September 19, 2019

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L-Għanja tal-Poplu committee invites authors, composers, musical groups and singer-songwriters to participate in the 43rd edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu – Festival tal-Kanzunetta Maltija, a festival of original songs in Maltese. Applications for this festival will be received on Tuesday 21st May 2019.

Authors and composers are encouraged to feel free to write songs which express their emotions, aspirations and experiences and use the style of music they prefer, and not necessarily limit themselves to songs with a social theme. A new prize for originality has been introduced to encourage creativity. This festival gives the same importance to lyrics and music.

The festival final will be held on Saturday 31st August 2019, at Pjazza Teatru Rjal, where the participants can either be accompanied by the Malta Concert Orchestra, or accompany their own songs. The organising committee encourages Maltese artists to create an enjoyable festival.

More details can be found in the regulations and the application form can be downloaded from ghanjafest.com. In this document, one will find a number of changes which have been introduced year-on-year: such as the fact that no one participant could have more than one song in the final, with an added feature that should a second song of the same artist get through, it will be given to a different artist as per the songwriters’ wishes; together with the fact that each songwriters’ name may only appear twice in the final.

Last years’ winning song was ‘Mhux Kulma Jleqq Deheb’ penned by Emil Calleja Bayliss and composed by Renato Briffa with vocals provided by Michela Galea.

This festival is being organised by L-Għanja tal-Poplu together with Pjazza Teatru Rjal and with the collaboration of L-Akkademja tal-Malti. L-Għanja tal-Poplu is supported by Arts Council Malta – Cultural Partnership Agreement. 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: ghanjafest.com

Published in L-Għanja Tal-Poplu

Gianluca Cilia, the Maltese representative at the Junior Eurovision in 2017 with ‘Dawra Tond’, emerged victorious in the biggest song competition in Maltese for kids called ‘L-Għanja Tal-Poplu Żgħażagħ’. The singers present original tracks to this competition and the finalists get to interpret their songs with the Malta Concert Orchestra under the direction of Mro Joe Brown & Mro Paul Abela. 

The winning song Ħaġar Qim won the Middle School section and was later announced as the overall winner of this competition. The entry pays homage to one of Malta’s World Heritage Sites – the historic temples of Ħaġar Qim. The idea behind the song came after Gianluca visited the site on a school visit – there he learnt more about it and was fascinated how this structure, built with such precision, survived over so many centuries. The temple phase in Malta dates back to 3600 to 3200BC. 

It was surely not an easy feat for the 11 year old, as he was the youngest participant taking part in this competition; open for kids aged between 11 to 16 year olds. The songwriters behind his winning entry are Philip Vella and Emil Calleja Bayliss. Philip has represented Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest as a composer on numerous occassions namely 2000, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008 & 2017 while Emil C is the lyricist behind Malta’s last two Junior Eurovision Song Contest entries, including Gianluca’s ‘Dawra Tond’. 

Malta’s 2018 Junior Eurovision entrant Ela Mangion, was one of the three backing vocalists behind the youngster alongside his sister Giulia Cilia and upcoming artist Ilenia Camilleri. Gianluca and his team were under the guidance of Nadia Vella and Glen Vella from Vocalbooth Studios, Malta’s 2011 Eurovision Song Contest representative. One of the special guests of the night was the 2006 winner of this prestigious competition, Christabelle, Malta’s 2018 Eurovision Song Contest representative who presented Gianluca with the winning trophy. 

Gianluca would like to take the opportunity to thank the whole team behind him and also passes his congratulations to Martina Galea Loffreda, the winner of the secondary school section with the song ‘Għoxrin’ penned and composed by Corazon, a five time finalist in Malta’s selection for the Eurovision Song Contest. 

Ħaġar Qim is now available on all leading digital platforms. This would not have been possible without the support of the German record label, CAP-Sounds who have published the song. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: Press Release, Gianluca Cilia (FB)

Published in L-Għanja Tal-Poplu

Earlier this afternoon, 12-year old Ela took to the stage at the Minsk Arena in Belarus and gave a brilliant account of herself, showing her distinctive vocal range and commanding stage presence. It is worth pointing out that she is accompanied by 4 dancers on stage; 3 girls and 1 boy who add that extra something to what is already a very solid presentation.

Ela is singing Marchin’ On, which she co-wrote with lyricist Emil Calleja Bayliss and composer Cyprian Cassar. She speaks about how people should face their problems head on, and never look back. It is a very positive and uplifting message which everyone needs to hear, and which they will in the penultimate slot, number 19 on Sunday 25th November at 16:00 CET.

For more of the latest news on the ground in Belarus, we urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through social media platforms; Facebook and Twitter.

