Mika’s “Sanremo” Lyrics Meaning

On the surface, “Sanremo” is a song centered on an idealized romantic experience between the singer (Mika) and the addressee. Sanremo is actually a coastal resort city in Italy. And Mika is expressing his desire to spend time with the addressee at this scenic location doing the type of things lovers do, such as “dancing” and “sitting by the seaside”. 

But you may notice in the bridge that he also alludes to the idea of the city being a place where individuals can be free regardless of ‘whoever they are’.  And likewise, this track is actually based on the concept of the singer being engaged in a gay, i.e. “illicit“, fantasy.  In other words, it is presented within the context of his sensual orientation being repressed. And despite Sanremo in real life seemingly having a vibrant gay culture, the purpose of this song is not to portray the locale as a queer paradise. 

Indeed it is said that Sanremo’s gay community is repressed, if you will, by the Vatican. And that reality is more in tune with the actual theme of this song, which is the singer’s gay urges being outside of the realm of the norms of his culture. And for the most part “Sanremo” itself is once again symbolic of him being able to freely and joyfully express himself.

Lyrics of "Sanremo"

What Mika has said about “Sanremo”

According to Mika’s own words, this song isn’t about San Remo. What is it about then? To Mika, it is about “growing up gay” in San Remo. Here are the singer’s exact words about the actual meaning of “Sanremo”:

Mika talks about "Sanremo"

Music Video

The music video to this song, which premiered on 4 October 2019 (the same day “My Name Is Michael Holbrook” was released), was directed by an artist named W.I.Z.

Release Date

Republic Records released “Sanremo” as the third single from Mika’s album, “My Name Is Michael Holbrook”, on 6 September 2019. It was preceded by the singles: “Ice Cream” and “Tiny Love

Production and Writing of “Sanremo”

Producers of “Sanremo” are Mark Crew and Dan Priddy, and its writers are Mika and David Sneddon.

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