October 14, 2019

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Janice, a female vocalist who was hailed as a vocal powerhouse by three time Eurovision Song Contest Chiara is back within the fray of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza for the third time. She is presenting the track Nibqa' composed by Chan Vella to the lyrics of Alexia Schembri. Just below, five questions have been asked by the editorial board of escflashmalta.com in order for you to get to know Janice a little bit better. Nevertheless, this is an interview and review with former Eurovision Song Contest representatives; Chris and Moira listening to all of the songs and passing their judgement. With regards to Janice, they stated that 'despite having a good voice, she needs to relax and tone it down as it showed in her facial expressions. Also, due to the fact that this is dramatic song, one should not wear black as it makes it too sad', ultimately offering six (6) points.

In 2010, you made your debut at the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza with the song Intlaqt Mal-Mewġ composed by Mark Scicluna to the lyrics of Rita Pace, earning positive reactions from both critics and the general public alike, so much so that you eventually returned the following year with the song Eternità, once more written by the same team, finishing in third place. This was your first major success in a local competition yet despite the result, you have opted to work with a different team of songwriters this time round. What did you draw from both experiences and what was the reasoning behind changing your song writing partners?

Mark and Rita are both so talented and they understand exactly what lyrics and what type of songs I like , usually when we work on a song, we work as a team and if theres something that needs to change we discuss and do whats best, this time round I chose to work with Chan and Alexia as they were the ones who contacted me and told me that they had a song for me to listen ,I liked the backing track ,lyrics ,melody and I was already imagining myself singing this song .There's nothing wrong in working with different composers and authors as long as it is good music and that is to my liking, i'm open to anything, it's always nice to share ideas, and to get to know new people. When I choose to sing a song it's always because I believe in it!

In this years’ edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, you are presenting your third entry, that entitled Nibqa’ composed by Chan Vella with lyrics by Alexia Schembri. This track is not completely new having also been part of the first phase submissions at last years’ edition of the showcase, getting through to the second phase before being eliminated. Would you care to share your opinion on songs which fail to get through one year but then manage within the following one and did you make any necessary alterations to the song in order for it to be appreciated by the panel of professional critics?

There was no need to change anything as I strongly believe ,it was and still is a very good song, thanks to Chan and Alexia that wanted to re submit this song this year .So no, we did not change anything it's exactly the same version .Everyone has ups and downs ,it simply wasn’t my year , everyone needs a second chance, music is not something you can give up on especially when its kept at heart!

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

While Her Eyes Still Glow, composed by Elton Zarb with lyrics provided by Rita Pace was one of the semi-finalists at the 2012 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, marking your debut in the prestigious event which selects the artist and entry for the annual international showcase. Despite a stunning performance, your entry did not get through to the final round of the competition but it was still a large stepping stone considering the fact that the initial stage of the competition had more than one hundred entries. Looking back, would you have changed anything about the final performance?

Music is about taste .It was such an emotional and a very difficult song to sing. If I had to go back I wouldn’t change anything .There are so many beautiful songs at the Eurovision Song Contest itself, but how come crappy songs pass and very good songs don’t? Theres no explanation for this. It happens everywhere and in everything ,I guess luck plays an important role.

Nibqa’ is a typical ballad, which shies away from the typical subliminal messages of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza. This genre is somewhat associated with your stunning vocal range and therefore, it comes as no surprise that you were selected to perform this entry in particular. The lyrics written by Alexia Schembri are extremely deep and profound speaking about a lost love. The emotion that you put in the performance is beyond belief and therefore, the question is quite simple. Can you relate to the song with any personal experiences and if so, is this way you are dealing with them?

I'm a very emotional person especially when it comes to singing, I refer to music in every circumstance whether its  good or bad . I like to sing these types of songs cause they speak about real life, it doesn’t mean im going through the situation. I understand the lyrics and try to imagine myself going through the situation.

