'From Russia With Love: Marina's Journey'
Russian-born and Los Angeles-based Marina V. is an intriguing Adult Alternative singer/pianist/songwriter with an incredible life story. Marina's music is a magical blend of her angelic voice, hooky melodies, thoughtful lyrics, and fresh chord progressions, which make this new artist truly special.
Influenced by the Beatles and Tchaikovsky, Marina's music style has been described as an unusual mix of Tori Amos, Jewel and Paul McCartney. But the green-eyed songstress appears to be truly her own artist, effortlessly connecting to her fans through her unique but accessible music and through her eccentric but very charming personality.
Having performed across the USA, Marina has created quite a buzz and has gained serious attention from the music media. Marina was recently featured in the Keyboard Magazine, which called her "one of the most promising singer/songwriters of the year". Marina's songs can be heard on MTV (the Real World), films and radio stations such as XM Satellite Radio. The twenty-four year-old chanteuse is officially endorsed by AUDIX microphones, Peavey products and YAMAHA digital pianos. She has recently been chosen as one of the HOT 100 UNSIGNED Artists by Music Connection Magazine and is a proud recipient of the ASCAP popular award for 2003-2004.
Marina has just released her new album, Something of My Own which was recorded together with her long-time co-writer, Nick Baker. Chatting with the young lady herself, I first wondered why she had indeed named her second album that ... and what had been the reasoning behind a 2nd pressing and change of cover sleeve? "The name came from the title of one of the songs on the album, which was a last-minute addition. We just happened to write this song when we were almost done recording the album. By "we" I mean my songwriting partner, Nick Baker, who co-wrote & recorded the album with me. Before that, we were struggling to come up with a title, but as soon as 'Something of My Own' was written, we both immediately agreed this was going to be the name of the album."
"As for the 2nd pressing, we sold out of copies we pressed originally. David, my manager, suggested to come up with new artwork and to add an insert with lyrics. So we did :) We also re-recorded the title track and its Russian version, 'Taet Sneg' and made a few changes to a couple of other songs."
Does being Russian-born and yet LA-based afford you anything more in
this business more than just being a "generic" American?! "The Soviet Union was a whole different world and growing up there made me who I am today. But I have lived in America for about 8 years now, so I am "Americanized" in many ways. It's strange in a way because I don't feel a 100% Russian or 100% American. I am somewhere in between. So, my music is both new and familiar at the same time."
Having been chosen as one of the HOT 100 UNSIGNED Artists by Music
Connection Magazine and a proud recipient of the ASCAP popular award for
2003-2004, how do these awards actually aid you in your search for "musical
stardom"? "It is definitely an honor to receive recognition from organizations such as ASCAP. There is a tremendous amount of work that goes into the music business. It's simply nice to be acknowledged for it."
What enabled you to win the scholarship to study in the U.S.A. for a year, therein beating thousands of your Russian peers? "It was an academic scholarship sponsored by the US government. I studied hard and tried to practice my English every day. My mom really encouraged me to apply. I never thought it would be possible to win."
Explain your dislike for jewelry! "It's not that I generally dislike jewelry. I just don't get why so many people are overly obsessed with it! Especially diamonds. Women are always comparing the size of their rocks, trying to get new and expensive jewelry all the time, etc. It just annoys me. I am not into "stuff", I mean, I like clothes and nice comfortable things, but I don't care all that much about things I don't actually use. Jewelry to me is just "stuff" that doesn't mean much."
Reveal a secret about yourself that isn't in your Bio and that, perhaps, most people wouldn't know about you prior to this interview "I am obsessed with fudge brownies and my favorite movie is 'T2' :)"
Explain your love for The Beatles and how they made up your mind that
music (and America) was what and where it was to be for you "The Beatles were the first Western group I heard when I was in my early teens. Soviet government didn't really allow any foreign/non-Russian music in the country. Hearing the Beatles for the first time was something that changed my life forever. Their songs re-ignited my passion for music which I had lost for a while after my music teacher told me my own songs were "nonsense". It helped me start writing again and made me think globally. It even helped me learn English faster. Once I heard the Beatles, I started wondering what else there might be out there outside Russia."
Describe yourself in just three words "Passionate about life ... or, Passionate, neurotic, inspired."
Do you have any recurring dreams ... and nightmares?! "I do. Funny that you ask. I almost never have happy dreams. They are always nightmares. I have this recurring nightmare that it's wartime and I have to hide in the ruins from Nazi soldiers. They are getting closer and closer, and I somehow know *they* know I am hiding there. I get out and run, and end up jumping off a cliff before they catch me. I usually wake up with my heart beating like crazy. Sometimes it takes me the whole day to "shake off" the nightmares. They seem very real."
Finally, if you were locked into a studio and asked to make a song
with four other musicians (none related to the work you have done or
currently are doing), who would they be and what would the name of the song be?! "Two of the musicians would have to be McCartney & Lennon, the greatest songwriting duo that ever existed.
I wouldn't mind having Danny Elfman there to help with some amazing orchestral arrangements. My songwriting partner Nick Baker, my favorite person to write with, would also be there. And then I wouldn't even care what the song was about. I'd be happy to just be in that room with them :)"
Interviewed by Russell A. Trunk
To buy Marina's new CD Something of My Own or to simply find out more about her, just click this link and be whisked away:
To win your very own AUTOGRAPHED Something of My Own CD, just answer me this easy question: When is Marina's birthday? Then, just send an e:mail to me with the subject title 'MARINA' and the answer in the text to:
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