28 July 2017

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.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

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

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

Published in Interviews

Franklin Calleja, a respected male vocalist whose ascent to the top of the local music scene has been well documented through the depth of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, was recently selected to represent Malta in the next edition of the OGAE Second Chance Contest, following a democratic voting process.

"Still Here", written by Alexander Rybak, the male singer/songwriter who won the Eurovision Song Contest for Norway back in 2009, was the overwhelming winner. For the second time in as many months, the first runner-up was "Rush", written by Elton Zarb and Matt 'Muxu' Mercieca with vocals provided by Christabelle. Furthermore,  the second runner-up was "Secretly", written and performed by Corazon. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news from the local music industry.

Source: OGAE Malta

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

Alexander Rybak, winner of the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest, made the headlines in Malta, for penning the lyrics and the music to one of the competing entries in the 2015 Malta Eurovision Song Contest. “Still Here”, sung by the talented male vocalist, Alexander Rybak, attracted the attention of local and international fans of the competition, so much so, that the song was a hit, both in terms of sales on iTunes and Radio Airplay.

Released through CAP-Sounds, “Still Here” has recently been play-listed by one of the three radio stations owned by Belgischer Rundfunk (BRF), representative of the German community in Belgium. The song entered the chart at number #38, and with your support can rise even further, because the broadcaster is taking into account fan-votes which are submit to their official website. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news from the local music industry.

Source: Belgischer Rundfunk

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

Published in Latest News - Local

Since 2011, all songs competing in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, have not been published through a compilation album, as previously done, and therefore a number of record labels such as CAP-Sounds stepped in, releasing a number of songs on digital platforms such as; iTunes, Deezer, Amazon and Spotify for the general public to purchase or stream.

"12, Baker Street" written by Jan Van Dijck and Emil Calleja Bayliss, and, "Close Your Eyes" written by Elton Zarb and Emil Calleja Bayliss, performed by Karen DeBattista and Danica Muscat are the latest songs which have been released through the German based company, CAP-Sounds, who have a distribution deal in place with Universal Music Germany.

"Still Here" written by Alexander Rybak, "Chasing a Dream" written by Paul Abela and Joe Julian Farrugia as well as "Something in the Way" written by Mans Ek and Charlie Mason, "Rush" written by Elton Zarb and Matthew Mercieca, performed by Franklin Calleja, Trilogy, Daniel Testa and Christabelle were published days following the Malta Eurovision Song Contest.

Three of the aforementioned songs have managed to peak at number #2 or better, signally the intent of the public in purchasing the most successful songs from the competition. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: CAP-SoundsiCAM Photography

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

Due to the fact that a compilation album with all the songs competing in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest was not issued since 2011, a number of record labels, including CAP-Sounds and Jagged House have stepped in, with the hope of releasing the songs through digital services such as iTunes, Deezer, and Spotify for the general public to purchase or stream.

"Still Here" written by Alexander Rybak, "Chasing a Dream" written by Paul Abela and Joe Julian Farrugia as well as "Something in the Way" written by Mans Ek and Charlie Mason, performed by Franklin Calleja, Trilogy and Daniel Testa are the three songs which have been made available thus far, all through the German based company, CAP-Sounds, who have a distribution deal in place with Universal Music Germany.

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

"Still Here" and "Chasing a Dream" have been the most successful of the three thus far, both managing to peak at number #2 on the iTunes Chart in Malta, kept off the top spot by Band Aid 30 and their cover of the song "Do They Know It's Christmas?" We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: CAP-SoundsiCam Photography

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

On the 21st and 22nd November, the Public Broadcasting Services will be hosting the 2014-2015 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest at the Marsa Shipbuilding. 20 acts will be taking centre stage, in hope of representing the country at next year's edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, being held in Vienna, Austria. Over the next couple of weeks, escflashmalta.com will be publishing a series of interviews with all the participants. Whilst thanking the Public Broadcasting Services for this opportunity, Let's continue and follow things up with Franklin Calleja.

Would you kindly introduce your entry to our readers and also identify the meaning behind the lyrics?

Hello Everyone! This is ‘Still Here’ composted and written by Alexander Rybak. A song which talks about the persistence for love. If you love someone, you’ll do everything and anything to be with them again.

In Malta, the Eurovision Song Contest is considered to be a major outlet for the music industry, and you stand here as one of the semi-finalists. What does the whole experience mean to you?

It means everything! Music is a big part of my life! Since young, I used to watch the Malta Eurovision song contest from home and now I’m taking part in it. I can’t imagine myself not being in the contest now a days. Obviously like every other singer, I would love to have the privilege to represent my small country in front of Europe one day.

Recently, Malta has been rather successful at the Eurovision Song Contest, making the final on four of the last five participation attempts. What do you think is the reason for this success, and do you believe that your entry has what it takes to continue this positive trend?

I believe that us Maltese has a great potential in the music industry but unfortunately our country is too small to make a hit in the charts. Always in my opinion. I believe that this year I have a song who everyone can relate to and also it’s a powerful modern ballad. All Eurovision Fans love ballads do we? :P

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

If you were given the opportunity to sing another one of the competing entries in the 2014-2015 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, which one would it be and why?

I would do a mash up, with all the refrains of all the songs haha! You can’t choose. All the songs are really good.

Do you have any plans to release more music in the future, and do you have any particular projects in the pipeline?

I would love to keep on going with my music career, and spread the love to my fans through my music.

Would you like to say anything to our readers at escflashmalta.com?

Hiya everyone, I really hope that you enjoy my song as much as I do. Hope to see you in the nearer future! Thank you for the wonderful support! Much love xx

You need to a flashplayer enabled browser to view this YouTube video

Published in Interviews

Related Articles