December 11, 2019

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On the 21st March 2015, L-Għanja tal-Poplu, a local music competition known to breathe life into the music industry, will be turning thirty-nine. Following the huge success of "Jien Ma Naħdimx", composed by Mark Scicluna to the lyrics of Rita Pace, with vocals provided by Karen DeBattista, a surge of interest was reported, as a record number of 105 submissions were received. 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 twelve is Abstract Acoustic Duo, whose song "Niftakarna" is written by the male counterpart, Gabriel Cassar.

The Abstract Acoustic Duo, which consists of Gabriel Cassar and Lenice Tabone, is a relatively new project having only been around since 2013. As a matter of fact, this also marks your debut in L-Għanja tal-Poplu. How did the project come about, and where do you see yourself in twelve months' time? 

We have been playing together in the same bands quite for a few years now, yet, as it has been stated, it was  in 2013 that Abstract Acoustic Duo had its own big bang. We live just a couple of meters away from each other (in the same block actually), and this advantage has lead us to kill some time together with a guitar in hand and our very own vocals. It was the summer of 2013, when on a nine-day wonder, we were faced by an opportunity to play on a regular basis in a cafeteria... so yes, one can say that this particular cafeteria was in fact Abstract’s birthplace. 

The infatuation has continued to explode in this collaboration and the tentative for l-Ghanja tal-Poplu, is undoubtedly one of its results. In twelve months’ time, we would like to see this baby-project develop even more, and although it’s not our aim to be popular, we look forward to having more gigs together whilst sharing a smile with our audiences. Original material is always on the pipeline, so we hope that in a year’s time, the harmony amongst us would be more tentative in its creativity and muse.

“Niftakarna”, written by Gabriel Cassar, the male counterpart of this duo, is the song that Abstract Acoustic Duo 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?

Basically, ‘Niftakarna’ anticipates the reality of childhood friendships enriched with simplicity and energy  from sunrise till sunset with one of the scenes capturing their enthusiasm for the game ‘hide and seek’. However, as time goes by, one of the friends hides away leaving behind all the memories and good times they used to have. 

Our song is quite simple and humble in its own structure involving only our vocals and an acoustic guitar.

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 true that sometimes, the public ‘s reaction to certain messages might be subject to controversy which in our opinion is the artist’s capability of bringing about moral and ethical debates regarding significant issues. Our song’s principle aim isn’t to bring about any controversy, yet it suggests appreciation for long-lost friendships in one’s own life which undoubtedly leave an impact on the present way of life.

Would you like to say anything to our readers at

Whilst we recommend full support for Maltese music and talent, we would also like to encourage the readers to love one another and live the real scope of life in faith, hope, and love.

Published in Interviews

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 even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about L-Għanja tal-Poplu 2015.

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

Published in L-Għanja Tal-Poplu

Gianluca, representative of Malta at this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the track Tomorrow co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat is currently working on his debut studio album. During the Pan-European competition, the young male artist who is a full time doctor by profession achieved the best result for Malta since 2005 when he finished in eighth place whilst accompanied on stage by Kenny D'Ugo, Gabriel Cassar, Christopher Tate, Louise Anne Bugeja Tate and Samaria Bezzina.

In recent weeks, Gianluca has been busy in the studio with Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat recording a set of brand new songs, all of which will be included in the debut studio album. One of the four tracks included on the extended play that helped promote Malta to the rest of the continent in the months leading up to the competition was I'll Be There which Gianluca also had the opportunity to perform during the London Preview Party. This track, a cheerful, ditty number has been released in full for all to hear. It is worth noting that the set of original songs will most likely be light and tailor made for the summer months. Stay tuned to for all of the latest news. 

Source: Official Facebook Page

Saturday, 11 May 2013 14:17

Malta: Gianluca Oozing Charisma on Stage

The nerves of the very first rehearsal conducted earlier this week were clearly nowhere to be seen as Gianluca alongside his team made up of Samaria Bezzina, Louise Ann Bugeja Tate, Christopher Tate, Gabriel Cassar and Kenny D'Ugo took to the stage for the second technical rehearsal. Tomorrow, co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat has gone down well at the Eurovision Song Contest, achieving positive comments throughout and with competent rehearsals, the foreign media has only words of praise. The second semi-final despite weaker is known to have a series of good songs including the section in which Malta will be performing but hopefully, the charm and fresh quality of the song along with a sublime performance will take it through to the final. 

It is said that the Delegation were absolutely delighted with the shots used for the performance and the effect that the lyric video is having in terms of colour scheme is quite emphatic noting that the shots will ultimately provide such a sense of security. In rehearsal videos posted by fan-sites the true colours are not being emitted properly as one could see either in the photo above of even in the official video of the rehearsal posted below. Tomorrow, is definitely one of the best entries that Malta has ever sent to the Eurovision Song Contest and therefore, it just has to be in the Saturday show because charisma and talent infused together go a long way. Stay tuned to for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available

Source: had the opportunity to have a short conversation with Daniel D'Anastasi, Head of Press for the Maltese Delegation at this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest following the first technical rehearsal that took place. Despite some early issues which were encountered during the first run, they were quickly fixed as Gianluca and the rest of the team including Samaria, Louise Ann, Kenny, Gabriel and Christopher grew in confidence. There are a couple of things which need to be altered slightly including some camera shots but nevertheless, it was an extremely positive rehearsal.

