Cherton Caruana: «I like to think of Fighting to Survive as a fierce empowering pop song» (Maltese finalist – Interview)

ESC+Plus has talked to Cherton Caruana, finalist of this year’s Maltese national selection for Eurovision. Cherton will perform «Fighting To Survive» in the final of MESC 2017 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?

Cherton Caruana: I am a 29-year-old singer. I work in real estate and have been married for a little over a year now. I’m a very positive person. My motto is “Be positive and positive things will happen to you.”

I always loved music and performing, and started singing when I was 10 years old. When I was younger I took part in and won the Mini Miss International competition organised by Modelle International. In my teens, I was a contestant on local TV talent shows Bravi and Sfida, and was chosen for a musical scholarship at a school of performing arts in Cambridge, UK. Currently, I am the resident singer on the popular panel show Xarabank.

ESC+Plus: What impelled you to take part in “MESC 2017”?

Cherton Caruana: My journey to MSFE 2017 started from quite an unexpected place actually. A few years back I had decided to take a long break from music due to some important life events. Then last year, I surprised my husband by singing a song for him during our wedding. So many of my friends and colleagues were taken aback with my performance, because they didn’t know I could sing, and since then they kept encouraging me to focus more on my music because they believed I had great potential. Because of their support, I found a revitalised energy and passion for music and have been more determined than ever to find new opportunities for me as an artist.

The MSFE was always something I had wanted to try, but I never found the right opportunity before. This time round I set it as a goal and planned for it. With a lot of work and some luck meeting the right people, this year it finally came together rather fast and naturally.

ESC+Plus: How did you feel when you knew you had qualified for the final? Did you expect it?

Cherton Caruana: To be honest when I heard the news I couldn’t quite believe it and I think it still hasn’t fully sunk in. Part of me believed I could make it to the finals because I really believed in the song , but then there was another part of me that was trying not to get my hopes too high. I know there are many talented local singers and they were only choosing 16 finalists out of close to 200 entries. Knowing how tough it was this year, just makes me that much prouder to have made it to the final 16.

ESC+Plus: What would it mean to you to represent Malta?

Cherton Caruana: Words cannot really describe what it would mean. To be representing my country in what is the biggest, most-loved international music competition there is, it would really be a dream come true.

ESC+Plus: Can you tell us about your song? What is the story behind the lyrics?

Cherton Caruana: I like to think of Fighting to Survive as a fierce empowering pop song. On one level the lyrics are about taking control of a relationship that has gone sour, about someone who is tired of being messed around with and saying enough is enough. But I think the lyrics can also speak to people more universally.

We all at some point in our lives face obstacles, whether it’s difficult relationships or people trying to put you down. And this song is all about standing up for yourself and fighting for what you believe in.

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

Cherton Caruana: I would love to get the opportunity to perform Fighting to Survive in Kiev because I believe it’s an anthemic song with a positive message. Lots of Eurovision fans have already been sending me messages of congratulations saying how much they are loving the vibe of the song and the lyrics, and it would be awesome to get to perform the song in front of so many people.

My key strengths are that I am a hard worker and in competitions, I never go down without a fight.

ESC+Plus: Do you usually watch Eurovision? What is your favourite song in the history of the competition?

Cherton Caruana: I always watch Eurovision. It’s an annual appointment I do not miss. My favourite song has to be Loreen’s Euphoria. Such a great tune.

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

Cherton Caruana: From previous local participants, I would love to sing with Ira Losco. She has always been ahead of the curve locally. And from the international scene, I would have to say Loreen. She is a stunning performer and to get to work with her would be inspiring.

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

Cherton Caruana: First off I would like to say a huge massive thank you to all those fans who have already left me messages and comments of support. It means the world to me. I hope that I’ll do everyone proud with my performance on the night and no matter what challenges you may face in life, always remember to keep fighting to survive.