September 19, 2019

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In recent days, the Public Broadcasting Services published the names of the entries competing in next years' edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, an effort which will see someone step into the shoes of Gianluca whose entry Tomorrow co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat finished in eighth place. The event, slated to take place on the 7th and 8th February at the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre will see to the participation of twenty (20) acts, all vying for the unique prize of representing the country at the biggest musical event in Europe.

At first glance, two names stand out, and of course, those are of two former representatives of Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest; Miriam Christine and Fabrizio Faniello. On second look, I would have to note more artists who have returned to the competition, including the likes of Andreana, Romina Mamo, Wayne William, Sophie DeBattista; a former Junior Eurovision Song Contest representative and Pamela; backing vocalist for Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2010 and 2011 respectively. It's always positive to see artists who have been missing for a period of time, because it means that they rekindled their flame after a couple of years off.

The newcomers to the festival are also ones which are very much intriguing to denote with Christabelle Borg never declaring herself interested in representing Malta abroad. The four time Best Solo Artist Award winner at the BMAs has thrown her hat into the ring as she heads one of the twenty (20) available bids. Despite being a renowned figure, Daniel Testa's Junior Eurovision Song Contest days are well behind him and his days at a DJ at 89.7 Bay are helping define a personal genre, one which he will be taking to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. Joining him there is Ryan Paul Abela, son of Maestro Paul Abela who has written some of Malta's most iconic entries for the international showcase.

Two final newcomers worth a mention are Debbie Stivala and Raquel Galdes, the latter having been a finalist in this years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza and the former being a collaborator with notable band, Tribali. On the other hand, the other artists in the field were all present during this years' edition, including none other than; Amber, Davinia, Jessika, Franklin Calleja, Chris Grech, Corazon and Deborah C. It is worth noting that Richard Edwards has joined forces with sister Michelle Mifsud in a band known as Fire Light. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com as the latest news about the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2014 is unraveled.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaQ1od0LAiU

On the 10th December 2013, the Catholic Institute in Floriana will play host to the launch event of a brand new compilation album which aims to celebrate the true spirit of Christmas; the gift of giving. All the proceeds made from this record will be given directly to one of the most recognised charities in the country, that being; Id-Dar tal-Providenza.

 

The compilation album features a range of well known vocalists, including a series of former Eurovision Song Contest representative; Morena (2008), Ludwig Galea (2004), Mary Spiteri (1992), Debbie Scerri (1997) Chiara (1998, 1999), Georgina & Paul Giodrimaina (1991), Mike Spiteri (1995), Miriam Christine (1996) and Renato (1975). On the other hand, there are several artists who have been close to becoming representatives; Eleanor Cassar, Janvil and Richard Edwards.

A launch concert hosted by popular television host, Angie Laus is being organised at the Catholic Institute in Floriana with tickets being resered on a first come, first served bases. It is wo'rth pointing out that the compilation album, produced beith Andrew Zammit at Tone Studios will not be available for a fixed price and will always be against a donation. All of the money collected will donated to the charity announced beforehand.

In order to hear snippets of the songs found in the album, make sure to visit the official website of this project where you will also learn several interesting details about the singers who have been included within the project. We would like you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com and help support such local events in the music calender. More news from the Junior Eurovision Song Contest at the Eurovision Song Contest this throughout the week.

Source: Press Release

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6RA-Us7Oocg

Published in Local Music News

Joe Julian Farrugia is a local Maltese lyricist who writes for many local competitions including the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. This year, he was one of the most predominant figures to compete at the International Festival of Maltese Song which was returning following an eleven year absence. escflashmalta.com had the opportunity to speak to Joe Julian Farrugia about his role within this competition and with regards to the local music scene in general. During the course of the weekend, he presented three songs; Hawn Mill-Ġdid and Inti Mill-Ġdid which he co-wrote with Paul Abela and Stejjer which was co-written with Andrew Zahra. The vocalists for these three songs were Olivia Lewis who was the eventual winner, Roger Tirazona and Miriam Christine, respectively.

How do you feel that the International Festival of Maltese song is back after eleven (11) years in exile?

