When she was about ten, Marina decided to play a song of her own for her piano teacher, who scolded Marina saying that it was "simply nonsense". Too young to understand why, Marina didn't realize that the Soviet culture was not the perfect environment for an aspiring young artist with big dreams. She took her teacher's negative comments to heart and put her songwriting on hold. She turned to reading, skateboarding, torn jeans, karate and swimming, went figure skating in winter and often skipped her music classes. Then Marina discovered the Beatles. The Beatles invaded Marina's mind and she spent hours playing their songs on the piano and even more hours trying to find more Beatles tapes (which was quite difficult as Western music had just started to appear on the Russian markets). Marina did try to write a few more songs but was too self conscious to keep them.
Everything changed when Marina turned 15. She entered a national competition for a scholarship to study in the U.S.A. for a year and won, beating thousands of Russian peers. "I can't quite explain it, but I feel like I bloomed during that year in America." That was when Marina decided to move to America, by herself, and no matter the difficulties.
Marina had to return to Moscow at 16 only to find out her mom was moving to Australia and that her year of study abroad wouldn't count academically in Russia. To finance her trip back to the USA Marina took a job at a beverage franchise as a secretary and saved up her money while helping support her family and studying hard to finish high school.
At 17, Marina finally found a way back to America, but life was far from easy. "I had a lot on my mind. I felt very guilty about leaving my family and my country, I was very lonely and scared trying to adapt to the new way of life. I was commuting to college and working a few part-time jobs. I've had a number of terrible relationships & life-altering experiences of which I am not quite ready to openly talk about. Writing songs became my drug, therapy and my spiritual healer. It helped me come to terms with many things".
Soon Marina met Nick Baker, who inspired her to seriously pursue a career in music. She sold her pickup truck to buy a piano, and sang her songs for hours every day. Neighbors in her apartment building often came to the door to hear her play, which was at first scary but quickly became encouraging. At about the same time Marina entered her college talent competition, sang her original song "Leaving" and won first prize. After receiving dozens of emails and comments from students saying how much her song moved them, Marina finally decided to go into the studio and record her songs. She received so many pre-orders from students & faculty, that she was able to finance the whole recording session and to manufacture the CD (Let Me Dream). Her first show in a little coffeehouse in Jacksonville, IL, was filled to the fire capacity!
Marina & Nick started playing shows in Central Illinois & quickly expanded to surrounding states, but not without obstacles. The January 2001 CD release concert ended up just an inch away from tragedy, when the ceiling caved in, collapsing on top of the stage just a minute before Marina & the band would start the concert. (full story)
After exhausting their options in Illinois, Marina & Nick relocated to Los Angeles. "When I first moved to L.A., I didn't know ANYBODY. I couldn't even get a club show because all of the venues expected a certain 'draw'. Then I started playing Borders Books & Music & any other gigs I could get, and made fans one person at a time."
After sending hundreds of demos to the music industry, Marina caught attention of David Krebs, a renowned manager from New York, who's been involved in building the careers of Aerosmith, Trans-Siberian Orchestra and Don McLean, among others.
In April 2005, Marina released "Simple Magic", with two songs on the CD produced by Jack Douglas, a legendary record producer, whose discography ranges from John Lennon & George Harrison to Aerosmith. "As a huge fan of some of the artists Jack's worked with, I was honored to record my songs with him," Marina exclaims.
Marina has recently become an American Citizen, and celebrated with her fans at the Hotel Cafe in Hollywood. She has become a big supporter of the energy independence movement and is riding the clean vehicle wave with her Toyota Prius, whether on tour or at home in Los Angeles.
In Sept 2006, Marina released her first live album, "Live at SoundMoves", which was recorded in one session at a recording studio in front of Marina?s most devoted fans who sponsored the entire CD production. Marina performed 12 fan favorites - some solo and some accompanied by her band. For most fans, it was their first time in a recording studio, allowing them to get up close and be a part of the magic.
A self-described ambitious workaholic, Marina continues touring, writing & recording while looking for an artist-friendly record label. "I love writing songs and I really love performing them for my audience. I can't imagine a day without music. I will be doing this forever."