December 15, 2019

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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 six is Mario Debono, and his entry is entitled "Il-Malti", composed and penned by himself. 

Mario, as a singer/songwriter, you have complete creative control over your material, whilst also having the distinct opportunity to give colour to your words during the live interpretation. What inspires you to create music, and how important is it to get your message across? 

The Maltese language itself, with its intonation and rhythm, inspires my music. I compose the melody and find the harmony on my guitar. For me the message is the very reason for writing the song. I rarely write purely entertaining songs. I don’t think they find a place in a festival of this kind.

“Il-Malti”, to which you composed the music, and created the lyrics to, 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?

This song was conceived as a linguistic comment on the beauty and utility of the Maltese language, our national tongue. We don’t know what language the first inhabitants of these islands spoke. We do know that Malta was dominated for quite a long time by foreign powers and that Maltese was confined to the people. It was later to grow in stature and become a European language. So we should speak, learn, read, sing and use Maltese. It is our heritage. It makes us what we are. This is the message I would like to give in this song. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LiF1oGP_44s

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?

Songs with a social theme tend to be controversial. I think this is a valid contribution to our society.

Some people may not agree about my views on the Maltese language but  linguistically and historically I believe I am correct. Perhaps I will convince those who do not use our national tongue to use more our language.

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

Please, request songs from L-Għanja tal-Poplu to be played on local radios. Come and support the festival on the 21st of March.

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 five is Ana-Maria Grima, and her entry is entitled "Dawn L-Għajnejn", composed by Siobhan Vassallo, to the lyrics of Rita Attard.

For the most part, you are a relative newcomer to the music scene, despite having previously taken part in the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza and the Summer Hit Song Contest. What was the main reason behind your submission in L-Għanja tal-Poplu, and what experience do you bring from your previous experience in local competitions? 

I always had my eyes on l-Għanja tal-Poplu but this year specifically felt likeI was ready to submit the song Dawn l-Għajnejn that me and my friend Siobhan Vassallo (composer) and Rita Attard (author) had been working on this past year, also The reason behind this is that L-għanja tal-Poplu gives the opportunity to local musicians and singers to express themselves musically in Maltese.  Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza 2011, Summer Hit Song 2014 and being one of 48 semi-finalists for the Malta Eurovision 2015 definitely helped me getting noticed and it also helped in my confidence and it strengthen my artistic side  which i am  looking forward on showing my ability  on the final night of Għanja tal-Poplu.

“Dawn L-Għajnejn”, composed by Siobhan Vassallo, to the lyrics of Rita Attard 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 meaning behind this song is very close to my heart, and I decided to put amongst other topics my personal experience which defiantly helps in showing emotion and where people can relate very easily. The topics are very current like bullying, anoxia, bulimia   peer pressure self harm etc... It’s about a mother trying to persuade her daughter to see what she sees in her which is beauty, no matter what other people think of her.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3A0vZJ5oBgA

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?

I think as an artist I have the right to express my artistic side how I like it and people should open more and stop judging artists creativity unless it doesn’t hurt anyone I don’t see how it is a problem by having no filters.  I understand that the song can create challenges but i am aware of it, because i believe in my song and i have the right answers to defend my song if any controversy occurs 

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

Keep supporting local artists and thank you for showing your love and support.

Warrior”, composed by Elton Zarb, to the lyrics of Matthew Mercieca (Muxu) with vocals provided by Amber, has been given an extensive revamp, in preparation for the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, which is set to take place in Vienna, Austria on the 19th, 21st, 23rd of May 2015.

In a Press Conference, held at the Public Broadcasting Services (PBS) Creativity Hub, the female vocalist, Amber was visibly overcome with emotion, as she introduced the final product, which the gathered media had long been waiting for, in anticipation. The new version of the song, worked on by Manolito Galea, Elton Zarb, Gordon Bonello, Arturo Pellegrini and Kevin Abela, will be the final version, as sung in front of millions of people.

“Warrior” is about dealing with the difficult challenges in life, and having the strength to overcome obstacles. The preview video is extremely faithful to every word of the song as the interpretation represents the changing mood from negative to positive. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: tvm.com.mt/eurovision

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wevxW3l_tkg

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 four is Mark Cachia, and his entry is entitled "Waqt Li Qed Nitfi d-Dawl", a song which he wrote himself.

It seems that the popularity of the singer/songwriter is on the rise, following the success of international acts such as Ed Sheeran, and Sam Smith, noting that you are one of 6 competing in this year's edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu. What makes you stand out from the rest of the acts? 

I cannot fully answer this question as I have not heard any of the other songs yet, but I always write from my own experiences.  I believe that when a song is written from something which you have lived through it becomes more personal and thus makes the performance more special.

“Waqt Li Qed Nitfi d-Dawl”, to which you composed the music, and created the lyrics to, 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?

