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Making New Year's bright | Out In Jersey
 
Michael Cook
January 1, 2020
 

Mika

For his first full length in five years, My Name is Michael Holbrook, MIKA explores his American heritage.

Recording in places like Miami and in Tuscany, Mika has crafted an album that is true to his signature musical style, but indescribably a heightened sound.

Opening the album with the production heavy opus “Tiny Love” is a stroke of brilliance, at it sets the tone for the remainder of the album.

“My Name is Michael Holbrook” album cover from MIKA

COOKIE_My-Name_is_Michael-Holbrook_2019.jpg.cb3e2d7b558897ed384266b7bf536820.jpg

 

The tracks range from dance heavy (“Dear Jealousy”, “Platform Ballerinas”) to understated anthems (“Ready To Call This Love”).

 

“This album has been a rich and intense journey. Inspired by life in all its glory and all its dark challenges. It’s also inspired by love. Starting with an idea that was born in a cemetery in Savannah Georgia and ending the writing in a 650 year old farm house in Italy. My intention was to write about life as it happened. A sort of album made in ‘real time,’” MIKA says.

 

His signature falsettos are featured throughout, with the ballads being heavy on strings. The down tempo “I Went To Hell Last Night” is an album standout, making Mika’s sound both new, yet very much his own.

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Billboard

1/21/2020 by Stephen Daw

 

Mika Teases Just-Announced North American Tour With 'Dear Jealousy' Live Video

 

In 2019, pop artist Mika gave some of his fans in North America the long-awaited live return they'd been waiting for with his Tiny Love Tiny Tour, during which he visited New York, Canada and Los Angeles to deliver a series of intimate shows. But in 2020, the star is finally coming back to tour North America in full force.

 

On Tuesday (Jan. 21), Mika announced the upcoming North American leg of his Revelation Tour. Starting April 11 with his first Coachella set, the star is set to travel throughout the U.S. and Canada with his new show, stopping in major cities like San Francisco, Chicago, Seattle, Nashville, Atlanta and New York City, before closing his run in Quebec at the Videotron Centre on May 16.

 

To accompany his newly announced tour, Mika also announced the release of his new live album MIKA Live From Brooklyn Steel. Recorded during his sold-out return to Williamsburg's Brooklyn Steel in September, the album is set to release on Jan. 31. For those fans who are anxious to hear a taste of the star's live vocals, he also shared a live video of himself performing "Dear Jealousy" during the show (below).

 

Tickets for Mika's Revelation Tour go on pre-sale Wednesday at 10 a.m. local time, with the general sale to follow Friday. Click here to get your tickets, and check out the singer's live performance of "Dear Jealousy" and the full list of North American tour dates below:

 

Revelations Tour North American dates:

  • 4/11 — Indio, CA —Coachella
  • 4/13 — San Francisco, CA — The Masonic
  • 4/18 — Indio, CA — Coachella
  • 4/20 — Seattle, WA — The ShowBox
  • 4/21 — Portland, OR — Roseland Theatre
  • 4/24 — Denver, CO — Fillmore Auditorium
  • 4/26 — Saint Paul, MN — Palace Theatre
  • 4/27 — Chicago, IL — Riviera Theatre
  • 4/30 — Miami Beach, FL — Fillmore Miami Beach
  • 5/2 — Nashville, TN — Cannery Ballroom
  • 5/3 — Atlanta, GA — Tabernacle 
  • 5/5 — Washington, DC — Lincoln Theatre
  • 5/6 — Philadelphia, PA — Franklin Music Hall
  • 5/7 — New York City, NY — Terminal 5
  • 5/11 —  Boston, MA — House of Blues
  • 5/13 — Toronto, ON — Meridian Hall
  • 5/15 — Montreal, QC — Bell Centre
  • 5/16 — Quebec, QC — Videotron Centre

 

 

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From an US ticket website, https://www.eventbrite.com/e/mika-tickets-89152362115 :

 

MIKA – Revelation Tour North America 2020

 

“Leave your troubles outside. Here, life is beautiful, everyone is beautiful, the girls are beautiful, the boys are beautiful,” a line from ‘Cabaret,’ international pop sensation MIKA begins every show with this invitation.

It is on such philosophy that MIKA has built an unshakable career and catalogue. With his fifth studio album My Name Is Michael Holbrook out this October, MIKA has crafted a world of gritty romance amidst the joy and playfulness of technicolored alternative pop. He’s a renaissance artist of impeccable intention who’s name has rightfully found its way alongside legendary acts such as Elton John, Freddie Mercury and Prince.

