December 15, 2019

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Whilst the story of the Malta Junior Eurovision Song Contest unraveled at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta, an established local male singer/songwriter, Geordie DeBono was making a name for himself and his country at the Universong Festival in Tenerife. Finishing in 3rd place with the original song "Not Alone", composed by Andrew Zahra to the lyrics of Deo Grech was a positive feat, and continued Malta's success in the international competition with former participants such as; Corazon, Audrey Marie, Morena and Eleanor Cassar all managing to finish in 3rd place or better.

This year, the Universong Festival featured participants from Peru, Latvia, Azerbaijan, Czech Republic, Chile, Lithuania, Bulgaria and the United Kingdom. In Malta, Geordie DeBono had last taken part in the International Festival of Maltese Song with "Kuraġġ", an original song written solely by Philip Vella, which finished in 5th place, and had also won the public vote. On behalf of the editorial team at, we would like to wish Geordie congratulations for this successful result, whilst also hoping that you, our readers will stay tuned to this portal even on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.


In the words of Richard Stilgoe, it seems that there's a light at the end of the tunnel wherever the 2014 edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza is concerned with the organising committee chaired by Claudette Buttigieg publishing an updated list of semi-finalists. This comes into effect for the simple reason that each vocalist is only permitted to perform just ONE song from the television phase onwards.

At a glance, it seems that out of the SEVEN songs that Domenique had initially qualified with to the second phase, there will still be THREE in the competition with "Mara" composed by Philip Vella to the lyrics of Paul Ellul being the one she will be performing herself, "Ħamsin Sena Nazzjon" composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas to the lyrics of Paul Ellul being performed in a duet featuring Kaya and Nicole Brincat and "Passaġġ" written by Clinton Paul with a yet to be announced performer.

In the meantime, Josef Tabone has decided to withdraw his second song "Orrizonti" composed by Minik to the lyrics of Stephen Baldacchino as initially reported on earlier this morning, meaning that another five entries have been brought into the list, according to the number of points received during the second phase of the competition where the judges were; Olivia Lewis, Andrew Attard, Mro Maurizio Schembri, Sharon Deguara Cipriott and Noel D’Anastas.

Aħjar - Simone Gauci (Mark Spiteri Lucas / Rita Pace)

Biċċa Minni - Geordie DeBono (Renato Briffa / Mark Amaira)

Daqs Xulxin - Charlene Cardona (Minik / Joe Chircop)

Destin - Danica Muscat (Philip Vella)

Din il-Qalb - Francesca Borg (Minik / Mario Farrugia)

Ensemble - Johanna Galea (Minik / Stephen Baldacchino)

F'Dinja Aħjar - Joseph (Minik / Stephen Baldacchino)

Fuq Dil-Blata - Roseann Cordina (Minik / Paul Ellul)

Ġabuna Indipendenti - Marilena Gauci (Philip Vella / Joe Chircop)

Ġrajjiet - Michela Dalli (Minik / Stephen Baldacchino)

Ħamsin Sena Nazzjon - Kaya & Nicole Brincat (Mark Spiteri Lucas / Paul Ellul)

Hemm Int - Valentina Farrugia (Roger Tirazona / Joe Julian Farrugia)

Ħolma ta' Nazzjon - Cherylis Camilleri (Mark Debono / Rita Pace)

Ibqa' Ħdejja - Ina Robinich (Minik / Deo Grech)

Int - Laura Bruno (Frederick Camilleri)

Kastelli Fl-Arja - Gloriana Arpa Belli (Minik / Keith Zammit)

Kuntenta Kif Jien - Ann Marie Ellul (Rita Pace)

Ma Tintefiex - Neville Refalo (Mark Spiteri Lucas / Joe Chircop)

Mara - Domenique (Philip Vella / Paul Ellul)

Miraklu - Ashlee Amber (Gillian Attard / Rita Pace)

Mixja li Bdiet - TBA (Renato Briffa / Alfred Baldacchino)*

Naħfirlek - Franz Bezzina (Augusto Cardinali)

Nemmen fil-Futur - Mattei Curmi (Philip Vella / Cher Vella)

Ngħidulek Grazzi - Christian Azzopardi (Minik / Stephen Baldacchino)

Pass Wara Pass - Minik (Minik / Mario Farrugia) 

Passaġġ - TBA (Clinton Paul)*

Stmerrejtek, Ħabbejtek - Marie Claire (Mark Scicluna / Emil Calleja Bayliss)

