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Next year Mika will be performing in Montreal with the Montreal Orchestra. More information will be released next week.
“VERY excited to announce my collaboration for next year with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, full orchestral concert in Feb 2015. It’s a huge honour, here is an early piece from La Presse (in French), more details next week, we are aiming at doing something amazing”
It happened at the red carpet of the Grammys a couple of years ago. I had been nominated for best dance song for Love Today, much to my own confusion, as I never considered Love Today to be a dance song at all, but I went to the ceremony and was sent down the red carpet of doom, giving interviews and polite little nods to each media post as I walked by. Finally I came across a very excited and warm journalist from a mainstream entertainment network. Broadcasting live, he grabbed me, explaining that he loved the song but couldn’t figure out what it was about. «Its about an old depressed prostitute I used to see every night at 3am» I said. «She never got work and was crippled with a heroin addiction spiralling out of control». The journalist froze with lips curled, my publicist plunged her face in her hands and the interview was cut. The interviewer squinted his eyes angrily, «way to murder the vibe on live family TV dude». I was sent off and not asked back again. When asked why I had said what I said by my team, I told them I was here because of that unmentionable hooker. I owed her the mention and that she gave me more than this chicken run of press ever would. Her name was Carolina.
I met Carolina in my early twenties in Miami. At the time, my collaborator Jodi Marr and I would beg and borrow studio hours wherever we could get them. In exchange, we would lend our voices to bad Latin pop records or Jodi would translate lyrics. We were prostituting ourselves for studio time and for a way out of obscurity. We were making my first demos and money was non existent. This meant we often got the studios after normal working hours, from 7pm to 2am. Unable to drive, Jodi would pick me up and drop me off at a gas station in North Miami where I would then be collected by my sister or a friend. Carolina was always there waiting for customers. I quickly realised this wasn’t such a good thing as it meant she wasn’t getting work, which wasn’t surprising as she was passed it and not in good health. I became fascinated by her, but mostly fascinated by her incredible strength. One day she disappeared and I never saw her waiting there again. The song just happened. I didn’t plan it or think it particularly clever, but I wrote it for her.
What is it about the oldest profession in the world and the arts? Musicians, writers and painters have been inspired and fascinated by prostitutes and courtesans for thousands of years. The works have been displayed in palaces, cathedrals and the songs have even been played at weddings. Places where the people that inspire them would not always be welcome. From The Police’s Roxanne to Guercino’s Mary Magdalene, Degas and Manet’s female portraits, La Traviata and Anna Karenina, all have used the moral quandary of sex versus profit as their springboard. To me it is actually the courage that it takes to engage in a meretricious relationship that is fascinating and admirable. Buddhists believe in the separation of the mind and the body which would imply that prostitution of the mind is far more questionable and dangerous. In a capitalist society we regulate “the mind” by regulating peoples actions and transactions. It seems a logical extension to regulate prostitution. The exploitation and suffering would be aided by decriminalising and supporting those working in the industry.
The finest prostitution pop song of them all has to be Killer Queen written by Freddie Mercury. In his own words which I truly believe in he said that «We are all musical Prostitutes my dear». Indeed Freddie we are, however Churchill wasn’t afraid to get his hands a little more dirty. At a high class party Churchill famously asked a socialite if she would sleep with him for five million pounds. Blushing, she replied that the terms would have to be discussed. He then asked her if she would sleep with him for 5 pounds. «Mr Churchill! What kind of woman do you think I am!» she replied. «Madam, we’ve already established what kind of woman you are. Now we are haggling about the price». God, we could use a leader like him again today.
Yesterday, Mika gave a lecture at a university in Milan about marketing and music. There is not much video footage, but there is a transcript available: Click here to read it. For the Italian version click here.