Next week sees the latest in the Heineken Green Spheres concert series, as Marina & The Diamonds head to Carlow to join German electro heavy weights Digitalism and Swedish newcomers Miike Snow for a special show at Dinn RÃ on the 12th November. As usual you can’t buy tickets but we have two pairs of tickets to give away. To win just email your name and contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org by 5pm on Tuesday 10th. In the meantime, here’s our chat with the woman herself…
You’ve said that the ‘Diamonds’ of Marina & The Diamonds are the fans, which is both intriguing and a little confusing. How did you come up with that idea?
It wasn’t a huge leap or even a premeditated move. I just thought Marina & The Diamonds sounded cute, haha, and so I went with that name. And then about a year ago I started to think about it a bit more. I genuinely like interacting with my fans, hearing their thoughts and getting their opinions through my blog. It sounds really dumb but I realized the huge importance of fans and I think artists nowadays kind of forget about that. I know it’s a weird industry anyway, but without that support as an artist you’re literally nothing. So to behave in ways that artists usually do, I think it’s really acceptable. So I like to think the Diamonds are the fans, sort of a collective, a group effort, and whatever success I have it’s…..well it’s because of me but it’s also because of them.
You tend to get flack for comments about other artists on your blog.
I don’t think I get much flack at all. I think I discuss pop culture, because it really interests me. The only thing that has been built up a lot is a comment that I made on my blog two years ago when I was totally unknown writing the blog for myself, ha, and the Guardian website picked up on it. I did this blog on female celebrities and women in general and how I found it difficult to look up to certain people in the public eye. I mentioned something about Lily Allen and how I really liked her until she kind of turned a bit funny. So that was picked up on, and I believe that’s only been talked about a lot because she is renowned for having a big mouth like me, and people are always interested in a possible spat. But it really wasn’t that and I’m actually quite a big fan of her, so I think it was taken out of context, as usual, haha. But I don’t really mind, there are worse things going on in the world. If people want to portray me as something else, then what are you going to do about it?
Would you say it’s your interest in pop culture that led you to where you are?
No. I think my interest in pop culture became so strong because I was, like any 21-year-old, trying to figure out who I wanted to be and what I stood for. Pop culture is fascinating, especially at the moment. Almost all females in pop are extremely sexed up. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing, but there’s not much variation… and not much imagination. So, I’m researching that at the moment.
We thought it was interesting to read a blog in which you take on the sexual aspects of Shakira’s music video when, if we’re not mistaken, the ‘I’m Not A Robot’ video features you from the shoulders up completely nude.
Yeah. Well, okay… number one: I’m not nude, i have a top on. It’s obviously… it’s meant to look like that. Number two: i’m not saying in my blog that sexuality is a bad thing, i’m just questioning. But when you see a video like Shakira’s which is basically pushed to the max, i’m trying to understand why every video we have now is like that and how we’ve gotten to that point. I’m a 23-year-old woman, I’m sexual sometimes when I perform, I have an element of sexuality. I can’t be devoid of it. Each of my videos is probably going to have a pinch of that in it. It’s a really complex discussion. And when you compare ‘Robot’ to Shakira, it’s a very different thing. Not bad at all, just different.
You started college four times without finishing. Did you study music?
Yes I did. The thing is though, when I first came to London, like, I’m not joking; I was terrible. I was really embarrassed to sing. I had really bad stage fear and i’d never written a song. I think I started when I went to the first college which was like a vocal college. Everyone hated me because I was crap. I hadn’t found my voice, whereas most people who are getting noticed and having success in music around my age have been doing it for fucking years. They probably found their voices when they were 17 or 18, so I’ve got a lot of catching up to do. So, in university I was never recognized as… as doing anything good. Practice makes perfect. Even though that sounds really boring, I had to songwrite a lot and I still have to because i’m still… not at the top.
You certainly seem to be the name to drop these days though…
Yes I am!
And there’s always the same puns. A lot of gem references.
Ha! I think I’ve got about ten years of that to go. Pretty good name though, for like promotions and endorsements and free products.
So you just put up the video for ‘Mowgli’s Road’ and we have to say, it’s a little bit nightmarish.
I think that was my plan. Yeah, it is a weird one, but I’m glad I went with that treatment. We wouldn’t want to be too prissy.
‘Mowgli’s Road’ is released on 13th November. Marina & The Diamond’s debut album is due in February 2010.