My essentials: Bettina Zammit’s cultural picks

No 48 | Bettina Zammit, 20, Singer and Performer

1. Book

REASONS TO STAY ALIVE by Matt Haig, a nonfiction novel that recounts the authors’ experience living with depression and anxiety disorder. Haig shares the lessons that living with and overcoming his struggles with mental illness taught him, and his reasons to stay alive. A friend lent this book to me early in 2022 during a difficult period in my life. It is accessible, to the point, and relatable, but most of all inspiring. Reading this book helped me to be more appreciative, empathetic, aspire to live life to the fullest and definitely encouraged me to continue persuing my passions when I was feeling hopeless.

2. TV/Film

I don’t watch films very often, however some of my favourite and most moving films I’ve ever watched are The Shawshank Redemption, The Truman Show, Shutter Island, The Notebook, The Pianist, Whiplash and Soul.

3. Internet 

YouTube is defintely an essential for me as a performer and singer. I tend to watch videos such as masterclasses on a piece that I would be working on at the time and excerpts of performances from operas and musicals. These teach me a lot about a crucial aspect of performing and singing, which is to give interpretation and convey emotion through the performance of the song or piece.

4. Music

My playlists are decorated with a wide selection of genres which I love, from indie rock, such as early Arctic Monkeys albums and dream pop, such as Beach House songs, to rap and R&B music, with favourites mostly by Mac Miller and Kendrick Lamar. My favourite genre, however, is indie rock; some of my favourites from this genre are by a local band called roża. On the other hand, I’m an avid listener and lover of musical theatre. Currently, I’ve got ‘Falsettos’ and ‘West Side Story’ cast recordings on repeat. Lastly, I enjoy listening to classical pieces from composers such as Liszt, Holst, Mozart, Fauré and so many more. Listening to musical theatre and classical music are essential for me to become more familiar with the genres, are super interesting to explore and inspire me to keep bettering myself as a performer.

5. Place

A place I’d love to travel to is New Zealand. I am drawn to the country’s natural beauty, the animal and sea life, the people, opportunities to do some extreme sports like bungy jumping or skydiving – the list could go on forever! I’d also love to have an entire holiday dedicated mainly to watching West End or Broadway shows and musicals.