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On the 15th March, Sir Temi Żammit Hall played host to the 38th edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu, a revitalised music competition for which there were a total of seventy-one (71) submissions, sixteen (16) of which were presented to the audience present in the venue and at home with ONE Television broadcasting the event directly in real-time. Josephine Ebejer Grech & Clint Bajada presided over the competition as hosts, not only introducing the song title, artists and songwriters but even the musicians on stage, something which was innovative and well planned. Supported by the Malta Arts Fund and Fondazzjoni Ċelebrazzjonijiet Nazzjonali, it was truly an evening to remember.

David Aloisio, Vince Fabri, Rosabelle Bianchi, Eric Montfort, Elaine Falzon, Kevin Farrugia, Maria Abdilla and David Azzopardi were the professional panel of judges for the competition and they selected a worthy bunch of winners, all of which were mentioned by the public present during several points throughout the evening. Nevertheless, it seems like the jury and the public agreed greatly on the winning entry Jien Ma Naħdimx with music by Mark Scicluna, lyrics by Rita Pace and vocals by songbird, Karen DeBattista. In second place was the comical upbeat song about social media entitled Kif Xrobtuli l-Menti, written by Frank O'Neill, who performed it with Christabelle Curmi and Il-Lajks, leaving in third place a soft beautiful ballad entitled Wara l-Kanċell penned by Joe Julian Farrugia to the music of Miriam Christine who also performed the song in a duet with Olivia Lewis.

In the meantime, this competition is known to award a number of other trophies, in order to point out the exceptional quality of talent that Malta is known to have. Christian Arding was awarded with the Best Interpretation for his entry Il-Karba tal-Mument composed by Chan Vella to the lyrics of Kevin Tanti whilst Denise Spiteri was given the Best New Artist accolade for her stunning performance of Pupa written by Mark Laurence Zammit. The coveted Social Theme award which is given to the lyricist who challenges the stereotype and comes up with a brilliant all around combination went to Rita Pace for the wonderful Il-Quċċata which she wrote to the music of Jeffrey Scicluna, performed by 7 Spadi leaving only the singer/songwriter award which went for the aforementioned Frank O'Neill.

We would like to thank the organising committee of L-Għanja tal-Poplu for their fantastic support throughout these past couple of weeks, giving us the opportunity to speak to the artists, and making the songs available beforehand, giving the event positive publicity. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news about the local music scene and participation in the Eurovision Song Contest as soon as it becomes available.

Source: Official Website, Official Facebook Page

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

Published in L-Għanja Tal-Poplu
Saturday, 15 March 2014 18:00

Malta: L-Għanja tal-Poplu 2014 - LIVE

Il-Lejl it-Tajjeb! On the 3rd February, the organising committee of L-Għanja tal-Poplu released the song titles and the names of the songwriters of each of the sixteen (16) qualifiers. It was also announced that seventy-one (71) submissions were received, the highest since its return to the local music scene a couple of years ago, denoting that the changes made to the competition have been appreciated by artists, songwriters and producers alike.

In the past of days, escflashmalta.com had the opportunity to speak to almost all of the finalists in a series of interviews published under the logo acronym GħTP. It was a scintillating experience, and one got to know more about the artists, and the songs they are presenting in the competition. For the very first time in a relatively long period of time, the event hosted by Josephine Ebejer Grech and Clint Bajada will be airing LIVE on ONE Television as from 20:15 CET, and therefore we thought it best to cover the proceedings as they occur in a song-by-song account. Those who wish to view the event on internet may also do so through the official website of the private broadcaster, ONE Television.

The Show (Part 1)

Il-Lejla t-tajba. We kick off the show with the choir of the night! It is a colourful mixture of kids and young singers. What a pleasant energy they are radiating! It is a medley comprising of succesful songs from past editions such as Wellidni and It-Tfal tal-lum.  

Clint and Josephine now appear on stage opening the 38th edition of this festival, thanking main sponsors and contributors. Moreover, Clint encourages all present and those watching to sit back and relax, enoy such a very relaxing show, which has a history of being very calm and enjoyable! 
 