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

Thanks for those who contacted me to show me support once again this year ,I truly appreciate, you keep my dreams alive, just please don’t give up on your dreams, no matter what they are, keep trying, its never that easy, but don’t worry one day you can succeed ;) 

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

Published in Interviews

Media.Link Communications in collaboration with escflashmalta.com is proud to present the sixth 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 has been noted to feature a mixture of young and newfound talent which definitely represents the future of the local music scene. In this evenings' programme, first up is Raquel Galdes with the track Mhux Pupa Biss composed by Minik to the lyrics of Stephen Baldacchino. The young female vocalist is a newcomer to the music scene but her vocal attributed are surely welcome to stay in the future. Joining her from the same category is the winner of Passport 2 Indifest, Karen DeBattista who will be interpreting the track Riflessi composed by Mark Scicluna to the lyrics of Emil Calleja Bayliss.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uMlwp00tNUk

Il-Ħolma, composed by Minik and Gillian Attard with lyrics by Stephen Baldacchino is set to be performed by Jean Claude Azzopardi. 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 Jan Cortez, who recently unveiled his summer single for the year 2013 as well as Maxine Pace who at an extremely young age has released her debut single, which has also reached Malta's Top Ten with Nathan D on 89.7 Bay. Remember Indifest returns to NET Television, this evening at 20:30 CET. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for the latest news.

Source: Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza (Official Facebook Page)

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

Published in Local Music News

Laura, one of the female vocalists competing in this years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza with the track Fraħt Għax Sibtek written by Frederick Camilleri, is becoming somewhat accustomed to participating within this local competition noting that this will be her third participation. Just below, five questions have been asked by the editorial board of escflashmalta.com in order for you to get to know Laura a little bit better. Nevertheless, this is an interview and review with former Eurovision Song Contest representatives; Chris and Moira listening to all of the songs and passing their judgement. With regards to Laura, they stated that 'she has a good voice, but nevertheless needs to smile more whilst giving a performance', ultimately offering seven (7) points.

Laura, this is your third time in the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, and you are definitely hoping that it will ultimately prove to be the big break prior to making it through to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. It is no surprise that you have submitted entries with the hope of representing Malta at the Pan-European competition but have thus far not proven successful in making it through to the final stages. Will you be adopting a new approach for the coming years?

I like to sing and perform different styles of music so i look forward for any challenge and opportunity that may arise. I always believe in the songs I submit.

In this years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, you are presenting the track Fraht Ghax Sibtek which has somewhat received mixed comments from the general public thus far. Frederick Camilleri, the veteran songwriter is responsible for the track, noting that he was also the individual behind last years' masterpiece which ranked within the top ten following the final vote of the professional jury. What is the exact meaning behind the song and what are you anticipating with regards to the live performance?

The song originally was a poem composed for a couple who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary, but the lyrics also describe love which is never ending, which grew from the first moment. I feel this song is special as I am also living it in real life thanks to my husband Ramon. So it is completely dedicated to him!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odTau61gv_0

The songwriting duo made up of Philip Vella and Gerard James Borg are somewhat synonymous to the world of the Eurovision Song Contest with their entries having represented Malta on five occasions from the year 2000 onwards. In 2009, you had the opportunity to perform their entry Something About You during the Malta Eurosong semi-final. The track, predominantly pop infused with dance was relatively intriguing. How was it created and would you have made any alterations to the presentation if you had the chance?

Well after I perform and watch the performance I always criticise myself and see room for improvement. Obviously I was still younger at age and now I think differently in terms of performance.

In 2002, the Festival Internazzjonali tal-Kanzunetta Maltija was officially suspended in order to give way for the nations' participation in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest but both were eventually given up subsequently. It was recently announced by Robert Cefai that the competition will be officially returning this year and that preparations are set to begin immediately now that the green light has been granted. Do you have any interest in submitting for this competition and do you believe it is a positive step for the representation of Maltese through the medium of music?

I think this festival is a good stepping stone for singers who love Maltese language as I do. But unfortunately I do believe that in Malta you can do millions of festivals which will mean nothing compared to the Eurovision Song Contest as the majority of the Maltese public is only interested in it. This is the feedback I get. I am not known as other singers are in Malta and when I meet new people and come to know I am a singer too, they question me why I don't take part in the Malta Eurovision. This mentality has to stop!!!

