"For every love I had to hide, and every tear I ever cried, I'm down on my knees, I'm begging you please, there's no place in heaven for someone like me." - No Place in Heaven
Mika is a European based, Lebanese born pop star that exploded onto the music scene in 2007 with his first album "Life in Cartoon Motion". With so many cookie-cutter pop artists coming into the public eye every year, it is always a treat when you find someone unique and different. Mika is such an artist, and there is no one that does what he does. Classically trained, but fascinated with the art that goes into creating a pop song, Mika not only sounds different than other artists, but his entire aesthetic is unique to him. From his fashion sense, to his tour set designs, to his song lyrics, to his artwork, to his awesome falsetto, everything is entirely Mika and it's almost like he's created a little world of his own for his music. He is extremely dedicated to every part of what it takes to be a successful pop star and works very hard to make sure everything comes together as he wants it.
While Mika's music is probably not everyone's cup of tea, there is no denying that his songs get stuck in your head. Love him or hate him, Mika knows how to write a song. When I was able to find the time to sit down and listen to Mika's first album in it's entirety, I was hooked right away. His music is just so fun to listen to, and then when you actually listen to what the lyrics are saying, the songs take on a whole new meaning. He has a tendency to put deep, sorrowful lyrics atop bouncy, light sounding melodies, and the contrast is quite interesting. As his career has progressed, his music has most definitely grown up with him, and I'm impressed with how each of his albums is more mature and personal than the last, but they always retain that signature Mika style and freshness. And to top it all off, he is just adorable in all of his interviews and fun to watch perform.
When I heard that Mika was doing an acoustic US tour and that he would be coming to DC, I got really excited. I had never seen him in person before and while I love seeing videos of his huge production shows, I'm glad that my first Mika concert experience was much more low key. We showed up about 15 minutes before the doors opened and got seats in the front row of the balcony. The venue was beautiful and Mika, Curtis, and Max were having a blast the entire time. He did most of the songs from "Life in Cartoon Motion" and "The Origin of Love", and my favorite moments of the night were when the audience bullied him into singing Elle Me Dit instead of Emily (it sounded awesome), hearing the story behind Relax which gave it an entirely new meaning, and when he went off mic for Lola and Stardust. I've always known that Mika was talented, but hearing him sing those songs without a microphone was so special and gave me a newfound respect for just how good he really is. All in all, it was an amazing concert, Mika was adorable, and I feel so lucky to have gotten to experience it first hand.
Though being a US fan of Mika's is sometimes hard since he focuses so much of his time in France and Italy, I am so happy for all of the experiences his popularity in those countries has opened up for him. In recent years he has been a coach on The Voice France and The X-Factor Italy, has his own show on BBC Radio, put together an amazing symphonic concert in Montreal and Italy (that is also available on DVD), and has his own variety show in Italy called "Stasera Casa Mika". All of his time spent in France actually keeps me motivated to keep up with my French studies so that I can continue following his career and understand his interviews. As long as Mika continues to enjoy his work and find new exciting opportunities that keep him creatively motivated, I'm all for it, whether it be in English, French, Italian, or whatever other language he decides to pick up next!
||No Place in Heaven
||Life In Cartoon Motion
||Staring at the Sun, Love Today, Origin of Love, Beautiful Disaster (solo version)
||Any Other World, Good Gone Girl, Last Party, Staring At The Sun
||Je Chante, Staring at the Sun
||Staring at the Sun
An Intimate Evening With Mika US Tour: Sixth & I Historic Synagogue, DC (4/10/13)