The news that this festival is back was well received by all local music lovers. First of all, we spent 11 years without a national song contest in our language. But not only that; most of the “classics” in Maltese music came out of this festival, and therefore one hopes that the “vacuum” in this regard will now be no more.

What is that special ingredient which saw you compete with a total of three songs?

A festival is always a festival. This is not a football game in which everyone may see if the ball passes the goal line or not. A festival depends on the subjective opinion of the judges. This year, three of mine were preferred.

Which type of audience do you think the International Festival of Maltese song most attracted?

In the past it used to attract a wide spectrum; no matter the age or anything else. And that used to include youths too. Today’s youths do not remember the festival much, so this may be something new for them. Only time will tell. Some may blame the language question with youths. It is absolutely not true that youths do not like songs in the Maltese language. Only be present when something like “Xemx” is played in mass gatherings… and watch the youths singing.

In this festival, there were a total of fourteen (14) local acts and twelve (12) foreign acts, what was your opinion about how it all panned out?

This is only a new beginning. In the past, foreign singers used to give their own interpretation of the Maltese songs, in their language, and at times even publish our songs in their country. This will happen again next year. This year, everything had to be organised from scratch and the foreigners will only sing something out of their own repertoire, although they will compete among themselves also.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SAtn1DI8uvE

Are competitions like these, important for the local society?

I believe festivals are the most ideal in the music industry. But in small country with no music industry at all, a festival might be the only way how to publish music. It is very expensive to publish a cd which no one buys because it may be easily downloaded for free on the net. In that case festivals are the only platforms available.

Which language do you prefer to express yourself with when writing lyrics, Maltese or English?

I write in both languages and I also know that English may be listened to much more, considering a Maltese language audience is only restricted to our country. But I prefer to write Maltese, first because it is as romantic and musical as the Italian language, and secondly because the conjugations and declensions in its Arabic roots makes it much more fun to work with.

When you write a song, do you have a particular singer in mind?

Sometimes yes and sometimes no. It depends where it starts off. If a singer asks for a song, you know who you are writing for. If I am writing a song with no singer in kind, I try to be as neutral as can be so that it may be sung by anyone. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eG5U8mcC0ks

In your opinion, should we enter Eurovision with a Maltese song and what are you views about that competition?

No... Not because there is something wrong with the language… but because there is something wrong with Eurovision. Eurovision is not judged by experts, but by televiewers hoping to win some nice gift connected to their phone call. Therefore, singing in a language the masses understand is an advantage. 

How long does it take you to write a whole song?

One cannot say… I may write the lyrics in an amount of hours, but no one knows how much the thought has been boiling in… I do not know about the music composition. It is lyrics that I write.

When you enter a festival, do you enter to compete or to win, and when one of your songs does not make it through, how do you feel?

A song is like a baby. If I do not believe in it, I would not pay the fees (100 to 150 euros each song) to submit it… Yes a song which does not make it is a disappointment in itself… So at that stage, there is no compromising… I am happy if a song enters and I am not if a song is eliminated. Then in the finals, one prefers to win… though only one wins… but having showed your work in public is most rewarding, winner or not.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3euX8HCczHw

Do you always agree with the composer and the singer when it comes to finalize a song?

Like in any team, matters are discussed and different ideas may come across. If the team is only looking at having the best results, discussion is always healthy.

Had you not been a lyricist, what would you be doing?

Who knows? I only know how to write. I even do television and radio, not because I love television or radio, but because they involve writing. That’s what I love to do. I always dreamt of learning how to play the piano or drums, but I never had the chance…

What has been the best achievement in your career so far?

I do not look at the unit with trophies to answer such a question. The best achievement is when I meet people who mention some song of mine and say how much they love it… Trophies are dead matter… people are alive… like music and lyrics.

