January 28, 2020

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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

On Saturday 26th September, the 6th edition of the Summer Hit Song Contest took place at the City Theatre in Valletta, signalling the beginning of a new trend for the European Capital City of Culture 2018, with two (2) events in a short space of three (3) weeks occurring just a couple of metres away from one another.

The local competition, featuring a total of 20 participating entries, 19 of which qualified on merit, and 1 which won the right to compete following the triumph in last years' tele-voting, all competed for six (6) different trophies; 1st, 2nd, 3rd as chosen by the professional jury, 1st in the Duet Phase, first 1st in the Maltese Song Phase, and 1st in tele-voting.

Hosted by Deo Grech, under the hospices of F Living Channel, who will be airing the competition on Saturday 3rd October at 8:30 pm, the event went without a hitch, noting that each participant gave his utmost on the stage, rewarding the audience present with an eventful evening. The professional members of the jury was made up of; Norman Cristina, Josephine Ebejer Grech, Natasha Turner, and Rosman Pace, all of whom have a background in music, whether in composition or lyrics.

Televoting Award: "Dangerous" (Elton Zarb / Matt 'Muxu' Mercieca) - Jillianne Camilleri

Best Duet: "Bounce Back" (Renato Briffa / Emil Calleja Bayliss) - Michela Galea & Janvil

Best Maltese Song: "Għanja" (Walter Vella / Mark Attard / Joe Julian Farrugia) - Michela Galea

3rd Place: "Amour" (Philip Vella) - Danica Muscat

2nd Place: "Bounce Back" (Renato Briffa / Emil Calleja Bayliss) - Michela Galea

1st Place: "Tabula Rasa" (Augusto Cardinali / Julie Pomorski / Giovann Attard) - Julie Pomorski

On behalf of the editorial team at escflashmalta.com, we would like to congratulate the winners circle, as well as the other 16 participants who made this year's edition of the Summer Hit Song Contest a memorable one. A round of applause also for the organising committee, led by Deo Grech, as well as F Living Channel namely, Karl and Romina Bonaci for their continuous support. Stay tuned to this portal even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the local music scene.

Source: F Living, escflashmalta.com


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. First off is none other than Julie Pomorski, a relatively young performer whose triumph with the song "Żewġ Qagħqiet" written by Augusto Cardinali came back in 2005.

In 2005, Julie Pomorski emerged onto the local music scene, entering a first major competition, L-Għanja tal-Poplu, coming out triumphant with Żewġ Qagħqiet, written by Augusto Cardinali. Looking back, did you anticipate such an outcome?

I definatley did not! In fact we had submitted the song the year before and it wasn’t selected as a finalist! Funnily enough, we ended up winning the contest! I was quite tense that day as I’m not a ‘festival’ singer and there were many professional artists competing with me and I was still quite young. However, I think that it was a very good acchievment, maily because people still know me as ‘Julie taz- Żewġ Qagħqiet’ and people still request this song everywhere I go to perform after 10 years!

12 months later, you found out that you had made it through to the semi-final of the 2007 Malta Song for Europe with the song Look At Me, written by Philip Vella. What message did the song try to convey and who came up with the idea of that famous swing?

Well, Philip Vella wanted to write a song for me with a sweet ballad in mind. Consequently, he wanted me to look young and ‘Disney-princess-like’ on stage and I wanted to have the swing on stage. However I wanted proper swing going down from the top of the stage (similar to Moulin Rouge).. however we didn’t have the means to fix it. 


It is fair to say that in recent years, you have been relatively quiet, with regards to participating in music competitions, making a much anticipated comeback in the 2012 Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza with Għidli Int, written by Augusto Cardinali. Have other things in your life taken precedence over music?

No not really, I was performing quite a lot with Etnika during this ‘missing-from-the-scene’ period. I was also studying to be a Kindergarten assistant while working from home as a Vocal coach. In 2010 I moved to Norway for a year and when I came back i started working with very long hours, so it was nearly impossible for me to focus on my career.  

