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Saturday, 24 January 2015 16:15

Malta: Interview with Corazon (GħTP 07,09,10)

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. Next up is Corazon, a singer/songwriter, and 5-time participant in L-Għanja tal-Poplu, winning on 3 occasions, in 2007 with "Hawn Jien", in 2009 with "Tal-Aħħar" and in 2010 with "Mill-Għajnejn ta' Tifla".

10 years ago, at the beginning of your career in music, the results in music competitions were not positive, with L-Irġiel in the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza 2005 and Kieku Taf in L-Għanja tal-Poplu 2006 both at the bottom of the leaderboard. How did you pick yourself up, to become the singer/songwriter you are today?

It was not a matter of picking myself up, but more a question of learning and developing one’s skills and talents. It is also a matter of gaining credibility. There was a time when my compositions were so new and so different that they would be automatically dismissed and sneered at. By time, things have changed and now many other artists have followed siut and inspired themselves from my style and I am proud of this. Interestingly enough, with regards to ‘Kieku Taf’, it is included in my most recent album ‘Hawn Jien’ and has proven to be one of its most popular tracks, albeit being one of my very first compositions, penned when I was only 16 years old. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AdIQzV7JJ_8

As a matter of fact, just 12 months later, you re-entered L-Għanja tal-Poplu with another self-penned entry, Hawn Jien, finishing at the top of the leaderboard this time, and as a result, recording your first victory in a local competition. Looking back, what do you remember of the experience, and what kind of personal sentiment does the song hold?

I remember this episode very well. I was very young – 17 years old – and when my name was called out I was simply incredulous and ever so happy. That year, ‘Hawn Jien’ managed to gain full marks from all the judges in the panel and this was something extraordinary for me, especially because the subject of the song was so controversial and daring. There is an interesting episode attached to this song in that when I performed it during the festival, my microphone was not working for the first half of the song.

Panic-struck and inexperienced I stood still on stage for what seemed like a lifetime, until someone told me that I had to get off the stage and they will let me know whether I would have the chance to sing it again. Needless to say, I was given another chance to sing it and thank God for that! The song means a lot to me, especially due to the fact that winning the festival gave me the encouragement I needed to keep writing my own music in Maltese. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gcv8EeoKWgI

Your debut album, also titled Hawn Jien, has been described as a true work of art by many, representing several social themes which had yet to be explored, whilst representing the best that the Maltese language is known to offer. Where did your love of the language start, and do you have any more material lined up for the future?

As a child, I read a lot of books in Maltese and was fascinated by Maltese poetry. Maltese literature exams were pretty easy for me as I knew most poems by heart and could quote them off the top of my head. I started writing poetry when I was still at Sixth Form – in fact I have quite a bulky collection of poems from that time – and then I started putting them to music. Of course my journey as a singer-songwriter has only just begun. I do have a lot of songs still waiting to be published and, of course, many more in my head waiting to be put down to pen and paper.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B5BIcVG5oCg

As an artist, you have not only maintained a professional standing through L-Għanja tal-Poplu, but have also managed to get through to the live phase of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest on 4 occasions, including just last November with one of your own compositions, Secretly. What kind of feeling does it evoke, knowing that Europe is watching, listening and judging your song, and would you do anything differently due to the end result?

I must say that Eurovision is a great experience every year but it doesn’t move me in the same way my music in Maltese does. That’s the truth.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s8DtYcYK2sE

You are the undisputed queen of L-Għanja tal-Poplu, having taken part on 5 different occasions, and successfully coming out on top on three occasions; in 2006 with Hawn Jien, in 2009 with Tal-Aħħar and in 2010 with Mill-Għajnejn ta' Tifla. Do you have a favourite out of the 3 winning entries, and will you be one of the artists putting forward an entry for the 2015 edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu?

Well, my favourite entry was ‘Illejla B’Xejn’ for which I was awarded ‘Best Interpretation’ but not a placing. To be honest with you, I have considered entering this year’s festival, especially because I have written a very powerful piece of music which I think is very siuted for the festival. However, having thought over it well, I believe it best to allow space for other emerging artists in the festival and be present in support to them. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xgmpvbf7dA4

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

I have just released the second edition of my debut album of original songs in Maltese; ‘Hawn Jien’. This version includes two brand new tracks (13 in all). For more information please contact me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Finally, I have no words to thank all those who are supporting me in my career and who have made my music, their own. 

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

Published in Interviews

Maltese, the national and co-official language of Malta and somewhat the most popular in terms of daily communication noting that English plays a major role within several roles of the work place and education amongst other things. Last night, this language was given utmost importance through the medium of song noting that nineteen (19) original tracks were presented to an audience to highlight the respective use in a competition known as L-Għanja tal-Poplu. This annual showcase will soon be turning forty and therefore has a vast heritage with ample followers, both from a musical and a lyrical point of view. The evening was conducted by Frank O'Neill, a former finalist as well as Valerie Vella, former host of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. The event will be shown on ONE Television next Saturday but in the meantime, we can let you know the results of the evening nevertheless.

KulTural, winners of L-Għanja tal-Poplu in 2012 were the opening act last night as they reminded people what their entry Malta Tiegħi sounded like but nevertheless, the idea of having them open was well respected by the audience present as they joined the long list of winners to have graced the stage along the years. The organisation was spectacular and the respective committee alongside Robert Cefai and Norman Hamilton as representatives of the World Association for Festivals and Artists deserve all of the possible praise. The interval act as people awaited the final results was offered by a flamenco dance group known as Alegria and the finalists themselves who performed a medley of well known songs.

The committee has always been proud to recognise the talent of local artists and therefore, a special award was given to Sunny Aquilina, lyricist of The One That I Love and My Dream for his contribution to the local music scene. The committee have always put a lot of emphasis on the language and therefore, lyrics are always of the essence in this competition and this was seen within the choice of the jury for the evening, composed of scholars within the linguistics and literary field. Nevertheless, other individuals from the music and television industry who were present were none other than Joe Vella, the Radio 101 Disc Jockey and former Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza judge along with Tony Cassar Darien, a brilliant actor known for several roles on television and the stage.

  • Best New Talent: Taħnina - Fiona Camilleri (Robert Carbonaro)
  • Best Singer/Songwriter - Sylvan Borg for Il-Maltin Bil-Politika Mehdijin
  • Best Social Theme: Virtwali - Estelle Fenech Imbroll (Paul Attard / Mark Scicluna)
  • Best Interpretation Award: Kuluri, Lwien - X-Tend (Charles Dalli)
  • Third Place: Pupazz - Rita Pace (Rita Pace / Emil Calleja Bayliss)
  • Second Place: Signor Si - Dorothy Muscat (Sammy Galea / Joe Julian Farrugia)
  • First Place: Hawn Siġġu Nieqes - Cherise Attard (Mark Spiteri Lucas / Paul Ellul)

Congratulations to all of the winners of the awards on Saturday evening but also to the other competitors. The editorial team at escflashmalta.com would like to send their special wishes to none other than Emil Calleja Bayliss who wrote the lyrics to two entries performed during the evening, one being Għal Dejjem performed by Marie Claire Attard Bason to the tune of Mark Scicluna and the other one being Pupazz performed by Rita Pace who also composed the music. The latter was the recipient of the second runner-up position. It is surely another stepping stone.

Source: escflashmalta, Għanja Fest

Published in L-Għanja Tal-Poplu