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Sunday, 02 February 2014 18:30

MMAs 2014: Interview with Noel Magri (MMM)

Whilst the focus of the local music industry and most of the continent is on the upcoming edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, it is worth pointing out that this years' edition of the Malta Music Awards are set to take place on Sunday 9th February at the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre in Ta' Qali. Therefore, escflashmalta.com got in touch with Noel Magri, from Mega Music Management to oversee the preparations whilst having a look at former editions of the prestigious event.

On the 20th October 1995, Mega Music Management organised the first edition of the Malta Music Awards, a different time in the local music scene with the participation in the Eurovision Song Contest considered to be the elite point a vocalist or a songwriter could reach at the time. Looking back, why did you feel that such recognition had to be given, and was it too late a start?

At that time, efforts were being made by local singers and musicians to improve their standard and although many countries were honouring their artists for their achievements, there was nothing similar in Malta, and I thought of creating an Awards show giving due recognition to artists for their work throughout the past year, and to motivate them to better their standards.  The first edition was a huge success and all artists and those involved in the music scene wanted this kind of event be held yearly.

It is fair to say that the professional jury behind the choices made at the Malta Music Awards have been rather on the money in their choices for the Best Newcomer with recipients including; Olivia Lewis, Glen Vella, Miriam Christine, Hooligan, Red Electrick and Mikaela amongst others. How rewarding is it to see that artists who are bestowed this prestigious honour succeeding in their career?

Our intention has and will always be, to award the best talent at the time, and to help them succeed in their musical career.   It is rewarding to see artists who have won awards, being successful over the years, and that the MMA’s has given them that much needed confidence to move forward and improve their all round performance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3tbKWd0X_Y

In 2013 and 2014, the Public Broadcasting Services decided to conduct an experiment, and hold the Malta Music Weekender, which basically features a weekend of local talent, kicking off with the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and then following it up with the Malta Music Awards. This experiment has been seen to be extremely positive and has generated interest amongst both local and international audiences alike. What was your initial idea to such a proposal and will you be implementing any changes this time round?

From the very first edition, my aim was to help better the standards of local music in general, and to help artists succeed in the International scene.   Having a sound backing is important to hold such a professional show, and the idea of holding the PBS Music Weekender has been very successful.  Holding two major local events in one weekend has helped to attract more attention from the Maltese general public, and give the local artists a major platform to showcase their talent.

Cliff Richard, Blue, Peter Andre, Robin Gibb and Bob Sinclar have all been invited to Malta on behalf of Mega Music Management, making the Island a better attraction in the entertainment scene. It has become somewhat at the best interest of everyone to denote the best possible attractions that such events can promise. Should the public be expecting any foreign special guests during this years’ edition of the Malta Music Awards, possibly even performing at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest?

There will be foreign guest singers performing during the Eurovision Festival, coming from the Eurovision background, however this year’s edition of the MMA’s will see a very strong local line-up with 14 top performing acts, plus an after show concert by Xirka Rock which is expected to blow the roof down.  Certainly, not to be missed.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Hd1wE4UtzA

Gaia Cauchi, winner of the 2013 edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest was selected by the Public Broadcasting Services to represent Malta following her International Achievement Award at the Malta Music Awards last year. Would you go as far as to predicting the artist who might be doing the same honour for the country in a couple of months time and how proud as a company were you to be recognised in such a manner?

Last year, we recognised Gaia’s talent and we honoured her for her achievements.  PBS decision to select Gaia reaped benefits and I would go as far as proposing the same method be used to select our Eurovision representative in the coming years.  We are honoured to have exposed such young talent who achieved such a huge success.  There are various young promising singers who, if they are well looked after, can achieve success Internationally.

The Rifffs, Airport Impressions, Red Electrick, The Crowns, Norbert, Plan Zero, Andi, Sophie, The New Victorians, Ira Losco, Gaia and Winter Moods are all being given the opportunity to perform during this years’ edition of the Malta Music Awards. What should the public be expecting from these acts, and will there be any special surprises, maybe which you could reveal?

All the major artists will be performing their songs for the first time in public, and obviously having such a majestic set-up and stage, we will be looking forward to their performances.    It is worth mentioning the new talent who will be exposed in this show and who I’m sure, will go down very well with the crowd.  People hear their music on Radio stations, but probably are not aware that these are Maltese!

