TUNING IN WITH CHERYL BALZAN

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Photo by Perfect Image Studios

Date of Birth: 11th January, 1994

Location: Mrieħel

Status: Single

Star Sign: Capricorn

Main occupation: Auditor

Media-related occupation: Singer

As a child, Cheryl Balzan always had a passion for music, or to be more specific, the guitar. She started playing at the age of eight and studied classical guitar for a few years. In her teenage years, she started listening to rock music more often and that’s where she got most of her musical influence from. As a student, Cheryl always used to take part in school events, such as battle of the bands and talent shows, but she’d only take part as a guitar player and maybe some backings. She only started singing at the age of seventeen.

This had happened unexpectedly when Cheryl had the opportunity to play the guitar as a duo and the person who was supposed to be singing couldn’t make it. She decided to try it out on her own and that’s where it all began.

After two years of playing and singing covers in pubs and hotels, Cheryl met Chris Tanti, an amazing guitar player and songwriter. She and Chris then decided to work on a project together. They released their first original song, Sweet Sister, followed by Room Full of Tears and Calling Out My Name.

Last year, Cheryl released Say which has a completely different style to her usual repertoire.

What inspired your interest in music?

My dad used to listen a lot to country music like Johnny Cash, Jim Reeves and rock ‘n’ roll bands like CCR, and I must admit that I still do love some of the stuff I used to listen to at that time, thanks to him.

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What’s your favourite venue in Malta to perform at, and why?

This is a very difficult question, because for me, it’s not the venue that makes a difference, but the vibe of the audience. Although lately, I must admit that I’m always looking forward to perform in Valletta, especially City Lounge.

You’ve appeared in various small festivals in England. Where have you been focusing your work?

I went to the UK at the age of nineteen and only came back because I had signed a contract. Unfortunately, I find it difficult now to find time and look for gigs because of my full time job, so at the moment, I’m focusing on Malta.

What support systems would you like to see for local music?

I think lately, support systems have improved. However there’s much more to be done. I think we need to be more open and helpful with new artists, other than those who are already established. Another thing that could help is to also invest in bands that aren’t in the commercial scene, but in other genres such as metal. We’ve got a lot of talent in this scene and some of these bands are making a good name abroad too.

What’s been your biggest failure to date?

Well there is something I’ve always wanted to do and I still haven’t, and the more I grow up, the more difficult it will be. I’ve always wanted to just leave everything behind and just do music abroad – not get famous or anything – but at least be able to just live off it.

What role does technology play in your life?

Technology is very important for me. I can’t imagine a day without my mobile or internet, and social media’s helped me a lot in building a name for myself and promote and advertise events.