Interview Richard Edwards Micallef

Who are your musical influences and what inspires you?

I’m quite open minded as a musician and I’ve learned to appreciate all types of music, but saying that, my favourite styles of music are country, folk, rock and some pop too. I have quite a few musical influences which include old school bands like The Beatles, Rolling stones, Pink Floyd, Queen, Eritrea Franklin modern bands like Foo fighters, Coldplay, Killers, Maroon Five; individual artists like Johnny Cash, John Denver, Elvis, Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder, Ray Charles, Sting, Eva Cassidy, Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, John Mayor, Bruno Mars, Jessie J, Christina Aguilera and many more. Basically anybody that makes good music inspires me to want to grow as an artist.

We’ve heard that you met Simon Cowell. How did that come about? 

I met Simon Cowell while I was at X Factor UK six years ago. I was lucky enough to make it to boot camp and he happened to be the mentor for the under 25s which was the group I was in…

…was he nice to you or is he as acerbic as he’s reputed to be?

Simon was actually nice to me. Didn’t get any of those nasty comments he likes to make every now and then. It was Lou Walsh that didn’t like my style, in fact, I got a big No from him in the audition phase.

How important is winning the Malta Song for Europe contest to you?

Its not important to win the Malta Song For Europe. I would love to win but I don’t enter the competition to win. I really enjoy taking part and performing on Malta’s biggest musical televised show. It’s just a really nice experience. If I was to win it one day it would simply be amazing and I would do my best to represent my country in the best way I know how.

What are the top qualities you admire in people?

Honesty, loyalty, trust, love and respect.

What improvements would you make to the system regarding nurturing creativity in Malta?

I would love to see the Maltese music market grow. It’s getting better but I think there is always room for improvement. Quite a few radio stations are helping local artists to spread their wings, but again, there is always room for improvement. We have live music events throughout the year and that gives local artists a chance to perform and shine, but again there is always room for improvement.

Music business matters like music royalties need a bit more attention too. I am a member of PRS myself and never received a payment, and I’ve been on countless TV programs and had a few songs played on the big, local radio stations. I would love to see a local music publishing company that’s trying to get Maltese music recognized outside the island. There are lots of things that can be improved but the important thing is that it’s getting better and we’re on the right track, slowly but surely.

What other interests have you got that are not music-related?

Not much to be honest… I used to enjoy keeping fit but I seem to be getting lazy to drop on the floor and do push-ups or go to the gym. I used to enjoy playing football but retired from that a few years ago, I stick to watching it on the TV now. I also started fishing for a short while but never caught anything so gave up on that. I do enjoy relaxing at the beach but that ain’t really an interest right? The only interests that I can never get enough of are all music related, be it singing, playing the guitar, writing lyrics, composing a melody, recording, rehearsing, gigging, etc. Basically, I have an interest in any sort of music endeavour.