14 December 2017

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)

Third Place:Mellisni” – Mikaela Bajada (Joe Chircop, Mark Spiteri Lucas)

Second Place: Ta’ Billejl” – Neville Refalo (Paul Ellul, Mark Spiteri Lucas)

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

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In a Press Release issued by the organising committee of L-Għanja tal-Poplu - Festival tal-Kanzunetta Maltija, the song-titles and the songwriters of the 18 songs chosen through to the semi-final have been made public. This year's edition of the music competition is being organised  under the auspices of Spazzju Kreattiv, the Public Broadcasting Services, Pjazza Teatru Rjal and Fondazzjoni Valletta 2018.

The professional jury for this phase of the competition was comprised of: Adrian Mamo, David Azzopardi, Martina Caruana, Miriam Cassar, Noel D’Anastas and Vince Fabri. The semi-final phase of the competition is set for the 7th July where all the 18 participating entries will be interpreted #live with the PBS orchestra. Out of these, 12 will then be chosen to compete on the 9th July during the final.

Bħal Tifla Żgħira” (Rita Pace / Marco Debono) – Maria Cassar

Ħabta u Sabta” (Andy Muscat / Mark Scicluna) – Andy Muscat

Ħallejt Il-Passi Wrajk” (Paul Ellul / Glen Vella) - Jurgen Xerri

Ħanini” (Walter Micallef) – Walter Micallef

Id-Dieher” (Augusto Cardinali) – Neville Refalo & Graziana Axisa

Il-Biża u Jien” (Rita Pace / Pamela Bezzina) - Nadine Fenech

Is-Sinjur” (Emil Calleja Bayliss / Mark Scicluna) – Cherylis

Jien Biss” (Joe Julian Farrugia / Dominic Cini) – Dorcas Debono

Ma Ninsiex” (Joe Julian Farrugia / Augusto Cardinali) - Deborah Dalli

Mellisni” (Joe Chircop / Mark Spiteri Lucas) - Mikaela Bajada

Ngħidlek” (Joe Julian Farrugia / Miriam Christine) - Miriam Christine

Pupa tal-Plastik” (Paul Ellul / Marco Debono) - Domenique

Ta’ Billlejl” (Paul Ellul / Mark Spiteri Lucas) – Neville Refalo

Tama” (Shyli / Jasmar / Kapitlu 13 / DJ Mac / David Leguesse) – Shyli and Jasmar ft. Kapitlu 13

Taptipa fuq l-Ispallejn” (Emil Calleja Bayliss / Pamela Bezzina) – Michela Dalli

Waħdi Miegħek” (Ingrid Vella / Kaya) – Graziella Vella

Xagħar Twil” (Ingrid Vella / Mark Laurence Zammit) – Denise Spiteri

X’Se Jsir?” (Corazon Mizzi) - Corazon

L-Għanja tal-Poplu – Festival tal-Kanzunetta Maltija will be a coordinated effort, with the support of the PBS Orchestra, led by Mro Paul Abela and Mro Joe Brown. The last winner of L-Għanja tal-Poplu was “Ġismi”, written by Mark & Matthew Pellicano, with vocals provided by Ecca whilst the last winner of the Festival tal-Kanzunetta Maltija was “Hawn Mill-Ġdid”, written by Paul Abela & Joe Julian Farrugia with vocals provided by Olivia Lewis. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: Għanja tal-Poplu - Festival tal-Kanzunetta Maltija

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'The Celebrity Night' is a weekly television programme which has become somewhat synonymous with Saturday evening, is broadcast on F Living Channel. The series which officially kicked off at the beginning of October revolves around the one-to-one interviews, which speak of class, decadence and wit, and have become synonymous with Deo Grech's presenting style.

Glen Vella, a male singer/songwriter who requires no lengthy introduction, having amassed considerable a positive reputation over the years, and as a result, becoming one of the most recognizable faces in the local music industry, was Malta’s representative in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest with the song “One Life”. He tried his luck once more, in two different scenarios, the first being in 2014 as a songwriter for the song “Love Will Take You Home” sung by Franklin Calleja, which managed a respectable 7th place, and the second as a lead vocalist with the song “Breakaway” co-written by Simon Gribbe and Kevin Borg. The male vocalist also plays an instrumental part in the Gospel Choir, Animae and has recently taken on the position as Director and Tutor at Vocal Troupes.

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Nadine Axisa, a veteran female vocalist, who has taken part in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with a total of nine (9) entries, the most recent being Once In a Lifetime composed by Jason Paul Cassar to the lyrics of Mario Farrugia and performed in a duet with Clifford Galea. She has recently made a much anticipated return to the local music scene, albeit within a new genre, Jazz. Looking back to 2006, Nadine had already experimented with this style but nevertheless, compiling an album of original material is another story. “Velvet” which is available for purchase in local record shops as well as iTunes has been well received by the industry.