Running Order

01. Mara - Marie Claire Attard Bason (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Andrew Zammit)

The very first song is a relatively powerful one. It's a celebration of the power of women and the music blends really well with the message of the song, uttered by the woman narrating abuse and lack of respect from others, mainly from her male counterparts. Attard Bason looks very confident and on stage there are 8 people, two of them backing vocalists but the attention is still on the singer. The determination and consciousness of the woman narrating her past and today's courage are marked very well on her face and in the firmness of her voice! An absolutely great entry! 

02. Il-Quċċata – 7 Spadi (Rita Pace, Jeffrey Scicluna)

The first male singer for the night and he seems very sure of what he is singing about and the anger for that someone that is corrupt and doing what he used to complain about is very evident in his voice! It's like he is telling him off in reality! The chorus is quite catchy and basically delivers a good lesson to those who are ready to do anything to garner power despite the harm they might inflict on others! The title of the song itself represents this fight for power. It's quite a good entry and I would love to listen to it once again! A job well done.  

03. Numri - Estelle Fenech Imbroll (Paul Attard, Mark Scicluna)

Estelle looks very elegant and delicate but there's something in her first moves that tell me she's a bit anxious, the first singer to make me think about this. But she now settles down and focuses on her emotions, looking very pensive and nervous, narrating a difficult life of vice and vicious circles going into one another. The atmosphere on stage is absolutely adequate for this song and the blue is very calm. "Ħajti vojta jekk ma nissugrax" champions the prevalent theme of abuse and harshness of life for this festival. This is a very emotional song delivered by a charming lady doing justice to her song! Thumbs up Estelle!

04. Rutina – Tmien Ħabbiet (Jonathan Laferla, Charlie Bonnici)

  Rutina, sung by Tmien Ħabbiet kicks off with a very systematic rythm which am not sure whether is running in some bad order. It does not convince me at times and the singing does not really blend will with the  lyrics. The voices too, they do not mix really pleasantly either but i DO like the kind of interval in singing for "Hawn Sabiħa!". It's quite authentic. Listening to this once is enough I think. 

05. Kif Xrobbtuli l-Menti - Frank O'Neill, Christabelle Curmi u l-Likes (Frank O'Neill) 

This is a very avantegarde song making use of a huge number of words recently doing their way into the Maltese parlance, such as wajers, plajers and the very popular STESSU. Frank's hat is quite original and Christabelle's facial expressions are absolutely flawless, accompanying the lyrics . The band resembling that of the village festa is quite authentic as well! Great! Not amongst my favourite but I did enjoy this! 

06. Il-Karba tal-Mument - Christian Arding (Kevin Tanti, Chan Vella)

Christian appears on piano in a very quite and calm posture. He is well focused and lets the words out very pleasantly but also in a strong voice, narrating the unfortunate destiny of a lonely individual lacking parents' affection. However, this atmosphere ought to be consolidated by everyone on stage and no just the singer! One of the guitarist strangely smiles a bit too much and it really did not go down well with me! Another one about the negatives of life! This is well expected in this festival! I like this!

07. Fejn Huma? - Daniel Borg (George Cassar, Daniel Borg)

 Wow! This song begins without the music and it allows all attention on the words and his manner of delivery is like a very casual daily conversation! Interjections such as "Illaħwa"  and "illistrina" turn this song into a relevant message accompanied by music, making reference to recent issues that on a national basis made it to the headlines quite a number of times, such as the Mistra issue. The theme is quite common but it has been transformed quite well and this stands out: "Malta fittex erġa' ejja lura għal li kont"! If only this becomes true! Brilliant!

08. Jien Ma Naħdimx - Karen DeBattista (Rita Pace, Mark Scicluna)

Another elegant singer! Karen has something in her eyes giving power to this fragile female housewife, and she too seems quiet. The lyrics make me go nuts literally for they kind of support the stereotype rather than try and challenge it but the hell with this! I like this song, I like the singer and also the fact that the audience goes clapping in the midst of it! "Jien ma naħdimx imma ma nieqaf qatt", ok it does not challenge the stereotype but it does give us a clear indication of the pity reality many women are living in nowadays! Amazing song, amazing stage setting and choice of everything really! Kudos Karen! To the top three she must go!

09. Immigrant Regolari - Teddie Zammit (Rita Pace, Teddie Zammit)

What strikes me most is the energy that Mark Lawrence is radiating! He seems so passionate playing the piano. Teddie with quite an emotion narrates the life in transition of a migrating bird  and it does remind me of the fate of human immigrants but it really does not stand out, except for the last bit, whereby the music changes course. Still, does not impress me.

