Mika wants to set the bar for fantastical, 3 dimensional pop at his own height. Which is over 6’ and statuesquely sculptured, since you ask.
Welcome to his world: where some louche dilettante is throwing the greatest party in the universe and everyone is invited under his very own cherry moon. Mika is a songwriter, performer, producer and orchestrator and he\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'s ready to unleash his debut album to the world. Both astonishingly musical and profoundly thoughtful, his tunes combine a heady euphoric rush with darker unexpected elements: daytime melodramas and night-time tales of love, loss, abandonment, hope and happiness. They all jostle together for attention, each one a pure pop golden nugget.
Mika is a true young internationalist. Born in Beirut in the middle of the 80s, Mika’s family soon found themselves having to move to Paris at the height of the war. When his father was subsequently taken hostage and held at the American embassy in Kuwait the family eventually settled in London. An inevitably turbulent experience for our young hero, he found himself bereft, lost in the chasm of a displaced upbringing. “It was the combination of moving as well as a horrible time I had at school in the first few years of living in London that lead me to forget how to read and write, and stop talking for a little while. I was pulled out of school for over six months; in order to sort my self out and find a new school. This is when music really became important. It got me back on my feet.” He says now that by the age of 9 he knew that songwriting was his destiny. The electric performances that would win over some of the most hardened musical ears on the planet would come later.
“After I started singing as a boy I started to get jobs everywhere. With the help of a terrifyingly tough Russian singing teacher, I got to be really good at professional gigs. I did everything from recordings with the Royal Opera House to the Orbit Chewing gum jingle. I\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'ll never forget calling up British Airways to get a ticket, only to be placed in a line, listening to my own voice. That was a painful 8 minutes. I think the other main reason for getting so much work was that I was insanely cheap! My mother and I had no idea what i was supposed to get paid, and no one was in a hurry to educate us. Looking back on it, i think 45 quid for the Orbit chewing gum jingle, could have been a little too cheap.”
A self-taught piano virtuoso, gymnastic vocalist and born entertainer, Mika has music in his bones and at a prodigiously young age he was ready to show out and let go. Mika wasn’t hunched over a radio under his bedclothes or seduced by the glitz of "Top of the Pop’s" on the TV screen when he had his first performance awakenings. Instead, he was catapulted onto the stage of a Richard Strauss opera at 11. David Hockney was pottering around at rehearsals in the background, with models, designing the set (Mika still has the poster for the opera on his living room wall now, signed by Hockney). After near complete social exclusion at school - “I wish I could say I was a self-imposed loner but it was imposed on me” - this was a life he fell in love with, instantly:
“It was a magical world that you could live in. A parallel universe for people that is illusory and enchanting and amazing.”
For the last 12 years of his life he has followed his maxim of a parallel universe to its natural conclusion and is now about to present his dynamic, idiosyncratic and unashamedly personal debut album. Brimming with brightly-hued melody, engaging hooks and a distinct lyrical style that speaks exactly and distinctly of its moment, he has finally been given an outlet for his unique vision.
“I grew up listening to every thing from Joan Baez and Dylan, to Serge Gainsbourg and Flamenco. My musical tastes have become more eclectic as I’ve got older, but I\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\\'m always going back to great artist songwriters, people who make great records to their own vision. Prince, Harry Nillson, Elton John, even Michael Jackson. These people make amazing pop records that couldn’t be performed by anybody else and that’s what I always wanted to do.”