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

I thank them for all the support and that is what keeps me going!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nodrm5a_W5E

Published in Interviews

Neville, a male vocalist whose connection with the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza continues to grow with every year noting that this is his fourth consecutive participation. His career has definitely never hit a dead-end post considering that he has also represented the nation abroad on several occasions, making a name for himself and for Malta with a couple of successes. In this years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, he is performing the track Hemm Miegħek Jien composed by Minik with lyrics by Rita Pace. Just below, five questions have been asked by the editorial board of escflashmalta.com in order for you to get to know Neville a little bit better. Nevertheless, this is an interview and review with former Eurovision Song Contest representatives; Chris and Moira listening to all of the songs and passing their judgement. With regards to Neville, they stated that 'despite the fact that the T's sound prominent, it is a good rock tune and that the vocalist has good expression' offering seven (7) points.

Last year, you took to the stage of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza as part of a trio which also featured the likes of Claire Caruana and Ivan DeBattista in a stunning performance of the track Mhux L-Ewwel Darba composed by Augusto Cardinali to the lyrics of Giovann Attard. This was your first outing without being a soloist, something which many also believe as nervewrecking yet when looking back at your last two participations prior to that with the songs N.Com and Ħajt tal-Kenn both composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas to the lyrics of Rita Pace and Joe Chircop respectively. How did you approach the different performances and what different values did you take up from each experience?

To tell you the truth, last year’s performance was somewhat quite different from the other 2 previous years. Some people might say that in being a trio, the responsibility of the song is shared and so it could be a bit easier than being all alone on stage singing a whole song by yourself. I’d have to say it was quite the contrary! The fact that there are another 2 performers with you on stage adds many further responsibilities as if I make one small mistake which might influence the whole performance negatively, it wouldn’t be fair on my fellow singers on stage who would have given their heart out and see their performance ruined by someone else. This also meant more rehearsals to perfect the song and more difficulties in accommodating all available times for each other. However, as always, where there is a will there’s a way and we were very enthusiastic about how all went on stage. The result was also very encouraging as we came 4th overall. As a person I’m quiter relaxed, especially when performing on stage. In fact, in both previous occasions I didn’t have much problems in preparing both songs and performing them on stage. However last year, as you rightly said in your question, was quite nervewrecking but at the same time extreme fun!

Despite your several outings in local competitions, the Malta Eurovision Song Contest has somewhat eluded you for quite a couple of years having only managed to get through to the finals on one occasion, that also being in a trio alongside Rachel Fabri and Romina Mamo with the track We Can Do Better written by Carm Fenech. Firstly, it is important to point out that hundreds of submissions are received with the hope of making the international competition and therefore, many miss out but nevertheless, what was the feeling of getting through in 2005 and will you be trying to return in 2014?

Back in 2005, it was my first time that I had submitted a song in the MSFE and was ecstatic when on the first attempt I managed to go through, as I always regarded this festival as a big launching pad for a singer’s career. I remember jumping up and down the street when the composer called me to tell me that the song had passed. Nowadays, almost 8 years later I do look back at the festival as very important but not essential to someone’s career. During these past years I’ve managed to get quite a lot of satisfactory experiences both in local activities as well as abroad. I also managed to achieve many of the aims I aspired to when I first started singing some 12 years ago. To tell you the truth, I still wish that one day I pass for this festival as a solo artist as I believe it would be a totally different experience. If I’ll try in 2014 or not depends on many factors as I have quite an important year coming up due to other commitments but should a good opportunity or good song come up I won’t surely give up on it. I’ll wait and see!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vOWskOQk5R4

Hemm Miegħek Jien, composed by Minik to the lyrics of Rita Pace is one of seven entries by this composer which many believe could be somewhat exhausting of their capacity to write tracks. As an artist, this is the first time that you are working with this duo in particular with your notable partner in song usually being Mark Spiteri Lucas who is also competing with three entries. Would you tell us something about your song and why you felt the reason to work with someone else rather than stick to a formula which has been rather successful?

Hemm Mieghek Jien, this was quite an occasional song. I have to say that I wasn’t going to participate in this year’s festival as I thought that being part of it for the last 3 years was enough for me. However, Minik called me and asked me to listen to this song he had composed as it suited my style of voice. I immediately liked the tune. We twisted and tweaked some parts of it till we found the final result. Since it was the first time that I was working with Minik, it made it all the more different from what I usually had. We gave the song to Rita who, as usual, wrote great lyrics to it with a rather difficult topic. The subject the song talks about is those people who are considered different in society. They might be disabled, gay or just considered inferior. It’s a very positive song which encourages these people never to give up and stand up to be counted!

As one of the judges during the competition Passport 2 Indifest organised by Spiteri Lucas Entertainment in accordance with the regulations stipulated by the committee of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, you were responsible in whittling down the artists who ultimately came to the selection of Marie Claire Attard Bason and Karen DeBattista with the latter being selected to join the elite competition. Ultimately, the former managed to get through the typical submission process. Do you believe that they both merit their place in the competition?

During the competition Passport 2 Indifest this year, the level of singers was very high. I dare to say even higher than last year. It was extremely difficult to choose who was the best from the final 4. You can imagine how much more difficult it was to select a singer in the final. Both singers were extremely good and the final decision was taken due to very small things which ultimately made Karen prevail. However they were very close. I was very happy to see Marie Claire in the final selection as she is also a very good singer with a lot of potential. This made me feel a bit less guilty after she wasn’t chosen from our competition.

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

I don’t want to be repetitive as I know that many others have said it but I wish to say a very big thank you to this site for supporting local talent the way it does. I also wish to thank all those who have supported me over the years as it was cause of them that I am still in the business. This is not an easy job but all fans of Maltese music make the journey worthwile. Thanks!

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

Published in Interviews

Media.Link Communications in collaboration with escflashmalta.com is proud to present the fifth 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 has been noted to feature a mixture of young and newfound talent which definitely represents the future of the local music scene. In this evenings' programme, first up is Francesco Catania with the track Magħqudin composed by Ludwig Galea to the lyrics of Augusto Cardinali. This will be his debut within a song competition but his nerves should be close to inexistent following his stint as an actor on NET Television. Joining him from the same category is none other than Kristen Camilleri who will be performing the song Rebbiegħa composed by Philip Vella to the lyrics of Cher Vella. The young actress is seeking an improvement on last years' results sheet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YCpl697IxA

Ġens Qalbien, with music and lyrics written by Ryan Axisa is the track from the Teenage Talent portion of the competition which will be performed during the course of the programme. Please remember that all performances from this category are actually live. In the meantime, there will also be a number of guests including none other than former Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza participant and Eurovision Song Contest representative; Olivia Lewis who is currently making her way back into the music industry. The second guest has also been to the international competition as a backing vocalist, Kevin Paul Calleja who recently recorded a cover version of Don't You Worry Child by Swedish House Mafia and last but not least, there will also be the author, Caroline Smailes. Annalise Ellul who was a guest during the first programme will oversee her dancers as they occupy the role of resident guests. Remember Indifest returns to NET Television, this evening at 20:30 CET. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for the latest news.

Source: Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza (Official Facebook Page)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W2rqopXPuN0

Published in Local Music News
Thursday, 08 August 2013 00:15

Malta: Interview with Domenique (KKI 12, 13)

Domenique, second runner-up at last years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza has somewhat been busy in recent months, having also been a finalist within the Malta Eurovision Song Contest held at the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre this February. As has been noted, the young female vocalist has already taken part in this competition but only once and thus, this will be her second participation with the track B'Ħaristna 'l Fuq composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas with lyrics by Paul Ellul. Just below, five questions have been asked by the editorial board of escflashmalta.com in order for you to get to know Domenique a little bit better.  Nevertheless, this is an interview and review with former Eurovision Song Contest representatives; Chris and Moira listening to all of the songs and passing their judgement. With regards to Domenique, they stated that 'she is giving a very good performance altogether' offering eight (8) points.

Domenique, the very first time that you took part in the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, it was in the other section which is somewhat reserved for true newcomers of the local music scene. Your entry entitled Miegħi Hemm Int was composed by Heathcliffe Balzan with lyrics by Natasha Turner. In order for one to reach the stage of The Granaries, you had to beat a number of entries and be chosen amongst the top three, in a mixture of public and jury voting. Looking back to 2010, just three years ago, how have you changed and do you cherish your debut in this particular showcase?

Looking back, I realized that certain aspects really did changed. 3 years ago I wasn't the same exact person that I am today. Experiences had changed me from within, taking it from the positive perspective. Nowadays, there is more assurance of myself so everything changes. Now I know exactly which certain styles shows the best of me regard music styles, the way in how I present my song, and also in appearance. This festival still remained in my heart because it is giving the opportunity to Maltese singers to sing in Maltese which unfortunately not many festivals around the Maltese islands allow singers to sing in Maltese, and also for the great exposure.

