Franklin Calleja is without a doubt one of the best male vocalists from Malta. After various tries to represent his home country in the Eurovision Song Contest, and coming third in 2016 with “Little Love”, Franklin has started a new Eurovision journey this year, and is hoping to be the one to represent San Marino in Lisbon, with the song called “Stay”.
We had a great pleasure to chat with Franklin ahead of Saturday’s Final in San Marino. In between other things, we asked him about his experience in this selection so far, he also told us more about “Stay”, his expectations, as well as his thoughts on Christabelle’s performance from this year’s MESC. Check out everything he told us in this interview right here:
Hi Franklin! First of all, thank you for taking your time out for talking to us! For the start, can you tell us how did you decide to apply for San Marino’s selection in the first place?
Hey there thank you so much for the lovely Interview! Well I actually saw the applications of 1in360 online, and since it was an open book, everyone was able to apply for this contest, so I gave it a try too! Cos you never know!
You spent some time in Vienna, working on your two songs. How did the whole thing go?
I have spent my time in Vienna working hard on my both songs with very good producers so that we’ll have a very good product for both live shows. I had the first song – “Best Years Of Our Lives”, which basically we changed it from scratch as it was not 100% my type of style, but we worked very hard on this until we had a good product to present for the first show! And than we worked on “Stay” for the second Show, which in my opinion is the song that fits me best. I love the building of this song, I loved it from the very first day that I’ve heard the demo, and now I love it even more with the new orchestration arrangement! Basically we worked more on the orchestra thing, and although it does not sound with a modern production, we still thought that it is very good for Eurovision. Last year a very basic ballad won the Contest, one that Salvador stole the hearts of many with! The year before as well with the incredible Jamala! Also, I believe that the more simple the better! Cause simplicity isn’t about what you give up or lose. It’s about what you gain, and what I love about “Stay” is the simplicity out of it.
How did you decide that your song in the final should be “Stay”?
I’ve always had a positive feeling about this song. After all that I’ve been through last year, the first thought when I heard this track I had a vision, and I said to myself I’m not gonna give up because, after all, this is what I’m aiming for, this is my dream. I have learnt that those who don’t believe in magic they will never find it! In “Stay” I have found my strength to come back. And I’m here.
Two other contestants are going to be singing the same song. Do you think this might be your advantage, or maybe a disadvantage?
I don’t mind it because we are singing different versions so that doesn’t make any difference to me, honestly!
What can you tell us about this song?
“Stay” is about a person who is dying. The lyrics say “Stay With Me, Don’t Fall Asleep, Don’t Close Your Eyes Now And Breathe”… So it’s a very sentimental song and very close to my heart I must admit! I believe that this is a very strong entry, with a strong message in it.
How are you getting ready for the final?
I’m taking this step by step. And working for it like I did in the Maltese Selections 🙂
What are your expectations?
Never had high expectations and never will. As I said I’m working for this very hard, but I’m taking it one step at a time! And then what is meant to be will be! 🙂
How much support are you getting from Malta during this Eurovision journey?
Well I’m receiving very positive feedback from all of my friends! They are very supportive! And that’s what matters 🙂
Malta has already selected Christabelle for Eurovision. What do you think of her song?
I think Christabelle is a great performer and the projections that she used during her performance looked very good!
What is going to be your next step after the final, and hopefully Eurovision?
For sure i want to sign a Record Label deal with someone who can make my dreams come true! I want to perform in front of thousands, do music videos, and be a star all over the world. ❤️
Thank you very much for your time Franklin, and we wish you the best of luck in the Final!
If you want to support Franklin Calleja and his song “Stay”, you can invest into his song via this link here, and help him get a higher score with the public on Saturday. Give a listen to his song “Stay” right here:
And if Franklin Calleja is your personal favorite in San Marino’s Final, make sure you cast your vote for him in our poll here: