If you’re following the Maltese national selections for the Eurovision Song Contest so she’s no stranger for you. She has tried to represent Malta in the contest for a number of times and yet to be seen on the big European stage. During a visit to Malta we had the chance to talk to Claudia Faniello and also ask her what she thinks about this year’s contest.
What is your first Eurovision Memory?
I think I remember when Debbie Scerri represented us in 1997. I was 8 years old.
When you were 13, your brother (Fabrizio) represented Malta.
I was there in Denmark, I think that was one of the greatest experiences, being so young and being there in that arena, all those people – I’ve never seen so many people in one place! The first time I entered I thought I was going to die backstage, I was so excited, but it’s beautiful you know. I think it was the first time that I even went to a concert.
And in 2006 you were competing against him in the Malta Song For Europe! And he won. You have also participated against him in other years.
Everyone asks me how it felt! To be very honest with you, I voted for him. I was happy he won, I wanted to go to Athens. I participated against him also in 2011 and 2012.
You have participated in MSFE for 8 years in row. What is your experience from the participations?
It was bittersweet I guess, definitely 2012 meant a lot to me as a musician and as a person. I think it was the first time ever from all the years I was in it, I felt ready and I had the best song in my case. I felt so good singing ‘Pure’, it was so beautiful. Then the year after when I had ‘When it’s time’, i also loved it for the reason that I worked with my band on stage, I still work with them today, and it was great because we really enjoyed performing and even though the song wasn’t eurovision-style, it was more of a fun thing. We did it for fun, it was the first time I wrote a song. well, I wrote L-imhabba Ghamija in 2007 but I was young, so I don’t really think of it so much. ‘When it’s time’ was the first time as a grown up that I had my own song in the festival.
How did you select your songs for Malta Song For Europe throughout the years?
Usually i was always offered songs, sometimes I had more than one soIi could choose. In 2008 and 2009 I also had more than one in the competition. Basically that’s how it is, they tell me: ’Claudia I have these songs’ and I chose what i felt was the best for me at that time: for me, for my voice and for my style.
Why did you stop participating in the Malta Eurovision? Are you planning to come back in the future?
It’s not quitting, it’s changing a bit the environment I think. Before ‘Pure’ was offered to me, I told Phillip Vella, ’I don’t wanna go in the festival this year, I want to take a break’, and he was calling and telling me ’Claud, i have a song for you’. When I heard ’Pure’ I cried, and I told him ’you see what you’ve done? now I can’t say no’. It was a love at first sight, (or ear?) and that was it. When I had ‘When it’s time’ I wanted to participate as a songwriter as well. After that, I guess I felt it was the right time to take a break, to work more on myself artistically. and to do what i feel I want to be doing in the future, with more styles of music, as a songwriter, I need to grow. I don’t say never, i get a lot of support from Eurovision fans and people who know me and ask me if I will ever go again, so i never say no but still I guess at this time I have to feel confident about the song and I just need that it will be the right time to go in again.
Do you have some out-Malta activities in mind?
At the moment, not really. I’m still in my songwriting phase and now I’ve just recorded a new single and filmed the lyric video to it, and we will also do the official video, and I’ll see from there, I think you need to be prepared of you want to get your music abroad.
Do you follow the preparations for this year’s Eurovision? Who are your favorites?
I don’t really follow, I watch the finals all the time, but i like to watch them on the day, on the actual nights, so I can have the instant feeling when listening to a song the first time. I think the most beautiful impact is listening to songs you’re not familiar with because you don’t see it coming. in a way it’s much more fun like this, so that’s how i like to watch it.
Watch Claudia’s message to our readers below: