November 13, 2019

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In 2007, Olivia Lewis won the right to represent Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest with the track Vertigo composed by Philip Vella to the lyrics of Gerard James Borg. She decided to take a couple of years off following such an amazing adventure completing a triumphant return last night during the International Festival of Maltese Song where her entry Hawn Mill-Ġdid composed by Paul Abela to the lyrics of Joe Julian Farrugia finished on top with 75 points, in a combined mixture of public and jury vote. The scintillating evening hosted by Alfred Zammit, Debbie Scerri, Mary Rose Mallia, Lawrence Gray, Renato and Romina Mamo was aired on TVM and TVM 2.

In second place at the end of the evening was the track Poeta Bla Kliem, composed by Mark Scicluna to the lyrics of Emil Calleja Bayliss with vocals provided by another veteran, Mark Tonna. They obtained a total of 72 points, just three points behind the winning act. In third place, the brother/sister duo made up of Dario and Grecia whose traditional song Solitaire composed by Dario Bezzina to the lyrics of Rita Pace impressed the critics present. The International Festival of Maltese Song awarded several prizes to the contestants following the tele-cast in an attempt to make sure that all of the respective talent was recognised. It is also worth pointing out that the international category was won by the group Bellavista from Germany who performed the popular track Sa L-Aħħar, originally by Fabrizio Faniello in German.

Tele-Voting Award: Kuraġġ - Geordie (Philip Vella / Joe Chircop)

WAFA Award: Din Jien - Dorcas (Minik / Rita Pace)

Best Performance Award: Mikrokożmu - Janvil u Hooligan (Augusto Cardinali / Giovann Attard)

Maestro Chircop Award: Għadek Tgħix - Fiona (Renato Briffa / Mark Amaira)

Organising Committee Award: Int Mill-Ġdid - Roger Tirazona (Paul Abela / Joe Julian Farrugia)

Television Award: Sinjali - Bernice (Renato Briffa / Rita Pace)

Best Interpretation Award: Stejjer - Miriam Christine (Andrew Zahra / Joe Julian Farrugia)

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

Participation Award: Paċi Sovrana - Donna (Donna Marie Ellul)

Participation Award: Ħolma - Lyann Iles (Paul Abela / Lyann)

Participation Award: Passi fir-Ramel - Domenique (Philip Vella / Mark Amaira)

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 for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: FiKM (Official Page on Facebook)

Published in Local Music News
Saturday, 02 November 2013 16:15

Malta: Interview with Olivia Lewis (FiKM '13) 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. Olivia Lewis is the fourteenth and final act and is set to perform the track Hawn Mill-Ġdid composed by Paul Abela to the lyrics of Joe Julian Farrugia.

In 2007, you entered the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with the track Vertigo composed by Philip Vella to the lyrics of Gerard James Borg and despite being the overwhelming favourite, it was somewhat astonishing to account for the support of 31,000 individuals who picked up the phone and voted for your entry. What kind of feeling did you get where you were announced as the winner with such an astonishing amount of votes and did you expect it?

I had a feeling of a very good chance to win, but i was completely overwhelmed with that kind of support. I can still here the cheering of the audience calling my name just seconds before the presenter announced the results. It was kind of scary for a moment.

On the evening leading up to the semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest, one of the most popular fan-sites supporting the event revealed that you were the most popular pick to get through to the final but unfortunately, it was not meant to be as you succumbed to an extremely disappointing twenty-fifth (25th) place with just fifteen (15) points. What was your reaction to the result and what do you think you could have done better to assure a stronger finish?

It was not a nice moment, it goes without saying. Completely opposite to the moment when I was announced winner in Malta. The first thing that came in mind was the Maltese people who believed in the song and me. I was so sorry for disappointing them. There were things that could have been done better, surely, but I don`t think I could have done anything else from my side, really. Websites are websites, journalists are people with opinions who try to get the feel of what`s going on, just like the other thousands of voters have their opinions, After all, the general public`s  say is the most important opinion on the night.

It has been six years since you last entered a song festival, and indeed, it seems that you had been waiting for the right moment especially with the International Festival of Maltese Song returning following an eleven year absence. You will be competing with the track Hawn Mill-Ġdid composed by Paul Abela to the lyrics of Joe Julian Farrugia. Would you care to explain the meaning behind the lyrics and the genre that the track encompasses?

“Hawn mill-Gdid”, is very special for me. It encompasses all that I`ve been through since the audience last saw me in the Eurovision Song Contest.It is putting behind what may have been a bleak period in my life. It`s the start of a new chapter. A stronger me, definitely positive about everything life has to offer and completely confident about the present. I really want it to be a very positive message to all. “Look forward and carry on with your head held high.”

Chiara and Fabrizio represented Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest on three and two occasions respectively, achieving varied results and therefore, enquiring minds wish to know whether Olivia Lewis intends to put her name forward to take part within the Malta Eurovision Song Contest next year especially due to the fact submissions close in less than two weeks?

The Eurovision Song Contest is not something I am thinking about at the moment.

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?

There is its place on a National Level. Ideally it will be also supported by the National Orchestra . It should be the most important Festival in my opinion. The Maltese language has so much to offer. The Maltese public always enjoys Maltese Songs whenever we give concerts and shows. I believe that The Maltese public would also love to hear more Maltese Songs on the radios. This Festival was and will still be one of my favourites. I am still in love with a lot of songs that came out of this festival in the past. I am actually planning my 1st Album of Maltese songs, which will be a mixture of covers and original Maltese songs. 

Would you like to say anything to our readers at

I would like to thank everyone for their support throughout the years, and encourage everyone to flock to the Mediterranean Conference Centre on the 9th November 2013 to view the best that the local music scene has to offer!

Published in Interviews