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

Published in Interviews
Saturday, 09 November 2013 16:45

FiKM '13: PBS Airs the Final Night This Evening

Tonight! An evening to remember, because following an absence of eleven (11) years, the International Festival of Maltese Song is set to take place at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta.  The event, which is set to be hosted by Debbie Scerri, Renato, Mary Rose Mallia, Lawrence Gray and Alfred Zammit is set to be broadcast live to audiences across the country through Television Malta and Television Malta 2. The International Festival of Maltese Song is technically, the second biggest competition on the Maltese Islands, following to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and therefore, it goes without saying that the Public Broadcasting Services in line with the organising committee is pulling out all the stops for a show stopping event.

escflashmalta.com had the opportunity to attend a couple of rehearsals and could honestly be extremely positive towards the outcome of the event on television this evening with the shots, and the staging all in place for a wonderful extravaganza. The venue, which has played host to several past editions of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, the last of which was back in 2011, won by Glen Vella and his entry One Life composed by Paul Giordimaina to the lyrics of Fleur Balzan has an intimate feel with brilliant acoustics. For local and foreign fans of the Eurovision Song Contest, the event will surely be pleasant to watch considering that former representatives; Miriam Christine (1996), Renato (1975), Georgina Abela (1991), Debbie Scerri (1997), Olivia Lewis (2007) and Aleksandra & Konstantin (Belarus 2004) will be out and about.

 (52302001) Paċi Sovrana - Donna (Donna Marie Ellul)

 (52302002) Kuraġġ - Geordie (Philip Vella / Joe Chircop)

 (52302003) Għadek Tgħix - Fiona (Renato Briffa / Mark Amaira)

 (52302004) Poeta Bla Kliem - Mark Tonna (Mark Scicluna / Emil Calleja Bayliss)

 (52302005) Ħolma - Lyann Iles (Paul Abela / Lyann Iles)

 (52302006) Raġġ ta' Tama' - Christian (Philip Vella / Cher Vella)

 (52302007) Sinjali - Bernice (Renato Briffa / Rita Pace)

 (52302008) Mikrokożmu - Janvil & Hooligan (Augusto Cardinali / Giovann Attard)

 (52302009) Din Jien - Dorcas (Minik / Rita Pace)

 (52302010) Solitaire - Dario & Grecia (Dario Bezzina / Rita Pace)

 (52302011) Hawn mill-Ġdid - Olivia Lewis (Paul Abela / Joe Julian Farrugia)

 (52302012) Passi Fir-Ramel - Domenique (Philip Vella / Mark Amaira)

 (52302013) Inti mill-Ġdid - Roger Tirazona (Paul Abela / Joe Julian Farrugia)

 (52302014) 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: FiKM (Official Page on Facebook)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0eHLrhhucI

Published in Local Music News

On Saturday 9th November, the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta will be playing host to the International Festival of Maltese Song which is taking place following an absence of eleven (11) years. The event, which is set to be hosted by Debbie Scerri, Renato, Mary Rose Mallia, Lawrence Gray and Alfred Zammit is set to be broadcast live to audiences across the country through Television Malta and Television Malta 2. The International Festival of Maltese Song is technically, the second biggest competition on the Maltese Islands, following to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and therefore, it goes without saying that the Public Broadcasting Services in line with the organising committee is pulling out all the stops for a show stopping event.

escflashmalta.com has gladly accepted to aid in supporting this majestic event by speaking to all of the fourteen (14) local participants, a mixture of established and upcoming performers in the music scene. We have also been to the venue in the past couple of hours in order to view the proceedings with rehearsals, noting that the stage looks awesome as recorded in the visual above whilst the music sounds enchanting to the ears as a live band led by Maestro Sigmund Mifsud will be accompanying each of the respective entries. For local and foreign fans of the Eurovision Song Contest, the event will surely be pleasant to watch considering that former representatives; Miriam Christine (1996), Renato (1975), Georgina Abela (1991), Debbie Scerri (1997), Olivia Lewis (2007) and Aleksandra & Konstantin (Belarus 2004) will be out and about.

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: FiKM (Official Page on Facebook)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UfM7qElZ5xo

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. Miriam Christine is the eleventh artist and she will be performing the song Stejjer composed by Andrew Zahra to the lyrics of Joe Julian Farrugia.

Mid-Nineties, Miriam Christine was starting to leave an impact within the local music scene, reaching the finals of the Malta Song for Europe on two consecutive years, in 1995 and 1996 respectively. During the latter year, the upbeat In a Woman’s Heart composed by Paul Abela to the lyrics of Alfred C Sant was selected as Malta’s entry in Oslo, Norway and once abroad, managed to garner tenth place. Would you have done anything differently whilst abroad as you look back on the experience and do you believe that you were too young?