Source: escflashmalta.com, junioreurovision.tv

12-year-old singer/songwriter Ela will represent Malta in the next edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest held in Minsk, Belarus with the uplifting original number Marchin’ On, composed by Cyprian Cassar and penned by Emil Calleja Bayliss.

Ela was chosen to represent Malta following her triumph at the Malta Junior Eurovision Song Contest on the 8th September whereby a panel of professional judges and the general public each had a 50% share in deciding the winner from a possible 16 competing entries.

It was the first time since 2010 that a national final featuring original songs took place. On that occasion, it was Nicole Azzopardi and Knock Knock!... Boom! Boom! which emerged victorious, finishing in 13th place at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Co-incidentally on that occasion, the event also took place in Minsk, Belarus.

In support of Malta’s participation at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, Ela together with the Public Broadcasting Services produced a music video further highlighting the message of the song that even through times of dismay and despair, you should never give up hope, and march on.

We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about Malta’s participation in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: Television Malta, JuniorEurovision.tv

Earlier this year, we ran the headline that third time’s a charm for Michela Galea as she won L-Għanja tal-Poplu – Festival tal-Kanzunetta Maltija and that headline could apply once more for Sarah Bonnici as she stole the show at this years’ edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza following her rendition of “Il-Pinna”, a song which she co-composed together with Mark Laurence Zammit with Emil Calleja Bayliss penning the lyrics.

Singing 8th on the night, in a field of 22, Sarah Bonnici came out on top in a festival which many commented to have had a significantly strong line-up. Following her in 2nd place was second time participant Victoria Sciberras, whose song “Siluwett” is penned by Emil Calleja Bayliss and composed by Kaya. Rounding out the top 3 was Sebastian Calleja, whose choreographies throughout the years have surely provided a spectacle for many. His song, “Dak Li Taf” is penned by Giovann Attard and composed by Dominic Cini.

Other winners at the end of the evening were Maria Spiteri and Martina Fenech whose songs, “Manann”, composed by Mark Scicluna with lyrics by Emil Calleja Bayliss and “Qalbi”, composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas with lyrics by Emil Calleja Bayliss were given the titles, Best New Talent and Public Choice Award.

The evening was hosted by Louise Tedesco and Charles Camenzuli and featured a number of guests including: Michela Galea, as winner of L-Għanja tal-Poplu – Festival tal-Kanzunetta Maltija; Nicole Falzon, as winner of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza 2017 and the dance troupe Alegria. 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: NET News

Michela Galea has won the 42nd edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu - Festival tal-Kanzunetta Maltija with the number “Mhux Kulma Jleqq Deheb” (Not all that glitters is gold), composed by Renato Briffa with lyrics by Emil Calleja Bayliss. The two and a half hour spectacle took place once again at the legendary Pjazza Teatru Rjal in Valletta, compèred by Owen Bonnici and Kim Dalli.

The winner was chosen by the votes of an expert and popular jury. The prize of first runner-up went to Dwett (Cherylis & Mikhail) with the song “Mhux Kif Ħsibt” (Not as I thought), penned by Giovann Attard to music by Pamela Bezzina & Alex Debono whilst the second runner-up was awarded to the song “Allura” (So what), interpreted by Philip Vella, who is also credited as composer together with the lyricist Joe Chircop.

Of the other awards handed out during the results segment of the show, the “Best Interpretation” prize was awarded to Monica Said for the song “Anamika”. The award for “Most original lyrics” went to “Nistenniek” by Corazón Mizzi as interpreted by Charlene, whilst JAMM Band won the award for “Best singer-songwriter” with the song "Ħadd Ma Jaf Xi Jrid". A special achievement award known as L-Għanja li Tibqa’ was also given to Mro Paul Abela, for his contribution to the Maltese music scene.

21 year old Michela hails from Mġarr and already boasts a wide wealth of experience in the arts. A former reigning Miss World, Michela won the title of “Miss World Talent” whilst representing Malta at the 2017 edition of the event. She has taken part in numerous editions of local musical festivals in the past, including Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza (KKI) and two previous editions of L-Għanja tal-Poplu. She was also cast in a number of television series, such as “D.R.E.A.M.S” - and for the past few years has been seen as a resident singer on prime-time TV show “The Entertainers”, broadcast on NET Television.

The entire show can be rewatched for up to seven days on TVM’s on demand service, by clicking here, and we urge you all to visit escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: escflashmalta.com, Geoffrey Buhagiar (Photography)

Published in L-Għanja Tal-Poplu

L-Għanja tal-Poplu Żgħażagħ 2018 was held towards the end of last week, precisely on Friday 2nd March 2018 in the Theatre of St Benedict School in Ħal Kirkop. All of the participants were between 11 and 16 years of age and they presented original material in Maltese, singing about current themes which are close to their heart. The main aim of the music festival is to encourage the writing of original lyrics and melodies apart from sharing their thoughts about just about anything which is on their minds, or those of their peers.