In last years’ edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, your entry Tama’ u Kuraġġ composed by Philip Vella with lyrics by Cher Vella reached third place, just behind Deborah C and Marilena Gauci. It is quite intriguing to point out that you all managed to get through to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest just a couple of months later denoting that the competition is definitely not a fluke and has serious implications within the industry. When you submitted this particular entry within the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, did you believe that it was the one which should be selected, especially when you had a choice of around seven entries?

Although I had seven songs last year, I believed that 'Tama U Kuragg' was one of the strongest entries that I had.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Se36WIRukH8

In this years’ edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, you are presenting the song B’Ħarsitna ‘l Fuq composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas with lyrics by Paul Ellul. The renowned composer is the second most successful within the frame of this competition and is coming off a victory at last years’ edition with the song Jekk Nużaw Moħħna performed by Deborah C to the lyrics of Joe Chircop. The song fits within the frame of this competition perfectly by virtue of telling a story, one which inspires people yet the public yearns to know the reason behind you working with a brand new team.

I had opportunity to work with Mark Spiteri Lucas & also with Paul Ellul on other occasions as well. I believed that this team could bring out the best in me as they have many experiences behind them which in them, they ended up being a great achievers for the fact that they always come up with a winning successful product that most importantly suits perfectly the singer.

Despite being eighteen years of age, you have already managed to make it through to the semi-final stage of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest on two occasions, the first time in 2011 with the song I’ll Follow the Sunshine co-written by Ralph Siegel as well as earlier this year with Too Little Too Late composed by Marc Paelinck and penned by Matthias Strasser. The experience of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest is considerably different than that of other local competitions but being a protagonist in two years, how could you explain it and will you try your luck in 2014?

Being in the 'Malta Eurovision Song Contest' was a great honor and achievement for me as my dream was always to end up being a finalist. The experience is indescribable. You'll end up to meet many local and also foreign song writers and from them you'll learn new experiences and many doors will open.

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

I would like to thank anybody who has been involved through out my musical career and who has been there for me ever since I began.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKa5beGoc0Q

Published in Interviews

Francesco Catania, one of the individuals who has no background within the local music industry apart from singing a couple of cover versions on the hit television series, Deja Vu which follows a series of upcoming teenagers and their respective problems. This is his first foray in a competition and what a debut, making it through to the established category of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza with a song entitled Magħqudin composed by Ludwig Galea with lyrics by Augusto Cardinali. Just below, five questions have been asked by the editorial board of escflashmalta.com in order for you to get to know Francesco a little bit better both through his love of music and acting. Nevertheless, this is an interview and review with former Eurovision Song Contest representatives; Chris and Moira listening to all of the songs and passing their judgement. With regards to Francesco, they stated that they 'can see the effort but unfortunately, the phrasing lets it down completely' offering just four (4) points.

Francesco, this is your first foray into the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza or rather to be precise, the beginning of a brand new career within the local music scene. Nevertheless, the audience have already had the opportunity to see you on television on a number of occasions, having had a lead role in the television drama series Déjà vu which aired on NET Television during the course of the autumn/winter schedule. The differences between acting and singing are very much oblivious for the public to see but considering that you have sought to combine them together, how easier is it for you to face a crowd?

Facing a crowd is never easy - and the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza is known for its massive crowd at the Granaries. As you mentioned above, this is my first appearance in this festival, actually this is my first performance ever infront of such a crowd. The most important thing is not to let your nerves get the best of you I guess. 

Magħqudin, composed by Ludwig Galea with lyrics provided by Augusto Cardinali is the entry that you will be performing in this years’ edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza and by virtue of performing in the fourth slot, you will also be the first male soloist on the evening. In recent weeks, you have been compared to vocal powerhouse, Mike Spiteri due to the hoarse and strong vocal promise you have been known to exude. The track in itself is giving you the chance to show your full range but would you care to comment on the message behind the song as well as the vocal comparison?