Tfajla - Donna (Ray Agius / Paul Ellul)

Tħobbni Kif Jien - Phylisienne Brincat (Philip Vella / Christopher Azzopardi)

Vagabond - Josef Tabone (Clinton Paul)

The FIVE entries that have now managed to sneak into the Top 30 are none other than; "Ensemble" composed by Minik to the lyrics of Stephen Baldacchino with vocals provided by Johanna Galea, "Ġrajjiet" composed by Minik to the lyrics of Stephen Baldacchino with vocals provided by Michela Dallia, "Ħolma ta' Nazzjon" composed by Mark Debono to the lyrics of Rita Pace with vocals provided by Cherylis Camilleri, "Miraklu" composed by Gillian Attard to the lyrics of Rita Pace with vocals provided by Ashlee Amber and "Ngħidulek Grazzi" composed by Minik to the lyrics of Stephen Baldacchino.

The final change that we could denote in the list below is that Geordie DeBono has opted to keep "Tħobbni Kif Jien" composed by Philip Vella to the lyrics of Christopher Azzopardi, in the competition with veteran performer; Phyllisienne Brincat. Only two songs remain without a performer at the moment, those being the aforementioned "Passaġġ" and "Mixja li Bdiet" composed by Renato Briffa to the lyrics of Alfred E Baldacchino. We urge you to stay tuned to even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the 2014 edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza.

Source: Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza 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 which is yet to be determined. Geordie DeBono is the fifth artist and he will perform the track Kuraġġ composed by Philip Vella to the lyrics of Joe Chircop.

Geordie, an individual who has gone on from being a full-time vocalist, to also becoming a television host and one responsible for nurturing new talent within the local music scene. The programme, Entertain Me hosted with Mariella Pace Asciak was an instant success and ultimately led to the revelation of several artists who have been successful ever since, including Norbert Bondin, Marie Claire Attard Bason and Rachel Verzin. The job of scouting talent is not easy but such shows have a lot of potential. What was the premise behind the concept and are you working on any new projects? 

Well basically we tought of helping upcoming singers find the starting point for their career.... For the future? who knows :)

Despite a prolonged absence from the local music industry, the International Festival of Maltese Song is returning and you are set to compete with an entry entitled Kuraġġ with music by Philip Vella and lyrics by joe Chircop. Would you care to explain to our readers the true meaning behind the song and what genre it encompasses?

Well the concept behind the song Kuraġġ is a wide focus on what is happening around us. Wars, People dying, Hunger etc. The author asks us to have a look around us and admire how lucky we are to be where we actually are.

If I am not mistaken, this was a song submitted to the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, and which made it through to the second eliminatory phase around two to three years ago. It is somewhat common courtesy in the local music industry to submit songs which are rejected from one competition into another with the hope that a second panel of professional judges would think differently. What is your opinion on this matter and do you truly believe in the potential of your entry?

Yes we really belive in the potential of the song as this is what many current affaris are around us. Thanks to Joe Chircop for his such beautiful lyrics maybe just for three mins one can just sit down, relax and just reflect on the strong words that Chircop has written.

Despite your unsuccessful attempts in making it through to the finals of a local competition, managing to get through to the second phase prior to being eliminated, your success on behalf of Malta in foreign competitions is worth recognition. You have picked up competitions in Romania, Spain and Ukraine in recent months whilst globe-trotting along with your students who are also famed for garnering foreign success. How does it feel to represent Malta and succeed and what do you think is the issue with making it through to local music competitions?

Ahh well I always believed in my material that I submitted for competitions maybe sometimes I also had some preferences but I was always happy with what we submitted. Many times I believe that this subject is a matter of taste I really can't blame anyone as every person has his own taste of music. This was the right time and Kuraġġ made it through the finals. Yes going back to International festivals it's always hard work when representing your own country as you have to perform the right music that gives the best identity for our island. 

As a music competition, the International Festival of Maltese Song will be following in the footsteps of L-Għanja tal-Poplu and Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza in promoting the national language through the medium of music. 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? 

Well we have been waiting for this competition for about eleven years now so a big welcome back to this national event. Yes I will be looking forward to it also in the future.

Would you like to say anything to our readers at

I would like to personally thank all the readers of who always beleived in me and in my music. It is not easy being a performer and i promise to keep on giving good music to all the wonderfull people out there. Peace.

Published in Interviews