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Music: Live Show Preview – Mika

Origin of Love Album Art

Origin of Love Album Art

The first time I heard of the singer Mika was on Perez Hilton’s blog and since then the refreshing pop singer has transformed himself and his artistry into a global brand. I spoke with Mika, for Campus Circle magazine, in a quick phone interview about his tour stop in Los Angeles. The intimate interview is below:

After the global success of his visually striking Imaginarium tour, Mika is back with a more stripped down yet equally delicious show for his faithful fans. The airy singer will be performing at the El Rey Theatre on March 27. Mika spoke to Campus Circle excitedly about his upcoming show in L.A., which is part of his new North American tour. For anyone who has not had the pleasure of attending one of his concerts, Mika described his live performances as theatrical, stemming from his childhood experiences of attending church in London. Interesting enough, his performances tend to follow the order of a church service. Traditionally, church services open with praise and worship, followed by a greeting, an offering, communion, the message, prayer for needs, then the closing, which can be dressed in dramatic make-up and the more dramatic, the more beautiful. Beautiful can describe a Mika show, but psychedelic sing along is much more accurate.

The standing room only show at the El Rey Theatre will be realized in the same way as Mika’s last concerts. Standout set designs from the Imaginarium tour, were the moonscape and outer space sequences. This time around for his new North American tour the microphone, piano, and guitar are front and center. Think old-Hollywood lounge singer: low lights and Mika in shadowed profile, white starched shirt, fedora hat, with animation creating a playful narrative behind him.

Mika said to bring the set to life he will start planning out the design with the stage technicians at the El Rey and in about four to five hours the set will be complete.

The art deco theatre is an effectual match for this intimate concert and is in harmony with the artistic products that Mika has created as of lately including: the dreamy “Origins of Love” music video directed by Christián Jiménez shot in Chile, the colorful Luvluvmi Doll made in collaboration with DEVILROBOTS, and the breathtakingly gorgeous Imaginarium tour book.

The North American tour kicked off in Vancouver, British Columbia on the 22nd of March and ends mid April in Boston. Altogether there will be seventeen live shows, with the state of California having the most shows in the U.S. (Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Solana Beach).

Curious MFers (Mika Fan Club members) will be delighted to know that the only cover song that Mika will be performing at the El Rey is “Popular Song.” Originally composed by Stephen Schwartz for the Broadway musical hit Wicked, “Popular Song” is not really a cover, but more of Mika’s sugary interpretation of the Galinda song made popular by Kristin Chenoweth. MFers can expect to hear Mika’s more radio-played songs like “Grace Kelly,” “Love Today,” “Relax (Take It Easy),” “Rain,” and “Big Girl (You Are Beautiful)” as well as across-the-board fan favorites such as “Billy Brown,” “Lola,” “Stardust,” “Love You When I’m Drunk,” and “Blue Eyes.”

Mika - Relax, Take It Easy -Re-Release-

Mika – Relax, Take It Easy -Re-Release- (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In shows for his first and second albums, Mika said he often performed cover songs, and with the release of his third album, The Origin of Love, Mika pulled from his own catalogue of music on the Imaginarium tour and even cut out an opening act.

When we asked the singer, from where do you pull inspiration to create your work, he answered with “from anger and vengeance,” which he transforms into infectious bubblegum pop tunes. Continue reading

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Interview: DJ Dainjazone Talks Trap and LMFAO

DJ Dainjazone Set in Vegas

It isn’t that far back that house and hip hop music sipped from different drinking fountains. But since music genres constantly experiment with the lights off, new subgenres are being birth into the word, and faster than Mitt Romney can argue against Planned Parenthood. Trap, with its proud papas like Gucci Mane and Young Jeezy, and house, with its producers like David Guetta and Deadmau5, conceived a new microgenre, trap house. In trap house “the streets” meets electronic beats. DJ Dainjazone is on a mission to make trap house the dubstep of 2013. Back in August, he released a mixtape, Bottle Rats in the Trap, to pay homage to people who steal drinks from bottle buyers in the club. He played a snippet of it for party-goers at Pacha Nightclub in Salou, Spain.

“I never expect crowds to go crazy for trap,” said DJ Dainjazone. “Because it’s new all around; well in the club scene, not to DJs.”

He plans to spin trap around the world. In an interview he talked more about the genre and his experience being electro-rap duo, LMFAO’s Tour DJ.

You’re touring with Party Rock Crew. Has that experience impacted your DJ-ing?

Absolutely. I’ve learned a lot. It’s also made a bigger name for me. To be associated with Party Rock is a big thing. I started out this year doing well for myself, but once I jumped on tour with the guys, it really took off to another level.

Last week you were in Japan, China, Portland, and Hollywood. Have you reflected on the experience?

For every tour it’s the same show. That doesn’t mean that it’s boring or to be taken for granted, but I really reflect on the fans, especially in Japan. They were respectful. Usually people go crazy in between songs. They’re such a polite group of people. They would be quiet until the next song or until we came back out for the “Sexy and I know It,” encore. When we did Mexico, it was my first time there, those fans were crazy. They had never seen us before. I don’t know how often artists go through Mexico [as of recent], but they showed a lot love. That definitely stood out compared to a lot of the countries we’ve been to.

What gets you more hyped, the music you’re playing, crowd reaction, or visual production?

I don’t see much of the visual production because I’m on the other side, but it definitely is the fans. When the fans react, it makes you feel good. It empowers you and definitely makes your job easier.

In between the tour you’ve been doing your own gigs. Are the experiences different spinning for Party Rock Crew versus your own gig?

They are very different. With Party Rock, we have dancers, hype men; it’s a show. When I do something with Red Foo, it’s a show. You compare that with what I do, by myself, they’re like two different animals. I do what I can. I entertain and keep people dancing.

Tell me about B.R.I.T.T1.5, which is being released this week?

B.R.I.T.T 1 was a mix of multiple genres. In 1.5 it’s all trap house, trap, and hip hop. It’s a limited delivery. That style is more popular now. I think it’s going to do well.

What’s your creative process like?

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