Welcome to the new recurring post about idols and inspirations! I’ll be posting “thank you’s” to my favorite artists, actors, writers, teachers, and anyone else in between that fits the bill.
I found you through a series of random events. One, seeing a music video for your song “Grace Kelly”. Two, Pandora came into my life. Three, I made a station based on the song and started hearing more of your music. Four, Christmas, 2009 I received your most recent album to date “The Boy Who Knew Too Much.” I had been suffering from a broken heart, but your music gave me something to fall in love with. The rest, as they say, is history.
Energetic, colorful, and decidedly queer, your music held my hand while I worked through my teenage years, my sexuality, and even my aesthetic as an artist. The music video “We are Golden” pretty much sums up my artistic goals for my life. I listen to the music when I want to dance, when I am feeling blue, when I’m driving in dangerous conditions, and/or when I need a little spark of creativity. As far as projects, I have made a font, a film, decorated a room, and written a jukebox musical all directly inspired by your work.
What has struck me the most is your latest album, “No Place in Heaven”. It’s so gay. Finally, expressly gay. There is a song on there, “Good Wife”, that perfectly encapsulates how it feels to be in love with a straight person. I have never, ever heard a song written about that (except my me). In fact, it was one of the songs on that album that inspired this very column:
“Thank Rufus, thank you Auden and James Dean
thank you Emmerson and Bowie for my dreams
Wilfred Owen, Kinsey, Whitman and Rimbaud
Thank you Warhol, Thank you Patience, Thank you Porter and Cocteau.”
(Good Guys, Mika)
I did finally get to go to one of your concerts and it was AMAZING. It took me about six years because you never tour in the U.S. for long (why???) and the dates never had worked out right. I ended up traveling to Montreal to see it, which was great because I got to hear a lot of your French songs. You also spoke in between songs a bit, sharing your thoughts and personal inspirations for the music. It’s not only the music that inspires me, but your journey; from the bullied middle child of a family of five to an international pop star. You have a commitment to telling it like it is; to write about hookers, fractured love, queerness, big girls, and beauty.
So thank you Mika! Thank you for encouraging my creativity and my queerness, for helping me accept myself, and for reminding me to live my life in explosive color. I hope to one day work on a project with you. Until then, from afar, I salute you.
(P.S., thanks for being a fashion icon, I definitely have curated my wardrobe based on your wardrobe)