MIKA for Sportweek magazine: I've made outing! Now the challenge is to learn to swim!
After having publicly declared to be homosexual, the singer speaks to “SW” of his new album and sport: “I hate water and, to avoid the pools, I invite the instructor to drink….”
Young, tall, beautiful, famous, Michael Penniman alias Mika would have every reason to give himself airs, many of his colleagues do it for much less. But when we meet in Milan we understand that it’s not the type: the twenty-nine Anglo-Lebanese, reached to international success in 2007 with the single “Grace Kelly”, is calm, quiet, gentle. And he smiles, he smiles all the time. Maybe it’s love, ‘cause he declared that he is in love several times lately. Surely he’s excited about his new work called “The Origin Of Love”, realized with artists different from each other like the american Pharrell Williams and our Benny Benassi. « An album full of joy » Mika said.
The main theme is Love… « Yeah, and it’s weird because I’m not romantic. But I find that writing love songs can be fun, you don’t have to compose honeyed things like “Celine Dion”, you can kid yourself. And I did it. »
This summer, during an interview for the american magazine Instinct, you’ve said for the first time your homosexuality. How did you feel after? « A little bit nervous. The beautiful thing is that I was not afraid. In my private life I have never pretended to be other than what I am, but be yourself in public is another matter. And it’s important. Of course, you have to do without feeling forced, then it’s ok! It means to admit your complexity: I’m gay, yes, but does it matter? It’s just a part of me. »
what else is there in Mika? « Music: writing songs, sings, plays, everything that makes me happy, I don’t do it only for those who listen to me, I do it for myself too.»
Do you have other hobby or interests? « Conceptual art, painting, design, especially the one somewhat bizarre. You know, I’ve a brother architect and a sister fashion designer… And then I’ve a Range Rover, it is only one year old but it seems already old because I use it often out of town, on dirt roads, to go climbing and do trekking with my dog. I love the mountains, up there if you don’t want to fall you can not think about work, you are in another dimension. And you feel so small…»
Do you make sport in the life of every day? « I run three or four times a week. Plus now I’m taking a course in swimming, I’m a landslide, I don’t like water, I always try to convince my teacher to go for a coffee or a beer instead of being in the pool!»
Back to “The Origin Of Love”: a track, Heroes, talks about the war veterans. «That song was inspired by a taxi driver that I knew, with a past in the Blue Helmets. This man told me that when he came back at home - among other things he had been in Beirut, where I was born -, he lost everything. The war had destroyed his mind, but no one around him had been able to understand him because his stress, his pain were not visible wounds, they were all internal. In the U.S. you come across a lot of stories like that, war veterans become homeless, heroes that, being survived, aren’t considered because it is easier to make someone a hero after it is dead. Is it not disgusting?»
The album is produced by “Nick Littlemore” of “Empire of the Sun”: how was working with him? « Nick found a way to give me a perfect atmosphere to work on, leaving me, however, absolute freedom. We danced in the studio. Unfortunately we are very bad dancers.»
You have done coming out, you said to be in love: Would you like to marry? « I’m not interested about the religious value of marriage, but I’m sure that it should be a right for everyone, it is a matter of equality.»