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 Lawrence Gray, an artist who has been taking part in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest since 1997, with the song “Love Renegade”.
Hi Lawrence, 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?
First and foremost, I am honoured to be part of this journey with my fifteen other colleagues – I’m really looking forward for the day to finally arrive.
Tell us more about your song, “Love Renegade”. What is it about? In your opinion, what makes your song an ideal candidate for Eurovision?
This time things are different – the song is very personal to me. It’s in a different style of music to what I usually perform. This is a big challenge to me that I am embracing with open arms in every sense. At the same time, I am taking things very personally as my beloved country Malta is involved, with my great team behind me, I feel like I can make a difference and help Malta to be victorious.
Your song takes a very different direction to the music we’ve heard from you in the past. What inspired you to make this change?
As I said, it’s a different style to what I usually perform. But that being said, a true artist has to reinvent himself over the years in order to keep going strong. Never give up!
How are your preparations going so far? Are there any surprises that you can tell us about?
Preparations are going very well – there are good vibes all around and myself and everyone else in my team are very focused on what you are going to see on Saturday. “Less is more”!
Are you following the Eurovision Song Contest in general? If so, are there any stand-out entries for you from the past?
Love it or hate it, the Eurovision Song Contest is a show that is very hard not to follow. The popularity in the show is growing more and more each year. For me, the most stand out entry of all time would be from Mr. Eurovision himself – Johnny Logan’s “Hold me now”. I still love that song to bits.
Do you have a personal goal for the competition?
This experience as a whole is very personal and important for me. I am not here for the experience or to be more notorious than I may be in any other platform, but my goal is of course to make Malta victorious. It’s time for our country to shine, for our name to be up in the lights – I feel that we deserve it and that is what I am working for.
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?
Being a songwriter myself, I like to listen to all sorts of music – but deep inside I am a glam rock lover. In a song I like to look for all of the emotions that a human can undergo in his life – be it true life, true experience, true stories. Only the magic of great music, and great lyrics which make perfect sense can make you feel that. Music is alive – it’s got to breathe, it’s got to live – I only listen to those artists that sing with their heart and soul.
When you’re not singing – what can you usually be found doing?
When you’re working in the entertainment business – a day off is something that is unfortunately very rare… sometimes it’s like your voice is the thing possessing you, and you have to go wherever it takes you! Nevertheless, I am the proud father of my son (Liam), and I am definitely trying my best to spend as much time as I can with him. I believe that our children will not remember how many toys their parents gave them, but the amount of quality time they have with them.
What can we expect from you once the MESC-madness is over?
Whatever happens at the end of this experience, whether I am the lucky one or not, I’m sure that my career will not stop there. I will still be going strong in the entertainment business and I will be ready to accept whatever comes my way. I’ll surely never give up to see Malta victorious one day!
Thanks for your time Lawrence, and best of luck at this year’s Malta Eurovision Song Contest!
Much love, and God bless!