When we are at the end of a chapter in our life, we look back to the events which happened to bring this end.  We also look back at the happy moments, sad moments, regrets, etc…  My song finds a character exactly at the moment when he is about to leave and turn off the lights for the last time.  In the meantime all these thoughts come to mind, leaving this person satisfied but yet uncertain about what is going to happen next.  The song is a reflective ballad sung in the 1st person which takes the audience on a journey through the thoughts of this particular person.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UIazHp7kJk

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?

Songs have always been used as a means to carry a message.   L-Ghanja tal-Poplu has always provided authors a path to express themselves freely.  More than controversy I believe that most songs try to create awareness.  My entry lures the audience into a character’s mind and makes them aware of what his thoughts are. Therefore more than conrtoversy I would rather have the audience reflect on how they would feel should they find themselves in the situation that the song portays.

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

My message to your readers is to always support Maltese music as it is part of our heritage, culture and identity.  I also wouldn’t mind having more Maltese songs played on our local radio/tv stations.

'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.

Mark Tonna, a male singer/songwriter, who is considered a veteran of the local music scene, requires no introduction, having been a finalist in most national competitions; Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, L-Għanja tal-Poplu, The International Festival of Maltese Song, and the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. His most recent appearance, back in 2013, at the International Festival of Maltese Song, saw him finish in second place with the song "Poeta Bla Kliem", composed by Mark Scicluna to the lyrics of Emil Calleja Bayliss, missing out on victory by just a mere 3 points.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfDu1h-BOC8

The second guest on the show, is also a singer/songwriter, but a female one, and a pioneer in country music. I am referring to Marisa D'Amato, a former Malta Eurovision Song Contest participant, and a radio broadcaster, aiming to promote country music to the masses. The third and final guest for this week is Natius Farrugia, co-host of the Summer Hit Song Contest and also Mayor of Zurrieq. His love towards the local music scene and the Eurovision in general, has been well documented throughout the years, and as a result, has always been on the forefront of promoting artists who strive to succeed.

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qjD85ENl4PA

Back in November, following the successful duties as host nation of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, "Warrior" composed by Elton Zarb, to the lyrics of Matthew Mercieca (Muxu) with vocals provided by Amber, was selected as Malta's entry for the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest.

Since then, with the support of Arturo Pellegrini, Manolito Galea, Kevin Abela, Gordon Bonello and composer Elton Zarb, the music of the song has been re-worked, or rather strengthened, in order to give the song more depth. This brand new version, along with the accompanying music video will be officially launched on Monday 9th March at 16:00 CET at the Public Broadcasting Services (PBS) Creativity Hub.

In a first for Malta in recent years, the music video does not have an accompanying storyline, with the song being the sole focus, noting that every lyric was taken into consideration to assure that the graphic is fully representative. Given the fact that there were a lot of special effects, including items being smashed, most shots were taken with just one taken, with no manoeuver space. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: tvm.com.mt/eurovision

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hGz_EWYmzc

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 three is Jeffrey Scicluna, and his entry is entitled "Darbtejn Insiru Tfal", a song which he composed, to the lyrics of Rita Pace.

Jeffrey, it is fair to state that your partnership with Rita Pace has already bore fruit, having been on the receiving end of the 'Social Theme Award' at last year's edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu. Your entry "Il-Quċċata" was several critical acclaim by those present in the hall, and those watching at home. Do you feel daunted at the prospect of expectation, to improve on that result? 

It is always expected to do better in life not only in music. I always try to do my best in everything and everywhere and therefore always improve on my results. But sometimes it is not up to me! Other people’s judgements are not always the same as mine! Well! Rita and I were friends before we started writing and composing songs together. 

I am truly blessed not only with Rita but with all those who work with. Last year’s song ‘Il-Quccata’ went well with those present in the hall and others who listened to this song either on youtube or on other means of communications. The people know what the song meant and definitely it was, or rather is, the truth. Should I think that’s enough? NEVER! Our lives are a bunch of experiences which occurred and are still taking place in our daily lives. 

“Darbtejn Insiru Tfal” which you composed, to the lyrics of Rita Pace, 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?

This year’s genre is a bit different than last year’s. It has an unplugged style and I felt it very compatible with the festival Ghanja tal-Poplu. The subject is quite straight forward, at least! It focuses on the father’s different behaviours related with his son in contrast with his nephews and nieces. 

The discipline given to us by our fathers could have been quite harsh at times and that sometimes we couldn’t accept or agree on some of the issues. As soon as we become fathers and try the same manners our father did to us, it’s quite a different picture. Ironically our fathers don’t act the same way as they did with us but spoiling their nephews as if they are completely transformed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yCd1zSoE8K4

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?

I would say that if there is no controversy there is no point in doing this festival right away. Last year’s fantastic song “Jien ma Nahdimx” interpreted by a stunning performance given by Karen Debattista had loads of debates and controversy. Nevertheless some of the arguments were reasonable and factual. Some may have been off beam or rather speculative. 