To be honest I am not a huge fan of singing-competitions but unfortunately for me, Maltese people love them. Thus, I made this ‘come back’ with a Maltese song that meant a lot to me, as I am passionate about the cure of drug addiction. 

In 2014, you took part in the Summer Hit Song Contest with Shout!, written by Dominic Cini and Rita Pace. This was the first original song in English since Shades of Memories, written by Johann Schembri, which you took part with in the 2009 Malta Hit Song Contest. What was the reason behind the submission, and how would you describe the experience?

Well, I took this festival very lightly as it was more of a way to boost my popularity with the public. Deo Grech and the fLiving team did a superb festival, filled with opportunities for us singers to be properly promoted. I think that all in all, it was THE festival that I had most fun in! The contestants were so warm and friendly, and it was more of a show for us rather than a competition. In fact, I am thinking about submitting another song  this year!


Professional personnel in the music industry denote L-Għanja tal-Poplu as to being the longest running competition which promotes original songs in Maltese. Would you consider making a return, and what advice would you give to those wishing to take part?

Well I would like to return to this festival; however I didn’t come across a ‘good enough’ song to perform with. I would also like to write my next Maltese song. 

I think that the advice for any artist is that if they are willing to compete in any festival; if you truly believe in a music piece, make it a point to bring it out to the world :)


At the end of the year, projects and ideas start to come to mind, due to some initial planning. Do you have any which you would like to go through in 2015, and could you reveal some of them?

Well I am currently setting up my own Facebook page and I am also working on something good to come out this Summer....stay tuned!

Would you like to say anything to the readers of escflashmalta.com?

If you’re reading this interview than THANK YOU for showing interest in the Maltese music industry!


Published in Interviews
Thursday, 18 December 2014 15:53

Malta: Charity Song features Ensemble of Stars

In the past couple of years, charity has been one of the most pivotal aspects in the creation of a state, which while somewhat limited in resources, is not lacking in generosity, with record funds being targeted and achieved every year. "L-Istrina" is the most important charity event, with funds given to various organisations.

As a means of supporting this noble gesture, a theme song is recorded, and what is intriguing is that several familiar faces make an appearance, all in the face of charity. This year, the song is entitled "Int Min Int", and is composed by Dominic Cini to the lyrics of Giovann Attard with production entrusted to Elton Zarb of Freetime Productions.

"Int Min Int" features the vocals of; Amber (ESC 2015), Dominic (MESC 2015), Renato (ESC 1975) , Ina Robinich, Federica Falzon (JESC 2014), Gaia Cauchi (JESC 2013), La Barokka, Mary Spiteri (ESC 1992), Mary Rose Mallia, Noel Zarb, Georgina (ESC 1991), Janvil (MESC 2005-2006, 2009), Josmar, Iona Dalli (MESC 2015), Lawrence Gray (MESC 1998, 1999, 2001-2004, 2010, 2012, 2015), Ludwig Galea (ESC 2004), Deborah C (MESC 12-14).

We urge you to watch, and donate during this year's edition of "L-Istrina" as it is aired on Television Malta, ONE Television, NET Television, F Living and Smash Television during the traditional "Boxing Day", otherwise also known as the 26th December, the day following Christmas. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: L-Istrina (Official Page)


Published in Local Music News

escflashmalta.com 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. Janvil and Hooligan are the thirteenth act and they will be performing the song Mikrokożmu composed by Augusto Cardinali to the lyrics of Giovann Attard.

Without a shadow of doubt, both the names Janvil and Hooligan are known with the public for many reasons. Janvil is more associated with the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and people will definitely remember Hooligan with his summer debut song Originali Bħali which was a huge hit on the Maltese airwaves. Prior to this collaboration for the International Festival of Maltese Song, were there any plans to take part in a local competition together and if not, how did this particular song come about?

