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
Following the semi-final stage of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2016, where 19 artists and 20 entries were presented, 14 entries made the final cut, all of which will be presented in a brand new running order later on this evening, during the grand final, hosted by Ben Camille.
The entries were chosen by a five-member professional jury comprising of; Nick Clark-Lowes, Vyara Ankova, Sabrija Vulic, Luke Fisher, and Quinton Scerri, with the public vote acting as another juror. Below, you may find the running order of this evenings' proceedings. Preceding the show, on Television Malta (TVM), all the acts will be welcomed on the Red Carpet with hosts Daniel Chircop and Rodney Gauci.
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. On behalf of the whole editorial team, we would like to wish all the acts the very best of luck, and may the best entry triumph and represent Malta well.
Source: PBS / TVM
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
Maltese singer Charlene Mercieca Magro was invited to take part in Euroritm international music festival in Romania last weekend and managed to accomplish a prestigious 3rd place from all the various participating countries around the world. She was cordially invited to participate in this festival by Mr Martin Degabriele, director of Malta International Singers Festival - Eurostars.
Charlene, who is vocally trained by Pamela Bezzina from VocalBooth Studios, sang 2 cover songs, one in Maltese "Mill-Għajnejn ta' Tifla" originally sung by singer/songwriter Corazon and "Dear Future Husband" originally by Meghan Trainor. Charlene received very positive feedback about her performances and she feels very honoured to have represented Malta in such a prestigious event. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about upcoming local talent.
Source: Press Release
After the launch of her debut album original songs in Maltese entitled ‘Hawn Jien’, singer/songwriter Corazón followed up its success with a concert at the Casino Maltese last January. The location offered the ideal setting for this collection of songs which treat diverse social themes and profound lyrics.
Corazón has never shyed away from singing about what is usually left unsaid, giving a voice to the prostitute (in Illejla B’Xejn), to the unborn child (in Hawn Jien) and even to the woman scorned (in Marì) amongst others. The concert included popular songs such as Tal-Aħħar and Fid-Dar tan-Nanna and the launch of two brand new songs which were included in the second edition of the album.
All songs were performed live by a group of talented musicians; Walter Vella on saxophone, Carlo Bugeja on keyboards, Simon Sammut on the double-bass, Samuel Attard on the drums, Jimmy Bartolo on guitars and Dominic Galea on the piano. Dominic Galea also took care of the direction and arrangements. The songs were taken to a different level with the presentation of introductory theatrical pieces scripted by Trevor Zahra and directed by Mario Micallef.
The concert featured also several well-known personalities such as Walter Micallef, Peppi Azzopardi, Hermann Bonaċi, Frida Cauchi, Louise Doneo, Mark Doneo, Joe Galea, Antonella Galea Loffreda, Lilian Vassallo, Clive Piscopo, Nathalie Micallef amongst others. Corazón felt that the best way to present her songs was to an intimate audience of around 300 people.
This concert was sold out a week before the performance and many were disappointed for not managing to find available tickets. For all who missed this concert and also for those who were present and would like to rekindle memories of this experience, the concert will be aired on Sunday 21st June at 20.40 and on Wednesday 24th June at 22.00 on TVM2. 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: Press Release
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. Next up is Corazon, a singer/songwriter, and 5-time participant in L-Għanja tal-Poplu, winning on 3 occasions, in 2007 with "Hawn Jien", in 2009 with "Tal-Aħħar" and in 2010 with "Mill-Għajnejn ta' Tifla".
10 years ago, at the beginning of your career in music, the results in music competitions were not positive, with L-Irġiel in the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza 2005 and Kieku Taf in L-Għanja tal-Poplu 2006 both at the bottom of the leaderboard. How did you pick yourself up, to become the singer/songwriter you are today?
It was not a matter of picking myself up, but more a question of learning and developing one’s skills and talents. It is also a matter of gaining credibility. There was a time when my compositions were so new and so different that they would be automatically dismissed and sneered at. By time, things have changed and now many other artists have followed siut and inspired themselves from my style and I am proud of this. Interestingly enough, with regards to ‘Kieku Taf’, it is included in my most recent album ‘Hawn Jien’ and has proven to be one of its most popular tracks, albeit being one of my very first compositions, penned when I was only 16 years old.
As a matter of fact, just 12 months later, you re-entered L-Għanja tal-Poplu with another self-penned entry, Hawn Jien, finishing at the top of the leaderboard this time, and as a result, recording your first victory in a local competition. Looking back, what do you remember of the experience, and what kind of personal sentiment does the song hold?
I remember this episode very well. I was very young – 17 years old – and when my name was called out I was simply incredulous and ever so happy. That year, ‘Hawn Jien’ managed to gain full marks from all the judges in the panel and this was something extraordinary for me, especially because the subject of the song was so controversial and daring. There is an interesting episode attached to this song in that when I performed it during the festival, my microphone was not working for the first half of the song.
