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 thus we move onto the twelfth act in our series; Mario Debono who will be performing the song Bħal Għasfura which he wrote himself.
Mario, this is not your first experience in music, having collaborated with some of the prolific artists that the music industry is known to offer, including none other than the late Sammy Bartolo. How does collaborating with such artists help you evolve and what are you aiming to achieve by partaking in this competition?
Playing and collaborating with professionals is a wonderful artistic and personal experience. It opens a lot of possibilities and enhances my own image as a singer-songwriter. I am proud to know these people and it gives me a lot of encouragement.
Bħal għasfura, a song which you have written and submit into this years’ edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu is through to the final round of the competition. Would you care to explain the meaning behind the lyrics and the genre that the song encompasses?
Bħal għasfura is a folk song which treats a social theme. Our children are not our own. They live their own life. A young girl leaves home in search of adventure. Her father remembers her childhood and waits for her to return to the joys of the family. At the same time he knows that his daughter will experience bitternes while she is looking for the love which she will never find. However he understands that she feels she has grown up and so, she may escape and fly away with open wings just like a bird.
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?
Definitely. I believe the songs presented in this festival of music constitute Malta’s voice. The music, the lyrics, the inspiration, the soul are all maltese. They are authentic songs.
Would you like to say anything to our readers at escflashmalta.com?
Come on March 15th at Sir Temi Zammit Hall, The University, Tal-Qroqq. Listen and enjoy the songs. Get a copy of the CD. These are real songs. You will be satisfied. Encourage maltese talent.