On the 21st March 2015, Sir Temi Żammit Hall within the University of Malta will be playing host to the 39th edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu, a renowned local music competition, which not only promotes Maltese as a main language, but delves into the social theme element, hoping to raise awareness about several wordly topics.
During the years, the competition has been known to kickstart the careers of many performers, and as a result, escflashmalta.com has decided to speak to 3 vocalists, who went onto reach the live stages of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest following their victory in L-Għanja tal-Poplu. First off is none other than Julie Pomorski, a relatively young performer whose triumph with the song “Żewġ Qagħqiet” written by Augusto Cardinali came back in 2005.
In 2005, Julie Pomorski emerged onto the local music scene, entering a first major competition, L-Għanja tal-Poplu, coming out triumphant with Żewġ Qagħqiet, written by Augusto Cardinali. Looking back, did you anticipate such an outcome?
I definatley did not! In fact we had submitted the song the year before and it wasn’t selected as a finalist! Funnily enough, we ended up winning the contest! I was quite tense that day as I’m not a ‘festival’ singer and there were many professional artists competing with me and I was still quite young. However, I think that it was a very good acchievment, maily because people still know me as ‘Julie taz- Żewġ Qagħqiet’ and people still request this song everywhere I go to perform after 10 years!
12 months later, you found out that you had made it through to the semi-final of the 2007 Malta Song for Europe with the song Look At Me, written by Philip Vella. What message did the song try to convey and who came up with the idea of that famous swing?
Well, Philip Vella wanted to write a song for me with a sweet ballad in mind. Consequently, he wanted me to look young and ‘Disney-princess-like’ on stage and I wanted to have the swing on stage. However I wanted proper swing going down from the top of the stage (similar to Moulin Rouge).. however we didn’t have the means to fix it.
It is fair to say that in recent years, you have been relatively quiet, with regards to participating in music competitions, making a much anticipated comeback in the 2012 Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza with Għidli Int, written by Augusto Cardinali. Have other things in your life taken precedence over music?
No not really, I was performing quite a lot with Etnika during this ‘missing-from-the-scene’ period. I was also studying to be a Kindergarten assistant while working from home as a Vocal coach. In 2010 I moved to Norway for a year and when I came back i started working with very long hours, so it was nearly impossible for me to focus on my career.
To be honest I am not a huge fan of singing-competitions but unfortunately for me, Maltese people love them. Thus, I made this ‘come back’ with a Maltese song that meant a lot to me, as I am passionate about the cure of drug addiction.
In 2014, you took part in the Summer Hit Song Contest with Shout!, written by Dominic Cini and Rita Pace. This was the first original song in English since Shades of Memories, written by Johann Schembri, which you took part with in the 2009 Malta Hit Song Contest. What was the reason behind the submission, and how would you describe the experience?
Well, I took this festival very lightly as it was more of a way to boost my popularity with the public. Deo Grech and the fLiving team did a superb festival, filled with opportunities for us singers to be properly promoted. I think that all in all, it was THE festival that I had most fun in! The contestants were so warm and friendly, and it was more of a show for us rather than a competition. In fact, I am thinking about submitting another song this year!
Professional personnel in the music industry denote L-Għanja tal-Poplu as to being the longest running competition which promotes original songs in Maltese. Would you consider making a return, and what advice would you give to those wishing to take part?
Well I would like to return to this festival; however I didn’t come across a ‘good enough’ song to perform with. I would also like to write my next Maltese song.
I think that the advice for any artist is that if they are willing to compete in any festival; if you truly believe in a music piece, make it a point to bring it out to the world 🙂
At the end of the year, projects and ideas start to come to mind, due to some initial planning. Do you have any which you would like to go through in 2015, and could you reveal some of them?
Well I am currently setting up my own Facebook page and I am also working on something good to come out this Summer….stay tuned!
Would you like to say anything to the readers of escflashmalta.com?
If you’re reading this interview than THANK YOU for showing interest in the Maltese music industry!