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4Music: 4Play: Mika


RAK1
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Just watched the Channel 4 interview, where he performed, Love Today, Lolipop girl, Big Girls (You Are Beautiful) and Grace Kelly, talking in between about the songs, how he started his musical journey and his hopes for the future.

It was a very entertaining 20 minutes, and he had two little green stripes on his cheek while he performed, made me think of Adam Ant.

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Here's a quick transcript I did - using Stop and Start on the remote - so hope it is accurate enough of what Mika had to say on the TV early this morning. Format was Mika just talking to camera, interspersed with snatches of a live performance of a handful of songs.

 

CW.

 

 

TRANSCRIPT

By Cautionary Wife

 

MIKA ON

4MUSIC: 4PLAY: MIKA

0.10am Fri 02 February 2007 (21 mins)

 

Profile of hot new Freddie Mercury-inspired singer, Mika.

 

 

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 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 the 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 fascinated 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 a lot 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.

 

ENDS.

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