Childhood & Early Life
Marina Lambrini Diamandis was born on October 10, 1985, in Brynmawr, Monmouthshire, Wales, to a Welsh mother and a Greek father. Her father, Dimos Diamandis, met her mother, Esther, while studying at Newcastle University.
Her parents divorced when she was only four years old, following which her father moved back to Greece. Growing up in a low-income family, she had to share a room with her older sister, Lafina, in their bungalow in the village of Pandy, near Abergavenny.
While attending Haberdashers' Monmouth School for Girls, she often skipped singing in the choir, but her music teacher convinced her that she had musical talent. She moved to Greece at the age of 16 to complete her final two years of schooling, and earned an International Baccalaureate from St. Catherine's British Embassy School in Athens two years later.
Since she was 9 years old, she wanted to be a performer, and after completing school, she moved to Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, with her mother because it offered the best paid jobs. She worked at a petrol station for two months, taking as many shifts as she could, and moved to London with her saved money to pursue a singing career.
In London, she attended a dance school for two months, took a one-year singing course at Tech Music Schools in 2005, and studied music and culture at the University of East London. She then transferred to Middlesex University, where she started taking a musical composition course, but left after three months as she wanted to learn everything first hand.
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Marina Diamandis started writing songs at the age 18, even though she was terrified to sing in public. She later started applying for auditions listed in 'The Stage' newspaper, which had a hand in forming the Spice Girls, but stopped auditioning eventually to compose her own music, following the example of Daniel Johnston.
In 2007, she independently released her first EP, 'Mermaid vs. Sailor', which she herself produced and composed with the help of GarageBand software. The following year, she was spotted by Derek Davies from Neon Gold Records, which booked her to open for the Australian singer Gotye.
She signed a recording deal with 679 Recordings, a subdivision of Warner Music Group, in October 2008. However, her debut single, 'Obsessions', was released from Neon Gold Records on February 14, 2009, followed by her debut EP 'The Crown Jewels', which released on June 1st.
Her popularity in the UK skyrocketed after she ranked second on the BBC 'Sound of 2010' poll and was nominated for the 'BRIT Awards' that year, even though both honors went to singer-songwriter Ellie Goulding. She released her next single, 'Mowgli's Road', on November 13, 2009, and in February next year released the track 'Hollywood', which peaked at No.12 on the 'UK Singles Chart'.
On February 15, 2010, she released her debut studio album, 'The Family Jewels', which charted at No.5 in the UK. The success of the album helped her sign a deal with Chop Shop Records which released her third EP, 'The American Jewels', in the US on March 23.
She release three more singles, 'I Am Not a Robot', 'Oh No!' and 'Shampain', for her debut album in the next few months. To support the album, she toured Europe, North America and Australia during 2010-11, but failed to attract the American audience.
In 2011, she opened for American pop icon Katy Perry during her 'California Dreams Tour', along with Swedish artist Robyn.
For her next studio album, 'Electra Heart', she depicted stereotypical female archetypes through the eponymous protagonist. The concept album, released on April 27, 2012, portrayed four distinct female personas: 'Teen Idle', 'Primadonna', 'Homewrecker', and 'Housewife'. It became her first chart-topping album in the UK, and peaked at 31 on the US 'Billboard 200' chart.
”Froot”, the lead single from her eponymous third studio album, released on October 10, 2014. The album, which released on March 13, 2015, became her highest charting album in the US, debuting at No.8 on 'Billboard 200'.
She performed the song 'Disconnect' with electronic group Clean Bandit at the 2015 Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. It was later revealed that the song would be included in the next studio album she is working on.
Marina Diamandis was stubborn and tomboyish as a child and used to play football donning Manchester United shirts. During her teenage days, she grew wary of her female friends despite attending a girls' school, and used to hang out with boys till she was 22 years old.
While spending two years in Greece with her father, she used to sing Greek folk songs with her grandmother. In her song, 'Fear and Loathing', from the album 'Electra Heart', she included a recording of her 93-year-old grandmother singing a Greek folk song.
After an unsuccessful attempt at passing herself as a man for the audition of a reggae boy band for Virgin Records, she had left a photograph and a letter with the guard. She was eventually called in for an audition, but felt so nervous that she could barely sing.