I was just wondering what to do with myself and thought I could give it a try with a german-english translation
Gold-boy in his adolescence
On his second record "The boy who knew too much", the most colourful of all pop stars says good bye to nursery rhymes and takes a step towards being a matured (?) song writer. But it's very likely that he will still polarize.
TBA: "The Boy Who Knew Too Much" is your second record now. Are you a grown-up now?
Mika: (laughs): I'm just a few years older now. The songs of my first record were sprinkled with farytales and nursery rhymes. It was a record on which I travelled back in my childhood and it was also some kind of embracing the world through which all the light came. The second album is about being a teenager, about a time in which the door to my room was locked.
TBA: And we're taken behind the scenes now?
Mika: Exactly! It was very hard for me, to deal with that texually. I had to go back into a very private, irritating phase of life, I didn't even allow my family to take part in it. That's why the songs are more personal now. There are less characters like Billy Brown, I'm talking more in the first person now.
TBA: But who is the ominous Dr. John?
Mika: When I was a teenager, I was very shy and a day dreamer. I even dreamed up relationships... Dr. John did just exist in my fantasy and I talked to him. Do you know the film "Donnie Darko" in which somebody talks to his rabbit? Dr.John is some kind of my "Donnie Darko"-rabbit! The movie is a perfect image of my adolescence.
TBA: Were you even more annoying as a teenager than now?
Mika: (laugs) Darling, what I do, that's not annoying! But I'm proud if I polarize. Of course, as a teenager I didn't push that. I wanted to be loved and I wanted to be part of the others. But because I wasn't, I wrote pop songs. At least I could imagen to be popular this way.
TBA: What's your most shaping memory from that time?
Mika: In school I was an outsider, I was labeld as "different". But then the day came when I got the part as grand marshal in a theater production from "Cabaret", I played it so excessesivly and controversialy, I thought they would definitely devastate me now. But it had the reverse effect. The people who alwys have been mean to me, watched me and they applauded, they couldn't deny that I was good. This has nearly been a shock to me and I realised: Oh my god, you can exist under your own condition!
TBA: Does succes make one more self confident?
Mika: Oh, no. Succes doesn't make you more self confident. Succes makes you question everything even stronger. Just by doing that, you can see who you are. And I don't want to let the succes define myself.Quite the contrary, I want to define my succes
TBA: And what if people are overdone with your exaggerated colourfulness and attitude?
Mika: I knew, if I wrote another "Lollipop", with the same perspective and the same technices, my carrier would be over.It was clear in my mind, that I had to take that, what was good about my way of writing songs, the melodies, the happiness on my first record, to make something new of it. But I'll never do anything else than pop music. And I'll never be sorry for that!
TBA: Did your music change its colur?
Mika: Definitely. I always think visually while writing songs.At my debut I see black outlines coloured with orimary colours, that come directly from the tube. You can't do somethig like that twice. That's why there are more layers of colour now, less clean but more interesting.
TBA: But there isn't the possibility that you'll do a black and white video and say good bye to your colours?
Mika: (laugs) Never! I guess my love for colours comes from my libanese background. If a disaster happens, everybody is screaming and crying. And 15 minutes later somebody will put on some music and everybody will be jumping on the tables, dancing and crying at the same time. I grew up with that.
TBA: Is this fantasy world, that you are creating with your illustrations and your live shows like your persona Neverland?
Mika: In some way. But answering to such a question is very dangerous...
TBA: Because one associates Michael Jackson and less nice things with it?
Mika: His Neverland stood for a youth that was far away from reality. I don't like that. I use childhood and adolescence to get a more dark, more serious and even a more daring message across, not to run away. In doing so it doesn't matter whether it is about sex, pain or loosing your self confidence. For the same reason I love all these old disney movies. There was the good and the bad, there was the upcoming destruction, technically made in a very clever way. Everything that came later than the 60s was a bit too happy in my opinion.
TBA: So escapism through music is no good?
Mika: That's what I think. When people ask me whether my music is some kind of escaping from reality I tell them: Pop music is not there for escaping. Pop music makes people feel good, depending on how they cope with their life.
TBA: Your colourful music also hides the fact that the lyrics are often quiete dark.
Mika: Exactly that's how I do it. In my adolescence happiness was connected to music. So music was a happy place. But my lyrics stand for the reality. Combined, this is a very exact description of my life as a teenager.
TBA: How did your room at that time look like?
Mika: Very tidy. Except for the drawers, they were all very untidy. I never had posters of celebrities on my wall. That would have been too exposing for me, too dangerous. Everything that meant something to me, I wrote down in notebooks or I recorded it on tape. Or I shared it with my piano. I never was interested in singers, only in songwriters.
TBA: You are wearing a blazer in the colours of the rainbow, is this your coming-out now?
Mika: What does a coming-out mean exactly? For who do you do something like that? And why? For people to know with whom you slept with and when? In adolescence sexuality is one of the most impotant discoveries-trying out what makes you happy. But this is not about labels...
TBA: Could you look at your reflexion in the mirror?
Mika: No, not at all. I didn't like anything. I wanted to have a more muscular body. I wanted everything I hadn't, proberly like everybody on this planet. Today my attitude is: **** it! For my single "We are golden" I made a video in which I'm just wearing white boxershorts and golden shoes and am dancing in front of a mirror. Abandoning as many complexes as possible gives you a feeling of strength.
TBA: Why are we golden?
Mika: I just thought about a sentence I would have liked to write onto a bathroom door as a teenager: "We are not what you think we are, we are golden". I f such a long album title would have been possible, it would have been these lines.
TBA: For your album you worked together with the Andrea Crouch Gospel choir who also sang on Madonnas "Like a prayer". You even meet here while recording in Los Angeles?
Mika: I had 20 minutes with her! I feared she was crusty, cold and embittered. But she was everything I would not have excpected her to be: tough, funny, sharp-tongued, cool and bustling. She is pop! Without fatigue. I find that extremly inspiring.
TBA: What links you with the tattletale Perez Hilton? It seems you are a very good friend of him although you are keeping your privat life privat?
Mika: He's so funny and so fascinating. I f you look at the celebrities I'm friends with, like Lady Gaga or Beth Ditto, these are all extrem types of peronalities. People that carried it to extremes for something they believe they are. You could never confuse them with somebody else. That's what I love about my collection of beautiful freaks (laughs). They stayed as amazing as they were before. They survived their teenage years where everybody gives you that feeling of needing to change but they refused to be somebody else. Everyone of my friends is like that even most of them aren't famous. And in real life Perez is quite an adorable person.
Interview by Katja Schwemmers
Wusch, ok, I know there are a few mistakes but I have to say that some sentences sound quite strange in german and sometimes I had to guess what the translator meant by some strange words