10. Pupa - Denise Spiteri (Mark Laurence Zammit)

Denise to me appears like a younger Corazon, delivering a very strong interpretation of her song! I like all the energy and the control she has on her voice. Simply calm and pleasant! Thumbs up to this too!

11. Il-Bamboċċu, Il-Bambinu u l-Budaj - Frans Casha (Frans Casha)

And off we go to a year or two back. Something went wrong but we're now back on track and the song kicked off as expected seconds later. This might seem old fashioned, considering all songs preceding it and looking at the backing vocaist wearing a traditioanlly Maltese dress and head piece but it does make us think of the prevalent music of the past. The dominant colour on stage is red and White, a strong link to the Maltese flag and identity. Frans Casha is accompanied by a female voice which blends quite well but does not blend quite well all the energy of the the young man behind him on the synthesizer. Frans's calmness contrasts quite well with all his head movements! It does not do justice really! A very average entry.

12. Wara l-Kanċell - Miriam Christine u Olivia Lewis (J J Farrugia, Miriam Christine)

Miriam Christine starts off the song playing the piano and she immediately immerses us in their mysterious world. Olivia is on the other hand standing in centre stage and their voices are kind of AMAZING! They perfectly accompany each other without any faults! Olivia delivers the song firmly and Miriam Christine is all focused on the playing and her singing! It's quite a breathtaking entry! I really do not want this to reach its final seconds! They have the perfect pronounciation and synchronisation! Ought to WIN. 

13. BħalGħasfura - Mario Debono (Mario Debono)

Do not know wheter David Azzopardi with his Pastizzi chant or the Greenfields have taken over the stage but Mario is managing to make me sing to his tune! It's quite a relaxing song but I would have preferred him singing alone rather than along the backing vocalist! The melody is quite enjoyable too. This probably will be forgotten very soon. 

14. Djarju ta' Tifkiriet - Simone Gauci (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Mark Spiteri Lucas)

Simone seems very focused and all serious but then she breaks into a very sweet smile and her emotion follows the lyrics! She delivers her song with a delicate passion that is convincing. The chorus is absolutely fascinating, magical I dare say, it's flowing pace is quite authentic too. Standing on the same spot with a standing microphone is the right choice and Simone's gaze at the end completes the circle! This is a promising entry! Would like to listen to it once again! 

15. Liberat – Teddie Zammit (George Cassar, Teddie Zammit)

And once again, it's Teddie. But he's back with another song that does not really impress me! The stage setting suits the song really well and this time round this guitarist does make justice to the song for he follows the correct emotion and gestures, so thumbs up to this young champ! I like the ending and how the song fades away to its final seconds. 

16. Insellmulkom - Domenique (Joe Chircop, Philip Vella)

And the final song, entitled Insellmulkom looks like it is hinting the final entry for this 38th edition of the festival! But it surely does NOT deserve a final ranking for it is a very powerful song! Domenique is not new to such festivals and surely not with this theme! It reminds me of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza and it stands out particulary tonight for it's the sole song bearing a patriothic theme. She goes very high in her notes and looks determined to succeed and make our ex Presidents and Prime Ministers feel very proud! It's a song thanking all those who stood up for our country and showed courage! She looks magnificent and does great justice to the lyrics! Another song chasing the trophy for the night!

The Show (Part 2)

All 16 songs are now being scrutinised by the Jury, comprising of David Aloisio, Vince Fabri, Rosabelle Bianchi, Eric Montfort, Elaine Falzon, Kevin Farrugia, Maria Abdilla and David Azzopardi. 

In the meantime there's a long intermission.  

There is now an interview with Walter Micallef about the history of the Maltese song during turbulent times and the need to give the song in Maltese the respect and attention it deserves! 

Corazon follows Walter and speaks about her first debut at the l-Għanja tal-Poplu way back in 2006 with Kieku Taf.  She ends by emphasising the need to keep on producing good quality songs in Maltese so as to keep the pace and keep on developing and safeguarding our national language. 

And back to Sir Temi Zammit Hall. 

