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. Next up is someone who’s familiar to the audience and has been a fan-favourite for several years. This is Christabelle with “Taboo”.
Hi Christabelle, thanks for taking the time out for this interview! How does it feel to once again be part of the sixteen finalists for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest?
Great, of course! I’ve been over the moon since. I feel that the MESC is a huge platform for anyone who wants to get their message across through song
You’re back at the festival after taking a break last year. What have you been up to in the meantime?
Last year I decided to take a year off MESC to focus on my job as a full-time financial controller, as well as on my music beyond the MESC. Even so, my intention was always return within a year and, watching it last year, made me realise just how much I enjoy being a part of it and on the MESC stage. This year I released new music and was also very lucky to have been able to perform at the ‘Isle of MTV’.
Tell us more about your song, “Taboo”. What is it about? In your opinion, what makes your song an ideal candidate for Eurovision?
The lyrics are by myself and Muxu, and the music is by Thomas G.Son and Johnny Sanchez. The song is called ‘Taboo’, and it’s an incredibly personal one for me, both because of what I have been through as an individual in my private life, and because it addresses something that is very close to my heart. The song’s message is that we should be open about discussing mental illness and in offering help (rather than judgement) to those suffering from it. We need to change the way we talk about mental illness and encourage those who need help to speak up; but it’s only by working together that we can break this taboo… So, in a nutshell, with ‘Taboo’, I set out to raise awareness about mental health.
It could be said that your song takes a different direction to the ones you performed previously on the Malta Eurovision stage. What inspired you to do this?
At times, music seems to only be about the beat and the melody, but even though both factors are important, I believe that ‘Taboo’ is a mixture of the three elements that make a good track: a strong message, a catchy melody and good rhythm. The message of ‘Taboo’ is also universal, and I hope that it can get people talking about mental illness both locally and abroad, hence it would mean that the message behind my song wouldn’t only be transmitted to solely the Maltese Audience, but to all the countries competing in Eurovision 2018.
How are your preparations going so far? Are there any surprises that you can tell us about?
Preparations are going really well. Been really busy preparing for the final night’s performance. I am super excited about it and cannot wait to perform. This is something I’d like to keep secret, actually. The element of surprise is incredibly important in such a competition, after allJ
Are you following the Eurovision Song Contest in general? If so, are there any stand-out entries for you from the past?
I am an avid Eurovision follower, I have never missed watching the contest, be it Malta or Internationally. I believe that the contest has become so popular everywhere not just in Europe, and it is followed by so many people! It is the perfect platform, to get your music across borders and also get the message across through song. My favourite entries ever from the contest are ‘Euphoria’ and ‘1944’, both for very different reasons, the former because it is an extremely catchy and powerful song, and 1944, because of its meaning.
Do you have a personal goal for the competition?
Besides obviously doing well with my performance and on the final night, since ‘Taboo’ is a song about raising awareness, I have also got in touch with several communities and foundations so that, once the MESC is over, I can aid them in getting the message across as much as possible.
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?
I tend to listen to Sia, The Weeknd and Dua Lipa a lot. Their music is different, but I listen to music to relax, and I feel that their music relaxes me.
When you’re not singing – what can you usually be found doing?
Unfortunately for me – but fortunately for my boss – I am a total workaholic. So, when I’m not singing (or doing something related to it), I’m either at work or asleep. When I do get some time off, however, I go travelling.
What can we expect from you once the MESC-madness is over?
My main focus right now is the ESC. Once that’s done, then I can start planning my wedding, which will be taking place is 2018!
Thanks for your time Christabelle, and best of luck at this year’s Malta Eurovision Song Contest!