Mika, the Most Cheerful Singer with Sad Lyrics
3 min read
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Do you know Mika? Yes, he was one of the hosts of the Eurovision Song Contest in May 2022. For continental Europe, Mika is a mega pop star. He released five successful albums, had his own variety show on Italian television and performed on top of the Eiffel tower in Paris. The fact that he is fluent in English, French, Italian and Spanish also helps his international career. However, the English-speaking world remembers him mainly as the author of several smashing hits that topped the charts back in 2006: Grace Kelly, Love Today, Happy Ending, and Relax, Take It Easy.
These songs sound like the most fun and carefree anthems ever. But Mika tricks his listeners: the lyrics are surprisingly dark. Even the dance earworm, Relax, is like that. In fact, the song was written right after the 2005 London bombings (Mika was underground when the explosions happened). “Now I’m lost / And I’m screaming for help on my own / Relax, take it easy / For there is nothing that we can do,” Mika sings. His other songs touch on subjects like bullying, loneliness, heartbreak, discrimination, and death of loved ones. But who listens to the words when the performer smiles and radiates positive energy?
It's Mika's special talent to talk about sad things in a cheerful way, to turn a sad experience into a happy tune. How? Perhaps, this is something the singer has learnt from his family. Mika was born in Beirut, the third of five children, to a Lebanese mother and an American father. Soon after his birth, the war broke out in Lebanon, and the family moved to Paris. An unfortunate set of circumstances led the parents to bankruptcy and a forced move to London. Local primary school was hell for Mika: extreme bullying ended in the unfair expulsion. But everyone in the family supported each other through all the problems and hardships in life. The glass is always half-full if there are loving people around you. And that is the message that Mika keeps translating into his music.