But the thing is that many people listened to this song. And that is a very interesting point to keep in mind. People are human beings who feel, touch, talk, listen, think, breathe and go through experience in life. This year’s festival is just another experience which we could have lived or rather living through. Many songs this year focus on many aspects of life and everyday existence, not only in our country.

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

If you feel like giving up, just look back on how far you are already. The harder the struggle the more glorious the triumph. Hard work + Dreams + Dedication = SUCCESS

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Adq7vk8sgfc

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.

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 one is Joe George Micallef, and his entry bears the name "Illum Jien Pensjonant", a song which he composed with lyrics by Alfred C Sant.

Having been in the shadows of an extremely successful 12 months for your children, 4 members of the group Firelight, the Maltese ambassadors at the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest, how difficult is it to move into the spotlight, and identify with a younger audience? 

I have been in showbiz for a long time (over half a century) and i will always be till my last breath. Entertainment is something i love, it does not matter to me whether it's a younger or a mature audience, as long as it's a good audience, because sometimes you get an audience like a brick wall, but still, you do not know who is out there, so you have to give your best. 

Yes my kids had a very good year, and my wife and I are very very proud of them all. They all have a talent in their own right, and I love to do a concert with them with all our original songs because between us we can make a quadriple album, because we are always recording stuff for ourselves and others, I think Wayne is a fantastic recording engineer and a good teacher as well because he's always showing me tricks for my recordings. So you see, i have never been in the shadow BUT a part of them and I love it ...

“Illum Jien Pensjonant”, which you composed, to the lyrics of Alfred C Sant 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?

Alfred.C.Sant is a great lyric writer and i love being involve with the songs we write together, plus I consider him as a partner and a very good close friend.

The song (“Illum Jien Pensjonant”) is about  the chapters in our lives. Starting from when you are a baby, then become a teenager, then you get married and have children, well, the song is about me personally (plus other pensioners) where in this chapter I am a pensioner and i am saying it all, I thank GOD for giving me  such a good life, while my life fades away. The genre of the song is a happy one i think it will go down well with the maltese because i am sure i will be connecting to the audience with this one, like “Il-Kuġin Ġiljan”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdfwoEYtj1Q

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?

I respect all the ones involved in this festival, because first of all, they are all volunteers and they are doing a great job to keep the maltese songs heard for a long,long time. L-Għanja tal-Poplu  is a great festival for local songwriters, musicians because it will be live, each song will be played live with all their individual musicians, something which is very hard to organize, and after all this. 

it's a shame for some radio presenters that they do not appreciate all this, i get very angry when they do not play maltese songs as much as they will play other international songs. There should be a law in Malta where all programmes on the radio and television will have a percentage of maltese songs being played every hour of the day. Otherwise how are they ever gonna be popular.

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

What I like to say to your readers is come and join us and have some fun, because we are gonna take you to a journey full of musical maltese talent festival. I hope L-Għanja tal-Poplu will go on for a long time. On behalf all the singers and myself, and all the musicians that are gonna be involved in this fantastic friendly maltese festival, I would like to thank all the members of the organising committee. Always respect Maltese artists, that's all they want from all of the public. Hope to see you there xxx

On the 11th January 2015, in her capacity as Director of La Voix Academy, Gillian Attard confirmed the acquisition of exclusive rights to partake in “Una Stella Sta Nascendo”. Several students put their name forward, and the aforementioned singer/songwriter/coach is proud to reveal that a total of 23 vocalists got through to the final stage of the competition, organised by SKY Italia.

"I am literally over the moon with excitement, because I know how much each and every student put their heart and soul into their audition", stated a visibly emotional Gillian Attard upon learning the names of the students which got through to the final phase, adding that she 'hopes that they learn from this experience'.

  • Krista Calleja
  • Rachel Lowell
  • Kelsey Farrugia
  • Emma Muscat
  • Cherylis 
  • Kelsey Bellante
  • Sarah Micallef Muscat
  • Loredana & Albert Lauren Agius
  • Rutger Scicluna Galea
  • Mikhail Attard
  • Nicola (Nikki) Saliba
  • Sidney Rose Henwood
  • Miguel Bonello & Ethan Attard
  • Sara Micallef & Martina Cassar
  • Giorgia Borg
  • Lisa Gauci
  • Gianluca Cilia
  • Kassidy Calleja
  • Kelsie Borg & Kiana Fenech

Gaia Cauchi, winner of the "Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2013", Federica Falzon, winner of "Ti Lascio Una Canzone 2014", Shauna Vassallo & Veronica Rotin, finalists of "Io Canto 2013", Christina Magrin & Maxine Pace, winners of "Una Stella Sta Nascendo 2014" are all successful alumni of La Voix Academy. 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: La Voix Academy

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Po37Sv2Tyk4