Malta: The Firelight Interview

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We head to the beautiful Mediterrean island of Malta for our 10th interview in our series of the 2014 ESCToday Eurovision Interviews. We land in Valleta today where we catch up with the 2014 Maltese Eurovision representatives Firelight, who revealed many details and secrets about their Eurovision entry Coming home.

As a band, you made your debut at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. Was Firelight formed specifically for Eurovision?

Yes, we came together as a band last year. As individuals we had competed for Eurovision several times. Finally, as a band we have made it.  Our first album comes out shortly, so these are exciting days for us. We love Eurovision and can’t wait to perform in Copenhagen.

Some might know Richard and Wayne as soloists from the Malta Eurovision scene, but what have the other members of the band been doing musically before the formation of Firelight?

We’ve all been heavily involved in music for some time. My sister, Michelle, has been playing piano since the age of 4. My brothers, Danny and Wayne perform across Malta. Tony began playing bass in his father’s jazz band as a kid, while Leslie took up drums and percussion as a teenager. So, we are all known in Malta. Back in 2005, I ventured further afield. I took part in X Factor in the UK. I got the thumbs up from Simon Cowell and made it to boot camp where I got to sing alongside Leona Lewis and Ray Quinn. I then joined a British rock band called Cast Away and toured southern England for a while.

In the official music video of Coming Home, one can see the heartfelt stories of soldiers during war. Was this your initial inspiration when writing the song, or is it just one interpretation of the song?

It is just one interpretation. We decided it would be relevant in 2014 to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Great War, an event that engulfed Europe. It’s a tribute to the fallen, the men who didn’t come home. But “Coming Home” will mean different things to different people. In the Europe of today you see thousands of people moving across borders. Poles, Czechs, Latvians etc live and work in other countries and may be separated from their families for months. We hope our song will resonate with them.

Will your performance in Copenhagen have a war theme too or will you go for something different?

Something different, but not outlandish. You often see gimmicks at Eurovision, and they do add to the fun of the occasion, but we are excited about our music and want to let it speak for itself.

You are going to open the second semi final on Thursday 8 May. Do you think this will work to your advantage and do you think the position you perform in affects the final result?

We are really excited about being first on. It is an honour to open the show. We know we will have the full attention of people at home so that is good. Hopefully, our performance will stay in people’s minds for when they vote later in the evening.

You intended to release an album in February, but plans have changed due to your Eurovision preparations. Where do you stand at the moment regarding the album?

It’s nearly ready. We are very happy with it. I’m sure we will sing a    song or two from it when we get to Copenhagen.

What are you most looking forward to from your experience in Copenhagen?

We are looking forward to all of it – enjoying what the city has to offer, making new friends, exploring the auditorium. And performing to a few million people will be nice too.

How are you planning to promote your entry in Europe?

We are taking part in the Eurovision parties in Amsterdam and London and we are traveling virtual Europe, making contact with everyone via the net. We would love to visit every country in person but if we did we’d probably be exhausted by the time we got to Denmark.

Have you listened to the other competing entries in your semifinal? Which do like the most? Who do you see as your biggest rivals?

There are so many good songs in the contest this year. In our semi-final I rather like the Romanian and Irish songs, but it is so hard to predict who will do the best.

Have you spoken to any of the former Maltese Eurovision representatives. What advice have they given you?

We have. They’ve set the scene for us. I think the best advice we have received is to be ourselves, do our own thing and love every minute of the experience.  We are not going there to copy or imitate. We have produced our own sound – a blend of rock, pop and folk – and we are putting faith in the music.

Do you have any message for your fans and readers at esctoday.com?

For us as performers it is tremendous to know there are so many Eurovision fans out there. Your enthusiasm and passion helps us to do better. Eurovision would be nothing without its army of loyal followers so we say thank you to each and every one of you. We hope you like “Coming Home” and if you vote for Malta we promise to come and give each one of you a kiss.

ESCToday.com would like to thank TVM, PBS and Firelight for this interview. We would like to wish Malta the best of luck at the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest?

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