MIKA for Paris Match: “My family is my shelter”

Translations Credits: Elweding on MFC

The new star of The Voice received us at his place in London
Downtown London, the artist opens his home’s doors. Around him, from the left to the right:

Zuleika, 23 y.o., art student; Paloma, 32 y.o. designer, Fortuné, 21 y.o., architecture student; Yasmine, 34 y.o. illustrator.

It wasn’t needed more than one show for the little new coach of The Voice strongly imposes himself. Today we understand better from where his love for young talents comes. At his place, Mika says what does having a team mean. His 3 sisters, Yasmine, Paloma, Zuleika, and his younger brother Fortuné give to him more than just their support: they encourage and protect him. More than 9 million albums sold worlwide, some exuberant shows, a acid pop and a fanciful unvers: star Mika shines in a peculiar family constellation, which loves arts. He enjoyed to play his daily life for us with the ones he loves.

Life is too short to rest lazy in the bed. At 11 y.o. Mika used to sing in a Strauss opera and recorded some ads jungles. Nothing was given to this dyslexic, mute like when 10, boy, except his talent and an amazing trust in life. A strength which he shares with his sister Paloma. Three years before an accidental fall of 10 metres, which made her come close to death, the designer is pregnant. At Pennimans’ they don’t forget their origins: “Our home is Lebanese. If you are about to cry, you get onto the table, you swing your fist and yell as loud as you can.” Joannie imposes herself as the mother queen of this bonded clan. Her presence and advice do count more than everything, she’s Mika’s shadow.

“When I was a child my look was already too weird, with my red trousers and my bow ties. The teachers used to hate me and so did the students. At best, they insulted me. “
Mika don’t trust norms and so do norms toward him. But he waited till summer 2013 to dedicate his song Origin of Love to the man he loves. This 1,91 metres beanpole is at easy in extremity, he whose voice is in a range of 4 octaves. His lyrics usually are serious on ethereal melodies: he transformed his old wounds in successful songs which make the whole world dance

I’m not romantic guy but I hope I found the love of my life

You still have 3 sisters and your younger brother, quite a victory after Paloma’s accident…
This is crazy, surreal. Three years ago my sister Paloma just found a flat close to our place. During her housewarming she lost her balance, fell out of the window and ended up on the railings. The doctors told she couldn’t make it, she wasn’t supposed to walk again. Today, she can walk e she’s pregnant, the baby is waited for may.

How do you get out of such a drama?
This has bonded our family more than ever and, above all, made us wishing to live our own life, without asking for permissions nor apologize… When we are young we don’t think about how quickly the death can strike. Facing this shocking accident we all realized that. It has a kind of set fire on our lifes. I used to tend to isolate myself in order to protect my creation, but I realized that on the contrary, up there in my tower, I began a creative cancer.

Have Paloma been stuck between life and death for much time?
Every day, every hour, her life could tumble. We all were helpless. But she managed to find an unbelievable strength. She was amazing. A way more than me. This thing made us grow up. Since her birth, Paloma suffered of a weakness on her left side, she always used to limp. At school, she was exhausted ‘cause she had just one hand available. She always struggled, I admire her very much.

When you were a child, was it difficult to live on an almost totally feminine planet, with your sisters and your mother?
Yes, it was like a 3 men team against a 12 women team, including my mother, my sisters, my aunts… and no referee! It was reassuring and sometimes pretty frustrating. My obsession was to find my freedom. I knew much early that it would have been the music. When I was a child I wished to work in a theatre, not to be a comedian, but to be a director or a decorator. I loved the idea of theatre, this closed box with no windows. I was charmed by this red and golden sickness (the two colours of Italian theatre) Jean Cocteau used to talk about. I used to be a socially isolated boy.
I was persecuted by other boys about my sexuality. At 8 y.o. I didn’t know anything on the subject, that didn’t belong to my identity. Kids are formidable, they can find their preys and I was on their target. I looked for solutions to get myself out of it, music protected me form that. I used to do a cinema in my head and my songs told all I wanted to.


MIKA singing with his little sister Zuleika in Tokio, Japan (30.07.07)

Penniman Family (well, just the kids)

-Zuleika allegra (with the pink dress)

-Yasmine/Dwack (next to MIKA)

-MIKA  (you know him…)

-Paloma (with the floral dress)

-Fortune (can you believe he is only 19?)

Im sure that, order by age, MIKA is the brother in the middle, then comes Zuleika and Fortune is the youngest, and Yasmine is the oldest, followed by Paloma ;)