Josef and Johanna, a duet which features a male and female counterparts with surprisingly different backgrounds yet brought together for the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza where they will be performing the track Inwegħdek composed by Minik to the lyrics of Stephen Baldacchino. Just below, five questions have been asked by the editorial board of escflashmalta.com in order for you to get to know Josef and Johanna a little bit better. Nevertheless, this is an interview and review with former Eurovision Song Contest representatives; Chris and Moira listening to all of the songs and passing their judgement. With regards to the duet, they were somewhat short in their analysis stating that the whole set-up ‘needs a bit of spark‘ ultimately awarding them with five (5) points, and categorising them as average.
Inwegħdek composed by Minik to the lyrics of Stephen Baldacchino is the third competing duet in this years’ edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza following Li Jien Illum performed by Simarija & Mikhail and Gloria sung by Mauro & Kim. It is quite intriguing to denote that the showcase has not presented as much collaborations in recent years and now you are in direct competition with another two songs. What makes your entry different from the other ones when deciding who to vote for?
First of all, the three duets have different styles and we’re sure that each duo will do their very best on the final night. Our song Inwedghek has very powerful and strong vocals, the melodies, harmonies and voice techniques used make the song a number to look forward to on the final night. Furthermore, our song can be interpreted in various ways: first, as a couple, promising each other of always being there in times of trouble; secondly, people who promise others to give a helping hand in times of need. We believe that the elements of our song will thus transfer a positive feeling to our listeners.
Josef, an individual who doesn’t need too much of an introduction when it comes to the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza with 2013 marking a fifth participation. Your last entry back in the 2010 edition of the showcase was also a duet with Francesca, entitled Deċiżjoni Tal-Qalb, which you co-wrote together and ultimately saw to it finishing in fifth place at the end of the evening. It was your best showing within a local competition and therefore, you are hoping to build on that success in the next couple of weeks. Each experience recalls a different story but how will they aid you as you take to the stage this time round?
One learns from each experience to always improve in order to achieve better results in the future. I believe that listening to different music styles and singing with different people who have different musical backgrounds, helps one professional singing career. Being part of one of Malta’s top Gospel Choirs, Animae, has also made me a better singer due to the fact that each choir member is different in their vocal ability and so it made me realise that working with different individuals will improve one’s vocal ability and also increase one’s appreciation towards different music styles and voice techniques. As regards to Festival Indipendenza, I must say that since participating in 2007 with the song Tarantella, which placed 4th (jury results) and 2nd (televoting), I was met with many opportunities where I was able to improve and succeed in my singing career.
Johanna, a relative newcomer to the local music scene and competing as a leading vocalist for the very first time but nevertheless has somewhat been in the background for quite a couple of years. Earlier this year, you had the opportunity to join Deborah C as a backing vocalist during her performance of the track Love-O-Holic composed by Johan Bejerholm to the lyrics of Gerard James Borg. The Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre is an astonishing venue and the crowd for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest is quite warm in comparison to other events. What could you recall of that experience and how are you aiming to come out of the shadow of being a back-up singer?
I have been singing for quite some time now and although I’m not a very familiar face as a lead singer I must say that I had my share of experience. Singing as a backing vocalist with various Maltese artists, I was able to meet different people such as: Zucchero, U2 UK (tribute to the band U2), and quite recently, Johnny Logan. Being a backing vocalist is always a different experience, and I thank Deborah C for taking me on the Malta Eurovision Song Contest stage with her both this year and last year. Unfortunately though, being a backing vocalist in Malta does not get you anywhere because in order to practise your passion, many-a-times, you have to be famous on this small island. Now that I am finally about to show my talent as a lead singer (along with Josef who is amazing); I hope to be able to work with some of Malta’s established composers, authors and singers….and maybe one day with foreign ones as well.
It has been already noted that this will be the third duet of the evening and as a matter of fact, Inwegħdek will perform in slot number ten that means that it will be half way through the competition. Unfortunately, all of the duets will be performed within the first half of the showcase and therefore, this could prove difficult for the judges to make a respective decision. What are your thoughts about performing within this slot and how are you planning to present your entry on stage?
We think that we have a good slot. The song has a mellow feeling and the lyrics have a strong meaning. We believe that our song has an important element of friendship which I’m sure the judges and the audience will enjoy. We have also decided to keep our stage performance simple in order to let the judges and the audience focus on the true meaning of the song, which will be delivered to them through both our melodical voices and unique friendship. As for a surprise on stage, well, there might be something, but yet again it will be simple and eye catching. The most important thing we are planning for is for us to give the best performance on the night and last but not least to enjoy our experience together and make it a memorable one.
Would you like to say anything to our readers at escflashmalta.com?
We would like to take the opportunity to thank all those supporting us in this festival and also in our singing career. We feel really honoured to have enormous support. We would also like to take the opportunity to thanks Stephen and Minik for believing in us but most importantly we would like to thank our parents, families and friends who keep on supporting us till the very end. Thanks and God Bless You All xxx