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“Leave your troubles outside. Here, life is beautiful, everyone is beautiful, the girls are beautiful, the boys are beautiful,” a line from ‘Cabaret,’ international pop sensation MIKA begins every show with this invitation.

It is on such philosophy that MIKA has built an unshakable career and catalogue. With his fifth studio album My Name Is Michael Holbrook out this October, MIKA has crafted a world of gritty romance amidst the joy and playfulness of technicolored alternative pop. He’s a renaissance artist of impeccable intention who’s name has rightfully found its way alongside legendary acts such as Elton John, Freddie Mercury and Prince.

Born Michael Holbrook Penniman Jr. in 1983 as the third of five children, MIKA and his family were forced to leave war-torn Lebanon and relocate to Paris before settling in London after his father was held hostage at the American embassy in Kuwait.

The tumultuous experience left a then seven-year-old MIKA disoriented and struggling with dyslexia in school where he was bullied relentlessly. In response, his mother put him in vocal lessons with a Russian opera teacher and a Scottish piano teacher practicing four hours daily. Learning to play piano and write songs while showing otherworldly vocal range, MIKA was quickly becoming a young virtuoso.