A Man of Many Words: Sitting down with Airport Employee Gerard James Borg
Wordsmith, spinner of sizzling stories, Eurovision Song contest guru and brand representative at Malta International Airport. It’s no wonder that Gerard James Borg describes himself as a kaleidoscope of colour with an intriguing combination of sweet and spicy!
And has the man run out of scandal or is there enough for a third book? Read on and find out!
- Does a flair for playing with words run in your family?
Not exactly. You either have it or you don’t, but what does run in the family is the creative streak.
- How long have you worked at Malta International Airport and does the place inspire you to write?
I’ve always been fascinated by airports and I just love doing what I do! It will soon be seven years representing foreign brands at the Malta International Airport and, yes, I truly get a lot of inspiration from the place! I meet many interesting people, who sometimes end up being the inspiration for characters in my books!
- Is there someone who you’d say is your muse?
I grew up on Agatha Christie, so I really like murder plots and all that. I love Baldacci and I have read some very diverse novels from psychological thrillers to autobiographies and the standard by-the-beach reads. Not sure I can say I have a muse though.
- If you had to put together lyrics for a song describing your typical day at the airport, how would they go? And what would the song be called?
I can actually quote lyrics from one of my songs written for the Norwegian Eurovision final, which I think make a lot of sense in an industry dominated by designer brands!
You gotta make me come alive
With one drop of Chanel No 5
It takes a little bit of Gucci
And a little bit of love…
It takes a little piece of Heaven
And a diamond-studded heart…
To spin my wheel…
And make me feel…
Absolutely fabulous tonight!
- Your most memorable trip and what made it memorable.
It is really difficult to pinpoint just one since I have taken so many and each trip has its own pool of experiences which I cherish. However, there are three that spring to mind. My visit to Dubai with close friends is certainly worth mentioning, because it was so much fun and I laughed so hard that I almost needed actual stitches! Then there’s my trip to Estonia for the Eurovision Song Contest, where we missed the top spot by just 12 points with 7th Wonder.
And of course there’s New York, where I had a whirlwind week in the Big Apple after the Estee Lauder Group chose me for the Stars to New York experience based on my sales results. It was fantastic!
- How is a song born? Are lyrics written to music, music written to lyrics or is there no formula?
A song is born from a good concept or sometimes even a mere word! There is no specific formula. Composers can present you with music first and you are asked to write lyrics to the melody. On the other hand, you can just create words in a song format and present it to someone who writes music. Personally, I prefer this approach. For me, things always start with a concept. Once you have a good concept, the creative juices then flow freely.
- Is there a song you particularly love and wish you had written yourself?
I guess like everyone, I wish I had written at least one song which has been successful worldwide! That would mean we’d be having this interview on a super yacht, sipping Moet all day, right? Jokes apart, if I had to choose one, I would choose Beneath Your Beautiful by Labrinth and Emeli Sande.
- The Malta Song Contest: What do you love about it and what can be improved?
I love the hype, the atmosphere, and the challenge! I’ve had songs in this competition for the past years and won five times now. This year the public will be given a real say and this is an ‘improvement’ I really like, because I’m a firm believer in giving the power to the people.
My entry this year – Breathlessly – will be performed by Claudia Faniello and I’m really happy with it because it’s one of those songs which was not only written for a contest. I believe Breathlessly stirs emotions and that is what the Malta Song Contest should be about.
- What made you decide to appear on the cover of Sliema Wives?
Easy! Many people know me as a song-writer and since Sliema Wives was my debut novel I thought I’d let people know that it is the same person writing the book! It’s a PR thing, mainly, which I did for only one of my books… for my other covers you will get more intriguing stuff!
- Does that mean that fans can expect a third book sometime soon or is that a secret you’d rather not reveal?
I reveal many secrets in my books, so why not reveal this one too! After Madliena Married Men I was swamped with requests for a third book, so I thought, why not write another novel? I can reveal that my third book should be dropping on the shelves later this year, and that it will not be short of scandal either! It might not be exactly what people expect, but that is the intriguing part…!