Marina Verenikina

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Marina Verenikina
Marina V 2014.jpg
Marina V performing live at Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena California in 2014.
Background information
Birth name Marina Gennadievna Verenikina
Also known as Marina V
Born (1982-10-03) October 3, 1982 (age 33)
Origin Moscow, Soviet Union
Genres Pop, acoustic
Occupation(s) Singer, musician
Years active 1999–present
Website Marina V's Official Website

Marina Verenikina (known as Marina V) is a Russian-American singer/musician. She was born in the city of Moscow in the Russian SFSR to a nuclear physicist father and a child psychologist mother. She now lives in Los Angeles and tours internationally.

Early life[edit]

Marina V (Marina Gennadievna Verenikina) was born to a communist nuclear physicist father and a psychologist mother in Moscow, Russia. Marina started singing and writing songs at an early age. Her father Gennadiy Verenikin is of Russian descent and her mother Irina is half Jewish (her family came from Belorussia in 1870s). Marina's middle name means "daughter of Gennadiy". Marina started singing before she could talk, and writing songs at 4 years of age. Her mother arranged for formal music education, and Marina attended classical music school each day after the regular school, from age 6 until age 14 (she graduated summa cum laude). At age 10, Marina performed one of her original compositions for her piano teacher, who dismissed it as "nonsense".[1][self-published source?] Marina was discouraged and stopped writing for a while. At the time, the Soviet Union was falling apart and Western culture slowly started appearing on the market; therefore the only music Marina was exposed to as a child was classical and Russian folk songs. After a friend gave Marina a bootleg cassette of The Beatles, she was inspired to write songs again. She learned many Beatles songs, which also helped to improve her understanding of the English language.[2]

At 15, Marina won a national competition, beating over 100,000 peers, for a fully funded scholarship (Future Leaders Exchange (FLEX)/Freedom Support Act - sponsored by US Senator Bill Bradley) to study in the United States. After living in Springfield, Illinois for a year, she returned to Moscow, and started working to save enough money to return to the US, where she felt a greater freedom for individual creativity. At the same time, Marina learned that her mother was moving to Australia, and that the Russian school system would give her no credit for her time studying in America. After graduating from high school at 17, after saving enough money for a plane ticket, Marina returned to Springfield, where she enrolled at Illinois College. During this time she battled with severe depression, and began to write more and more songs about her experiences and relationships, channeling her emotions into music. She started performing during her freshman year, and started touring the Midwest. She graduated cum laude with a combined degree in international studies and economics-business and a minor in Spanish.[3][page needed]

Music career[edit]

Shortly after she turned 19, Marina met guitarist Nick Baker, who inspired her to take her musical talents seriously; she sold her pickup truck and bought a piano. She entered in her college's talent competition and sang her original composition "Leaving", winning first prize. She decided then to start recording her music and was able to finance a recording session for her debut CD Let Me Dream through paid pre-orders from students and faculty members. Her first show, at a coffeehouse in Jacksonville, Illinois, was filled to capacity. Marina and Baker began writing songs together and began touring around Illinois, enjoying considerable success. They decided to move together to Los Angeles, California where they currently reside. Virtually unknown in Los Angeles, Marina and Baker accepted any gigs they could find — including a successful tour of several Borders Bookstores[1][self-published source?] — and sent out hundreds of demos to anyone and everyone in the music industry. Eventually they caught the attention of David Krebs, a manager who has worked with Don McLean, Trans-Siberian Orchestra, AC/DC and Aerosmith, among others. In 2005, Marina joined forces with Jack Douglas, whose discography ranges from John Lennon and George Harrison to Aerosmith. Douglas produced two tracks for her Simple Magic album: "Underneath Your Sky" and "Killing My Dream".[1][self-published source?][4]

In Sept 2006, Marina released her first live album, "Live at SoundMoves", which was recorded in one session at SoundMoves recording studios in Burbank, CA, in front of Marina's fans who sponsored the entire production. In January 2008, Marina released "Modern Fairytale", recorded with Nick Baker, Marina's band & their friend/engineer Jared Brown at the home studio of legendary musician Graham Nash. In 2009, "Sunshine Guaranteed" from "Modern Fairytale" was featured on a popular iPhone game, Tap Tap Revenge2.

In January 2011, Marina and Baker released "My Star", produced by the Guy Erez (known for his work with the Gipsy Kings, Ryan Cabrera, Jennifer Love Hewitt). It was sponsored entirely by Marina's listeners. She raised $30,000 via One of the songs, "Killing My Dream", featured guitarist and former KISS member Bruce Kulick.

