Mika (born Mica Penniman, 18.8.1983)
Mika is a Grammy Award-nominated singer / songwriter who was born in Lebanon and is now based in London.
Mika was the third of five children born to a mother of Syrian / Lebanese heritage and an American father. He was born in Beirut, Lebanon. War forced the family from Lebanon and they moved to Paris. It was in Paris that he wrote his first song, a piano instrumental called 'Angry'.
When Mika was nine years old, the family then moved to London. He experienced much bullying and had problems with dyslexia. Mika attended St Phillips School in Kensington, then Westminster School and the Royal College of Music. He left RCM to record his first album for Casablanca Records. Frustrated at people mispronouncing his name, he changed the 'c' to a 'k'.
Mika: Musical Career
Mika's public musical endeavours range from creating the music for an Orbit chewing gum jingle, to writing British Airways in-flight music and appearing at the Royal Opera House.
His debut TV appearances were on Later With Jools Holland and The Friday Night Project. Mika topped the BBC News' influential Sounds of 2007 poll.
The debut single was a download / limited "7 vinyl release, 'Relax, Take It Easy'. The song was playlisted by BBC Radio 1 and was made Single of The Week by the station's DJ Scott Mills.
The single 'Grace Kelly' reached number one in January 2007 and the next month, his album, Life In Cartoon Motion, produced by Greg Wells, was released. Reviews of the album drew comparison to a number of established artists such as Freddie Mercury, Elton John and Scissor Sisters. The artwork for the album was created by his sister, who works under the name Dawack.
Mika won three awards at the 2007 World Music awards: more than any other artist that year and the first artist to ever win three in one year. In February 2008 he played at the 50th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles. That same month, he opened the 2008 BRIT Awards. He performed his own songs, 'Love Today' and 'Grace Kelly' as well as a duet with Beth Ditto, performing her band The Gossip's song 'Standing In The Way Of Control'.