Saturday, July 25, 2009
My Interpretation . . . of Mika
Media Moment: Mika song(s)
Queen Related: Freddie reference
Back in 2007, a friend of mine asked me if I had heard that song on the radio that mentions Freddie Mercury. “What?” I said. I hadn’t heard anything of the nature and I usually get updates via the online Queen newsgroups I belong to.
I never did hear Grace Kelly on the radio (probably because I never listen to it anymore). An east coast television station that plays music videos during commercial breaks kept playing a video whose song caught my ear one day. I could have swore that the singer mentioned Freddie . . . sure enough, it turned out to be Mika and it was sure catchy.
I got on the Internet immediately to learn more about this guy and what his Freddie reference meant. It turns out that he was drawing parallels with Freddie on many levels: vocally, musically, middle eastern descent, sexuality (alleged homosexuality), and even managed to get his hands on Freddie’s original grand piano.
Hearing Freddie’s name in Grace Kelly reminded me of Def Leppard including “Killer Queen” in the lyrics to Rocket. But in Mika’s case, Freddie is the only musical artist who gets the honor of being part of the song—not one in a long list of British rock acts, like in Rocket. Freddie obviously made an impression on young Michael Holbrook Penniman growing up in Lebanon and then London.
I’ll also add to the Mika-Queen similarities . . . his song Big Girl struck me as a kind of send-up of Fat Bottomed Girls with its overt fondness for larger ladies.