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Mika’s passion for pop illustrated in ‘Cartoon’


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Mika’s passion for pop illustrated in ‘Cartoon’

By Christopher John Treacy/ Music

Monday, June 11, 2007 - Updated: 07:59 PM EST

 

Writing quality pop songs is no silly matter.

 

At least, that’s how 23-year-old retro-rocking Londoner Mika feels about it. Despite the campy Freddie Mercury-meets-Scissor Sisters sound of the Beirut-born singer’s debut, “Life in Cartoon Motion,†he’s adamant that people take him and his music seriously.

“It’s an art form, and it’s not to be mocked,†he said, calling from Los Angeles before a gig last week. “So much of the indie scene is built around veiling pop music as something more hard rocking than it is, when really all the artists are trying to do is connect with people, as if there’s something wrong with that.â€

 

 

 

He should know: Mika’s been writing pop songs and jingles since age 11. You can hear his grasp of craft in tunes such as “Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)†and “Lollipop,†in which he strikes a masterful balance between progressive rock and bouncy pop capped with a glam-style sexuality that screams 1973. And when you least expect it, he gets all versatile and turns the corner into a delicious modern house groove on “Relax (Take it Easy).â€

 

 

He says he honed his songwriting skills during a rough period in adolescence.

“I went through a lot of pain in school,†he said. “I got bullied for my dyslexia, and I actually stopped talking for six months - just gave up. Writing music brought me ’round, because I could succeed at it without having to read a book. It wasn’t that I was so highly motivated. I just liked the way I could use songs to tell stories.â€

 

 

A fondness for storytelling bleeds its way into everything Mika does. He’s fascinated with using alternate realities to convey information, especially cartoons - hence the title of his debut.

 

“The phrase ‘Life in Cartoon Motion’ reads like psychobabble,†he admitted, “but it’s a reference to how quickly things happen in cartoons. Pop music is similar. You can convey an enormous amount of information compacted in a simple and direct way. A lifetime can transpire within minutes.â€

 

“Life in Cartoon Motion,†with its animated, circus-like cover illustrations by his sister, follows Mika from his formative years into adulthood. While its themes are playful, it’s certainly no joke.

 

“Just because my first disc captures a childlike euphoria doesn’t make it any less serious a project,†he said.

 

Indeed, much toil went into reworking the arrangements in Miami with producer/songwriter Jodi Marr (sometimes called the Latin Linda Perry) after Mika endured repeated rejections peddling his demos, including one from “American Idol†judge Simon Cowell.

 

 

Now the market-savvy Mika is enjoying rave reviews on both sides of the Atlantic.Most folks first saw him modeling in a Paul Smith fashion ad before his first single had dropped. But Mika, who says it’s too early in his career to discuss his much-speculated-about sexuality, doesn’t want to be thought of as just another pretty face. Not that he regrets posing for the ad.

 

“You mean that photo where I look like I smoked a lot of opium?†he asked, his voice dripping sarcasm. “I got paid 600 pounds for an eight-minute photo shoot. Artists need all the help they can get putting themselves out there, and we need to make a living. Whatever brings more recognition is

fine by me.

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“You mean that photo where I look like I smoked a lot of opium?†he asked, his voice dripping sarcasm. “I got paid 600 pounds for an eight-minute photo shoot. Artists need all the help they can get putting themselves out there, and we need to make a living. Whatever brings more recognition is

fine by me.

EXCELLENT this kind of honesty, self acceptance and understanding of what makes things "tick" is what makes Mika work for me...I just LOVE how genuine and honest he is, he is right, he is not snobby or pompous about anything that has helped him get where he is now he feels no shame and some seem to want him to feel shame....for what???

I have only pride in what he has achieved and I know he is going to achieve even more and deservedly so, MIKA kicks a$$ he is AWESOME and AMAZING and I wuvs him stax (RANT OVER sorry got a bit carried away there).:wub2:

 

PS thanx for posting :thumb_yello:

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why did they make is eyes SO blue??? there kind of scary! he looks like a robot or something. must of been all that opium!

 

Hmmm nothing wrong with bright blue eyes! Thats what mine are!! but yeah from brown to blue is kind strange!

Thanks for the article post well worth a read!

xx

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