March 23, 2019

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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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4v0dPFgrFM

Published in L-Għanja Tal-Poplu

On Saturday 26th September, the 6th edition of the Summer Hit Song Contest took place at the City Theatre in Valletta, signalling the beginning of a new trend for the European Capital City of Culture 2018, with two (2) events in a short space of three (3) weeks occurring just a couple of metres away from one another.

The local competition, featuring a total of 20 participating entries, 19 of which qualified on merit, and 1 which won the right to compete following the triumph in last years' tele-voting, all competed for six (6) different trophies; 1st, 2nd, 3rd as chosen by the professional jury, 1st in the Duet Phase, first 1st in the Maltese Song Phase, and 1st in tele-voting.

Hosted by Deo Grech, under the hospices of F Living Channel, who will be airing the competition on Saturday 3rd October at 8:30 pm, the event went without a hitch, noting that each participant gave his utmost on the stage, rewarding the audience present with an eventful evening. The professional members of the jury was made up of; Norman Cristina, Josephine Ebejer Grech, Natasha Turner, and Rosman Pace, all of whom have a background in music, whether in composition or lyrics.

Televoting Award: "Dangerous" (Elton Zarb / Matt 'Muxu' Mercieca) - Jillianne Camilleri

Best Duet: "Bounce Back" (Renato Briffa / Emil Calleja Bayliss) - Michela Galea & Janvil

Best Maltese Song: "Għanja" (Walter Vella / Mark Attard / Joe Julian Farrugia) - Michela Galea

3rd Place: "Amour" (Philip Vella) - Danica Muscat

2nd Place: "Bounce Back" (Renato Briffa / Emil Calleja Bayliss) - Michela Galea

1st Place: "Tabula Rasa" (Augusto Cardinali / Julie Pomorski / Giovann Attard) - Julie Pomorski

On behalf of the editorial team at escflashmalta.com, we would like to congratulate the winners circle, as well as the other 16 participants who made this year's edition of the Summer Hit Song Contest a memorable one. A round of applause also for the organising committee, led by Deo Grech, as well as F Living Channel namely, Karl and Romina Bonaci for their continuous support. Stay tuned to this portal even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the local music scene.

Source: F Living, escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogF_31y9Wdg

Tuesday, 17 March 2015 23:43

GħTP 2015: Interview with Simone Gauci

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 the full version of each respective entry in contention. Act number thirteen is Simone Gauci, whose song "Pjan" is written by Ingrid Vella, and composed by Augusto Cardinali.

Simone Gauci, a two-time L-Għanja tal-Poplu, two-time Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, and one-time Summer Hit Song Contest participant is quickly becoming a regular face on the scene. How does each experience correlate to the other, and how do you prepare for each competition?

Each musical experience is different in its own merit and I always cherish each festival because I learn something new from every experience, while enjoying music.

“Pjan”, composed by Augusto Cardinali, with lyrics by Ingrid Vella is the song that you will be presenting in this year’s edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu. Would you care to explain the meaning behind the lyrics and the genre that the song encompasses?

“Pjan” is a song that juxtaposes two different plans: the first plan built castles in the air, and the second one came into being out of the blue. The first portrays a loving couple that has long PLANNED to have children, but now cannot. The second one refers to UNPLANNED pregnancies that sometimes end up in the abortion of innocent lives.

Our song speaks mostly of the pain endured by victims of the first plan (couples who cannot bear children), because the victims of the second plan (aborted babies) are voiceless. They don’t even have a name, they’re just a number. So, all we can do, to give them some voice, is count them. And this is what we have done in our song… we have a statistical counter for the number of worldwide abortions that take place along the duration of the song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76623oPzXGA

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?

Yes, definitely. If not oblivious, people tend to be sympathetic with infertile couples. On the other hand, abortion is a topic of much debate. Some people are totally against abortion, and some think that there should be a right to legal abortion. 

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

Thank you very much for following my interview and for your continuous support and encouragement; it means a real lot  :)

Published in Interviews

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.

Published in Local Music News

L-Għanja tal-Poplu, a local music competition, known to breathe life into the music industry, officially takes on a new dimension as of today, as 16 entries out of the original 105 submissions, will be part of the 39th edition of the competition. It has been a rigorous selection process, involving 5 professional jury members, whose first task was to shortlist the best 35, out of which they had to bring down by half, once more.

