Jessika: “The Flame is a beautiful modern ballad about life experiences” (Maltese semifinalist – Exclusive Interview)

ESC+Plus has talked to Jessika, semifinalist of the Maltese national selection for Eurovision 2016. The singer will perform “The Flame” composed by Philip Vella and Gerard James Borg.

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?

I am 26 years old singer, songwriter, actress and a Spanish teacher at Rabat Middle School. I participated in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 7 times with the songs, Tangled (2008), Down down down (2011), Dance Romance (2012), Ultraviolet, a collaboration with Thomas G:son (2013), Hypnotica (2014), Fandango (2014/2015) and The Flame (2016). One of the highlights would be winning the public vote and the TVM Award when participating with the song Hypnotica. This is my 5th time teaming up with Gerard James Borg and Philip Vella. I have participated as a songwriter twice.

In the summer of 2009 I signed for a 10-day vocal program camp in Hollywood, for an intensive voice training programme with leading vocal coach Seth Riggs which helped me a lot in my artistic development, giving me the extra push to believe in myself and my capabilities of me as a songwriter as well.

E+: What impelled you to take part in “Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2016”?

I love the Eurovision Song Contest and it’s always been my dream to represent my country. I believe in my product, The Flame and that’s what made me do it again

E+: How did you feel when you knew you had qualified for the semi-final? Did you expect it?

Happy and excited as I love the experience.

E+: What it would mean for you to represent Malta? Can you tell us about your song? What is the story behind the lyrics?

Since I was a child I used to dream to be on that great stage and represent my own country, knowing the amount of support we give to our ambassadors in the festival and the fun the audience seem to have. I would be living the dream!

I have been working with Gerard James Borg and Philip Vella for a long time now, and it’s not a question of getting the right chemistry but achieving the right amount of respect and appreciation to what each other can do. It’s like, we’re a family, therefore when the selection was approaching, Gerard and I set a meeting and started thinking what we can do to come up with something different from the previous years. We talked about life experiences as well and that’s how he penned The Flame, then Philip Vella came along with a distinctive sound creating a beautiful modern ballad.

E+: Why do you think your song has to be selected for Stockholm? What are your strengths to reach the top in the competition?

I believe every artist who competes in the national selection, participates with his product believing in it and believing that he can make it to the top, however, I think that it’s a matter of opinion of the jury and the public vote on the night. The only thing an artist can do is give his all and enjoy doing what he does and leave it in the hands of the Universe.

E+: How are you preparing your performance for “MESC 2016”? Can you reveal us anything about the staging?

I won’t tell you how it will look as you won’t see the show!! Well I’m only telling you that this year it’s going to be me and my song, me and my voice, me and the audience and most of all, me and my feelings, hoping to transmit the same emotions that I feel in this song.

E+: Do you usually watch Eurovision? What are your favourite songs in the history of the competition?

I love watching the show, always been a fan of the Eurovision. My all time favourite would be Euphoria by Loreen.

E+: If you could choose a Eurovision former participant to sing along with, who would it be?

I’d choose Måns Zelmerlöw because I love his voice and he seems to have a beautiful character and charisma, which would make it easier to work with and create a great duet.

E+: Besides Eurovision, what are your plans for this year?

I’m quite a busy bee so apart from singing I have my acting career going on so I will be continuing on that and am currently doing my Masters degree in the teaching of Spanish as a foreign language. I would like to release a new song with a music video before Summer…

E+: Finally, can you send a message for our readers and Eurovision fans?

I would like to thank you all so much for the support you give to the Maltese talent. Having your appreciation and support is what makes an artist go on and believe in a dream! Thanks so much again.

E+: Thanks for your time and good luck!

Gracias 😉 Un besazo desde Malta (In Spanish: Thanks, big kiss from Malta)

About Tony Rojas (Spain)

Spanish journalist. I love good music and I like Eurovision. I’m bringing you different interviews with the candidates of the European contests for Eurovision. Follow me on @tonyrojas and @tonyrojasofficial (Twitter and Instagram).


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