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Mika is back, and yes, he’s a gay. Well, we kinda knew that didn’t we? But as many of us can relate, coming to terms with the fact – and the subsequent ‘coming out’ process itself – is not always an easy thing to go through at the best of times.

Factor in an international pop star profile, and you can begin to understand why the journey to declaring his sexuality publicly was a deeply personal one for the No.1 selling artist. Now he’s back with a new album, The Origin of Love, and he’s taking to the stage at G-A-Y to sing a few songs for you this weekend! Oh yes, Mika’s come out and now he’s coming home…

 

CLIFF: Tell us about the new album…

MIKA: It took me three years to come back with a new album, mainly because I just didn’t know how to start it. I made the first album, that was born out of college. I was surrounded by music-making. And the second one, I was alone, and slightly more isolated. And then on the third, I just knew I wanted to do something fresh, but I didn’t know how to start. Then, loads of things happened. I actually lived a bit of life, for the first time, not being on the road, but then I had writer’s block, and it was terrifying ‘cause for a year-and-a-half I couldn’t write a single thing. Then I had a break-up, my sister had a horrific accident, which I witnessed, and then, I fell in love again, and I ran away. As soon as I’d started to feel alive again, I ran away. I’d booked myself on a flight and the next night, I landed in Montreal, and after a year and a half of not writing anything, I write this candid insane love song called ‘The Origin of Love’, which unblocked the whole record, and from then on I just traveled around for seven months with a suitcase full of clothes, and another suitcase full of hard drives. Just making this random haphazard album that I crafted as I went.

Mika gay

A lot of your music’s very theatrical.

It is very theatrical and it tells a story as it goes through the song. This one song, ‘Life Dressed as a Man’, could easily find its way into a show; the story is a drag queen falls in love with this straight boy. And the straight boy finds this drag queen revolting and so for the first time in her life, she takes off all her clothes and dresses-up as a boy and becomes a friend of his, but he has no idea that it’s the same person. And the process is that she goes through with her infatuation with this boy.

It was like mirroring sexuality, in as many ways as you possibly can, in its own reflection. To the point where, sexuality becomes obsolete, to the point where it’s reduced to its most common denominator, which is just love, and whether you find someone attractive or not. It’s by pairing things down and flipping them. It goes back and forth so much that it makes gender and sexuality obsolete.

Seeing as how you raised ‘sexuality’, we have to discuss your ‘coming out’ as it were. How was that process for you? 

It was a decision I made in the writing of the song ‘The Origin of Love’. The song claims its territory so much, it’s like an affirmation. It’s like a complete freedom statement, to myself, more than anything. So, that’s when I made the decision. In making this record, I did fall in love, and I went through a thing where I lost love and found it again. So, when I decided to come out publicly, it was from a position of joy and a position of confidence, and it was also on my own terms. Because I know that I was often put under a lot of pressure over the past few years to do that. Admittedly, it’s always been in my music and it’s always been in my lyrics and everything, and I’ve never worn a beard. I’ve never pretended to be anything I’m not, but I’ve just never labeled myself. And so when I do that, I do it from a position of having bloomed first, and also just really joyful and confident. The actual action of doing it, did it make me nervous? Yes. Did it feel good? Yeah, kind of great! Did it feel important? Yes, it felt really important. Did it scare me? No. And that’s how I knew it was the right decision, because there was no fear involved in the process.

Was there a moment when you looked back and thought ‘What was I scared of?’ 

Of course.

And do you understand why you were? 

I totally understand why I was still afraid. I still remember the 14-year-old that I was. It was like this weight that I couldn’t understand how it could be lifted. But, I figured that I would invest in every other part of my life, in order to one day be free of that weight. And so music was my get out, and my friends were my get out. Surrounding myself with tolerance. There’s no-one gay in my family, there’s no-one gay in my extended family. Not a single person that is gay, or openly gay. The concept that you’re a different sexuality to your parents is one that takes a while, when you’re a child, to deal with. And then, placing yourself within the context of gay adult men – and how you fit in to all that. Now I know how I fit in to all that and I love it. And I feel very proud. And it took me a while to get there. It doesn’t weigh on me in any way, now. I’m very comfortable with my identity and my sexuality. I’m in love with a man and quite open about it.

So, you’re out, back in town and you’re going to perform at G-A-Y!