As Such we have another song, “You” as mostly known, which Hooligan showed the interest to Mix again with the New Title “Whom you With” from the latest MMA winning Album. Original plans were to collaborate together surely not for festivals though opportunity came up and Happily enough Hooligan excepted for the first time.

The public have always seen Janvil and Hooligan as solo artists. Both of you have participated in festivals, albeit maybe the former more than the latter but nevertheless, how do you prepare for each showcase as individuals and what do you intend to achieve with this performance?

In fact I’m guiding hooligan through this as it’s his first time and had no idea what a festival takes. Obviously this is just a part of our venture as we are working on some other materials to be released in the Future.

When the International Festival of Maltese Song is mentioned, one might think of ballad or up-tempo songs, but with this collaboration, featuring the roaries twenties and a hint of rap, all in Maltese, makes it truly an intriguing entry. How was the groundwork for the melody laid out and could you take us through the creation process? 

The Composer Augusto Cardinali and Author Giovann attard believes a lot in this genre when it come to writing me songs including myself. As one can notice that this style is in again and in my opinion is always in fashion like flowers in bathrooms we thought of having a newly modern production and that is where we thought of introducing Hooligan. So it’s nonsense when we say that Maltese songs are always same style with some ideas work and good production will have the right recipe.


In this years’ edition of the International Festival of Maltese Song, you are presenting a track entitled Mikrokożmu composed by Augusto Cardinali to the lyrics of Giovann Attard. Would you care to explain the meaning behind the lyrics and the genre that the song encompasses?

The song explains that although Malta is small and limited it offers a lot what we can find in most places that the Maltese roam. Like Mixing Vegas and Dubai we have Valletta and sliema or Paceville. This is all captured in a retro beat and Rap.

As a music competition, the International Festival of Maltese Song was the first to promote the national language through the medium of music, eventually followed by L-Għanja tal-Poplu and Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza. 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?

Surely in my opinion it should be the premium on all local festivals.

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

First of all I would like to thank Organizers for this wonderful event. Looking so forward to it. Secondly I would like to thank all programmes who invited us to promote our songs last but not least for Escflashmalta for supporting local talent all the way. Thanks for your hard work and responsibilities; one must say not an easy job! Welldone! One last thing is that hopefully not like other times that songs will die after the festival. Please keep them Alive!

Published in Interviews

In 2005, Janvil was a debutante within the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, competing with the track You composed by Augusto Cardinali with lyrics by Giovann Attard. At the end of the voting, he found himself in the second runner-up slot behind eventual winner, Chiara and her self-penned Angel and future representative, Olivia Lewis with the track Deja Vu composed by Philip Vella to the lyrics of Gerard James Borg. Since then, Janvil has established himself as a leading figure in the industry, going onto reach the finals of the selection process on four more occasions, the last being in 2012 with the song You Are My Life written by George Platon.

We are in an exclusive position to reveal that Janvil will indeed be putting his name forward for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2014 with the hope of winning that coveted international ticket. In recent months, the male vocalist has been very much working on his image and those who have seen any of his performances on television, could very much agree. It seems that routines will be very much part of the spectacle should he make it through to the semi-final and eventually the final stage of the competition. The Public Broadcasting Services will be receiving entries for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2014 on the 30th and 31st October at the Creativity Hub in Gwardamangia. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more exclusive news.

Source: escflashmalta.com, Bibi Cam


Published in Local Music News

escflashmalta.com is proud to announce that the organisers behind the International Festival of Maltese Song have devised a running order which accentuates the features of each entry. This competition is returning to the local music scene following an absence of eleven years and in theory and fact becomes the third song competition to promote Maltese as a national language through the medium of song. A total of fourteen (14) entries made it through the initial judging phases including artists who have been a part of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest on a couple of occasions, apart from even being at the Eurovision Song Contest. There will be a series of awards given on the night of the competition and therefore, all will be hoping to give their all.

