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New Artist Alert: Mika
All of the artists in this section are chosen because we think they are the Next Big Things to watch out for. In the case of this London-based singer/songwriter, we’re not sure you will get exactly how big we think he’s going to be until you experience his music. If you only check out one new artist this month, let it be Mika.

1. Mika’s striking sound is inspired by an eclectic range of influences.
It’s the kind of sound that makes the energy in a room spike. Big, boisterous, unapologetic and melodic pop from a natural performer who once described his sound as ‘Beck via Queen and Elton John with a touch of Rufus Wainwright’. Throw in a little Prince and George Michael and you’re beginning to get just a hint of what this 23-year-old is capable of. Says the singer/songwriter/producer, standing tall at 6’ 3”, in his official biography, “I grew up listening to every thing from Joan Baez and Bob Dylan, to Serge Gainsbourg and Flamenco. My musical tastes have become more eclectic as I’ve got older, but I'm always going back to great artist/songwriters, people who make great records to their own vision. Prince, Harry Nilsson, Elton John, even Michael Jackson. These people make amazing pop records that couldn’t be performed by anybody else and that’s what I always wanted to do.”

Sure enough, when it came time to work on his debut album, Life In Cartoon Motion, Mika said in an interview that he knew exactly what it was going to sound like before he had even signed a record deal. The often anthemic, always hook-filled songs may sound like instant hits to the music industry now, but it hasn’t been an easy ride. According to Mika, executives wanted him to abandon his sound and write songs in the vein of acts that were hot at that time. Mika ignored the request and with the multiple #1 hits he has stacked up, he is now having the last laugh.

2. He might be just 23 years old, but he’s had enough adventure to last him a lifetime.

Mika was born in Beirut, Lebanon in 1983. Because of the war, the family was forced to leave the country when he was just a baby. They moved to Paris where they lived for eight years. When his father was taken hostage and held at the American embassy in Kuwait, the family eventually settled in London. He says, of this time in his life, “It was the combination of moving as well as a horrible time I had at school in the first few years of living in London that led me to forget how to read and write, and stop talking for a little while. I was pulled out of school for over six months, in order to sort my self out and find a new school. This is when music really became important. It got me back on my feet.” He says now that by the age of nine he knew that songwriting was his destiny.

You can read the rest of our feature on Mika in the April 2007 issue of The Record Music Magazine available at your local newsagent.


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