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Life In Cartoon Motion is an album that should come with a warning label: Will not be able to stop bobbing head and tapping toes. The debut album by British artist Mika has exactly that effect ~ play it aloud and you can bet everyone in the room will start dancing in their seats in a quiet, almost synchronised manner, save for the one person who will stand up and dance with no inhibitions.

Loud, fun, happy, and colourful are just a few words we can use to describe Mika, but the music speaks for itself. Mikaís high pitch on Love Today can give the Bee Gees a run for their money, but he turns right around and surprises you with the soothing ballad Any Other World. Songs like Grace Kelly, Lollipop, Billy Brown, and Love Today show that Mika definitely knows how to have fun, while My Interpretation, Happy Ending, and Any Other World prove that he has a serious side too. Heís struck gold with this album, creating eleven songs (thereís a hidden track at the end of the album) that never once falter. Mika does it all ~ heís penned the lyrics, composed the tunes and sung the songs ~ and heís only 23 years old.

In the few months since the albumís release, Life In Cartoon Motion and the hit single Grace Kelly have dominated the UK charts and are steadily spreading the Mika mania across the world. We let the rising star himself tell us about his journey from his birthplace of war-torn Lebanon to Life In Cartoon Motion.

Have you always wanted to be a musician?

Mika: There was a point after we moved to the UK where I left school and kind of had to get back on my feet again. I just delved into music then for about almost eight months where I wasnít at school, and from that point on, once I got my first few gigs I was just like this is for me. This is my life. And it also got me out of school, so it was like as long as I can keep doing this for as long as possible then Iíll be happy [Laughs] I didnít want to be particularly normal because it didnít always work out when I was.

Weíve heard your music described in many ways, especially happy. How do you describe your sound?

Mika: What is the Mika sound? Psychobabble, hyperactive songwriter pop music. Itís kind of a one man band, schizophrenic pop attack. [Laughs] I started writing very early because Iím really dyslexic so I canít read music. I had to come up with the stuff to play myself so I just wrote my own little tunes instead. My first few songs were pretty pathetic [Laughs]. But they got better, thank God.
What were your musical influences growing up?

Mika: Growing up I was listening to everything from classical music to a lot of folk music through my mother, and a lot of Bob Dylan, a lot of Joan Baez through to like Egyptian music and Flamenco music and pretty much everything. And bits of pop. A lot of the Brat Pack, a lot of American standards, but I never really got into pop or rock music because simply there wasnít much of that in my house. Which is good. I was happy with the music I grew up listening to. It gave me a chance to discover a lot of pop and rock music later on.

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


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