MIKA has wrote about his past year, you can read it below.
The rain is falling in Los Angles. Today I woke up again in my hotel room and for the first time it dawned on me. I have been away from home for almost 11 months. As the end of the year is coming I thought I would round up, where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to. It all started in november last year. What started off in 2009 as a 3 month tour, pilled up into almost a year and a half of traveling and performing. It was now the end of November 2010 and I was done. I hadn’t written a song in months and had no idea where I would even start. Touring has a different effect on everyone. Some artists are able to write on the road, but I found it impossible. As the show evolved and changed around the world, there was hardly any room for anything else. It was worth it of course. My show’s had never sold as many tickets and I had been given a once in a lifetime opportunity, to perform in person to all my fans that had supported me from the beginning as well as making new ones along the way.
In October 2010 my sister Paloma had a horrific accident. In the months that followed, every aspect of our family life was thrown up in the air. Out of a tragic moment, comes a wave of opportunity, to change and change we did, everyone in my family changed in some way from that day on. I knew I had to go and not come back until I had done what I needed to do. I had to grab the moment and make something I was truly proud of. I wouldn’t go back home until I had cracked where I was going musically. Having wanted to write in French for a long time, I called my friend the writer Doriand and asked him if he felt like spending a week with me in the studio. In February, unprepared, we set up camp at La Fabrique in Provence. In the day we wrote and in the evening i would sleep in the bed in the studio. Within three days we had written 82 Rue Des Martyr, Blame it on the weather and Elle Me Dit. For some reason, after 12 months of nothing, the songs were coming, and they were good.
I left France for Canada and set up a session with Nick Littlemore in Montreal. I realised that whilst writing the second album I had locked myself away at Olympic studios in London and worked mostly on my own. There was a loneliness and fear associated to that period that I swore never to feel again. I thought that if I could set up fake bands around the world with people I loved then maybe it would just happen. It was very important for me, that the sound of the record should come together at the same time as the writing and writing with others would help me do that. Nick Littlemore is half of the band Empire Of The Sun. I had never met him before. He was in Montreal working on the music for a new Cirque Du Soleil show. I was a timely escape. On first impressions, Nick was tall and amicable. He has a body that seems to long for him to control which gives him a loveable awkwardness. I was jet lagged, he was high and the sessions were stunning.
One the first evening together, and with the musician Paul Steel we wrote a song called Underwater. It happened in about fifteen minutes. I had just gone through a rough break up, and somehow, the pressure of the second album, the break up, the touring and my sisters accident left me feeling as if I needed to gasp for air. The chorus reflects that. “All I need is the love you breath, put your lips on me and I can live underwater”
Over the next few days, we started work on another song called the Origin Of Love. In this song, I made a conscious decision to write as honest a love song as possible. the concept was simple; let’s forget history, lets forget the bible and all religious fairytales, the only thing I know is the love I have for you. Forget God, forget Adam and Eve, the origin is you, you are the origin of love.
“Love is a drug and you are my cigarette. Love is addiction and you are my Nicorette. Love is a drug like chocolate like cigarettes, I’m feeling sick I’ve got to medicate myself.”
The concept was figured out. I would write 12 love songs. Each in their own way as brutally honest as possible. Fear not, there is no smooth sounding e-piano anywhere on the record. I wanted to make love songs in a way that I had never heard before. Of course, these thoughts border on delusions of grandeur, but why not? If I couldn’t allow myself that, then the next option was fear. I would rather pretend to be a prince than feel like a prisoner.
From Montreal I bounced to Miami. I started writing with Jodi Marr again. Miami never felt so good. I remembered how, at our lowest and most broke, Jodi re-mortgaged her home in order to pay for the demos we were making. I then went to Los Angeles, back to Miami, Montreal, New York, France, and over and over again. I started to feel myself again. So when it got to last summer, I thought why not release Elle Me Dit in France. I thought, what can I lose? I won’t promote it, we’ll take it straight to radio and see what happens..? I was advised not to release it, it was so out of context and there was too much risk. In the end I went for it. I wasn’t going to stop myself from putting something out just because of fear. fear of what?! The only reason things were flowing so fast was because fear was out of the equation. I wouldn’t let it in again. The record did better than we ever could have hoped. More than anything, the sucsess of the single fuelled my drive even more.
Fast forward to today. The songs are written and we are over the half way mark recording them. The hiding has been worth it in every single way and no part of me regrets it whatsoever. Now I have to finish it and I will! it will be up to you to make your minds up as to what you think of it. At least it was made with honesty and an enormous amount of joy. I can not wait to share it with you. Along the journey all these people have joined in somewhere somehow, each one massively important; Nick Littlemore, Paul Steel, Fryars, William Orbit, Doriand, Priscilla Renea, Bilboard, Hillary Lindsay, Ellie Goulding, Pharell Williams, Benny Benassi, Martin Solveig, Klas Ahlund from the Teddybears, Wayne Hector, Fanny Ardent and Greg Wells.
Through this record I’ve had a breakup, fallen very much in love again, felt like the teenager that started doing this years ago and come to peace with many things in me and around me. There are so many things I want to share, and will do so in time. For now, I beg your indulgence over the next months and know that the hiding is for a reason. I will go home for Christmas. In fact I’ve finally grown up and moved. Although to be frank, buying my own place is one of the
daftest things I could have done, as in the year that I’ve had it, I’ve only been there a total of three weeks. Right now home is where this record is. I can worry about being a house man, when I’m done