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Sunday, 16 June 2013 23:00

Malta: Bring Back the Festival Kanzunetta Maltija

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Songs in Maltese are well received by the public and some of the all time classics in Maltese are commonly requested on the local airwaves. As time went by though the opportunities of releasing new material in Maltese faded slowly. Things took a turn for the worse, when back in 2002 the last edition of the Festival Kanzunetta Maltija took place. This festival was popular with artists across the border and year after year, every one used to be looking forward for another year of celebration of talent and Maltese music. Although in a competitive spirit, a lot of composers, authors and singers saw this as an opportunity to share their music, share their thoughts and their talents.

The festival used to attract the most popular singers on the island, even those who had represented Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest. The festival was seen prestigious and taking part in such competition was every artists dream – one can dare say it was seen almost as prestigious as the Song for Europe back then. The Maltese language is beautiful in itself and when sung the sound produced it surely magical, the composers and lyricists put in a lot of work in making sure that the melody, the words, the voice as well as the arrangement come together to create the perfect sound. One can say that everyone used to put in that extra effort to make the finals of the prestigious event.

Nowadays, the two main competitions in Maltese are L-Għanja Tal-Poplu and the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza. The former is seen as a festival amongst friends with the singers accompnied live by musicians and although this is a great intiative some artists feel discouraged to participate in such an event whilst the composers and authors are also limited in submitting only three songs which once again limits the amount of submissions. The festival though has seen an increase in popularity but not as much as one would hope for. Whilst the latter, is organized under the helm of a political party and songs with a political message in hindsight seem to do well in it – this again discourages some participants.

So the Festival Kanzunetta Maltija was seen as the only netural festival which attracted attention across all borders  and the fact that it was shown on TVM and had the backing of the government ensured the neutrality of such a competition. The festival used to bring a number of opportunities itself and helped in regards to networking within the music field both on a local level and also on an international level. Apart from that the festival itself served as a launching pad for a number of artists and since it was always seen in high regard, this was the perfect platform to launch your career. It was simple, if you’re made the finals here, you can compete with the very best within the Maltese industry.

Rumours have been going round for quite sometime that the festival is going to make a  return and a number of composers, authors and singers have pressured different entities for the festival to return. In fact, close sources to revealed to us that  last year two different entities were looking into reviving the festival but sadly both fell through. It has come to a point, that if this prestigious festival is going to make a return is has to be now or never, with a new government in the country, one would expect that its return is more possible then before but thus far nothing have been mentioned. Maybe late this year or early next year, we manage to see the revival of such festival, if not, sadly I can bid adieu to a festival which gave birth to some of the most beautiful songs in Maltese in recent years.

Last modified on Sunday, 16 June 2013 22:56