It was an amazing experience, and a music and life lesson too. I have such beautiful memories of that year which I will carry with me forever. I do believe that I was very young when it all happened. I was not able to make certain decisions myself and I definitely did not agree on  quite a few things that were decided on my behalf, like the costume design and choreography. Having said that I do believe that everything happens for a reason in our life. Thanks to the Eurovision I made a lot of friends, and so many opportunities came my way, like various concerts abroad, awards and recording sessions. I do not regret anything. 

Your comeback into the local music scene has been seen as relatively successful, managing to win a local music competition, the Malta Hit Song Contest with your own composition, Alone Today prior to reaching the final stages of the Malta Eurosong with another self-penned song entitled Mama. What was the main reasoning behind your comeback and what are your current plans for the near future?

I love to write songs and perform. That is always the main reason behind any music venture I get involved in. I do however believe that sometimes, it's best to take a little break to recharge the batteries and refresh ideas. Hence the reason why sometimes I seem to disappear. It is a very exciting time at the moment for me. I am eagerly waiting the final night of the Festival Kanzunetta Maltija. I am in the finishing stages of a new music project where I contributed as a singer on a chill-out album. I am also preparing to shoot a new TV programme where I am the main host together with another three local celebrities. And I am working on new music material which hopefully will be released next year. I am at a very happy place at the moment.

Unless the records are mistaken, this is your sixth participation within the International Festival of Maltese Song, having also been part of the line-up during the event won by Lawrence Gray and his entry Eklissi, eleven (11) years ago. It seems that you had been close to being a regular at the showcase, and have also shown your support to the competition by virtue of participating within the submission process. Do you have any fond memories which you would like to share?

I have always loved this Festival. I think my fondest memory was when I participated for the first time in 1995 (my composition Int Tajtni Idek). The show was held at the amphitheater in Ta Qali. I loved performing there with a live band, and for the first time, singing one of my compositions on such a big stage at only sixteen years of age. The cherry on the cake was actually placing third! I will never forget that special night.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5E5NREaUy5k

Stejjer composed by Andrew Zahra to the lyrics of Joe Julian Farrugia is the song that you will be presenting in this years’ edition of the International Festival of Maltese Song. Would you care to explain the meaning behind the lyrics and the genre that the song encompasses?

The songs starts off as a ballad, but then evolves nicely into a soft-rock song. I adored it from the first time I heard it. The melody is strong and the lyrics are so moving. The song is about all the stories that are written in time during a long, loving relationship between two people. It describes the hopes, dreams, experiences and memories that two people build together. I dedicate it to my loving parents who this year celebrated their 40th year of marriage.

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?

It definitely has a place within our local music industry. I had been secretly hoping for its comeback for many years. It was such a pity when they stopped organizing it. There is a big lack of songs in our beautiful Maltese language, and there is no other way to put it: the Maltese and Gozitan public love Maltese songs. I know this because I continuously meet local people who keep mentioning some of my Maltese songs, and saying how much they love listening to them. I really wish and hope that the Festival Kanzunetta Maltija is back for good.

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

As always, I would like to thank all the lovely fans who keep supporting us local artists, our music and our dreams. Without your constant support, I would not be able to find the inspiration and the will to continue pursuing my music dreams and projects. Thank you all. Big hug.

Published in Interviews

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0eHLrhhucI

Published in Local Music News
Monday, 30 September 2013 23:00

FiKM '13: Major Promotional Campaign Kicks Off

As from today, the International Festival of Maltese Song will start garnering some traction as all of the artists will be gearing up for a series of promotional activities which will see them participate in a variety of television programmes, kicking off with TVPM and Kalamita, hosted by Corazon and Alfred Zammit on TVM and ONE respectively. It is important to denote that apart from a series of interviews, each artist will get the opportunity to perform the track in front of the audience watching at home for the very first time.

