Where do you live: Surrey, UK
Star Sign: Aries
Main occupation: Singing, drama and dance teacher
Media-related occupation: Singer/Songwriter
Francesca Galea’s career, better known as CHESS, all started from working with the wonderful Muxu, Jo Micali and Mark U-Bahn who helped her find her way. She featured in two of their songs – one pop and one more dance orientated.
She moved to England at the age of 18 and studied music at the Academy of Contemporary Music.
Francesca regularly attends music meetings and has met people, such as Keith Harris (Stevie Wonder’s manager). She has often sung in various record label demos, performed live around London, worked for some outstanding DJs for the Ministry of Sound and also wrote and released her own music. Her music has been played on BBC radio in the UK, as well as on many other radio channels and it has also been selected for a feature on Best of British Unsigned. Francesca has recently been nominated for Best Solo Artist at the Malta Music Awards.
Her stage name ‘Chess’ is an abbreviation of her full name ‘Francesca’ and, in her opinion, also mirrors the type of industry she work in. “This industry is a game, one which you can only win over by using specific tactics and lots of practice!”, CHESS explained in her introduction to this interview with Ramona Portelli.
How did you first discover you had a talent for singing?
When I was very little, I used to stand on the church benches and sing at mass every Sunday. I wrote songs and sang continuously as a child and when I got older – I realised that it was something I couldn’t let go of.
What would you never, ever buy – and why not?
I had this obsession of buying clothes that were two sizes too small for me with the intention to ‘fit into them one day’ … it is honestly the most depressing thing to put so much pressure on yourself in that way. Now, I just buy clothes that fit and ones that suit me! I am healthy and happy and that’s what should matter.
How would you describe your relationship with money?
I am careful with my money, but I love to be generous when it comes to the ones I love. I tend to be quite practical and sensible, saving for bills first, then spending the rest on anything music related.
What are your weaknesses?
I worry too much about everything and need to be reassured a lot of the time.
What was your biggest failure to date?
Probably walking down the street one morning with my dress inside-out and back to front.
What’s a hobby you spend money on?
I spend anything and everything I have left on music – new records, equipment, gigs, new songs… I also like ..(LOVE) food!!! So I love to go out to eat with friends, if I ever have a few spare pennies!