Panic-struck and inexperienced I stood still on stage for what seemed like a lifetime, until someone told me that I had to get off the stage and they will let me know whether I would have the chance to sing it again. Needless to say, I was given another chance to sing it and thank God for that! The song means a lot to me, especially due to the fact that winning the festival gave me the encouragement I needed to keep writing my own music in Maltese.
Your debut album, also titled Hawn Jien, has been described as a true work of art by many, representing several social themes which had yet to be explored, whilst representing the best that the Maltese language is known to offer. Where did your love of the language start, and do you have any more material lined up for the future?
As a child, I read a lot of books in Maltese and was fascinated by Maltese poetry. Maltese literature exams were pretty easy for me as I knew most poems by heart and could quote them off the top of my head. I started writing poetry when I was still at Sixth Form – in fact I have quite a bulky collection of poems from that time – and then I started putting them to music. Of course my journey as a singer-songwriter has only just begun. I do have a lot of songs still waiting to be published and, of course, many more in my head waiting to be put down to pen and paper.
As an artist, you have not only maintained a professional standing through L-Għanja tal-Poplu, but have also managed to get through to the live phase of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest on 4 occasions, including just last November with one of your own compositions, Secretly. What kind of feeling does it evoke, knowing that Europe is watching, listening and judging your song, and would you do anything differently due to the end result?
I must say that Eurovision is a great experience every year but it doesn’t move me in the same way my music in Maltese does. That’s the truth.
You are the undisputed queen of L-Għanja tal-Poplu, having taken part on 5 different occasions, and successfully coming out on top on three occasions; in 2006 with Hawn Jien, in 2009 with Tal-Aħħar and in 2010 with Mill-Għajnejn ta' Tifla. Do you have a favourite out of the 3 winning entries, and will you be one of the artists putting forward an entry for the 2015 edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu?
Well, my favourite entry was ‘Illejla B’Xejn’ for which I was awarded ‘Best Interpretation’ but not a placing. To be honest with you, I have considered entering this year’s festival, especially because I have written a very powerful piece of music which I think is very siuted for the festival. However, having thought over it well, I believe it best to allow space for other emerging artists in the festival and be present in support to them.
Would you like to say anything to our readers at escflashmalta.com?
Corazon, a female singer/songwriter who has captivated the local music industry with clean-cut vocals, a crisp diction, and social themes which were thought unforgivable to perform, gave a concert at the Casino Maltese, to an intimate audience of less than 300 people.
Musically directed by Dominic Galea, featuring Carlo Bugeja on synthesizer, Walter Vella on flute and saxophone, Simon Sammut on Bass, Jimmy Bartolo on guitar and Samuel Attard on drums and percussion, the show was given life thanks to a specific script, one which supported each given song, as penned down by Trevor Zahra.
Mario Micallef, responsible for the artistic direction, and also host, managed to gel the evening together with his with, charm and decadence. Corazon, on point vocally, as always, made it a point to launch two brand new songs, both during the first act of the evening. "Prosit tal-Programm" and "Xelin", whose lyrics have underlying meanings which we would like you to understand and interpret as your own.
The public, on other hand, were on the edge of their seats, listening to the sweet eerie notes that go with the introduction of the iconic "Fid-Dar tan-Nanna". Although, not a personal favourite, an accolade which I would give to either "Marì" or "Jgħidu Kien Hawn Raġel", the audience clapped to their hearts content, even giving a standing ovation towards the end of the song.
The evening was not only a triumph for Corazon, but it was once more a moral victory for the Maltese language, noting that appreciation has been long-in-waiting. 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: escflashmalta.com, Raymond Gialanze (Photograph)
Corazon, a female singer/songwriter who has been part of the line-up at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest on four occasions, in 2012 with “Mystifying Eyes”, in 2013 with “My Stranger Love”, in 2014 with “Ten” and in 2015 with “Secretly” has recently announced that she will be putting on a concert in support of her debut album, Hawn Jien.
Set for the 10th January at the Każin Malta, with the inclusion of several guests including; Walter Micallef, Dominic Galea, Trevor Żahra and Mario Micallef, the female singer/songwriter will be rekindling positive memories which saw her triumph on no less than three occasions in L-Għanja tal-Poplu, by performing tracks including “Hawn Jien” (2007), “Tal-Aħħar” (2009) and “Mill-Għajnejn ta’ Tifla”.
In order to obtain tickets for the concert, against a fee of €15, visit the Ticketline website, or pay a quick visit to the Embassy Cinema Box Office on Level 3 or the City Concierge of the Plaza on Level 1. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the local music industry.
Source: Corazon (Official Facebook Page)