[Interview] Marina Chello

On Wednesday, August 26th, 2009, I got the chance to speak to up and coming artist Marina Chello and get to know her a little bit better. Thanks to beE and the crew at Pop-Nation for grabbing this awesome opportunity with such a talented new artist!

Marina Chello is an refreshing new voice in an American pop market that is saturated in auto-tune and electro beats. Her tone is soulful, and is more of a throwback to the now somewhat vintage ballads of the 1990's, and the spotlight is clearly placed on her voice rather than an attention grabbing back beat. She can best be defined as a stripped-down classic pop/rhythm vocalist.

Marina first broke into the music scene a few years back, gaining friends and views at a rapid rate on her MySpace page and posting YouTube videos of her singing classic songs to rave reviews. This buzz lead to her being signed by a major record label this past year. Her older YouTube account is still available with five videos recorded two years ago, featuring Marina covering various songs by Andrea Bocelli, Celine Dion and Alicia Keys. (She told us her personal fave was "Vivo Per Lei" by Andrea Bocelli and Giorgia.) It's clear her r&B/pop sound has overarching classical influence, especially by such artists as Bocelli, opera singer Sarah Brightman and Josh Groban.

Marina recently signed with CrazyJoint Records, which is an imprint of the infamous Bad Boy Records group, helmed by music producer extraordinaire Diddy. While her stripped down sound may seem a bit of a different fit for Bad Boy, Marina emphasized to us that she feels she's in good hands with CrazyJoint, especially with its man-in-charge Harve Pierre, who signed her himself after viewing her MySpace page. She said she was proud of her musical family, emphasizing Bad Boy's clear experience in making music. "I'm in a good place."

Her first single is called "Sideline," and it's a beautiful, sweeping ballad. It's currently available for download at iTunes. Marina told us that after Pierre played the demo of the song in the car, she began tearing up. "That was the moment for me -- I had to have this song!" She also emphasized she felt it was a song that so many people can relate to for its heartbreaking lyrics. It's for these reasons that "Sideline" is her favorite original song she's recorded so far. "It's such a heartfelt, emotional song -- and it touches me so much."

Marina is still in the process of finishing her debut album, but hopes to have the finished product on hit the shelves in early to mid February 2010. So far, the biggest collaborator seems to be the incredibly talented Mario Winans, who co-wrote "What's Done Is Done", which is also available to your ears at Marina's MySpace and also at iTunes. Marina has already co-written several songs with him that she hopes will make the final tracklisting of her album.

One thing you probably didn't know about Marina -- she enjoys cooking for herself quite a bit. She is also a big fan of Maxwell's hit single "Pretty Wings". When asked if she could cover any song on the radio right now, she chose that one, stating hearing it in a female voice would be an interesting take. Personally, we think hearing a duet of the song with Maxwell and Marina would be pretty amazing, too! Don't you think?

Currently, Marina is working on finishing up her album, and will continue promoting "Sideline" to radio. Keep your eyes peeled for several to-be-announced radio shows featuring Ms. Chello soon. While you're "waiting on the sideline", you can follow Marina on Twitter, buy the song on iTunes, friend her on MySpace and check out the official music video below.


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