Basically the song is about hope and friendship. When the road gets tough one must not give up - as we all know, it won't rain all the time. With the understanding and support of others, (friends and family), we can face and solve the majority of our problems. Regarding the vocal comparison with Mr. Spiteri; well, being compared to one of Malta's all-time best is such an honour. Have to say that Mr. Spiteri inspired me a lot, although I have to work hard to reach his vocal levels.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iphynx9GgB8

During the course of the past year, Francesco as a leading figure on the television series also had the opportunity to appear on the talent show Don’t Stop Me Now hosted by Eileen Montesin on NET Television during the past summer schedule. The programme which gave rise to the wonderful talent of Franklin Calleja saw fit to introduce you as one of the artists who performed duets on a weekly basis. Would you please tell us about this experience where you managed to help hone some of the musical prowess that will reflect on the local music scene in the future?

It was my first time singing live on television, and to be quite honest I used to be really excited because it was also a new experience for me as well. Have to say that Don't Stop Me Now was a great journey for all of us. As we all know, this programme provided to the local music scene some very good young talent, throughout these past 3 years! 

The male to female ratio in the local music scene has somewhat been extremely tilted towards the latter despite the overwhelming success of the former at least when it comes to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. Prior to the victory of Mike Spiteri in 2011, the last male soloist to finish at the very top of the scoreboard was none other than Lawrence Gray back in 2002. Why do you think that the professional jury has opted in selecting female winners across the years when Malta has been represented by three consecutive men on a foreign platform?

Well, I don't actually know what goes through the jury's head but I think it all goes down to the song and the actual performance. Basically, between there were more females who had done a better performance and had a better song than males...I guess. 

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

I would like to thank everyone for their support, have a great summer - or whatever's left of it, and let's all meet in September at the Granaries for a great show!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6YCpl697IxA

Published in Interviews

Marie Claire, one of the up and coming artists within the local music scene who has already been through to several festivals in recent years, making it to the finals of L-Għanja tal-Poplu, Malta International Hit Song Contest and the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza. This year, she will be competing within this showcase for the second time and the track she is presenting entitled Perper Rebbieħa is composed by Minik with lyrics by Stephen Baldacchino. Just below, five questions have been asked by the editorial board of escflashmalta.com with the hope of Marie Claire telling us a little bit more about her career in music. Nevertheless, this is an interview and review with former Eurovision Song Contest representatives; Chris and Moira listening to all of the songs and passing their judgement. With regards to Marie Claire, they remarked that the 'Maltese is not sung well, with the pronounciation of the 'T' somewhat too much' awarding her just five (5) points.

On the 19th September, on the Granaries in the locality of Floriana, you will be presenting the track Perper Rebbieħa, composed by Minik with lyrics by Stephen Baldacchino during this years’ edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza. An anthem would be the best way to describe the song, with your vocals concentrated on the subtle elements which best represents both the public and the country. What was your initial feeling towards the song when you heard it for the very first time?

I immediately loved it. I’ve always wanted a song that best describes prestigious elements that makes the Maltese people unique and proud of our ancestors. Even the music; it is powerful and appropriate for my voice. I wanted a track where I can show my range of vocals and keep people on their toes. 

At the 2012 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, you were approached by former participant of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, Francesca Borg to be a backing vocalist alongside Grecia Bezzina and Karen DeBattista, the latter of which will be performing just before you this year. Opportunities such as those do not come by as often as one imagines and are thus appreciated. Would could you tell us of your experience within the showcase and will you be giving such an opportunity to other artists during the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza?

The experience was obviously one of the best times I’ve ever had throughout my singing carrier. Although it is very stressful to meet up for rehearsals and so, just being on that stage in front of hundreds of people, it’s an amazing feeling. During this year’s Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, I will be giving the opportunity to four of my friends; Alex, Mirko, Michela and Rachel, to be with me on stage as backing vocalists. I can’t wait for the day to come and experience this with them.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mR4RpvJIOA

Alongside Karen DeBattista, you were one of the finalists in this years’ edition of Passport 2 Indifest whose winner got a direct entry into the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza. For the second year running, you ended up as the first runner-up and that would definitely a confidence downer but nevertheless, your abilities were then recognised by two different panels of judges that selected your entry as a finalist. What did you make or your experience on Passport 2 Indifest and did you ever think that you might not return to the showcase for a second participation?

