Catapulted to fame by his debut album Life in Cartoon Motion, which sold more than five million copies, the English-Lebanese pop sensation Mika changes tack with a new album. A mix of sunny pop, R&B and hip-hop, The Origin of Love hits shelves worldwide today. Mika says the work was born of a radical shake-up in his life.
"The starting point for me was stagnation," said the 29-year-old, whose real name is Michael Penniman. "I had been on the road for a year and a half and I didn't have any reason to write, because I wasn't in love and I wasn't angry."
In October 2010, Mika's sister, Paloma, was critically injured after falling from a fourth-floor window in London and impaling herself on a railing. "I suddenly realised that you can lose everything within 30 seconds. It gave me this kind of injection of fearlessness. If you can lose everything so quickly, you'd better do what you really want and not be afraid."
So Mika headed to Montreal, where he teamed up with the Australian music producer Nick Littlemore, who provided just the right environment for him to get his creative juices flowing again.
While his first two albums dwelled heavily on childhood and the teenage years, this one – while the feel-good pop beats are still there – is decidedly more grown-up.
"I hate the phrase 'coming of age'. Come of age from what? Never in your life do you think you're naive, especially when you are living your present moment," Mika said. "But there definitely is a sense of affirmation on this record, where it's like, 'I'm gonna talk about myself in the way that I like to, and with no complexes'."
Mika is defiant about the blend of genres on the record: "I come from no fashion, no scene, no genre. I am just the product of creating music in my own bubble." - AFP