In Feb 2011, Marina and Nick were flown to London to receive an award from Bob Geldof for their song "You Make Me Beautiful", which was a Grand Finalist in the international song contest YouBloom.

In 2011, several of Marina's songs aired on NBC's soap opera, Days of Our Lives. In July 2011, Marina released an EP entitled "Small Collection of Interesting Songs", which featured 3 of the Days songs.

In December 2011, one of Marina's songs aired in an emotional Days Christmas episode, garnering significant attention to Marina's music from millions of fans around the world.

Marina's "Inner Superhero" album, was again funded by her fans, having raised $25,000. The video for the song "Hello," filmed in Marina's native Moscow, won the 2013 Entrepreneurs On The Move award. The album was unofficially released in 2013 but official release is scheduled for early 2016. According to a recent post from Marina V, a label deal is in the works.


  • Marina has received acclaim from numerous print and online publications; The Washington Post calls Marina's music "melodic and passionate"[5] Marina has been named as one of the "Hot 100 Unsigned Artists" by Music Connection Magazine and is a proud recipient of the ASCAP popular award three years running.[citation needed]
  • Marina's music has been licensed in film and TV, including MTV.[citation needed]
  • Marina's song "Pesnya o Tebe" appears in Direct Contact, a 2009 Danny Lerner film starring Dolph Lundgren.[6]
  • In 2006, Marina and Nick Baker toured the Czech Republic and Slovakia.[7]
  • She regularly performs at Hollywood's Hotel Cafe, and on January 15, 2008, Marina V appeared at the Kodak Theater for the North American Chinese New Year Festival.[citation needed]
  • In spring 2009, Marina's song "Sunshine Guaranteed" appeared on Tap Tap Revenge 2, a popular iPhone game
  • In November 2009, Marina's song "You Make Me Beautiful" was nominated for Hollywood Music Awards[8]
  • In March 2010, Marina released her new studio album, My Star. She raised almost $30,000 from her fans[9] to record it with Guy Erez (famous for his work with Gipsy Kings, Ryan Cabrera, Karmina, Keaton Simons, etc.)
  • Famed guitarist Bruce Kulick appeared on My Star as guest guitarist. Ryan Hoyle appeared on Marina's record as guest drummer.
  • Marina is a member of NARAS, SESAC, and the Grammy Museum.
  • In February 2011, Marina and Baker were flown to London to perform at YouBloom Awards, where she received an award from Bob Geldof for her song, You Make Me Beautiful
  • Marina and Baker wrote the theme song for the 2012 film "Truth About Kerry" (Best Original Screenplay at The Los Angeles International Film Festival)
  • Several of Marina's songs have appeared on NBC's famed show, Days of Our Lives. In July 2011, Marina released an EP, Small Collection of Interesting Songs, which features I Never Knew as well as two other songs that have appeared on Days. Marina herself appeared on Days on December 25, 2012, singing a Christmas carol with the cast


  • Frankenstein Theory, a 2013 release, features Marina's rendition of folk song, 500 Miles
  • Marina's single "Run" wins the Los Angeles Music Critic Award
  • In June 2013, Music Dealers music licensing agency announced that Marina's song (co-written with composer, Alex Kharlamov) will appear on Sony Entertainment TV Russia throughout 2013
  • The video for Marina's song "Hello" won the 2013 Entrepreneurs On The Move award.
  • In September 2013 Marina's song "Begu" is featured in a Lifetime TV Movie "Taken: The Search for Sophie Parker"
  • In October 2014 Marina appeared at The Grammy Museum [11]
  • In December 2014 Marina wins the Hollywood International Entertainment Award which recognizes artistic achievement & outstanding careers.[12]
  • In January 2015 Marina appeared on the cover of the Russian Chicago Magazine [13]
  • In March 2015 Marina released her first Tour Documentary, "Enjoy The Ride", filmed during her 2014 U.S. Summer Tour, C Minor To Shining Sea [14]



  • Simple Magic (2005)
  • Marina V : Live at SoundMoves (2006)
  • Russian Bootleg (2006)
  • Modern Fairytale (2008)
  • My Star (2011)
  • Small Collection of Interesting Songs (2011)
  • Inner Superhero (2015)


  • Enjoy The Ride: A Tour Documentary DVD (2015)


External links[edit]