The International Festival of Maltese Song is taking place at the Mediterranean Conference Centre on Saturday, 9th November 2013. Tickets for the event can be obtained from the venue booking office as from today, and have been reasonably priced in order to accomodate to everyone's needs. The competition is set to kick off at 19:30 CET with fourteen (14) local artists and fourteen (14) foreign artists taking to the main stage. The editorial board of escflashmalta.com would like to encourage everyone who has music close to their heart to attend the International Festival of Maltese Song and support this venture as it was supported when it was the jewel of the music industry.

Paċi Sovrana - Donna (Donna Marie Ellul)

Kuraġġ - Geordie (Philip Vella / Joe Chircop)

Għadek Tgħix - Fiona (Renato Briffa / Mark Amaira)

Poeta Bla Kliem - Mark Tonna (Mark Scicluna / Emil Calleja Bayliss)

Ħolma - Lyann Iles (Paul Abela / Lyann Iles)

Raġġ ta' Tama' - Christian (Philip Vella / Cher Vella)

Sinjali - Bernice (Renato Briffa / Rita Pace)

Mikrokożmu - Janvil & Hooligan (Augusto Cardinali / Giovann Attard)

Din Jien - Dorcas (Minik / Rita Pace)

Solitaire - Dario & Grecia (Dario Bezzina / Rita Pace)

Hawn mill-Ġdid - Olivia Lewis (Paul Abela / Joe Julian Farrugia)

Passi Fir-Ramel - Domenique (Philip Vella / Mark Amaira)

Inti mill-Ġdid - Roger Tirazona (Paul Abela / Joe Julian Farrugia)

Stejjer - Miriam Christine (Andrew Zahra / Joe Julian Farrugia)

The organising committee is made up of Chairperson Mrs Josette Grech Hamilton, Deputy chairperson Mr Ignatius Farrugia, Executive Secretary Mr Robert Cefai, Public Relations Officer & Media Relations Mr Deo Grech, Festival Coordinator Mr Ray Falzon, Hospitality Coordinator Ms Simone Bugeja and Technical Coordinator Mr Pierre Cachia. Mr Norman Hamilton serves as the artistic consultant, Mr Anton Attard as the technical consultant on behalf of PBS and Maestro Sigmund Mifsud as the musical consultant. The International Festival of the Maltese Song is organised under the auspices of the Parliamentary Secretary for Culture and Local Councils, Hon. Dr. J. Herrera in collaboration with the World Association of Festival organisers and Artists. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: International Festival of Maltese Song Committee


Published in Local Music News
Sunday, 17 February 2013 16:20

Malta: Ludwig and Franklin Duet Released

In recent months, exclusive news was released on escflashmalta.com with regards to the submission of a duet within the 2013 Malta Eurovision Song Contest which unfortunately did not make it beyond the first phase and it seems that the submitted entry was officially released to the public in the past couple of days under the title name Crescendo with music by Augusto Cardinali to the lyrics of Giovann Attard. Franklin Calleja & Ludwig Galea barely need any introduction in the local music scene having been in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with the latter having even went to the international showcase respectively back in 2004 alongside Julie Zahra with the track On Again .. Off Again composed by Philip Vella and penned by Gerard James Borg.


Ludwig Galea has become a key supporter of Franklin Calleja's career in the past couple of months having first met him during the vocal talent show; Don't Stop Me Now hosted by former Eurovision Song Contest commentator Eileen Montesin on NET Television. Their performance during the series of the track Nessun Dorma which has been pictured above stunned the judges, including 1994 Eurovision Song Contest representative; Moira Stafrace and won them raving reviews through viral website; YouTube and social networking website; Facebook. The release of this track was quite surprising as now it cannot be used in a future edition of the competition. Have a listen to the song and let us know on whether it should have made it through to the competition. Franklin on the other hand reached the semi-finals of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest this year with the track Let Your Heart Talk composed by Ray Agius and penned by Alfred C Sant. Follow all his latest news through his Official Pages on Twitter and Facebook. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: escflashmalta.com


Published in Local Music News