It has been a couple of weeks since the 25th edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, and the return to the Floriana Granaries was very well received by the public present. With all the festivities surrounding Independence Day back to their roots, the evening was buzzing with an air of excitment, and following the performance of 24 participating entries; 20 pre-qualified in the ‘Talent Stabbilit’, 1 through with the same category via tele-voting and another 3 which came through ‘Talent Ġdid’, the winner was announced as “Se Naslu Żgur”, written by Ray Agius, and sung by Dario Bezzina.
Hosted by Toni Busuttil, Mireille Bonello and Christine Haber, this year's edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, which was aired on NET Television, saw a smooth transition of performances, with the the list of participating artists featuring a good mixture of newcomers and veterans. The professional members of the jury was made up of a mixture of musicians, and media personalities, instantly recognisable by many. A full list of the results may be viewed below.
24th place: “Ippruvajt” (Dominic Cini / Rita Pace) - Odessa
Best Young Talent: “Vittoja” (Mark Scicluna / Emil Calleja Bayliss) - Shaun Zaffarese
Televoting Award: “Speċjali” (Renato Briffa / Rita Pace) - Aidan Cassar
01st place: “Se Naslu Żgur” (Ray Agius) - Dario Bezzina
On behalf of the editorial team at escflashmalta.com, we would like to congratulate the winners circle, as well as the other 19 participants who made this year's edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza a memorable one. A round of applause also for the organising committee, led by Joseph Mizzi, and featuring Sandra Grech as a member. Stay tuned to this portal even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the local music scene.
Source: NET Television, escflashmalta.com
In the aftermath of “L-Għanja tal-Poplu – Festival tal-Kanzunetta Maltija”, the attention of the local music scene quickly turns to the “Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza”, another music competition which features original songs in Maltese, capping a successful series of months for our national language.
This year’s edition of the “Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza” will be returning back to it’s home-base on The Granaries in Floriana, noting that 12 months ago, the festival was staged at Pjazza Teatru Rjal in Valletta, something of a rare occasion.
23 entries will be sung on stage, but prior to that, there are still some eliminatory phases which need to be held, first starting off with the “Talent Żgħażugħ” category from which 3 songs will be chosen through a mixture of tele-voting (40%) and expert jury voting (60%). Those competing are as follows:
3 songs have also been shortlisted with the “Talent Stabbilit” category yet will be requiring the full support of the public at home, noting that during the second phase of the competition these songs originally ranked between 21st and 23rd. Those competing are as follows:
The rest of the field, therefore 20 in total features acts who have taken part in other national competitions such as the “Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza”, “L-Għanja tal-Poplu – Festival tal-Kanzunetta Maltija”, “Malta Eurovision Song Contest”, “Junior Eurovision Song Contest” and also “Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza Jr”. Those competing are as follows:
On the right hand side to each competing entry, there is a number which duly corresponds to the televoting portion of the competition. In the “Talent Stabbilit”, the televoting winner is handed out as a seperate award, but the other sections have different rules and regulations as stated above. This year’s “Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza” will be taking place on Monday 19th September, and is organised under the auspices of Media.Link Communications. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.
Source: NET Television
On the 7th July, a truly hot summer’s evening, 18 credible performers took to the stage of Pjazza Teatru Rjal as participants of “L-Għanja tal-Poplu – Festival tal-Kanzunetta Maltija”. This year, under a different light and perspective was the fact that 17 of the 18 songs were accompanied by the PBS Orchestra under the direction of Mro Joe Brown and the co-ordination of Mro Paul Abela.
The result was exceptional, and here’s to hoping that the festival will continue to grow in the same manner in the years to come. The participants knew that at the end of the evening, their fate rested completely on the weight of five professional jury members, who aim was to reduce the field by 6. Their selection was made, and 12 acts have now been chosen to compete in the final.