A downer? Nah, it only made me stronger and more determined to make it on my own, which happened, but nevertheless, my experience on Passport 2 Indifest has been wonderful and it has thought me a lot. In this experience, I met new people and made new friends. Passport 2 Indifest has even helped me to find more confidence in myself and improve in my voice. Did I have doubts in returning again to the showcase? Honestly, YES. As I’ve tried entering the showcase from 2009 but never made it again. But I never gave up. Fortunately I have found a lot of people that support and believe in me and encourage me to keep on trying.

In 2009, you got through to the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza for the very first time having led to your qualification within other events including the Malta Hit Song Contest and L-Ghanja tal-Poplu. The track that you had presented, entitled Ma Rridx Ninbidel composed by Sean Vella to the lyrics of Rita Pace was totally opposite for the song you are presenting this time round. The jury on the night of the contest weren’t too ecstatic and unfortunately, the song ranked poorly towards the end of the evening. Looking back at the experience, would you have done anything differently with the hope of achieving a better result?

To be fair, in 2009, I went on that stage very sick. I had no voice and no energy to sing whatsoever. But I didn’t wand to drop out of the showcase, only just because I had spent a lot of money on making a dress and had put in a lot of work throughout the whole summer for the performance. I was only 16 years old and did not know how to properly handle the situation, nerves also kicked in on that day. Over all, I had a lot of positive feedback on the track by many people and till this day, people are still coming up to me and funnily enough they still remember me from that track, some also start singing it’s catchy chorus

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

To the escflashmalta readers, Hope you like the track and I hope that it is appreciated for its true meaning. Thank you for appreciating Maltese talent and supporting local talent.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TZUn6XoHVog

Published in Interviews

Indifest, hosted by Mark Azzopardi and Christine Haber on NET Television returns for a fifth consecutive episode this evening following the initial success of the past four weeks in which a total of twelve entries from this years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza have been presented. Viewers have the opportunity to select their favourite tracks from both the Established and Teenage Category whilst watching the programme or during the rest of the day as clips could be seen either on television or online. Media.Link Communications and escflashmalta.com are working together in several areas in order to promote the competition in the best possible way noting that it remains as the leading showcase for the Maltese language through the medium of song. The programme starts at 20:30 CET.

In this years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, the Established Category has been denoted to include within it a mixture of young and upcoming talent which is representative of the future local music scene. In this evenings' programme, first up is none other than Laura Bruno with the song Fraħt Għax Sibtek written by Frederick Camilleri. The female artist is participating in the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza for the third time and is still hoping to make her Malta Eurovision Song Contest debut. On the other hand, joining her this evening from the same category is Domenique with the track B'Ħarsitna 'l Fuq composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas and lyrics by Paul Ellul. Domenique reached the final stages of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest earlier this year having also reached the semi-final back in 2011.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nodrm5a_W5E

Michelle Portelli is one of the solo performers competing in the teenage talent portion of the competition and will therefore have to perform her entry Għix live for the very first time. The track composed by Minik to the lyrics of Rita Pace is written in an uptempo fashion. As has been the case in the first couple of episodes, there will be two special guests, both of which are vocalists; the first one being The Greenfields, a folkloristic group who represent the most positive elements of the music industry of the days gone by and the second one being Christabelle, three time winner of the Solo Artist accolade at the Bay Music Awards. Annalise Ellul who was a guest during the first programme will oversee her dancers as they occupy the role of resident guests. Remember Indifest returns to NET Television, this evening at 20:30 CET. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for the latest news.

Source: Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza (Official Facebook Page)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKa5beGoc0Q

Published in Local Music News

Nicole Brincat, a young female vocalist whose tutor is none other than Kaya, a former finalist at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. In her first major experience, she is set to compete within the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza with the track Ħallini Ngħidlek, composed by Minik with lyrics by Stephen Baldacchino. Below, through five questions set forth by the editorial team at escflashmalta.com, the readers will get the opportunity to get to know Nicole a little bit better as past experiences are brought forward along with thoughts about the future. Nevertheless, this is an interview and review with former Eurovision Song Contest representatives; Chris and Moira listening to all of the songs and passing their judgement. With regards to Nicole, they remarked that she has a 'good voice, character, and stunning expression' and then awarding her a strong seven (7) points.

