ESC+Plus has talked to Sarah Crystal, semifinalist of the Maltese national selection for Eurovision 2016. After being selected to compete in the live shows, the singer will sing “Right Here With You”.
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 2016!
E+: Can you tell us about you, your musical career and important achievements?
My love for singing started at a very young age. I used to sing in front of the mirror, on the kitchen table and office desk at home, well in other words…everywhere. But the lessons started back in 1996 when Ms. Moira Barbieri, the school choir teacher, recognized that I had a good singing voice and encouraged me to enrollee for singing lessons. From that year forward I took part in various musicals, prize days, choirs, local festivals with own original songs and different covers and even was invited on several television programmes and local events. Between 2001 and 2013, I focused all my energy on Drama Studies. However, my love for singing and music was still strong and two and a half years ago I decided to restart taking some vocal coaching with Ms. Pamela Bezzina.
E+: What impelled you to take part in “Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2016”?
I did not submit any songs in previous years because I was never ready and trained the way I am this year. Participating in the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of the Maltese people has always been my unsurpassed dream.
E+: How did you feel when you knew you had qualified for the semi-final? Did you expect it?
I was thrilled to be one of the 20 finalists. It is my first as a contestant and it has always been one of my all-time desires. I had a lot of mixed feelings. But I believed and still believe 100% in my song, not only because it is my song but because I co-wrote the lyrics with Toby Farrugia and I also chose the style of music.
E+: What it would mean for you to represent Malta? Can you tell us about your song? What is the story behind the lyrics?
I would fulfil one of my biggest dreams. The song is about the nostalgia of a love story that ended but still yearning for it. I was inspired to write these lyrics while I was watching the sun set on the golden sands of one of Malta’s beautiful beaches. I shared these lyrics with my vocal coach Pamela Bezzina and with my all-time favourite Maltese dj Toby Farrugia and together we worked and built the song I’m participating with…. ‘Right Here With You’.
E+: Why do you think your song has to be selected for Stockholm? What are your strengths to reach the top in the competition?
It is a fresh, summery song that everyone can dance and sing with. I think the softness in my voice vs the tropical house music makes the song I’m competing with different from other songs as it has two opposites merging perfectly. We are all different and that is what makes us unique. As a singer I always vouch to sing my favourite songs and give my all… that way I try to satisfy the crowd in front of me.
E+: How are you preparing your performance for “MESC 2016”? Can you reveal us anything about the staging?
Vocal coaching is routine. Various and daily meetings have become the norm since being selected for the finals. One now hopes that everything will be perfectly fine on the night. There is a lot more to be done until the final product is complete but so far it is looking great.
E+: Do you usually watch Eurovision? What are your favourite songs in the history of the competition?
Eurovision is a must date on my yearly calendar. As long as I can remember, I never missed one. Although there are many songs I loved and liked during the past years, Euphoria by Loreen remains and is definitely one of my top 5 favourites.
E+: If you could choose a Eurovision former participant to sing along with, who would it be?
Local – Ira Losco and Foreign – Blue & Loreen
E+: Besides Eurovision, what are your plans for this year?
I plan to travel to two destinations; to London with other students from Vocalbooth studios and to (who knows where) with my boyfriend. I also plan to continue to study and strengthen my vocals and also continue with my acting career in the Maltese series Becky the Return 2.
E+: Finally, can you send a message for our readers and Eurovision fans?
Always dream and believe in yourself. Unfortunately life is a bumpy road with a lot of highs and lows. Enjoy and appreciate every little moment as if it were your last. Try and live life to the full. Do not let fear abolish your dreams. If you really want it, then do anything possible to achieve it. I know that words are easier said than done, because I too struggle to keep up with them sometimes, but nothing comes easy in life.
E+: Thanks for your time and good luck!