For some, music is a hobby picked up one day after hearing an awesome song on the radio and air guitar just won’t cut it. For others, like Marina V, it’s a part of who she is from day one. “My mom says I started to sing before I learned how to talk. And I always remember having music in my head, composing melodies and hearing all of that,” Marina said in an email. “And one day I asked my mom, ‘Do you always come up with music in your head too?’ My mom said she never had that happen to her.”
Growing up in Moscow, Russia, Marina’s passion for music was always encouraged by her parents and brother. And her grandmother began teaching her how to play the piano when she was about five years old. Later, Marina’s mother enrolled her in a school of music, which she attended for eight years.
At 15, Marina spent a year in the U.S. after winning a scholarship for a study abroad program. When she returned home, the self-proclaimed Beatles fan spent the next two years working towards returning to America. When she moved to the U.S. to pursue her career in music, she received her first gig at a school talent competition. “I decided to sing one of my songs and I ended up winning the first prize,” Marina recounted.
“I received so many emails and comments from students and faculty about my song, saying how much it moved them, that it kind of helped me realize how much the music meant to me.”
Now Marina finds inspiration from everyday life, getting creative in the car, (which is good because she lives in L.A.) and then taking her melodies to her piano. Marina has written and released four albums including her latest, Modern Fairytale. In addition to touring and writing, she still finds time to live a healthy lifestyle too. On her website she links to various environmental websites and includes tips on recycling.
To read more about Marina V, check out the video and exclusive Q&A below.
– Christa Fletcher
Do you remember your first gig? How did you get it and what was it like for you?
Marina V: "In my first year in college we had a school talent competition, and I decided to sing one of my songs and I ended up winning the 1st prize. And I remember that I received so many emails and comments from students and faculty about my song saying how much it moved them, that it kind of helped me realize how much the music meant to me.
And that people connected with what I wrote! And the students ended up sponsoring my first CD, which was so cool!!! And I was totally broke at the time, so I wouldn’t have had the money to go into the studio any other way."
Do you have any special pre-performance rituals?
Marina V: "I try to get some time for myself and breathe, relax, stretch and gather my thoughts. I usually drink some hot ginger tea!"
Do you have any brothers and sisters? Are they into music too?
Marina V: "I have one brother who lives in Moscow. He’s not very much into music, although he supports me very much. He took a few years of classical guitar, and he was really good at that. I wish he’d continue playing! "
What’s your favorite candy?
Marina V: "I love TWIX although it has so many chemicals I try to avoid it. But it is truly my favorite! I also love Swiss milk chocolate."
What do you do for fun?
Marina V: "I love reading and working out. Also hiking and traveling. Yoga. Movies."
What's next for you?
Marina V: "I'm working on my next album currently, so I'm really excited! I have a tour schedule throughout the US in July and August. You can check it out at www.MarinaV.com."