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Attitude

https://attitude.co.uk/article/mika-goes-cruising-in-his-new-video-for-single-sanremo-watch/21982/

 

Mika goes cruising in his new video for single 'Sanremo' - WATCH

 

The new video was directed by W.I.Z

2019-10-08
 

Words: Steve Brown

Mika goes cruising in his new video for his latest single ‘Sanremo’.

 

The new single comes from Mika’s brand-new album ‘My Name is Michael Holbrook’ and in the new video – directed by W.I.Z - we see the singer/songwriter leave his wife and daughter to visit an underground gay cruising area where a sailor is seen pour milk down over men.

W.I.Z told Billboard: “[The clip takes place in] an era when homosexuality, if not illegal, was socially unacceptable, a time of discrimination and persecution.

“‘Sanremo’ represents his utopian dream, a fictional place of liberation and transcendence.”

Mika, who has appeared as a judge on The X Factor Italy and The Voice France in recent years, is set to return to London next month to play a show at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire, before embarking on a Europe-wide series of shows as part of his not-so-tiny 'Tiny Love Tiny Tour'.

 

The album is Mika’s first full-length record since 2015's No Place in Heaven.

Watch the video to the new single below:

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EQ MUSIC

https://eqmusicblog.com/watch-sanremo-mika/#

 

Watch “Sanremo” by Mika

October 9, 2019
 

I hadn’t realised how special, the Mika track “Sanremo” is until I checked out the accompanying music video. The single released in support of the singer’s fifth studio album “My Name Is Michael Holbrook” is unlike anything he has touched upon before. The track is tender, with a gently swaying melody and breezy synths. It has a sophisticated elegance and shows Mika under a different light to that which we have come to know. Don’t be too quick to adjust your expectations of this track, because the famous Mika sparkle, definitely, still exists.

For the album “My Name Is Michael Holbrook,” Mika intended to write about life as it happened. Commenting it is

“a sort of album, made in ‘real-time.’ It’s an explosion of joy, colour and emotion even though it was born in one of the most challenging periods for my family and I. Writing and recording this album was a form of medicine for me and my family. It is so, deeply personal, but also universal.”

 

 

He really, couldn’t make a bigger statement, than that which he brings to the spotlight via “Sanremo.” The WIZ directed video footage gets straight to the heart of what Mika wants to express. The clip purposefully shot in black and white for an added vintage feel shows the singer lovingly saying goodbye to his wife and child. There is a sadness in his eyes throughout this solemn exchange. Handily there is a narrator on board to fill us in on the true essence of the unfolding story, which in turn opens up a discussion focused around attitudes to homosexuality during the 1950s. The clip then goes on to follow Mika as he ventures out into the Italian city where he explores these desires further.

We are used to seeing distinctive, videos from the singer, “Sanremo” has a different kind of boldness to anything Mika has put out before. It is touching and tender, brings deep feelings to the surface and is an incredibly affecting watch.

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3 hours ago, mellody said:

Retweet by Mika:

 

I hope we'll be able to watch the show here in a few days:

https://www.itv.com/hub/lorraine/1a9360a2513 (although it seems it's only viewable from the UK).

Did any of you watch it this morning? Any news in this interview?

Here is their YouTube channel, hope it will be upload.

Lorraine

https://www.youtube.com/user/lorraine/videos

 

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Lorraine

on 10 October 2019

 

 

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5 hours ago, Kumazzz said:

Lorraine

on 10 October 2019

 

 

 

 

I wonder what is on the other side of the Attitud cover that Mika don't want to show to his mom ????:das:

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Thanks a million Eriko :hug::flowers2:I really wanted to see it so much.

 

Edited by crazyaboutmika
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Daily Mail

Scotish Daily Mail

Irish Daily Mail

 

Published: 01:57 BST, 11 October 2019 | Updated: 01:59 BST, 11 October 2019

 

MIKA: My Name Is Michael Holbrook (Virgin EMI)

Verdict: Confessional comeback 

 

Mika topped the charts with his debut album and was subsequently crowned best breakthrough act at the BRITs, but has largely disappeared from view since his fourth album No Place In Heaven in 2015.

 

The singer-songwriter, who was born in Beirut and raised in Paris before his parents moved to London when he was nine, has actually been hard at work outside the UK, maintaining his profile as a judge on The X Factor in Italy and The Voice in France while continuing to tour.

 

He’s now back with an album that revisits the theatrics of 2007’s Life In Cartoon Motion.