Apart from television though, make sure to catch the competing entries even on Radio with programmes such as Kanzunetti Maltin (92.7 ONE Radio), Pinna Mużika (RTK Radio), Breakfast Show (Radju Malta) and Lejn il-Festival (Radju Kottoner). Any means of promotion is necessary for the promotion of a local music competition which is returning following several years of absence in order to make the general public aware of its comeback, basically. escflashmalta.com will also be interviewing all of the artists competing in the International Festival of Maltese Song along with playing the respective entries. As from next week, following a major server update set forth for the 10th October, we anticipate to get a full schedule on how to promote each of the respective acts, kicking off as from the 11th October.

  • Ħolma - Lyann Iles (Paul Abela / Lyann Iles)
  • Solitaire - Dario & Grecia (Dario Bezzina / Rita Pace)
  • Paċi Sovrana - Donna (Donna Marie Ellul)
  • Kuraġġ - Geordie (Philip Vella / Joe Chircop)
  • Passi Fir-Ramel - Domenique (Philip Vella / Mark Amaira)
  • Għadek Tgħix - Fiona (Renato Briffa / Mark Amaira)
  • Din Jien - Dorcas (Minik / Rita Pace)
  • Sinjali - Bernice (Renato Briffa / Rita Pace)
  • Inti mill-Ġdid - Roger Tirazona (Paul Abela / Joe Julian Farrugia)
  • Hawn mill-Ġdid - Olivia Lewis (Paul Abela / Joe Julian Farrugia)
  • Raġġ ta' Tama' - Christian (Philip Vella / Cher Vella)
  • Mikrokożmu - Janvil & Hooligan (Augusto Cardinali / Giovann Attard)
  • Poeta Bla Kliem - Mark Tonna (Mark Scicluna / Emil Calleja Bayliss)
  • 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 (Official Facebook Page)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M0eHLrhhucI

Published in Local Music News

Miriam Christine, the youngest artist to represent Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest has never shied away from the local music industry with three albums of original songs and countless hits, all of which are very much known by the public at large. In recent years, the individual has focused on training the next set of artists whilst writing songs for other performers. Nevertheless, her return to the industry a couple of years back took everyone by surprise mainly due to the fact that she never lost her spark and star quality. escflashmalta.com had the pleasure to speak to Miriam Christine about her past, present and future.

It was only your second participation within the national selection when you had emerged as the winner with the track In a Woman's Heart composed by Paul Abela to the lyrics of Alfred C Sant. You are still to this day, one of the youngest performers to have ever represented Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest. The result was extremely satisfactory as the nation finished in tenth place for the second consecutive year. The differences between Mike Spiteri, already a veteran in 1995 and Miriam Christine, a newcomer were astonishing though. What could you recall of your experience in Oslo and in hindsight, would you have done anything differently?

I always have a big smile on my face whenever I think about 1996 and the wonderful experiences I lived during that year. The win in Malta came as a big shock to me too. I never thought in a million years that I would have won the competition at such a young age, and also with such an up-beat song. Back then, ballads were still the favourites to win, and hence, I opted to sing an up-beat song, just so I present something different and to gain more experience. The win brought with it a lot of excitement due to all the preparations.

We re-recorded the song in Germany, and then shot the music video, had a numerous amount of TV appearances, Radio interviews, and invites to go and sing abroad. It was a special time. Obviously, it all culminated in our week in Oslo. Nothing had prepared me for the big stage, the very demanding press, all the lovely friends I made, and those three minutes on stage. It was magical. Of course, there were various things that on hindsight I would have done differently, especially since I couldn’t be decisive on certain issues as I was so young. Nevertheless, 1996 will remain one of the highlights of my whole life. I will never forget it.

Nistaqsi composed by Paul Abela to the lyrics of Ray Mahoney was the winning entry of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza back in 1998. The competition is one of the most popular in the local music scene for the simple reason that it helps promotes the language in the best possible way. You had the opportunity to participate on four occasions as the lead vocalist and on countless occasions as a songwriter, the most recent being with the track Rebbiħin performed by Francesca Sciberras and Bil-Bnadar F’Idejna sung by Sarah Bonnici. What do such local competitions mean to you and are the feelings of being a singer different than those of being a songwriter?

