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Thursday, 05 September 2013 12:00

Malta: Ninth Programme of Indifest This Evening

Media.Link Communications in collaboration with escflashmalta.com is proud to present the ninth week of the programme Indifest hosted by Mark Azzopardi and Christine Haber through NET Television on Thursday evening as from 20:30 CET onwards. In support of this years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, the weekly programme seeks to promote the artists competing in one of three competitions which promote the local language. Whether newcomers or somewhat established, their place is still amongst the general elite. The public has the opportunity to select which three entries they would like to qualify from the 'teenage talent' portion of the competition as well selecting their top favourite within the 'established category' which is offered as a separate award in order to make sure that talent is well appreciated.

The Established Category of this years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza is a progression towards the future noting a mixture of young and veteran artists who look towards impressing the judges on the night of the competition. In this evenings' programme, first up is a duet featuring Josef and Johanna who will be singing the track Inwegħdek composed by Minik to the lyrics of Stephen Baldacchino. Also on the programme from the same category is Neville Refalo who returns as a soloist with the song Hemm Miegħek Jien composed by Minik to the lyrics of Rita Pace.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-DMFroTA2Ug

The Teenage Category of this years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza officially came to a close two weeks ago but the committee will be welcoming back all of the competing artists for a special showcase next week, where they will be performing in front of a panel of judges who determine 60% of the final vote. There will also be a musical guest during this evenings' showcase, that being none other than Alison Ellul whose last participation in a competition came at the 2011 Malta Eurovision Song Contest with the song Numb. In the meantime, joining Alison will be her sisters' dance troupe, Annalise Dance Studio as resident guests of the programme. Remember Indifest returns to NET Television, this evening at 20:30 CET. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for the latest news.

Source: KKI Page on Facebook

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LgoL0RwNSg

Published in Local Music News
Thursday, 05 September 2013 10:45

Malta: Interview with Daniel Muscat (KKI 13)

Daniel Muscat, a young and upcoming male vocalist whose experience in the music industry has somewhat been limited to two major competitions, one held on ONE Television, bearing the name Malta Hit Song Contest and more recently, the Raise Your Game Challenge with Tenishia which featured four finalists. In this years' Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, Daniel will be performing the song Int Kont Hemm composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas to the lyrics of Marlon Polidano and Stephen Baldacchino. Below, our editorial board devised a set of questions in order to get to know Daniel a little bit better whilst Chris and Moira have also heard all of the entries in order to comment on them. With regards to the solo entry, they stated that it 'could do with a better production but Daniel has a very warm voice'.  awarding it with six (6) points.

In 2010, Daniel Muscat made his debut within the local music scene following entry into the Malta Hit Song Contest with the track Glamorous written by singer/songwriter Rita Pace. It was the beginning of a brand new experience for you as an artist and looking back, you might have done things differently in order to acquire a better end result. Nevertheless, as many have denoted, the competition was fierce and gave each participant the opportunity to present himself to the audience which in turn enjoyed the entries. What could you tell us about the Malta Hit Song Contest and would you support it’s return?

The Malta Hit Song Contest was a great opportunity for me. I was introduced to the local scene and people got to know me better. Glamorous was one of the first songs I had ever recorded, and Rita Pace had understood perfectly the style I wanted. It was thanks to her that I took part in this festival since she believed in me from the first time we met. As a competition it offered great exposure since we had a number of appearances on a television programme related to the festival, and overall I can say that I've learnt a lot from that experience. Obviously when looking back I'm sure I could have done things in a better way, however now I can only look back and learn from my mistakes. I really wish that the Malta Hit Song Contest returns since it was another great opportunity for Maltese artists to showcase their talent.

In this years’ edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, you will be performing the track entitled Int Kont Hemm composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas to the lyrics of Marlon Polidano and Stephen Baldacchino. This is the very first time that you are competing in the elite music competition which has seen to the success of Ira Losco, Claudia Faniello, Eleanor Cassar and Amber amongst others. What could you tell us about the song in general and will there be anything special when it comes to the performance on the night of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza set for the 19th September?

I am very honoured to be one of the finalists of this competition, thanks to the song "Int kont hemm", and for this reason I would like to thank the team who believed in me. From the first time I read the lyrics, and heard the melody, I loved the song! I believe that the combination of experiences and new ideas made this song what it is. Therefore when I was offered the song I had to accept it.

The song is very simple to understand, it can be dedicated to anyone that was there to offer his help and support through difficult times. Every person listening to the song can relate to it, and I think that this is what makes it special, thus my performance on the night will be kept simple in order for the viewers to be able to really listen to the song, however I will not be giving anymore details. You will see for yourselves on the 19th of September.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Co_5jvPqYqU

During the aforementioned participation in the Malta Hit Song Contest, you had the opportunity to perform a duet with an artist of your choice and you decided to collaborate with Jessika, a finalist at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest on two occasions, the most recent being earlier this year with the song Ultraviolet composed by Philip Vella and Thomas G:son with lyrics by Gerard James Borg. What was the reasoning behind calling upon Jessika for the performance and did you believe that her vocals complemented the song in a manner where it became totally different?

At that time Jessika was already well known with the public, and she had participated successfully in the previous editions of the Malta Hit Song Contest and since we are also related I thought it would be a great idea for her to sing with me. The duet worked very well, and her voice gave a new dimension to the song. It was quite challenging since Rita Pace had to rewrite the lyrics in a way that the song became an interaction between two different persons. This gave me the opportunity to connect better with Jessika. I had the opportunity to sing with Jessika for a number of times, and it was a great experience every time. I would like to thank her for believing in me, and for helping me out every time I needed some advice.

It seems that you are making a name for yourself as an artist, recalling your experience in the aforementioned competition and also the Raise Your Game with Tenishia competition sponsored by Vodafone but you have also dabbled in some songwriting. At the Malta Summer Hit Song Contest in 2011, you entered the song Memoirs performed by Karen DeBattista with music by Mark Scicluna. Being a vocalist and a songwriter is entirely different but nevertheless represent aspects of the same industry. How did you find each experience and do you prefer one over the other?

Each experience is different in its own way, depends on the circumstance as well. In the Raise Your Game competition I had the opportunity to collaborate with Tenishia where they produced a track for us, and we had to compose and write our own melody for it. Eventhough I did not win the competition however the feedback I got was great and apart from that I also had the opportunity to work with a great duo, who are also in the Top 50 list of DJ's from around the world! 

Writing lyrics for another singer is also a great experience as  you can transmit your own thoughts through someone else's voice. Mark Scicluna gave me an opportunity to work with him, and together we found out about Karen DeBattista, thanks to Marie Claire Attard Bason. It was a great experience, and apart from working with a great team, I also made great friends. Song writing, and singing are two very different forms of expression but I have to say that the best experience is when you have the opportunity to sing your own compositions, therefore I prefer singing myself.

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

I would like to tell all the readers to keep supporting Maltese talent, as sometimes we do underestimate our own capabilities as a country. I think we have a lot of talent in Malta and if we give each singer the support required, they might get far in their career. For the foreign followers I would like to thank them for following the Maltese music scene.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xRLfrN8_4TI

Published in Interviews

Aħfirli Jekk Trid, music by Minik with lyrics by Rita Pace is the song that Fabrizio Faniello will be performing at this years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza. Through his Official Facebook Page, Fabrizio revealed that he plans to release the song as a single through digital store, iTunes. This is innovative for entries competing in the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza which never get solo release. The public have shown a true liking to Aħfirli Jekk Trid which currently ranks in the top five of tele-voting and also lies in first place on the escflashmalta.com poll just ahead of Li Jien Illum by Simarija and Mikhail.

This years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza scheduled to be held on the 19th September 2013 on The Granaries in Floriana is set to be hosted by Mark Azzopardi and Christine Haber with live broadcast on NET Television. Apart from the twenty participants competing in the Established Category, there will be three (3) artists who will make it through from the Teenage Category apart from the special guests which will include none other than; Gianluca who represented Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest with the track Tomorrow with music and lyrics by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat as well as former Malta Eurovision Song Contest participant; Deborah C who was also the winner of last years' edition of the local competition with the song Jekk Nużaw Moħħna composed by Philip Vella to the lyrics of Joe Chircop.

