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im generally a curious person, and i was sort of wondering what some of mika's songs mean. i know lollipop was like a message to his sister, and grace kelly was a screw-you to the music industry etc etc...

 

but what about:

over my shoulder?

ring ring?

any other world?

erase?

stuck in the middle?

 

does anyone know/have any guesses about the meanings? hehehe :blush-anim-cl:

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im generally a curious person, and i was sort of wondering what some of mika's songs mean. i know lollipop was like a message to his sister, and grace kelly was a screw-you to the music industry etc etc...

 

but what about:

over my shoulder?

ring ring?

any other world?

erase?

stuck in the middle?

 

does anyone know/have any guesses about the meanings? hehehe :blush-anim-cl:

 

Over My Shoulder is about a break-up(apparently)

Stuck In The Middle seems to be about an argument or fall-out of some sort.

Ring Ring,They're being phone-stalked by an obsessive gf/bf

Erase,trying to make the person who split up with them have second thoughts,but if they don't have second thoughts,"might as well put your finger on the button..."

Any Other World...?

 

This is just what I think.I could be terribly wrong.:blush-anim-cl:

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I think he said something once about how Any Other World deals with how quickly "the world you thought you lived in" can change - taking Raffa as an example, one minute she was living her regular life - not long after, she was down a husband and an eye.

 

I think Stuck in the Middle is another identity mad song - only more so about identity in the context of familial relationships, whereas Grace Kelly is more about the music industry, specifically.

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I think he said something once about how Any Other World deals with how quickly "the world you thought you lived in" can change - taking Raffa as an example, one minute she was living her regular life - not long after, she was down a husband and an eye.

 

I think Stuck in the Middle is another identity mad song - only more so about identity in the context of familial relationships, whereas Grace Kelly is more about the music industry, specifically.

 

i thought stuck in the middle was along the lines of him being the middle child and how hectic it was that he was mayb invisible, but idk

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i thought stuck in the middle was along the lines of him being the middle child and how hectic it was that he was mayb invisible, but idk

I think STIM is more about his family, and that he's the middle of five children. I think it's really a coming-of-age-song though, and being stuck in the middle could also mean that ,when he thought up the idea of the song, he felt he was between being an independant adult, and a child who still needs reassurance and to feel he is loved for who he is, not how his parents would like him to be.

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im generally a curious person, and i was sort of wondering what some of mika's songs mean. i know lollipop was like a message to his sister, and grace kelly was a screw-you to the music industry etc etc...

 

but what about:

over my shoulder?

ring ring?

any other world?

erase?

stuck in the middle?

 

does anyone know/have any guesses about the meanings? hehehe :blush-anim-cl:

 

I think over my shoulder is about a depression of some sort. That feeling of anxiety that can totally overwhelm you... ´

 

Ring ring must be about an obsessive ex-lover, as someone else said. I get the feelign that someone is trying to control him in every aspect of life, used to love me now you hate me, see I drove you crazy and that "play me like a kid with a crown"-thing... The ex is way too controling, and wants some parts of him but not the whole mika. hahaha. omg fuzzy...

 

Erase must be about a broken relationship. They broke up, and he is telling his ex lover to forget him. egoistic I think :P.

 

Stuck in the middle!!! That song that song that song. It's just unbeliveble. For me it feels like beeing really really angry with the place you have in the family, and also beeing norty and slightly mental at the same time. I sit and think about the day that you’re gonna die. Just the thought is incredible forbidden. It must be about a family member or family members who just controls him all the time. And also about the univertsal wish to be loved for the person you are, and not the one your parents expect you to be.

 

I think any other world is about the dream of beeing in another world, an utopita where people are gentle to each other. haha. the wish to flee, to be be somewhere else, to not be bound to this sometimes unbeareble world.... It's all in the hands of a bittet bitter man. I think he thinks the world is occupied by people who are like that sentence.

 

I get so involed with music... and he loves metaphores and it feels he wants one to think of them, his music should not be that easy.

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okay, this was my take on Any Other World, we had to do a 'song analysis paragraph' for english class and i did that song. I'm not sure if i was right, but that is how i looked at the song: (ignore the poetic device crap)