As a music competition, L-Għanja tal-Poplu prides itself with presenting the song-titles, composers and authors first, prior to making an announcement with the respective performer of the song. This is due to the fact that the singer could be altered from the demo version to the final version, as stipulated by the rules and regulations issued by the organising committee. The names of the artists will be confirmed in the coming hours. 

Battibekk – Rita Pace (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Paul Attard, Rita Pace)

Bit-Tlikki Tlikki - Christabelle Curmi (Clifton Casha, Carmel Dalli)

Ċans Ieħor - Raquel Galdes (Daniel Paul Farrugia, Norbert Borg)

'Charlie' l-Artist – Michela Dalli (Rita Attard, Andrew Zahra)

Darbtejn Insiru Tfal - Jeffrey Scicluna (Rita Pace, Jeffrey Scicluna)

Dawn l-Għajnejn - Ana Maria Grima (Rita Attard, Siobhan Vassallo)

Fejn Marru t-Tfal? - Michela Galea (Rita Pace, Renato Briffa)

Ġismi - Ecca u Pell (Mark Pellicano, Matthew Pellicano)

Illum Jien Pensjonant - Joe George Micallef (Alfred C. Sant, Joe George Micallef)

Il-Lupu Li Tarah Hi Biss - Denise Spiteri (Mark Laurence Zammit)

Il-Malti - Mario Debono (Mario Debono)

L-Għawdxija - Ta' Verna Folk Band (Augusto Cardinali)

Min Taħseb li Int? - Teddie Zammit (Teddie Zammit)

Niftakarna - Abstract Acoustic Duo (Gabriel Cassar)

Pjan – Simone Gauci (Ingrid Vella, Augusto Cardinali)

Waqt li Qed Nitfi d-Dawl - Mark Cachia (Mark Cachia)

The 39th edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu will be taking place on the 21st March 2015, within the Sir Temi Żammit Hall at the University of Malta. The renowned local music competition not only promotes Maltese as a main language, but delves into the social theme element, hoping to raise awareness about several worldly topics. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about L-Għanja tal-Poplu 2015.

Source: L-Għanja tal-Poplu (Official Facebook)

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

Published in L-Għanja Tal-Poplu

On the 21st March 2015,  Sir Temi Żammit Hall within the University of Malta will be playing host to the 39th edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu, a renowned local music competition, which not only promotes Maltese as a main language, but delves into the social theme element, hoping to raise awareness about several wordly topics.

During the years, the competition has been known to kickstart the careers of many performers, and as a result, escflashmalta.com has decided to speak to 3 vocalists, who went onto reach the live stages of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest following their victory in L-Għanja tal-Poplu. First off is none other than Julie Pomorski, a relatively young performer whose triumph with the song "Żewġ Qagħqiet" written by Augusto Cardinali came back in 2005.

In 2005, Julie Pomorski emerged onto the local music scene, entering a first major competition, L-Għanja tal-Poplu, coming out triumphant with Żewġ Qagħqiet, written by Augusto Cardinali. Looking back, did you anticipate such an outcome?

I definatley did not! In fact we had submitted the song the year before and it wasn’t selected as a finalist! Funnily enough, we ended up winning the contest! I was quite tense that day as I’m not a ‘festival’ singer and there were many professional artists competing with me and I was still quite young. However, I think that it was a very good acchievment, maily because people still know me as ‘Julie taz- Żewġ Qagħqiet’ and people still request this song everywhere I go to perform after 10 years!

12 months later, you found out that you had made it through to the semi-final of the 2007 Malta Song for Europe with the song Look At Me, written by Philip Vella. What message did the song try to convey and who came up with the idea of that famous swing?

Well, Philip Vella wanted to write a song for me with a sweet ballad in mind. Consequently, he wanted me to look young and ‘Disney-princess-like’ on stage and I wanted to have the swing on stage. However I wanted proper swing going down from the top of the stage (similar to Moulin Rouge).. however we didn’t have the means to fix it. 

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

It is fair to say that in recent years, you have been relatively quiet, with regards to participating in music competitions, making a much anticipated comeback in the 2012 Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza with Għidli Int, written by Augusto Cardinali. Have other things in your life taken precedence over music?

No not really, I was performing quite a lot with Etnika during this ‘missing-from-the-scene’ period. I was also studying to be a Kindergarten assistant while working from home as a Vocal coach. In 2010 I moved to Norway for a year and when I came back i started working with very long hours, so it was nearly impossible for me to focus on my career.  

To be honest I am not a huge fan of singing-competitions but unfortunately for me, Maltese people love them. Thus, I made this ‘come back’ with a Maltese song that meant a lot to me, as I am passionate about the cure of drug addiction. 

In 2014, you took part in the Summer Hit Song Contest with Shout!, written by Dominic Cini and Rita Pace. This was the first original song in English since Shades of Memories, written by Johann Schembri, which you took part with in the 2009 Malta Hit Song Contest. What was the reason behind the submission, and how would you describe the experience?

Well, I took this festival very lightly as it was more of a way to boost my popularity with the public. Deo Grech and the fLiving team did a superb festival, filled with opportunities for us singers to be properly promoted. I think that all in all, it was THE festival that I had most fun in! The contestants were so warm and friendly, and it was more of a show for us rather than a competition. In fact, I am thinking about submitting another song  this year!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GeHzG8ZDImc

Professional personnel in the music industry denote L-Għanja tal-Poplu as to being the longest running competition which promotes original songs in Maltese. Would you consider making a return, and what advice would you give to those wishing to take part?

Well I would like to return to this festival; however I didn’t come across a ‘good enough’ song to perform with. I would also like to write my next Maltese song. 

I think that the advice for any artist is that if they are willing to compete in any festival; if you truly believe in a music piece, make it a point to bring it out to the world :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jpsih9Z_whM

At the end of the year, projects and ideas start to come to mind, due to some initial planning. Do you have any which you would like to go through in 2015, and could you reveal some of them?

Well I am currently setting up my own Facebook page and I am also working on something good to come out this Summer....stay tuned!

Would you like to say anything to the readers of escflashmalta.com?

If you’re reading this interview than THANK YOU for showing interest in the Maltese music industry!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=STbDFQZq9uM

Published in Interviews

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. Janvil and Hooligan are the thirteenth act and they will be performing the song Mikrokożmu composed by Augusto Cardinali to the lyrics of Giovann Attard.

Without a shadow of doubt, both the names Janvil and Hooligan are known with the public for many reasons. Janvil is more associated with the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and people will definitely remember Hooligan with his summer debut song Originali Bħali which was a huge hit on the Maltese airwaves. Prior to this collaboration for the International Festival of Maltese Song, were there any plans to take part in a local competition together and if not, how did this particular song come about?

As Such we have another song, “You” as mostly known, which Hooligan showed the interest to Mix again with the New Title “Whom you With” from the latest MMA winning Album. Original plans were to collaborate together surely not for festivals though opportunity came up and Happily enough Hooligan excepted for the first time.

The public have always seen Janvil and Hooligan as solo artists. Both of you have participated in festivals, albeit maybe the former more than the latter but nevertheless, how do you prepare for each showcase as individuals and what do you intend to achieve with this performance?

In fact I’m guiding hooligan through this as it’s his first time and had no idea what a festival takes. Obviously this is just a part of our venture as we are working on some other materials to be released in the Future.

When the International Festival of Maltese Song is mentioned, one might think of ballad or up-tempo songs, but with this collaboration, featuring the roaries twenties and a hint of rap, all in Maltese, makes it truly an intriguing entry. How was the groundwork for the melody laid out and could you take us through the creation process? 

The Composer Augusto Cardinali and Author Giovann attard believes a lot in this genre when it come to writing me songs including myself. As one can notice that this style is in again and in my opinion is always in fashion like flowers in bathrooms we thought of having a newly modern production and that is where we thought of introducing Hooligan. So it’s nonsense when we say that Maltese songs are always same style with some ideas work and good production will have the right recipe.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUlds6_BIVE

In this years’ edition of the International Festival of Maltese Song, you are presenting a track entitled Mikrokożmu composed by Augusto Cardinali to the lyrics of Giovann Attard. Would you care to explain the meaning behind the lyrics and the genre that the song encompasses?