In a recent interview with escflashmalta.com, Fabrizio declined to confirm on whether he would be submitting an entry for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest stating that he is currently working on a brand new studio album and should a particular song fit into the requirement of the competition, then he would most likely submit. Something that could spur the return of Fabrizio to the elite international forum could definitely be the fact that the Eurovision Song Contest is taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark which was the same place where the male vocalist made his debut back in 2001 with the song Another Summer Night composed by Paul Abela with lyrics by Georgina Abela. In the meantime, stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more news about Aħfirli Jekk Trid which will be released a digital single through CAP Sounds and Universal Music Germany on the day following the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza.

Source: Fabrizio Faniello (Official Facebook Page)

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

Published in Local Music News

Simarija and Mikhail, a young and talented duo who have joined forces for the very first time to compete in this years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza. The song they are presenting is entitled Li Jien Illum with music by Elton Zarb and lyrics by Natasha Turner. Below, our editorial board devised a set of questions in order to get to know Simarija and Mikhail a little bit better whilst Chris and Moira have also heard all of the entries in order to comment on them. With regards to the duet, they stated that whilst 'she is good, his diction is not performed well', they also added that there is 'good eye contact but no passion whatsoever', ultimately awarding it with five (5) points.

Li Jien Illum composed by Elton Zarb to the lyrics of Natasha Turner is one of three entries in this years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza which is performed in a duet with the others being Inwegħdek performed by Josef & Johanna and Gloria sung by Mauro & Kim. Would you care to explain to the readers what makes your song differ from the other duets when deciding who to vote for and how did the product in general come about?

Our song isn't just speaking about our beautiful island, Malta and it's people, it is a dialogue between Malta and the maltese nation. The main concept of the song is that through the years Malta has offered us food, shelter, sun and a beautiful history all of which couldn't be fulfilled if not for the maltese nation. All in all we think it's different from other duets because Malta becomes alive for a few minutes and together with the maltese nation they thank each other because their work through the years is what makes us Maltese today.

Simarija, this is your second time in the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza having been able to get through to the semi-final stage of the Teenage Talent portion two years ago with the track Majestuża composed by Marco Debono to the lyrics of Rita Pace. Despite not being selected as part of the final three, it was still an experience to cherish. This time round though, it will be quite different though as you will be on the main stage of The Granaries in Floriana as part of the Established Category. How are you perceiving this experience and would do you think you would have done differently two years ago?

It has always been a dream of mine to compete in the indipendenza song festival and sing on the beautiful stage in floriana. I don't think I would change anything from three (3) years ago I think it has thought me a lot and boosted a lot of confidence and personality on stage.

Mikhail, the local audience knows you as a male actor on the popular drama series known as D.R.E.A.M.S which is produced by Rewind Productions in conjunction with the Public Broadcasting Services. Being a part of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza is completely different though as you are getting the opportunity to perform live in front of hundreds of people. It has to be noted that this is your first major experience within a competition and many people will be hoping that you'll overcome any possible nerves. How are you preparing for the competition?

As you said, this is my first time in the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza but nevertheless, I have had the opportunity to perform live in front of many people and also represented Malta in an international competition in Italy where I had won first place. I have been training for around nine (9) years and feel prepared to take on the local music scene through this competition. We hope that the people understand the message of the song. Ultimately, we should be proud of who we have become in life and how our country has moulded each individual.

The Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza is one of the foremost competitions in the local music scene and you have acquired the opportunity the open this years' edition thanks to the result of a draw which took place following the second phase held at Media.Link Communications. How are you relishing this opportunity which you have been given and do you think it is better to sing in the beginning or would have you preferred to perform towards the end?

We are extremely proud to have been given the opportunity to open this years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza. This competition is full of history and has given rise to some of the most established performers in the scene, hence the honour.