Not 1 but 2 categories were featuring in the 4th edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu Żgħażagħ noting that “Il-Ħolma” penned by Ray Mahoney, composed by Dominic Cini and sung by Riona DeGiorgio won the first category, featuring performers between 11 and 12 years ago while “Dwell” penned by Emil Calleja Bayliss, composed by Dario Bezzina and interpreted by Eliana Gomez Blanco & Aidan Jay Drakard won the second category featuring performers between 13 and 16 years of age. The latter were also the overall winners of the L-Għanja tal-Poplu Żgħażagħ 2018.

The evening was hosted by multiple Għanja tal-Poplu winner Corazon Mizzi, alongside teenagers Kayley Cuschieri and Nathan Aquilina while the special guests featured Francesco Puzo, Rosario Lanzara and Luca Rossin, three singer/songwriters from Italy who were all led by Maestro Vincenzo Sorrentino.

Organised by the L-Għanja tal-Poplu Committee in collaboration with St Benedict College in Kirkop, the Ministry of Education, L-Akkademja tal-Malti as well as the Malta Concert Orchestra, L-Għanja tal-Poplu Żgħażagħ has now seen not three but four winners with Eliana & Aidan joining Brooke, Marilena and Christabelle. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the local music industry and L-Għanja tal-Poplu.

Source: Press Release, għanjafest.com

Published in L-Għanja Tal-Poplu
Monday, 19 February 2018 17:09

Malta: New Powerful Single by Janice Mangion

With the success of Kewkba in the local and international music scene in hindsight, it was a given that the same creative minds would come together once more to work on something else which transcends magic, depth and strength. This time round, songwriters Mark Scicluna and Emil Calleja Bayliss were joined by Cyprian Cassar, who also worked on the production. Keeping in line with the diverse elements that showcase the full vocal potential of Janice Mangion, Warda was born.

“It has always been at the back of my mind to work on an original song which I could dedicate to my mother due to her continuous dedication throughout the years ... she never had an easy life, and she did everything in her capability to make sure that I am always happy ... the love of a mother is something incredible, and as a result, I refer to her as a rose” says Janice Mangion about the song with a smile on her face and sparkling eyes.

Throughout these past 12 months, Janice Mangion has been involved in several spectacles including the biggest music festival in Eastern Europe, the Slaviansky Bazaar where she finished amongst the top 10 after singing in Maltese, English and even Russian. Janice believes that the ‘Maltese language is of great value and it is rather sad that it is not always appreciated and taken care of in the best possible way.’

Supported by a strong visual created by producer Matthew Muscat-Drago, Warda made it’s debut on television on the 8th February 2018 although it was made public on several forms of social media as well as all digital stores the following day on the 9th February 2018. This was possible as a result of a collaboration between Ironic PR & Artist Management and CAP-Sounds whose absolute professionalism is to be commended.

In the coming days and weeks, Janice will be promoting Warda on television, radio and even social media, noting that interest will be rather high. For more information about Janice Mangion as well as the new single, visit her on her official social media accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. There you will find a lot of information, more than you could ever imagined.

Source: Press Release, Kris Micallef Photography

Published in Local Music News

The running order of this year’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest has been determined this evening, during the event’s official opening ceremony – held at the regal Georgian national library in Tbilisi. In addition to seeing this year’s participants on the red carpet, viewers and guests of the opening ceremony were treated to performances by Georgian national ballet, Sukhishvili – alongside previous entrants of Georgia at Junior Eurovision.

The countries performing in the first and last position were chosen by random draw, along with the running position of the host country. The draw was also carried out by the hosts of the opening ceremony, which included last year’s winner Mariam Mamadashvili. The remainder of the running order was chosen by the contest producers to ensure an entertaining show. This was announced by the European Broadcasting Union later in the evening.  

01. Cyprus

02. Poland

03. The Netherlands

04. Armenia

05. Belarus

06. Portugal

07. Ireland

08. F.Y.R. Macedonia

09. Georgia

10. Albania

11. Ukraine

12. Malta

13. Russia

14. Serbia

15. Australia

16. Italy

As you may have noticed, our very own Gianluca Cilia, and his entry ‘Dawra Tond’, penned by Emil Calleja Bayliss with music by Dominic Cini will be performed towards the latter part of the show. Over the next few days, each country be rehearsing on the stage at the Olympic Palace in Tbilisi. The live show will be airing at 16:00 CET, and Maltese viewers will be able to follow all the latest on Television Malta (TVM). In the meantime, for all the updates throughout the week, we urge you to follow escflashmalta.com even on Facebook and Twitter.