Clint points out that this is a celebration of anything that makes us Maltese!
Now it's time for the Għanja tal-Poplu Choir with its contribution entitled L-Għanja tal-Maltin.  

Now Corazon is delivering three of her songs included in her recent album: Hawn Jien. The first one was Illejla b'Xejn and now she's delivering Id-Dar tan-Nanna.  Before delivering the last song, she elaborates a bit on this album and emphasises that good quality music in Maltese may arouse very strong emotions. Her final song is going on now and it is Jgħidu Kien Hawn Raġel. 

And it is now! Results are soon to be released!

The best Young Talent: Pupa (Denise Spiteri) 
The Best Interpretation: Il-Karba tal-Mument (Christian Arding) 
The best Singer/writer: Kif xrobtuli l-Menti (Frank O'Neil) 
The best Social Theme:  Rita Pace (Il-Quċċata)
2nd Runner up: Wara l-Kanċell (Miriam Christine and Olivia Lewis) 
1st Runner up: Kif Xrobtuli l-Menti (Frank O'Neil, Christabelle Curmi u l-Likes)
WINNER: Jien ma Naħdimx (Karen DeBattista)

Published in Local Music News

L-Għanja tal-Poplu, a music competition with original songs in Malta is turning thirty-eight (38) in a couple of days whilst encountering a resurgence, noting that the amount of submissions this year reached seventy-one (71), the highest in reality since the committee introduced the element of live instruments during the performances. escflashmalta.com has been granted permission to speak to the sixteen (16) competing acts, and thus we move onto the sixth act in our series; Christian Arding who will be performing the song Il-Karba tal-Mument composed by Chan Vella to the lyrics of Kevin Tanti.

Christian, surely the most experienced male vocalist in this competition, having been a part of L-Għanja tal-Poplu, Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza and the Malta Eurovision Song Contest in the past. Each experience spells out new memories but which one do you keep close to heart and what do you aim to achieve with this participation?

I keep my participation in the 2006 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest close to my heart because it was indeed one of the best years in my career. My aim with this participation is to push forward a message of hope to those families who are facing trouble following seperation.

Il-Karba tal-Mument, composed by Chan Vella to the lyrics of Kevin Tanti 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 of the song is based on my actual life at the moment. It is about a child who is passing through really hard times since the parents are separating and what kids do think about it like for example. My kids ask me if they are the reason why our family ended and this is one message which I wanted to depict.

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

L-Għanja tal-Poplu is known to be a celebration of lyrical prowess amongst friends, noting that the competitive feel is very much forgotten during rehearsals or the actual night of the competition. With ONE, the most successful private broadcaster in Malta supporting this event, it seems to denote its successful reputation. 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?

Yes, I support these kind of music showcases, because it is not a festival where there is a lot of competition, like the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. I believe that the adopted attitude should be present in other events encompassing the scene.

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

I would like to thank all the individuals who support my music, and those who support the local music scene in general because without people like you, we would not do this!

Source: Official WebsiteOfficial Facebook Page

Published in Interviews
Thursday, 27 February 2014 00:55

GħTP 2014: Running Order for Final Unveiled

On the 3rd February, the organising committee of L-Għanja tal-Poplu released the song titles and the names of the songwriters of each of the sixteen (16) qualifiers. It was also announced that seventy-one (71) submissions were received, the highest since its return to the local music scene a couple of years ago, denoting that the changes made to the competition have been appreciated by artists, songwriters and producers alike. In the coming days, escflashmalta.com will be publishing a series of interviews with each of the artists confirmed as participants in this years’ edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu, dealing with the social theme, and also past experiences in the music industry.

On Wednesday evening, the organising committee of L-Għanja tal-Poplu unveiled the running order for this years’ edition having just finished a series of promotional shoots, one for the postcards which will accompany each entry as well as the photographs which will be used for press releases in leading local tabloids. At this point in time, we have no clue with regards to the quality of the songs, but nevertheless, the professional jury had an extremely difficult time to decide which sixteen (16) deserved to get through. escflashmalta.com has permission to air a 30 second snippet from each song, these accompanying the questions and answers to be publishing in the coming days.

