Anya Marina is a singer/songwriter who got her start in San Diego but has moved on. On to releasing four studio albums and opening for national acts such as Chris Isaak, Jason Mraz, and Paolo Nutini, and on to providing music for TV and movie soundtracks, such as Grey’s Anatomy, Vampire Diaries, How I Met Your Mother, and the new Judd Apatow comedy, Love.
But the former local radio DJ who once had to be begged to get up to perform at local open-mics says she owes her career to her local roots.
...official trailer featuring music by Anya Marina
“If it wasn’t for San Diego I never would have gotten into music,” says Marina. “I cut my teeth at my first open mics here at Java Joe’s and Lestat’s. I feel close to San Diego...that it even allowed me to figure out how I could even be a musician.”
Some of Marina’s songs, like “Miss Halfway,” talk about how she didn’t have the self-confidence to get up and perform.
Marina says two locals gave her the career jumpstarts she needed.
“Steve [Poltz] taught me so much. I used to be so full of doubt onstage. He taught me to edit myself between songs and that I shouldn’t talk so much about self-doubt. He told me I should be wild and irreverent and not squelch my natural goofiness. I used to apologize between songs, and he nipped that in the bud.”
And then there was radio boss Michael Halloran who brought her to San Diego by hiring her at two now-defunct stations (92.5 and 92.1) and then at FM 94/9 as one of the original DJ lineup when that station debuted in 2002.
“I was full of doubt. Halloran always told me I was better than I thought I was. I’ll never forget that we were driving on the freeway and he pulled over and he said, ‘God dammit, you just don’t get it. You’re the star.’ He got me to believe in myself and in my high, raspy voice...that no one else around was as fresh and weird as me.”
- Friday, February 12, 2016, 8 p.m.
9500 Gilman Drive,
After leaving San Diego, Marina spent time in L.A. and then Portland; she now lives in New York City.
Missing the broadcast thing, Marina went digital and launched the hourlong podcast We Know Nothing with comics Sam Morril and Phil Hanley. “It’s a fun, silly, everything-under-the-sun podcast about dating. We’ve done over 90 so far.”
Marina just released her fourth album, Paper Plane. She plays Friday at the Loft at UCSD.