What would you like to tell our readers at escflashmalta.com?

We appreciate all the support that you have been giving us as seen even within the tele-voting where our song Li Jien Illum has consecutively maintained the first runner-up slot. Keep on voting and thanks for all your support!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RG4KdZOLLlY

Published in Interviews

Minik, a singer/songwriter who is known to the masses as Dominic Cini returns to the stage of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza as a solo artist for the first time since 2004. Since then he appeared in the competition on another two occasions, the first time in a duet with his wife, Ina Robinic and second time round in a group known as Ħbieb Maltin. This time round, Minik is presenting the track Armonija which he composed to the lyrics of Stephen Baldacchino. Below, our editorial board devised a set of questions in order to get to know Minik a little bit better whilst Chris and Moira have also heard all of the entries in order to comment on them. With regards to Minik, they stated that 'there is too much happenning with the song' but agreed on giving six (6) points.

In recent months, you were given the opprtunity to shy away from being a lead vocalist and ake up a secondary role on one of the most watched television series during the past season, that entitled D.R.E.A.M.S which aired on Television Malta. A proud supporter of the series, escflashmalta.com saw you perform an original song in Maltese on one of the episodes but nevertheless, how did you manage to combine the two forms of entertainment together?

It was not the first time for me to sing and act at the same time on stage, noting that I have taken part in several pantomimes and musicals along the years, but to perform in front of a camera with full blown choreography. It was my first time and I enjoyed it!

You're a singer, you're an actor and also a songwriter and as a matter of fact, also responsible for the music of your entry 'Armonija'. This is one of the several tracks you have submitted into the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza. How do you manage to diversify and personalise the styles for each individual and what feeling does each track evoke within you?

Before I start to compose a song the most important thing for me is to know the singer well, what type of music she loves and would like to sing and listen to some of her songs if she/he is a newcomer.  Then I start to compose preferably before the lyrics are done.  As I`m composing i always imagine the singer on stage perform the song so it will help me to bring out the best of it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WGdi3RhYLPc

The song you're presenting in this years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza entitled 'Armonija' is penned by Stephen Baldacchino. The genre of this track is somewhat new to the competition and at the same time reminscent to the popular 'Lion King' musical which is the longest running showcase in the West End. How does it feel to set new standards within the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza and what inspired you to write this type of song?

After last year`s Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza which I had the pleasure of being a part of as a composer and not as a singer, I started thinking about composing something totally different with all those voices with different harmonies which makes the song different from others.

What makes your entry different from others competing in this years' edition of the local music competition is the fact that it has a lyrical sense which is very much straight to the point. You want to pass on the message that the aim of music is to bring everyone together with a secondary reason for reason to forget that problems. Do you think that music does truly have the power to evoke such emotions and do you think that you will manage to bring out the best of lyrics for the audience present?

I believe in the message of the song, and I believe that every singer can pass a message to an audience as long as the interpretation is well planned.

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

I would like to thank escflashmalta.com for their support throughout the year and I would also like to send my sincere gratitude to all those who support my music!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23lRKfCPv6A

Published in Interviews

Media.Link Communications in collaboration with escflashmalta.com is proud to present the eighth week of the programme Indifest hosted by Mark Azzopardi and Christine Haber through NET Television on Thursday evening as from 20:30 CET onwards. In support of this years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, the weekly programme seeks to promote the artists competing in one of three competitions which promote the local language. Whether newcomers or somewhat established, their place is still amongst the general elite. The public has the opportunity to select which three entries they would like to qualify from the 'teenage talent' portion of the competition as well selecting their top favourite within the 'established category' which is offered as a seperate award in order to make sure that talent is well appreciated.

