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Tuesday, 22 October 2013 06:40

Malta: Interview with Bernice Camilleri (FiKM '13)

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escflashmalta.com has been granted permission to speak to the local artists competing within this years' edition of the International Festival of Maltese Song, fourteen in total. Apart from speaking to them about their careers thus far, it is pivotal to denote that we have focused on their participation within this competition in particular and their stance on Maltese being passed onto future generations through the medium of song. The order in which these interviews are being presented does not reflect the running order of the competition. Bernice is the eighth artist and she will be performing the track Sinjali composed by Renato Briffa to the lyrics of Rita Pace.

Back in 2009, you were chosen to compete as one of the finalists within the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza with the song Ngħix Għalik composed by Renato Briffa to the lyrics of Rita Pace. It was actually your last experience within a local competition but one which you will definitely hold close to your heart. Do you recall the evening well and why haven’t you been around as much in recent years?

I hold close to my heart all special experiences and especially the people who have contributed in one way or another towards my successes in life. In recent years, I have been rather busy with life in general and other priorities that I had on my list. One of these was the completion of a Bachelor's of Commerce degree in Accounts and Marketing at the University of Malta. Nghix Ghalik, to date, remains my favourite Maltese song.

In this years’ edition of the International Festival of Maltese Song, you will be performing the track Sinjali composed by Renato Briffa to the lyrics of Rita Pace, the same songwriting duo behind your earlier success. Would you care to explain the meaning behind the song and the genre it encompasses?

Rita and Renato are both so talented, creative and innovative. I especially like them for their sense of humbleness, kindness and understanding. We always work well as a team. Together, we now have this song entitled Sinjali, an oriental type of song. As regards the meaning behind its lyrics, the two most important aspects highlighted are faith and courage. Life is a journey and these are the qualities that keep us going through difficult times, emerging finally as better persons, in everything really, be it as a nation or as individuals.

Bernice, you are not only a vocalist, but many people recall you being an actress back in the nineties having starred in the extremely popular series known as Undercover, which was written and produced by Eileen Montesin, aired on ONE Television. Looking back, many people might not recognise you due to the fact that you were somewhat a teenager but nevertheless, you have grown within the public eye. How much does it help for you to be recognised and do you prefer acting to singing?

You would not believe how many people still recognise me from those Undercover days...maybe I left an impact! :) But really and truly I had other appearances spread over the years so people are then constantly reminded of you and the fact that you are an actress. Last I was cast was in Qalb in-Nies 2010/2011 on TVM. So indeed, I did grow in the public eye from a very young age with various TV appearances over the years in acting and singing. These both make me happy and are part of who I am and really I have no preference as long as with what I do I see others enjoying  themselves too.


As a female vocalist, you have only managed to get through to music competition with original tracks only in Maltese, which is the national language used on the Islands. Nevertheless, are there any intentions for you to submit a song for the upcoming edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest which supports our participation internationally and if not, do you aspire for the future?

I guess I speak and pronounce Maltese so well, people like me singing in our language which is special to me! And on this note I would like to thank and congratulate whoever was behind the idea and pursue of launching such a festival again...it is so important for our culture! As much as I  would like to submit a song for the upcoming Malta Eurovision Song Contest I would not be able to as me and my husband are awaiting the birth of our second child due in February. I also have the first set of exams to sit for soon in Masters of Accountancy.

As a music competition, the International Festival of Maltese Song was the first to promote the national language through the medium of music, eventually followed by L-Għanja tal-Poplu and Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza. With the Public Broadcasting Services supporting the event, it makes it only second to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. Do you believe that there’s a place for this competition within the local music industry and do you support it’s continuation in the years to come?

We should all be proud of the talent we have on these small islands, work together, encourage each other and believe in our people. With so many limitations, we still manage to be among the best and get so far. I support anything that promotes our country and our hard working nation.

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

Keep on supporting the local music scene through ecsflashmalta.com!

Last modified on Tuesday, 22 October 2013 10:27