Mistaken Marina: Calgary musician's first song wrongly uploaded to pop star's Spotify

A Calgary social worker and "campfire folksinger" uploaded her first song to Spotify this past December, only to learn the music streaming platform had mistaken her for an indie pop star with 11 million monthly listeners.

Both singers have same name, one of them has 11 million monthly listeners

Marina GiaComin describes herself as a "campfire folksinger" which is why she was shocked to see her face all over Twitter after uploading her first song to Spotify. (Photo by Marina GiaComin)

The music that Calgary social worker Marina Giacomin's makes doesn't have a lot in common with that of indie-pop star Marina Diamandis, formerly of the band Marina and the Diamonds.

Giacomin's lilting country style differs from that of Diamandis — who now performs under artist name MARINA — and favours theatrical indie pop.

What they do share is a name.

Which is likely the reason the executive director of Calgary Legal Guidance found out her first song on Spotify was accidentally uploaded under the other Marina's name.

Marina the pop star currently has over 11 million monthly listeners on Spotify.

"One evening last week, I was on Twitter and all of a sudden my picture was showing up everywhere," said Giacomin on the Calgary Eyeopener.

"There were some comments around 'this is your most honest work ever' and I thought, 'what are these people talking about?"

Giacomin checked Spotify and sure enough, her song The Girl from the Sex Shop had been mistakenly uploaded to MARINA's artist page, and fans were aflutter.

She said she took to Twitter to clear up the confusion as much as possible. She also contacted Spotify about the mix-up.

'The Girl from the Sex Shop'

Giacomin, who describes herself as a campfire folksinger" first wrote the song The Girl from the Sex Shop 15 years ago.

It was inspired by events in her life.

"I was very brave one day and went into a type of store I don't usually go into and met someone there and decided I would ask her out on a date, she said,

"We fell in love."

At the time, the equal marriage act was being debated in Canada, and there were talks in Alberta of using the not-withstanding clause so that it couldn't happen.

  • LISTEN to the full interview here:
How a mix-up on Spotify gave a Calgary social-worker's song the biggest bump she could ever hope for. 7:36

"I was like, this is just my luck, I finally find someone I feel like I could marry and now I might not even be able to."

She said she put that feeling to music, with a bit of cheek, and entered the song into a contest the local pub Ship and Anchor was hosting.

"I entered it, and performed it at the Ship and Anchor and people sang along," she said.

"I thought that was my 15 minutes of fame."

Sex shop to Spotify

Fifteen years later and Giacomin decided to re-record the song with the help of a music recording engineer she met over the summer.

"He said, you know, you're pretty good, let's do a little album … what would be really great was if you had something original."

That's when Giacomin remembered the tune.

They re-recorded The Girl from the Sex Shop in February 2020, and in December she decided to upload it to Spotify.

She opted to just go by her first name, Marina, on the music streaming app, even though she said the sound engineer "thought it was very 70's."

Both Marinas are on Spotify as MARINA, in all capital letters, though it now appears the songs have been properly attributed.

Giacomin said she tweeted at Marina Diamandis about the mix-up, but never heard back.

Currently, Giacomin's first release has earned her nearly 1,200 monthly listeners.

With files from the Calgary Eyeopener


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