Malta 2015: How Franklin came to his Rybak song

Alex with Franklin

Alexander Rybak is back – Namely in Malta! Franklin Calleja who has already been present at the preliminary decision for Copenhagen will sing a Rybak-ballad next weekend with the aim to travel to Vienna in May 2015: “Still here” is a classical ESC-ballad which in the course of three minutes rises to a big climax. We certainly want to know how that the Rybak-Calleja-Connection came about.


The article was published on blog.prinz.de 18.11.2014.

Author: Matthias. Translation: Sussane & Ulli. Revision: Anni.


How did Franklin and Alexander Rybak get to know each other? Franklin told us about it after his first rehearsal for the qualifying round. “Olivier, a friend of mine from Belgium, called me and said: Franklin, Alexander Rybak would like to work with you, a song for the Maltese preliminary decision. I thought Olivier was joking- Alexander is such a great singer with a big career, I could not believe it. But then Alexander wrote me an email and we came in contact. He sent me a one-minute clip of ‘Still here’, and listening to it I started to cry. I’m just very emotional. I loved the song from the beginning. “

During the next few days Alexander Rybak will come to Malta to support Franklin and his team. “It really means a lot to me,” Franklin said, “I did not expect that Alexander would support me so much. He is so humble and the cooperation works very well. I hope we will continue our cooperation afterwards, because it’s really great. Alexander is very professional.”

He doesn’t feel any pressure to work with a Eurovision winner. “At least not from Alexander. I put the pressure on myself, because I  don’t  want to disappoint anyone, especially not Alexander… I really want to give 100% on stage. “

It will be the same stage where last Saturday kids from 16 countries competed at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Therefore the Maltese artists fighting for a ticket to Vienna will be on a former Eurovision stage. “At first I was a bit tense because the stage is so big,” admitted Franklin. “I’ve never been on such a big stage.” But his performance shall be simple. “The simpler, the better. Only me, my Background singer, light and LED walls. The song and the voice should be the most important.

Franklin: Still here (Preview Malta ESC 2015)

Glen Vella, who has represented Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 in Düsseldorf, is Franklin’s mentor. He already was his mentor in February at the qualifying for Copenhagen. But this time Glen will in addition take part in the competition himself. “But, frankly speaking, we do not compete,” Franklin said. “Glen helps me and supports me, there is no competition between us. No matter whether I or he should win: Everyone will be happy for the each other. By the way Franklin will not commit himself on ballads… “No, I also like to sing other songs. It depends on the style, every song has to fit my voice. “

Franklin: Love will take me home (Malta ESC 2014)

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