ESC+Plus has talked to Janice Mangion, finalist of this year’s Maltese national selection for Eurovision. Janice will perform “Kewkba” 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?
Janice Mangion: Sure! So, I started singing at the age of 12, taking singing lessons before turning my attention to the piano. In 2007, I took part in “L-Isfida”, a talent show in Malta which featured dancers, actors and singers, reaching the latter stages.
Since then, I never looked back and took part in “L-Għanja tal-Poplu”, “The Summer Hit Song Contest”, the “Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza” (where I finished in 3rd place back in 2011) and the “Malta Eurovision Song Contest”.
I am also a member of the Animae Gospel Choir, under the direction of Pamela Bezzina and Glen Vella (who represented Malta at the Eurovision in 2011).
ESC+Plus: What impelled you to take part in “MESC 2017”?
Janice Mangion: It is no secret that the Malta Eurovision Song Contest is an opportunity for us artists here in Malta. Just a couple of months before the regulations for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest came out, I was already working on other projects with the same team, and that’s when we decided to give the Malta Eurovision Song Contest a show, working on something bigger and better!
ESC+Plus: How did you feel when you knew you had qualified for the final? Did you expect it?
Janice Mangion: It was already a big risk when we took the decision to submit a song in Maltese, because we had no clue how people would react. So no, I did not expect it. After all these years, we get to see a Maltese song in the finals, I was over the moon when I got the news.
ESC+Plus: What would it mean to you to represent Malta?
Janice Mangion: It would mean the absolute world to me. As an artist, I have been dreaming about this for a very long time. Representing my country in my native tongue would be a huge deal.
ESC+Plus: Can you tell us about your song? What is the story behind the lyrics?
Janice Mangion: “KEWKBA” is a powerful modern ballad written in Maltese by Emil Calleja Bayliss, and Mark Scicluna. The story behind the song started off with the title, which in this case came first. It is a song that can be seen on two different levels, on face value the song speaks about a star being the guiding light in someone’s life, while on a figurative level, the star is there representing the person who is in our life ready to provide a helping hand whether physically or spiritually.
If you log onto my Facebook Page (Look up Janice Mangion!), you will be able to find a full translation of my entry which was done by the author of the song.
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?
Janice Mangion: We have been working extremely hard in order to turn “KEWKBA” into a very good product. I consider it to be a very powerful song which would easily compete with other songs in Kiev. I consider myself to be hard-working, and believe that surrounded by the right people, the ones who make up my team, we can make this happen.
ESC+Plus: Do you usually watch Eurovision? What is your favorite song in the history of the competition?
Janice Mangion: YES! I am a huge Eurovision fan. As a matter of fact, just to make sure that I watch and listen properly, I always choose to watch it at home, so that no one can interrupt. My favourite song from the history of Eurovision has to be Marija Serifovic’s Moltiva.
ESC+Plus: If you could choose a Eurovision former participant to sing along with, who would it be?
Janice Mangion: It would be definitely Celine Dion. She`s a great singer, I simply love her.
ESC+Plus: Finally, can you send a message for our readers and Eurovision fans?
Janice Mangion: I would like to thank you for believing in me and my music. Your support means a lot and I have been receiving a lot of positive feedback. I am simply overwhelmed and humbled by all your comments. Together with my team we are working very hard to make this “Kewkba” (star) shine even brighter. I am extremely grateful!