On October 10, 1985 (exactly 31 years from today!) Marina Lambrini Diamandis was born. She is of Greek and Welsh descent and was born in Brynmawr, Wales. She was raised in a nearby town called Pandy with her parents and her older sister Lafina. At four years old, her parents divorced and her father moved back to Greece, but would visit on occasion. Throughout her youth she went to Haberdasher’s Monmouth School for Girls, where at a young age she realized she had a knack for music and singing. Diamandis stated that she had felt out of place there, surrounded by very wealthy girls- so at age 16 she decided to move to Greece with her father. She desired to learn the language and reconnect with her Greek roots, and began singing Greek folk songs with her grandmother. In the meantime she also attended St. Catherine’s British Embassy School in Athens for two years and earned an International Baccalaureate degree. Marina then moved back to Wales, but not for long. Diamandis worked at a gas staion for two years in order to move to London, she was “obssessed with becoming a singer.” There she began writing her own music despite not having a musical background. She attended dance school, but quickly dropped out two months later. First she studied music at the University of East London for a year and then transferred to Middlesex University to study classic composition. However, she dropped out to focus on her own music career. Citing that she was inspired by the Spice Girls, Marina auditioned to any and every music audition she could. In 2005, Marina established her stage name Marina and the Diamonds- the diamonds representing her fans. Due to being unsuccessful Marina decided to give up on going to auditions and decided to teach herself how to play piano. She composed all of her own music and released her own extended play Mermaid vs. Sailor via Myspace in 2007.
She immediatley caught the attention of several different music labels and set up interviews with fourteen different ones before deciding on Neon Gold Records. In 2008 Marina signed with her first major record company 679 Records (now 679 Artists) and released her first single “Obsessions” on Valentine’s Day in 2009. The full EP The Crown Jewels was released June 1 later that year. That summer she performed at three music festivals and released another EP of one of the live performances. Her next single, “Mowgli’s Road” was released and although it wasn’t radio popular it caught the attention of several influential people including Perez Hilton and Kanye West. On February 1, 2010 Diamandis released her next single “Hollywood” which expresses her “obsession” with America. It peaked at number 12 of the UK Singles Chart. Soon after, Marina and the Diamonds’ first debut studio album The Family Jewels was released on February 15, 2010. It debuted at number five on the UK Albums Chart.
She signed record deals with Atlantic Records and Chop Shop records in order to have it released in the United States. Here it peaked at number 138 on the Billboard 200. It was supported by five singles all of which were supplemented with music videos. However, Marina had yet to really make an impact in America and she blamed this on her record’s lack of promotion of the album. It was supported by The Family Jewels Tour which spanned from 2010-11. Later in 2011 she opened for Katy Perry on her California Dreams Tour and released her second album’s lead single “Primadonna” in April 2012. The song peaked at number 11 on the UK Singles Chart being her highest charting single to date. The end product of her second studio album Electra Heart was released on April 27, 2012.
Known for being concept album, the album itself deals with the ideas of “female identity” and “breakup.” The titular character Electra Heart was created as the protagonist for the album, portraying the four different archetypes of American female culture. Electra Heart peaked at number 1 on the UK Albums Chart, her only album to do so. It peaked at number 31 on the Billboard 200 in the United States, gaining Diamandis massive popularity in America. It was supported by three singles and was supplemented with several music videos. The album itself was supported through the Lonely Hearts Club Tour which spanned from 2012-2013. The following year, on October 10, 2014 (two years ago from today) Marina released her new single “Froot” to celebrate her 29th birthday! Originally the album was going to be released in April 2015 with a new song being released each month preceding it. However, the album was released prematurely as there was a massive internet leak of it. On March 13, 2015 Diamandis released her third studio album Froot.
It is supported by five singles, all of which have a music video as well as a couple of other songs. All songs on the album are completley written by Diamandis herself. In the UK, the album peaked at number 10 on the UK Albums Chart. However, in the United States it peaked at number 8 on the Billboard 200 Chart, being her highest album to chart in the United States. It was accompanied by the Neon Nature Tour which spanned from 2015-16.
Diamandis has come a long way to acheive her critical success. Each album is known for having it’s own specific era and sound. Her first is known for being very indie sounding and dark. Her second album is known for breaking her into the music industry in America and being very tongue-in-cheek. It was a huge change in the sound of her music having more pop elements and being more upbeat and humurous while still having a dark meaning. Her third expresses her hapiness and how unhappy she was with her success and herself as an artist before. Diamndis’ music is also known for analyzing the components of human behavior and fashion-wise she is known for being retro and cartoonish. She has been seen as a gay icon and is known for being a feminist. So Happy Birthday Marina and also to one of her diamonds- the author himself!