01. Mara - Marie Claire Attard Bason (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Andrew Zammit)

02. Il-Quċċata – 7 Spadi (Rita Pace, Jeffrey Scicluna)

03. Numri - Estelle Fenech Imbroll (Paul Attard, Mark Scicluna)

04. Rutina – Tmien Ħabbiet (Jonathan Laferla, Charlie Bonnici)

05. Kif Xrobbtuli l-Menti - Frank O'Neill, Christabelle Curmi u l-Likes (Frank O'Neill)

06. Il-Karba tal-Mument - Christian Arding (Kevin Tanti, Chan Vella)

07. Fejn Huma? - Daniel Borg (George Cassar, Daniel Borg)

08. Jien Ma Naħdimx - Karen DeBattista (Rita Pace, Mark Scicluna)

09. Immigrant Regolari - Teddie Zammit (Rita Pace, Teddie Zammit)

10. Pupa - Denise Spiteri (Mark Laurence Zammit)

11. Il-Bamboċċu, Il-Bambinu u l-Budaj - Frans Casha (Frans Casha)

12. Wara l-Kanċell - Miriam Christine u Olivia Lewis (J J Farrugia, Miriam Christine)

13. Bħal Għasfura - Mario Debono (Mario Debono)

14. Djarju ta' Tifkiriet - Simone Gauci (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Mark Spiteri Lucas)

15. Liberat – Teddie Zammit (George Cassar, Teddie Zammit)

16. Insellmulkom - Domenique (Joe Chircop, Philip Vella)

The 38th edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu is being organised with the help of the Malta Arts Fund and in collaboration with Studio 7. Authors, composers, singers and musical groups wishing to participation can find all the required information through the Official Website, or the Official Facebook Page. The renowned local competition which has been given a true facelift in recent years is also being given a brand new visual identity in 2014 with emerging artist Darren Tanti responsible for a new logo, one which encompasses the idea of live music and singing, elements of L-Għanja tal-Poplu. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for the latest news.

Source: Għanja tal-Poplu (Facebook)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLOCT-U-dVQ

Published in L-Għanja Tal-Poplu

On the 31st January, the organising committee of L-Għanja tal-Poplu was receiving entries for the 38th edition of the illustrious competition, in hope of finding a track to succeed Hawn Siġġu Nieqes composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas to the lyrics of Paul Ellul, with vocals provided by Cherise Attard, as the winner. The organising committee of L-Għanja tal-Poplu has decided to introduce a number of brand new regulations including a financial reward for the winner of the singer/songwriter accolade as well as the top three (3) as chosen by a panel of judges.

The list of sixteen (16) participants was selected from a total of seventy-one (71) submissions, which means that L-Għanja tal-Poplu practically doubled the amount of submissions from the previous year when almost forty (40) tracks were sent in. The organising committee appointed five (5) professional judges to review the songs and spoke highly of each of the respective submissions, finally reaching the below verdict. The Committee will be confirming the names of the finalists in due course, as songwriters confirm the demo artist to be the final artist. escflashmalta.com will be doing its utmost to publish the names as soon as possible.

Bħal Għasfura (Mario Debono)

Djarju ta' Tifkiriet - Simone Gauci (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Mark Spiteri Lucas)

Fejn Huma? - Daniel Borg (George Cassar, Daniel Borg)

Il-Bamboċċu, Il-Bambinu u l-Budaj (Frans Casha)

Il-Karba tal-Mument - Christian Arding (Kevin Tanti, Chan Vella)

Il-Quċċata - Jeffrey Scicluna (Rita Pace, Jeffrey Scicluna)

Immigrant Regolari - Teddie Zammit (Rita Pace, Teddie Zammit)

Insellmulkom - Domenique (Joe Chircop, Philip Vella)

Jien Ma Naħdimx - Karen DeBattista (Rita Pace, Mark Scicluna)

Kif Xrobbtuli l-Menti - Frank O'Neill (Frank O'Neill)

Liberat (George Cassar, Teddie Zammit)

Mara - Marie Claire Attard Bason (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Andrew Zammit)

Numri - Estelle Fenech Imbroll (Paul Attard, Mark Scicluna)

Pupa - Denise Spiteri (Mark Laurence Zammit)

Rutina (Jonathan Laferla, Charlie Bonnici)

Wara l-Kanċell - Miriam Christine u Olivia Lewis (J J Farrugia, Miriam Christine)

The 38th edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu is being organised with the help of the Malta Arts Fund and in collaboration with Studio 7. Authors, composers, singers and musical groups wishing to participation can find all the required information through the Official Website, or the Official Facebook Page. The renowned local competition which has been given a true facelift in recent years is also being given a brand new visual identity in 2014 with emerging artist Darren Tanti responsible for a new logo, one which encompases the idea of live music and singing, elements of L-Għanja tal-Poplu. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for the latest news.