The song “Any Other World” by MIKA is about someone who is trying to move on with life as well as finally beginning to understand its meaning. The person just can’t seem to move on with his life and forget his past. Eventually this person realizes that he must be mature and finally face the reality that he has been so long repelling through his childhood and also remember that everyone must get through hard times in order to get stronger. Though life can sometimes be hard to understand, and it would be much easier to live a life with no tragedy or fear, this is the way life is and you should be optimistic and look on the bright side of situations. The artist’s tone in the beginning of the song is sad, depressed and un-hopeful. This mood is shown by the words and phrases like “broken remnants”, “bitter,” “goodbye,” “alone,” “lonely,” and “lonely heart”. But then towards the end, it is like the song turns around and suddenly the artist is optimistic about life. This optimism is represented by words and phrases such as “smiled and tried to mean it,” “take a bow,” and “give up my defenses” (As in he is finally facing reality, not that he is being defeated.) The artist uses poetic devices such as “bitter, bitter man” which is like a metaphor to represent fait and future. He also uses internal rhyme with the words “part” and “heart” and somewhat with the words “hands” and “man.” (He doesn’t pronounce the “d” in hands) The last poetic device used is alliteration which is used with the words “play,” and “part.” This song by Mika is definitely one of my favorite “slow songs” because it is so beautiful and meaningful to me.

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okay, this was my take on Any Other World, we had to do a 'song analysis paragraph' for english class and i did that song. I'm not sure if i was right, but that is how i looked at the song: (ignore the poetic device crap)

The song “Any Other World” by MIKA is about someone who is trying to move on with life as well as finally beginning to understand its meaning. The person just can’t seem to move on with his life and forget his past. Eventually this person realizes that he must be mature and finally face the reality that he has been so long repelling through his childhood and also remember that everyone must get through hard times in order to get stronger. Though life can sometimes be hard to understand, and it would be much easier to live a life with no tragedy or fear, this is the way life is and you should be optimistic and look on the bright side of situations. The artist’s tone in the beginning of the song is sad, depressed and un-hopeful. This mood is shown by the words and phrases like “broken remnants”, “bitter,” “goodbye,” “alone,” “lonely,” and “lonely heart”. But then towards the end, it is like the song turns around and suddenly the artist is optimistic about life. This optimism is represented by words and phrases such as “smiled and tried to mean it,” “take a bow,” and “give up my defenses” (As in he is finally facing reality, not that he is being defeated.) The artist uses poetic devices such as “bitter, bitter man” which is like a metaphor to represent fait and future. He also uses internal rhyme with the words “part” and “heart” and somewhat with the words “hands” and “man.” (He doesn’t pronounce the “d” in hands) The last poetic device used is alliteration which is used with the words “play,” and “part.” This song by Mika is definitely one of my favorite “slow songs” because it is so beautiful and meaningful to me.

 

You put that in words so well!:thumb_yello::wub2:

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ok so what about the spoken words at the end of ring ring. i read this article, which explains the speech in any other world, but ring ring is still a mystery...?

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About Stuck In The Middle: Yes. I think it´s something like go out of childhood. "Looking at life from the perspective of a boy

Who’s learnt to love you but has also learned to grow."- like he is talking to mother. Hehe... how say it? I feel it like that emotion when you are between childhood and adulthood but they other (family?) can´t realize it.

 

Em.. heh... It´s from the perspective of a girl who can´t speak english :naughty:

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Ah don't worry I know exactly what you said! You speak English well. Not entirely correct (:naughty:) but who cares right?!!!

 

 

Oh, I´m glad :D Thank´s...

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okay, this was my take on Any Other World, we had to do a 'song analysis paragraph' for english class and i did that song. I'm not sure if i was right, but that is how i looked at the song: (ignore the poetic device crap)

The song “Any Other World” by MIKA is about someone who is trying to move on with life as well as finally beginning to understand its meaning. The person just can’t seem to move on with his life and forget his past. Eventually this person realizes that he must be mature and finally face the reality that he has been so long repelling through his childhood and also remember that everyone must get through hard times in order to get stronger. Though life can sometimes be hard to understand, and it would be much easier to live a life with no tragedy or fear, this is the way life is and you should be optimistic and look on the bright side of situations. The artist’s tone in the beginning of the song is sad, depressed and un-hopeful. This mood is shown by the words and phrases like “broken remnants”, “bitter,” “goodbye,” “alone,” “lonely,” and “lonely heart”. But then towards the end, it is like the song turns around and suddenly the artist is optimistic about life. This optimism is represented by words and phrases such as “smiled and tried to mean it,” “take a bow,” and “give up my defenses” (As in he is finally facing reality, not that he is being defeated.) The artist uses poetic devices such as “bitter, bitter man” which is like a metaphor to represent fait and future. He also uses internal rhyme with the words “part” and “heart” and somewhat with the words “hands” and “man.” (He doesn’t pronounce the “d” in hands) The last poetic device used is alliteration which is used with the words “play,” and “part.” This song by Mika is definitely one of my favorite “slow songs” because it is so beautiful and meaningful to me.

 

I get exactly what you are saying, but I think he is going further than just moving on in life... More into taking his own life.

