Marina: ‘I’m not like them’
Upon the release of her 2010 debut LP, “The Family Jewels,” it was immediately apparent to anyone paying attention that Marina Diamandis, aka Marina and the Diamonds, was a bona fide international pop star in the making. She had the acrobatic voice, indelible hooks and a crush-worthy look (more on that in a minute), but there was a knowingness about the idea of pop stardom in general embedded in her lyrics that made her appealing to fans who take their pop with a dash of irony. On her recent release, “Electra Heart,” the Welsh singer has doubled-down on reaching for the stars, enlisting the aid of hit-making songwriters like Diplo and Dr. Luke.
It’s Dr. Luke’s effort on first single, “How to be a Heart-breaker” that has brought on Katy Perry comparisons, albeit with qualifiers like “edgier.”
Is that supposed to be taken as a compliment or an insult?
“It’s neither,” says Diaman-dis. “It’s just not true. The thing is, with Dr. Luke, his style is so cemented, I think most people who work with him get his sound. Katy was his first huge success, so it’s obvious I’m compared to her. I’m just like, ‘Oh whatever.’”
Also getting a big whatever was her label’s decision in September to delay the release of the “Heartbreaker” video because, well, they didn’t think she looked attractive enough.
She got a call from her manager saying the label didn’t like it, she explains: “‘They think you need some beauty work,’ he said. ‘I said, ‘I don’t care if they think I’m ugly or not, they need to give me a budget if they want me to look botoxed within an inch of my life.’”
Not that she has a problem with that, she says. “I really don’t mind. Everything on the album has been in the spirit of that plastic pop element.”
A different sort of pop star
“Do you know the funny thing? I really wanted to be one,” says Diamandis of being a pop star. “Now, after this album, even though it’s obviously a pop album, a concerted effort and a very calculated move … I’m still not one. I’m not like them, not in a horrible way, not like Katy or Rihanna or any of those big pop females.”