ESC+Plus has talked to Richard Edwards, 2017 Maltese finalist and member of Firelight, band which represented Malta at Eurovision 2014. Edwards will perform “You” in the final of MESC set to take place on February 18th.
ESC+Plus: Hello! First of all, thank you so much for your time and congratulations on having been selected to take part in the Maltese national selection for Eurovision 2017!
Can you tell us about you, your musical career and important achievements?
Richard Edwards: I was born on the Mediterranean islands of Malta in 1982. Music is something that runs through my blood and always had an important role to play in my life. My Father “Joe Goerge” also a Maltese popular artist played an important role in my musical education.
I started my Musical journey performing in local pubs and hotels around the island. As I explored my teenage years I also took a great interest in songwriting and alongside performing this became my passion in life. In 2003 my brother Wayne, my sister Michelle and me formed a family band called “The Mics” and together we enjoyed many performances while also gaining lots of exposure through various local Radio and TV appearances. “The Mics” also took part in the Malta song for Europe 2003 with the song “Take me back” and also in 2005 with the Song “It’s up to you”.
In 2006, I ventured out of Malta to the UK. While in London, I joined a band called “Castaway” of which my role was playing the bass and singing. I enjoyed touring many parts of the UK with Castaway. I also auditioned for “The X Factor” in 2007 and I managed to get the thumbs up from Simon Cowell and make it as far as the Boot camp stages.
Stretching away from the band and using Richard Edwards as my stage name I decided to start my solo career for the very first time in 2010. Later that year I entered the Malta Eurovision song contest with a song written by myself and Jan Van Dijck entitled “Finally”. The song placed 2nd and kick started my solo musical career on the Maltese music market.
In 2013 I got the urge to be part of a band again and so I formed the Maltese Band Firelight. The Band consists of me and my three Siblings Michelle Mifsud, Wayne Micallef and Daniel Micallef plus Tony Polidano and Leslie Decesare. Firelight has had their music played all around Europe as in 2014 the Band represented Malta in the Eurovision song contest with the song entitled ‘Coming Home’. The song “Coming Home” which was written by me placed in the top 100 iTunes charts in England, Sweden, Denmark, Austria, Netherlands, Norway, Greece, Spain, Germany and Ireland. Firelight enjoyed further touring around Europe in 2015 promoting their album “Backdrop of Life”. Firelight is currently working on a second album which is expected to be released at some point in the future.
In 2016, I decided to revisit my separate musical solo career as “Richard Edwards” and released a single entitled “Burning” in July 2016. “Burning” was a summer hit on local radio stations and enjoyed a top 10 position for 8 Weeks. My other solo single entitled “You” has been selected as one of the sixteen finalists for the Malta Eurovision song contest 2017.
ESC+Plus: What impelled you to take part in “MESC 2017”?
Richard Edwards: It’s simply the best Maltese platform there is on the island to promote yourself and I want the best platform for my song, it would also be an honor to represent my country again.
ESC+Plus: How did you feel when you knew you had qualified for the final? Did you expect it?
Richard Edwards: I do believe in my song and that “you” has something different to the festival as it’s not your typical Eurovision song. I strongly believe that if I was lucky enough to be representing Malta with “You” then I can proudly say that we would stand out in a good musical way.
ESC+Plus: What would it mean to you to represent Malta?
Richard Edwards: It’s one of those feelings that very hard to beat. It’s a great honor and such a fantastic experience .
ESC+Plus: Can you tell us about your song? What is the story behind the lyrics?
Richard Edwards: “You” is an acoustic love song that can relate to a lot of people, it’s a simple melody that touches a deep feeling inside for me. “You” doesn’t need a mind-blowing projection behind it neither doesn’t need a fancy light show. The stand out point of my entry is in the song itself with no gimmicks to fool the audience.
ESC+Plus: Why do you think your song has to be selected for Kiev? What are you strengths to reach the top in the competition?
Richard Edwards: As I said before I feel that lately Eurovision songs are more about what going on behind the song rather than the song itself, and let us not forget that this is a song contest first and glitter after…so with that said I believe my song should be selected because in my honest opinion “You” is a strong acoustic love song that can touch the hearts of people. Isn’t that what music is all about at the end of the day.
ESC+Plus: Do you usually watch Eurovision? What is your favorite song in the history of the competition?
Richard Edwards: In Malta, nearly everyone loves to watch Eurovision. I don’t have a personal Favorite song but there have been a few good tracks on that stage…Waterloo, rock’n roll kids, fly on the wings of love, euphoria and calm after the storm are all songs I like…oh yeah!! and Firelight had a good tune in 2014 😉
ESC+Plus: If you could choose a Eurovision former participant to sing along with, who would it be?
Richard Edwards: Celine Dion for sure , she is one of the finest singers to ever walk the planet.
ESC+Plus: Finally, can you send a message for our readers and Eurovision fans?
Richard Edwards: I would like to thank everyone that has supported Me and also my band Firelight along the way. We all appreciate your great support.
Source : Image: MARIO MICALLEF AND GEORGETTE