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Friday, 02 February 2018 23:49

MESC 2018: Speaking with Tiziana Calleja

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. One of these was former runner-up, Tiziana Calleja who’s returning after an 8 year break with ‘First Time’.

Hi Tiziana, 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?

I feel happy and ready to get on with the show. Bring it on! ☺

It’s been a number of years since you’ve been part of the line-up for the Malta Eurovision - what have you been up to in the meantime?

Sitting down, watching TV while sipping coffee…..in my dreams! I’ve been very busy with performances together with CentreSTAGE – our very own Performing arts group. We do a lot of events yearly and it does take a lot of time to prepare and put up a great performance. Most of the time I’m rushing from one place to another teaching or directing as well as singing.

Tell us more about your song, "First time”. What is it about? In your opinion, what makes your song an ideal candidate for Eurovision?

My team and I hit off this experience with a thought in mind - something different! Sometimes, less is more and can be spectacular just the same. Now it’s up to us how to make the spectacle happen ☺ I do believe in ‘First Time’ and can’t wait for the 3rd February to share all the work that has been going on with everyone out there, believing that, yes I’m one of the 16 finalists because the song, my team and myself can make the magic happen! I truly believe that the performance is strong enough to make it to the top-I wouldn’t be here if I didn’t!

How are your preparations going so far? Are there any surprises that you can tell us about?

I do have a great team behind me that are all on top of their game and working relentlessly for the performance to be fabulous. Every person is taking care of their own responsibilities ☺ and that makes everything work in harmony. Above all that, it’s all a matter of trusting the circle around you.

When you’re searching for a song to add to your repertoire (be it an original song or a cover), is there anything in particular that you’re looking for?

Yes, it always depends on why and where I’ll be singing and performing the song. That plays an important part.

Are you following the Eurovision Song Contest in general? If so, are there any stand-out entries for you from the past?

One of the best performances and songs for me will always be Euphoria! I still listen to the song and it still gives me goosebumps every time.

Do you have a personal goal for the competition?

I’m here to leave a mark. Winning or not, I want to share ‘First Time’ with the audience and especially with the people close to my heart. I want everyone to remember the performance and song. This is something I love doing with so much passion and that is precisely what I want to transmit.

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?

My fave will always be performing and listening to QUEEN songs. All their songs are amazing and I get so much inspiration from their shows (they didn’t just perform!) Their music helps me get the energy I need to get through the day!

When you’re not singing – what can you usually be found doing?

You will definitely find me at CentreSTAGE- teaching, rehearsing, planning shows and being part of my other family. Or you can also find me sipping coffee in front of a Disney movie when I have some free time (which is very rare!)

What can we expect from you once the MESC-madness is over?

I already have plans to release new material as well as gigs and performances coming up. No rest for the wicked ?

Thanks for your time Tiziana, and best of luck at this year’s Malta Eurovision Song Contest!

Keep it real, keep it fun…….and remember, there’s always a ‘First Time’ ?

2000, the year of the millennium and also a year in which Malta needed to overturn, it's worst ever result at the Eurovision Song Contest saw to the emergence of Kaya. At the time, she was known as Priscilla Psaila, a female vocalist in her teens who was making her debut within the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. The song she presented, entitled Our Love was composed by Alfred Zammit to the lyrics of Cynthia Sammut. At the end of the jury voting, it was revealed that she had finished as the second runner-up, behind Claudette Pace and her winning entry Desire composed by Philip Vella to the lyrics of Gerard James Borg and first runner-up Fabrizio Faniello whose entry Change of Heart was composed by Paul Abela to the lyrics of Georgina Abela.

Since then, Kaya has went onto win L-Għanja tal-Poplu alongside Il-Budaj with the track Tisimgħu Tissaħħar and also the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza alongside Ivan Borg with the song Dan Hu L-Mument composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas to the lyrics of Joe Chircop. It is also worth noting that she had the opportunity to represent Malta on foreign soil in several countries including Italy and Romania whilst making it through to the finals of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest on another two occasions; first time in 2010 in a duet with Kurt Calleja entitled Waterfall composed by Mark Debono to the lyrics of Rita Pace and in 2012 with the track First Time written by Gorgi. escflashmalta.com is proud to confirm that Kaya will indeed be amongst the submissions for the 2014 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. Stay tuned to this portal for more exclusive news in the coming days.

