Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Mika and the Politics of Pop (from Emily)

For awhile now I've been meaning to post something about Mika, the new love of my life. That's right - move aside Margaret Atwood and Michael Ondaatje. I now search youtube for interviews with Mika.

He's perhaps best known for the above song (Grace Kelly), a song that had me head over heels for him the first time I heard it. But there are a lot of gender-related issues tied up in Mika's music too. First of all there's his somewhat controversial Billy Brown. Apparently reporters are always trying to get Mika to "come out" and tell them he's gay, but Mika refuses to make a statement about his sexuality. Here's an interview where Mika discusses his viewpoint on the role sexuality and politics play in art:

(If you just want to listen to the part about sexuality, skip to 3:30 or so)

As a creative writer who also studies the social impact of artforms, boy do I ever feel that tension between art and social activism!

Mika is also noteworthy on this blog for this wonderful song, Big Girl You Are Beautiful. The story Mika tells about this song is that he saw a documentary about obesity in the US, and the only point in the documentary that felt positive and hopeful to him was that part where it discussed The Butterfly Lounge, a club for big women and the men who like big women. That documentary inspired him to compose this fun and wonderful song:

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