Maestro Paul Abela, one of the leading figures in the music industry was responsible for the live music during the vocal programme Arpeġġi which aired on NET Television during the autumn/winter schedule back in 2011. You had the opportunity to join the finalists during the series and many had thought that you were always a strong vocalist beyond your years. How did that experience help shape out the artist that you have become today and will you be turning back the clock in order to calm your nerves prior to the performance on the stage of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza in September?

Arpeggi 2011 was the first Televised programme in my career. It gave me the chance to get to know a lot of people in the local music industry. Since I passed to the final stages of the series it gave me more time to adhere to such programmes and to enhance my skills obviously as it was a competitive arena. It was a good start for me and the support and encouragement I gained from the public in general gave me the strength to work harder to continue to improve. I will continue to work harder so that when I hit the stage for the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipenza in September I will give my best performance.

Despite having already been part of a television programme which sought to promote the young, upcoming talent, it seems that your career might be picking up relatively quickly, having managed to get through to the established portion of the competition on your first trial. During the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, you will be performing the song Ħallini Ngħidlek composed by Minik with lyrics by Stephen Baldacchino. The song, a ballad is extremely emotional and your vocals toward the end are actually tested accordingly with the songs’ power. Would you please tell us what the song is about and whether you perform it with someone in mind?

After Arpeggi 2011 I had some discussions with 2 of the Top local Music Artists Minik and Stephen Baldacchino as they wanted to work with me in a future festival, I obviously saw this as a door opener and accepted without hesitation. During these last months they developed this ballad Hallini Nghidlek, I immediately fell in love with this song due to several reason but the first and foremost because of its lyrics as they remind me for my grandfather who was like my father and my friend. I lost him 3 months ago and I miss him so much. I will sing the song to him and I am sure he will be there to listen every word of it as he always encouraged me and gave me tremendous support to get where I am today......

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

Claudia Faniello, Annabelle Debono, Miriam Christine, Amber and Ira Losco might not have a lot of things in common but nevertheless, they are all former winners of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, having triumphed in 2006, 2009, 1998, 2010 and 2001 respectively. Most of them kick started their career in such a local competition, performing in Maltese to an audience who attends for the sheer excitement of listening to their own tongue. Has the element that you will be performing in such a prestigious competition kicked in already especially noting the type of success that normally follows being part of the final?

Being part of the finals is already a great achievement for me as it is my first time to form part of this prestigious competition. I have all the necessary time to practice for it and then perform with the top local singers. It is really exciting to me and I will certainly enjoy every second of it.   Giving my best performance and enjoying the time are my first targets, doing very well and finishing at the top will be a great bonus for me. Doing well will undoubtedly give me a great boost in my career and will open many other doors, but lets take it step by step.

Ħallini Ngħidlek, composed by Minik to the lyrics of Stephen Baldacchino is currently one of the entries which the public is definitely showing a lot of support towards, ranking in seventh place within the tele-voting portion of the competition as well as being in the top five of the escflashmalta.com poll regarding the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza. The tele-voting and the final result are seperate at the actual competition but nevertheless pose an intriguing element of surprise towards what the general public and the professionals enjoy listening to. To what do you owe the support of the public and do you agree with the idea of promoting the public and the jury through different awards?

Doing well in the polls is really inspiring since the it reflects that the listeners are enjoying my song, being the lyrics, the music etc it is a great start. Ultimately I believe that it is the final performance that counts and the way the song touches the general public and the professional listening to it. There are other great songs in this competition and what can be a better way to know that listeners are enjoying my song too??? It is great to know what the general public and professionals are saying by their votes, It gives you a clear indication where you can improve or polish. 

I really like the song, its lyrics and the music and I want to thank Stephen Baldacchino and Minik for giving me this opportunity as they believed in me. I want to owe the support of the public because they like the lyrics and the music of the song, I will then do my utmost to perform it in the best way I could so that they will enjoy it more... Performing in different concerts having a different voting system is always a great experience. Sometimes the voting system may act in favour and sometimes against. The result is very important but enjoying the time is always more important.

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

I  would like to thank the editor of escflashmalta.com for the time to get to know me better and for bringing me closer to the readers. I would like to thank everyone who listened to my song and those who voted for me. Your support is immensely appreciated. Thank you all hopefully we will be in touch again in the near future.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cm7pYw6tv9M

Published in Interviews
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