Martika

Marta Marrero was born in California in 1969 and, as is the way of these things, found herself on the Disney Channel at a young age. She also appeared in Mr T's "Be Somebody or Be Somebody's Fool" video in 1984, alongside Fergie from Black Eyed Peas (obscure!). CBS somehow spied a future star, and Marta became... Martika! A legend was born.

The "Martika" album was a global success in 1989, spearheaded by the ace and mature single "Toy Soldiers". 'Tika then decided to release a trillion singles off the album, making hits of tracks like "I Feel The Earth Move", "More Than You Know" and "Water". The future seemed indubitably shaped like Martika and her big eighties hair.

Enter waning pop "oddity" prince and his kidnapping of Dame Tune from under Martika's button-like nose. The pint-sized legend decided to write Martika's next album, and it was therefore a weird concepty thing called "Martika's Kitchen" with a Picasso-styled arty cover and songs called things like "Do U Love Me?" on it. The record flopped in the US charts, was a moderate hit elsewhere, but very rapidly faded from memory, the title track and "Love... Thy Will Be Done" being the only significant hits.

Martika's agent suggested film soundtracks might be lucrative, so she wrote "Blue Eyes Are Sensitive To The Light" (say what, love?) for the hit teen-flick "Arachnophobia", only for the films producers to decide they didn't like her vocals and replace her with Sarah Hickman, a lost singer no-one has ever heard of.

After a minor role in US Cop Show "Wiseguy", Martika then vanished down the back of somebody's sofa, never to be seen of again. Or at least until 1997.

A "Best Of" re-ignited interest in Marta towards the end of the nineties, and shortly afterwards a few songs were recorded for release through martika.net, including "The Journey" and the promise of a new album was "nigh". Alas, "The Journey" mustered only 5000 hits as a free download. Nobody wanted her new songs, even though they were free! Nobody loves you Borad! Martika.net closed down, the website destroying itself through sheer shame.

In 2004 she started a Goth-pop group with her husband called "Oppera" - oh go away! But in 2005, Emimem sampled "Toy Soldiers" and the stage was set for a Dido-like renaissance. But instead of coming over to the UK, promoting like a bastard, and re-issueing the original single, Marta made a second Oppera album instead, the fool. She's now back living where she belongs, in Obscurityville.

The "Martika's Kitchen" Sheet Music is available, creating possibly the least wise way to spend £13 ever. The album itself is on "Buy It Now" for fifty pence (that's the CD version). You can also go on Oppera.net and buy lots of shitty CD's, but you don't really want to do that. Not least because all the images are missing, suggesting that Martika has forgotten to pay her line rental.

In goth-band Oppera, today. Oh, grow up!