Everyone must be excited for this year’s Arthur’s Day – new venues, great headline bands, and (of course) a massive session. However, when the day arrived, there wasn’t many as excited as me as I made my way to the Morrison Hotel to meet Mika for some one-on-one banter about Guinness, Opera, and the new album!

Having been on the pop scene for a few years now, Mika has been pretty much been unavoidable to anyone who’s listened to the radio since 2007. In 2007, hit single Grace Kelly shot to number one in the UK charts from his debut album ‘Life in Cartoon Motion’. And we’ve been graced with some great hits since; the likes of Lollipop, Rain and We Are Golden. So having the chance to catch up with him as he prepares for the night ahead gave a great opportunity to find out a bit more about the man behind the hugely catchy hits. Here’s what he had to say about the Arthur’s Day experience: “I didn’t expect it to be this fun- As in, the whole event. I think it’s great. I think it’s cool. It’s my first time, and I didn’t know I was performing with a Gospel choir until last night. I’m keeping them on stage for most of the show, and it’s really cool. It’s like happy chaos.”

As we all know, Arthur’s Day isn’t Arthur’s Day without the Guinness. Love it or hate it, it’s a part of the whole experience. We found out if Mika had sampled the black stuff before; “Have I tried it yet? Many times; It’s my Mum’s favourite beer. The last time I had a lot of Guinness, I woke up and I didn’t know who I was sleeping next to. It’s that kind of drink. It’s like it takes you to very happy, but blacked out, places.”

For anyone who doesn’t know, Mika wasn’t always big on the pop scene. Having trained as an opera singer from the age of 11, his future didn’t always look like it was directed towards the world of pop music. After entering into the Royal College of Music, London, it came to a breaking point. We asked Mika whether classical music had ever been an option for him as regards a career path; “I always knew I wanted to do pop music. Maybe I would have liked to have been a classical baritone or something, but I think I was just too mediocre compared to some of the people in my class. I could write melody – if I could write melody, I could get my way out of there. And that’s what I kind of stuck with; if I could write melody, then I’d find a way to make it happen. I mean, I am a result of my kind of weird background. Especially when you listen to my albums, especially this last one ‘The Origin of Love’, you hear classical music blended with 70’s style pop song writing. It’ part of the fabric of who I really am, and I’m completely happy with it.”

Mika’s music comes with a special kick of self-confidence every time you listen to it. From the first album, through to the latest, he’s always had a message to send about being comfortable with oneself. Does he feel that sending this message makes him a role model to those fans who look to him for inspiration? “Here’s what he had to say; It’s funny, because I’m not that self-confident, except in my music. With my music I feel like a boxer in a ring, and then in the rest of life, I’m kind of terrified most of the time. If you think that I’m a role model, than you better get a better role model! You are who you are, get comfortable with it. You are who you are; you’re going to say things that make people feel uncomfortable, but you can do it with music and melody so that it wraps them in this kind of comfort blanket.”

With the UK and Ireland release of his newest album, ‘The Origin of Love’ on the horizon, what are UK and Irish audiences to expect? Having been extremely successful so far in Europe, France in particular, and Asia, can it expect the same reception over here? Comparing it to the first and second album, Mika tells us what’s coming our way; “It’s completely different. You can recognise instantly that it’s me, but you can tell that I entered the studio with a completely deconstructed ego, completely forgetting my track record. I was making an album, and saying to myself ‘I’m going to do this as if it’s for the very first time’. And that was essential. I’m not a mainstream, single-driven artist anymore. I make my records, and I push them, and it works.”

And with this new album so close to release, the big question is will Mika be returning to Irish shores soon to promote ‘The Origin of Love’? We can confirm for all the fans that it’s good news- he’ll be back in the New Year. Remember to keep an eye out here for ticket news, dates and venues.


Photo: Mark Earley