Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2016: Malta hosting once again

Although we might not have yet brought home a win in the Eurovision Song Contest, we managed to dominate the Junior Eurovision for the past few years. Thanks to Destiny Chukunyere who won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest last year with her uplifting song Not My Soul, the Eurovision Song Contest will be once again held on our gorgeous island. Malta’s first win occurred way back in 2013, when Gaia Cauchi’s The Start triumphed in Ukraine. A few days ago we sat down with this year’s talented ambassador, Christina Magrin, to get to know about her and her entry a little better.

When did you start singing and what prompted you to take it up and develop it further?

I started singing very early but I only took vocal training seriously about three years ago.

Are you the only singer in your family?

Hmmm… No! We all sing but to different abilities. My mother did sing. She is very musical and an incredibly talented teacher, but she chose to dedicate her life to our family. Apart from being my vocal coach, she runs her own school, where she guides young artists. My youngest sister Chiara is also a very promising singer at just three years of age.

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Apart from singing, what other main interests do you pursue in your free time?

I still attend regularly ballet lessons and I am currently following Grade 7 of the Royal Academy of Dance. I participate very eagerly in musicals, most recently The Sound of Music which was held in October at the MCC. In my free time, which is extremely limited due to ongoing commitments, I play the piano, have fun with my sisters, watch a movie, read a book or help with the cooking.

Can you tell us a bit about your song, Parachute?

‘Parachute’ was composed by a very special person – Florent Boshnjaku, an established international composer. As soon as he heard me singing ‘Suus’, at the Next Star Festival in Romania, he instantly believed in me. Having said that, a number of local and foreign composers have submitted their songs for the JESC selection and I thank them all for their support. The lyrics of the song were penned by Matt (Muxu) Mercieca and myself, therefore I hold them close to my heart. Parachute is about friends caring for each other and sharing special moments, especially after hitting a rough patch. The song has a catchy tune and is very adept to my voice.

Can you walk us through a day in your life at the moment?

I wake up at 06:00 after a couple of 10 min snoozes, then I get dressed for school. I go through the day’s agenda with my parents and shoot out. At school I focus on the lessons, try to catch up with the topics and share my thoughts with my schoolmates. Upon getting back home I do the homework and start working on the Junior Eurovision– interviews, photo-shoots, song rehearsing and meetings with the various people involved. That, with a snack in between, usually takes until eleven in the evening.

What type of vocal training do you undergo when rehearsing?

I don’t follow a strict training regime because I believe that singing should be primarily fun. However, I religiously warm-up my voice and sing whatever I feel like, each time trying to refine my technique for voice projection, breathing and developing further colour to the song. Singing is my passion and I want it to remain as such – not a forced routine in my already hectic schedule.

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If we had to turn on your music player right now, what 3 songs would we find on your recently played list?

‘Parachute’ would have the highest number of plays for sure because it has now become part of me. The other two would be ‘Who’s Loving You’ by the legendary Michael Jackson and ‘Suus’, another beautiful creation by Florent Boshnjaku.

What can we expect from the Junior Eurovision Song Contest this year?

It is evident that the standard has improved and the other countries are taking this contest more seriously. This year there are a number of other contenders who have great voices and beautiful songs. I don’t underestimate any of them and I believe that the JESC audiences across Europe and Australia will not be disappointed with the show. Even more so that it is being held in our beloved capital city, Valletta.

PBS are working relentlessly to put up a great show and I am sure that Malta will delight the JESC audiences once again

The Junior Eurovision Song Contest is happening this Sunday, November 20th, at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta. The show starts at 16:00, with Malta, the host country, singing in 5th position! Good luck Europe, Good Luck Malta!