Our new favourite leotard-toting keyboardist
Marina and the Diamonds

She’s got the fragmented elegance of Karen O or Regina Spektor, the penetrating shriek of Kate Bush, and the vulnerability of Florence Welch, but there is still an overarching uniqueness to singer-songwriter Marina And The Diamonds.

She puts this down to her lack of training. “I don’t come from a musical background and I sort of started producing songs on my own,” she explains. “I probably have a bit of a different sound because I don’t really know what I’m doing!”

Hotly tipped for 2010, Welsh-born Marina’s musical theatrics are the reason behind the aforementioned comparisons. Flitting from piano-rich ballads to experimental pop at its most innovative, her sound is rich and all-encompassing. After the self-confessed ‘festival-hater’ spent the summer showcasing these tracks on the festival circuit, she released her first ‘official’ single, ‘Mowgli’s Road’, in November last year. And she has built up quite a loyal following in the process, attracting one A-list admirer in particular. “I always think that I’m not big at all,” she exclaims. “But my video got posted on Kanye West’s blog and there has been a lot of press coverage, which has been really helpful.”

And it takes a lot to please Mr. West, as Taylor Swift rather publically discovered at last year’s VMAs. So Marina must be doing something right to secure critical acclaim and his support at the same time. And now things look set to sparkle in the New Year for the straight-talking Marina, who is set to release follow up single ‘Hollywood’ in February and her debut album in the same month.

As a die-hard fan of Britney and holding the likes of Dolly Parton, The Distillers and Eminem in high esteem, her creative license appears to be forever expanding. Something that, according to Marina, her debut album showcases. “I think it’s a really diverse album stylistically speaking because I’m such a flexible writer,” she says. “So there’s a lot of pop on it, but there’s kind of a lot of leftfield experimental stuff as well. It’s basically an album about what not to be.”

A factor that sets Marina apart from her peers is her brutal honesty, which both her lyrics and her conversation espouse: it prevails amidst her charming nature. The self-taught musician doesn’t pack any punches when it comes to saying how she feels, but there is nothing disingenuous about Marina; it all comes completely from the heart. And it’s nigh on impossible not to love her for it.

With plans to do a UK headline tour before letting her sparkly canon loose in the US come October, it looks as if 2010 could be the year where things truly take off for our new favourite leotard-toting keyboardist.

Words by Laura Routledge

Where: London
What: Glittery experimental pop
Unique Fact: Marina used to wear boys’ clothes on stage in a bid to be judged for her music and not her gender.
Get 3 songs: ‘Obsessions’, ‘Mowgli’s Road’, ‘I Am Not A Robot’


Get Marina and the Diamonds' 'Mowgli's Road (Mille remix)' as part of our Ones To Watch 2010 download album HERE.

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