Working with Bastille producer Mark Crew and co-writers including former Fame Academy winner David Sneddon and Ed Sheeran associate Amy Wadge, his big-hearted songs are distinctive but can sometimes be overcooked. Tiny Love, built around a pounding piano, Bohemian Rhapsody guitars and lush harmonies, typifies his baroque extravagance. It’s even reprised with strings and a children’s choir.

 

Elsewhere, Stay High is a lively soul pastiche and Sanremo a sunny pop number in the style of Club Tropicana by Wham!.

 

Mika, 36, admits to having faced ‘painful issues’, and his personal songs resonate.

 

Ready To Call This Love is a potent duet with Jack Savoretti, while Paloma addresses the trauma of nearly losing his sister, who fell from a tall building in 2010, an incident so harrowing he has only been able to write about it now.

 

Mika plays Shepherd’s Bush Empire, London, on November 10 (mikasounds.com)

 

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paper

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Edited by Kumazzz

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I was just going to post this :naughty:

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The Courier online

http://www.thecourieronline.co.uk/review-mika-my-name-is-michael-holbrook/

 

Review: MIKA- My Name Is Michael Holbrook

In My Name Is Michael Holbrook, MIKA returns to his roots with an album possessing tracks with the same energetic feel  of his debut album Life in Cartoon Motion 

However, in his fifth album, the artist also explores some darker undertones that stray from his usual positive style.

 

‘Paloma’ is easily the most touching track, a song dedicated to MIKA’s sister who fell out of a window in 2010 and sustained life-threatening injuries. “My Paloma, where is a broken dove to go?” sings MIKA, “Oh Paloma, if only you had let me know.”

 

With ‘Dear, Jealousy,’ he personifies jealousy as a third person who has entered his romantic relationship and he questions past life decisions.

 

The album also features several romantic songs. The opening song ‘Tiny Love’ calls to the importance of a realistic and even “mundane” affectionate relationship with a positive energy. ‘Ready to Call This Love’ is a ballad where MIKA is calling to his lover to reach the same place where MIKA is emotionally. “Take your time if you need it/ But don’t wait when you know you feel it/ And you’re ready to call/ Ready to call this love.”

 

In contrast to the sentimental love songs, ‘Ice Cream’ is dripping in sexual innuendos amongst synth hooks that make the track seem as if it could be a lost 90’s pop song.

 

‘Platform Ballerinas’ offers empowering lyrics that celebrates female individuality and openly confronts the expectations for women to appear perfect and put together all the time.

 

Throughout the album, MIKA manages to showcase his vocal range in both his upbeat tracks and his somber ballads.

 

Edited by Kumazzz
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Screen Streems

https://screenstreams.co.uk/2019/10/my-name-is-michael-holbrook-mika-album-review.html

October 6, 2019

 

‘My Name Is Michael Holbrook’ is classic Mika, wrapped up in glittering, unwavering joy (Album Review)

 

After a slew of sugar-coated hits like ‘Lollipop’, ‘Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)’, ‘Love Today’ and ‘Grace Kelly’, Mika is back with his fifth studio album, the personal-titled ‘My Name Is Michael Holbrook’ (and yes, that is his real name).

 

Does the album title mean that Mika’s stripped himself down from the glittery persona? Well yes, and no. And does it mean album number five is the dreaded “this is my most personal album yet” spiel? Again, it’s a mixed bag.

 

The album’s opener, ‘Tiny Love’, is the standout of the album, by far. The track is like Mika’s own version of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ (albeit less bold). It leaps and jumps in genre, going from upbeat, funk-pop to full on piano ballad all in the space of a 4 minute song. The album is bookend by the ‘Tiny Love Reprise’, which makes you feel as though you’ve journeyed with Mika through his inner psyche, arriving at its dramatic, violin-led destination. There’s a rousing child’s chorus as the album draws to a close; a rising crescendo to a meandering record.

 

Mika’s voice, perhaps unsurprisingly, is the gem of the album. His high octaves sprinkle some of that classic Mika magic over the thirteen tracks; matching the pumping pulse that beats throughout the record like some sort of great big glittering heart.

 

‘Dear Jealously’, while slow to start, is another funky gem of the album. Taking inspiration from 90s synths, it details Mika’s lack of fulfilment. “I’m jealous of the man I used to be / And the man I could become.” The way he drawls “I’m jealouuuus” could literally fit perfectly in a Backstreet Boys – or even a Britney Spears – song. And I mean that in the best way possible. When you stick a Mika record on, you want some dirty, sugary pop. And that’s exactly what you get here.

