On the 7th and 9th July, the semi-final and grand final of ‘L-Għanja tal-Poplu – Festival tal-Kanzunetta Maltija’ took place at Pjazza Teatru Rjal, hosted on stage by Sean Buhagiar and supported off stage by comedic theatrics of Wayne Flask, and Gilbert Camilleri, not to mention the tidbit interviews conducted by Josephine Ebejer Grech prior to each entry, with the lyricists.
The evening was a true celebration of our national language, through the medium of song, noting that special guests included none other than: Kantilena, the second runners-up of L-Għanja tal-Poplu 2012 who have recently published their debut album; John Bundy, winner of L-Għanja tal-Poplu 1995 with “Pajjiż tal-Miki Maws”, a song written by Martin Attard and Ecca Muscat, winner of L-Għanja tal-Poplu 2015 with “Ġismi”, a song written by Matthew and Mark Pellicano.
A professional jury heard the songs on multiple occasions, before given the chance to listen and view each competing entry live on stage, and at the end of the evening, the results were as follows;
Best Teenage Talent: “Ħallejt il-Passi Wrajk” – Jurgen Xerri (Paul Ellul, Glen Vella)
Best Singer/Songwriter: Corazon Mizzi for “X’Se Jsir?”
Best Social Theme: Paul Ellul for “Ta’ Billejl”
Best Interpretation: “Il-Biża’ u Jien” – Nadine Fenech (Rita Pace, Pamela Bezzina)
First Place: “X’Se Jsir?” – Corazon (Corazon Mizzi)
On behalf of the editorial team at escflashmalta.com, we would like to congratulate all the winners, as well as the 18 participants, for making it through from 144 submissions. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about L-Għanja tal-Poplu and the local music scene.
Source: L-Għanja tal-Poplu
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
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 2015, the year in which no Malta Eurovision festival was held because it was held back in late 2014 but other annual competitions keeping the singers busy such as; l-Għanja Tal-Poplu, Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, the Summer Hit Song Contest and for the very first time a singers competition for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. 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 surely started in full swing for Amber who after winning the right to represent Malta in November of 2014, a lot of work was done to ensure that the song is given the right boost and everything would be ready for the big night in Vienna. Sadly, Malta finished in 11th place in the semi-final and missed out on a chance to compete in the grand final in Vienna but this whole experience was surely one to treasure for the Maltese ‘Warrior’ and as we head into 2016, Amber is ready to release her first singe ‘What They Say’ by the same team behind ‘Warrior’, Elton Zarb and Matthew Mercieca.
The first local festival of the year, happened to be one in Maltese in 2015 in the name of ‘L-Għanja Tal-Poplu’, 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 winner of the festival was the song ‘Ġismi’ interpreted by newcomer Ecca Muscat. Mark and Matthew Pellicano’s composition attracted a lot of attention from the beginning, thanks to its graphic theme which deals with sexual abuse in fact, Mark Pellicano, the author behind this number won the prestigious award for the best social theme in the festival. Raquel Galdes finished as the first runner up with the song ‘Ċans Ieħor’ which was penned by Daniel Paul Farrugia and Norbert Borg, whilst Rita Pace ended in third place with ‘Battibekk’ she wrote along side Emil Calleja Bayliss and Paul Attard.
Following this event, the finalists of other competition were announced but the attention turned to towards the Junior Malta Eurovision Song Contest, where for the very first time 20 singers competed for the right to represent Malta in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Bulgaria. The three favourites from the get go where, Christina Magrin, Veronica Rotin and Destiny Chukunyere, and these three super talented girls surely did not disappoint as they belted out their number and managed to finish in the top three positions. Destiny Chukunyere was the one who ended up on top. After consultation with her team, PBS selected the song that Destiny was going to sing in Bulgaria which was composed by Elton Zarb and penned by Matthew Mercieca, the team behind Malta’s last two Junior Eurovision entries and Malta’s 2015 Eurovision entry.
Destiny gave her input in the song to both in the composition and also with the lyrics, these prooved to be vital in coming up with a number that suits Destiny’s voice and personality. The creation of a memorable, catchy number in terms of ‘Not My Soul’ was surely a successful formula – Destiny arrived in Bulgaria as one of the top favourites to win the Junior Eurovision for the second time for Malta and she did not let anyone down. She delivered the performance of a lifetime and won the competition with the biggest score to date – managing the rare feat of winning both the public vote and the jury vote. The win was well merited, throughout that week in Bulgaria, Destiny was nicknamed mini Aretha Franklin and we’re sure we will be hearing more of her in the years to come.
The annual Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza saw a number of new names in the competition, mixed with others who were no strangers to this festival. The result was slightly unexpected as Analise Mifsud’s self penned ‘Kuraġġ’ won the judges hearts with her simple yet very well sung number, a song that speaks about finding the inner strength to fight when you hit an all time low. This was Annalise’s second participation in this event and one can say she went by unnoticed until the final night where she emerged victorious over Dorcas Debono’s ‘Ma Ninsa Qatt’ written by Dominic Cini and Rita Pace which finished in second place and Dario Bezzina’s ‘Dment Li Malti Ħaj’ written by Ray Agius, which was seen as one of the top contenders from the beginning.
Two other winners who emerged in the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza were Mikaela Bajada who won the New Talent Section and Paolo Micallef who triumphed in the second edition of Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza Junior. Mikaela Bajada reached the finals of the prestigious event and went on to win this section with the song ‘Għandi Ħolma’, a composition of Mark Spiteri Lucas & Francesco Pio Attard.
On the other hand, Paolo Micallef won the judges with his quirky number ‘Maġija B’Tekonloġija’ a composition of Augusto Cardinali and Etienne Micallef – he gave a very intriguing performance as through it he gave the song life. This was Paolo’s second participation in the event and surely celebrated his lucky birthday on the day of the festival. In second place was Nicole Falzon with the beautiful ballad 'Ngħix Ħolma', a composition of Mark Spiteri Lucas and Emil Calleja Bayliss, and in third place, another ballad, this time with a social theme in the form of "Inħobbkom It-Tnejn", a composition of Dominic Cini and Chris Azzopardi, with vocals provided by Rutger Scicluna Galea.
The Summer Hit Song Contest returned for the second consecutive after having a break of nearly three years. The winner of this edition was the song ‘Tabula Rasa’ sung by the bubbly Julie Pomorksi who won her second festival, ten years after triumphing in L-Għanja Tal-Poplu as a young teenager. Her number was composed by Augusto Cardinali and Giovann Attard, she also had her input in both the composition and the lyrics. It was the first time for Julie, giving a go at songwriting and with the help of Augusto and Giovann, she wrote the beautiful and intriguing ‘Tabula Rasa’. The runner up of the competition was Michela Galea, who also managed to win two awards which are unique to local competitions, she won the best duet with ‘Bounce Back’ singing alongside Janvil and also the best Maltese Cover with ‘Għanja’, an original of Nadine Axisa. This composition was by Renato Briffa and Emil Calleja Bayliss. The second runner up of the competition was Danica Muscat with ‘Amour’, a song composed and penned by Philip Vella.
2015 year finished off with the announcement of the 20 finalists of the Malta Eurovision, all fighting for a chance to represent Malta in Stockholm, Sweden among the competitors there’s the return of former Eurovision runner-up Ira Losco, who made her return to the local competition with two numbers after months of speculation of whether she will participate or not. Yet, the race is surely still wide open, with 20 strong numbers and varies styles which appeal to different people – in fact both locals and foreigners discussed how this could be one of the best Maltese national selections in a while. The competition will in fact open the festival season in the fourth weekend of January, with the semi-finals on the 22nd of January and the finals the next day.