 

Take the line "Cos it's all in the hands of a bitter, bitter man", I think this is in relation to god in many ways, certainly to the Christian god, looking down on his people who have left him and have turned to the path of the christian devil Also, from a down and out perspective, god could look like an extremely bitter old man fairly easily...

 

Furthermore, the lines "So I smiled and tried to mean it, To let myself let go" could mean letting yourself go from this world, leaving the mortal coil. I think this is furthered by the lines in the first section "In any other world, You could tell the difference, And let it all unfurl, Into broken ruminants", possibly referring to the blood from wrists unfurling in the water of a bath.

 

The finality of this piece is definitely in the "say goodbye to the world you thought you lived in", which to me means that the person is saying their final goodbyes to the world that they used to think that they fitted into, with the references of "take a bow" possibly meaning that everything that this person has done in their life has been an act, cemented by the line "play your part".

 

The constant reference to the smile is, I think, a final part of playing the character, trying to show that while you have had enough of the acting and the playing of the part, of the depression from being "a lonely, lonely heart" that the world has not won, and that in the end, you were smiling.

 

Or maybe I'm on something... Well, we sure as hell know its not prozac!

 

ttfn,

badspyro

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I get exactly what you are saying, but I think he is going further than just moving on in life... More into taking his own life.

 

Take the line "Cos it's all in the hands of a bitter, bitter man", I think this is in relation to god in many ways, certainly to the Christian god, looking down on his people who have left him and have turned to the path of the christian devil Also, from a down and out perspective, god could look like an extremely bitter old man fairly easily...

 

Furthermore, the lines "So I smiled and tried to mean it, To let myself let go" could mean letting yourself go from this world, leaving the mortal coil. I think this is furthered by the lines in the first section "In any other world, You could tell the difference, And let it all unfurl, Into broken ruminants", possibly referring to the blood from wrists unfurling in the water of a bath.

 

The finality of this piece is definitely in the "say goodbye to the world you thought you lived in", which to me means that the person is saying their final goodbyes to the world that they used to think that they fitted into, with the references of "take a bow" possibly meaning that everything that this person has done in their life has been an act, cemented by the line "play your part".

 

The constant reference to the smile is, I think, a final part of playing the character, trying to show that while you have had enough of the acting and the playing of the part, of the depression from being "a lonely, lonely heart" that the world has not won, and that in the end, you were smiling.

 

Maybe it's just the way I look at this song, but I see it in an almost political way x if you think about Raffas words and our boy being shifted from country to country as a youngster it makes sense x in many parts of the developing world people are killed, hurt or displaced by regimes that always seem to be led by some guy with a monster chip on his shoulder x people try to make the best of their situations and live as well as they can in alien surroundings x

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I didn't catch the meaning of my happy ending,but I guess its talking about dreams about love or something like that?

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For me... any other world is about someone who is lonely but realizes that he needs to be happy and more open towards other people because "lonely is so lonely" - this is why he needs to smile and try to mean it, because other people like people who are happy and smiling. And he realizes that ok, maybe he is not always happy, but he must pretend it to have more friends. And "in any other world you could tell the difference" means for me that in any other world we shouldn't preted to be happy to get more friends. And the bitter, bitter man is God. This is just how I feel... but this is my favorite song, anyway.

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im generally a curious person, and i was sort of wondering what some of mika's songs mean. i know lollipop was like a message to his sister, and grace kelly was a screw-you to the music industry etc etc...

 

but what about:

over my shoulder?

ring ring?

any other world?

erase?

stuck in the middle?

 

does anyone know/have any guesses about the meanings? hehehe :blush-anim-cl:

 

Over My Shoulder

Mika recently revealed that this was how he was feeling when he kept getting rejections from record companies. (I swear that's what I heard, anyway) He wrote the song when he was 16 years old and said it was the best song he wrote at that time and that's when he started to write better music.

 

Ring, Ring

To be honest, I think it's pretty self explanatory. He got involved with someone who was way too possessive and obsessive (I don't know whether it's a real life story or just a fictional one). "Sitting on the fence" means you're not really sure what to do, what side to choose. "And I thought that I would kiss you, I never thought that I would miss you. But you never let me fall, push my back against the wall. Everytime you call you get so emotional, I'm freakin' out." Basically he liked them at first, but instead of being allowed to "fall in love" at his own pace the person rushed into things too quickly and therefore became needy and was constantly on his case.

 

Any Other World

This song is linked with Raffa's story, a Lebanese woman who was due to wed but was jilted at the Alter, and then lost an eye from a bomb a month later. You could say the song was about war - there's no difficulty in imagining that Mika got the inspiration from the people that were affected by the war in Beirut - so it's about living a pretty acceptable life then having it taken away from you. "Cos it's all in the hands of a bitter, bitter man. Say goodbye to the world you thought you lived in." It's about your life meaning so little that your life is in the hands of others - one act played by the person in charge of the war and could affect you so much. Take Raffa's lost eye for example, or so many people's stolen lives. Or even Mika, as he had to flee his home country when he was just a year old. Saying goodbye to the world you thought you lived in means change. Something that used to mean so much to you now means something entirely different.