The Established Category of this years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza is a progression towards the future noting a mixture of young and veteran artists who look towards impressing the judges on the night of the competition. In this evenings' programme, first up is Roseann Cordina with the track Ejjew Ilkoll composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas with lyrics by Joe Chircop. The female vocalist is in the competition for the second consecutive year, and will definitely be hoping to improve on her third runner-up finish achieved last year. Joining her will be another female vocalist, a former runner-up in the form of Janice Mangion who is set to perform he song Nibqa' composed by Chan Vella to the lyrics of Alexia Schembri.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z2fikyOtsGk

The Teenage Category of this years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza officially came to a close last week with the performance of Naomi Roberts and her entry Dil-Fjura Għalik composed by Kaya to the lyrics of Emil Calleja Bayliss. In the meantime, the rest of the programme will be featuring a series of musical guests including none other than Kurt Calleja, who represented Malta at the 2012 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest; Amber, who was his backing vocalist and also winner of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza in 2011; Emanuele Heael Pavano who is an Italian vocalist and Annalise Dance Studio who as resident guests  will be showing the audience some risque moves as always. Remember Indifest returns to NET Television, this evening at 20:30 CET. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for the latest news.

Source: KKI Page on Facebook

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9BUaYk2S4VQ

Published in Local Music News

In this years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, the females outweigh the males when it comes to the art of performing but nevertheless, Christian Arding has also managed to make the cut into this years' showcase with the song Fejn Hemm L-Għaqda Hemm Is-Saħħa composed by Chan Vella to the lyrics of Alexia Schembri. Below, our editorial board devised a set of questions in order to get to know Christian a little bit better whilst Chris and Moira have also heard all of the entries in order to comment on them. With regards to Christian, they stated that 'he has a good voice but that the song is poorly produced.' ultimately awarding him with just five (5) points.

Christian Arding was one of the surprise packages during the 2006 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, having been asked to perform the song Stronger composed by Charlene Grima to the lyrics of Deo Grech after the original performers had to compete with their other entry Echoes of Gaia. You were revealed to have managed a fifth place finish on just your second attempt within the competition with the public falling in love with both the song and the actual performance. How did you get to perform the track and seven years on, would you have done anything differently? 

I could not say no to my cousins and to a fiend like Deo. Obviously at that stage in 2006 I was still trying hard for the Eurovision song contest though I had my first performance the year before in 2005 when I sang a duet with Andreana. Even now a days I would have never  done anything differently.

This is your third participation within the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, but nevertheless your solo debut having previously been in a duet with Justine entitled Le Ma Nibżax composed by Chan Vella to the lyrics of Rita Pace in 2005 as well as part of the trio known as Silent Shout during the performance of the track Għada Fadal Għada composed by Chan Vella to the lyrics of Alexia Schembri. This time round, your entry bears the name Fejn Hemm L-Għaqda Hemm Is-Saħħa and is also composed by Chan Vella with lyrics by Alexia Schembri. Which track would you rate at the best out of the three and how important is it for an artist to work with the same songwriter?

Actually I would never say that a song is better than the other one because every song has its own performance and style and a singer has to know what is best and how to perform .. working with the same song writer is very good when you have the opportunity. It is good when a song writer knows the singer and be able to share good ideas because a song writer has to know what a singer likes as his own style though a singer has to be versatile.

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

Throughout the years, you have earned a reputation for taking on tracks which were not originally meant for you and technically speaking, that is also happening this time round as your entry Fejn Hemm L-Għaqda Hemm is-Saħħa was submitted as a duet between Dario and Grecia Bezzina in last years’ edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza. It has become more common for duets to be re-worked into solo entries but nevertheless, were you able to listen to the original version in order to give your own track a complete twist and are you happy with the final product?

When you earn tracks that are not meant to be for you it is much more difficult to set your own feel of the song because you already have listened to a track with an other singer or production but it is there when a good singer has to enter his experience on what he knows what it is good and not for the song and performance.. I’m very happy with the final product and I believe also in the song.

In recent years, Christian Arding has been slightly absent from the local music scene as a lead vocalist, taking a step back and garnering experience as a backing vocalist. In 2012, you were one of the male accompaniments during the performance of Answer With Your Eyes composed by Paul Giordimaina with lyrics by Fleur Balzan and vocals by Amber. The track was the second runner-up at the end of the evening, behind the likes of Kurt Calleja and Claudia Faniello. What was the reason behind taking this difficult decision in stepping back and do you believe it was the right thing to do at the time?

