L-Għanja tal-Poplu, a music competition with original songs in Malta is turning thirty-eight (38) in a couple of days whilst encountering a resurgence, noting that the amount of submissions this year reached seventy-one (71), the highest in reality since the committee introduced the element of live instruments during the performances. escflashmalta.com has been granted permission to speak to the sixteen (16) competing acts, and kicking off the feature is none other than Marie Claire Attard Bason who will be performing the song Mara composed by Andrew Zammit to the lyrics of Emil Calleja Bayliss.
Marie Claire Attard Bason, a vocalist who does not need any introduction, especially in competitions where Maltese is the language of song. Fresh off a fourth (4th) place finish in the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, you return to the Sir Temi Żammit and L-Għanja tal-Poplu for a second consecutive year. How have you changed in the past year?
In the past year, I don’t say I have changed but more like, continued to grow, mature and develop. I like experimenting with different styles and work with different people using each and every opportunity as a learning experience. I’ve also have experienced a number of musical opportunities this past year, so definitely they helped me grow much stronger vocally.
Last year I presented a ballad which spoke about bullying which was very close to heart and this year I’ll be singing about feminism and the way females are treated differently. The theme is also very close to heart but the music style is different to last year. This year I’m exploring a new style and the song itself has a good rhythm that makes it instantly catchy.
Mara, composed by Andrew Zammit to the lyrics of Emil Calleja Bayliss is the song that you will be presenting in this years’ edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu. Would you care to explain the meaning behind the lyrics and the genre that the song encompasses?
As I have already mentioned, the lyrics speak about the role of the female in the local society. Sometimes the female role is seen in a negative light, some abuse women in the workplace, make fun of her on a daily basis especially if she works in a male dominated environment but through this song I want to show that even though it’s a daily challenge one should fight on and take charge of his own life.
The style of the song is contemporary with a jazzy feel to it. The melody itself is quite rhythmic and Andrew managed to give the song a Maltese feel. Something I really love because at the end of the day this festival is a way of portraying our national identity both on a social level through the lyrics and also through the music.
L-Għanja tal-Poplu is known to be a celebration of lyrical prowess amongst friends, noting that the competitive feel is very much forgotten during rehearsals or the actual night of the competition. With ONE, the most successful private broadcaster in Malta supporting this event, it seems to denote its successful reputation. Do you believe that there’s a place for this competition within the local music industry and do you support it’s continuation in the years to come?
I strongly believe there’s always place for a healthy competition especially one in Maltese which puts extra emphasis on the lyrics of the songs. The themes explored in this festival are sometimes unheard of in other festivals, which it is unfortunate, yet it makes this festival very special.
As each year goes on, the festival, which is a celebration of music amongst friends, seems to be getting better and stronger so I gladly support the continuation of something successful that has improved in heaps in the last few years
Would you like to say anything to our readers at escflashmalta.com?
Well, I would love to tell all the readers to keep supporting the local talent. We do music because we love it and if we don’t have an audience for it unfortunately we can stop doing it or do it behind closed doors. Music has the power to bring people together so their support is greatly appreciated.