"So I smiled and tried to mean it and let myself let go" just means persevering, trying to put it behind you and get on with your life.

 

Erase

It's about a break up. There's a mixture of emotions in this song.

Insecurity: "I shouldn't have called so late last night, all insecure, out of my mind. I shouldn't have left that message on your phone. I shouldn't have said the things I said, looking for love we left for dead in a grave without a stone." (that last sentence means that something ended without a finality. I think.)

Wants to forget it ever happened: "As soon as you hear my voice, don't hesitate: put your finger on the button.""When the pain won't go away, you might as well put your finger on the trigger."

Denial/Anger: "Erase my love. I bet you can't Erase my touch. Cos you're trying to replace a feeling without a name with somebody elses face in your head."

Nostalgia: "Everything's cool, the rent is paid. The house is clean, your bed is made. But it's a ghost-town in your mind. We never had time to go to sleep, we'd wake up tangled in the sheets on a bed that we called home."

 

I really like the song but there are several people that don't, including Mika himself LOL. But that's basically it.

 

Stuck In The Middle:

It's a song about trying to get through to someone who disagrees with you or won't listen to you. Pretty much.

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I didn't catch the meaning of my happy ending,but I guess its talking about dreams about love or something like that?

 

I saw Happy Ending as a break up song, but Mika said that when he was in Los Angeles he saw so many homeless people, and he wrote the song about them but I don't see the relation to that at all.

 

"This is the way you left me, I'm not pretending

No hope, no love, no glory, no happy ending

This is the way that we love, like it's forever

Then live the rest of our lives, but not together"

 

It sounds too personal and about two people rather than a bunch of strangers without homes. Even the verse lyrics suggest that's it's about a relationship gone wrong. "Two o'clock in the morning, something's on my mind. Can't get no rest, keep walking around. If I pretend that nothing ever went wrong I can get to my sleep I can think that we just carried on."

 

The best part of this song for me is after the second chorus when "Little Bit of Love" starts. Because...isn't that what everyone wants? Hearing it at gigs is incredible, because we're shouting it in unison, as if we're giving Mika and each other exactly what we need. And then BAM...the chorus comes back to kick us in the teeth, really let out the bitterness, anger and depression that's inside of us and you just really bash it out...because everyone's been hurt at some point...whether it be from family, friends or loved ones...it's like everyone understands how everyone feels...and it's one of my favourite performances. And then it all quietens down with the last chorus and I don't know about anyone else, but I get emotionally exhausted at the end :naughty: But it really lets the dust settle. :wub2:

 

It really is one of my favourite songs, but what I love about it is that I think anyone can relate to it.

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I saw Happy Ending as a break up song, but Mika said that when he was in Los Angeles he saw so many homeless people, and he wrote the song about them but I don't see the relation to that at all.

 

"This is the way you left me, I'm not pretending

No hope, no love, no glory, no happy ending

This is the way that we love, like it's forever

Then live the rest of our lives, but not together"

 

It sounds too personal and about two people rather than a bunch of strangers without homes. Even the verse lyrics suggest that's it's about a relationship gone wrong. "Two o'clock in the morning, something's on my mind. Can't get no rest, keep walking around. If I pretend that nothing ever went wrong I can get to my sleep I can think that we just carried on."

 

The best part of this song for me is after the second chorus when "Little Bit of Love" starts. Because...isn't that what everyone wants? Hearing it at gigs is incredible, because we're shouting it in unison, as if we're giving Mika and each other exactly what we need. And then BAM...the chorus comes back to kick us in the teeth, really let out the bitterness, anger and depression that's inside of us and you just really bash it out...because everyone's been hurt at some point...whether it be from family, friends or loved ones...it's like everyone understands how everyone feels...and it's one of my favourite performances. And then it all quietens down with the last chorus and I don't know about anyone else, but I get emotionally exhausted at the end :naughty: But it really lets the dust settle. :wub2:

 

It really is one of my favourite songs, but what I love about it is that I think anyone can relate to it.

 

Just wanted to let you know, I love what you said about Happy Ending and i totally agree!!! Same feeling about this song here. My favorite "live song" in a Mika concert because with the "little bit of love" part it creates a certain connection between Mika and the crowd. And to hear thousands of people sing it, it gives me shivers every single time!