Source: escflashmalta.com, Chrissy Photography


Published in Local Music News

Kaya, a finalist in last years' edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with the track First Time written by Georgios Kalpakidis is also a renowned vocal teacher in the country with her students regularly achieving success in foreign waters. The latest positive experience is attributed to Aidan Jay Drakard and Anhelica Pace who were competing in a competition entitled Eurokids in Maiori, Italy. During this festival, they competed against talented vocalists from Bulgaria, Moldova, Ukraine, Lithuania, Russia and Hungary amongst others.

Aidan Jay finished in second place within the category between six (6) to nine (9) years as he gave astonishing performances of the tracks E'La Mia Vita (Al Bano) and La Notte (Arisa). The young prodigy is achieving success on a regular basis having competed in the Carpathian Star Festival held in Bucharest, Romania last December achieving third place with the song Profeta and first place with the song Save Rock 'N' Roll in a duet with Anhelica. On the other hand, Anhelica who is just ten (10) years of age was awarded the best interpretation of the evening for her scintillating execution of the tracks Je T'Aime and Adagio (Lara Fabian). Anhelica has more experience in such competitions having represented Malta in Lithuania, Romania, Poland and Italy amongst others. Both young vocalists have now been invited to participate in Moldova and Russia. escflashmalta.com would like to congratulate Anhelica, Aidan Jay and Kaya for their continued success. Stay tuned for more information.

Source: Press Release


Published in Local Music News

Several individuals are currently extremely curious over what entries will ultimately make up next years' edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest which for the past two years has taken a turn for the better, both in terms of song and presentation quality. Submissions for the competition will be accepted this coming Tuesday and Wednesday in allocated timeslots which will be divulged once more closer to the actual days when escflashmalta.com will be present outside of the offices of the Public Broadcasting Services to note the artists who did not want to reveal their submission. Following the earlier announcements of Corazon, Domenique, Danica Muscat, Marilena Gauci, Stefan Gauci and Gloriana Arpa Belli, we are now pleased to confirm that the latest act to exclusively confirm to our web portal is none other than Kaya whose rich history in the local music scene surely has to be acknowledged noting that it has been evolving especially in recent times with a brand new image and genre representing the artist in the most impressive manner.

One has to recall that Kaya also known as Priscilla Psaila originally showed her true colours way back in the millennium with the year 2000 seeing her qualify to the Malta Song for Europe with the track Our Love composed by Alfred Zammit and penned by Cynthia Sammut which finished in third place. This was a huge coup so to speak because Priscilla back then was a complete newcomer. A couple of months later, she made it through to the finals of the Għanja tal-Poplu competition with the track Tisimgħu Tissaħħar featuring the vocal talented of the late Frans Baldacchino. The original composition which was written by the artists themselves finished at the top position for a stunning rendition of an extremely beautiful track which remains pinned down in the history of the local music scene. During the years, Priscilla did not manage to reach the stage of the Malta Song on another occasion actually but she did mark her foot down on the competition at the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza reaching a second place position in 2006 with the track Se Nkun Viċin composed by Ray Agius to the lyrics of Godwin Sant and also in 2009 with Lilek Biss composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas and penned by Joe Chircop whilst also being named the winner of the same competition in 2007 entitled Dan Hu L-Mument featuring the vocals of Ivan Borg with music by Mark Spiteri Lucas and lyrics by Joe Chircop.


Ultimately she returned to the stage of the Malta Eurosong competition in 2010 in another duet with Kurt Calleja performing the song Waterfall composed by Marco Debono and penned by Rita Pace. The entry received a lot of praise from a number of critics including some of the most prominent producers in the foreign music industry. It was revealed that she entered a couple of songs in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2011 but nevertheless, she did not make it through to the final stages of the competition. A sigh of relief came forward from Priscilla or rather Kaya when she was revealed as a semi-final with the track First Time written by the Greek Gorgi. The outstanding typical ballad has a place in any Maltese national selection and therefore, it was well received, so much so that it even translated into a number of points by the public which counted for a total of one judge in the last selection round. Kaya is pleased to return this time round coming up with entries which she deems fit and excitable. This is the first former runner-up who has come forward and confirmed her participation in the 2013 Malta Eurovision Song Contest. She has reached and scaled success in a number of countries including the United States having performed the original song Timeless during New York Fashion Week, the same year she adopted her current stage name of Kaya. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more exclusive news in the coming hours, days and weeks.

Source: escflashmalta.com


Published in Local Music News