Fabrizio Faniello is a singer most of you already know, since he has already performed in Eurovision Song Contest twice – in Copenhagen 2001 and Athens 2006. This Saturday he will try to gain his third victory in Maltese pre-selection, singing „No Surrender“. Even though he is very busy at the moment, Fabrizio accepted this interview and shared with us his expectations for 2011, plans for the future, and we even talked a bit about his ESC performances.
Hi Fabrizio, how are you? What has been going up with you lately?
Well, I have been quite busy recording my new album which will be released in April this year. I have also toured across several countries to promote my current singles “I No Can Do” and “My Heart Is Asking You” – for current information check my official page on Facebook.
This year you’ll be once again participating in the Maltese pre-selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, and it’s going to be your eighth time. Why do you love competing for the Eurovision that much?
Eurovision is still one of the biggest existing TV and Concert Stages – imagine, 44 countries transmit the show live on TV at prime time and almost 200 millions of people are watching. I think it is worth to take part if it is possible and if you have the right song for it!
You’ll be performing a song called “No Surrender”. What do you think are its best sides?
The best side of the song is that it is reflecting my story so far, and its message is that, whatever happens in your life, whatever brings you down – No Surrender, Never Give up! 🙂
Do you expect to win the pre-selection and represent Malta once again?
Well, I hope that the audience and the jury will like my song and presentation. Of course, I am in the race to win and to get my country a great presentation in Germany, but you never know… Others have good songs too, so I just can give my best on the night.
Fabrizio Faniello – Another Summer Night (Malta 2001)
Let’s go a little bit back to the past, to the beginnings of your career… How did it all start? I’ve read somewhere that you were also a promising football player
Yes, indeed my choice was between becoming a professional soccer player and becoming an artist, as I played already in the Premier League here in Malta. But music was my bigger passion, so I decided to be a singer, but whenever I have a bit of time I enjoy watching and playing soccer!
You have become quite popular around Europe after the successful performance in Copenhagen in 2001. What are your memories of that contest? At the end of the evening, were you content with the 9th place you won that year?
It was a great moment to perform in this big stadium in Copenhagen and to meet many fantastic artists and people from the business for the first time, memorable moments like these are great. The place in the TOP 10 was fine for me and it helped me to start my career so far.
In what ways has the 2001 performance affected your career?
Well, I jumped into the Charts in Denmark with my single and my first album, and from there onwards my songs have been released very quickly in many countries and reached chart positions all over, it was finally the real start of an international career. Followed by this, we have released the second album and “I´m In Love” (the whistle hit) that reached the TOP 10 in Sweden and many other countries, and I promoted it all around Europe.
You represented Malta in Athens in 2006 too. However, you finished as 24th. In your opinion, what went wrong for you that night?
Athens was extremely stressful. We had a terrible monitor sound at the night which made us fail to receive a good placing unfortunately, – now our aim is the magical “3rd lucky time” 🙂
Fabrizio Faniello – I Do (Malta 2006)
The voting and competing system of the Eurovision has changed a lot during last couple of years – what is your opinion on 50-50 audience/jury voting structure?
I guess this will be ok, we have it in Malta as well: audience and jury both have their say. It just depends if there are experienced people from the music business who know what’s a good song and production, that’s quite important. Let’s hope for the best!
What amount of influence do you think the choreography and language of the song have on the final results?
I know that many fans of Eurovision like to hear songs in the languages of the country, but I don’t know if they would really like to have our songs in Maltese… Therefore everybody decides to sing in English as this is by far the European language. On my albums I always try to have other languages as well, so I’ve recorded songs in Maltese and Italian too. I love it in a way.
Since you have performed in ESC twice, I suppose you are a true ESC fan, so could you please tell me what songs from the history of the competition are your all-time favourites?
I especially remember “My Number One” from Helena Paparizou, (Greece 2005), she is one of my all time favourites, as I met her with Antique in Denmark 2001 and in Copenhagen again for the 50th anniversary of Eurovision in 2005, plus I love her winning song!
From Croatia I was quite impressed by Feminnem!
What are your plans for the period after the Maltese pre-selection?
I am releasing my new album soon and I’m going to have a lot of promotions around Europe, as well in Asia, especially in Indonesia. I am often there since I have been twice in the top 10 of their charts, and I travel twice a year over there to perform on TV and on some venues. Sure I will be quite busy throughout the year and hope to see many fans of Eurovision around.
Your sister Claudia will be one of your opponents on February 12 – what advices will you give her before the performance? Do you plan to record a duet any time soon?
I am not giving her advices, she is a grown up girl and turned to be a very good performer. She knows exactly how to present the songs and is in a good mood to Rock the Eurovision show – and I enjoy being with her in the show. Her victory is the only scenario that would not make me sad for not winning the contest myself ….. 🙂
And everybody seems to be waiting for a duet of two of us… Well, sooner or later …… 🙂
Fabrizio, thank you very much for accepting this interview! What message would you like to send to our readers?
Thanks a lot to all of you, I would like to send you all my message: whatever happens – No Surrender! Never give up and always stand up if you fail or fall! I hope you all will see me in Düsseldorf and enjoy the show!
Fabrizio Faniello – No Surrender (Malta 2011)
Fabrizio Faniello – My Heart Is Asking You (new single)