 

‘Tomorrow’ follows on in the same vein. With that unique crystal-like high voice of his, Mika sings of a fleeting lover, “If this isn’t what you wanted / Then why’d you put a smiley in your message then?”. He’s singing in first person this time around, instead of opting for the third person narrative he adopted on his debut. It’s this shift that makes ‘Michael Holbrook’ his most personal yet. With an album title that literally his name, though, I wouldn’t have expected anything less.

 

‘Paloma’ is a mellower affair, a ballad about his sister, who almost died when she fell from a fourth floor balcony and was impaled on the railings. Thankfully, she survived. Mika coos: “Until the sky fell into pieces, the night our life fell into pieces too / Try to fly against the wind, even with a broken wing / As the sky fell into pieces.” Which, I mean, is just a beautiful piece of poetry.

 

‘Sanremo’ is the most experimental on the album, and I love it. With strong Euro-pop vibes, it’s something a little different from the rest of the record. Painting an image of drinking cocktails with little umbrellas under the summer skies, it conjures up a feeling deep within in. Which is what good, true music should do. Mika does it with ease.

 

The only critique I’d have of Mika’s ‘My Name Is Michael Holbrook’ would be that some of the songs seem a bit… choppy when going into one another. One second, you’ll listening to an upbeat, sugar-coated confection, the next, the track stops abruptly and you’re led into a piano-based, slow burner. There’s nothing wrong with having a bit of variety, of course, but the changes are so sharp and sudden you’re left wondering if perhaps the track-listing could’ve been mixed up a bit to save this from happening.

 

With that said, the way that the tracks are arranged means that there’s never a lull in the album. Usually, you get about two thirds into a record and start suffering from musical fatigue. Not with ‘My Name Is Michael Holbrook’. The album whizzes by, a colourful, glittering 13-track affair from the eccentric singer.

 

The record takes a personal dive into Mika’s mind, as the album art would suggest (how sick is the album cover, by the way?). From an ode to his sister with ‘Paloma’, to his sexuality on ‘Ice Cream’, to his introspection on ‘Dear Jealousy’, it truly is his most personal record yet. The album juggles unique intimacy with grandiose production, and it bursts with colour because of it.

 

 

Edited by Kumazzz
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BBC RADIO 2

Steve Wright in The Afternoon

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0009sdt

  • broadcast on 29 Oct. 2019

Mika brings in his new album 'My Name Is Michael Holbrook'.

 

🎙️ PODCAST download / https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p07sd61p

🔻 a part of Mika ( M4A file / 8.4 MB ) 2019.10.29_BBC_RADIO2_Steve_Wright_IN_The_Afternoon.m4a

 

AUDIO VIDEO

 

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Missed the middle of the programme, but it seemed a bit rushed to me.  If they'd skipped the Grace Kelly/Relax tracks at the beginning, there would have been more time to talk about the album (and possibly play part of another track instead of Sanremo twice).

 

But with Mika in the UK, anything is better than nothing.

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17 minutes ago, silver said:

Missed the middle of the programme, but it seemed a bit rushed to me.  If they'd skipped the Grace Kelly/Relax tracks at the beginning, there would have been more time to talk about the album (and possibly play part of another track instead of Sanremo twice).

 

But with Mika in the UK, anything is better than nothing.

 

 

Nobody knew about this  :dunno:

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METRO

metro.co.uk

 

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Mika reflects on ‘social consequences’ for LGBTQ + community in new music video

  • Abigail Gillibrandn
  • Wednesday 6 Nov 2019 3:14 pm
 

Mika is back with a vengeance and has finally dropped his first album in almost five years, which goes by the title: My Name Is Michael Holbrook.

 

And while we’re used to his pop anthems, like Grace Kelly and Lollipop, it seems the 36-year-old has not shied away from taking a political stance with his latest work.

 

Addressing the social consequences for the LGBTQ+ community the star released an eyeopening music video for his single Sanremo – which is inspired by the 1960s.

 

At the start of the four-minute clip, the radio can be heard introducing a new show where they will be putting ‘homosexuality under the microscope’.

 

In a voice-over inspired by an interview from the time, the host talks to a man and asks why he has kept his sexuality a secret.

 

He replies: ‘It’s unavoidable. I am certain my career will suffer. But I can no longer hide it and I hope I can give courage to others.’

 

Talking about the bold statement to Metro.co.uk, Mika explained why he reflected on the past in his new project.

 

‘The voice-over is based on a real interview that was recorded in the late 1960s,’ the We Are Golden hitmaker said.

 

‘It’s a man describing the consequences of his coming out publically, and I think that the LGBTQ community is one that’s getting more and more of a solid voice, there’s just so much more to it.’

