Exclusive: Amber speaks to escflashmalta.comWritten by Marc Calleja Bayliss
escflashmalta.com is always proud to promote the best of the local music scene and one of the artists which is best representing the country is surely none other than Amber who this year managed to finish in third place during the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and then also got the opportunity to perform at the Eurovision Song Contest as a backing vocalist. In the past couple of years, the artists that make up the local music scene have been somewhat subject to positive praise and this is due to the fact that there a renowned improvement even in the way that tracks are being written and produced. We have just managed to get our second interview with the artist and this time round things are different because experience has been key in the overall growth. She speaks to us about her recent success and what she has in store for the upcoming months.
Your rise to local fame has been done relatively the old fashioned way noting that your first appearance in a local showcase was definitely the programme ID which used to air on ONE Television prior to being in another competition known as the Malta Hit Song Contest in which you managed to finish within the top five. Your big break and undeniably astonishing vocals though came to prominence on the stage of The Granaries during the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza with the song Trid Tapprezza composed by Ray Agius and Alfred C Sant. Do you consider the early success within the Maltese language to be a huge stepping stone in your career?
Yes I do, in fact it was an honour participating in such a prestigious contest.
Throughout the past couple of months, there has been a lot of mention of your name due to the fact that you have managed to climb up quite a couple of flights of stairs in the local music industry starting off with the fact that you finished in third place at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with the track Answer With Your Eyes composed by Ray Agius and penned by Alfred C Sant thanks to the ample support received from the juries. Looking back at that experience, noting that you managed to hit the right notes with perfect timing, what do you recall and would you have done anything differently so that you might have appealed to the public more?
If I had to turn back time, I would do everything exactly the same, as I did. I believed in the song from the very first minute I heard it. I made some alterations to the song according to what people have told me in order to make it more appealing to the people. I was very happy with my performance both on Friday and on Saturday.
Following the end of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, it was decided that Kurt Calleja would be going onto represent the country finishing ahead of both you and Claudia Faniello. Nevertheless, there seemed to have been an issue with the female backing vocals which were somewhat sounding quite different than expected and therefore you were brought in to give the song a more complete sound noting that there had been a number of differences in the performance given at the Eurovision Song Contest. How did the ‘selection process’ go and what could you tell us about the general feeling of going to the event?
Regarding the selection process, I did the audition for the post of a backing vocalist when the post was already vacant. Therefore I am definitely not the right person to ask about the selection process. The general feeling of being part of the prestigious event is simply amazing. I had worked with a team of professionals and hard working people from which I had learned a lot. We all worked hard in order to achieve the very best result possible. Kurt and his band are a group of well talented young artists and it was such an honour for me to have worked with them.
Going back to the 2010 edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, many people might not recall that you had in fact submitted two entries, the second one being none other than Dell L-Istilel composed by Dominic Cini and penned by Stephen Baldacchino. Unfortunately, the track failed to make it through the second judging hurdle and was thus eliminated by it made a comeback this year noting that Rachel Verzin has qualified with the same track to the finals of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza. Your vocals could be heard in the backing track and therefore, one could easily make a connection. Do you believe that the right song made it through and would you have liked to do something else with Dell L-Istilel?
In 2010 I managed to make it through with the song Trid Taprezza and later on in summer managed to win the KKI. Trid Taprezza and Dell l-istilel were two totally different songs with a different genre and different concept therefore it is very difficult for me to compare the songs. I was very happy with both songs in which I gave my own interpretation. Rachel Verzin is a very good singer like most of the other singers who are taking part in this year’s KKI. And I wish her and all the other singers the best of luck.
In recent weeks, your vocals have been somewhat lent to an intriguing track, one which is very different to the style or rather genre that people have become accustomed hearing you perform and that is quite important because you would prove yourself to be versatile in the field of music. The track that I am talking about is of course the one bearing the name So Good which is mainly performed by singer/songwriter Muxu who is preceded by his reputation as a showman. How did you become involved within the song and do you believe that exploring various areas of music will be beneficial in the long term?
Muxu and I have always wanted to work together one day and was very trilled as soon as he approached me in order to feature in his new single. I admire him a lot as he is so versatile and original in his music. It was an honour for me to work with such a talented guy. Muxu is so easy to work with. What I most like about him is that he encourages me to explore and be versatile. He doesn’t dictate what he wants from me, he just puts me in the picture by explaining what he will be doing and from there onwards he lets me be free participating wherever I see appropriate to do so. I consider life as a journey therefore the more you explore the more you learn. It is very important for a singer to be versatile and experiment with different genres of music Exploring different areas of music is very beneficial for a singer, one would learn to appreciate music more as well as would be able to use various voice techniques learned from different genres in his/her own music.
Apart from a brand new track in which you perform backing vocals, there has beenanother important event in your life or rather your career in the past couple of daysnoting that you were offered the opportunity to perform with the one and only JosephCalleja during his annual summer concert which this year featured none other than thepopular Irishman, Ronan Keating as well as the Italian sensation, Gigi D’Alessio. The track which you chose to perform was A Thousand Years originally by Kristina Perri.What was the reason behind this choice and how was it to perform with one of the leading tenors in the world?
For me Joseph Calleja is an inspiration. It was an honour for me to perform alongside the best of the best in this industry. After considering several options we both taught this will be a good song. Before the rehearsals I was very excited bit once on that stage I started enjoying myself. He is a very humble person who makes you feel at ease whilst in his company. Well for me it’s a dream come true.
One of the deadliest times of the year surely has to be summer in Malta due to the extreme heat that people have to endure but nevertheless, it seems to be the best time for music releases especially of a particular genre. You have been quite busy as of late noting a number of performances and additional vocals but what are the plans for the upcoming weeks and even for the winter months and of course, will you be trying to represent Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest which is set to take place in the city of Malmo in Sweden?
I try to enjoy summer as much as possible whilst juggling through work, singing and gigs. I am working on new projects which are still to be confirmed. Yet I’m really looking forward. For the winter months I haven’t anything confirmed although I also have some projects in the pipeline. If the perfect song comes my way I will surely participate in the Malta Eurovision 2013.
Would you like to say anything to your fans and our readers at escflashmalta.com?
I would like to thanks all the fans and readers of escflashmalta.com for their constant support throughout my career. Thanks for always believing in me.