August 20, 2019

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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’ ?

Friday, 02 February 2018 23:39

MESC 2018: Speaking with Eleanor Cassar

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 the veteran participant, Eleanor Cassar who will be singing “Back to Life”.

Hi Eleanor, 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 am very happy to be back as I believe in this song BACK TO LIFE.

You’ve been missing from the Malta Eurovision scene for the last few years. What have you been up to in the meantime? Was it by coincidence that you decided to come back this year?

In the meantime I became a mother of a beautiful daughter. I thought about it last year. Spoke to my friend Glen Vella, so he helped me to find the composers so we try and find the right song.

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

The song is about a person who was suffering from psychological abuse, were now is out of it and got the life back. It is modern pop song, powerful and really suits my voice.

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

The only thing I can say is that I will be alone.

When you’re searching for a song to add to your repertoire is there anything in particular that you’re looking for?

It is the style and also that is good for my voice.

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

There are many. But my favourite one is MOLITVA

Do you have a personal goal for the competition?

Well it is a completion so I would like to win. But it is a chance also to be seen.

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?

I am listening to POP/SOUL music. 

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

I love cooking, swimming …I love to go out for a good dinner in a nice restaurant and of course playing with my daughter.

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

At the moment, I don’t have any plans, but most probably I would love to release a video for Back to life.

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

I would like to thank everyone for the support as I am receiving great feedback regards the song and now i am looking forward to perform on stage.

Friday, 02 February 2018 23:16

MESC 2018: Speaking with Avenue Sky

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 a group, making their debut in the Malta Eurovision. These are Avenue Sky with the song "We Can Run".

Hi guys, thanks for taking the time out for this interview! How does it feel to be part of the sixteen finalists for this year’s Malta Eurovision Song Contest?

Being one of the sixteen final acts this year makes us feel a rush of different emotions. First and foremost the thought of performing on the MESC stage gives us an adrenaline rush. We feel extremely happy to be a part of the show this year and also very excited that after our second attempt we managed to make it through to the finals.

You’ve been performing together for just over two years now. Who had the idea to bring you all together as a group?

Well basically it was Kevin’s idea. He always wanted to be in a boyband. So he discussed the matter with Glen Vella, who is our vocal coach and mentor, and then the members started being chosen. Since all of are also trained soloists in the same Vocal training school both Glen and Kevin knew our style and what we could contribute to the group. And 2 years later we are here as 1 of the final 16 acts for MESC!!!!

Tell us more about your song, "We can run". What is it about? In your opinion, what makes your song an ideal candidate for Eurovision?

Our song We Can Run is penned by Matthew Ker and Jonas Gladnikoff composed by Matthew Ker, Jonas Gladnikoff and Glen Vella. Our aim with this song is to present to the public an uplifting message. Basically the song is saying that whatever situation you might be going through, never lose hope, and do not ever give up because as long as there is blood in our veins and air in our lungs you are surly able to rise again. Through music you can find your inner strength to keep on going strong.

At this point what we can say is what makes it an ideal candidate for MESC When we heard our entry the first time we fell in love with it. The positive energy that the melody and lyrics have gave an amazing vibe. And it is because of that, that we feel it is an ideal contender for MESC. And basically we are working very hard to be able to transmit this feel good vibe to both audiences at home and in the auditorium.

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

Preparations are in full swing at the moment. We meet up almost everyday with our vocal coach Glen Vella and also our choreographer Sandro Zammit to rehearse. What we can reveal at this stage about our performance is that we are going to be 6 on stage .

What is the most difficult thing about being part of a group?

Probably the most difficult thing would be co ordination. To try and co-ordinate 6 individuals for rehearsals, tv appearances, clothes and all that it involves being in a group.

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

We are all Eurovision fans some of us fanatics too . However we all agree that our favourite entry and ESC winner is Heroes by Mans Zelmerlow.

Do you have a personal goal for the competition?

Well it goes without saying that at this stage, since we are one of 16 finalists we are there to try and make it to the top. However while keeping grounded with both feet on the ground and aside from the element of competition our goal is to have fun and give the best possible show to all MESC fans who will be watching us live from MFCC and also from home. MESC is the most anticipated local song festival on our islands so we want to give our best on stage so that the audience both at home and in the venue will have as much fun as we going to have!

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

Once MESC is over we are planning to go back to our routines of building a solid repertoire and also releasing our second single this upcoming summer.

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

We would like to say a big hello and also a massive thank you to all the readers for your support and also for taking the time to read our interview. We would also like to say a big Hello to all the Eurovision fans. Hope that you like our entry for MESC 2018 – ‘WE CAN RUN’. Also we would like to thank you all for promoting Eurovision and also for contributing to the growth of this prestigious Contest.