During the 90s and early 2000, I participated in a lot of local Festivals. Kanzunetta Indipendenza and Festival Kanzunetta Maltija were two of my absolute favourite competitions. First of all, I really like singing in Maltese, and both competitions had such a lovely feel to them. Lately, I have ceased competing as  main singer in such Festivals, and it is a big pity that Festival Kanzunetta Maltija is not being held anymore. I would definitely go for it again should they decide to revive it. In the recent years, I enjoy participating as a song-writer. I love the thrill of composing a song from scratch on my piano, and the happiness in the singers’ eyes when they listen to my creation for the first time. Composing is one of my favourite skills, and I am very proud of it. When I compare it to singing, I only think that when I find myself during the final stage of a competition, I always end up feeling more nervous when I am a composer! Whenever I hear one of my songs being interpreted, I always get lots of butterflies doing somersaults in the pit of my stomach! Very thrilling!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTf6_pWBotk

In 2009, it was decided that the former advisory board responsible for the participation of Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest would ultimately be abolished with the Public Broadcasting Services receiving full autonomy over the selection process and so forth. You had the opportunity to be one of the finalists in the first trial event with your self-written track Mama achieving a mid-table finish. Having participated in the national finals of the nineties on three occasions, you saw the competition move from completely live music to a backing track but apart from that, people have noted the vast improvement of the showcase along the years. Would you support such a comment?

With all due respect to all musicians, I do agree that the competition has improved during recent years. I still believe that when the live orchestra was involved, the Festival had a different special feel to it. But I have to also say, that I feel that the orchestra wasn’t given enough rehearsal time to perfect their act. Hence, the sound wasn’t always so great. Singing with backing tracks has made life much easier for everybody, and song-writers have been experimenting with more sounds and genres. The local Festival has mirrored the Eurovision Song Contest itself too. It is good that we emulate what EBU is doing, as it will facilitate the journey of the local representative. I do miss the orchestra, but considering our limitations with rehearsal time and schedule, I think it was a wise decision to change.

During the years, you have competed in several competitions with original songs written specifically in the national language of the country, that being Maltese. As a matter of fact, your second album entitled L-Emigrant was a compilation of these tracks and was very much appreciated by the general public. In 2002, the final edition of the Festival Internazzjonali tal-Kanzunetta Maltija took place but nevertheless, there has been a public outcry for its return, something that escflashmalta.com fully supports. In the arts, it seems that Maltese has not been given importance in recent years but what is your take on local competitions which promote the language as a medium of song?

I am very disappointed that Festival Kanzunetta Maltija hasn’t been revived yet. It was a lovely competition, and it showcased numerous great songs that have remained popular up to this day. I participated in this competition several times, and I loved it. There is a need for such a competition, and I meet a lot of fans who can’t wait for it to return. It would also help promote our mother tongue in a time when it’s greatly needed. Our lovely Maltese language is struggling at the moment, and I do believe that with the Festival Kanzunetta Maltija returning, we would instill a little more pride in speaking in Maltese, now that the English language seems to have taken the upper hand.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5E5NREaUy5k

Closer to You co-written with Clifford Borg was the name of the song which you submitted to compete in this years’ edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest held earlier this year at the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre. Despite making it through to the second phase of the competition with another sixty-seven (67) entries, it did not manage to get through to the semi-final stage where twenty-four (24) tracks were competing. Foreign journalists noted that this years’ song quality was relatively high with Malta opting for a more modern touch in the selection of songs. Would you care to comment on the track and would you consider submitting it once more in the future?

I do believe that obviously a good panel of judges choose good songs, but according to their taste in genres. Most probably a different panel of judges would have produced a different set of finalists. I still love the song I submitted. It is very special to me, as similarly to other songs I have written in the past, it brings out a part of the story of my life. I am planning to tweak it a bit this Summer though, and I plan to submit it again. And then we’ll keep our fingers and toes crossed! I would love to perform it on the big stage. We’ll see!