The reason behind taking a step back is not a big deal especially in our country in the small Island of Malta. It was also a good thing to do for me because I had no tv shows on any local tv stations in 2012 so I took 1 year break from tv shows and most of the Maltese people and especially Eurovision spectators think that if a singer dose not participate in the Eurovision song contest does not sing anymore, believe me I never stop or stopped singing because now a days and also before and during 2005 and 2006 on words I was already busy with gigs in hotels and weddings with no chance for other activities. Since I was the age of 14 I started working as a one man band in hotels and gained a lot of experience an stages and spatially live events as this has been my full time job since I was 14 years old.

What would you like to tell our readers at escflashmalta.com?

To all the readers, do not think that the best singers are only on the stage of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, or other festivals in the country. You have to think outside the box and look for local talent beyond such showcases! Thanks!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DikNIW0JV3Q

Published in Interviews

The Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza is a local competition which aims to promote the national language of the nation through the medium of song. The most familiar name in this years' line-up is that of Fabrizio Faniello, an individual who has been to the Eurovision Song Contest on two occasions, achieving mixed results. He returns to this showcase with one aim, to win and in order to do that, he is competing with the track Aħfirli Jekk Trid composed by Minik with lyrics by Rita Pace. Below, our editorial board devised a set of questions in order to get to know Fabrizio a little bit better whilst Chris and Moira have also heard all of the entries in order to comment on them. With regards to Fabrizio, they stated that 'the song has amazing lyrics! and that the vocal performance is passionate and stunning' ultimately awarding him with a maximum ten (10) points.

In 2006, the public entrusted you to represent Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest for the second time in five years with the track I Do which you co-wrote with Aldo Spiteri. Unfortunately, the performance at the international spectacle left much to be desired and the result reflected this fact, with only Albania offering some sort of relief. Would you have done anything differently and do you regret taking part once more?

There where circumstances in the performing that sure I would do differently today as now I know what and why it went wrong back in the days …. But, even bad experiences make you stronger if you are ready to learn from them, therefore I am very unhappy for the result, but I won’t regret it, - it gave me an aim in life now ….. to prove I can do much better, - No Surrender!!

In this years’ edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, you will be performing the song Ahfirli Jekk Trid composed by Minik to the lyrics of Rita Pace. This is your second foray into the competition within recent years having previously reached third place with the track Futur composed by Minik with lyrics by Clinton Paul by the same team. The difference between the two songs is relatively evident but that is surely a positive feature. Which out of the song do you prefer and why?

Both Rita and Minik have done an amazing job on the song that they presented. It seems like the were reading my mind when they wrote this song. In the meantime, Futur is a great song too and I was happy with the result, now of course I hope that the new song is beloved by the people and the judges, as this festival is the only one I did not win so far in Malta, so pleeeeeease, help me reach my goal!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoMvYHCbOm0

You entered the local music scene at a relatively young age noting your debut within the Malta Eurovision Song Contest back in 1998 with the track More Than Just a Game composed by Paul Abela with lyrics by Georgina Abela. On that occasion, you were the first runner-up and ultimately managed to get to the Eurovision Song Contest in 2001 with the track Another Summer Night co-written by the same team. Do you think that the jury and the public made the right choice from the entries you put forward towards the international competition? 

I think “Another Summer Night” and “I do” are great songs and it was the right choice, nevertheless I would have loved too to perform “No Surrender” in front of an international competition, I got so many positive feedbacks from people who loved the song, - whatever, we have to accept and respect the results, it’s a competition.

Manfred Holz of CAP-Sounds has stood by you as your manager throughout both positive and negative experiences and that is the way that a management should be. Your record label works under the division of Universal Music Germany and thus your material has garnered considerable exposure. Did you actually believe that your comeback would prove to be so successful and are you planning to return to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest in 2014, following a one year gap?