Source: YTC, GħTP

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmUMJKj5RNk

Published in L-Għanja Tal-Poplu

In this years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, the females outweigh the males when it comes to the art of performing but nevertheless, Christian Arding has also managed to make the cut into this years' showcase with the song Fejn Hemm L-Għaqda Hemm Is-Saħħa composed by Chan Vella to the lyrics of Alexia Schembri. Below, our editorial board devised a set of questions in order to get to know Christian a little bit better whilst Chris and Moira have also heard all of the entries in order to comment on them. With regards to Christian, they stated that 'he has a good voice but that the song is poorly produced.' ultimately awarding him with just five (5) points.

Christian Arding was one of the surprise packages during the 2006 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, having been asked to perform the song Stronger composed by Charlene Grima to the lyrics of Deo Grech after the original performers had to compete with their other entry Echoes of Gaia. You were revealed to have managed a fifth place finish on just your second attempt within the competition with the public falling in love with both the song and the actual performance. How did you get to perform the track and seven years on, would you have done anything differently? 

I could not say no to my cousins and to a fiend like Deo. Obviously at that stage in 2006 I was still trying hard for the Eurovision song contest though I had my first performance the year before in 2005 when I sang a duet with Andreana. Even now a days I would have never  done anything differently.

This is your third participation within the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, but nevertheless your solo debut having previously been in a duet with Justine entitled Le Ma Nibżax composed by Chan Vella to the lyrics of Rita Pace in 2005 as well as part of the trio known as Silent Shout during the performance of the track Għada Fadal Għada composed by Chan Vella to the lyrics of Alexia Schembri. This time round, your entry bears the name Fejn Hemm L-Għaqda Hemm Is-Saħħa and is also composed by Chan Vella with lyrics by Alexia Schembri. Which track would you rate at the best out of the three and how important is it for an artist to work with the same songwriter?

Actually I would never say that a song is better than the other one because every song has its own performance and style and a singer has to know what is best and how to perform .. working with the same song writer is very good when you have the opportunity. It is good when a song writer knows the singer and be able to share good ideas because a song writer has to know what a singer likes as his own style though a singer has to be versatile.

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

Throughout the years, you have earned a reputation for taking on tracks which were not originally meant for you and technically speaking, that is also happening this time round as your entry Fejn Hemm L-Għaqda Hemm is-Saħħa was submitted as a duet between Dario and Grecia Bezzina in last years’ edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza. It has become more common for duets to be re-worked into solo entries but nevertheless, were you able to listen to the original version in order to give your own track a complete twist and are you happy with the final product?

When you earn tracks that are not meant to be for you it is much more difficult to set your own feel of the song because you already have listened to a track with an other singer or production but it is there when a good singer has to enter his experience on what he knows what it is good and not for the song and performance.. I’m very happy with the final product and I believe also in the song.

In recent years, Christian Arding has been slightly absent from the local music scene as a lead vocalist, taking a step back and garnering experience as a backing vocalist. In 2012, you were one of the male accompaniments during the performance of Answer With Your Eyes composed by Paul Giordimaina with lyrics by Fleur Balzan and vocals by Amber. The track was the second runner-up at the end of the evening, behind the likes of Kurt Calleja and Claudia Faniello. What was the reason behind taking this difficult decision in stepping back and do you believe it was the right thing to do at the time?

The reason behind taking a step back is not a big deal especially in our country in the small Island of Malta. It was also a good thing to do for me because I had no tv shows on any local tv stations in 2012 so I took 1 year break from tv shows and most of the Maltese people and especially Eurovision spectators think that if a singer dose not participate in the Eurovision song contest does not sing anymore, believe me I never stop or stopped singing because now a days and also before and during 2005 and 2006 on words I was already busy with gigs in hotels and weddings with no chance for other activities. Since I was the age of 14 I started working as a one man band in hotels and gained a lot of experience an stages and spatially live events as this has been my full time job since I was 14 years old.