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The third and final guest this week will be none other than Paul Ellul, a songwriting legend, having written countless hits for the a number of established performers, amongst them; Nadine Axisa, Neville Refalo, Danica Muscat, Marilena Gauci, Graziana Axisa, Eleanor Cassar, Glen Vella, Roger Tirazona, Debbie Scerri and Mark Tonna. 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

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Paul Ellul, a renowned local lyricist, has compiled all song lyrics in written between 1991 and 2013 along with some other poems in a new book, "Fejn Staħbejtli". The chosen title is a reflection of the most well known song ever written by the aforementioned Ellul, with singer/songwriter Ira Losco being the recipient winner of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza back in 2001.

It will be officially launched on the 17th January 2015, at Sir Temi Żammit Hall in the University of Malta with live performances by Gillian Attard, Eleanor Cassar, Glen Vella, Nadine Axisa, Cherise Attard, Roseann Cordina, Mark Tonna, Ivan Spiteri Lucas, Roberta Cassar, La Voix Academy Choir and Debbie Scerri. The latter, will also be hosting the evening, with Mark Spiteri Lucas set to accompany each performance on the keyboard.

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The 400-page publication, with original designs, may be obtained at the end of the evening, with proceeds going directly to the Millennium Chapel in Paceville. Entrance to the event, being organised in conjunction with KSU, Għaqda tal-Malta - Università, Outlook Coop, APS, and Copyserv is strictly by invitation, which may be requested by sending an email here. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news from the local music scene.

Source: Paul Ellul (Fejn Staħbejtli)

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L-Għanja tal-Poplu, a local music competition which differs from the International Festival of Maltese Song and the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza for the simple reason that it promotes the singer/songwriter along with the use of traditional forms of music whilst also giving prime importance to the lyrics. The event, slated for the 15th March 2014 was officially unveiled to the general public and the media during a gathering held at the Manoel Theatre. There was one main change in the regulations, one which will see songwriters having no limit to the amount of songs they could have in the final stages.

Sir Temi Żammit Hall, the venue which has played host to recent editions of L-Għanja tal-Poplu saw to the success of Cherise Attard with her song Hawn Siġġu Nieqes composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas to the lyrics of Paul Ellul with the first runner-up being Dorothy Muscat with the track Signor Si composed by Sammy Galea to the lyrics of Joe Julian Farrugia and the second runner-up being Rita Pace with her self-composed entry Pupazz, penned by Emil Calleja Bayliss.

Another innovative element incorporated in the results is a cash prize which is set to be given to the first, second and third place finishers. As has been the case in recent years, the competition will be aired both on radio and television. escflashmalta.com is proud to support the event, and moreover to support a local music competition which aims to promote Maltese as a national language and one which could also show diversity in the art of music. In order to download a copy of the rules and regulations for the 38th edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu taking place on the 14th March 2014 at the Sir Temi Żammit Hall, please visit the official website of the competition. Stay tuned for all of the latest news.

Source: L-Għanja tal-Poplu

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Roseann Cordina, a female vocalist whose name has become somewhat familiar within the confines of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza. With Ejjew Ilkoll composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas to the lyrics of Paul Ellul, this will mark her third participation following her third runner-up finish last year. Below, our editorial board devised a set of questions in order to get to know Roseann a little bit better whilst Chris and Moira have also heard all of the entries in order to pass on their comments. They were somewhat impressed with this performance stating that 'this girl knows how to sing her Maltese' and awarding her seven (7) points.

Roseann, at last years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, you followed up your 2010 debut within the local music scene with with the track 'Id-Demm ta' Raymond' composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas with lyrics by Paul Ellul. A sentimental entry which held a lot of meaning to both the public, and the jury, so much so that you finished in fourth place, behind Deborah C, Marilena Gauci and Domenique. Looking back at the performance, would you have done anything differently or were you satisfied with the way that things turned out?

As a team, we were all satisfied with the outcome, we had a very good feedback, positive remarks and we started working from then onwards on a new song which presently occupies the second place in the televoting competition. 

In this years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, you will be performing the track 'Ejjew Illkoll' composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas to the lyrics of Paul Ellul. The track speaks about how people should come together, stand up and be counted for what they believe in. It is significantly different to the one presented last year and therefore, makes it more interesting. You have decided to call upon the same songwriters for the second year running hoping for an even better result. Would you care to tell us how this song came about and also what feelings does it evoke within you? 

The idea behind it is that when things do not come our way, we should not look at the past but start working together to achieve better results in the future. If we adopt a positive attitude and be optimistic in life and work hard, then we should ultimately achieve what is best for us.  This means that if we come together, stand up and be counted for what we believe in, then we can dream of a better future.

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Behind Ray Agius, Mark Spiteri Lucas is the most successful songwriter in the history of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza with his most recent victory being last year with the track ''Jekk Nuzaw Mohhna' with lyrics by Joe Chircop. Boggling minds have enquired about how this collaboration came to fruition especially due to the fact that you were a complete newcomer in last years' edition. Apart from that though, what made you turn back to Mark in preparing a song for 2013?