 

He went on: ‘We have to acknowledge the more difficult times of the past in order to empathise with the enormous amount of countries where homosexuality and the LGBTQ community are still massively discriminated against.

 

‘There are 70 plus countries where homosexuality is illegal and so we’re talking about a very recent past.’

 

Addressing the video and it’s aesthetic, the star praised the director Wiz who helped him craft the masterpiece.

 

‘The theme for the video is set in a time when it’s the late 1960s where it wasn’t necessarily illegal, but the social consequences and the intolerance that was permitted,’ Mika said: ‘And as a result it was a disaster.

 

‘I think it’s also important to talk about that as it wasn’t that long ago – we’re talking about our parents’ childhood and our parents’ adolescence.’

 

Proud of his work, the musician continued: ‘But we wanted to do it in a poetic and beautiful way. It was inspired by Italian and French films from the 60s.

 

‘Even though it is politically engaged and has a statement, it is still beautiful and emotional.

 

‘I love the idea that pop songs that have catchy melodies can be poetic but also have something really important to say or something deep to say.

 

‘I really like that combination, I think it’s a good one.’

 

Mika is heading to Europe with his Revelation Tour and will be kicking things off with the sold-out show in Shepherds Bush, London, on Sunday night.

 

 

 

 

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The Telegraph

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/music/artists/mika-interview-dealing-sexuality-painful/

  • 8 November 2019 • 4:00pm

Mika interview: ‘Dealing with my sexuality was so painful’

 

More than a decade after he dominated pop, Mika has returned with music that channels the pain and beauty of his remarkable, incident-packed life

 

“Why don’t you like me?” sang Mika in a gleefully petulant falsetto when he burst onto the pop scene in 2007. His glam-dance chart topper, Grace Kelly, was a gleefully theatrical outburst over the record industry’s failure to see where the gangling, opera-trained, Beirut-born, London-bred artist would fit into their catalogues.

He was “too weird” for the mainstream. “Too melodic” for the alternative scene. And, according to one bigoted label boss, “too gay” for either.  

 

Mika proved them wrong by singing the rainbow of his possibilities: “I could be blue/ I could be brown/ I could be violet sky.” But admitted the search for approval had sent him “identity mad”. He was hurt by reviews which compared listening to his debut album to “being held at gunpoint by Bonnie Langford”. “That was great writing,” he says. “But it felt like being bullied at school.” 

 

Now, aged 36, he tells me it’s “time to be candid… to dismantle the last vestige of useless puda (shame) and make peace with who I am.”

So he has re-assumed his birth name on a fabulous fifth album titled I Am Michael Holbrook, which finds him finally at ease in the full spectrum of his complex character and sexuality. Every song – written on a white piano at his home studio in Miami – is shot through with colour. 

 

“Yellow for love,” he says. “Blue for intensity. Green for jealousy and pink for sin and desire, which were one and the same for me growing-up against a Roman Catholic backdrop.”

 

We met at this year’s Attitude Awards, where a Mika performed after receiving the 2019 Music Award. The event was scheduled for Coming Out Day: October 11.

 

Mika himself didn’t officially leave the closet until 2012 and says those struggling with their sexuality should see the date as “an opportunity for storytelling, not a pressure.

Dealing with my sexuality was so painful. When everyone tells you there’s something wrong with you, that gets absorbed. It takes a lot of kind people to make you really feel the absurdity of that self-hatred.” 

 

I watched him rehearse a set which bounces from Grace Kelly through Relax (Take it Easy) to the fun and filth of new single Ice Cream, which he describes as “a tense little poem about sex and heat”. He poses and prowls when singing, but his lithe, 6ft3 frame seems to collapse inward at the knees and elbows (like one of those little wooden toys with the press-up base) between songs as he repeatedly thanks his band for “some much patience, putting up with me”.   

 

Afterwards, he invites me to share his sandwich – “the relentlessly hospitable Lebanese in me cannot eat alone!” – he encourages me to “ask anything, really, just go ahead… pepper?” He wipes the sweat from his forehead. “I really need to go home and shower before the show. I haven’t been home in weeks.”

He’s talking about his flat in London, not the grand house in Miami. He later tells me that he “comes from a place that doesn’t exist any more.”

 

Michael “Mika” Holbrook Penniman was born in Beirut in 1983, the third of five arty-minded children. His dad “was a real WASP”: the Israeli-born banker son of an American diplomat. His mother was born in America to Lebanese parents. Civil war drove the family from Beirut when Mika was just one year old and they re-settled, at first, in France. 