What would you like to tell our readers at escflashmalta.com?

To all the readers, do not think that the best singers are only on the stage of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, or other festivals in the country. You have to think outside the box and look for local talent beyond such showcases! Thanks!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DikNIW0JV3Q

Published in Interviews

Janice, a female vocalist who was hailed as a vocal powerhouse by three time Eurovision Song Contest Chiara is back within the fray of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza for the third time. She is presenting the track Nibqa' composed by Chan Vella to the lyrics of Alexia Schembri. Just below, five questions have been asked by the editorial board of escflashmalta.com in order for you to get to know Janice 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 Janice, they stated that 'despite having a good voice, she needs to relax and tone it down as it showed in her facial expressions. Also, due to the fact that this is dramatic song, one should not wear black as it makes it too sad', ultimately offering six (6) points.

In 2010, you made your debut at the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza with the song Intlaqt Mal-Mewġ composed by Mark Scicluna to the lyrics of Rita Pace, earning positive reactions from both critics and the general public alike, so much so that you eventually returned the following year with the song Eternità, once more written by the same team, finishing in third place. This was your first major success in a local competition yet despite the result, you have opted to work with a different team of songwriters this time round. What did you draw from both experiences and what was the reasoning behind changing your song writing partners?

Mark and Rita are both so talented and they understand exactly what lyrics and what type of songs I like , usually when we work on a song, we work as a team and if theres something that needs to change we discuss and do whats best, this time round I chose to work with Chan and Alexia as they were the ones who contacted me and told me that they had a song for me to listen ,I liked the backing track ,lyrics ,melody and I was already imagining myself singing this song .There's nothing wrong in working with different composers and authors as long as it is good music and that is to my liking, i'm open to anything, it's always nice to share ideas, and to get to know new people. When I choose to sing a song it's always because I believe in it!

In this years’ edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, you are presenting your third entry, that entitled Nibqa’ composed by Chan Vella with lyrics by Alexia Schembri. This track is not completely new having also been part of the first phase submissions at last years’ edition of the showcase, getting through to the second phase before being eliminated. Would you care to share your opinion on songs which fail to get through one year but then manage within the following one and did you make any necessary alterations to the song in order for it to be appreciated by the panel of professional critics?

There was no need to change anything as I strongly believe ,it was and still is a very good song, thanks to Chan and Alexia that wanted to re submit this song this year .So no, we did not change anything it's exactly the same version .Everyone has ups and downs ,it simply wasn’t my year , everyone needs a second chance, music is not something you can give up on especially when its kept at heart!

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

While Her Eyes Still Glow, composed by Elton Zarb with lyrics provided by Rita Pace was one of the semi-finalists at the 2012 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, marking your debut in the prestigious event which selects the artist and entry for the annual international showcase. Despite a stunning performance, your entry did not get through to the final round of the competition but it was still a large stepping stone considering the fact that the initial stage of the competition had more than one hundred entries. Looking back, would you have changed anything about the final performance?

Music is about taste .It was such an emotional and a very difficult song to sing. If I had to go back I wouldn’t change anything .There are so many beautiful songs at the Eurovision Song Contest itself, but how come crappy songs pass and very good songs don’t? Theres no explanation for this. It happens everywhere and in everything ,I guess luck plays an important role.

Nibqa’ is a typical ballad, which shies away from the typical subliminal messages of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza. This genre is somewhat associated with your stunning vocal range and therefore, it comes as no surprise that you were selected to perform this entry in particular. The lyrics written by Alexia Schembri are extremely deep and profound speaking about a lost love. The emotion that you put in the performance is beyond belief and therefore, the question is quite simple. Can you relate to the song with any personal experiences and if so, is this way you are dealing with them?

I'm a very emotional person especially when it comes to singing, I refer to music in every circumstance whether its  good or bad . I like to sing these types of songs cause they speak about real life, it doesn’t mean im going through the situation. I understand the lyrics and try to imagine myself going through the situation.

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

Thanks for those who contacted me to show me support once again this year ,I truly appreciate, you keep my dreams alive, just please don’t give up on your dreams, no matter what they are, keep trying, its never that easy, but don’t worry one day you can succeed ;) 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BUaYk2S4VQ

Published in Interviews