01. Ta’ Billejl (Mark Spiteri Lucas / Paul Ellul) - Neville Refalo
02. Ħallejt il-Passi Wrajk (Glen Vella / Paul Ellul) - Jurgen Xerri
03. Is-Sinjur (Mark Scicluna / Emil Calleja Bayliss) - Cherylis
04. Ħabta u Sabta (Mark Scicluna / Andy Muscat) - Andy Muscat
05. Mellisni (Mark Spiteri Lucas / Joe Chircop) - Mikaela Bajada
06. Pupa tal-Plastik (Marco Debono / Paul Ellul) - Domenique
07. Il-Biża u Jien (Pamela Bezzina / Rita Pace) - Nadine Fenech
08. Ngħidlek (Miriam Christine / Joe Julian Farrugia) - Miriam Christine
09. Id-Dieher (Augusto Cardinali) - Neville Refalo u Graziana Axisa
10. X’Se Jsir (Corazon Mizzi) - Corazon
11. Jien Biss (Dominic Cini / Joe Julian Farrugia) - Dorcas Debono
12. Xagħar Twil (Mark Laurence Zammit / Ingrid Vella) - Denise Spiteri
Hosted by Sean Buhagiar, and supported off stage by the comedic theatrics of Wayne Flask and Gilbert Camilleri, the evening was organized to extreme professionalism, even incorporating the special guests into the thematic use of Maltese, noting that the Gozitan band ‘The Travellers’ were on hand to provide the public with some of their original work.
Be sure to tune into TVM this Saturday 9th July for the grand final of “L-Għanja tal-Poplu – Festival tal-Kanzunetta Maltija”. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the local music scene as soon as it becomes available. We would like to wish all of the acts a very Good Luck!
Source: Press Release, Ghanjafest.com
The Public Broadcasting Services has just released the running order of the semi-final of the 2016 Malta Eurovision Song Contest, which is taking place on the 22nd January at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta.
Hosted by Ben Camille, the show will feature 20 original entries, sung by 19 participants, all vying to represent the Mediterranean country of Malta in the next edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, taking place in Stockholm, Sweden.
All the above acts will get the opportunity to perform LIVE in front of a professional panel of judges, and the general public who will be applauding from the venue, and at home. Together, they will select 14 artists, those who stand a very good chance of representing Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden.
Source: PBS / TVM
On the 22nd and 23rd January 2015, the Public Broadcasting Services (PBS) will be hosting the 2016 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest at the Mediterranean Conference Centre (MCC) in Valletta, the capital city of the smallest nation in the European Union.
'Xarabank', synonomous with the revelation of the 20 finalists, took place a couple of hours ago, laying down this years' crop of participants, a perfect mixture of newcomers, and veterans. At first listen, off the 1 minute snippets, it seems that the standard of songs is relatively high, not too mention that the genres are quite varied, laying down the foundations for an exciting semi-final stage.
"Young Love" - Maxine Pace
"All Around the World" - Deborah C
"You're Beautiful" - Lawrence Gray
"Golden" - Brooke
"Flashing Lights" - Raquel Galdes
"Falling Glass" - Corazon
"Lighthouse" - Kimberley Cortis
"Alive" - Jasmine Abela
"Empty Hearted" - Domenique
"The Flame" - Jessika
"Under the Sun" - Daniel Testa
"That's Why I Love You" - Ira Losco
"Little Love" - Franklin Calleja
"I Love You" - Dario Mifsud Bonnici
"Fire Burn" - Dominic
"Frontline" - Danica Muscat
"Chameleon (Invincible)" - Ira Losco
"Kingdom" - Christabelle
"Right Here With You" - Sarah Crystal
"Light Up My Life" - Stefan Galea
An interesting fact about the 19 participants in this years' competition, is that 12 of them have either been to the national pre-selection on another occasion, or else been to the Eurovision Song Contest itself, meaning that the rest, a total of 7 are complete newcomers to the competition, despite most of them having already made other appearances in the local music scene. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the 2016 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest.
Source: PBS / TVM, Mario Mintoff (Photo)
On the 11th December, Xarabank will kick-off for another season, and it will do so with a bang, as the revelation of the acts through to the semi-final of the 2016 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest will be made public. Following the initial submission process, where the Public Broadcasting Services received 153 entries, a shortlist of 49 entries has now been published through the official website.
A quick glance at the list of shortlisted entries, one would realize that the list features a relative amount of established artists including; Ira Losco (ESC 2002), Lawrence Gray (MESC 98-99, 01-04, 10, 12, 15), Daniel Testa (JESC 08), Deborah C (MESC 12-15), Klinsmann Coleiro (MESC 07-13), Jessika (MESC 08, 11-15), Domenique (MESC 11, 13, 15), Kaya (MESC 00, 10, 12), Danica Muscat (MESC 12-13, 15), Christabelle (MESC 2014-2015) & Franklin Calleja (MESC 13-15).
96 - Francesca Bonanno
Alive - Jasmine Abela
All Around The World - Deborah C
Bare Your Soul - Chaya Fenech
Battle Zone - Kurt Cassar
Beautiful - Lyndsay
Brave - Andre Curmi (Dre)
Breaking Point - Cherylis & Mikhail (Dwett)
Breathe - Cherylis
Can't Let Go - Jessika
Castle - Danica Muscat
Chameleon (Invincible) - Ira Losco
Dancing In The Rain - Francesca Borg
Empty Hearted - Domenique
Exceptional - Jean Claude Azzopardi
Falling Glass - Corazon
Feeling Alive - Kelly Ann Mintoff
Fire Burn - Dominic
Fireworks - Iona
Flashing Lights - Raquel Galdes
Flawless - Franklin Calleja
Frontline - Danica Muscat
Go Beyond The Shore - Paul Cuschieri
Golden - Brooke
Gone - Nazio Rotin
Higher - Q
Hush Hush - Jessika
I Love You - Dario Mifsud Bonnici
I Won't Surrender - Franklin Calleja
Kingdom - Christabelle
Light Up My Life - Stefan Galea
Lighthouse - Kimberley Cortis
Little Love - Franklin Calleja
MI-MI-MIND - Neville Refalo
Paper Boats - Joseph Portelli
Reaching - Panama Band (Simaria)
Right Here With You - Sarah Crystal
Rule The World - Aidan Cassar
Someday - Klinsmann
Tell Me What You Wanna Do - Julienne Liberto
That's Why I Love You - Ira Losco
The Flame - Jessika
Tonight - Kyle Mangani & Maxine Pace
Under The Sun - Daniel Testa
Victory - Amy Agius
Without You - Kaya
Young Love - Maxine Pace
Your Kiss - Malcolm
You're Beautiful - Lawrence Gray
Apart from the established names, it seems that the line-up thus far comprises of several newcomers. Well, the journey to find Amber's successor has officially begun! We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the 2015 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest.
Source: PBS / TVM
Through their online news portal MaltaRightNow, Media.Link Communications issued the names of the finalist entries, and their respective performers for the 2015 edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza. Following an unspecified number of submissions, as received on the 17th July 2015, a professional panel of judges whittled down the entries, choosing those which reflected the saying 'music to their ears' before coming up with 40 songs, all of which were re-interpreted with LIVE vocals by their respective artists. At the end of this process, the 20 finalists were selected.
In the lists below, there are two (3) singers with more than one (1) entry, and the song which has an asterisk (*) next to their name will either have to be given to another performer, or else be withdrawn from the competition, and thus replaced by the 21st entry in the original list of results. At this stage of the competition, we urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com in order to find out what will happen with the final list of participants for the 2015 Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza.
Taqsima Kantanti Stabbiliti
Dment li Malti Ħaj (Ray Agius / Dario Bezzina) - Dario Bezzina
Għal Dejjem (Dominic Cini / Stephen Baldacchino) - Josef Tabone (*)
Ħdejk (Philip Vella) - Joseph Refalo
Ħolm tat-Tfal (Dominic Cini / Rita Pace) - Laura Bruno
Insellimlek (Mark Spiteri Lucas / Emil Calleja Bayliss) - Danica Muscat
Int u Jien (Philip Vella / Cher Vella) - Ana-Maria Grima
Kelma Bejn Tnejn (Andrew Zahra / Rita Attard) - Michela Dalli
Kun Imbierek (Mark Spiteri Lucas / Ingrid Vella) - Simone Gauci
Kuraġġ (Analise Mifsud) - Analise Mifsud
Ma Jien Xejn (Marco Debono / Rita Attard) - Mandy Tabone
Ma Ninsa Qatt (Dominic Cini / Rita Pace) - Dorcas Debono
Miegħek Malta Independenti (Mark Spiteri Lucas / Paul Ellul) - Cherise Attard
Nann (Mark Spiteri Lucas / Emil Calleja Bayliss) - Marie Claire
Onestà (Frederick Camilleri) - Laura Bruno (*)
Orrizonti (Dominic Cini / Stephen Baldacchino) - Josef Tabone
Pinokkju (Chan Vella / Kevin Tanti) - Neville Refalo
Primadonna (Clinton Paul / Stephen Baldacchino) - Rita Pace
Rivali (Dominic Cini / Rita Pace) - Maria Cassar
Teżor (Mark Spiteri Lucas / Joe Chircop) - Kurt Cassar
Tħalluħx (Augusto Cardinali / Joe Julian Farrugia) - Domenique
Żmien Sabiħ (Joe Formosa / Emil Calleja Bayliss) - Antonella Rapa
Taqsima Kantanti Ġodda
Bix-Xejn (Mark Spiteri Lucas / Paul Ellul) - Jurgen Xerri
Fis-Seba' Sema (Cyprian Cassar / Rita Pace) - Nicole Borg
Għandi Ħolma (Mark Spiteri Lucas / Francesco Pio Attard) - Mikaela Bajada
Iċ-Ċinju (Mark Scicluna / Clifton Casha) - Jessica Magro
Il-Leħen Li Hemm Fik (Andrew Zahra / Rita Pace) - Sarah Micallef Muscat
Jien (Andrew Zammit / Rita Pace) - Naomi Busuttil
Lampa Stampa (Andrew Zammit / Rita Pace) - Nakita Ambinette
Miskin (Andrew Zammit / Rita Pace) - Nakita Ambinette (*)
Opportunità (Philip Vella / Rita Pace) - Marlon Bianco
Sabiħ (Chan Vella / Rita Pace) - Rebecca Bilocca
Following the success of newcomer Michela Galea, whose entry "Mixja Li Bdiet" composed by Renato Briffa to the lyrics of Alfred E Baldacchino was a worthy winner, it seems that interest is well and truly alive, noting the belief that the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza may once more make a name for itself as a scouting competition, with previous winners including; Amber (ESC 2015), Ira Losco (ESC 2002), Miriam Christine (ESC 1996), Mike Spiteri (ESC 1995) and Fabrizio Faniello (ESC 2001, 2006).
Source: MaltaRightNow, Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza (Official Page)
In 2014, a local music competition known as the Summer Hit Song Contest was revived, with the aim being to submit entries with a particular vibe, one which radio stations across the country would not have any issue in promoting through airplay. A professional panel of judges assessed the quality of each respective submission before reaching a desired result, one which gave success to the song "Back To..", written by Mark Scicluna and Emil Calleja Bayliss, with vocals provided by Domenique.
Each submission is to be handed in against a fee of €50 in total. Submissions will be received at BME Studios in Luqa on the 21st March 2015, between 10 o'clock in the morning, and 1 o'clock in the afternoon (10 am till 1 pm). There are cash prizes to be won by the top three of the competition, whilst the winner of the sms voting will get a seperate award as to ascertain a professional choice. For more information, visit the Official Facebook Page.
Even though the competition will feature 18 different acts, 1 has already been given the greenlight to proceed, having been given the opportunity to compete as a result of the Public Choice Award given in 2014. As a matter of fact, Rita Pace & Audrey Marie will be competing in a duet for the second consecutive year. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com, even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news as soon as it becomes available.
Source: F Living, Summer Hit Song Contest
Every year brings with it a number of events, festivals and lots of new material that many appreciate and play over and over throughout the year. The editorial board of escflashmalta.com decided to have a look back at the main highlights of 2014, the year that saw two Malta Eurovision Song Contest competitions, the annual competition l-Għanja Tal-Poplu and Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, the return of the Summer Hit Song Contest and also the Junior Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Malta. There were quite a number of events that kept our site busy and also our readers on the lookout for the next event.
The year started off with Firelight emerging victorious at the Malta Eurovision with their song ‘Coming Home’, the band came together for the Eurovision Song Contest but looked beyond the festival. The Micallef siblings came together along with their friends and gave us the country folk pop entry. One would not say it was a shocking win because some critics did tip the song on doing well, but surely surprised a number when it emerged victorious over public favourites Jessika, Daniel Testa & De Bee. The band managed to reach the finals of the Eurovision Song Contest in May and Richard Edwards’ composition received good airplay in a number of countries in Europe. This kicked started their career with new material being released recently and a number of gigs in Germany.
After the Malta Eurovision, it was time for the scene to focus on a local festival in Maltese. A festival that has been going for a number of years and has a good following thanks to the importance it gives to the themes of the songs. The outright winner of the festival was the song ‘Jien Ma Naħdimx’ interpreted by the relative newcomer Karen DeBattista. Mark Scicluna & Rita Pace’s composition was a hit from the get go and after it won the song received substantial airplay on a number of radiostations. The powerful lyrics were surely the reason behind its success; the message portrayed in the lyrics shows the work done by housewives which is normally not appreciated by the other members of the family. It was surely the stepping stone for Karen DeBattista who was participating only in her third festival in three years and after this success she also managed to reach the finals of the Malta Eurovision with ’12, Baker Street’.
The much awaited return of the Summer Hit Song Contest was imminent and many were happy to see that this festival was finally back, after a break of nearly three years. The winner of this edition was Domenique who although still relatively young, she has cemented herself as one of the established artists in the local music scene. Domenique always expressed her love towards festivals and is a popular face in a number of local competitions in Malta. ‘Back to...’ a composition by Mark Scicluna & Emil Calleja Bayliss managed to scoop the top prize in this festival and many commented that Domenique’s strong interpretation thanks to her experience in these competitions was vital in this win. The song was always seen as a strong entry but many saw it as a contender after the stunning celebrity duet Domenique delivered alongside Rosman Pace – a unique factor to this competition.
The annual Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza saw an influx of songs related to the fifty year anniversary of Malta’s independence and even though competing authors were free to write on different subjects, this one proved to be the most popular. The result was surely unexpected as the song which was highly tipped on winning the competition finished in fourth place whilst the young and upcoming star Michela Galea won the judges hearts with her rendition of ‘Mixja Li Bdiet’ a subtle song that speaks about the stages Malta has been through since its independence fifty years ago. Renato Briffa & Alfred E. Baldacchino surely did their homework right as they write a catchy tune, with subtle lyrics that embrace the country’s vision of independence and gave it to an apt, fresh and confident performer who delivered the song strongly. It was a well deserved win for the teenager who won the first festival in her first major competition.
Two other winners who emerged in the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza were Kurt Cassar who won the New Talent Section and Kayley Cuschieri who triumphed in the inaugural edition of Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza Junior. Kurt Cassar reached the finals of the prestigious event and went on to win his section with the song ‘Inservi’, a composition of Elton Zarb, Gillian Attard & Emil Calleja Bayliss. The song was well received from the start and many saw it as a potential winner as the whole package stood out from the rest of the field. This surely opened the horizons for Cassar. On the other hand, Kayley Cushcieri is a known face in the music circles but she surely left a lasting impression when she triumphed with the song ‘Għannaqni’ - an emotional heartfelt song that speaks about a daughter begging her mother to hug her instead of abusing her; another strong message written by Rita Pace to Mark Spiteri Lucas’ composition.
The biggest highlight this year for the local industry has definitely been the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. The event was the biggest live broadcast the national broadcaster has put up and Malta was represented by the talented soprano Federica Falzon who rose to fame after winning the popular Italian show ‘Ti Lascio una Canzone’. Federica Falzon had the opportunity of a lifetime performing at such a esteemed event in front of her home crowd and she surely made the most of it as she delivered an excellent performance of 'Diamonds' finishing in a prestigious fourth on the night. Many local fans though would love to see the return of the pre-selection show for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest as this would involve the audience at home choosing their junior representative and also be the perfect showcase for up and coming talent – something which sadly is not given as much prominence as it should.
Given that Malta was hosting the Junior Eurovision, it came to no surprise that the PBS announced that the Malta Eurovision will be brought forward this year. It caught the singers and songwriters a bit off guard and this showed in the number of submitted entries but many critics argued that the quality of songs in the finals was the best it has ever been. Although a tough competition, Amber emerged as the clear front runner and after two strong performances on both Friday and Saturday night it was a unanimous decision by the judges and the public vote that she should be the next Maltese representative at the Eurovision Song Contest. She conquered the festival with Elton Zarb & Muxu’s composition ‘Warrior’ which so far has been well received from abroad. The song is expected to be enhanced and many are looking forward to hear the finalised version of the next Maltese representative.
After all that one can realize that it has been quite a year and if one would think that everyone is currently taking a break, one would be mistaken as in November the committee of L-Għanja Tal-Poplu issued its regulations so the year will be once again kickstarting very soon although the first major festival of 2015 is expected in March and not in February like last year. This is due to having the Malta Eurovision a few months earlier. A festival many would love to see its return would definitely be the ‘Festival Internazzjonali Tal-Kanzunetta Maltija’ which saw its return in 2013 but seems that it was put aside for 2014 because of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. A real pity because it gave light to a number of new Maltese songs in the last edition these include Olivia Lewis’ winning entry ‘Hawn Mill-Ġdid’, Mark Tonna’s ‘Poeta Bla Kliem and Dario & Grecia’s ‘Solitaire’. Maybe 2015 would be a year were one gets to celebrate through more competitions and more songs to feast the keen Maltese music lover.
On behalf of the editorial team of escflashmalta.com, I would like to wish you a Happy New Year filled with joy, health and success in whatever your heart desires. We urge you to keep following escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the local music scene in 2015. All the best.
'The Celebrity Night' is the new Saturday night show which will be broadcast on Saturday night at 20:30 on F Living Channel. The series which officially kicked off a couple of weeks ago, revolves around the one-to-one interviews, which speak of class, decadence and wit, and have become synonymous with Deo Grech's presenting style.
Domenique, a female vocalist, who recently gained prestige and notoriety as a result of her victory at the Summer Hit Song Contest 2014 with the song "Back To", written by Mark Scicluna and Emil Calleja Bayliss, is clearly on a high, having also been a semi-finalist in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2015. She is clearly the most recognisable guest in this week's episode. Nevertheless, she will not be along, and is set to be joined by Ġorg tad-Downats, a television and radio host, as well as Carlos Farrugia, a veteran actor.
This and much more during this week's episode of 'The Celebrity Night' which airs on Saturday night at 20:30 on F Living Channel. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the local music scene.
Source: F Living, Press Release