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Glimmer Takes it All.
She is the brightest pop star of the moment. But Marina Diamandis – who records as Marina and the Diamonds – doesn’t want to be a blink-and-she’s-gone starlet. As her debut album is released she tells Paul Nolan why she’s in it for the long haul, why celebrity culture has spun out of control and why she’s putting romance on hold to build her career.
Paul Nolan, 09 Mar 2010
Shortly before meeting Marina Diamandis – one of the most hotly tipped pop singers of 2010 – in her room at the Morgan Hotel, we catch a glimpse of her schedule for the day. It offers some insight into the sort of promotional push required to launch a new major label debut album: Hot Press is merely the second in a full day of interviews and photo shoots. One assumes Diamandis will be completely talked out come the evening.
“It’s more like an embarrassment, talking about myself so much,” laughs Marina, settling into the sofa in her room. “It’s hard because it’s my first record, and you do want to promote it. And for you guys it’s probably not a barrel of laughs either; I’d imagine sometimes you have to do stuff where the artist bores you or whatever. So it’s not all fun and games, but as long as it’s in moderation I don’t mind doing it.”
The album itself, The Family Jewels, is a musically eclectic record that finds Diamandis examining a lot of different aspects of youth culture. She has previously said that among the subjects explored on the album are “the seduction of commercialism, modern social values and family.” It certainly seems as if there was plenty she wanted to get off her chest.
“I just naturally love observing and analysing,” she shrugs. “I really hope that people understand that it’s not me criticising others, as such. On any of the songs – like ‘Girls’ or ‘Hollywood’ – if I’m criticising anyone, it’s myself. It’s about me trying to change my own aspirations. I love psychology and trying to understand why people are drawn to certain things.
“Artifice is very attractive. It’s not a particularly original thing to sing about, but ‘Hollywood’ was written two years ago, when I was in a very different place and celebrity culture was at its peak. I feel now it’s kind of levelled off a little bit, but the UK and America handle celebrity culture very different to other countries.”
Do you think that’s a negative thing?