ganymede Posted January 26, 2007 Share Posted January 26, 2007 The only camp artist in the pop chart In the week that Mika's Grace Kelly makes it to No 1, why aren't there more flamboyant pop stars like him around? Caroline Sullivan January 26, 2007 09:56 AM You've probably noticed that this week's number one single is Grace Kelly by Mika, the Anglo-Lebanese pop singer who's been hotly tipped, as they say, by nearly everyone. If you don't know the song, listen to it here before reading any further. Having done so, you'll probably agree that, despite the already soaraway success, Mika will never be to everyone's taste. Singing in falsetto is a surefire way to infuriate potential audiences (see Justin Hawkins, Leo Sayer), and being camp just splits opinion even further (YouTube viewers have already risen to the occasion by posting comments such as "Fag" and "Why are all the uber-cute guys gay?") Unsurprisingly, the Sun is already on his case about the campness. In an interview yesterday, it quizzed him about his sexuality, and when the "flamboyant, ultra-camp musician" deflected the questions, it settled for describing him as "unlike any other act on the music scene now." And that's the thing that makes his success interesting. He IS unlike any other current mainstream pop act. You'd think that a popular culture that has made stars of the Scissor Sisters and Graham Norton would find room for a fair number of "flamboyant" solo stars in the upper stratum of the pop chart, but Mika is the only one in recent memory to have made it. (Will Young? Lovely guy, but about as flamboyant as the bass player in Coldplay.) Moreover, he's made it with a song about identity - he doesn't mind being Grace Kelly OR Freddie Mercury, if it will just make the object of his affections notice him. At the very least, it's a thought-provoking song, particularly coming after the steadfast dullness of the previous number one, Leona "X-Factor" Lewis's A Moment Like This. So he's camp and sexually ambiguous. Is that actually a big deal, seven years into this century? Given the dearth of other Mikas in the chart, you'd have to say that it is. To many, "flamboyance" - being unsettling - sticks in the craw, in a way that being "arty" (see Rufus Wainwright) or granny-friendly (Scissor Sisters) doesn't. For a new singer to be saying, on his first hit, "I tried to be like Grace Kelly, but all her looks were too sad, so I tried a little Freddie, I've gone identity mad!" is worth a small round of applause, don't you think? source = Guardian blogs Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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