“We anchored our identity in our Melkite Catholicism, storytelling and food,” he says. No longer religious, Mika is still “obsessed with food” and its colours: “roasted red peppers, stuffed green courgettes braised in chicken broth with sage, okra stewed in tomato sauce with a touch of cardamom and nutmeg, fattoush salad, crisp, Lebanese bread covered in puce, pomegranate syrup and sour sumac spice…”

 

He tells me he lives “in a state of campaigning against the Western perception of the Middle East as arid and colourless. With the associations it has with destruction and a banalisation of Islam. Even as Melkites, we inevitably learned a lot about Islam and become defenders of the right kind of that faith. When our family comes together you will hear poems recited in classical Arabic.” 

 

Five years after the move to France, Mika’s dad was on a business trip to Kuwait when Saddam Hussein’s forces invaded.

“He was taken to the American Embassy where doors were closed and Saddam’s troops surrounded them,” he tells me. “He was trapped there for around eight months, listening to the bombs and the snipers. Back in Paris, we lived in a suspended moment. We watched news reports and waited for him to send faxes. It was so strange that life went on as normal for me. I had to go to school in one world, knowing my dad was in a war in another world.”

 

When Michael Holbrook Snr finally came home “he was so different – so thin and with a beard – that none of us could call him ‘dad’ anymore. We called him ‘Mike’. It made him cry, but we refused to call him dad ever again. He lost his job. We lost the house. Bailiffs came and took everything when we were at school and we left home in the middle of the night in our Toyota Previa.”

 

It’s quite difficult to get Mika off the topic of that car: a “family mascot” which he still pays an average of £10,000 to keep on the road, although it has done over 170,000 miles “and stinks because my father was so deranged he would wash the car with a hose inside and out so all the colour came out of the upholstery and we had little plants growing in there.” When the Previa finally conks out, Mika intends to have it “chopped into hundreds of tiny pieces and placed into amulets, like the relics of a saint, to give away with the first thousand copies of my autobiography.”

 

It was around the time his dad was in Kuwait that Mika realised he was gay. “A girl tried to kiss me and it just felt completely wrong,” he says. 

Over the next couple of years his teachers – first in Paris then London – became increasingly frustrated at Mika’s inability to read or write. “I’m dyslexic,” he says. “But they said I was stupid and unteachable. They made me stand on my desk for two hours at a time.” So his mother home-schooled him for two years. Looking for a discipline her son could embrace without written text, she found him a Russian singing teacher. By the age of eight he was singing at the Royal Opera House.

 

“Because I couldn’t read music,” he says, “I would learn it all by ear, listening to Benjamin Britten’s Turn of the Screw on my headphones. I started to have a lot of fun with crazy, contemporary s**t we performed at St Paul’s Church. I remember one with two chamber orchestras at different tunings: head exploding!  But amazing.”

 

The pop of Queen and Elton John was thrilling him at the same time. But his own songs often grew out of dark moments. His first composition was called “Angry” and today he tells me his bouncy, disco hit Relax was written “after I was evacuated from the underground after the 7/7 bombings. I had a long walk through a dark tunnel, then went home and sat at the piano. Does Relax do justice to the horror of those events? No. Was it born out of them? Yes. It’s about making sense of the world and also allowing it not to make sense.”

 

The new piano ballad Paloma is named after his sister, who fell from her fourth floor apartment in Kensington and impaled herself on the railings beneath. “I only live 250m away. Her neighbour called me at 4am. I arrived barefoot in my boxer shorts. Seeing somebody like that… I can’t tell you. She  was facing up at the sky. She said: ‘Mika, I’m fine, just get these people away and let me get up.’”

 

He recalls the moment paramedics told him he would need to say goodbye to her. “I looked at her, she was so vulnerable, her body there for all to see. These tall Victorian buildings all around us, with silhouettes of so many people watching from the windows.

 

"The lights of the cars and the ambulances flashing blue  and there was no sound except for the motors. It was a communion of feeling. It felt the closest thing to a prayer I’ve experienced. It will now be written into my mind and body that that’s why a prayer is: wild, dangerous, horrific… and beautiful. I didn't realise how beautiful it was until I wrote Paloma: 'I found you fighting in the darkness but there was beauty in that too'". Paloma has now made a remarkable recovery. She is walking again and has given birth to a son.