Born Michael Holbrook Penniman Jr. in 1983 as the third of five children, MIKA and his family were forced to leave war-torn Lebanon and relocate to Paris before settling in London after his father was held hostage at the American embassy in Kuwait.

The tumultuous experience left a then seven-year-old MIKA disoriented and struggling with dyslexia in school where he was bullied relentlessly. In response, his mother put him in vocal lessons with a Russian opera teacher and a Scottish piano teacher practicing four hours daily. Learning to play piano and write songs while showing otherworldly vocal range, MIKA was quickly becoming a young virtuoso.

He began recording with the Royal Opera House and was on the stage of a Richard Strauss opera by age 11. During rehearsals, MIKA caught glimpse of David Hockney designing the set, orchestrating a scene that captured young MIKA’s imagination, “It was a magical world that you could live in. A parallel universe for people that is illusory and enchanting.”

The infatuation ultimately inspired MIKA’s calling card ability to create such effect through his music. Starting with his 2007 debut album Life In Cartoon Motion featuring mega-hit single “Grace Kelly,” MIKA presents a timeless atmosphere of vibrant sonic and visual allure. He is Grammy nominated, won a Brit Award and went on to release three additional platinum selling albums The Boy Who Knew Too Much, The Origin of Love, and No Place In Heaven.

Throughout his career he’s toured the world, curated and hosted primetime variety and radio shows across Europe, won prestigious awards, served as the judge on France’s The Voice for the past six years, and has spearheaded a myriad of creative projects spanning from work as an illustrator, to a columnist and fashion designer. He speaks five languages, has sold over 10 million records, and is a certified Gold and Platinum artist in 32 countries worldwide.

He now presents his fifth studio album My Name Is Michael Holbrook.

“I hadn’t put out a record in four years. I didn’t know what to do when it came time to start the process and was honestly kind of at a loss,” MIKA admits. “I felt a little disappointed by the commercial side of the industry. I didn’t want to make a record by numbers or by committee. I wanted to make an uncontaminated, homemade pop record.”

With a clear intention in need of inspiration, MIKA got in his car and started driving.

“I needed a point of departure,” says MIKA. “So I physically looked for it.”

What he found was the Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia where lie the Penniman plot, the gravestones where his father’s ancestors rest.

“I wanted to find out where I came from and why my legal name is Michael Penniman Holbrook Junior,” says MIKA. Seeking to uncover the identity of MIKA before “Grace Kelly,” he found a profound sense of joy at his discovery.

“I had the title of the album before I had the album. It was a manifesto. It was a challenge for me,” says MIKA. “And it was quite liberating.” When he returned to his home in Miami, he immediately wrote what would become the first song on the album, “Tiny Love.”

“I went home, sat down at the piano and wrote the lyrics, ‘My name is Michael Holbrook, I was born in 1983. No I’m not losing my mind, it’s just this thing that you do to me. I feel high, I’m high with just a tiny love.’”

The line unlocked the album’s directive.

“Without realizing it, I was doing a kind of audit of my life and of my family and of the man I’ve become. I freed myself of the idea of MIKA.”

Energized by his vision, MIKA was riding the high only to be jerked back down to earth at the abrupt and sobering news that his mother was going into emergency surgery.

Putting the project on pause, MIKA went to Dubai to be with his mother and family. Destabilized, he nearly scrapped the album but instead came to a redemptive conclusion.

“I decided to use it as a way to confront issues that I’ve never been brave enough to confront. I wanted to talk to my family with as much transparency and openness as possible.”

Rooted in his father’s heritage, the album made a calculated turn back towards his mother - the woman who trained him, made his wardrobe for years on the road, and most importantly taught him never to follow and always to express himself fearlessly.

One track on the album “Paloma” is named for his sister and recounts the traumatic memory of her near death experience after she fell from a window.

And so it became much more than an album, but a healing process.

“I had a sense of urgency to transform pain into something beautiful and more hopeful,” says MIKA. “A brazen sense of poetry where color’s ok, emotion is ok, melody is ok.”

The sound took shape in the space of tension between the color and the pain creating friction and heat. MIKA embraced it.

“The temperature is ok. You don’t have to just be cool. You can speak from the heart.”

