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Limelight Spotlight: Marina And The Diamonds

On the surface, Marina Lambrini Diamandis seems like your typical pop star. She’s petite, fashion-forward, and painfully gorgeous. But don’t let those big brown doe eyes fool you. Take a minute to listen to her debut album, The Family Jewels, and you’ll see she’s quite different from the pack. The 24-year-old Brit babe is smart, wields her songwriter’s pen like a sharpened sword, and has no problem pointing out her flaws for musical honesty’s sake.

Marina and the Diamonds — there’s only one of her, she’ll explain later — has already scorched the charts at home in the UK, and she’s grown quite the following of lovers of smart-pop here in the states. And rightfully so. Her witty lyrics combined with foot-tapping beats are a delicious combination you get addicted to after just one taste.

Marina is traveling around the US on her first headlining tour here. We had to find out more about what makes this future chart-topper tick, so we chatted her up by email for this Limelight Spotlight Q&A:

Some of us Americans are still a little bit confused by the “and the Diamonds” bit, but you’re a solo artist. Explain who The Diamonds are.

My goal was never to be a solo artist, ‘famous,’ ‘superstar’ type act. I wanted to create something for the people, by the people. As a fan, I wanted to feel valued and acknowledged in an industry where my supposed ‘idols’ were glamorizing pimps, hoes, money, power. So I created “Marina and the Diamonds” giving power to someone other than myself. I am quite selfish and self-obsessed so it’s important to try and be as humble as you can. I love my fans dearly. They are a reason to survive. I LOVE THEM. They are their own people. They do not express their views, parrot fashion, to collide with mine. They are definitely thinkers. I want to make a difference to pop culture, for women and for men, and to help my generation become kinder and happier, in any way possible.

What’s your earliest music related memory?

My mum playing ‘Jolene” by Dolly Parton on repeat. Love Dolly.

What was the first song you’ve ever written about?

Being a “plastic rainbow.” Being a fake, not being able to accept myself, compromising constantly.. the usual themes.

Why are you obsessed with the mess that is America?

Because I am entirely seduced by its contradictions and messages. It is responsible for many of the western world’s ills yet has the message of “be happy, be successful, be beautiful” everywhere.. yet, many of its people are far from truly happy. Another example is how alcohol and street drugs are heavily controlled (and quite rightly) yet America has the prescription drug addiction problem in the world. And they are extremely easy to obtain. Not criticizing.. just fascinated really!

What would you say is the biggest mistake you’re glad you made in life?

Taking the wrong path/paths early on. I mean.. I was auditioning for girl bands. However, it made me realize that my brain was actually very un-commercial and very opposed to conformity. I was made aware of stereotype I was expected to fill, as a woman in pop.

What is your favorite lyric on your album, The Family Jewels?

I feel numb most of the time, the lower I get the higher I’ll climb and I will wonder why, I got dark only to shine.

If the music industry was the lunch room in a high school, which table would you be sitting at, example: the jocks, the cool kids, the band geeks… And who would be at the table with you?

Well… if we are coming from who I was in high school, probably hovering and walking about flirting between the jocks and the cool kids. I didn’t eat lunch and I didn’t have a gang or a clique. How could I observe and analyze if I was all caught up and PART of something? (excuse for being a loner).

If you suddenly lost the ability to sing, which singer’s voice would you want to lip-sync to?

Johnny Cash!

Finish the sentence: My life would suck without…

MY FANS. The be all and end all and reason for waking up.


More on Marina and the Diamonds: Twitter / Official Website / Myspace

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