admitted that she auditioned for a reggae boy band, held by Virgin Records, in 2005 to try to make it into the music business. She said she was "delusional with drive" and ultimately decided to dress up in male attire to try to amuse the record label to sign her, but she was unsuccessful. However, she was called back by the record label a week later.

2006–08: Artistic developmentEdit

In 2005, Diamandis created the name Marina and the Diamonds. When describing the origin of the name, she said:

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.

—Marina Diamandis

Marina in August 2008

Early demos of Marina's songs were self-composed and produced on the Apple software application GarageBand. Through Gumtree she found someone to produce a few tracks, for which she paid £500. These demo tracks are on her self-released debut EP Mermaid vs. Sailor which was released on 23 November 2007. The record was created on hand-made CD-Rs by Diamandis and sold through her MySpace page. An estimated seventy copies were sold overall.

In January 2008, Diamandis was first discovered by music scouter Derek Davies of Neon Gold Records. Davies booked Diamandis to open for Belgian-Australian singer Gotye later that year where Warner Music Group first saw her and ended up signing her in October 2008 to 679 Recordings.

Marina's debut single was a double A-side consisting of Obsessions and Mowgli's Road which was issued on Neon Gold Records in the United States on 19 November 2008.

2009–10Edit

The Family Jewels eraEdit

8-29-09 Live at Reading Festival 001

Marina at Reading Festival

Mowgli's Road was re-released as Marina and the Diamonds' debut album's lead single in November 2009. However, the song "Hollywood" was released as the first major single from the album in February 2010. The song performed relatively well, peaking at number twelve in the United Kingdom and charting in the top 20 in Europe. Marina's debut album, The Family Jewels, was released on 15 February 2010. It peaked at number five on the UK Albums Chart, selling over 27,500 copies in its first week, and was certified silver in the United Kingdom days before its release. In March 2010, Atlantic Records signed Marina and the Diamonds to Chop Shop Records in the United States. Before the album's American release in May 2010, Marina released her third extended play, The American Jewels EP, digitally and exclusively for the United States in March 2010. The Family Jewels peaked at number 138 on the Billboard 200.

Marina TheFamilyJewelsTour-4

Marina during the Family Jewels tour

Marina and the Diamonds was nominated for Critics' Choice at the 2010 BRIT Awards and came fifth in SHREDnews' "Ten Artists To Watch in 2010" list in March 2010. She also won the award for Best UK & Ireland Act at the 2010 MTV Europe Music Awards.

Marina embarked on her first headlining tour on 14 February 2010 to coincide with the album release, which consisted of seventy dates around the United Kingdom, Ireland, mainland Europe, the United States and Canada. Marina made her North American debut on 14 March 2010 through a series of performances. A re-release of I Am Not a Robot in April 2010 became the album's third single; Marina said she decided to re-release the song because "people seem to empathize and relate with the song, regardless of gender or age." The song peaked at number twenty-six on the UK Singles Chart. Oh No! was released as the album's fourth single on 2 August 2010, and the song peaked at number thirty-eight in the United Kingdom. Shampain was released as the album's fifth and final single in the UK and Ireland. The song was an underperformance, peaking at only number 141 in the UK.

2011-13Edit

Electra Heart era and international breakthroughEdit

For her second album, Marina started working in 2011 and recorded material with producers Cirkut, Guy Sigsworth, Labrinth, Greg Kurstin, Diplo, Dr. Luke, Stargate and Liam Howe. A promotional single, Radioactive produced by Stargate, was released in October 2011. The song reached number twenty-five in the UK. Marina posted a demo of the song Starring Role on YouTube in November, and a video titled ♡ PART 3: "THE ARCHETYPES" ♡ in December in which she introduced the Electra Heart character and the female archetypes she symbolises. Electra Heart was released on 27 April 2012. The concept album made its debut at number one in both the United Kingdom and Ireland, making it her first album to do so. In the United Kingdom, the album sold over 21,000 copies in its first week. Electra Heart also charted in Europe and Australia, and it became her highest-charting album in the US, peaking at number thirty.The album was preceded by the single Primadonna produced by Dr. Luke and Cirkut. Primadonna became Marina's highest-peaking single in the UK to date, peaking at number eleven, and also became her most successful single internationally, being certified platinum in Ireland for sales exceeding 15,000 units and reaching number four on the New Zealand chart, as well as platinum status. Marina started her Lonely Hearts Club Tour in May 2012, which consisted of 108 shows and lasted for over a year. Power & Control served as the second single from the album in the United Kingdom, whilst How to Be a Heartbreaker (which features on the US edition of the album) was released as the second international single and the third UK single. The latter was covered on the US TV show Glee in the episode "Feud".

