I already shared a few photos about the Fnac album signing session but decided to also write a few thoughts about the event and how the situation in Italy looked as X Factor is obviously bringing Mika a huge amount of new fans and success. I arrived Milan late hour evening before and learnt from FB and Twitter that Fnac was selling 500 Mika albums with a special signature pass (to guarantee his signature at the event) and that most fans had already bought theirs day before (almost 3/4 of passes already sold). I decided to go and buy mine as soon as the store opened in the morning, met some familiar people in front of the store and stayed in the queue chatting with people the rest of the day.
The security working for Fnac was obviously used to organizing signing sessions, they were friendly and relaxed with everyone and moved us upstairs inside the building during the afternoon. A couple of young girls were a bit overexcited/pushing in the crowd but mostly people were nice, polite and well-behaved, patiently waiting for hours to get their 5 second moment with Mika and to have their albums signed.
I didn’t travel only to have 5 seconds with him. I love meeting him even for a short moment and it’s always worth traveling to see how he is and if he looks well and to say quick hello, just to let him know I was there and that I care. But the more I travel to concerts and different events the less it is about me and more about feeling the atmosphere and watching him with other people and I always LOVE what I see. This time I wanted to also meet some Italian long-time fans and hear their perspective and thoughts about the X Factor success, learn to know new Mika fans and generally just observe Italian people and see their reactions to the event. And guess what. No one said “Mika who” or asked why on earth we bother queue for him. Practically everyone knew his name and had a very positive image about him; he has clearly won over the majority of Italian people.
I’ve seen several Mika shows in Italy so I knew younger fans can be very excited and expected them even to scream a bit. Everything was generally quite peaceful though and people patiently waited for Mika who was an hour and a half late. As I knew he had been doing French Voice auditions in Paris until early morning I didn’t mind waiting. When he finally arrived the situation got totally hysterical. Instead of letting him him walk in as usual and maybe even ask people to stay calm and wait for their turn an army of security made him run into the room and caused a little shock to everyone, several photographers taking photos of the situation. All of us long-time fans just stared and couldn’t believe our eyes and new fans, especially younger girls, started to hysterically scream his name and couldn’t stay still. I wasn’t sure if it all was a bit scary or really funny and Mika seemed to have the same mixed reaction, looking the crowd his eyes wide open laughing at the same time. Never seen anything like that around him, I couldn’t avoid the feeling his label and the Fnac store wanted to raise the hype as much as possible and encouraged people to be a bit hysterical with dramatic behavior from the security. On the other hand he is hugely popular in Italy at the moment and seemed actually pleased with people’s reaction and totally deserved his moment, even it was a bit weird to watch and not something we usually see.
The photographers took more photos and the signing session officially started. Some young fans got very emotional and girl after girl was asking him hugs and trying to give him quick kisses, some of them crying after having their albums signed. He patiently hugged everyone who was asking for it and I know he doesn’t usually feel comfortable hugging a lot of people but this time I was smiling watching it because he kind of started it himself hugging the first person asking for it (and patiently went on during the whole session, lol). I still find it amazing how intensively he paid attention to each person on their turn and genuinely seemed to have a real connection with everyone even he met hundreds of fans (someone said 800, not sure about it). I took some pictures of people meeting him before it was my turn and he signed the album I was holding in my hands and we had a quick chat about the X factor show until the security guy next to him decided I’ve used my time and grabbed my arm to guide me out and we both laughed as the whole situation was hilarious.
I couldn’t believe my eyes seeing how popular he has become in Italy in only a few weeks and not just because X Factor makes everyone in it a celebrity but because he is good at what he is doing (and should get more credit of it, just saying). He has showed he can be entertaining and still professional and focused on music and Italians seem to appreciate his honesty and genuine opinions. Everyone I met was amazed how someone coming from a foreign country can learn their language so quickly and charm everyone practically from the first moment.
I felt very proud watching him. I don’t need to love talent shows (I don’t even much know these concepts) but if doing X Factor in Italy/Voice in France gives him more freedom to do his own music as he said in an interview it’s worth it. I hope he has enough energy for everything. Doing hours of television recordings and even live television shows in foreign languages and meeting thousands of fans (three more signing sessions to come) always in different countries must be more tiring than touring? I’m glad I did my little trip to Milan even I’m going there again later this month. I didn’t plan it, it just happened. Loved my short moment with Mika and was good to meet so many people again, see you all soon xx