 

His silky new R&B single, Sanremo, was inspired by a family holiday when he was 13. “We escaped the expansiveness of france into the glamour of Italy. I could picture us all in the car: my bohemian overweight mother, her drunk friends. I was quite chubby. I can remember the feel of my damp, sweaty T shirt tucked into my beige GAP jeans. I could feel my thighs chafing, creating a rash I would have to address later. I had to confront desire. All those beautiful young Italians and the frustrated feeling that I would only ever be a watcher, not a lover. I fell in love with everybody at that age.”

 

The Sanremo video, directed by W.I.Z., is set in 1950s Italy, and sees Mika’s character kissing his wife and daughter goodbye before heading out in search a male lover, anxiously avoiding suspicion from police, clergymen and others. “My record company wanted to block the video in Italy,” he says. “I’m very popular there as a judge on The Voice and they thought I would alienate fans. But I refused. I respect the intelligence of the audience I have there. Anybody who reveals themselves by being disappointed? Well, who gives a s**t?”

 

In real life, Mika has found long lasting romance with filmmaker Andreas Dermanis. They’ve been together for 13 years and Mika says the colour of their love is: “All the greens of the English countryside.” The “quietness and kindness”  of their relationship, he says, is a soothing contrast to the cartoon colours of Mika’s pop sound and image. 

 

“But I’ve always struggled,” says Mika, “with idea that bright colours are brash and untrustworthy. People mute colour to make it cool. To allow just enough self-expression to get their point across, while keeping themselves protected. And I love jades and ochres and sleepy greys. But our feelings don’t always come in tasteful hues. They can be strange and painful, dazzling and intense. Colour is everything to me,” he pauses. “It’s life. It’s music. It’s home.” 

 

 

Mika plays the Shepherd's Bush Empire, London, on November 10. My Name is Michael Holbrook is on release now

 

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Mika: 'They said I was stupid and unteachable'
 
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Mika performing in 2007 Credit: Joel Ryan

 

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Performing with Beth Ditto at the 2008 Brit Awards Credit: PA

 

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Mika: 'A girl tried to kiss me and it just felt completely wrong'

 

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Mika: 'Our feelings don’t always come in tasteful hues'

 
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11 minutes ago, Kumazzz said:

He was hurt by reviews which compared listening to his debut album to “being held at gunpoint by Bonnie Langford”. “That was great writing,” he says. “But it felt like being bullied at school.” 

 

mika.jpg.b89ab98a3af016102fe4aa31a5ca4236.jpg

In 2007, The ALBUM review is written by Alexis Petridis

 

The Guardian

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2007/feb/02/popandrock3

  • Fri 2 Feb 2007 00.18 GMT First published on Fri 2 Feb 2007 00.18 GMT

Mika, Life in Cartoon Motion
1 / 5 stars 1 out of 5 stars
 

Spoiler

 

His debut single, Grace Kelly, currently sits at No 1, and you could certainly argue the time is right for singer-songwriter Mika Penniman's ascendancy. The former boy soprano evidently feels British music needs an injection of high-camp glitz: not an unreasonable conclusion, given British music is so glamour-starved that one clothing manufacturer was recently reduced to asking the Arctic Monkeys' drummer to design his own fashion collection. Penniman has signposted his commitment to musical fabulousness by aligning himself with Queen. As well as namechecking Freddie Mercury in Grace Kelly, his debut album offers Billy Brown - its titular hero and vaudeville air echoing Queen's Bring Back That Leroy Brown - and Big Girl (You Are Beautiful), a thumbs-up for cuddly ladies that invites comparison to Queen's Fat Bottomed Girls, a cappella intro and all.

 

If you're looking to snare the mainstream market, evoking Queen is theoretically a neat idea: the queues for We Will Rock You suggest the British public will buy anything associated with Mercury and co, even a theatrical entertainment so shoddy it makes your average nativity play look like Ibsen. However, as Life in Cartoon Motion plays out amid falsetto vocals, massed harmonies and OTT gestures - gospel choirs, Lollipop's playground chant about sex, borrowing Cutting Crew's horrible 1980s power ballad (I Just) Died in Your Arms Tonight on Relax - the Queen comparison brings with it a creeping disquiet. At their most laudable, Queen eschewed good taste in order to make unique records: Bohemian Rhapsody or the baffling Bicycle Race. Here, you get all the kitsch and none of the ambition. Penniman's idea of restraint is to wait until track five before breaking out the children's chorus, but his goal is nothing more high-minded than piloting a safe path between recent big sellers from Tesco's CD department: Scissor Sisters, the Feeling and the Darkness. With little behind it except a desire to be loved, the showboating becomes wearyingly relentless. Listening to Life in Cartoon Motion is like being held at gunpoint by Bonnie Langford.

