Singing doctor Gianluca Bezzina hoping to make Eurovision history by securing first-ever win for Malta

By Steven Oldham 

Despite trying for 25 years, Malta have never won the Eurovision Song Contest, and this year the task of breaking that cycle falls to singing doctor Gianluca Bezzina. 

Gianluca won the Maltese national final in February with the song Tomorrow, a catchy folk-pop song compete with prominent ukulele riff.

The 23-year-old will now perform in the second semi-final on May 16 and explained how important the contest is to his country.  

He said: “Eurovision is definitely the biggest music event in Malta. Most of the country follows the contest and the national selection.

It is very important to Malta and we really want to win and host the contest in 2014.” 

The island nation have been runners up twice – in 2002 and 2005 – whilst Chiara, second with Angel in 2005, also took third place back in 1998. She also represented her country less successfully in 2009, placing 22nd.

“We have come very close in the past, it would be very rewarding for us to win because of the hard work we put in as a country,” said Gianluca. 

The recently qualified doctor – who describes medicine as his vocation – also fronts a local indie band, The Funk Initiative who have topped the Maltese charts.

Influences on his solo material include a wide range of artists, including Michael Buble, Noah & The Whale and Mumford & Sons.

Having performed across the continent in recent months to promote his song, he admits to nerves ahead of the big performance in Malmo in less than three weeks time.

“It could be make or break for my music career.  I am feeling some pressure, as I am representing my country for the first time. It is also the first time I will have performed in front of millions of people, but I can’t wait and I am looking forward to it.

Before this, I didn’t take music too seriously- it was just a hobby I enjoyed. I had to make the commitment, and now, it’s full time Eurovision,” he said. 

So, with 39 countries competing, why should people pick up the phone and vote for his song? 

“It’s quite a fresh and summery song. That’s what attracted me to the song when I first heard it. Myself and the band want everyone to enjoy our performance – I want to please people,” Gianluca said.

Malta’s rivals in the semi-final include some of the bookmakers’ early frontrunners, including Norway and Georgia. 

“I think countries such as Azerbaijan, Armenia and Georgia have strong songs – there are a lot of countries that could do very well in my semi-final.

My personal favourite this year is Iceland’s song, Eg A Lif,” Gianluca said. 

Could this finally be Malta’s year? Few would begrudge the island a chance to host the contest in 2014, and with the song being well received in promotional appearances across Europe, Tomorrow might just lead to Valletta 2014. 

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Photo courtesy of Kris Miscallef and Eurovision, with thanks

Tomorrow is available to download on iTunes here – watch the video below

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