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Marina Diamandis grew up in Wales, but spent some time in Greece with her Greek family. Her Greek father and Welsh mother separated when she was four, but her years in Abergavenny with her mother and older sister, were “stable and reasonably happy”, she says.
She moved to London at the age of 18, with the intention of studying at university. Music was increasingly important in her life, to the detriment of her education as she dropped out of four different universities before ending up in the West End Musical The Lion King. That experience convinced her that the world of stage musicals wasn’t her scene – she wanted to make her own music.
Many imagine that The Diamonds are her backing group; in fact the name refers to Marina’s fans. She explains this on her MySpace page, saying, "I'm Marina. You are the diamonds." Marina and The Diamonds’ musical style is wide ranging – from keyboard-based ballads to more up-tempo new wave-style songs with full band backing. She admits to being influenced in her music by such artists as Elliot Smith, Nirvana, Kate Bush, Dolly Parton, and Madonna.
She began writing her own material and, using a laptop, she produced her first demo recording which was picked up by the New York record company Neon Gold. Marina made her debut with the company in 2009 with the double A-side recording, Obsessions/Mowgli’s Road, followed by the EP Crown Jewels. Mowgli’s Road was re-released in the UK later that year when she signed with 679 Recordings, a subsidiary of the Warner label.
But it’s not just her music that is effervescent, her fashion style is too. She describes her look as “vintage, cheerleader, cartoon”. She achieved her iconoclastic style by sourcing her clothes from designers such as Laura Mackness and Jean-Charles de Castebajac, but she’s not above making her own outfits and browsing charity shops. Her attention to her image has gained her some celebrity in addition to her musical fame, as in May 2010 she designed her own window display for Selfridges as part of their Sound Of Music event.
A huge Marina and The Diamonds tour has been confirmed for the UK for later this year. Marina will be playing a total of 15 dates throughout the UK as well as a date in Ireland.
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