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At the start of 2011, Mika packed his bags to travel to Montreal to make his third record. It was a DIY organizational approach. He used some frequent flyer miles and imagination. There was no schedule this time. In episodes one and two of Mika-world he had locked down a clear and transparent template of his universe. Its certainty was never in doubt, here was a microcosmic world of balloons and fairy-lights, of animated (in both cartoon and excitable senses) characters defined by their child-like naivety. The music that he had pulsed around the globe as an artist had been fuelled by ringtone appropriate hooks, streaming out of his musical mind like twisted nursery rhymes. In Montreal, that was all about to change.

The sounds made by Nick Littlemore, the Australian electronic pioneer behind Pnau and Empire of the Sun, had caught his imagination and Mika went in search of this potential new collaborator. ‘Before meeting Nick, I was my own taskmaster,” he says now, “I didn’t know how else to work. I was a 22 year old making up sounds in the corner.’ It was just Mika, his piano and his imagination. In the intervening five years since Grace Kelly went astronomical around the world and span off two multi-million selling albums and five global tours in its wake, a personal shift had occurred. As a songwriter and human being, Mika had grown up.


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