I was a finalist in the years 2010 and 2012 with the songs “Jum Wiehed “ and “Id-Demm ta’ Raymond”, “Jum Wiehed”  was composed by Chan Vella and last year’s song by Mark Spiteri lucas. I am happy working with these two composers because they are very professional in their work.

Despite this being your second consecutive year within the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, you are yet to make your debut in another competition such as L-Ghanja tal-Poplu, the Malta Eurovision Song Contest or the International Festival of Maltese Song. Is moving forward in your vocal career something that you wish to do in the near future or would you rather stop at this stage?

Since I am reading for a Bachelor in Education and I am in my final year, then obviously I do not find much time to prepare for other festivals. The Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza happen to be organized during summer, so preparations take place during my summer holidays. Afterwards when hopefully I become a primary school teacher, I can focus more on my singing career. 

Would you like to say anything to our readers at escflashmalta.com?

I recommend escflashmalta.com because it promotes the local talent, locally and internationally.

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Published in Interviews
Thursday, 08 August 2013 02:15

Malta: Interview with Domenique (KKI 12, 13)

Domenique, second runner-up at last years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza has somewhat been busy in recent months, having also been a finalist within the Malta Eurovision Song Contest held at the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre this February. As has been noted, the young female vocalist has already taken part in this competition but only once and thus, this will be her second participation with the track B'Ħaristna 'l Fuq composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas with lyrics by Paul Ellul. Just below, five questions have been asked by the editorial board of escflashmalta.com in order for you to get to know Domenique a little bit better.  Nevertheless, this is an interview and review with former Eurovision Song Contest representatives; Chris and Moira listening to all of the songs and passing their judgement. With regards to Domenique, they stated that 'she is giving a very good performance altogether' offering eight (8) points.

Domenique, the very first time that you took part in the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, it was in the other section which is somewhat reserved for true newcomers of the local music scene. Your entry entitled Miegħi Hemm Int was composed by Heathcliffe Balzan with lyrics by Natasha Turner. In order for one to reach the stage of The Granaries, you had to beat a number of entries and be chosen amongst the top three, in a mixture of public and jury voting. Looking back to 2010, just three years ago, how have you changed and do you cherish your debut in this particular showcase?

Looking back, I realized that certain aspects really did changed. 3 years ago I wasn't the same exact person that I am today. Experiences had changed me from within, taking it from the positive perspective. Nowadays, there is more assurance of myself so everything changes. Now I know exactly which certain styles shows the best of me regard music styles, the way in how I present my song, and also in appearance. This festival still remained in my heart because it is giving the opportunity to Maltese singers to sing in Maltese which unfortunately not many festivals around the Maltese islands allow singers to sing in Maltese, and also for the great exposure.

In last years’ edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, your entry Tama’ u Kuraġġ composed by Philip Vella with lyrics by Cher Vella reached third place, just behind Deborah C and Marilena Gauci. It is quite intriguing to point out that you all managed to get through to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest just a couple of months later denoting that the competition is definitely not a fluke and has serious implications within the industry. When you submitted this particular entry within the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, did you believe that it was the one which should be selected, especially when you had a choice of around seven entries?

Although I had seven songs last year, I believed that 'Tama U Kuragg' was one of the strongest entries that I had.

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In this years’ edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, you are presenting the song B’Ħarsitna ‘l Fuq composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas with lyrics by Paul Ellul. The renowned composer is the second most successful within the frame of this competition and is coming off a victory at last years’ edition with the song Jekk Nużaw Moħħna performed by Deborah C to the lyrics of Joe Chircop. The song fits within the frame of this competition perfectly by virtue of telling a story, one which inspires people yet the public yearns to know the reason behind you working with a brand new team.

I had opportunity to work with Mark Spiteri Lucas & also with Paul Ellul on other occasions as well. I believed that this team could bring out the best in me as they have many experiences behind them which in them, they ended up being a great achievers for the fact that they always come up with a winning successful product that most importantly suits perfectly the singer.

Despite being eighteen years of age, you have already managed to make it through to the semi-final stage of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest on two occasions, the first time in 2011 with the song I’ll Follow the Sunshine co-written by Ralph Siegel as well as earlier this year with Too Little Too Late composed by Marc Paelinck and penned by Matthias Strasser. The experience of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest is considerably different than that of other local competitions but being a protagonist in two years, how could you explain it and will you try your luck in 2014?

Being in the 'Malta Eurovision Song Contest' was a great honor and achievement for me as my dream was always to end up being a finalist. The experience is indescribable. You'll end up to meet many local and also foreign song writers and from them you'll learn new experiences and many doors will open.

Would you like to say anything to our readers at escflashmalta.com?

I would like to thank anybody who has been involved through out my musical career and who has been there for me ever since I began.

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Published in Interviews

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.

Source: escflashmalta, Għanja Fest

Published in Latest News - Local

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