As the writing went on, MIKA began feeling lighter and freer. During this period he wrote “Ice Cream,” a 90s inspired pop anthem shimmering with the heat of summer and a poised sense of playfulness.

After writing the album in home studios in Miami and Tuscany over the course of two years, MIKA went to Brussels to record with producers Marc Crew and Dan Priddy. Together they crafted soundscapes spanning different decades of pop tracking the entire album live using vintage synths and enlisting all star players from around the world.

With the album completed MIKA prepares for a world tour where he’ll once again invite his audience to leave their troubles at the door.

Like that of ‘Cabaret’s’ Kit Kat Klub, MIKA creates a “weird bubble of joy and dirtiness and possibility and music” tucked away from trouble, judgement or fear.

Through the attitude, energy and movement of MIKA’s studied pop performance he provokes this sense of magic. “It’s the sort of dangerous energy where anything is possible,” he says.

"If the temperature is high enough, if the energy is wicked enough, you can tell any story and defend it in the right way. Universality is in the pop music we love the most,” he says. “Pop is not just bubblegum. It can be dirty. It can be playful. It’s not just disposable. It does have a reason.”

With My Name Is Michael Holbrook MIKA intimately shares his whole self with his audience. All he asks now is for us to do the same.

“We don’t need perfection. We need character, we need emotion. To feel free to express yourself,” says MIKA. “Express yourself, you won’t be judged here.”

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WWD.com

  • January 23, 2020
Mika Learned to Speak Italian in Two Months

 

7 hours ago, Kumazzz said:

WWD

https://wwd.com/eye/people/mika-viktor-and-rolf-couture-1203450359/

Front Row at Viktor & Rolf Couture Spring 2020

 

Mika Learned To Speak Italian In Two Months
 

PRIVATE LESSONS: Mika is a bit of a polyglot.

 

The French-Lebanese singer and former jury member on The Voice France is fluent in both French and English, and can also speak Spanish and Italian.

 

“When I’m happy, the language that comes to me naturally is French,” he said, sitting front row at the Viktor & Rolf couture show on Tuesday.

“When I’m mad or extremely concentrated, I speak English. And I always write songs in English.”

 

The singer, who is currently on a world tour and will be releasing a new E.P. this spring, reminisced about his one-of-a-kind Italian lessons.

 

“I held this sort of audition where I went looking for the best Italian teachers around, and a Sicilian woman turned up on my doorstep,” he recalled.

“It was her first day in Britain and she had never left Italy. She didn’t speak a word of English. I hired her in thirty minutes.”

 

His new teacher then joined him on his world tour, during which they spoke Italian together “from the morning coffee to the evening whisky,” he said.

What’s the first word he remembers learning?

“‘Orologio,’ which means clock,” said Mika. “As a Lebanese person, it’s my greatest enemy.”

 

WWD_front-row-at-viktor-rolf-couture-spring-2020-paris-fashion-week-pfw001001.thumb.jpg.b2f48ef5e5ab4ad83f4481dd04e95a59.jpg

 

 

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Billboard.com

3/5/2020
 
Mika to Perform, Fortune Feimster to Host GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles
Stephen Daw
 
Hailee Steinfeld, Olivia Wilde, "Schitt’s Creek" cast, Elvis Duran, Ryan O’Connell, Amandla Stenberg, Shangela, Bob the Drag Queen & Eureka O’Hara also confirmed for April 16 ceremony.
 

Even with an already star-studded lineup, the 31st GLAAD Media Awards in Los Angeles are ready to bring even more queer stars to the stage.

 

On Thursday (March 5), GLAAD announced exclusively to Billboard that pop singer Mika, who is nominated for outstanding music artist at the event, will take the stage during the ceremony to deliver a special performance. Joining Mika is comedian Fortune Feimster, who will serve as the evening's host. The Los Angeles ceremony is also boasting appearances from stars including Lil Nas X, Hailee Steinfeld, Olivia Wilde, the cast of Schitt’s Creek, Elvis Duran, Ryan O’Connell, Amandla Stenberg, Shangela, Bob the Drag Queen and Eureka O’Hara.

 

Also at the LA ceremony, pop superstar Taylor Swift is set to receive the Vanguard Award for her activism on behalf of the LGBTQ community, while director, producer and writer Janet Mock will receive the Stephen F. Kolzak Award for her continued work in representing the LGBTQ community onscreen.