One rumour which went round during 2015 was the possible return of the ‘Festival Internazzjonali Tal-Kanzunetta Maltija’ but unfortunately it was not the case, seems that it was put aside for 2015 for some reason or another. A real pity because it gave light to a number of new Maltese songs in the last edition and gave the enthusiasts another festival to look forward to on a national scale. Yet, so far it was not meant to be. Let’s hope that 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, we 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 2016. All the best!
It has been 48 hours since the sun set on the 24th edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, and the 1st to take place at Pjazza Teatru Rjal in Valletta as part of the celebrations encompassing Independence Day in Malta. At the end of the evening, following the performance of 23 participating entries; 20 pre-qualified in the 'Talent Stabbilit' and another 3 which came through 'Talent Ġdid', the winner was revealed to be "Kuraġġ", performed by singer/songwriter Analise Mifsud.
Hosted by Peter Carbonaro, Claire Preca Taroum, and Christine Haber, this year's edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, which was aired on NET Television, was given a brand new image, one which was very well appreciated by the competing artists, and their respective songwriters. With no major technical issues, most performances ran smoothly. This year, the list of participating artists was a good mixture of newcomers and veterans.
The professional members of the jury made up of; Larissa Bonaci, Joseph Mizzi, Marbeck Spiteri, Christabelle Borg, Paul Testa, Indri Attard, Felix Busuttil, and Andrea Cassar had an extremely difficult job to do, noting that this year's edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza was noted down to be one of the most promising in years, with several potential candidates for the top trophy. A list of the results can be viewed below.
Best Young Talent: "Għandi Ħolma" (Mark Spiteri Lucas / Francesco Pio Attard) - Mikaela Bajada
Televoting Award: "Fis-Seba' Sema" (Cyprian Cassar / Rita Pace) - Nicole Borg
1st Place: "Kuraġġ" (Analise Mifsud) - Analise Mifsud
On behalf of the editorial team at escflashmalta.com, we would like to congratulate the winners circle, as well as the other 18 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 Charles Stroud, and featuring Sandra Grech and Clarissa Ellul as members. 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
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)
Maltese as a language has been described as one of the most notorious identifiable elements and therefore, it does go to show that the music industry takes a liking to the use of the aforementioned method of speech in a number of competitions including L-Għanja tal-Poplu and the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza. The focus is on the latter due to the large amount of submitted entries every year although it has to be noted that quantity does not really mean quality. Nevertheless, most of the winners have been merited their top ranking position especially when noting that the most notable performers to come out were none other than; Eleanor Cassar, Ira Losco, Claudia Faniello, Nadine Axisa, Roger Tirazona, Miriam Christine, Lawrence Gray, Amber, Mike Spiteri and Claudette Pace amongst others. Garnering entry into the competition is not easy and therefore, Spiteri Lucas Entertainment and the Committee of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza thought up the idea to promote a wildcard entry which would be granted through a performance competition on television show; Sas-Sitta which airs every Saturday afternoon on NET Television with Ray Attard and former Eurovision Song Contest representative; Debbie Scerri as hosts.
As a matter of fact, there was renewed interest in the competition following the fact that last years' winner; Simone Gauci spoke positive of the experience and the opportunity to perform on the stage of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza. It would definitely be a coup to have a complete newcomer perform during the evening but nevertheless, the shortlist of semi-finalists in this years' Passport 2 Indifest includes two former finalists in the form of Marie Claire Attard Bason and Ana-Maria Grima whilst some others have also competed in the teenage portion of the competition including Cherise Attard, Mikaela Bajada and Dorcas Debono. Other artists who have made it through this time round have experienced performances in front of an audience with Karen DeBattista having been in the Malta Summer Hit Song Contest, Cynthia Attard performing in the pre-selection stage of the 2010 Malta Eurosong, Letizia Seychell and Nicola Marie Cutajar taking part in Don't Stop Me Now. The final act to make it through was Claudio Castelletti who most recently was a backing the Spiteri Lucas Entertainment show having been scouted last year during the same competition. Passport 2 Indifest continues to unravel as the jury hear the ten semi-finalists once more and decide, who the final four should comprise of. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it takes place.
