Just hours to go before the big event, and the super star line up are milling about a hotel in the heart of Valletta, ready to give us some sneak previews and secrets before they head off to get glammed up and on stage to rock the Isle of MTV 2014!
Keisza is up first. The new kid on the block, her break through song Hideaway has catapulted her overnight into fame and she looks like she’s loving every second of it. She seems in total awe of her surroundings, and tells us sincerely ‘Maltese food is amazing. And the people are so friendly and energetic.’ She goes on to tell us that the Isle of MTV festival means a lot to her, because ‘ I grew up watching MTV… I’m really excited and grateful to be here.’
She is definitely not an amateur at her work though, and she makes this clear by giving us a demonstration of her new favourite kind of dance, which is called ‘locking.’ It is hard not to be charmed by her genuine enthusiasm for music, and life in general really, as she explains that she worked with her choreographer to create her dance routine, in a performance that also saw her play the piano.
Of course as well as being an artist, she is also an established song writer, having collaborated with Rhianna, Icona Pop and Kylie. She tells us that she loves ‘branching out, working with new artists and expanding my horizons. I would have loved the chance to collaborate with Michael Jackson.’ She seems determined to enjoy her success to the full, and when she’s asked about wardrobe choices for the event, she cheerily lifts up her chin and says ‘oh, I’m wearing Hareem pants – I’ll just fight through the heat.’
The reigning queen of pop Nicole Scherzinger struts up next, looking absolutely fabulous in a black and white clingy dress and statement sunglasses. ‘I swam with Tuna this morning,’ she announces, ‘and they were so big I thought they were going to eat me.’ She is much more easy going and friendly and then you would expect from her A list celebrity status, and she chats about how much she loves Malta because as she was born in Hawaii ‘I’m an island girl’, she confesses.
She is clearly very excited about her performance and teases ‘I’ll be wearing a minimal wardrobe tonight’, before telling us that she’s got a big group of backing dancers to perform with her, who she refers to as her ‘guys.’ ‘I’m really excited for everyone to see my guys,’ she says, ‘ usually I’ve got my girls, but now I’ve got guys – so ladies prepare yourselves.’
She’s fun, flirty and massively passionate about what she does. Her concern for the audience’s enjoyment is also an obvious part of her planning process and she tells us ‘once you’re on stage, that’s when it really comes to life. It’s that energy from the audience, that marriage, that makes its electric.’
Despite her confidence and jokes, she is very coy when it comes to discussing romance. When asked if she thought that her new single Loved Up is a romantic song, she firmly disagrees: ‘I don’t think it’s that romantic. For me it’s just fun, carefree and energetic. It’s more of a summer anthem than love anthem,’ she laughs, ‘…I’ll leave the love anthems to Enrique.’
Finally, she discusses how she spent the evening before in Malta. Hiring out a club? Cruising around on a yacht? Having a private beach party? Sadly not. Nicole actually goes on to say that she is rubbish with technology, but, she tells us excitedly, ‘me and my guys were up late playing that game with the post it notes – where you have to guess what name you’ve got on your head. I’m pretty schermazing at that.’
After Nicole departs, Enrique walks in without realising he’s supposed to wait to be announced by the host, which he quickly, and adorably, apologies for.
He immediately starts to talk about his fans, and announces that ‘Malta is unbelievable. Everyone here is really friendly – I could live here!’ Fame doesn’t appear to have gone to his head, as he tells us that having a mix of artists at the Isle of MTV is important not only for the fans, but for the artists because ‘just to be at the side of the stage and to get to look at all of these different performers who have come from all these different backgrounds, you can learn a lot.’
Despite his celebrity status and the hordes of screaming fans that greet him later, he is very down to earth, and very appreciate of the people around him. When asked about what it was like growing up with a ‘sex symbol’ father, (Julio Iglesias), he was honest; ‘it didn’t really affect me. I think it was more exaggerated in the press than it was in reality. But more than the sex symbol stuff, I think growing up in a musical environment helped me a lot, and taught me a lot about life, and how people can be and how fame can actually be a double edged sword.’
He went on to give some advice for people starting out in the music industry; ‘I have been able to do what I love, music, and growing up in a musical environment has definitely been a big advantage – it’s important to surround yourself with people who are not afraid to tell you the truth, people that fully love you and care about you. Don’t get caught up in the bullshit.’
DJ Hardwell makes a brief appearance before rushing off to prepare for the night. It’s his second time in Malta and when asked if he thinks the DJ scene is dying out, he says ‘no! it’s definitely more alive than ever, there’s some amazing talent out there.’
London born and bred rapper Dizzee Rascal is the last person to be interviewed and he describes he high energy music that he will playing, and tells us that ‘you’re all beautiful, kind people.’ Hilariously, when asked to describe his album in three words, he looks a bit bemused and thinks for a minute before saying ‘f**cking done innit.’