This year, for the very first time since 2008, Malta is represented by a male soloist at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. He will be performing the infectious “Dawra Tond“, an original song composed by Dominic Cini with lyrics by Emil Calleja Bayliss. We have recently caught up with the 9 year old and had a chat about his upcoming experience in Georgia along with what he hopes to achieve in music, and life.
Hi Gianluca! Congratulations on being chosen by the public to represent Malta at this year’s Junior Eurovision! How did you feel when you realised that you would be flying the Maltese flag in Georgia?
Thank you 🙂 This was a big surprise for me. This was my 1st experience competing to represent Malta in JESC and I wasn’t expecting to get such a result!
Can you tell us a bit more about your song – what is the message behind it?
‘Dawra Tond’ is a very happy and positive song. It is about life seen in a spinning motion, full of fun and games and which unites everyone together.
You sing part of your song in the Maltese language – for those who do not understand Maltese, what are you singing about?
The Maltese parts are 2 chants of traditional Maltese games which also feature a circular motion.
Your music video is very colourful and lively – it has received a lot of positive comments online. How did you find the whole experience of filming it?
The music video was one of my best experiences ever!! They were 3 full days of so much FUN! Most of the people in the video are my friends and the elderly man dancing is my grand great father! It was really funny seeing him bust a move to my song! That was a special moment. My most favourite part was when I was riding the car. I also got the chance to go on a long ride in between filming.
How are the preparations for Tbilisi going? Are there any surprises that you can tell us about your performance?
We have a lot going on at the moment! Daily rehearsals, shoots, interviews. Everyone is taking really good care of me and I feel special J
A small surprise is that I will have 5 dancers accompanying me on stage. Our choreographer, Annalise, is making sure that we are super fun to watch!
My vocal coach Ms Pamela is also doing an amazing job and working magic on my voice and performance.
When it comes to getting ready for the competition, what aspect you finding the most challenging?
The most challenging part is keeping up with both school and JESC related preparations. I can’t neglect school work because it is very important. I have less free time because I want to make sure to do well in both school related work and JESC preparations!
Did you manage to hear any of the other songs from this year’s contest? Which did you like so far?
Yes I have heard all released songs so far. They are all different and each has a great potential. Thanks to Social Media I have managed to make friends with all the other singers representing their country in JESC. Can’t wait to meet them all!
What do you know about Georgia so far? What are you most excited to see in Tbilisi?
I have heard a lot of positive things about Georgia and how beautiful its capital city is. Georgia like Malta has its own language, Georgian. Something you don’t find in Malta are the mountains and I’m really looking forward to see the beautiful sceneries in Georgia
Have you been part of any international competitions before? And if so, what are your best memories from them?
I have competed in several competitions in Italy and Romania. My best memories were meeting new friends from different countries. Sometimes some did not speak English but we still managed to make friends and have LOADS of fun!
Where are your three favourite places to visit in Malta – and why?
1. Gozo – Gozo is Malta’s sister Island. I was born on this beautiful island which I really enjoy visiting from time to time. I enjoy the countryside in winter and its beautiful beaches in summer.
2. Paradise Bay – This is a beautiful small sandy beach.
3. Blue Lagoon – The Sea again! The blue lagoon is famous of its crystal clear waters!
I am so proud and lucky to live on such a beautiful island. I LOVE swimming and living on a small island like Malta makes it easier to enjoy different beaches and make the most of my summer holidays.
When you’re not at school or rehearsals, what other things do you like to do in your free time?
I have different hobbies and at every change I get I am writing a story (I love writing adventure stories), drawing or reading a book. I’m a BIG fan of Lego and love creating my own things. I also enjoy chatting with friends.
Who are your favourite singers at the moment? If you could do a duet with anybody, who would it be and why?
I love Michael Buble and Italian singers Massimo Ranieri and Il Volo. My dream would be to perform with all of them!! I hope this dream comes true. I love Buble’s swing music. Massimo Ranieri is an Italian versatile amazing singer whose songs I love and Il Volo started off at my same age. Their songs vary from modern to classic and I simply love listening and watch them perform live!
Do you have a personal goal for the competition?
Definitely meeting new friends and have loads and loads of fun! This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for a boy my age 🙂
Thanks for your time Gianluca, and best of luck at this year’s Junior Eurovision!
Thank you so much for this lovely interview. I can’t wait to perform live in Georgia and make you sing and dance along to Dawra Tond!