In the meantime, as per the typical schedule setup by the European Broadcasting Union and the respective host broadcaster, this year being SVT, Gianluca and the rest of the delegation will tomorrow embark on a tour across Sweden and therefore, that is the plan for the itinerary. Friday is another 'off' day for the whole team noting that the schedule is currently being filled up with a series of events including a trip to a hospital where Gianluca, our representative will be meeting up with some young children who are braving the elements and surviving through sickness. This is an incredibly touching moment and means even more considering that Gianluca is a doctor and therefore has a tendency to meet with patients on a daily basis. Gianluca's second rehearsal will be taking place on Saturday afternoon and it will be open to the media so therefore, in collaboration with Radio International, Eurovision Ireland, and will be bringing you all of the latest news.

Source: Daniel D'Anastasi (Head of Press), Television Malta

Tomorrow, co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat with lead vocals provided by Gianluca had a first go on the stage of this years' Eurovision Song Contest as rehearsals from the second semi-final commenced. The afternoon has somewhat been plagued by a series of sound issues that have effected rehearsals of Finland, Malta and Bulgaria when it comes to the first run but all of the technicalities are fixed as countries head into the rest of their allocated time. Following Azerbaijan and Finland was always set to be a challenge for our entry but the sheer excitement of the actual performance continues to ascertain positivity amongst the international community. 

The lyric video created for the international and local public to sing-a-long to the song in preparation for the Eurovision Song Contest is being used as a backdrop, an effective idea as the audience could grasp the concept and sing-a-long. The lighting used on stage is relatively light featuring a mixture of orange, blue and green as opposed to the darker colours being used by other countries. For most of the performance the staging is kept very similar to the national final performance with Gianluca making use of the catwalk towards the end of the song before turning back to the main stage where he joins all the rest of the team on a park bench, as is reminiscent of the music video. The vocals following the first run got better as Gianluca grew in confidence whilst noting that is saving his voice for the actual performance next week as the fourth run came to an end. Stay tuned to for all of the latest news.


Sunday, 28 April 2013 11:12

Malta: Watch Gianluca on Ħadd Għalik

Gianluca, who will be representing Malta in the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the track Tomorrow co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat is doing a series of promotional rounds on local television prior to leaving for the international spectacle. Ħadd Għalik has become a weekly Sunday appointment for several because it is a game-show with a difference involving particular themes and specific games. Angie Laus is the main host of the show, alongside Mario Coleiro and PJ Vassallo who aid and carry out features respectively. 

In this weeks' game-show, Gianluca joins his whole family including Malta Eurovision Song Contest Finalist, Dorothy Bezzina against the team that will be accompanying him abroad including Louise Ann Bugeja Tate, Christopher Tate, Kenny D'Ugo and Gabriel Cassar noting that Samaria Bezzina is still in the United Kingdom. In the meantime, special performances on the show are expected by resident singers including three time Eurovision Song Contest representative; Chiara who has just premiered her latest single Żarbun, as well as Malta Eurovision Song Contest finalists; Eleanor Cassar and Deborah C and Azeri representative, Farid Mammadov who will perform his entry Hold Me. Tune in to Television Malta between 12:10 and 15:30 CET and let yourself be entertained. Stay tuned to for all of the latest news.

Source: Where's Everybody

Published in Local Music News

Gianluca, the artist who will be representing Malta in the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Malmo, Sweden with the track Tomorrow co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat has been relatively busy in these past couple of days with a number of foreign interviews which the editorial board of has been skimming through. One of the most intriguing elements that we have picked up is definitely the fact that the team that accompanied Gianluca on stage will be retained for the performance in May which is a step in the right direction noting that the package itself is what the jury and the public decided upon.

Infact, whilst the main vocalist is Gianluca, he is aided by Kenny D'Ugo on the ukelele, Gabriel Cassar on bass, Chris Tate on drums as well as Louise Ann Bugeja Tate and Samaria Bezzina who are exclusively acting as backing vocals. Gianluca is currently juggling his daily routine of medical work alongside those of being the Maltese representative at this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. Within the next couple of weeks, he will be flying over to The Netherlands for the EurovisionInConcert as well as the United Kingdom for the annual London Preview Party. During another particular interview, published on EurovisionIreland, it has to be noted that our vocalist is being given vocal lessons by his sister, Dorothy Bezzina who also took part in this years' Malta Eurovision Song Contest with the track Starting from the End composed by Magnus Kaxe to the lyrics of Gerard James Borg. Stay tuned to for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available and remember to purchase your copy of Tomorrow on iTunes.

Source: EurovisionIreland, Kris Micallef (Image)