Around my birthday last week (and the 1 year anniversary of our album BORN TO THE STARS) I started reminiscing about my life and about who I am. I ended up writing this on FB but then decided I'd post it here too. It's long (maybe 3 mins to read? does that qualify as long?) and personal. Scroll down below the photo collage (this is the insert of BORN TO THE STARS artwork + a photo of me as a kid + photo from last year celebrating the release of the album).
I grew up in a strange world because I lived through Soviet Union's collapse (and its consequences). We (pretty much everyone in USSR) were quite poor by today's American standards. Basically, we had very little. It's amazing to look back because life then was so incredibly different, as if it were a fictional world or a hundred years ago. Yet it happened in rather recent past. Like most people, I had 1 pair of jeans for 2 years (which never quite fit, as they were either too big or too short). 1 pair of shoes. 1 sweater. We hand-washed everything. We stood in line for any product you can imagine. I remember waiting in line for several hours to buy bananas (exotic product!) on a rainy September evening, and then we'd split each banana 5 ways (there were five of us living in our 3 room Moscow apt: my mom & dad, his mother, and myself + my little brother. 1 apartment for 5 people was actually quite a luxury!). We washed our hair with bath soap. Never went to cafes or restaurants (there were very few of those places anyway. The first time I encountered a waiter in a restaurant was when I was 15 when I came to the US and I had no idea how to talk to him, haha). But I had my family, a great school, and music and books. And nature. I wished for more food (we had desserts only on birthdays or holidays) and more clothes but, to be honest, I didn't feel poor.
Looking back I realize I've always been a dreamer and an optimist. A skeptical one, but an optimist nonetheless :) I hope I will always stay one and try to make the very best of everything this life brings my way.
I've taken my share of crazy risks and many leaps of faith, some of which have paid off and many of which haven't.
I've had my share of hardships (from fighting severe depression to being raped at 16 and keeping it to myself for two decades to having significant health issues in my 20s to major career letdowns, broken promises and dealing with several malicious music industry people) but I've had my share of lucky breaks too.
I've gotten to meet and know so many brilliant people (including the love of my life, Nick), I've been able to travel the world with my music (almost 1,100 concerts!!) and learn a great deal about life and about myself.
All of this is reflected in my songs, in subtle or straightforward ways
BORN TO THE STARS album is my artistic mission statement.
BORN TO THE STARS is who I am.
And BORN TO THE STARS music video features many of my friends who have lived amazing lives and taken similar risks and leaps of faith and didn't let any disappointments or obstacles stop their dreams. I admire these people tremendously. If you haven't seen the video, you can :) https://youtu.be/KEnZaoj2nnQ
Last week we celebrated 1 year anniversary of this album's release. I am so grateful to every person who helped make it, creatively and financially, and to all who purchased the album. You are amazing, my friends! Without you I couldn't continue doing what I do. Special shout out to our 2 SONGS A MONTH CLUB members for your continued monthly support.
And if you haven't bought BORN TO THE STARS yet - please do (or you can join our 2 SONGS A MONTH CLUB and get it as a gift). I don't mean to end this on a sales pitch (which I guess I'm doing, oops) but I can't say enough how important it is in this life to support artists and ideas and institutions and causes you believe in with your hard-earned money. Words are nice but when backed by actions they are truly powerful.
You can buy BORN TO THE STARS at www.marinav.com/music-store If it's a physical copy, I'll sign and personalize it for you:) and kiss and hug it. And send you a Russian postcard too:)
"We are, we are, we are
We are born to the stars, we are.
We are never to stop, never to stop
Even if it scares us
We are, we are, we are
We are given a chance, we are.
We are never to stop, never to stop
We are the only chance we've got"
Thank you for reading this, thank you for listening to my music and thank you for supporting my art.
and.... for those of you in Los Angeles.... my last (public) show of 2018 is Sunday, October 21st in Woodland Hills. It's sponsored by 88.5FM and is free and all ages. Details at MarinaV.com
Hugs and lots of love, Marina :)