ESC+Plus has talked to Claudia Faniello, finalist of this year’s Maltese national selection for Eurovision. Claudia will perform «Breathlessly» 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?
Claudia Faniello: My career is one big rollercoaster of so many beautiful and different emotions. It kicked off with Malta Song for Europe back in 2006, and throughout opened so many doors for me which led to some really exciting opportunities. I have grabbed every one of them – both in my personal life and in my professional one. In between I have been blessed to experience several musical journeys which have given me the opportunity to work with so many talented people and also write my own music. Several singles and one album later, I look back with satisfaction at all the colour music has painted my life with.
Passion, music, and that very same emotion has brought me back to the Malta Song for Europe stage this year with a song that is very special to me. «Breathlessly» literally took my breath away from the very first day I listened to it… and it lit the fire inside me urging me to come back to the contest after my runner-up entry – «Pure.»
I feel «Breathlessly» captures so many special emotions in just one song. If it manages to touch people the way it has touched me, then I will be content. After all, the most beautiful things in this world need to be felt with the heart.
ESC+Plus: What impelled you to take part in “MESC 2017”?
Claudia Faniello: Many people kept asking me to come back to the contest. I almost won the local contest with «Pure», a song people loved. So it was all about getting a good song which I felt would have winning potential. When I listened to «Breathlessly» I knew after the first 30 seconds I would take another chance at the Eurovision Song Contest. I got many offers, but none matched «Breathlessly.»
ESC+Plus: How did you feel when you knew you had qualified for the final? Did you expect it?
Claudia Faniello: I was over the moon. I was happy because I believed very much in my song. I have had several songs in the past, but both «Pure» and now «Breathlessly» gave me that special feeling. Did I expect it? I don’t expect anything in life, but I surely hoped for it.
ESC+Plus: What would it mean to you to represent Malta?
Claudia Faniello: It would mean the world to me. My Eurovision journey started when I was really young, and now it would just crown my dream. I have had two very near misses… First time with «Carravagio», and with «Pure». So I have been Breathlessly awaiting the right moment, and the right song!!! I feel ready.. the time has come!
ESC+Plus: Can you tell us about your song? What is the story behind the lyrics?
Claudia Faniello: «Breathlessly» is an emotional power ballad, with very meaningful lyrics and a beautiful melody and music arrangement. It is not your standard bling bling song, it is a song that comes direct from the heart. I love its sophistication, too.
The story is very simple, yet very real. It talks about our inner emotions, and how we battle through them at various stages in our relationship with our loved one. It talks about those very special unspoken words, that are so powerful and meaningful. It talks about a simple, yet sometimes very complicated journey we live inside our heart.
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?
Claudia Faniello: My song delivers emotion and like the best things in this world they come from the heart. I truly believe that a European audience is right now in the mood for real emotions that touches their heart. It is not enough to have great lyrics, it is not enough to have a catchy melody, it is not enough to have a beautiful voice or a great show – all that of course is very important… but there is one very important factor that truly takes things to another level. REAL emotion that touches people. You have to feel something special. I feel my song gives you that special feeling when listening to it. This is also one of the major strengths that can help reach the top in any competition.
ESC+Plus: If you could choose a Eurovision former participant to sing along with, who would it be?
Claudia Faniello: French artist Anggun has actually covered my song «Pure», and I was really honoured about that. I think I could choose to sing with her again. And just for a little bit of spice, I will opt for Mans Zemerlow too! I mean, who wouldn’t, right?
ESC+Plus: Finally, can you send a message for our readers and Eurovision fans?
Claudia Faniello: I would like to thank everyone for the very positive «welcome» they gave me after the years I have not been taking part in the contest. Now that I am back I feel their warmth and their support. I just hope that «Breathlessly» will touch them in the same way it has touched me,and that it will give them three minutes of something beautiful. If it does, I hope they will help crown my dream to make it to the Eurovision stage.