The song explains that although Malta is small and limited it offers a lot what we can find in most places that the Maltese roam. Like Mixing Vegas and Dubai we have Valletta and sliema or Paceville. This is all captured in a retro beat and Rap.

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?

Surely in my opinion it should be the premium on all local festivals.

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

First of all I would like to thank Organizers for this wonderful event. Looking so forward to it. Secondly I would like to thank all programmes who invited us to promote our songs last but not least for Escflashmalta for supporting local talent all the way. Thanks for your hard work and responsibilities; one must say not an easy job! Welldone! One last thing is that hopefully not like other times that songs will die after the festival. Please keep them Alive!

Published in Interviews

In 2005, Janvil was a debutante within the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, competing with the track You composed by Augusto Cardinali with lyrics by Giovann Attard. At the end of the voting, he found himself in the second runner-up slot behind eventual winner, Chiara and her self-penned Angel and future representative, Olivia Lewis with the track Deja Vu composed by Philip Vella to the lyrics of Gerard James Borg. Since then, Janvil has established himself as a leading figure in the industry, going onto reach the finals of the selection process on four more occasions, the last being in 2012 with the song You Are My Life written by George Platon.

We are in an exclusive position to reveal that Janvil will indeed be putting his name forward for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2014 with the hope of winning that coveted international ticket. In recent months, the male vocalist has been very much working on his image and those who have seen any of his performances on television, could very much agree. It seems that routines will be very much part of the spectacle should he make it through to the semi-final and eventually the final stage of the competition. The Public Broadcasting Services will be receiving entries for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2014 on the 30th and 31st October at the Creativity Hub in Gwardamangia. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more exclusive news.

Source: escflashmalta.com, Bibi Cam

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6SjVxRO2TI

Published in Local Music News

escflashmalta.com is proud to announce that the organisers behind the International Festival of Maltese Song have devised a running order which accentuates the features of each entry. This competition is returning to the local music scene following an absence of eleven years and in theory and fact becomes the third song competition to promote Maltese as a national language through the medium of song. A total of fourteen (14) entries made it through the initial judging phases including artists who have been a part of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest on a couple of occasions, apart from even being at the Eurovision Song Contest. There will be a series of awards given on the night of the competition and therefore, all will be hoping to give their all.

The International Festival of Maltese Song is taking place at the Mediterranean Conference Centre on Saturday, 9th November 2013. Tickets for the event can be obtained from the venue booking office as from today, and have been reasonably priced in order to accomodate to everyone's needs. The competition is set to kick off at 19:30 CET with fourteen (14) local artists and fourteen (14) foreign artists taking to the main stage. The editorial board of escflashmalta.com would like to encourage everyone who has music close to their heart to attend the International Festival of Maltese Song and support this venture as it was supported when it was the jewel of the music industry.

Paċi Sovrana - Donna (Donna Marie Ellul)

Kuraġġ - Geordie (Philip Vella / Joe Chircop)

Għadek Tgħix - Fiona (Renato Briffa / Mark Amaira)

Poeta Bla Kliem - Mark Tonna (Mark Scicluna / Emil Calleja Bayliss)

Ħolma - Lyann Iles (Paul Abela / Lyann Iles)

Raġġ ta' Tama' - Christian (Philip Vella / Cher Vella)

Sinjali - Bernice (Renato Briffa / Rita Pace)

Mikrokożmu - Janvil & Hooligan (Augusto Cardinali / Giovann Attard)

Din Jien - Dorcas (Minik / Rita Pace)

Solitaire - Dario & Grecia (Dario Bezzina / Rita Pace)

Hawn mill-Ġdid - Olivia Lewis (Paul Abela / Joe Julian Farrugia)

Passi Fir-Ramel - Domenique (Philip Vella / Mark Amaira)

Inti mill-Ġdid - Roger Tirazona (Paul Abela / Joe Julian Farrugia)

Stejjer - Miriam Christine (Andrew Zahra / Joe Julian Farrugia)

