It’s hard to believe its been 10 years* since we interviewed a young hugely talented aspiring pop singer called Marina and The Diamonds, who hailed from Wales and had been writing and producing some exceptional music in her bedroom using Garageband. (*even longer when you consider chatting to her in the days of myspace when she’d share demos and ideas)
Interview HERE –http://www.thevpme.com/2009/07/19/marina-and-the-diamonds/
It was obvious that there was something unique and off the wall about her approach to pop music and that she had strong views on the pros and cons of social media and the fetishisation of celebrity even back then. Since then Marina has carved out a hugely successful pop career amassed a cult following and occupied that weird space between being an artist who sells out shows in the States and the UK, regularly charts and yet has seemed to be under the radar of the masses. And when you think about it, that’s probably a great space to occupy. She’s never slavishly followed trends and seems to always have had the freedom to work on exactly what she wants. And it’s her ability to mix pop bangers with off the wall electro-pop, produce concept albums, haunting ballads be totally self-aware and combine a kind of knowing campness, with a wicked sense of humour that makes her occupy a unique and important space. She even had a strange new wavey Imogen Heaps meet Kate Bush meets Siouxsie vibe at times in her early days, indeed there were early fans who thought she was going to be a new wave indie kid, and were disappointed at her more overtly “pop” direction. But the thought of confining herself to a genre-specific sound was never going to appeal. Her seeming unwillingness to become a big label focus group pop puppet was far more “indie” than many of the so-called DIY brigade and her outlook has always made her one of the more interesting ‘outsider’ pop stars to emerge from the UK.
Indeed Peter Robinson editor of Pop Justice said “certain music comes in and out of fashion, it’s a rare artist who does exactly what they want to a high standard – She’s one of the top three British artists – it’s a shame we don’t cherish her more.”
I’m not sure if Peter is referring to the “we” as the critics or the nation as a whole ? (or maybe the half that voted Brexit?) because when she performs live the bond between the singer and the audience is almost tangible.
We caught Marina ( she’s ditched the “and The Diamonds” now) performing at Manchester Apollo as part of her European tour performing her 4th Album Love + Fear ( supported by one to watch – Goth pop singe Allie X) and she’d lost none of her vigour, charisma and ability connect with a sold-out audience who certainly do cherish her. And once again she proved herself to be a star.
Allie X Live