On the 21st March 2015, L-Għanja tal-Poplu, a local music competition known to breathe life into the music industry, will be turning thirty-nine. Following the huge success of "Jien Ma Naħdimx", composed by Mark Scicluna to the lyrics of Rita Pace, with vocals provided by Karen DeBattista, a surge of interest was reported, as a record number of 105 submissions were received.
escflashmalta.com in partnership with the organising committee has been given the opportunity to have a chat with the sixteen competing acts, whilst also presenting an exclusive 30 second snippet of each respective entry in contention. Act number two is the Ta' Verna Folk Band, and their entry bears the name "L-Għawdxija", a song which has been composed and penned by Augusto Cardinali.
This is the second participation for the "Ta' Verna Folk Band", having previously made it through to the 2013 edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu with the song 'Bit Tof... Ma Tofx...", composed by George Bonello to the lyrics of Rita Pace. First of all, could you please introduce the members of the band, and secondly, what inspired you to make a return?
We are seven members at Ta’ Verna Folk Band but in some circumstances they will join us some special members for the occasion. As members, the folk band will be formed by ten musicians and singer for The festival Ghanja tal-Poplu that are to be:
Audrey Bartolo - singer
George Bonello - piano accordian
David Sammut - Flejguta
Johnny Saliba – Mandolin
Paul Rapa - Piano
Augusto Cardinali – Folk Guitar
Michel Refalo – Baxx
Raymond Bonello – Acoustic Bass Guitar
Joe Bonello – Zafzafa
Teddy Spiteri – Tamburel
David Bonello – Percutions
The idea was that we wanted to point out the public through song to don’t continue losing what is precious to us the Maltese.
“L-Għawdxija”, written by Augusto Cardinali is the song that you will be presenting in this years’ edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu. Would you care to explain the meaning behind the lyrics and the genre that the song encompasses?
The song itself is a contrast between what is traditional and the modern life style. While praise is given to Island of Gozo, also felt the fear that everything was once traditional, today seems to lose his sense. How many that is aesthetic, moral and rural. Both from outside and inside. Small prick conscience, so afraid to inheritance of priceless island dear to us. We should always remember, that somehow changing, ever again be as it was. So once lost forever.
In 2015, L-Għanja tal-Poplu is turning thirty-nine (39), and during the years, it has earned a positive reputation, by virtue of breathing life into the music industry. It is no secret that the lyrics of each entry could cause controversy amongst the public. What is your view with regards to this statement, and do you believe that your entry challenges public perception?
It is a fact that there is some controversy regarding the lyrics because not everyone will agree, but we have to appreciate that the message of the artist because at the end by the day it expresses the real life of the modern world of today that we are living in, and we wrote this song to remind the people that we are destroying gradually the good things being around.
Would you like to say anything to our readers at escflashmalta.com?
Every song has the message that wants to convey, hence, we urge you to come and enjoy our Maltese music on the 21 March, 2015 at Sir Temi Zammit Hall.
Erseb Productions, a renowned company in the local festival circuit with well over thirty years of experience, has given rise to several talents along the years, including artists such as former Eurovision Song Contest representatives; Fabrizio Faniello (2001, 2006) and Miriam Christine (1996). With a spectacular range of promising talent, the local music scene in Malta continues to evolve, and there is a general feeling that talent is to be promoted on the international circuit.
During the end-of-year competition, aptly titled "Erseb Goes Christmas", the organisers revealed that a number of all-rounders would be given the opportunity to represent Malta in various international competitions. La Voix Academy under the tutelage of vocal director, Gillian Attard was the most successful in terms of students who acquired these tickets, managing 16 out of the 18 possible slots. The other 2 students are successfully taught by Glen Vella, a former Eurovision Song Contest representative, and Audrey Marie Bartolo, a finalist in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2010.
Ti Amo Onesti (Romania)
Gianluca Cilia (La Voix Academy)
Naolene Borg (La Voix Academy)
Lake Pearls (Macedonia)
Mariah Nicola Vella (La Voix Academy)
Jahel Cardona (La Voix Academy)
Riona Degorgio (La Voix Academy)
Kelsie Borg (La Voix Academy)
Shania St John (La Voix Academy)
Baltic Voices (Lithuania)
Michela Pace (Audrey Marie Bartolo)
Eila Mangion (La Voix Academy)
Kylie Meilak (La Voix Academy)
Kelsey Farrugia (La Voix Academy)
Kelsey Bellante (La Voix Academy)
Aire Nuevo (Spain)
Sarah Farrugia (La Voix Academy)
Danika Cutajar (Glen Vella)
Jilliane Camilleri (La Voix Academy)
Star Dest (Czech Republic)
Christina Magrin (La Voix Academy)
Rachel Lowell (La Voix Academy)
Veronica Rotin (La Voix Academy)
On behalf of the escflashmalta.com editorial team, we would like to wish all the 18 participants, the very best of luck in their endeavours abroad, hoping that they will not only shine as artists, but bring back trophies to Malta, ensuring that the talent which is being cultivated continues to grow. A round of applause goes to Erseb Productions, and the Vocal Directors for ensuring that such opportunities are available for the personnel who will make up the future local music scene. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.
Source: Erseb Productions
In recent years, the Malta Eurovision Song Contest has been the only local platform for songwriters and vocalists to produce original songs in English, but that has officially changed with the re-introduction of the Summer Hit Song Contest which returns to F Living as from the 14th July 2014. A total of 18 entries got through to the final stage of the competition with no less than 8 of them having already made it to the top of the music scene by virtue of reaching the Malta Eurovision Song Contest on at least one previous occasion.
Deo Grech, organiser of the Summer Hit Song Contest is pleased to be working with a professional production team, noting that F Living have been nothing but supportive of the project, one which has been previously won by Miriam Christine, Neville Refalo, Romina Mamo and Minik featuring Siconix. Almost all of the artists uploaded their entry on viral website YouTube, as had been reported by escflashmalta.com a couple of weeks ago, with an updated list shown below;
Overboard (Rita Pace) - Rita Pace & Audrey Marie Bartolo
Earlier this afternoon, F Living published the first promotional video in support of the Summer Hit Song Contest with a recap of all the participating entries. On behalf of the editorial team, I would like to wish everyone the very best of luck, and hope that the best song triumphs. For more details about the competition, visit the Official Facebook Page. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.
With a line-up that includes no less than 8 vocalists who have made it through to the biggest stage of the local music industry; the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, it is fair to say that this is one of the most competent music competitions in the local music industry. The Summer Hit Song Contest returns to the scene following an absence of two years, with the last edition being won by Minik featuring Siconix. It will be airing from July till September on F Living, with Deo Grech leading the charge as organiser and compere.
More than half of the songs have already been published through viral website YouTube as the committee prepares a promotional schedule of interviews and airplay for each of the respective finalists. Having had a listen of the current tracks available, instant realisation hit that there is an intriguing mixture of genres, ranging from pop/rock, to pop/dance, to classical music. That is something that the professional panel of judges should be commended for, considering that there were 72 submissions.
Another Night in Heaven (Philip Vella / Rita Pace) - Christian
One Precious Mile (Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg) - Kelly Cassar
Overboard (Rita Pace) - Rita Pace & Audrey Marie Bartolo
The One (Renato Briffa / Keith Zammit) - Janice Mangion
Hosted by Deo Grech on F Living, as already noted above, the competition aims to promote the local music scene in search of a true hit song. For more details about the competition, visit the Official Facebook Page. We hope to bring you the full version in the next couple of hours following decisions made by Sunday morning. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.
Source: Summer Hit Song Contest