Malta: Interview with Franklin Calleja (MESC 13-15)Written by Antoine Farrugia
In summer, the local music industry tends to thrive, if the past has anything to do with the present, and despite the fact that Post-Eurovision Depression is deeply rooted, we are attempting to push it back as much as possible, prior to the re-emergence of a new national finals season. We are attempting to do this through a series of interviews with vocalists from the local music industry, as well as acts competing in the Summer Hit Song Contest. The first artist is none other than three-time Malta Eurovision Song Contest participant, Franklin Calleja.
Having emerged triumphant on the 3rd season of “Don’t Stop Me Now” back in 2012 by winning the maximum support of the in-house panel, you have become a household name to the general public. Did you expect such a positive reaction, and what was the reason behind entering the reality show?
For me, Don’t Stop Me Now was a magical door that opened and led me to what and who I am today. I always wanted to make it in the music industry but never had the courage. Thanks to Glen Vella, who by the way, sent the application for the programme in my name himself without my permission (haha), I was chosen and also won it. To be very honest, I never expected to have such good feedback from the televiewers and the judges, let alone to win the whole contest!
In 2014, you were one of the few artists alongside Raquel, Corazon, Daniel Testa, Christabelle, Deborah C, Jessika and Amber to get through to both editions of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, first off with “Love Will Take Me Home” written by Glen Vella, Beatrice Eriksson, Marcus Frenell and Michael James Down, and then with “Still Here” written by Alexander Rybak. What does each experience in such a competition mean to you, and which was your favourite song out of the two?
(Thought for a quite a few time, but I can’t decide hehe) Every song I had in the Malta Eurovision meant a lot to me and my team, and we always worked hard to try and achieve the best possible results. Every year we try to do our utmost to come up with a better song than the previous so I think that every year I’m trying to give a more solid and better performances, even vocally.
In Malta, the local music scene is somewhat limited to a series of competitions, and the radio circuit, both of which have somewhat become intertwined in recent years. Would you rule out future participation from other local competitions such as the Summer Hit Song Contest, the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, L-Għanja tal-Poplu and the International Festival of Maltese Song, considering that you have only taken part in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest?
Never say never! :D All festivals are well organized and very professional but at the moment i’m more focused in something that is giving me a lot of satisfaction lately; teaching lovely kids and helping them to evolve their vocals. Something which I really love to do – giving what I have been taught and the ability to transmit the passion I have for music, to them.
It has recently been made public that you have taken up the role of vocal coach at La Voix Academy, an institution which has spawned Gaia Cauchi, Federica Falzon and Christina Magrin amongst others. What motivated you to hone young talent, and how could people seek your services?
As I said in the previous question, this is my current satisfaction. I always loved and enjoyed my self being surrounded by kids, and now I love them even more! You see them growing vocal-wise with your help, is something that you can’t even explain. I’m receiving an award at the end of every day, going back home happy knowing that I’m helping tomorrow’s talent, is something extraordinary! :D Thanks Gillian Attard for the opportunity to work with La Voix Academy!
Would you like to say anything to our readers at escflashmalta.com?
It’s always nice to be back with an interview on escflashmalta.com, sending my best regards to all the readers; Maltese & also foreigners! Xx :D