Yes, my show was inspired by the gigs that I used to go to see at G-A-Y… “gigs”, I call them gigs – in very big inverted commas! I used to go there. We have no clubs anymore that are giant theatres, so we don’t have that experience of that old glamorous volume. Feeling that volume in a club is really quite amazing. And I always remember standing on that dance floor and having podiums with drag queens, the giant balloons, all that confetti. I don’t know if you’ve seen one of my shows, but that’s all there and I was inspired by that.

What did you think of G-A-Y, as a customer? 

As a customer, it was the funnest night in London. G-A-Y was the only place we could go and you could dance on your own and feel completely normal.

Are you just doing a few songs or have you thought about what you’re gonna perform?

I’m gonna do a few songs, and a little bit of theatre. ‘Cause you can’t do G-A-Y without a little bit of theatre. If you don’t do a bit of theatre in a G-A-Y show it would be betraying what I found inspiring about it when I was a teen.

 

THE LUSHES’ LUNCHBOX! MIKA TUCKS IN… 

 

Lunchbox Question 1: 

QX loves a good dress/drag-up. Do you have a drag alter ego? 

I don’t think I’d make a very good girl, firstly, because I know how hard it is, so when I look at my friends like Daniel Lismore and even Jodie Harsh and the amount of effort that goes into what they do or Le Gateux Chocolat, It’s their life. Don’t tread on their shit, because those queens have nails. But, that said, you know, John Cameron Mitchell in Head Wig is actually pretty cool, and if I was to be a drag queen, I’d be happy to be head wig, in the Farah Fawcett wig [laughs]. I write songs for other people and all my alter egos names, when I write songs for other people, are women. Like one of them is Alice, and there’s three others and they’re all girl’s names that I hide behind.

Cliff: In terms of the credits? 

Yeah… It’s a way of not bringing my own shit to the table, but being able to write a song without the track record. It’s quite liberating.

Cliff: It’s quite a humble thing to do actually, because most people would insist on their identity being pushed if they’re writing for another artist. 

Sometimes. The only times I’ve actually pushed that is when I’ve never had control over it. It’s easier to write when no one knows it’s you. ‘Cause then they don’t bring your shit into it, and you can write whatever you want. It’s Alice! But my name was on the Madonna track [‘Gang Bang’ on MDNA].

mika gay

gay mika

Lunchbox Question 2: 

What are your vices?

French red wine. Pretty classy. What else? Erm, I dunno, I seem to spend all my money on art illustrations and paintings. When I got my first pay check as a kid, I went and I bought a Jim Woodring illustration and it all started from there.

 

Lunchbox Question 3:

What’s the worst date you’ve ever been on?

It was in Shepherds Bush. I was thrown out at four o’clock in the morning without any clothes on. And my clothes, followed half an hour later, as I was standing on the side road, banging on the door, trying to get my clothes back without any money.

Lee: What did you do?

Well, it was all pretty sudden, and it was kind of just a brutal awakening that people aren’t always very nice. Even if you think you’re getting intimate with them, it isn’t always a happy ending.

Lee: How old were you?

17. I just felt like I’d been kicked in the face. That was nasty, so yeah – that was the worst date I’ve ever been on. Which I thought at the time, it was one of the best dates I’d ever been on, that’s what made it crap!

 

Lunchbox Question 4: 

What’s your life motto? 

Well, it used to be ‘Never ask for permission, just beg for forgiveness’ and now it’s ‘Never ask for permission, and run away before you have to say sorry’.

Lee: Or before you get thrown out! 

Mika: [Laughs] Well, exactly.

 

When I decided to come out publicly, it was from a position of joy and confidence, and it was also on my own terms.

 

Lunchbox Question 5: 

Is Mika, the person, different from the Mika the fans know? 

Well, I think the only difference is, I’m quite similar, it’s just that in my intimate life, I’m just a bit more of a moody cunt. [Laughs]. And I bitch a fuck load more.

 

Lunchbox Question 6:

Have you ever dated a fan? 

Yes.

Lee: How did that go? 

It lasted five years.

Lee and Cliff: Oh wow! Five years!

 

Lunchbox Question 7: 

What one song of yours is most personal to you and why?

I like ‘The Origin of Love’, just because you know, I had a crush, I bottled it like a perfume, and put a cap on it. It’s a crazy piece of music that represents a moment in someone’s life. I like that about it.

Lee: Is that your personal favourite of all the ones you’ve done? 

I would say so. Either that, or ‘Happy Ending’.

 

• Mika is at G-A-Y (Heaven, Villiers Street, WC2N 6NG) on Saturday 6th October. £5 entry wristbands from G-A-Y Bar. The Origin of Love is out Monday 8th October.

 

Photography by joel-ryder.com

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