Source: Spiteri Lucas Entertainment, Clint Gerald Attard
The 21st edition of the annual Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza will be taking place next week with preparations now in full swing with the organizing committee making the final arrangements as they prepare for the rehearsals which will be taking place in just seven days time noting that the final run through would be taking place on the morning of the competition itself. The venue as has been the case almost every year except when weather wasn't permitted have been the Granaries in Floriana which have now hosted some of the most amazing concerts in history including those of Joseph Calleja for the past three years. Nevertheless, one week before the festival does take place, Indifest will be hosted and it will be quite the show because apart from the weekly performances which people have come to expect from the acts taking part in the Established Category, there will also be the revelation of the finalists of the Teenage Category along with a performance by a special guest as has also come to be expected each week.
This year, the teenage category will be crowning the fifth winner having seen the likes of Gabrielle Massa, Dian Bland, Cherylis Camilleri and Angelica Portelli triumph in the past four years since the competition began back in 2008 to resounding success. The difference between the past and the present though is the way that the result has been worked out noting that the jury had a 60% say in the final proceedings this time round with the public still having a 40% weighing in the outcome. Ultimately this was the way forward with talent being given the most importance. This evening, the performers of the ten participating entries will be present in the studio awaiting the announcement of the finalists as made by Christine Haber, Ronald Briffa and the Chairman of the Committee of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza; Mark Azzopardi. Prior to the announcement this evening, we would like to remind you that you can still watch the videos of the songs below.
This evening, the performances will continue from the Established Category as well noting that taking to the stage this evening will be Kylie Coleiro with the track Ħalluni composed by PhiliP Vella and penned by Joe Chircop as well as Corinne Caruana who had to reschedule as she fell ill a couple of weeks ago and was unable to attend. She will be performing the track Dan Mhux Tmiem composed by Mark Scicluna and penned by Rita Pace. In the meantime, there will also be a special performance this evening given by none other than the reigning winner of the Teenage Category of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, that being the Gozitan Angelica Portelli who will be giving a performance of the track Ejjew Nieqfu composed by Miriam Christine and penned by Joe Chircop. This has to be the most filled programme of the series but nevertheless, headlined by Christine Haber and Ronald Briffa as hosts, it will be quite the showcase this evening. Make sure that you tune to NET Television for the final programme of Indifest before the actual Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza.
One of the most prominent dates on the local music calender is surely the one which features the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, which is somewhat known as the largest competition in the country to feature original songs in the Maltese language. The annual spectacle is organized by Media.Link Communications has always provided a lot of entertainment for those watching noting that most of the artists to have competed have somewhat gained a name for themselves and are ultimately even achieving a respectable status in foreign waters. The standard of the competition has always been maintained at an extremely high level and this year is no different noting that all of the finalists were picked through internal auditions in front of musically trained professionals as well as people with vast years of experience within the music industry. Nevertheless, the key to success for both an artist and a competition is promotion and henceforth, for yet another year, Media.Link Communications along with the Committee of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza have carefully divulged a programme which gives exposure to each of the respective finalists.
The 2012 edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza features a host of talent noting that there are a number of newcomers as well as individuals who have been rightfully earning their place in the local music industry. Apart from meeting three (3) people each week, two (2) from the Established Category and one (1) from the Teenage Category, there are also a number of weekly special guests. In fact, last week, the programme had the honour of meeting up with none other than Christabelle and Lyndsay who have been dominating the local music charts in recent months. In the meantime, NET Television and their professional crew have been busy recording all of the songs, preview videos, which were uploaded through viral website, YouTube but nevertheless, we encourage you to follow Indifest and escflashmalta.com to to get to know the people in the competition better.