Global pop superstar MIKA has returned to the music scene with his critically acclaimed fifth studio album “My Name Is Michael Holbrook”. One of the songs he has released is easy, breezy, beautiful “Sanremo”, a bubbly journey through hedonistic joy and finding that magical place with a lover filled with freedom and happiness. In a complete juxtaposition, the accompanying video is a stark commentary on the plight of LGBTQ people in recent history straight up until today. Homosexuality is still criminalized in over seventy countries, some in which it is punishable by death.
Set in a black and white fantasy world somewhere in 1950s Italy, Mika’s character says goodbye to his wife and kids in the morning. After a solo dancing scene in his apartment, he then sets off nervously and cautiously to find male love in the shadows while avoiding the gaze of clergymen and policemen alike for fear of being found out. Hints of “Querelle”, Jean Genet’s homoerotic novel come to life, are in obvious homage as he stumbles upon a somewhat netherworld of androgynous characters and eager seamen. One could also say there are little nods to Madonna’s 1990 Jean Baptiste Mondino directed clip for “Justify My Love” as she too discovered a world where her fantasies came to life without fear of judgment.
The dreamy wonderland escape in which the song creates is quickly broken as the video ends as he is stopped by a police officer. The encounter is accompanied by an audio clip from an Italian politician warning about firing anyone who is homosexual working for his administration.
This creative embargo really speaks to the current political climate and reminds us how not so long ago, being homosexual was completely socially unacceptable reminding us that the plight of the LGBTQ community is still strong.
Check out the video for “Sanremo” and let us know what you think about it in the comments section below.