I am very thankful for the work Manfred and the team of CAP-Sounds are doing for me and as well for many other artists, just right now they did a German cover version of “I Do” and this one jumped into the DJ Charts over there, that’s great for me as a writer too … Currently we are working on new material for the upcoming album release in 2014 and end of September I am flying again to Germany for recording sessions of new songs, we will see then, if there is a song in it, which could attract the Eurovision crowd …. 

What would you like to tell our readers at escflashmalta.com?

Once again I would like to thank all supporters and fans from escflashmalta.com , musicians need loyal fans! For everybody of you who wants to see a bit more of me in future, I am doing a brand-new Television Program starting in October, for which you could find more information by visiting the official facebook page!

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

Published in Interviews

Media,Link Communications launched a talent search to merit an upcoming artist the opportunity to perform within the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza and following in the footsteps of Simone Gauci is none other than Karen DeBattista. The young female artist has been dubbed as to having the voice of an angel and many could easily denote why as she gives a sterling rendition of the song Riflessi composed by Mark Scicluna with lyrics by Emil Calleja Bayliss, the escflashmalta.com Head of Communications. Below, our editorial board devised a set of questions in order to get to know Karen a little bit better whilst Chris and Moira have also heard all of the entries in order to comment on them. With regards to Karen, they stated that 'she has a lovely voice and good stage presence' ultimately awarding her with five (5) points, meaning that they weren't too fond of the track.

Passport 2 Indifest is a talent show organised by Spiteri Lucas Entertainment in conjunction with the organisation board of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza with the aim of giving a brand new artist the possibility to compete in the esteemed competition. The initial trial took place last year seeing to the performance of Simone Gauci and her entry Id F’Id composed by Renato Briffa to the lyrics of Keith Zammit and this time round, it will be you, Karen DeBattista. Back when you submitted your application, did you believe that you could triumph and how would you describe your journey towards obtaining the wildcard?

I have to be honest - I applied for the competition with the intention of gaining experience and exposure; winning was just a thought in the back of my mind. I still wanted to give my utmost with regards to performances, and I believe I did so, but my main aim was to have fun, meet new people and take as much as I could from the experience. After making it to the third phase of the competition (which was quite a surprise since only four singers had to be chosen out of ten), I realised that I had as much chance of winning as much as the other competitors, so my approach changed with each stage of the competition. 

We were quite a bunch of energetic singers, and despite being a competition, we grew closer as friends. The final was exciting and scary at the same time for various reasons - the first being   that I was extremely looking forward to performing a classic Maltese song, the second being that I was only a step away from winning my very first competition and obtaining an automatic place in the final of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza (which I have been following ever since I can remember) and the final reason being that I was competing with a very close friend of mine - Marie Claire Attard Bason. She is an extremely talented singer and I wanted her to win as much as I did myself since we both worked hard and we both deserved to win. I would like to say thank-you to Mark Spiteri Lucas and his band for the amazing job they did on every song and for their hospitality. It surely was an experience to cherish. 

The track that you will be performing at this years’ edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza is entitled Riflessi with music by Mark Scicluna and lyrics by Emil Calleja Bayliss. It is important to point out that you did not have a say in the choice of the track with the initial jury appointed by the committee of the showcase making the selection on your behalf based on your vocal capabilities. When you heard the track for the very first time, what were your initial thoughts and did you want to make any changes?

My very first thought was ‘WOW!’. I just loved the flow of the music and the depth of the lyrics. I usually go through a process before deciding on a song, meaning that I look for what I like and what I don’t like in a song. This time I didn’t have that option. I was slightly sceptical and anxious about the judges’ decision since I was afraid that it would not be suitable for me, or maybe it wasn’t to my liking. I can gladly say that I was mistaken on both counts. I am extremely happy with the team and the song, and I have a feeling that it is going to be a wonderful and exciting journey.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bu42S626B88

In 2011, you reached the finals of the Malta Hit Song Contest with the song Memoirs composed by Mark Scicluna with lyrics by Daniel Muscat and ultimately also had the opportunity to perform a duet with Thea Garrett who had just been at the Eurovision Song Contest a couple of months before. Therefore, with that in mind, this will you be your second major experience in a local competition but the first in such a magnificent venue. Did you always wish to join the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza and how are you preparing for the live performance?