The organising committee is made up of Chairperson Mrs Josette Grech Hamilton, Deputy chairperson Mr Ignatius Farrugia, Executive Secretary Mr Robert Cefai, Public Relations Officer & Media Relations Mr Deo Grech, Festival Coordinator Mr Ray Falzon, Hospitality Coordinator Ms Simone Bugeja and Technical Coordinator Mr Pierre Cachia. Mr Norman Hamilton serves as the artistic consultant, Mr Anton Attard as the technical consultant on behalf of PBS and Maestro Sigmund Mifsud as the musical consultant. The International Festival of the Maltese Song is organised under the auspices of the Parliamentary Secretary for Culture and Local Councils, Hon. Dr. J. Herrera in collaboration with the World Association of Festival organisers and Artists. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: International Festival of Maltese Song Committee

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0eHLrhhucI

Published in Local Music News

Francesco Catania, one of the individuals who has no background within the local music industry apart from singing a couple of cover versions on the hit television series, Deja Vu which follows a series of upcoming teenagers and their respective problems. This is his first foray in a competition and what a debut, making it through to the established category of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza with a song entitled Magħqudin composed by Ludwig Galea with lyrics by Augusto Cardinali. Just below, five questions have been asked by the editorial board of escflashmalta.com in order for you to get to know Francesco a little bit better both through his love of music and acting. 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 Francesco, they stated that they 'can see the effort but unfortunately, the phrasing lets it down completely' offering just four (4) points.

Francesco, this is your first foray into the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza or rather to be precise, the beginning of a brand new career within the local music scene. Nevertheless, the audience have already had the opportunity to see you on television on a number of occasions, having had a lead role in the television drama series Déjà vu which aired on NET Television during the course of the autumn/winter schedule. The differences between acting and singing are very much oblivious for the public to see but considering that you have sought to combine them together, how easier is it for you to face a crowd?

Facing a crowd is never easy - and the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza is known for its massive crowd at the Granaries. As you mentioned above, this is my first appearance in this festival, actually this is my first performance ever infront of such a crowd. The most important thing is not to let your nerves get the best of you I guess. 

Magħqudin, composed by Ludwig Galea with lyrics provided by Augusto Cardinali is the entry that you will be performing in this years’ edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza and by virtue of performing in the fourth slot, you will also be the first male soloist on the evening. In recent weeks, you have been compared to vocal powerhouse, Mike Spiteri due to the hoarse and strong vocal promise you have been known to exude. The track in itself is giving you the chance to show your full range but would you care to comment on the message behind the song as well as the vocal comparison?

Basically the song is about hope and friendship. When the road gets tough one must not give up - as we all know, it won't rain all the time. With the understanding and support of others, (friends and family), we can face and solve the majority of our problems. Regarding the vocal comparison with Mr. Spiteri; well, being compared to one of Malta's all-time best is such an honour. Have to say that Mr. Spiteri inspired me a lot, although I have to work hard to reach his vocal levels.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iphynx9GgB8

During the course of the past year, Francesco as a leading figure on the television series also had the opportunity to appear on the talent show Don’t Stop Me Now hosted by Eileen Montesin on NET Television during the past summer schedule. The programme which gave rise to the wonderful talent of Franklin Calleja saw fit to introduce you as one of the artists who performed duets on a weekly basis. Would you please tell us about this experience where you managed to help hone some of the musical prowess that will reflect on the local music scene in the future?

It was my first time singing live on television, and to be quite honest I used to be really excited because it was also a new experience for me as well. Have to say that Don't Stop Me Now was a great journey for all of us. As we all know, this programme provided to the local music scene some very good young talent, throughout these past 3 years! 

The male to female ratio in the local music scene has somewhat been extremely tilted towards the latter despite the overwhelming success of the former at least when it comes to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. Prior to the victory of Mike Spiteri in 2011, the last male soloist to finish at the very top of the scoreboard was none other than Lawrence Gray back in 2002. Why do you think that the professional jury has opted in selecting female winners across the years when Malta has been represented by three consecutive men on a foreign platform?

Well, I don't actually know what goes through the jury's head but I think it all goes down to the song and the actual performance. Basically, between there were more females who had done a better performance and had a better song than males...I guess. 

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

I would like to thank everyone for their support, have a great summer - or whatever's left of it, and let's all meet in September at the Granaries for a great show!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YCpl697IxA

Published in Interviews
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