 

In both vocal style and the peculiar combination of overbearing self-confidence and desperate neediness that emanates from Grace Kelly's chorus of "Why don't you like me?" or from Love Today ("Everybody's going to love today ... you've got to love me!" he cries, while the oompah-disco backing goes all out to unite everybody in a desire to thump him), Penniman resembles Robbie Williams, albeit a Robbie Williams who has abandoned his array of knowing winks in the audience's direction and instead keeps frantically grinning and doing jazz hands every 30 seconds. Yet even Williams might draw the line at Big Girl (You Are Beautiful). Were the song any more brazen in its efforts to get hen parties clambering on tables, it would dress as a fireman and pour baby oil over its chest. But again, making the debt to Queen explicit proves a bad idea. It is tribute to the acting abilities of Mercury - whose interest in fat-bottomed girls was surely minimal in real life - that on the song of that name he sounded racked with lust. Penniman, on the other had, sounds like a man assuring someone through gritted teeth that her bum doesn't look big in that, while covertly eyeing up the size-zero shop assistant.

 

His compliments sound like insults: you don't have to be Susie Orbach to realise that telling an obese woman she looks "like a big balloon" is unlikely to get her weeping with gratitude. "Big boy coming around and they'll be gonna do baby," he sings. It's not just that "they'll be gonna do baby" represents the worst lyrical euphemism for sexual intercourse since Jamie Foxx's Storm, which spent four revolting minutes comparing an amorata's profusion of vaginal mucus to a downpour of rain ("it's cloudy skies between your thighs" etc). It's also that it has a touch of infantilising goo-goo-ga-ga about it. He ends up patronising what he sets out to praise.

 

A terrible old ham at 23, Penniman can't get himself off the stage. The album's grand finale, Happy Endings, is followed by a secret track, then a "bonus" track, Ring Ring. The latter is not the Abba song, but sounds as if it might have been Belgium's 1984 Eurovision entry. You keep expecting Terry Wogan to interrupt with a sardonic aside ("Where did the Belgians find this big eejit?"). Coming on top of everything else, it's a bonus only in so far as the wafer-thin wafer that finally caused Mr Creosote to explode might be considered a bonus. Rather troublingly, given Grace Kelly's sales figures, you suspect plenty of people will be perfectly happy to gorge themselves sick.

 

 

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Thanks a lot for posting @mellody

 

metro.co.uk

Friday 8 Nov 2019 11:44 am

 

Mika calls for Brussels to ‘change’ amid Brexit as he returns to UK

 

Mika is back, and he is bringing his new album My Name Is Michael Holbrook to the UK on his Revelation tour.

But despite selling out his London date within hours of the tickets going on sale, it seems he has returned to Britain at a time of political unease.

 

The star has lived in both France and Italy as well as the US, after he was forced to flee the city of Beirut as a child during the Lebanese civil war.

 

Talking to Metro.co.uk, the 36-year-old opened up on how his past experiences have shaped his politics.

 

He told us: ‘I think the unease is not just in the UK, I think it is more visible in the UK right now, because we talk about it more clearly.

 

‘But that sense of uncertainty is all over Europe right now it’s just a bit more hidden.’

 

The star has previously returned to Lebanon where he visited a number of refugee camps, and spoke to the people living there.

Addressing the rhetoric surrounding immigrants and refugees, the Grace Kelly hitmaker continued: ‘What drives me crazy is when statistics or when immigration numbers are manipulated to provoke fear.

‘Then that fear is used to manipulate people’s political opinions and I think that is really, really dangerous, so that’s what drives me crazy, I hate seeing stuff like that happening.

 

‘I think that we are in a major transition period, I think that in order for Europe to thrive Brussels needs to change profoundly.’

Touching slightly on the UK’s ongoing battle with Brexit, he said: ‘Of course I would prefer for Brexit, and for the UK to remain in the EU, but at the same time this stale mate is so toxic right now it has got to move on, and it has got to change for one way or another.’

 

Mika for Prime Minister anyone?

 

However, despite his political stance, the star couldn’t help but admire the UK as he showered it with praise.

‘I look at the UK and think, “God, there is nowhere like this in the world,”’ he gushed: ‘For such a small country with such an enormous reach with such an insane standard and such a high amount of excellence, it’s really unique there’s a lot to be proud about.’

 

But while the world appears to be in a dire state of turmoil, Mika’s career is flourishing, as he is selling out his shows across the globe like there’s not tomorrow.

 

‘What amazed me is the response from the live point of view,’ the Lollipop singer explained: ‘The market has changed so much so it’s impossible to say oh well you know, it’s not about selling records anymore really.

