After finishing in second place with “Rush” in 2015, and 4th in 2016 with “Kingdom”, Christabelle Borg decided to take a year out of Malta Eurovision Song Contest last year. This year she is back, and is hoping to represent Malta in Eurovision 2018 in Lisbon with her song “Taboo”, which is written by a Eurovision veteran.
We had a pleasure to chat with Christabelle, get to know her better, and find out more information about her song “Taboo”. Check out everything she told us in this interview:
Hello Christabelle! First of all thank you for your time for doing this interview, and congratulations for making it to the Finals of MESC once again! How did you feel when you found out that you are one of the finalists?
Great, of course! I’ve been over the Moon since. However, on the day, it was a different story! I arrived late to the Finalists’ Announcing Ceremony because I got stuck in traffic and, in fact, as soon as I arrived at the Upper Barrakka Gardens, Mr Bundy started announcing the finalists. I was the 14th one to be announced and, by the time they reached number 10, I was super nervous… Butterflies and all. I was actually scared they weren’t going to call out the name of my song but, as soon as they did, I sighed a sigh of relief and immediately got super excited about working towards the Final.
How did you decide to come back to the competition this year?
Even though I only started taking part in the MESC a few years ago, last year I decided to take a year off the Eurovision to focus on my job as a full-time financial controller, as well as on my music beyond the MESC. Even so, my intention was always return within a year and, watching it last year, made me realize just how much I enjoy being a part of it and on the MESC stage. Also, I feel that the MESC is a huge platform for anyone who wants to get their message across through song.
Can you tell us more about the story of “Taboo”, what it’s about, and who is the team who worked on it?
The lyrics are by myself and Muxu, and the music is by Thomas G.Son. The song is called ‘Taboo’, and it’s an incredibly personal one for me, both because of what I have been through as an individual in my private life, and because it addresses something that is very close to my heart. The song’s message is that we should be open about discussing mental illness and in offering help (rather than judgement) to those suffering from it. We need to change the way we talk about mental illness and encourage those who need help to speak up; but it’s only by working together that we can break this taboo… So, in a nutshell, with ‘Taboo’, I set out to raise awareness about mental health.
How are you getting ready for the night of the final?
Working on my choreography and the staging for the final night is my number one priority right now. That’s followed by preparing myself for interviews and what’s to come before the final night. Since “Taboo” is a song about raising awareness, I have also got in touch with several communities and foundations so that, once the MESC is over, I can aid them in getting the message across as much as possible.
How do you plan your stage performance to look like? Are you planning to have any props, backing vocalists, or anyone joining you on stage?
This is something I’d like to keep secret, actually. The element of surprise is incredibly important in such a competition, after all 🙂
What do you usually do when you are not singing?
Unfortunately for me – but fortunately for my boss – I am a total workaholic. So, when I’m not singing (or doing something related to it), I’m either at work or asleep. When I do get some time off, however, I go travelling.
Why should you be the one to represent Malta in Lisbon?
At times, music seems to only be about the beat and the melody, but even though both factors are important, I believe that “Taboo” is a mixture of the three elements that make a good track: a strong message, a catchy melody and good rhythm. The message of “Taboo” is also universal, and I hope that it can get people talking about mental illness both locally and abroad.
The competition is on a very high level this year. But which is that one act that you think is your biggest competition to win?
I believe that we all have an equal chance at winning, and the edge will probably be seen on the night, based on the best package and performance. I think that the only person we should compete with is ourselves because, ultimately, even if we don’t win, we’ll have grown and advanced. And that’s something I live by in my day-to-day life, too.
Are you currently involved in any other projects?
My main focus right now is the MESC. Once that’s done, then I can start planning my wedding, which will be taking place this year!
We also have a couple of questions for you just to get to know you a little bit better. What would be your favorite book?
I am a sucker for romance and love stories, so it has to be “The Notebook” by Nicholas Sparks.
Most definitely Argo – I’ve watched it around 20 times and each time it felt like I was watching it for the first time! It’s too good.
Your own signature dish?
My signature dish is pasta in a white sauce with truffle, mushroom and pancetta… I love cooking, actually, and people say I’m good at it. I just wish I had more time for it!
In a movie about your life, who would be playing you?
Jennifer Lawrence because she’s clumsy just like me…
What would you bring to a desert island?
Well, my first choice would be family, friends and my fiancé. But, with regards to objects, I would take a knife or a saw (to help me cut down branches for shelter and fire), a good book to keep me entertained, and an iPod or something to play music on… I’m not sure how I’m going to power the iPod, but since this is a hypothetical question, I’ll leave it at that.
Favorite taste of ice-cream?
I’m not very adventurous when it comes to ice-cream flavours, which is why I like vanilla!
Your ideal duet-partner would be?
Adele! Adele! Adele! Her songs are so emotive, I absolutely love them. And she’s a great performer, too. Other than her, then Chris Martin… He’s awesome!
The last song you listened to was…?
I have not stopped watching the performance of “Beautiful Trauma” by Pink at the AMAs 2017. That is my current favorite song, and is on repeat!
Favorite Eurovision winning song?
Loreen’s “Euphoria” and Jamala’s “1944”… Hands down!
The song you heard and wished it was yours instead?
“Last Dance” by Dua Lipa and “Apologize” by Timbaland and One Republic.
Thank you very much for your time Christabelle, and we wish you the very best of luck at the MESC Final!
To keep up with all the latest news about Christabelle Borg, make sure you follow her on Facebook right here. Give a listen to her entry “Taboo” right here:
If Christabelle Borg is your own personal favorite in this year’s Malta Eurovision Song Contest, make sure you cast your vote for her in our poll here: