Maltese, the national and co-official language of Malta and somewhat the most popular in terms of daily communication noting that English plays a major role within several roles of the work place and education amongst other things. Last night, this language was given utmost importance through the medium of song noting that nineteen (19) original tracks were presented to an audience to highlight the respective use in a competition known as L-Għanja tal-Poplu. This annual showcase will soon be turning forty and therefore has a vast heritage with ample followers, both from a musical and a lyrical point of view. The evening was conducted by Frank O'Neill, a former finalist as well as Valerie Vella, former host of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. The event will be shown on ONE Television next Saturday but in the meantime, we can let you know the results of the evening nevertheless.
KulTural, winners of L-Għanja tal-Poplu in 2012 were the opening act last night as they reminded people what their entry Malta Tiegħi sounded like but nevertheless, the idea of having them open was well respected by the audience present as they joined the long list of winners to have graced the stage along the years. The organisation was spectacular and the respective committee alongside Robert Cefai and Norman Hamilton as representatives of the World Association for Festivals and Artists deserve all of the possible praise. The interval act as people awaited the final results was offered by a flamenco dance group known as Alegria and the finalists themselves who performed a medley of well known songs.
The committee has always been proud to recognise the talent of local artists and therefore, a special award was given to Sunny Aquilina, lyricist of The One That I Love and My Dream for his contribution to the local music scene. The committee have always put a lot of emphasis on the language and therefore, lyrics are always of the essence in this competition and this was seen within the choice of the jury for the evening, composed of scholars within the linguistics and literary field. Nevertheless, other individuals from the music and television industry who were present were none other than Joe Vella, the Radio 101 Disc Jockey and former Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza judge along with Tony Cassar Darien, a brilliant actor known for several roles on television and the stage.
- Best New Talent: Taħnina - Fiona Camilleri (Robert Carbonaro)
- Best Singer/Songwriter - Sylvan Borg for Il-Maltin Bil-Politika Mehdijin
- Best Social Theme: Virtwali - Estelle Fenech Imbroll (Paul Attard / Mark Scicluna)
- Best Interpretation Award: Kuluri, Lwien - X-Tend (Charles Dalli)
- Third Place: Pupazz - Rita Pace (Rita Pace / Emil Calleja Bayliss)
- Second Place: Signor Si - Dorothy Muscat (Sammy Galea / Joe Julian Farrugia)
- First Place: Hawn Siġġu Nieqes - Cherise Attard (Mark Spiteri Lucas / Paul Ellul)
Congratulations to all of the winners of the awards on Saturday evening but also to the other competitors. The editorial team at escflashmalta.com would like to send their special wishes to none other than Emil Calleja Bayliss who wrote the lyrics to two entries performed during the evening, one being Għal Dejjem performed by Marie Claire Attard Bason to the tune of Mark Scicluna and the other one being Pupazz performed by Rita Pace who also composed the music. The latter was the recipient of the second runner-up position. It is surely another stepping stone.
Tomorrow, co-written by Dean Muscat and Boris Cezek with vocals by Gianluca will be representing Malta in the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Sweden. As has become customary in recent years, the editorial team of escflashmalta.com will be collaborating with Juergen Boernig and his team at Radio International to keep you posted on the latest happenings directly from the venue throughout the two weeks. In the meantime, from home base in Malta, we are pleased to announce that for the third year running, a number of guests have been enlisted to aid in covering the semi-finals and the actual final respectively. It is a case of letting the people know what individuals from the music industry think of the international showcase. The line-up this year is quite strong and we are pleased to welcome all of them on board as guest commentators.
This years' Eurovision Song Contest officially kicks off with the first semi-final on the 14th May 2013 and will ultimately feature seventeen (17) entries with another three (3) countries having the right to cast their vote despite already having a place in the final. This is the semi-final in which Malta will not be competing and therefore, we thought it best to have two local stars in the form of Claudia Faniello and Errol Sammut whom as many people know have become a powerhouse couple in recent months and are working together on new material. Claudia Faniello is a two time first runner-up at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and earlier this year competed with the song When It's Time co-written with Errol Sammut. The male singer/songwriter is mostly known as being the lead vocals of the popular band, Airport Impressions who are also working on a brand new album at the moment. Emil Calleja Bayliss, Head of Press for escflashmalta.com has been enlisted to carry out this report alongside two of the nations' leading vocalists.
Following the first semi-final is the second semi-final taking place on the 16th May 2013 which will feature a total of sixteen (16) entries with once more another three (3) countries having the right to cast their vote despite already having a place in the final. This is actually the semi-final in which Malta will be competing in and with nerves running high on qualification, we thought to mix it up a bit within this evening. From a local front, we are pleased to have with us, Davinia who was the second runner-up at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with the track Betrayed composed by Elton Zarb to the lyrics of Matt (Muxu) Mercieca whilst from a foreign front we will have, Simon Casey who definitely does not need any introduction having amassed Gold and Platinum discs in Ireland for his first two albums apart from an Irish number #1 single entitled A Better Plan which was also runner-up to represent Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2003. Antoine Farrugia, one of our brightest new talents on the escflashmalta.com editorial team will be carrying out his duty.
The final of the Eurovision Song Contest is always an interesting spectacle because the qualifiers would have upped their game from the semi-final stage whilst the big five perform along with the previous years' winner which in this case will be Sweden with Robin Stjernberg at the track You. We have decided to go almost completely female for the final noting that all of the three guest commentators, two being Maltese and the other being Irish are female. As a matter of fact, Brooke and Christabelle who are two of the leading artists in the local music scene will be analysing the performances with a critical eye following the success of Fairytale and Say respectively. Joining them is Lauren White, a singer/songwriter who just signed a publishing deal with Universal Music and working on some material material. She was co-writer of the song Fire in this years' Late Late Show Eurosong special alongside Niall Mooney and Willie Weeks. Marc Calleja Bayliss, Editor-In-Chief of escflashmalta.com will co-ordinate proceedings from the editorial board.
Representing your country in any event is something that each and every person should cherish and do it proudly. It happens on a number of occasions in different events and different showcases. In the music business one has become accustomed to different people representing one’s country abroad in various festivals. During the next weekend upcoming artist Grecia Bezzina will be carrying the Maltese flag in Italy where she will be taking part in the festival Canzoni Dal Mondo.
It is not the first time that a local artist is taking part in this contest as in previous years Malta was represented by Rosman Pace, Kaya formely known as Priscilla Psaila, Geordie and Corazon Mizzi; in actual fact Rosman Pace and Kaya managed to emerge victorious. The Grand Final night this year will take place on the 13th of August in Piazza Raffaele D’Amato in Maiori. She will be participating in this festival with a song penned specifically for this festival by Philip Vella. Grecia will be competing against ten other singers.
On this venture Grecia Bezzina will be accompanied by her brother Dario Bezzina and Noel D’Amato who happens to be one of the members of WAFA and the committee behind ‘L-Għanja Tal-Poplu’. Her participation came about thanks to her runner up finish in the aforementioned festival where she sang the song ‘Tal-Komma Twila’ penned by Emil Calleja Bayliss, to the composition of her brother Dario Bezzina. The song was well received by the people in the hall and also by the judges who after Grecia’s heartfelt interpretation the song got awarded 2nd Place.
This was Grecia Bezzina’s major triumph although one can say that for a nineteen year old she has managed a number of achievements as she made it through ‘L-Għanja Tal-Poplu Żagħżagħ’ three times, once alongside her brother and twice as a solo artist, she also made it to the semi-finals of the Malta Eurovision back in 2009 and twice in the finals Festival Kanzunetta Indipendenza in 2009 and 2012; all alongside her brother Dario Bezzina. In 2010, she made the finals of the Malta Hit Contest and earlier this year she was a backing vocalist for Annalise Ellul and Francesca Borg in the finals of the Malta Eurovision.
Back to ‘ L-Għanja Tal-Poplu’ one must note that the top three winners of the festivals were all given the right to represent Malta abroad in a musical showcase. This prize came about thanks to Robbie Cefai and all the board members of WAFA who have a number of contacts abroad. The sole aim of WAFA is to connect different countries, so different artists can share their music in different festivals and showcases. Events like these make artists more comfortable as it helps them gain more confidence and exposure. The editorial team of escflashmalta.com would like to wish Grecia Bezzina the very best of luck in Maiori and for her future career.
Source: Press Release
In the past couple of weeks, there has been a lot of scheduling appointments in order to make sure that the best possible coverage of the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest is given so that our readers would find it interesting and ultimately stay with us during the journey. We have called on a number of individuals who will be joining our team as guest reviewers during all of the live shows, namely the first and second semi-finals as well as the final night.
The first semi-final on Tuesday which does not feature Malta will still see a total of eighteen (18)participants with Azerbaijan and Spain given the honour to vote for the competing acts apart from the countries which are of course participating in this semi-final. The live report will be carried out by seasoned journalist Emil Calleja Bayliss who most recently penned the runner-up entry at the Għanja tal-Poplu competition entitled Tal-Komma Twila composed by Dario Bezzina and performed by Grecia Bezzina. He will be joined during the show by two great female artists, being Claudia Faniello, the runner-up at the 2012 Malta Eurovision Song Contest with the song Pure and also Raquela who is well known for her debut at the Malta Eurosong back in 2009 with the track Crossroads. Both have performed on an international platform and having them on board is astonishing.
The second semi-final to be held on Thursday will feature Kurt Calleja, the Maltese representative as one of the eighteen (18) entries in contention for those ten (10) spots. The countries drawn to vote in this semi-final are France, Germany and the United Kingdom. The live report will be carried out by the lovely Elaine Camilleri who is our Head of Press on the website. Nevertheless, she will not be on her own doing what most likely will be the most important evening for Malta noting that it will be a time to see whether we will ultimately qualify fromt he semi-final. The man joining her is the Irishman Simon Casey, known for taking part in the Irish national selection back in 2003 with the track A Better Plan. Since then he has released two albums with Universal Music Ireland, both of which have been certified gold or better. He knows the industry inside out and it is great to have him on board for the third year running.
For the final night, things will definitely be different with twenty-six (26) countries competing for victory and with some already looking strong than the others. I will be stepping in to carry out the live report but as my colleagues, I will not be alone having enlisted the aid of singer/songwriter Sophie, well known for representing Malta in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest a couple of years back with the track Extra Cute. Following this experience, she also took part in the 2011 Malta Eurovision Song Contest with the track Love to Love You which has also made it to iTunes. Apart from her though, there will also be Swedish songwriter Magnus Kaxe who is known to the Maltese for writing the music to Autobiography, the track which Dorothy Bezzina competed in within the final of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2012 but he has also worked with the likes of Clay Aiken, Celine Dion, Gareth Gates, Aqua and Benny from Abba. I am pleased to work with such talented individuals.