|Name||Marina Lambrini Diamandis|
|Birth date||October 10, 1985 (age 35)|
|Birthplace||Abergavenny, Monmouthshire, Wales|
|Genres||Indie pop • New wave • Synthpop • Dance-pop • Electro-pop|
|Occupations||Singer • Songwriter|
|Labels||Neon Gold • 679 • Atlantic • Chop Shop • Elektra|
|Associated Acts||Charli XCX • Coldplay • Katy Perry • Clean Bandit|
Marina Lambrini Diamandis (born October 10, 1985), better known as MARINA, formerly 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" were often mistaken for her backing band, they in fact referred 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.
Despite lunching as an indie artist on a small UK label at first not even releasing her debut stateside initially over the course of Marina's decade-long career, she has become a critical and commercial success, having sold millions of albums internationally attaining Gold & Platinum certifications around the world and has charted inside the top 10 of The United States, United Kingdom, Ireland, Greece, Denmark, Belgium, Norway, Scotland, Austria, Australia, New Zealand, Slovakia, Poland, Switzerland, Russia, Mexico, and Canada. without having the support of a major label to launch her career. As of January 2021 Marina has over 7,000,000 monthly listeners on Spotify and over 1,500,000,000 streams on the platform alone. On YouTube, Marina's official channel has nearly 1,800,000 subscribers and over 600,000,000 views.
- 1 Life and career
- 2 Early years
- 2.1 1985–03: Early life
- 2.2 2004–05: Career beginnings
- 2.3 2006–08: Artistic development
- 2.4 2009–10
- 2.5 2011-13
- 2.6 2013-16
- 2.7 2017-present
- 2.8 Public Image
- 2.9 Personal Life
- 2.10 Social media
- 2.11 Discography
- 2.12 Tours
- 2.13 Awards and nominations
- 2.14 Merchandise
- 2.15 Gallery
- 2.16 References
Life and career
1985–03: Early life
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 beginnings
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 development
In 2005, Diamandis created the name Marina and the Diamonds. When describing the origin of the name, she said:
Marina said in an 2010 interview that she had been writing since 2005, and hired producers but didn't like the "awful prog rock band" sound; Plastic Rainbow's original version, Like China Dolls, Troubled Mind, Philosopher My Arse and This Is LA are most likely the songs she's referencing. She decided to produce her own songs which she attributes to getting people to listen to her. Marina made seventeen songs that we know of in 2007, including the songs on her self-released debut EP Mermaid vs. Sailor. The record was released on the 27th of November 2007 created on hand-made CD-Rs 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.
The Family Jewels era
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 well, peaking at number 12 in the United Kingdom and charting in the top 20 in Europe latter getting certified Silver in the United Kingdom for sales over 200,000 copies. 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 27,618 copies in its first week, and was certified silver in the United Kingdom days before its release. In total, The Family Jewels spent 33 weeks in the UK Top 100 albums chart. 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 with opening week sales of 4,000 copies.
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. I Am Not A Robot was also certified Gold in the United States by the RIAA for sales over 500,000 units. 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 under performance, peaking at only number 141 in the UK.
As of 2012 The Family Jewels had sold 300,000 copies worldwide this being before Diamandis's breakthrough into most worldwide markets, sales currently are not known but are expected to be substantially more to date. The album has sold over 218,000 copies in the United Kingdom alone as of 2019. On Spotify as of Nov 2020 The Family Jewels has 250,000,000 plays.
Electra Heart era and international breakthrough
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 symbolizes. 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 Gold in Ireland for sales exceeding 7,500 units and reaching number four on the New Zealand chart, as well as platinum status. In the United States Primadonna was also certified Gold by the RIAA for sales of 500,000 units. 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 peaking at 88. The latter was covered on the US TV show Glee in the episode "Feud". How to Be a Heartbreaking along with Primadonna has also been certified Gold by the RIAA for sales of 500,000 units.
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.
Electra Heart was Marina's first internationally successful project not only getting a gold certification in the UK in 2016 for sales exceeding 100,000 units but also going on to receive a gold album certification by the RIAA for sales of 500,000 album units. Electra Heart has also been streamed nearly 700,000,000 times on Spotify alone as of Nov 2020.
FROOT era and Neon Nature Tour
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.
The album was originally 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 selling 43,000 copies and 46,000 units it's first week. The album also charted in the Top 10 in the UK and several other countries.
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 and Twitter accounts. She told fans that she would be embarking on a short break to "do some different things".
After 3 months of release Froot had sold 150,000 copies worldwide including 75,000 in the United States prior to Marina even beggining her Neon Nature Tour. The album on Spotify alone has also garnered over 225,000,000 streams as of Nov 2020.
LOVE + FEAR era and Love + Fear Tour
On June 23, 2017, 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 hadn't recorded her new album yet.
In February of 2018, Diamandis revealed that she was almost ready to begin production on her 4th album that she had been writing for the past 2 years. In April of 2018, Marina clarified that she is going to release music within the year. In August, she revealed on Twitter that her new era will go under the name "Marina", removing the "and the Diamonds".
In November, she released her second single with Clean Bandit, Baby, alongside Luis Fonsi. Marina confirmed that the song will appear on her new album, saying that it didn't share the same sound as the rest of the album but its placement would "make sense" when the album was released. The single was a massive commercial success going viral on YouTube. In 2 months the song had passed 100 million views making it Marina's first song to achieve this feat. The single entered the Top-40, Top-20, and Top-10 of many music markets around the world. The song is one of Clean Bandit's biggest hits and Marina's first big hit since 2012 with the release of her songs How to Be a Heartbreaker and Primadonna during the Electra Heart era.
On February 1, 2019, Marina announced the lead single from her fourth album. Handmade Heaven was released one week later on February 8. In order to promote the release of her new album, Marina released three further singles before the album's release, Superstar, Orange Trees and To Be Human.
Despite weaker chart performance than Froot due to the album being released in 2 parts Love + Fear as of Nov 2020 has been streamed over 250,000,000 times making it her 2nd most streamed album in less than 2 years of release outpacing both Froot and The Family Jewels which have each been out 5 and 10 years respectively.
In 2020 Marina released her track About Love from the Netflix film to all the boys I still love you the track has since received over 40,000,000 plays. On November 18th 2020 Marina released the 1st single to her 5th album titled Man's World.
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.
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 favorite 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 "colorful 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.
Marina has two grey cats named Mavis and Jupiter, as stated on her Instagram account.
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."
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-focused, 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 humor, 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 labelmate Charli XCX, who she recorded a duet with (Just Desserts). In March 2016, the two feuded over Charli XCX's photoshoot which Diamandis considered to be derivative of her own image on Froot.
Diamandis has spoken openly about having anxiety and depression which serves as inspiration for some of her songs. She handles it through meditation and exercise. Various themes in her songs are mental health, self acceptance, the flaws of the human race, and the dark side of love.
- Mermaid vs Sailor (2007)
- The Crown Jewels (2009)
- The American Jewels (2010) (US only)
- Froot (Acoustic) (2015) (MySpace only)
- LOVE + FEAR (Acoustic) (2019)
- The Family Jewels Tour | 2010 - 2011
- The Lonely Hearts Club Tour | 2012 - 2013
- The Neon Nature Tour | 2015 - 2016
- The Love + Fear Tour | 2019
- California Dreams Tour – Supporting Katy Perry | 2011
- Mylo Xyloto Tour – Supporting Coldplay | 2011–2012
Awards and nominations
|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|
- Eleven Diamonds; shirts and totes by Marina Diamandis and various designers. (2013, 2014)
- Official MATD Online Shop; merchandise from all 3 past eras.