Mika Rocks at Jounieh Festival 2013


Following the incredible performances of French music giant Michel Sardou and Arabic pop superstar Ragheb Alama, the 2013 edition of the Jounieh International Festival, organized by the NGO Phellipolis, gave Lebanese music lovers one of the year’s most memorable performances in an amazing concert by Mika, the international star with Lebanese roots.

Born Michael Holbrook Penniman Jr. on August 18th, 1983 in Beirut to a Lebanese mother and an American father, the boy we know today as Mika had to leave a country torn by a devastating civil war and took refuge in Europe –first in Paris, then in London. At the tender age of 7, Mika starts noticing his musical talents; in 2006, his first single, Relax, Take it Easy was made available for digital download and his album, Life in Cartoon Motion hit the stands. Selling more than 6 million copies worldwide, it is a certified diamond album. The single Love Today, taken off that same album, was nominated at the 2008 Grammy Awards. In 2009, Mika released his second album, The Boy Who Knew Too Much, a certified triple platinum album selling more than 350 000 copies around the world. In 2010, he released the song Kick Ass (We Are Young), a single off the soundtrack for the movie Kick Ass. His third album, The Origin of Love, was released in 2012 and includes songs in both English and French, including the French hit Elle Me Dit. In 2013, Mika announced he’d be the first international mentor on the Italian version of X Factor, and he delved into fashion design –he recently released a clothing line for Belgian clothes brand JBC. Mika’s songs are, for the most part, upbeat and fun, but he does not shy away from delicate matters, thorny subjects and taboos. He has repeatedly said he refused any label, sexual or other, that society tried to impose.

This British-American-Lebanese singer-songwriter is known for his incredible stage presence and the energy he brings to every performance. Yesterday’s concert saw him stay true to this, and Mika’s fans gave back all the energy the singer communicated to them, singing with him and clapping along to the beat of his hit song. This singer, who often declares his love for Lebanon on Twitter, completely charmed his public and rocked Jounieh.