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All Mika songs have already been discussed in detail and you will find at least one link for each of his songs, just type in the name of the song in the Advanced Search option and choose the TITLE and THREAD search functions.:wink2:

 

Mika also explained what most of his songs are about. For the LICM songs it was published in early 2007 in an article in The Sun, for TBWKTM there were small videos of him explaining how he wrote some of the songs. We were discussing these on MFC, too

 

There is no ultimate answer but if you look for and read the thread itself, you will get some good ideas that can help your own interpretation.

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To me - though this could be completely wrong - stuck in the middle has always been about family to me. I've always seen it as about parents/older siblings, where being the middle child comes in?

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okay.. this is my opinion of all the songs in Life In Cartoon Motion. my mum always asks me what the meanings are, and when i explain she thinks my explinations are awesome.

 

Life In Cartoon Motion:

 

Grace Kelly-Mika wants to become someone else, and he is confused about who he is, and what he should act like. He wants people to listen to him.. 'i wanna talk to you' and when at the end when the women and Humphrey leave he feels like he's finally made someone listen to him... 'Kerching!'

 

Lollipop- Mika is talking about not rushing into love, and that you should let love find you, otherwise it will 'get you down'. He's also saying you should talk to your parents about love and relationships because they can help you in difficult situations, like love.

 

My Interpretation- Mika wants the person concerned to forget and move on, he doesnt care if he 'ever talks to you again' and he doesnt want any contact with that particular person, because it is making him upset and slightly angry, and this song is his 'interpretation' about the situation.

 

Love Today- Mika wants people to Love him, although he finds it hard to say so. He's just come out of a depression 'ive been crying for so long, fighting tears just to carry on, but now they've gone away'. In his lyrics he talks about what seems like a a person whos slept around 'you can tell shes getting something other than the love from her mother'. This song may relate to the fact that he said he wouldnt limit who he's slept with.

 

Relax- Again, Mika seems like he is depressed 'im screaming for help', but he cares about the person who is the main focus in the song 'relax, take it easy'.

 

Any Other World- This song is very sad, and I think Mika's purpose is to say that people can wreck other peoples lives. For example, the man in this song, wrecked the ladies life 'all in the hands of a bitter, bitter man', and that is unforgettable. Mika could relate this to his life, as he ovbiously feels hurt by someone who has betrayed him, and he feels like that person has ruined his life.

 

Billy Brown- This song is like Grace Kelly, but Billy Brown does not know his true feelings and tries to settle down with a family, but his real feelings come out and he finally tells his wife that he's gay 'then Billy Brown fell in love with another man'. This could also relate to Mika in the sense that he is uncertain about his sexuality, and he's scared that he may fall in love with that doubt in his mind.

 

Big Girl- In this song, Mika is saying that everyone is different, but they are beautiful in there own way, he uses 'Big Grils' as an example because they could doubt themselves at some point in there life. Mika is also different and has had a different life, but he understands that he is also special in his own way, and he wants people to understand that.

 

Stuck In The Middle- Mika is saying in this song that he feels 'stuck in the middle' and doesnt know where to turn. The song could also relate to a member of his family 'i sit down and think about the day that your gonna die', the fact that the lyrics say 'are 5 kids better than one' could mean he is slightly jealous, about his other 4 siblings, and he may have wanted to be the only child, although he does love his family.

 

Happy Ending- This song is very interesting, someone in his life has left him really unhappy, and he 'stumbles on his life'. He also wants someone to love him, but he feels like no-one does 'can't get no love without sacrifice'. This song may be also about a break up between someone (man/woman) and he cant stop thinking about them, this may be causing him to 'feel if he's wasting everyday'. All he wants is a 'little bit of love'.

 

Over My Shoulder- Mika seems very depressed in this song, and his drown

his sorrows, the repitition of 'drunk' shows this. He also seems 'lost' and doesnt know what to do with himself.

 

Ring Ring- This song seems to talk about a break-up, and it seems clear Mika has experienced one, and is taking it very badly. The person was very obsessive with him 'is that you on the phone?' 'the way you spin me around' means that the 'lover' is playing games with him, and this could be percieve as his lover is possesive.

'why wont you just leave me alone, hang up the phone, just let me go' This may also mean that he is trying to move on and forget but he cant because the 'lover' wont leave him alone.

 

Overall, I think most of these songs are about love that has gone wrong, like a break up etc.. in most of these songs Mika seems angry and confused to why the 'lover' broke up with him. He thinks he cannot love again, or would find it very hard to. These songs are also about him drowing his sorrows because he doesnt know any other way he can forget about the person. The person he is singing about Mika must have loved very much, because i cant get from the majority of these songs that his heart was/ and still is broken.

 

I hope this has helped people. If i seemed to have got any opinions wrong, please talk with me, as i'd love to hear your point of view.