 

The 31st annual GLAAD Media Awards will take place at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles on April 16. Check out tickets here.

 

1107103031_https_cdn.evbuc.com_images_87960201_248058577666_1_original.20200116-152321.thumb.jpg.cf5a1e9b139d251e4b5a74daa0839e2a.jpg

 

https://www.eventbrite.com/e/31st-annual-glaad-media-awards-los-angeles-tickets-78053968521

The 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards - Los Angeles

Date and Time

Thu, April 16, 2020

5:30 PM – 11:59 PM PDT

Add to Calendar

Location

The Beverly Hilton

9876 Wilshire Boulevard

Beverly Hills, CA 90210

United States

View Map

 

 

@GLAAD

https://www.instagram.com/p/B9XGWPdgK4B/

 

mikainstagram

 

 

On 1/9/2020 at 12:55 AM, krysady said:

Mika nominee at the GLAAD Media Awards   The Nominees for the 31st Annual GLAAD Media Awards  https://www.glaad.org/mediaawards/31/nominees

 

 

Screenshot (29).png

 

On 1/9/2020 at 12:56 AM, krysady said:

 

 

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The Odyssey

theodysseyonline.com

by Rocco Papa

Apr 30, 2020

 
The Top 5 Albums By Gay Men That Excel At Representation

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One of the many stereotypes gay men face is that we love pop music. However, it's interesting how most of the icons we worship in pop music are women. Very rarely is there an openly gay male artist with the ability to put his sexuality front and center. If they do, chances of them gaining mainstream recognition are slim at best. All the while, women can be just as sexual as they want.

It's an unfair double standard, but that doesn't mean we don't have artists who defy these societal norms. Here are the top five albums by gay men who put their sexuality front and center.

 

5. RA - Simon Curtis

Clearly inspired by the dark vibe of Britney Spears' "Blackout," Simon Curtis left his mark with this album. A dark, dance-pop record, "RA" deals with themes of heartbreak and sex. The track "Flesh," has been described as a "bottoming anthem."

 

4. For Your Entertainment - Adam Lambert

After his explosive success on "American Idol," Adam Lambert released his first solo album in the fall of 2009. The album features tracks like "Fever" and the title track, the latter of which was the center of controversy. The song was performed at the American Music Awards, where Lambert was criticized for his overtly sexual performance. Lambert offered no apologies, pointing out the double standard gay men face compared to women.

 

3. That's So Gay - Pansy Division

Pop-punk legends Pansy Division released their "That's So Gay" album in 2009. The record, like most of their discography, touches on issues real gay men face. Topics on the album range from sex to bullying to closeted politicians.

2. No Place In Heaven - Mika

Mika's "No Place In Heaven" album is arguably his gayest album.

He tackles religion on tracks like "Oh Girl You're The Devil" and the title track.

He also laments over a straight friend that he can't have on "Good Wife." "Last Party" feels like a tribute to those lost during the AIDS epidemic.

Mika has always incorporated LGBTQ themes in his work and this album continues that tradition.

 

 

 

1. Bloom - Troye Sivan

Troye Sivan has set a blueprint for a whole new generation of openly gay male artists. With his sophomore effort, "Bloom," he is unapologetically gay throughout. The album touches on a number of gay experiences. From bottoming on the title track to hooking up with an older man on "Seventeen," this album is a celebration of being a gay man.

 

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Out Smart Magazine

outsmartmagazine.com

Houston's award-winning LGBTQ magazine.

 
16 LGBTQ Music Videos You’ll Love
  • April 30, 2020
  • Alys Garcia Carrera

  Have all those hours on TikTok finally taken a toll on your attention span? Maybe it’s time to take in a new form of media. This week, OutSmart has compiled our picks of the queerest  videos you should watch. As always, we invite our readers to check out something new and unexpected, in hopes that you’ll find your new favorite musician among our recommendations. At the very least, you’ll have some new songs to spice up (or start creating) your Pride playlist.

1. Flutua by Johnny Hooker feat. Liniker

Brazilian queer pop sensation Johnny Hooker teams up with the frontwoman of Liniker e os Caramelows for this track. The funky, soulful beat paired with an intimate depiction of intersectional love in Brazil makes this video an unforgettable watch. Filled to the brim with raw emotion and ‘70s disco-era camp, little is lost in translation from song to music video. Trigger Warning: depictions of non-graphic violence. 

