We continue our series of interviews with this year’s Maltese hopefuls with Richard Micallef, member of Firelight who were the Maltese representatives in the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest with “Firelight”. This time round, he’s with his father Joe with “Song for Dad”. Will his 2014 experience give him the edge in 2018? We spoke to him about his musical debut and the inspiration for his entry below…
First of all thank you for your time talking to us. Can you introduce yourself by telling us a little bit about yourself?
I’ve been playing music for much of my life; starting out in local pubs and hotels around Malta, kinda like my Dad did when he was at the beginning of his career. I toured around the UK for a while too and got to audition for the X Factor! I came back to Malta and I’ve been in MESC twice before; once on my own and once with my siblings and friends with “Firelight” which went to Copenhagen to represent Malta in 2014! Music has always played a huge part in my life and I think I’ve saved my best until now.
Your song that you will be presenting for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest is “Song for Dad”. What can you tell us about the song?
“Song for Dad” is a song about my relationship with my Dad but it can relate to a lot of people, as it refers to practically every parent-child relationship.
What was the inspiration for the song, and did you write it specifically for the Malta Eurovision
Song Contest and Eurovision?
I wrote “Song for Dad” specifically about my relationship with my Dad, so it’s a personal and emotional song for me and I can’t wait to perform our song on the best platform in Malta. I already know that this whole experience will be one that I will remember and cherish for the rest of my life, regardless of the result.
What is your impression of the Eurovision Song Contest in general? Do you watch it every year? What is your favourite entry?
In Malta, watching the Eurovision Song Contest has become a national event, so everybody tunes in to watch it, whether they love it or hate it, so Eurovision becomes a quite spicy topic at that time of year! I personally don’t have a particular favourite as there are so many good songs that have been involved in Eurovision, but I do have great respect for ABBA’s Waterloo, as this song allowed them to become one of the biggest bands of the 70s.
Apart from the Eurovision Song Contest, where would be your dream performance be?
Royal Albert Hall in London, doing an acoustic set.
Can you tell us about your first experience with music?
One of my first experiences with music was when I was around 8 and I had to sing in a big party of around 200 people to sing a song a cappella unplanned. Of course, my Dad organised this for me, as he has done so many times after that! He put me on a table, got everyone’s attention to let them know I was about to sing and, at this point, my face is red. Then, as I start to sing my first note, my Dad says “STOP, YOUR ZIP IS DOWN” then pulls up my zip in front of everyone and at this point everyone in laughing… then I started to sing and the crowd went nuts!
How do you describe your music to people?
I always try to write music that is, in some way or form, personal to me. Somehow, I find that other people find something that they can relate to when they hear my music, which is great as, at the end of the day, music to me is about connecting with your audience and filling their souls with emotions.
What is a typical day like for you?
Wake up not too early as I sleep late, make myself a nice cup of tea, tidy my home, take my dog for a walk, do a bit of light exercise, before practising vocals or guitar and maybe coming up with a line or two to add to my portfolio of lyrics. I then eat something delicious made by my wife-to-be, have a wash and prepare for work, go to work – which is singing and playing guitar at an event or venue – come home after work and switch on the TV for a bit, then sleep.
What is the best bit of advice you have ever been given?
Live for today, because tomorrow never comes.
If your life was a song title, what would it be?
Many thanks to Richard for talking to us and best of luck to you and Joe in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest on Saturday 3rd February!
Who do #YOU want to represent Malta in Eurovision? Share your thoughts with us on our forum HERE or join the discussion below and on social media!