 

CrazyChloe15 xxx

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Here are some of the songs explained by Mika himself.

(It is from the song files thread I mentioned a couple of days ago. I might bump some of these threads later as they seem to be difficult to find by new members.)

 

MIKA ON 4MUSIC: 4PLAY: MIKA

Friday 02 February 2007

------

Mika talks to 4Music abaout some of the songs on his debut album "Life In Cartoon Motion" - interspersed by extracts of songs performed live.

--

LOVE TODAY

People have a hard time trying to place my music and they always ask me, you know, “What do you do?” and I always just to say I make Pop music. But if I had to sum up my sound, you know, in a phrase I would, you know, call it hyper-psycho-babble pop’. Yeah. (laughs) That’s as close as I can get to a description anyway.

I wrote ‘Love Today’ when I was really happy and it’s kind of a command for getting everyone to feel the same way that I was feeling. At the same time it tells really odd little stories about all these different kinds of people and everyone’s trying to trying to find love, and everyone’s trying to, you know, find love or sex. But whatever way they go about it, everyone’s looking for the same thing.

People have been comparing me with so many different artists. One name that keeps coming up is the Scissor Sisters, and people compared me to Queen and Freddie Mercury, which I think is an honour, but also terrifying. You know, I think Freddie Mercury was a genius, musically and technically.

I think the best word to describe my musical influences is “psychotic”. (chuckles) It goes a little bit everywhere. I’m the worst person to play music at a party because I’ll always piss off a certain group of people. I’ll play some really hip, you know Cornelius electro music from Japan and then the next track I’ll play will be some kind of vintage original Disney recording. And that’s kind of found it’s way into my songwriting.

 

LOLLIPOP

I had a lot of trouble at school when I was younger. It got to a point when it was really bad. That led to me being taken out of school for about 6 – 8 months. I didn’t have anything to do during the day so my mother found me a Russian singing teacher. Her name was Alla, and she would terrorise me into practising, and it was the best thing that ever really happened to me. It was really hard. She trained me like an athlete. I didn’t realise what was happening at such an early age. I was about 11 years old.

Within a couple of months of doing that I got my first gig, which was in the chorus of a Strauss opera at the Royal Opera House.

In this other world you didn’t have to deal with reality in the same way that everybody else did and all the weird things about you actually became special and so I kind of really took to that kind of atmosphere.

I first wrote ‘Lollipop’ as a message to my little sister, basically telling her not to go and have sex too soon and to stay away from the big, bad boys, because, you know, they only want to take advantage of you and you should be a lot wiser and, you know, it’s only gonna get you down.

I wanted to empower that message and make it really, really simple, and of course play with it and make it dirty by using he euphemisms, and I kind of did that by making it almost like a nursery rhyme.

It’s just kind of gone down so well live. I never would’ve thought that I would’ve been closing a gig with the lyrics “Sucking too hard on your lollipop. Hey love’s gonna get you down.” I mean, it’s ridiculous.

I worked on the artwork with my sister. She goes by the pen name Da Wac. I started working on the visual aspect of the record about a year before I actually made it. I hadn’t chosen a producer yet and I was walking into the record company and going “Look, this is what the album’s gonna look like and I’ve come up with cartoon characters that are based on my songs”, like Billy Brown is a little cartoon character and Lollipop Girl’s based on ‘Lollipop’. I’m fascinating with the way you can deal with subjects in cartoons.

The characters can deal with pretty much anything and get away with it because they simplify things. They make them funny and they make them accessible. I think that pop songs have a similar effect and can be used for the same reasons.

BIG GIRL (YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL)

I wrote ‘Big Girl’ at 2.30 in the morning and I wrote it in 15 minutes. I couldn’t sleep so I turned on Victoria Wood’s documentary about fat people in the United States, and she went to this place called the Butterfly Lounge, which is a real bar in Costa Mesa, just outside of Los Angeles and it’s the first size acceptance nightclub ever in the world, and I just saw the images on the screen. I muted the sound and I wrote the song ‘cos I felt like they needed an anthem and I really felt that I was the person had to do it.

 

GRACE KELLY

‘Grace Kelly’ - I wrote it a couple of years ago as a little ‘screw you’ song to the people that I was working with – this music company in London. They wanted me to write songs just like everybody else, so I was furious. I went home and I wrote ‘Grace Kelly’, as you know, as a rant against them, but about 2 years later to have it do so well and to have it released as my first single, we all know who’s laughing now. (smiles, raises eyebrow)

My album has a kind of coming-of-age to it. I deal with the law of transitions - transition stories in a way on the record, except I connect – hype them up to a level where they’re almost unreal, and THAT is the cartoon quality which I refer to in the title of the album Life In Cartoon Motion.

What’s in the future for me? I’ve absolutely no idea. I really wanna be in this for the long term. I think there’s so many fine musical things that you can do when you have the right support behind you and I hope that I can keep getting that support to make records with the same amount of freedom that I got to make this one with.

END.

 

from March 2007

 

MIKA - Life in Cartoon Motion

Rating - 4

SO Mika, how does it feel to be No1 with Grace Kelly?

“Slightly surreal!”

How has your life changed?

“It’s all gone Willy Wonka!”

How would you sum up your sound and style?

“Psychobabble, schizophrenic, hyper-pop!”

To say that Mika is excited about the success of his all-conquering new single is putting it mildy.

But, as SFTW discovered this week, the tousle-haired dandy has also got his feet firmly on the ground.

“I would be lying if I didn’t say it feels equally scary and amazing,” he says. “Although it looks like things have happened quite quickly, they’ve been in the works a long time.

“I’ve got a lot of music to deliver over the coming months and that’s what I am looking forward to. Playing the album live through the rest of the year hopefully means there’ll be a few more people along for the ride.”

“It was weird when I found out I was No 1. It was like an unreal dream.”

Grace Kelly is an insanely infectious song that fits into a grand glam-pop tradition, a little bit Freddie (Mercury), a little bit Scissors, a little bit Elton.

 

 

Mika ... life has gone 'Willy Wonka'

 

“It’s funny because it’s a song I wrote on my piano at home in about 15 minutes and its still so weird and exciting to hear it on the radio let alone having other people buy it! It’s all got quite silly so I’m just going with it and having fun.”

Ultimately, the song the work of a singular, refreshing new talent, justifying “saviour of pop” claims. Furthermore, his debut album Life In Cartoon Motion (out Monday) is loaded with future hits.

There’s been much talk of the 23-year-old’s upbringing, first in Lebanon, then Paris, then London, but SFTW set out to get to the heart of his music.

What, I wondered, did he make of the comparisons with those greats of popular music?

“Actually, Harry Nilsson is my musical hero. I’m completely obsessed with his early work. Its often overlooked but its absolutely amazing, whimsical, funny, dark, childish yet fully grown up. He’s definitely an inspiration.”

As for being mentioned in the same breath as icons like Mercury, he says: “When you come from nowhere, people have to compare you to something and I’m just glad I’m being compared to people I really like.

“I aspire to the musicianship of a band like Queen, to be compared to Freddie Mercury in any way is a huge compliment. I’ve seen some similarities but I think its still early to make definitive comparisons.”

It all seems light years from the day Mika was rejected by Simon Cowell who even told him to stop writing. He has few regrets though:

“You really have to give him proper respect for what he’s been able to achieve. He’s a pop marketing genius.

“But would he have been the right person to make the record with me? Absolutely not! And I’m thankful I never had the opportunity.”

Another key aspect of the Mika package is the stunning visuals on his singles and album and on the official website.

 

 

Album ... Life in Cartoon Motion

 

He says: “I developed it very early on with my sister, pen name DaWack. I was inspired by artists who create their own visual world like Bowie and Prince. Back then album artwork was so important.

“These days you pick out albums and you can tell the artwork was designed to a formula — nothing to do with the musicians, just a means of packaging.

“I didn’t want it to be about packaging. I wanted it to be very much part of a whole visual world completely linked to the music.”

So was it Mika’s mission to shake the pop world up a bit? “My only mission is to have the freedom to make the records – I have no mission in terms of what other people are doing.

"The only thing I didn’t want to be when I started was another singer-songwriter looking at his shoes making nice music for dinner parties.”

Here, in his words, Mika guides us through the ten tracks of Life In Cartoon Motion.

Grace Kelly

I wrote this song as a little sticky to the music industry a couple of years back.

I was working with a big music company in London that wanted to mould me into what they felt would turn me into a commercial success, which was Craig David at the time.

They told me I needed to make a record more like what everyone expected pop records to be — and be like Craig David.

I knew that would lead to complete disaster. So I came back home and I wrote Grace Kelly that night. From that point on, I made a decision to write in the way I wanted to and not how someone else told me to.

Lollipop

This was a message to my little sister, telling her not to have sex too soon — because it would mean something very different to guys than it would to her — and so be very careful.

But I had a lot of fun getting my message across in the melody and lyric!

The little girl is my cousin, one of the most hilarious girls I have ever met. So when the opportunity came up to use a child’s voice in Lollipop she was the only person I had in mind.

I put her up in a snazzy Hollywood hotel and she was completely spoilt for about four days, like a true star.

 

 

Grace Kelly ... written in 15 minutes

 

My Interpretation

This is a break-up song. It’s hard to write this sort of song. They often sound quite fake or trite so I guess I’ve Mika’ed it up so it still sounds like a good song with a darker lyric.

 

Love Today

I was really happy when I wrote this and when I’m in that kind of mood I always hope everyone else feels the same way.

Everybody is looking for the same thing — to love someone and be loved back. Or just to get laid. It all depends on how you look for it.

Love Today captures that, the euphoric feeling you get when those things go right.

 

Relax (Take it Easy)

I always wanted to write a dance song that wasn’t a really full dance track, that felt organic. So when I came into producing Relax I made sure that most of the sounds we used were actually made by real instruments.

We used some great session musicians who had worked with Quincy Jones and Michael Jackson.

And we picked up the strangest pedal combinations to get all these weird sounds.

It’s really effective . . . you can’t tell if it’s a full dance track or really laid-back. It feels a bit weird electronically.

The organic-ness gives a more classic field to it. So it was one of the harder tracks for me to produce, but also the most rewarding.

 

Any Other World

There is a little spoken introduction that many people may miss.

It’s a family friend of mine who lost her eye during the war in Lebanon and I realised in everyone’s life their comes one point — or several points — where something happens and you have to completely change the way you have lived your life because of one event.

And it really makes you readjust and rethink and rejudge parts of your life all over again.

That happens to some people in a dramatic way like Rafa who lost both her eye and her husband within six months. Or it can be in a much quieter way like when you are 22-years-old and you finally leave university after being in education all your life or when you lose your job.

 

Singer ... obsessed with Harry Nilsson

 

I wanted to put that in the song, because when you’re 68 or 14, it’s still the same feeling and it’s still just as hard.

I wanted to try to capture that quite difficult period that people have to go through at least once in their life.

 

Billy Brown

I just thought it was a brilliant story to put into a pop song — the idea of a man leaving his wife for another man. I really don’t know why it hasn’t been done before.

When you’re writing songs, you always want to play with intrigue and you always want to pull certain strings. The point of writing pop music is that, in a way, you can write about anything.

And it’s amazing how many younger listeners really love it and really identify with this little character Billy Brown, this cartoon character.

A few of my cousins are all around 12 to 15 years old. This is their favourite song. They find it funny and sweet.

 

Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)

I was flying to Los Angeles and I can never sleep because I hate flying so much.

So I was watching trashy television, it was two o’clock in the morning, a Victoria Wood documentary on Channel 4.

It was about fat people in the United States and she visited a club called the The Butterfly Lounge, which was the first place of its kind, a club for larger women to hang out in.

Skinny women were not being allowed in. The women were amazing and I absolutely felt as if I had to write about them.

I muted the television and wrote it straight away.

I never expected it on the album, but a few weeks later we recorded it and it’s now there.

So it is one of my favourite tracks and brilliant to play live. Everyone sings along!

 

Stuck in the Middle

(Mika wanted the story of this song kept a secret but here is SFTW’s view).

 

With its honky-tonk piano and bouncy tune, perhaps the nearest song on the album to the work of Mika’s hero Harry Nilsson.

Clearly the lyrics are very personal to the singer, stuck in the middle of something turbulent but, for the listener, open to interpretation.

 

Happy Ending

It’s about a few things. In a way, it’s a kind of sad break-up song like My Interpretation.

But, at the same time, it’s about a lot of other things.

 

Mika On 'We Are Golden' and 'The Boy Who Knew Too Much':

 

"(We Are Golden) is such a good starting point for the story I'm telling on the record. It's about my feelings I had when I was a teenager, and no matter how bad anything got, I always turned towards music to make myself feel like I was worth something. My second album is about feeling comfortable with the fact that I write my kind of pop music, and not apologising about anything, and in the process enabling me to drop so many of the complexes I've had over the past few years, if I'm dancing around in a bedroom on my own for my music video, it's for a reason, especially if I'm in my underwear, it's for a reason, it's a statement on my part saying, "you know what? This is how I got here, and this is how I'm gonna celebrate the fact that I am here, and keep doing what I wanna do, for the reasons that I started doing them in the first place."

 

Mika on "Toy Boy":

 

'I read this interview with Paul McCartney once and he said how he always likes to combine dark lyrics with happy sounding music and he called it empowerment, and I clung to that theory and one of the people I'm really influenced by, Harry Nilsson, in a way to me is the ultimate master of doing that, very dark twisted lyrics, but with the most embrasive, almost nursery rhyme like meloldies, and it really hits you harder, it exaggerates everything really. I guess I like to combine quite dark or bitter sounding lyrics, lyrics that are quite tied down to realistic situations, but then combine it with really happy sounding music, really joyful sounding pop music, and it's that combination that I think is becoming a bit of my signature in songs.'

 

Source: The album's 'Making Of' interview.

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