His songs, which are both catchy and deep, mix references to magical worlds and to darker realms. This profile describes some of Mika's sources of inspiration.
Mika in a few words
Born in Beirut in 1983, to a Lebanese mother and American father, Mika - real name Michael Penniman - had a turbulent childhood. The family fled the Lebanon, which was in the grip of civil war, and moved to Paris. Mika's father was later taken hostage and transferred to the US embassy in Kuwait during the Gulf War.
The family moved to London when Mika was nine. Music then became a refuge for him. "This is when music became really important", he says. "It got me back on my feet" (Madame Figaro, October 17, 2007). Encouraged by his mother, who understood that music was vital in helping her son to flourish, he took singing and piano lessons with a Russian teacher. At the age of 11, he appeared in a performance at the Royal Opera House and began recording advertising jingles.
Mika continued his classical training at the Royal College of Music, which he left when he felt ready to pursue his pop dream. He was spotted by Universal and released his first album, Life In Cartoon Motion (including "Grace Kelly" and "Relax Take It Easy") in 2007.
He followed up with The Boy Who Knew Too Much (containing "We Are Golden") in 2009.
The singles "Celebrate" and "Elle me dit" (sung in French) are the first off of The Origin of Love, Mika's third studio album. A real pop music gem, recorded in London, Toronto, Miami, New York, Los Angeles and Southern France throughout many encounters and collaborations, The Origin of Love came out on September 17, 2012.
Inspiration for "Last Party"
In this song and through a video clip directed by photographer Peter Lindbergh, Mika pays tribute to Freddy Mercury, the singer of Queen and one of the many artists who inspires him.