Source: junioreurovision.tv, tvm.com.mt

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nloW1B4Urn4

Wednesday, 08 November 2017 07:58

JESC 2017: Speaking to Malta's Gianluca Cilia

This year, for the very first time since 2008, Malta is represented by a male soloist at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. He will be performing the infectious "Dawra Tond", an original song composed by Dominic Cini with lyrics by Emil Calleja Bayliss. We have recently caught up with the 9 year old and had a chat about his upcoming experience in Georgia along with what he hopes to achieve in music, and life.

 

Hi Gianluca! Congratulations on being chosen by the public to represent Malta at this year’s Junior Eurovision! How did you feel when you realised that you would be flying the Maltese flag in Georgia? 

Thank you :) This was a big surprise for me.  This was my 1st experience competing to represent Malta in JESC and I wasn’t expecting to get such a result!

Can you tell us a bit more about your song – what is the message behind it? 

'Dawra Tond' is a very happy and positive song.  It is about life seen in a spinning motion, full of fun and games and which unites everyone together. 

You sing part of your song in the Maltese language – for those who do not understand Maltese, what are you singing about? 

The Maltese parts are 2 chants of  traditional Maltese games which also feature a circular motion. 

Your music video is very colourful and lively – it has received a lot of positive comments online. How did you find the whole experience of filming it?

The music video was one of my best experiences ever!! They were 3 full days of so much FUN! Most of the people in the video are my friends and the elderly man dancing is my grand great father! It was really funny seeing him bust a move to my song! That was a special moment.  My most favourite part was when I was riding the car.  I also got the chance to go on a long ride in between filming. 

How are the preparations for Tbilisi going? Are there any surprises that you can tell us about your performance?

We have a lot going on at the moment!  Daily rehearsals, shoots, interviews.  Everyone is taking really good care of me and I feel special J

A small surprise is that I will have 5 dancers accompanying me on stage. Our choreographer, Annalise, is making sure that we are super fun to watch!

My vocal coach Ms Pamela is also doing an amazing job and working magic on my voice and performance.  

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

When it comes to getting ready for the competition, what aspect you finding the most challenging?

The most challenging part is keeping up with both school and JESC related preparations. I can’t neglect school work because it is very important. I have less free time because I want to make sure to do well in both school related work and JESC preparations!

Did you manage to hear any of the other songs from this year’s contest? Which did you like so far?  

Yes I have heard all released songs so far.  They are all different and each has a great potential. Thanks to Social Media I have managed to make friends with all the other singers representing their country in JESC. Can’t wait to meet them all! 

What do you know about Georgia so far? What are you most excited to see in Tbilisi? 

I have heard a lot of positive things about Georgia and how beautiful its capital city is. Georgia like Malta has its own language, Georgian. Something you don’t find in Malta are the mountains and I’m really looking forward to see the beautiful sceneries in Georgia

Have you been part of any international competitions before? And if so, what are your best memories from them? 

I have competed in several competitions in Italy and Romania.  My best memories were meeting new friends from different countries.  Sometimes some did not speak English but we still managed to make friends and have LOADS of fun!

Where are your three favourite places to visit in Malta – and why? 

1. Gozo – Gozo is Malta’s sister Island.  I was born on this beautiful island which I really enjoy visiting from time to time.  I enjoy the countryside in winter and its beautiful beaches in summer.

2. Paradise Bay – This is a beautiful small sandy beach. 

3. Blue Lagoon – The Sea again!  The blue lagoon is famous of its crystal clear waters! 

I am so proud and lucky to live on such a beautiful island.  I LOVE swimming and living on a small island like Malta makes it easier to enjoy different beaches and make the most of my summer holidays.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btDHD9vu7aE

When you’re not at school or rehearsals, what other things do you like to do in your free time?

I have different hobbies and at every change I get I am writing a story (I love writing adventure stories), drawing or reading a book. I’m a BIG fan of Lego and love creating my own things. I also enjoy chatting with friends.

Who are your favourite singers at the moment? If you could do a duet with anybody, who would it be and why?

I love Michael Buble and Italian singers Massimo Ranieri and Il Volo. My dream would be to perform with all of them!! I hope this dream comes true.  I love Buble’s swing music.  Massimo Ranieri is an Italian versatile amazing singer whose songs I love and Il Volo started off at my same age.  Their songs vary from modern to classic and I simply love listening and watch them perform live!

Do you have a personal goal for the competition? 

Definitely meeting new friends and have loads and loads of fun! This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for a boy my age :)

Thanks for your time Gianluca, and best of luck at this year’s Junior Eurovision!

Thank you so much for this lovely interview. I can’t wait to perform live in Georgia and make you sing and dance along to Dawra Tond!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-6DOHhfEks

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