The Maltese National Selection kicks off on November 21, and the semi-finalists are busy perfecting their performances. Twenty artists want the golden ticket for Vienna, and in the weeks ahead our Austrian correspondent Patrick Melbler will be catching up with ALL of them. Today he starts with “Still Here” singer Franklin Calleja.

Hello Franklin. Congratulations on qualifying for the semi-finals of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. How do you feel?

Hello everyone! Thank you so much! I’m really happy that I’m living the dream for the third time and also so overwhelmed by the support and good comments on the song ‘Still Here’

Your song is called “Still Here”. Can you tell us a bit about it?

‘Still Here’ is composed and written by the Eurovision winner Alexander Rybak. A song, which talks about the persistence for love. If you love someone, you’ll do everything and anything to be with them again.

Can you tell us about your life? How do you live and what has changed since you are taking part in MESC?

I’m a part time singer and a full time salesman in one of the most popular Fashion branded clothes shops in Malta. I love my job, but I always dreamed to have a full time job in music. MESC gave me a big exposure; for myself as an artist and for my music career.

Your song is composed by Alexander Rybak, also known as the winner of Eurovision 2009. How did you manage that and how was it working with him?

It was just like a fairytale, literally. I received an email from Alex and he sent me the song he composed, and I really couldn’t believe it until I saw him in Malta coming towards me with his violin case in his hand. The experience was amazing, he’s a true artist! So down to earth yet really professional during business.

Last year you participated with “Love Will Take You Home”, and you were considered a favourite. How did you feel and how did your friends and family react?

Last year was my second time round taking part in the MESC with the song ‘Love Will Take Me Home’. The first time was 2 years ago with the ‘Let Your Heart Talk’. The reaction was really good and it also gave me the courage to continue working on more music projects.

Franklin_Calleja1What is the difference between “Love Will Take You Home” and “Still Here”? With which one do you feel the strongest connection with?

Obviously you’ll always learn from the past years, so this year I’m really dealing with a difficult song. A song, which shows all the capability and range of my vocals. I try to connect as much as possible with every song I sing, because I really believe that the message will only transmit to the audience, if you portray the song at its best – by expressing its meaning and emotions.

Why should Malta finally win Eurovision and do you think you could manage a victory?

Malta has been trying to win the Eurovision for ages. I believe that we had really good songs in the past and we deserved to win it too. It will surely be the ultimate dream to win the Eurovision and bring it to my sunny country!

You are not only a great singer, you are a model as well. How did you get into that and what’s important in both businesses?

It all started with modelling, but then I realized that it wasn’t my thing. I believe that in the music industry, the artist needs to be an all-rounder and to have everything: The voice, the look, the character, etc.

What would it mean for you to represent Malta in Eurovision?Franklin_Calleja5

I’ll be the happiest person on earth! That’s why I’m taking part after all. To win it!

Have you heard the other competing songs? Who is your favourite and who is your biggest competitor?

I love all the songs and the singers. In fact I know all the songs already. Isn’t that crazy?!

Do you have a special message for your fans and readers of wiwibloggs?

Hello everyone! Firstly, I would like to thank you for your wonderful comments and support throughout the years, and it will be nice to have the opportunity to meet each and every one of you in the near future!

Thank you for taking the time to chat. Good luck to you. Maybe you will get the golden ticket to Vienna!

Ohh I wish!  Thank you really much!

Do you think, that Franklin will represent Malta in 2015? Leave your comment below.

You can follow all of our Malta Eurovision 2015 news here.

Picture Source: PBS Malta