Who Is Marina and Why Did She Get Rid of the Diamonds?

Marina seemingly came out of thin air. Her music videos were lavish and eye catching. Her sophomore album Electra Heart approached the different archetypes of women in the most intricate ways possible. She stole our hearts with her unique pop tracks that simultaneously comment on the toxic environment that she had to assimilate to.

Who is Marina?

Marina Diamandis (previously known by her stage name, Marina and the Diamonds) is a pop star who joined the ranks in 2008, a very transitional point in the music scene. There were spaces open for more low key singers such as Adele and Florence and the Machine. These singers were performing in local clubs and attracting label interest, they were proving there was a market for pop singers unafraid to take risks.

Marina’s debut album was The Family Jewels. It was a series of dissonant piano tracks commenting on mental health, her ambivalence toward success, and the fear that an anomalous pop star like her could not last long in the music business. In her interview with Dazed she said, “I listened to it again about four months ago and realised it was absolutely batshit crazy!” The labels pushed her toward more chart-friendly bops for her next album. She said, “I was this opinionated person who wrote my own songs, but at the same time I loved the idea of following the zeitgeist.”

Her second album Electra Heart was conceptual, it criticized and analyzed the many different archetypes of femininity. It was conceptual in the themes it approached but sonically it aligned with the sounds of the time. Electra Heart was her first number one UK album and is now rated gold. In retrospect Marina said, “I feel like I kind of used that mode of expression to explore my identity, because it was so shaky in my early 20s.”

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A long time ago…

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Why did Marina take a break?

Marina told Dazed that she fell out of love with the craft that gained her a million strong fanbase. She said, “I’d be on stage and think, ‘I’m not feeling alive at all’ I’m not sure how to talk about it, because it has been quite a large chunk of time, and I felt very confused about whether I wanted to continue as an artist. Very confused.” She felt as if her identity was wrapped up in her fans and the perception of her as an artist.

Marina
Marina, formerly Marina and the Diamonds | Chelsea Lauren/WireImage

Marina gained a passionate group of fans that respond to everything she posts on social media. And during an artistic break fans are very reactive to even small subtle changes like a name change. You’ll see fans joking on her social media that her break has caused her to be “poor.”Marina says she has become tired of misogynistic comments even among her relatively nice and intelligent fans.

The artist said she understands that the comments are made as jokes, but comments about the financial status of men is rare in their mentions. “For the most part, my fans are all intelligent and nice, and it might just be the nature of being young and online, but there’s a lot of misogyny that I see – even in my own fan base.” She says about her fans “I have boundaries now, I love and adore all support for my music, but people online don’t own me, and I won’t give them any illusion that they have any kind of entitlement.”

Marina and the Diamonds is now just Marina on stage

The name change was made to kickstart a new era. She swapped out the name Marina and the Diamonds for Marina to destroy the separation between her personal identity and her artistic identity. “It took me well over a year to figure out that a lot of my identity was tied up in who I was as an artist, and there wasn’t much left of who I was.”