Marina live in Seattle - July 2012

On Christmas Day 2012, Marina performed a cover version of the famous Christmas single Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas. On 14 February 2013, a video titled ♡ PART 8: "EVOL" ♡ was uploaded to Marina's YouTube account, featuring the new song E.V.O.L, that was released for free download via SoundCloud hours later as a Valentine's Day gift from Diamandis to her fans. On 2 March 2013, Diamandis released a music video for the song "The State of Dreaming" from Electra Heart on her YouTube account.

On 17 April 2013, Marina tweeted "08.08.13" which led fans to believe that would be the date that would mark the death of the character Electra Heart as the music video for Fear and Loathing, which represented the birth of Electra, was published on 8 August 2011, exactly 2 years before the date mentioned in the tweet. Her Lonely Hearts Club Tour ended on 29 May 2013. On 1 May 2013, Marina released the song Just Desserts with Charli XCX and premiered it on her YouTube channel. The music video for the song Lies from Electra Heart was released in July 2013. On 8 August 2013, a video titled ♡ PART 11: "Electra Heart" ♡ was uploaded to her YouTube account, featuring the album's title track. This video was the final part of her series "The Archetypes" and saw the death of the fictional character Electra Heart, officially ending the Electra Heart era.

2013-16Edit

FROOT era and Neon Nature TourEdit

After spending one month in New York City, Diamandis announced in February 2013 that she had begun writing material for an upcoming third studio album. The first single from the album, "Froot", was released on 10 October, her 29th birthday, and announced as the title track.

Neon Nature Tour Live 2015

The album was orignially scheduled for release on 3 April 2015 with a new track being announced each month (known as the "Froot of the Month"). However, due to an Internet leak, the release was brought forward to 13 March 2015. Entirely produced by Diamandis and David Kosten, the album was praised for its cohesive sound. Froot debuted at number 8 on the Billboard 200 chart, and is currently her highest charting album in the United States. Froot has sold 169,000 copies as of 2015 in the US.

In early 2015, it was announced that Diamandis would perform at Lollapalooza Brazil, Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and the Boston Calling Music Festival in March, April and May 2015 respectively. Starting from October 2015, she went on the Neon Nature Tour across Europe and the Americas; the 4 November performance at the House of Blues in Boston was broadcast live by Yahoo! and was uploaded and can be seen on the video streaming website Youtube.

On 5 April 2016, Diamandis officially announced the end of the Froot Era via her official Instagram[1] and Twitter[2] accounts. She told fans that she would be embarking on a short break to "do some different things".

2017-presentEdit

Fourth studio albumEdit

Marina has been in the studio to work on what is assumed to be her upcoming fourth studio album. It is expected to be released sometime in 2017, although not much else is known about it at all. On June 23rd her much anticipated collaboration with Clean Bandit, "Disconnect", was released. In November, she posted a photo to her social media back from when she recorded Froot. She revealed she hasn't recorded her new album yet.

Public ImageEdit

Physical appearanceEdit

Marina and the Diamonds, Roundhouse, London (Neon Nature Tour) 03

Diamandis performing at the Roundhouse, London, February 2016

Marina Diamandis stands at 5'4" (1.63m) tall and has naturally brown hair and eyes. In October 2011, she bleached her hair blonde, but later dyed it back. During 2011-2012, she wore a blonde wig for 9 months following a hairdressing incident in which she lost a significant amount of hair.

