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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

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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?

 

Urm, have the Scissor Sisters (and um, Take That...lol) fallen off the face of the earth already?

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Sadly thats the way it has always been and still looks like staying here .. because he has been unable or unwilling to disclose his sexuality- for whatever reason - he'll continue to be hounded and pounced upon until the red tops get more on him; as soon as youre a number one artist frankly you become cannon fodder. Its a real problem that success breeds.

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Why does everyone care so much? If he doesn't say, well that adds to the whole mystery of his songs and stuff. Does that make sense? Like... erm... (trying to think of an example) I watched this Ghibli film, loved, but didn't totally get it. So I went on the web and found out what the stuff was and what it meant. It wasn't so magical then. I hope I make sense.

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Well he himself has written the song Billy Brown which appears to show that confusion in your sexuality can cause problems.. and hurt. Billy leaves his family and lover to go exploring.. if Mika himself is saying thaat these are valid enough issues to be writing a song about it seems to be they are valid issue to ask him to explore more in discussion.. the reality, like it or not is that sexuality is a big issue still .. though im approaching that concpt in a positive way rather than the negative way a lot of red tops would .

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What does "ultra-camp" mean?

 

I don't really understand the flamboyant comments. I thought a flamboyant man is someone who says things like "dahling you better work it miss honey" and wears lip-gloss. Aren't there many straight rockers who perform in a similar style as Mika?

 

I don't understand why people care so much either. BUT I have never been that interested in my fav singers personal life. For eg I don't even know the names of the members in some of my fav bands.

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I apologise in advance because I think I'm going to get just a little bit controversial here...

 

Perhaps Mika is playing them. It is my theory that he realises that, being the way he is, and the press being the way they are, they would of course pick up on the undisclosed sexuality thing and he is using them to generate at least twice the publicity he would have gotten if he was 'just' a guy with some good tunes - which is the only thing that should matter.

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It's crazy but unfortunatetly it seems to be the price of fame. The media seem to think it is their job to root out every little detail about everyone. Don't tell them MIka........it is no ones business but your own.

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Flambuoyant is interesting and doesnt necessrily imply homosexuality. EG The Darkness/ T Rex etc. I'd rather flambuoyant than dull. Just how many bands or artists churn out the same sounding stuff and have nothing to set them apart?

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When I first heard of him I thought he seemed to be a person who take part in orgies where atleast two of the women have armpit hair.

 

This is completely offtopic but doesn't MIKA's sister look like someone who makes their own hand cream?

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Hmm those comments are IMO a little bizarre and off topic yes River!

However Ganymede may have a point .. but the other possibility is that its possible he may not have come to terms quite yet with what he wants to be .. he did say in one of the highlighted interviews i think that was something that 'he had rather put on hold '..

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Hmm those comments are IMO a little bizarre and off topic yes River!

However Ganymede may have a point .. but the other possibility is that its possible he may not have come to terms quite yet with what he wants to be .. he did say in one of the highlighted interviews i think that was something that 'he had rather put on hold '..

 

lol that's what I think "hippies" do.

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Well he himself has written the song Billy Brown which appears to show that confusion in your sexuality can cause problems.. and hurt. Billy leaves his family and lover to go exploring.. if Mika himself is saying thaat these are valid enough issues to be writing a song about it seems to be they are valid issue to ask him to explore more in discussion.. the reality, like it or not is that sexuality is a big issue still .. though im approaching that concpt in a positive way rather than the negative way a lot of red tops would .

I agree. I think it's a valid question.

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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

 

Displayed ignorance on Youtube is no surprise. I actually stopped reading comments on there a while ago. Mika is my favorite artist and I am sticking by him for the rest of his career. I applaud him for everything that he is.

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Unfortunately, there are always going to be people out there who are in there own insulated little world, who can't accept people for who they are and just like to hit out at them because of it. It's sad, but the best thing we can do show Mika lot's of love and support. Personally I couldn't care what his sexuality is, I was drawn to him through his music, I didn't even know what he looked like until three weeks ago when I first saw the video, which I love for it's energy, (and the cool fluorescent lights, very Subway, an old Christopher Lambert film for the uninitiated). I do think he is very good looking and charismatic, at the filming of The Culture Show the other day, I have to admit it was very hard not to stare (but my mother brought me up not to, so I didn't). He was really nice and polite to all that he talked to (again too shy to approach, but I'll be at HMV next Monday so I'll have to get over that), and didn't appear to mind people talking to him.

As for the flamboyant/camp tag, one of the most flamboyant artists in recent history is Steven Tyler of Aerosmith, I cannot recall any saying he was camp, but maybe I'm not reading the right papers.

I have to say that when I think of Mika, I don't think of any of the things that the press say about him, I just think, is there enough room where I am, to jump around when Grace Kelly comes on.

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