entertainment

Mika: My fight against homophobia in the music industry

Attitude's Music Award winner reveals industry bosses told him his music was "too gay" early in his career.

2019-10-11

Mika has opened up about his battle against homophobia after refusing to hide his sexuality in his music.

The 'Grace Kelly' singer, who collected the Music Award and performed at the Virgin Atlantic Attitude Awards, powered by Jaguar on Wednesday (9 October), says his queerness has always been central to his song-writing since the earliest days of his career.

"The idea of sexuality being a part of your process, your identity and your source of inspiration is so important to me,” says Mika in an exclusive interview in the Attitude Awards issue, available to download and to order globally now."

"If I didn’t have music, I would not have been able to understand or deal with my sexuality in the same way. It’s always been at the centre of my writing."

Mika, 36, who publicly came out in 2012, is back with latest album My Name Is Michael Holbrook and he assures fans that it is unapologetically gay – notably his recent summer bop 'Ice Cream'.

"It talks about receiving fellatio on the lawn," he laughs.

The chart-topper, whose 2007 debut record Life in Cartoon Motion sold over 8 million copies worldwide has also fought to overcome bigoted bigwigs within the industry.

"In America it was [an issue]. I’ll always remember some of the comments that were made at the record company," he recalls.

"When I was trying to get signed, the head of a very major label said that it [my music] felt ‘a bit too gay’ and he wouldn’t sign me.

"He said that in front of me. My manager, who is now one of the heads of Def Jam, told him to go fuck himself – this is a guy who founded Loud Records and signed Wu Tang Clan.

Mika adds tellingly: "He isn’t in the industry any more..."

Read Mika's full interview in the Attitude Awards issue, out now.

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