A little over a week ago, to a full room at the Aqua Lounge, with her fiery red hair, Russian born singer songwriter Marina Verenikina (aka Marina V) performed a quick set with her three piece band. Her band (a guitar, and a base) basically provided support and space for her emotionally laden vocals (yet sometimes whimsical lyrics) and keyboard play. Marina V's unique journey from Russia to Los Angeles as noted in her biography, and her tireless efforts to persevere and make it in the difficult business world of music make her one to keep an eye on as she continues to get licensing syncs, generate fan support and self release additional albums.
Below is some Q & A with Marina V defining her sound, detailing some of her accomplishments to date along with some of what she's learned along the way thus far on her musical journey. (All still photography by SHGfoto).
EXAM: If you had to make a 15 second pitch, how would you describe your sound, and what sets you apart from other musicians?
MV: If The Beatles and Tori Amos had a child raised in Russia by Tchaikovsky that would be me!
EXAM: If you had a little more time to elaborate to go into detail, how would you answer this second question above, as to what sets your and your sound apart from other musicians?
MV: My Russian background definitely affects my music, and having grown up solely on classical and Russian folk music. I heard the Beatles when I was 11, but didn't hear jazz, blues, or other bands until I was 15 or so..
EXAM: Also how did your musical training affect your sound?
MV: I went to a classical school of music for 8 years, and while I don't think it affected me, it gave me deeper understanding and appreciation of music!
EXAM: Which specific musicians from these eras or styles have impacted your sound the most?
MV: I am a huge fan of the Beatles, but more specifically, of Paul McCartney's melodies and chord progressions.
EXAM: Do you also write songs for other artists?
MV: I haven’t written for other artists, but I have written for TV shows and specific projects. It's so much fun!
EXAM: If yes, have you had any placements?
MV: I've had my songs on several NBC's "Days of Our Lives", as well as in a few indie films and a recent action movie starring Dolph Lundgren.
EXAM: What are you doing differently to then all the other musicians out there to promote yourselves and set yourselves apart?
MV: My fans are my most important ingredients in my music career. I always take the time to write to fans and to say hi after the shows.
EXAM: Have you toured regionally or nationally?
EXAM: if yes, what did you learn about these cities and venues that would help you the next time you visited them?
MV: Quite often, a fan writes to me asking to perform in their town, and I often write back asking if they would be interested in helping me organize a show. It has happened many times and I'm incredibly grateful to my fans! I have recently toured Portugal and France thanks to 2 of my fans who hosted me and my co-writer, and the also booked all the shows!
EXAM: Are you working with a producer?
MV: Guy Erez, great producer in Hollywood, just produced my new album.
EXAM: If yes, who is he and who else has he produced?
MV: Gipsy Kings, Ryan Cabrera, Jennifer Love Hewitt, many CBS Records artists, etc
EXAM: How are you funding your production costs?
MV: I have raised almost $30,000 from my fans, via my own website marinav.com to make this album.
EXAM: Are you a full time musician?
EXAM: What are your dreams?
MV: To get as many people as humanly possible to hear my music!
EXAM: Any endorsement deals?
MV: I endorse Yamaha pianos, Audix microphones, and TC Electronics vocal harmonizer Harmony G.
EXAM: Thanks for your time
MV: You're welcome