On August 4, a terrible tragedy shook Lebanon as catastrophic explosions in the port of Beirut sowed death and consternation in an already affected community. 300,000 people found themselves homeless in an instant, in an already complicated context due to the pandemic. The Lebanese of origin, Mika, singer of international fame, could not remain without doing nothing. He therefore orchestrated a benefit concert, entitled Mika: I love you Beirut, where he surrounded himself with other artists (Kylie Minogue, Louane and Rufus Wainwright) to raise necessary funds for the Lebanese community. To date, since the first virtual broadcast of this concert, the event has raised more than one million euros.
TVA, in support of the Lebanese community in Quebec, has decided to broadcast this intimate and poignant concert by Mika exclusively for Canada. TVA thus participates in the fundraising effort since the entire broadcasting license is granted in equal parts to organizations. The Lebanese Red Cross and Save The Children Liban.
For the occasion, a handful of journalists were able to speak virtually with the singer this Tuesday morning. Live from Athens and always so sympathetic, the artist shared with us his passion for Lebanon, Quebec and for his profession, which was transformed with the Covid-19 crisis. He speaks first of his intentions: “ I really wanted to do something, to make a kind of gesture, to do my job, to sing, to communicate emotion, in the service of the crisis which is happening in Beirut. »
He adds, concerning the show shot partly in Tuscany: “ For 90 minutes, we turn off the political side, but we do not soften the human side. Often it is the scandals that make the most noise, it is the images of the apocalypse that take the attention, but in the end, the human part is forgotten. I wanted to amplify this human side which is so often lost in the noise of everyday life. The artist speaks of an event in which emotion and celebration come together. We will notably meet baby Georges, a child born in the midst of the splinters, in the semi-darkness of a hospital that was blown away by the explosions. Mika talks about a very emotional moment, a bit of hope.
He pursues : ” I felt something new. I felt it wasn’t just a taped concert or a TV performance, but it was a different speech. It was at the service of people who wanted to tell their story, their testimonies, their suffering. I had the impression that even in this period of lockdown, we were doing something much more collaborative, universal and linked to people. We were in this team of 285 people, we had generosity of spirit everywhere and I felt something rare in the entertainment world: this feeling of not being alone. Which is amazing because I was alone on stage. »
Mika’s family who still live in Beirut were spared. The singer tells us about the situation there: ” Fortunately, in our family which still remains in Beirut, we did not lose any people directly, in our small family circle. But every person I talk to knows someone who’s been or hurt, or who’s lost everything, or who knows someone who’s dead. It is a crisis that is difficult to quantify. Because if you look coldly at the numbers, a few hundred people have died directly in the explosions. But, on the other hand, when we try to understand or visualize 300,000 people who no longer have a home, it becomes surreal. The repercussions of these two explosions, in combination with political instability, the economic crisis and the Covid, is really critical in Beirut and throughout the country. »
Mika draws a parallel between this concert and what he will do at Star Académie in 2021, as artistic director : « There is the idea of creating things. Artists today, we must be almost visual artists in a sense. You have to think, and especially in a showbizz crisis, you have to think about the situation, you have to adapt in other ways and tell in other ways. That’s kind of what they asked me to do in these 3-4 moments that I’m going to be doing on Star Académie next year. To communicate this idea that you have to dare, you have to think outside the box, you have to think of representing yourself with artistic freedom and taking risks. This idea of 360 degree creation is very important. That doesn’t mean that we have to do everything ourselves, but we have to know how to surround ourselves well. »
He approaches his love of Quebec as follows: “ Compared to Quebec, the first time I arrived in Montreal, I immediately felt at ease. Because I am a mixture of different cultures. I’m an immigrant, it’s part of my fabric and my identity. I’m not ashamed of it. For me, this mixture of all these places doesn’t mean that I come from nowhere, it means that I come from several places. When I arrived in Montreal and saw this francophone side that is in me and that of North America, with a way of communicating that is different from France, I found that reassuring. I found myself totally at ease right away. I do not know why. »
Mika: I love you Beirut will be presented this Friday at 10:35 p.m. on TVA. Mika will perform there his greatest hits and present his musical favorites. This is not to be missed!
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