An up-and-coming musician is creating through vulnerability


Following the release of her debut single, singer CHER CAMILLERI is taking the local music scene by storm. Lara Zammit speaks with the artist about the source of her music.

Cher Camilleri’s debut single Nibni u Nħott is a song reminiscent of the struggle some of us face when it comes to our experience of the world – riddled with self-doubt and all manner of dread, we tear ourselves down and diminish ourselves, making ourselves smaller in relation to others in an effort to occupy less space, to pose no offence.

Reflecting on the circumstances that led to her writing the single, Camilleri said that it emerged from a phase in her life occupied by anxiety.

Nibni u Nħott was written while I was going through a phase of uncertainty and fear, yet this was also a place where I chose to challenge these internal struggles by pushing myself to be brave and more daring. I wrote it around a year ago, a few months after I decided to take a leap of faith by forwarding a few of my demos to Jimmy Bartolo from Ultralow Music.

“I was thrilled to be taking steps towards my dreams, but I was still feeling quite anxious about it as well. I felt like I needed to let go of a lot of limitations and subconscious agreements I made with myself along the years and ultimately just be myself – do things that bring me joy and trust that if I have that, I will always be okay.”

Asked if she found music to be the antidote to these anxieties, Camilleri said that music has always been an antidote to all sorts of struggles.

Choosing to still express myself creatively doesn’t get rid of all the doubts and fears– Cher Camilleri

“Music has always been a way for me to express myself or to release a feeling that I can’t explain or make sense of yet,” she said. 

To express oneself creatively is to bring forth parts of one’s innermost self and lay them bare to the scrutiny of others. It is an act of supreme vulnerability and takes a special sort of courage.

Asked where one may find the courage to be creative, or to let oneself be creative, in spite of all the obstacles and impediments we place in our own paths, Camilleri said that she finds courage when picturing herself not pursuing what she loves.

“I guess for me, being courageous kicks in when the fear of not pursuing the things that I love and desire most, and not living a life that is authentic to myself actually, outweighs the fear of being vulnerable and possibly scrutinised.

“Having said that, choosing to still express myself creatively doesn’t get rid of all the doubts and fears.

“There’s always the internal conflict, where a part of me is utterly terrified and overwhelmed with a sense of feeling not ready for pretty much anything I’m about to do, while the other side is rooting for me, telling me to be fearless and take the plunge because as long as I’m enjoying the process and I’m being true to myself, the outcome does not matter much.”

In relation to her upcoming EP, Camilleri says she would describe Nibni u Nħott as the darkest song of the bunch in terms of both music and lyrics. 

“The rest of the songs’ themes vary between my own struggles with anxiety, life and love and are a bit more playful instrumentally,” she said.


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