We present the first part of the 3-part interview series with the 3 last Maltese representatives. Today we start with the 2012 Maltese representative Kurt Calleja.
It’s been 2 years since you represented Malta, how was the eurovision experience in Baku?
Well as I often repeat – it was a life long dream that came to pass. I always wanted to have that opportunity and once that it happened it all seemed so surreal. Till today I still am grateful to be a part of Eurovision history and that I left my mark on the Song Contest. Being in Baku itself was a whole experience in itself – a country that is going through huge changes very quickly and is very hospitable and welcoming and the people are very patriotic. Naturally – being a part of Eurovision history opens a lot of doors for you and it was that experience plus the knowledge I gained from it that kept me going till today.
This Is The Night was a hit in Azerbaijan and even now you have a lot of fans from there. They even gave Malta the 8 points in the final. Did you expect such support from the country?
I never expected anything – even winning here in Malta was a big shock to me let alone getting such a positive response from a foreign country. Yes Azerbaijani fans still send me messages and pictures and ask me to go and visit and perform there. We should be going very soon – it’s just liaising my commitments with their availabilities that is the issue.
Last year you had a charity concert where you launched your album. Can you tell us a bit more about that?
Well – The Love On Mars Charity Concert in Aid of Inspire was an experience that I personally learned a lot from. First and foremost I had no idea that so many people needed the services there and for those who do is a big welcoming hug and smile awaiting their arrival. The concert itself was a celebration of feel good music. It started of with a number of Performing Art schools that warmed up the act to be followed by our line up of guest performers and myself with my debut album – Love On Mars. It wasn’t as good as we expected it but hey it was my first time and we did actually manage to collect over €5,000 for the organization.
Your brother, Kevin, is involved in music too. Do you see your brother in the Eurovision and maybe you as a composer with him?
Kevin and I have different views of the music world and business – Kevin is obviously a lot younger and less experienced than myself and that doesn’t mean that I have an advantage. Many times people with “experience” are afraid to take risks because of the bad that they have experienced rather than looking at the good things that happened and that is when a career starts taking the down road.
Kevin is a very talented individual: creative but stubborn, enthusiastic but inexperienced, artistic but confused… It’s like looking at myself 6 years ago. I love working with Kevin but we need a third person present when we do because since we are brothers we tend to be at each other’s necks very regularly.
You’re currently shooting a music video with the same producers of the Maltese music videos in eurovision in the last years. How is it working with them and what could you tell us about the video and maybe when can we expect it to come out?
Well this is not the first time for me – working with Angie, Charles Ahar and Marlon… To clarify – Gianluca and Firelight’s team was made up of: Angie and Duane Laus, Charles Ahar and Marlon Grima – all from WE Media. I worked with most of them on other TV programs – but Angie was also someone who really helped push my career by making me a resident performer on her Sunday afternoon television show. Charles Ahar was one of the main camera people for my ‘This Is The Night’ music video and Marlon Grima I worked with on many many different television shows. The name of the song is Vertigo written by Tim Laws, Steve Lee and Chris Madin. Vertigo is the 5th single from the album ‘Love On Mars’. The song talks about how being without the one you love is like falling without a parachute. In the music video a number of fun memories that the couple – Kurt Calleja and Joanne Galea (Miss World Malta 2014) share are created. We are expecting the video to be out in 2 to 4 weeks – though I don’t know how I am going to last that long!
We asked our readers at esctoday.com to submit their questions for you, and the first comes from Christine from Malta. Do you remember the first song that you’ve performed in front of an audience?
Hi Christine 🙂 Thank you for your support. Well I am not sure – see the thing is when I was a kid I used to sing (or try to sing) in choirs – but I have no recollection of the first song I sang in front of an audience. The first song that does come to mind though is a song called Tearing Up My Heart by N’SYNC. I also remember being totally terrified of performing in front of these 300 people!
Senol from Turkey and Marios from Greece both asked about Can Bonomo! How did you become friends with him and do you have any plans to work with him in the future?
When we are asked to perform in Azerbaijan’s pre-selection (i.e. when Sabina won the right to represent Azerbaijan in the Eurovision) Can Bonomo was also a guest on the same evening. I was not that into his style of music at the time but he is a great guy and we became friends instantly over dinner with both our gangs at the Hilton in Baku. Then when he launched the song –Love Me Back – I actually looked at it in a different angle and realised I wasn’t really into his songs cos they were in Turkish – but the style of music itself and then obviously when I could understand what he is saying – I really really liked his music. I wish I can say I do have plans to work with him but to this day we haven’t had the opportunity.
We would like to thank Kurt Calleja for this interview and wish him best of luck for his career and future plans!
Stay tuned to esctoday.com for the latest news from Malta and the Eurovision Song Contest 2014.