Discovering Malta: the Magic of Gianluca BezzinaWritten by Jorge Portoles
What is the Eurovision Song Contest all about? Apparently it is only a song contest with a nationalist side, but I would like to tell you how this worked for me. I am a Spanish guy with a university level education. Until May 2013 my knowledge about Malta was reduced: a small island south of Italy and one of the countries members of the European Union. Little else. Yes, I also knew that its capital is Valletta.
Then on 16th May 2013 I was reading some paperwork in front of my TV set at home. It was showing the second night semi‐final of the Eurovision Song Contest. At some point a song called my attention and I put my eyes on the screen: I saw a smiling young guy singing a rather cute (and fresh) song. When it ended I found out that the singer was called Gianluca, the song “Tomorrow”, they were representing Malta… and I also realised that I was smiling and feeling some inner joy difficult to describe. Technically I think that this must be something similar to “cognitive empathy”.
I became interested in the singer, with his warm voice, I wanted to hear more songs by him: Amazon, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Google… one thing brought another and, on the way, I also unveiled Malta. One of the first things that I learnt was that Gianluca was a medical doctor (it was commented in all the interviews) and then my first piece of information about the country was this: alright, maybe in Malta all singers need a second job to survive. However I am an optimistic person and I changed this thought by this one: blessed the country where its medical doctors sing.
Today I have two copies of the first CD by Gianluca, one in my car, the other at home, and most of my friends got that CD too as a last year Christmas present; I have known about Samaria and Dorothy, great voices too, and the rest of the musical Bezzina family; I have discovered part of the musical landscape of the island: Ira Losco, Joseph Calleja, Funk Initiative, Firelight, Wayne William, Amber, L'Aħwa… to mention but a few, and the sweet blend of “Xemx”; I have bought several books about Malta and its extraordinary language (I even have a course of Maltese and an English-Maltese dictionary, but please do not check me); plenty of bookmarks on Maltese literature and classical songs lie in my navigator; I have learnt about the country newspapers and TV channels and, as a consequence, about the people of Malta and its sunburnt and luminous islands.
For me Malta always will be Gianluca and the Bezzina's. I cannot think of better image and heart for a country that wishes to be loved. Now you answer the question I posed at the beginning: what the Eurovision Song Contest is about? And then, did Gianluca and his group do their job at the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 in Malmö? Was it all about the singing… only? We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest and the local music scene.