‘So for an artist like me, it’s about selling tickets, and we’re approaching sold out in almost every single venue in the world.’

 

Mika went onto say how he was extremely nervous about launching his current tour, but was touched by the response he’s had from fans.

 

‘I make melodic alternative pop music which is weird, because when you say pop music you think it has to be super commercial but it’s not, some of it is commercial but the rest of the time it’s quite niche – quite alternative, and quite melodic at the same time,’ he said.

 

‘So I was quite anxious about the whole thing. But the response has been really heart-warming in a market that nothing is guaranteed anymore, it’s so tricky nowadays.’

 

Mika is heading to Europe with his Revelation Tour and will be kicking things off with the sold-out show in Shepherds Bush, London, on Sunday night.

 

GettyImages-1157941004.thumb.jpg.4c960e60cc6d4a1efed7d8010c4e5f21.jpg

Mika calls for Brussels to ‘change profoundly’ amid Brexit (Picture: Getty Images)

 

PRI_89171791.thumb.jpg.b5365ce1061779ca8eb0e7c0161df94c.jpg

He’s returning to the UK (Picture: Getty Images)

 

GettyImages-1178740143.thumb.jpg.0c507ad3837e7a2876dd568dfc47e6a7.jpg

The star spoke about his political stance (Picture: Getty Images)

 

GettyImages-520687294.thumb.jpg.86b2122e8218fa5fabc789076008f805.jpg

Mika was forced to flee the city of Beirut as a child during the Lebanese civil war (Picture: Getty Images)

 

GettyImages-1182394593.thumb.jpg.e79442db28ea7c877a610a9869ef0102.jpg

He’s currently living between Italy and the US (Picture: Redferns)

 

 

 

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14 hours ago, Kumazzz said:

It’s quite difficult to get Mika off the topic of that car: a “family mascot” which he still pays an average of £10,000 to keep on the road, although it has done over 170,000 miles “and stinks because my father was so deranged he would wash the car with a hose inside and out so all the colour came out of the upholstery and we had little plants growing in there.” When the Previa finally conks out, Mika intends to have it “chopped into hundreds of tiny pieces and placed into amulets, like the relics of a saint, to give away with the first thousand copies of my autobiography.”

 

 :lmfao:

and it was at this moment that i decided to finally give the Toyota Previa the Mika encyclopedia entry it deserves

 

 

thanks for posting this interview Eriko, i couldn't read it since i'm not a Telegraph subscriber

 

 

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On 11/9/2019 at 2:56 PM, Kumazzz said:

 

music-news.com

Mika remembers 'wild, dangerous, horrific and beautiful' moment his sister was impaled on railings

 

Mika will never forget the "wild, dangerous, horrific and beautiful" moment he was told to say goodbye to his sister after she was impaled on railings.

The 36-year-old singer has written Paloma in honour of his sibling - who has since recovered from the horrific fall from her fourth floor London apartment in 2010 - in which he reflected on being told by paramedics she was unlikely to survive.

 

He told the Daily telegraph magazine: "I looked at her, she was so vulnerable, her body there for all to see. These tall Victorian buildings all around us, with silhouettes of so many people watching from the windows.

 

"The lights of the cars and the ambulances flashing blue and there was no sound except for the motors. It was a communion of feeling. It felt the closest thing to a prayer I've experienced. It will now be written into my mind and body that that's why a prayer is: wild, dangerous, horrific... and beautiful.

"I didn't realize how beautiful it was until I wrote 'Paloma', 'I found you fighting in the darkness but there was beauty in that too.' "

 

The 'Grace Kelly' hitmaker rushed to his sister's aid without even getting dressed as soon as he was told what had happened.

He recalled: "I only live 250m away. Her neighbor called me at 4am. I arrived barefoot in my boxer shorts. Seeing somebody like that... I can't tell you. She was facing up at the sky. She said: 'Mika, I'm fine, just get these people away and let me get up.'"

 

Mika recently admitted he'd been considering taking time out from his career as his mother has a "very aggressive" brain tumour.

 

He said: "During the last two years, every two months I thought the problem was over, but it wasn't. Now she is suffering a lot for a very serious condition, a very aggressive brain tumour. I have always loved deeply my mother, she has always been an inspiration to me. To see her in this situation, so fragile, it makes me feel terrible.

 

"She doesn't want me to go visit her, she says I have to keep working, go on tour and so on. She says she follows me from where she is."

 

mika.thumb.jpg.b8b024a3168d7507f9f32ea974574bba.jpg

 

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