Boris Cezek, co-writer of Tomorrow, winning entry in this years’ edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest was the main who produced, mixed and arranged your third and most latest studio album, Little Zee. In a previous interview with escflashmalta.com you commented on the fact that this particular compilation of original tracks bears special meaning to you because it was a new genre to experiment with and somewhat scared at public reaction. What could you tell us about the studio album, and would you work with Boris Cezek on any new material in the next couple of months, possibly even for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest?

Boris Cezek is such a talented man. Working with him was a joy, and I am itching to work with him again on some new material. Little Zee was a lot of hard work, and I am so proud of that album. The writing process was so special to me, as a lot of the songs have a lot of meaning behind them (like Mystery Mama and Symptom of my loneliness). But the real fun started once I hit the studio. Seeing all the songs come together through Boris, and all the talented musicians that contributed on the album was magical. I really miss this process. I have no concrete plans to record some new material this Summer, because I have already been in the recording studio in the past year or so. I have recroded several new songs in a collaboration with talented pianist Clifford Borg. He is going to be releasing his chill-out album very soon, and I have contributed by singing on some songs. It is a very exciting project, and there is some great material on there. I can’t wait for the tracks to start being released for the public to enjoy!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R76rDueobsc

In recent years, Malta has been struggling in the Eurovision Song Contest especially since overcoming the semi-final stage of the competition is becoming more difficult. Nevertheless, for the past two years, Malta has managed to get through to the final with the tracks This Is The Night performed by Kurt Calleja and with Tomorrow sung by Gianluca. Without the support of the juries, Malta would have had a completely different result during the national final as the public awarded the maximum marks to the track Needing You performed by Kevin Borg which finished in second place overall. Do you feel that a panel of local and international personnel should be solely responsible for the result or do you believe that the public should always play a role?

I have a strong opinion that the public should always play a role. I don’t agree that it should ever be 100% televoting, but it should be a mixture of public and local and international judges who produce the final winner. Having 100% televoting would be wrong, as we have to agree that our country is so small, that it’s very likely that a lot of fans will vote for their favourite artist regardless of the song. On the other hand, it’s very unfair not to give a voice to the public. I like the way it is done in the Eurovision Song Contest itself, and I think that we should keep the same or a similar formula they use. After all, Malta has done well in the foreign competition in these last couple of years.

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

I would like to thank all the loyal fans who keep the Eurosong alive and kicking. I still am in awe when I meet the lovely Maltese and Gozitan people, and they still remember my participations clearly. I was shocked a few months ago, when I met this young lady in a club, and she started singing ‘In a woman’s heart’ to me. She  knew all the words and even moved like me! I couldn’t believe it! Thank you so much. I feel so blessed. Malta and Gozo I love you!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YaLa95zwAM

Published in Interviews
Thursday, 18 April 2013 09:01

KKI 2013: Rules and Regulations Published

Miriam Christine and Claudia Faniello are two of the most notable names in the local music industry and they owe part of their success to the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza organised by Media.Link Communications. The competition has a lot of significance for the simple reason that all of the submitted entries have to be original and in Maltese, the national language of the country. In last years' edition organised under the hospice of Mark Azzopardi as Chairman, it was Deborah C and her entry Jekk Nużaw Moħħna composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas and penned by Joe Chircop which finished in the top spot. Rules and Regulations for the twenty-second edition were officially published yesterday.

During the course of the weekend, Karen DeBattista was announced by Spiteri Lucas Entertainment as the first finalist of this years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza having triumphed in the Passport 2 Indifest competition. Submissions at a fee of €50 will be received at Media.Link Communications on Friday, 17th May with the first phase of the competition behind closed doors taking place on Saturday, 18th May prior to the live phase scheduled for a week later on the 25th May. No acceptions regarding the dates will be made so the committee is being stern about the fact that those who submit need to make sure they are free on the available dates.

The committee of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza is also retaining the right of the tracks which qualify to the final of this years' competition. This is not usual practice noting that the rights are normally attributed to the songwriters who would have spent the money to record the track. In the past this was an issue in other local competitions and as a matter of fact had to be dropped from the clauses. For the second year running, we applaud Media.Link Communications for allowing live backing vocalists for whoever wishes to make use of them. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news with regards to this years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza.

Source: Official Facebook Page

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHlweb3RPwA

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