I am fairly certain that for anyone who follows the Maltese music scene and wants to make it in music locally, one of the competitions which they look forward to taking part in is the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza. The competition has long been established as a major event in the Maltese music calendar, and as all aspiring singers, I have longed for the day when I could take part and perform on that stage. Luckily enough, this year I have the opportunity to do so. The Malta Hit Song Contest was an excellent stepping stone since as mentioned, apart from gaining experience with regards to a televised competition I also had the opportunity to sing with the wonderful Thea Garrett who was extremely helpful and supportive. Now I look forward to a new experience - performing in front of such a large crowd this coming September. Preparations are on track, with me practicing the song together with my vocal coach Gillian Zammit so that I can give the best performance possible and other decisions being taken as a team together with the composer and author of the song. 

The Malta Eurovision Song Contest is the most predominant music competition in the country noting that the winner gets the opportunity to perform in front of millions of people all over the world. You showed interest this year by submitting a song, one entitled Cold Whispers composed by Mark Scicluna with lyrics by Emil Calleja Bayliss. The track which did not get through to the semi-final stage of the competition was never unveiled. Do you intend to submit the track once more in 2014 as the journey towards Denmark commences or will you be working on new material? 

Yes, I will definitely submit the song again this year! Making it with the top 69 songs on my first attempt at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest was a great achievement for me personally. Despite not making it to the semi-final stage of the competition, I still believe in the song, and that is the main reason for submitting the song again this year. I would love to work on new songs for the said competition, but unfortunately, due to personal reasons I cannot do so this year. I am still at the beginning of my musical career, so I know that I have ample time to come up with new material, and I look forward to whatever the future may hold.

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

I would like to encourage them to continue to support Maltese artists and anything that has to do with the Maltese music scene. It is thanks to their continuous support that local artists and music can continue to grow and flourish.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I4QgwdgUbGw

Published in Interviews

Media.Link Communications in collaboration with escflashmalta.com is proud to present the seventh week of the programme Indifest hosted by Mark Azzopardi and Christine Haber through NET Television on Thursday evening as from 20:30 CET onwards. In support of this years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, the weekly programme seeks to promote the artists competing in one of three competitions which promote the local language. Whether newcomers or somewhat established, their place is still amongst the general elite. The public has the opportunity to select which three entries they would like to qualify from the Teenage Talent portion of the competition as well selecting their top favourite within the 'established category' which is offered as a seperate award.

The Established Category of this years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza is a progression towards the future noting a mixture of young and veteran artists who look towards impressing the judges on the night of the competition. In this evenings' programme, first up is Fabrizio Faniello with the track Aħfirli Jekk Trid composed by Minik with lyrics by Rita Pace. The male vocalist has been to the Eurovision Song Contest on two occasions, but has only managed third place in this competition before. Joining him will be none other than Kylie Coleiro with the song M'Intix Waħdek composed by Philip Vella with lyrics by Manila Bottone. The female vocalist is hoping to improve on her top ten result achieved last year following a sterling rendition of the song Ħalluni composed by Augusto Cardinali with lyrics by Giovann Attard.

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

Dil-Fjura Għalik, composed by Kaya to the lyrics of Emil Calleja Bayliss with vocals by Naomi Roberts is the song which is being promoted from the Teenage Category of this years' Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza. As always, the performances from the Teenage Talent category are all live in order to assess the vocal skills of all the respective artists apart from bearing in mind the potential of each entry. In the meantime, there will also be a number of guests including none other than Gianluca, who successfully represented Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Tomorrow co-written by Dean Muscat and Boris Cezek and Donna Borg Leyland who will be representing Malta within the international Miss World competition in a couple of months. Also, as resident guests, the Annalise Dance Studio will be showing the audience some risque moves as always. Remember Indifest returns to NET Television, this evening at 20:30 CET. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for the latest news.

Source: KKI Page on Facebook, escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bv8nOvyx73I

Published in Local Music News
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