Eurovision fever is slowly gripping Malta – the nation’s national selection for the world’s most watched music contest is coming to it’s climax this weekend. Of the one hundred and twenty-nine entries submitted for contention in this year’s local festival, just sixteen made it to the televised selection. We had the chance to catch up with some of the competitors of this year’s show during their preperations. One of these was former runner-up, Tiziana Calleja who’s returning after an 8 year break with ‘First Time’.
Hi Tiziana, thanks for taking the time out for this interview! How does it feel to be part of the sixteen finalists for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest?
I feel happy and ready to get on with the show. Bring it on! ☺
It’s been a number of years since you’ve been part of the line-up for the Malta Eurovision – what have you been up to in the meantime?
Sitting down, watching TV while sipping coffee…..in my dreams! I’ve been very busy with performances together with CentreSTAGE – our very own Performing arts group. We do a lot of events yearly and it does take a lot of time to prepare and put up a great performance. Most of the time I’m rushing from one place to another teaching or directing as well as singing.
Tell us more about your song, “First time”. What is it about? In your opinion, what makes your song an ideal candidate for Eurovision?
My team and I hit off this experience with a thought in mind – something different! Sometimes, less is more and can be spectacular just the same. Now it’s up to us how to make the spectacle happen ☺ I do believe in ‘First Time’ and can’t wait for the 3rd February to share all the work that has been going on with everyone out there, believing that, yes I’m one of the 16 finalists because the song, my team and myself can make the magic happen! I truly believe that the performance is strong enough to make it to the top-I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t!
How are your preparations going so far? Are there any surprises that you can tell us about?
I do have a great team behind me that are all on top of their game and working relentlessly for the performance to be fabulous. Every person is taking care of their own responsibilities ☺ and that makes everything work in harmony. Above all that, it’s all a matter of trusting the circle around you.
When you’re searching for a song to add to your repertoire (be it an original song or a cover), is there anything in particular that you’re looking for?
Yes, it always depends on why and where I’ll be singing and performing the song. That plays an important part.
Are you following the Eurovision Song Contest in general? If so, are there any stand-out entries for you from the past?
One of the best performances and songs for me will always be Euphoria! I still listen to the song and it still gives me goosebumps every time.
Do you have a personal goal for the competition?
I’m here to leave a mark. Winning or not, I want to share ‘First Time’ with the audience and especially with the people close to my heart. I want everyone to remember the performance and song. This is something I love doing with so much passion and that is precisely what I want to transmit.
What styles of music are you usually listening to these days? Is there anything you look for in a song that makes you enjoy it?
My fave will always be performing and listening to QUEEN songs. All their songs are amazing and I get so much inspiration from their shows (they didn’t just perform!) Their music helps me get the energy I need to get through the day!
When you’re not singing – what can you usually be found doing?
You will definitely find me at CentreSTAGE- teaching, rehearsing, planning shows and being part of my other family. Or you can also find me sipping coffee in front of a Disney movie when I have some free time (which is very rare!)
What can we expect from you once the MESC-madness is over?
I already have plans to release new material as well as gigs and performances coming up. No rest for the wicked ?
Thanks for your time Tiziana, and best of luck at this year’s Malta Eurovision Song Contest!
Keep it real, keep it fun…….and remember, there’s always a ‘First Time’ ?