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
In an interview with Juergen Boernig and David Mann of Radio International and Radio W12P, two (2) of the finalists in the 2014 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest revealed their intentions to submit entries for next years’ national selection; hinting at the possibility of a duet. Amber and Franklin; two vocalists whose public acumen has been on the increase in recent years, were present as spectators of the Malta Music Awards, supporting Firelight and their entry Coming Home, which was one of the guest acts during the evening of the 9th February 2014.
Amber, the female vocalist who has been compared to Amy Winehouse on more than one (1) occasion finished in fourth (4th) place for the second (2nd) successive year, as she belted out her classical piano ballad Because I Have You composed by Paul Giordimaina to the lyrics of Fleur Balzan. The song is the most successful in this years’ competition according to digital sales; having managed to peak at number #1 on iTunes less than twenty-four (24) hours within its release. Whilst visibly excited for what the future holds, she kept the cards close to her chest in stated that she will most likely work on a completely different genre for next year.
Franklin, a male vocalist with a vocal range which knows no boundaries clearly aims to reach the stage of the Eurovision Song Contest, wanting a duet with Pastora Soler or Zlata Ognevich, who represented Spain and Ukraine in the 2012 and 2013 editions of the continental competition. Coached by a former representative in the form of Glen Vella; Franklin made it through to the final stage of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest for the very first time in 2014 by virtue of the song Love Will Take Me Home co-written by Glen Vella, Michael James Down, Beatrice Eriksson and Marcus Frenell. When asked about the possibility of working with Amber on a duet, the two kept their options open, stating that their friendship could also bring them together through song.
The idea of these two (2) vocal powerhouses coming together is definitely a concept which should not be underestimated, considering that the right song would be more of an issue than the actual performance, having proven to the audience and the jury on more than one (1) occasion that they are more than capable of giving an outstanding performance. If you have not purchased Because I Have You on iTunes but wish to do so, please visit the store. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news about the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Source: Radio International