FashionEdit

Diamandis has identified Sophia Loren, Leigh Lezark, Shirley Manson and Gwen Stefani as her fashion icons, and Asli Polat and Mary Benson as among her favourite designers. As part of Selfridges' "Sound of Music", Diamandis and Paloma Faith designed their own window display for the London Oxford Street branch in May 2010, and additionally appeared as "live mannequins" for the display. In November, Diamandis was featured on the website for the British edition of Vogue, where she contributed to the "Today I'm Wearing" column that month. In February 2011, she became a brand ambassador for Max Factor, who called her "colourful personality" a perfect fit for the brand. When asked in an interview to describe her fashion style in three words, Marina said "vintage, cheerleader and cartoon". In late July 2013, she started her own online clothing range, Eleven Diamonds, which ran until 2014.

Pets Edit

Marina has two grey cats named Mavis and Jupiter, as stated on her Instagram account.

Personal LifeEdit

According to Emily Jupp of The Independent, despite various changes in musical direction, an "unconventional fashion sense" has been a constant in Diamandis's career. In the video to "How to be a Heartbreaker," she "subverts the norm" by wearing more clothes than male models in the background; she reflected that "I don’t think it suits me to wear very little clothing, it just wouldn’t feel right. I’d rather people listen to what I have to say instead of staring at my bum." In 2011, when promoting The Family Jewels, Diamandis described her fashion styles as "vintage, cheerleader, and cartoon." Four years later, she described her costumes then as "very badly put together vintage, kind of glittery ensemble", and her outfits for Froot as a "mix of '70s with digital fiberware...something surreal and '70s."

Marina and The Diamonds

Diamandis performing at Sweden's Sommarkrysset, September 2012

She has been described as a "pop enigma", an artist who "never felt like she belonged to the masses" and one with a cult following. She has criticised the Brit Awards for ostensibly being too corporate focussed, and has called for a new ceremony ideologically between the Brits and the "left-field" Mercury Prize. Diamandis used to meet fans after each performance, but ended this practice for safety reasons during the Neon Nature Tour, instead having ten pairs of fans chosen to meet her before the show.

Diamandis estimates that gay people comprise 60% of her concert audience; she attributes her status as a gay icon to her campness and sense of humour, in addition to lyrics on being a societal outsider. In 2012, she won the Best Music Award at gay magazine Attitude's award show. She headlined an NYC Pride event in June 2016 in the aftermath of the Pulse nightclub shooting, wearing a rainbow-striped cape. Diamandis plays down her popularity in the gay community in order to avoid sounding like a "cliché pop star" and hopes for a time when acceptance will mean that people do not label themselves by their sexuality.

She has been physically compared to her friend and label mate Charli XCX. In March 2016, the two feuded over Charli XCX's photoshoot which Diamandis considered to be derivative of her own image on Froot.

Social mediaEdit

TwitterEdit
InstagramEdit
TumblrEdit
Facebook Edit

DiscographyEdit

Studio albums

EPs

Note: Give Me the Money - EP was leaked in 2012 and is rumored to have been recorded in 2006. 

ToursEdit

Headlining Edit

Supporting Edit

Awards and nominations Edit

Year Organization Award Result
2010 BBC Sound of 2010 Sound of 2010 Second place
2010 Brit Awards Critics' Choice Nominated
2010 BT Digital Music Awards Breakthrough Artist of the Year Nominated
MTV Europe Music Awards Best UK & Irish Act Won
UK Festival Awards 2010 Best Breakthrough Act Nominated
Virgin Media Music Awards Best Newcomer Won
2012 NME Awards Hottest Female Nominated
Attitude Magazine Awards Best Music Award Won

MerchandiseEdit

GalleryEdit

The Family Jewels Photoshoots | Electra Heart Photoshoots | Froot Photoshoots | Unknown Photoshoots

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