A Diamond in the Rough

It’s easy to compare Marina Diamandis to the wave of female singer-songwriters recently emerging from the United Kingdom. But the Welsh-Greek performer isn’t cut from the same cloth as Lily Allen or Kate Nash. “I think the only thing I have in common with them is that I’m female,” Diamandis said while calling from New York. Diamandis, who will perform with her band, the Diamonds Friday at World Cafe Live, is on the money. Her pop-rock bears her own sonic signature. Diamandis, 24, crafts quirky, stylish, celebratory tunes. The cuts from her latest album, the winning ‘The Family Jewels,’ features irreverent and eccentric songs. “I think what I do is unique,” Diamandis said. “I would call it experimental pop. I’m not following a certain type of music or walking in the footsteps of a particular artist. I’m just doing what moves me.” Her keyboard-driven songs range from stylish ballads to inspired glam-rock. The songs are catchy but there’s an edge to most of the cuts. That’s not surprising considering the source of Diamandis’ inspiration. While coming of age, Diamandis grew up on a steady diet of rock-pop rebels. “I always loved Fiona Apple,” Diamandis said. “I could always relate to her. But I also loved PJ Harvey and Patti Smith.” Each of those influences is a strong-willed, unpredictable female songsmith. “Apparently there is a connection there,” Diamandis said. “Because I have to get what I want when it comes to how a song is written or a performance. I will not compromise.” Diamandis always wanted to be a singer. “That’s what I wanted ever since I was a kid,” Diamandis said. “I was obsessed. I had to sing professionally. It didn’t matter that when I started I was terrible. I moved from Greece to London when I was 19 and I began writing more. I became a better singer. I saw that my dream could be achieved. I’m getting there but I’m still trying to get better to be the best that I can be.” There’s no doubt that the charismatic and attractive Diamandis has plenty of stage presence. She was one of the most impressive performers at the annual music confab, South By Southwest, six months ago in Austin. “I take a lot of pride in performing,” Diamandis said. “When I get up there, I want people to remember the show. But that’s not all. I’ve always been ambitious and that hasn’t changed. I want to make music that will have a huge impact. I’m compelled to make the best songs possible.”

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