Marina and the Diamonds vs. Katy Perry

In a new interview with Pop Matters, Marina and the Diamonds rambled on about what an emotional struggle it was for her to tour with Katy Perry because Perry’s music isn’t as real or credible as hers, but that Perry is still an amazing person and maybe one day she’ll become the kind of true artist that Marina is.

PopMatters: Thank God for the internet. Now a tricky question: a lot of people were surprised when you opened for Katy Perry last year. Naturally, it makes good sense for exposure, but many would argue she’s a strong example of what’s “wrong” with the music industry today: an almost cartoonishly-attractive woman with a voice that wouldn’t get her past the first audition rounds on American Idol who is about to dethrone Michael Jackson for most number one singles because of a slick writing and production team—including Dr. Luke, who produced your single “Primadonna”—and the gift of auto-tune. Your records both pretty blatantly critique this very thing. How do you reconcile the content of your music with the choice to go on that tour?  

Marina: It’s quite a controversial question and maybe the answer I’m about to give is as well, because it really was quite hard for me to make the decision. 

I had been kind of rallying against that [very thing], and I had to ask myself why I was doing the tour. [Katy] asking me to support the tour really made me question a huge amount of things I had been thinking about music. I was one of those people really who was like ‘oh this kind of music is not good, it doesn’t have weight or credibility.’ But I don’t think that’s something she’s ever claimed to have. 

And I think people who love her know that she is a real artist, maybe just not in the way you or I think of it. And also, let’s not forget, she’s only on her second album. You don’t know, in ten years what kind of music she’ll be making. 

So I kind of weighed it up and thought, well, the thing that’s stopping me from going is that I feel slightly hypocritical. And then the thing that makes me want to go is that I think I should go, and kind of challenge my own previous beliefs. So I did go. And it did change a lot of things for me. Not necessarily her and her show, but just the whole experience of it. And yeah, I think she’s fabulous. I think she’s fucking excellent at what she does. I don’t think career wise we’re on the same trajectory at all, though.


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