 

2. I’m Not Afraid by Holland

Known as the first openly gay K-pop star, Holland personally financed and produced his debut single and music video Neverland, which earnt a 19+ rating in South Korea for featuring  two men kissing. After the release, he was able to find more mainstream success and became even bolder in his second single, I’m Not Afraid. Aptly named, this video brings more diversity and queer love to the forefront of K-pop. 

 

3. Amor Libre by Esteman and Javiera Mena

International queer icons

Esteman and Javiera Mena unite in Mexico City for this pop Pride anthem, which celebrates love and expression. Dance-filled and colorfully enthusiastic, this music video is perfect for when you need a little more positive energy and queer love in your life. 

 

4. Les Filles Désir by Vendredi sur Mer

This hypnotic, techno-beat French music video is equal parts style and substance. Depicting the turbulent love between two young women, its visuals consist of carefully staged scenes with superb aesthetics that tell this story as if it was a film made for the big screen. 

 

5. Sanremo by MIKA

 

 

In the new single from his latest album, My Name is Michale Holbrook, out singer MIKA blends the nostalgic longing for a childhood memory with the desire longing to be able to live and love freely. While the video is set in 1960s Italy, it was filmed in present-day Croatia by local LGBTQ activists, in the hopes of bringing more representation and incite tolerance within their country.

 

6. What’s It Gonna Be? By Shura

This music video is probably better than most 80s teen films, as it depicts two parallel high school love stories to the beat of out singer Shura’s magnetic lyrics and techno-pop rhythms. Subverting expectations at every turn, this video is as entertaining as it is heartwarming, whether you’re watching it for the first time or the hundredth. 

 

7. Unholy by Hollie Col

This music video tells the story of the tale as old as time: a queer girl has a crush on her straight best friend—only here, she turns out to be not-so-straight. Reminiscent of an early alternative rock sound, this music video is funny and endearing to all those who’ve been in the situation, and relatable to even those who haven’t. 

 

8. Genghis Khan by Miike Snow

By far the most cinematic entry on our list, this indietronica hit borrows concepts from classic spy films to make an unexpectedly queer rhomp of a music video. Complete with a dance duet at the halfway mark, there’s virtually nothing wrong about it. 

 

9. Man to Man by Dorian Electra

Houston-native and genderfluid style icon, Dorian Electra brings their signature retromodern ‘80s synth-pop sound to this unique music video. Colorful and theatrically styled, this video and song provide commentary on the contradictory homoeroticism of hypermasculine confrontations, while not taking itself too seriously and camping it up left and right.  

 

10. Alone Together by Anna Akana

This slow techno ballad captures the aimless emotion that pervades a life post-breakup. While depicting the lonely adjusting period for two newly single people, this music video manages to avoid morose and melancholic tones, and instead showcases both the ups and downs of having loved and lost. 

 

11. Kiss Me At Midnight by Pansy Division

The quintessential queercore band Pansy Division has been making LGBTQ rock classics for three decades. This music video might have a smaller production value than some of the others on our list, but this only serves to render it more intimate.

 

12. Masquerade by Mila Jam

What can only be dubbed as a trans Pride pop anthem, this song is sweet and uplifting, while the music video is part protest and part empowerment. 

 

13. Flowerbomb by Sienna Liggins

Mixing Latin reggaeton inspired beats with a soft pop ballad melody, this summer love song is the perfect morning pick-me-up. The music video expertly captures the tender romance of the song’s lyrics with the bright colors of nature in summer, unique within the often flashy glam and hypersexual styles found in many other queer music videos. 

 

14. I Am Her by Shea Diamond

Written while she was incarcerated and housed with male inmates, transgender singer-songwriter Shea Diamond’s lyrical story is as inspirational as her soulful R&B beats. Filmed almost like a documentary around New York City, this song and video double as a gospel monologue you won’t be able to stop watching. 

 

15. Elegance by Drebae

Bringing a queer femme twist to the rap scene, Drebae seamlessly enters the luxury-in-excess lifestyle the genre is well known for. Killer beats and catchy rhymes make for an earworm song and rewatchable video you’ll keep coming back to. 

 

16. Bi by Living in Color

This bold ‘90s punk rock song isn’t exactly a family friendly watch. But what it lacks in subtlety, it makes up in catchiness. With a great  video that exudes sexuality, we guarantee  that after checking out this pick you’ll find yourself feeling a little more badass, regardless of your identity. 

 

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