“When I start singing, I’m a different person.” Those were the words of a 13-year-old Destiny Chukunyere, fresh off of her Junior Eurovision 2015 victory. And more than five years later, as she gears up to sing “Je Me Casse” for Malta at Eurovision 2021 in Rotterdam, that feeling still rings true for Malta’s shining star.
Indeed, it would be difficult to detect Destiny’s timid nature beneath the powerful pop persona we see on stage and in her music videos. But in a recent interview with wiwibloggs, the 18-year-old songstress revealed that she’s shyer than she seems. “When I’m off stage, I’m quite shy, actually. I’m shy but no-one knows it”, Destiny told our William. “When I’m on stage, it’s my time to shine.”
And shine she will. At Eurovision 2021 in Rotterdam, Destiny is set to sing “Je Me Casse”. An electro-swing pop jam, Destiny says it was love at first listen. “I started believing in the song from day one. I was like, ‘I need to have this song.’ It literally describes me as a person, everything about me, it fits perfectly to Destiny,” she said. “If there’s true love in music, I fell in love once again.”
Many others are loving it, too. “Je Me Casse” is currently the bookmakers favourite to win the song contest and bring Malta its first Eurovision victory. But Destiny isn’t letting that pressure get to her. In fact, the buzz inspires her give it her all. “These things keep me going. Knowing that I have a nation supporting me and waiting for the day to arrive, I can’t wait to perform,” Destiny explained. “The positive reactions are helping me to work harder and deliver the best performance ever.”
Malta’s Destiny on “Je Me Casse”
Though it’s certainly a dance floor filler, “Je Me Casse” has a deeper meaning. Its lyrics channel female empowerment and encourage women to pursue their dreams. “It’s not about the fact that men aren’t important in our lives,” she says. “I want to put it out there as a fact — men are important in our lives because they help us a lot. It’s more about women not needing men to be successful, to be strong, to be powerful and to be legendary. We can be powerful and we can be independent without a man.”
And, of course, Destiny is looking to bring a strong, powerful and legendary performance to Rotterdam. The singer recently revealed that she’s working with Swedish choreographer Sacha Jean-Baptise on the “Je Me Casse” staging — and also shared some snaps from inside the Stockholm dance studio, working hard at perfecting her performance. “Stockholm was all about making sure that my moves are perfect”, Destiny said in our interview. “There’s still a lot of work to do. But I really enjoyed it with Sacha and her team. They are amazing, and I’m so happy to have this amazing team behind me.”
As for the staging itself? Well, Destiny’s keeping her cards close to her chest. “Secrets are made to be secrets,” she said, gesturing to seal her lips as William quizzed her about her live-on-tape recording.
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At Eurovision 2019, Destiny provided backing vocals for Malta’s Michela on “Chameleon”. In our interview, she dished about her experience in Tel Aviv and how it compares to the junior edition. “It’s the same as Junior Eurovision because you meet a lot of new people,” she said. “Obviously, it’s a bit more stressful and harsh, I think.” But she’s ready to hit the stage and slay no matter what. “I really enjoyed being Michela’s backing vocalist. It taught me a lot because I saw what happened at Eurovision, so I think I’m more prepared now.”
Before our interview ended, Destiny also taught us a very important Maltese phrase — the local equivalent of her song title, “Mur Ħalini!”, which means “leave me alone!”
So now, as Destiny gears up for Rotterdam, many fans have their sights set on Valletta 2022. But no matter the result at Eurovision, one thing is certain — Destiny is #DestinedForGreatness and we can’t wait to see what the future holds for Malta’s new queen.
What do you think? Are you loving her laugh and smile as much as we are? What staging concept do you envision? Let us know in the comments below.