Moscow-born Marina V spins out fresh pop-rock gems
Classically-trained keyboard whiz
Hailed by major publications, Russia native gains momentum
She is a classically-trained pianist who was born and raised in Moscow.
Marina V has evolved into a singer-songwriter on the rise in the world of young, emotive pop music.
“I studied opera for a little while in Russia,” the mezzo soprano said in a May phone interview. “I even know how to direct a choir.”
With a new album titled “Inner Superhero” to promote, Marina V performs 7 p.m. Sunday, June 12, at Chicago Street Theatre, located at 154 W. Chicago St. in Valparaiso, Ind. Tickets are $20; www.chicagostreet.org.
Her website -- www.marinav.com -- notes that she is a self-described “musical love child of the Beatles, Tori Amos and Tchaikovsky.”
Marina Gennadievna Verenikina put her creative roots to work by writing several songs for television's “Days of Our Lives,” an NBC soap opera.
“ ‘Days of Our Lives’ is a long-running, successful wonderful show that’s kind of very much part of the American culture, so on that level, I’m just proud to have been a part of it,” Marina said.
Keeping the momentum going, Marina’s “Unleash Your Inner Superhero” summer tour is gliding through American stops before taking off internationally.
“I’m going to spend the whole month of July in Germany, Denmark and Netherlands,” noted Marina, who plays guitar and ukulele, in addition to piano.
Peppered with original and accessible pop-rock tracks, “Inner Superhero” is ready to unfurl its upbeat sheen to the record-buying public.
“The album will be out officially on iTunes and Amazon and all of the digital outlets in July,” Marina said. “I am so proud of this album, and I would love to have it on the radio -- several songs are perfect for the radio. I’m optimistic and hopeful.”
At home in the adult-contemporary genre, a cut from the album titled “Enjoy the Ride” shows off what The Prague Post called “the voice of an angel.” (Her tour documentary DVD bears the same title as the song.)
Meanwhile, “Say Hello” is a track with a jaunty edge.
Nick Baker, Marina’s husband/co-writer, thinks his wife has the type of stellar attributes that set her apart from other pop artists.
“She kind of has that ‘it’ factor,” said Baker, who plays guitar for Marina at her shows. “She’s an amazing songwriter. She’s a great live singer. She sings in English, as well as Russian.”
That bilingual quality is put to use on a cut from her new album that is called “Begu” -- a dance-friendly selection featuring Marina’s breathy vocals that send out lyrics sung in Russian.
As far as commercial potential, “Speak” seems to radiate possibilities as a single, as its lyrics shift from angst to shouts of survival and independence -- all accompanied by rolling-piano streams that have a mesmerizing quality.
According to production information supplied by Marina, the 12 songs on “Inner Superhero” were all written by her and Baker, with the exception of “Wind of Change,” which was composed by Klaus Meine, lead singer of the Scorpions (“Rock You Like a Hurricane”).
Stating that she is now an American citizen in her early 30s, Marina struck out on her own at an early age.
“I was 15 years old when I came to the United States, but nobody from my family came; I won a big scholarship from the American government,” said the California resident, who lives just north of Los Angeles.
Upon first arriving in the states, it was the Midwest that became her home when she lived with a host family in central Illinois while studying under terms of her scholarship.
“I came as a student,” Marina said. “It certainly made me grow up fast and get to know myself; it was as frightening as it was exciting.”
Marina has gone on to fashion a career that includes working with John Lennon’s producer, Jack Douglas, and being recognized by the L.A. Music Critic Awards.
Additionally, she has written ad music for the likes of soft-drink giant Pepsi, while also snaring exposure for her songs on TV networks that include Lifetime and the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN).
Another favorite artistic platform for Marina has been Valparaiso’s Chicago Street Theatre, which welcomes Marina June 12 to its intimate Edith B. Wood Studio Theatre.
Having been booked there multiple times, Marina lauds Chicago Street’s friendly atmosphere and its history of bringing live-performance music to Northwest Indiana.
Her official biography indicates that her following has been directly involved in her progress, having “played an instrumental part in her success” by “sponsoring the creation of all of her albums.”
She attests to being the recipient of “a lot of love and support from my listeners.”