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Page last updated at 10:00 GMT, Thursday, 11 June 2009 11:00 UK
Marina comes out all guns blazing

By Damian Jones
Newsbeat reporter

The Greek goddess talks theatrical pop, female showdowns and frightening old ladies.

Marina And The Diamonds
Marina And The Diamonds recently performed at Radio 1's Big Weekend

Talk about timing. Marina And The Diamonds really couldn't have asked for a tougher entrance.

With La Roux, Little Boots and Florence And The Machine all jostling for this year's queen of pop crown, this theatrical songstress could be forgiven for feeling a little jittery.

"If people are good then there's room for everybody," the 23-year-old singer shrugs.

"I've been fortunate enough to miss any polls and award ceremonies this year so I can go at my own pace.

"They [Florence, La Roux and Little Boots] are so far ahead of me in terms of what they've done. I haven't even finished my album yet."

A year ago, Marina tongue lashed the first wave of female pop singers on her blog, shooting down the LDN crowd in a verbal flash.

Frustrated with being thrown in with the likes of Kate Nash and Lily Allen, the last thing she expected was for anyone to actually pick up on her angry musings.

Lily Allen
She once railed against Lily Allen and Kate Nash on her blog

"I so regret that," she says shaking her head. "As soon as the press picked up on it, I was like, 'oh what?'

"At the time I just felt really frustrated that I was getting grouped with these people but I really didn't think anyone would be listening.

"Afterwards I started thinking to myself, 'You have no idea what it's like to be in Lily Allen's position' and I'm sure I would probably be way worse. So it was a case of telling myself to shut up."

As for the new wave, Marina has nothing but love for her current pop peers.

"I'm a big fan of La Roux," she smiles. "I think her song writing is really good and her melodies are great. In For The Kill is brilliant and I'm really pleased for her."

Born in South Wales, Marina spent a clutch of her childhood years residing on the Greek islands before she flew back to London to try and break into the music industry.

"I just started doing literally everything, mainly really cheesy stupid things like girl band auditions." she grimaces.

"Obviously that got me nowhere and I was really frustrated that I couldn't write my own songs.

"I went to a vocal college, dance school and three other universities.

I'm taking my time getting my album right and I want to put something good out there
Marina And The Diamonds

"But it wasn't until five days after I quit university for the last time that things started to change and I got myself a manager who worked for 679 Recordings."

Within months she found herself signed to the home of The Streets, Mystery Jets and Little Boots.

"Up until then it was a really unstable time but over the last year and a half I've got it together and started producing my own stuff," she explains.

"Everything has become a lot easier ever since."

Anyone who caught her performance in the carousel surroundings of the Pavilion Theatre at The Great Escape last month will know that like Florence, theatrics are part of her DNA.

"I think that maybe is the Greek in me," she giggles, admitting that she does like to throw herself around the stage a little bit.

"No seriously though, that was brilliant that show even if we did have to keep the sound down a little bit.

"Apparently there was a granny across the road who said she'd call the police if it went above 85 decibels."

Her warbling feral pop vocals have already drawn comparisons with Gwen Stefani, who she often covers in her set, and the queen of theatrical pop Kate Bush.

"I'm massively flattered but I don't think people genuinely believe that I never actually listened to her.

"It was only when people started saying it that I started to buy her albums and realised she was a living legend."

La Roux
Marina said she is a big fan of La Roux

Marina is currently laying down tracks for her debut in the home of Sneaker Pimps star Liam Howe.

But she's waiting for the female pop cloud to settle before she pushes her record out into the open.

"It's about 70 per cent done and it's probably going to come out in January which I'm happy about because it was originally scheduled for October," she says.

"I'm taking my time getting it right and I want to put something good out there."

Before that though there is the small matter of Glastonbury.

"I've only been to one festival and that was in Reading about five years ago," she admits.

"So I'm really lame on that front but I'm really excited about it because I'm getting to go for free and getting paid for doing it."

Marina And The Diamonds' The Crown Jewels EP is out on Neon Gold on June 22.

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