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

The MMA’s have always been very well attended by the public, and my appeal is to keep on supporting this show which is promoting local music and motivating artists to improve their product. Ticket prices are only Eur 10.

Source: Official Page on Facebook

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UQ22gLzLgjs

Published in Interviews
Sunday, 15 September 2013 14:16

Malta: Audience in Awe of Majestic Male Duet

Rockestra, an event in aid of the Malta Community Chest Fund, has always been billed as 'not to be missed' and with that slogan managed to attract it's largest crowd yet. Around twelve thousand (12,000) people flocked to the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre in Ta' Qali in order to witness some of the best talent that the local music scene has to offer along with the musical accompaniment of the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra led by Maestro Sigmund Mifsud as well as four female backing vocalists; Angela Spiteri, Jackie Pace Delicata, Anna Azzopardi and Louisa Frendo Wirth. With several eurostars in attendance, it was quite difficult to select the strongest performance of the evening but we did manage to come to a conclusion that the evening belonged to male vocalists; Ludwig Galea and Chris Grech.

Ludwig Galea, a former representative for Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2004 was joined by Chris Grech, a finalist in this years' edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest in an astonishing version of Bohemian Rhapsody by Queen. The audience was in awe of their vocal capabilities, and showed their appreciation by clapping, and singing throughout the whole performance. The event was star studded and two of the closing acts who drew the most attention and came possibly a joint second in terms of performance were none other than Ira Losco and Kevin Borg. The pop/rock princess took to the stage in a regal robe and a crown in order to perform another hit song by the group Queen, that being Radio Gaga. The first runner-up at this years' Malta Eurovision Song Contest, Kevin performed Livin' on a Prayer which many remembered him performing during Idol in Sweden. The public were so enthralled by the performances that they ended up clapping in sync, something that rarely happens in public events.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eScx1e6Vhxk

Whilst those three artists managed to bring the house down, it is unfair not to mention artists such as Lawrence Gray, Claudia Faniello and Raquela whose vocal capabilities were stretched to the maximum especially with regards to the latter. Raquela, a participant within the Malta Eurovision Song Contest in 2009, 2011 and 2013 showed the public that she has a range beyond compare in a lyric-less song where harmonisation was key before returning for a duet version of the song Hallelujah alongside Sandrina. The concert was held under the distinguished patronage of The President of Malta and Mrs Abela and is supported by Parliamentary Secretariat for Culture and Local Government, Good Causes Fund, Malta Tourism Authority, Malta Fairs and Convention Centre, HSBC Bank, Banif Bank, Bank of Valletta, Vodafone, Tumas Group and Hard Rock Café. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: Jahel Briffa

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSRvEtU5UzY

Published in Local Music News

There have been a number of questions which have been seemingly addressed in the past couple of hours with the withdrawal of Saska Hunt and her entry Dress Rehearsal being replaced by Overrated performed by Marilena Gauci. It is important to note that both entries are composed by Philip Vella and penned by Gerard James Borg and therefore, the songwriters had to be relieved to know that they were still not going to miss an entry in the competition. In the past couple of hours, it seems that the preparations for the 2013 Malta Eurovision Song Contest have continued due to the fact that whilst in Albania, the Public Broadcasting Services Chairman, Joseph Mizzi invited the Albanian representatives at the upcoming international showcase to the local selection show. It is unknown whether they have accepted or not at this stage although it could be the first of a number of guests.  In the past, reciprocity of jury and guests between countries took place quite freely.

The Festivali I Kenges took place last night and just finished beyond the stroke of midnight. The song quality seems to have improved over time but nevertheless, the mixed reactions over the winning entry are somewhat very apparent. The public in Albania have made their opinion known though and they are very happy about the choice of entry with their second favourite also finishing in second place noting that the winners were Adrian Lulgjuraj & Bledar Sejkowith with the track Identitet with the first runner-up being the song Love performed by the 2004 Eurovision Song Contest representative; Anjeza Shanini. Details about the Malta Eurovision Song Contest are being released in small doses at the moment noting that preparations are taking place at a timely pace. The hosts along with the guests have not been revealed but it is widely expected that the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest representative from Malta; Kurt Calleja will be present to perform his entry along with a number of other hits. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: RTSH, escflashmalta.com, Joseph Mizzi (PBS)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UqZixWuf2ns

Published in Local Music News