September 22, 2019

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L-Għanja tal-Poplu committee invites authors, composers, musical groups and singer-songwriters to participate in the 43rd edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu – Festival tal-Kanzunetta Maltija, a festival of original songs in Maltese. Applications for this festival will be received on Tuesday 21st May 2019.

Authors and composers are encouraged to feel free to write songs which express their emotions, aspirations and experiences and use the style of music they prefer, and not necessarily limit themselves to songs with a social theme. A new prize for originality has been introduced to encourage creativity. This festival gives the same importance to lyrics and music.

The festival final will be held on Saturday 31st August 2019, at Pjazza Teatru Rjal, where the participants can either be accompanied by the Malta Concert Orchestra, or accompany their own songs. The organising committee encourages Maltese artists to create an enjoyable festival.

More details can be found in the regulations and the application form can be downloaded from ghanjafest.com. In this document, one will find a number of changes which have been introduced year-on-year: such as the fact that no one participant could have more than one song in the final, with an added feature that should a second song of the same artist get through, it will be given to a different artist as per the songwriters’ wishes; together with the fact that each songwriters’ name may only appear twice in the final.

Last years’ winning song was ‘Mhux Kulma Jleqq Deheb’ penned by Emil Calleja Bayliss and composed by Renato Briffa with vocals provided by Michela Galea.

This festival is being organised by L-Għanja tal-Poplu together with Pjazza Teatru Rjal and with the collaboration of L-Akkademja tal-Malti. L-Għanja tal-Poplu is supported by Arts Council Malta – Cultural Partnership Agreement. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the local music scene.

Source: ghanjafest.com

Published in L-Għanja Tal-Poplu

Michela Galea has won the 42nd edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu - Festival tal-Kanzunetta Maltija with the number “Mhux Kulma Jleqq Deheb” (Not all that glitters is gold), composed by Renato Briffa with lyrics by Emil Calleja Bayliss. The two and a half hour spectacle took place once again at the legendary Pjazza Teatru Rjal in Valletta, compèred by Owen Bonnici and Kim Dalli.

The winner was chosen by the votes of an expert and popular jury. The prize of first runner-up went to Dwett (Cherylis & Mikhail) with the song “Mhux Kif Ħsibt” (Not as I thought), penned by Giovann Attard to music by Pamela Bezzina & Alex Debono whilst the second runner-up was awarded to the song “Allura” (So what), interpreted by Philip Vella, who is also credited as composer together with the lyricist Joe Chircop.

Of the other awards handed out during the results segment of the show, the “Best Interpretation” prize was awarded to Monica Said for the song “Anamika”. The award for “Most original lyrics” went to “Nistenniek” by Corazón Mizzi as interpreted by Charlene, whilst JAMM Band won the award for “Best singer-songwriter” with the song "Ħadd Ma Jaf Xi Jrid". A special achievement award known as L-Għanja li Tibqa’ was also given to Mro Paul Abela, for his contribution to the Maltese music scene.

21 year old Michela hails from Mġarr and already boasts a wide wealth of experience in the arts. A former reigning Miss World, Michela won the title of “Miss World Talent” whilst representing Malta at the 2017 edition of the event. She has taken part in numerous editions of local musical festivals in the past, including Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza (KKI) and two previous editions of L-Għanja tal-Poplu. She was also cast in a number of television series, such as “D.R.E.A.M.S” - and for the past few years has been seen as a resident singer on prime-time TV show “The Entertainers”, broadcast on NET Television.

The entire show can be rewatched for up to seven days on TVM’s on demand service, by clicking here, and we urge you all to visit escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: escflashmalta.com, Geoffrey Buhagiar (Photography)

Published in L-Għanja Tal-Poplu

On Saturday 26th September, the 6th edition of the Summer Hit Song Contest took place at the City Theatre in Valletta, signalling the beginning of a new trend for the European Capital City of Culture 2018, with two (2) events in a short space of three (3) weeks occurring just a couple of metres away from one another.

The local competition, featuring a total of 20 participating entries, 19 of which qualified on merit, and 1 which won the right to compete following the triumph in last years' tele-voting, all competed for six (6) different trophies; 1st, 2nd, 3rd as chosen by the professional jury, 1st in the Duet Phase, first 1st in the Maltese Song Phase, and 1st in tele-voting.

Hosted by Deo Grech, under the hospices of F Living Channel, who will be airing the competition on Saturday 3rd October at 8:30 pm, the event went without a hitch, noting that each participant gave his utmost on the stage, rewarding the audience present with an eventful evening. The professional members of the jury was made up of; Norman Cristina, Josephine Ebejer Grech, Natasha Turner, and Rosman Pace, all of whom have a background in music, whether in composition or lyrics.

Televoting Award: "Dangerous" (Elton Zarb / Matt 'Muxu' Mercieca) - Jillianne Camilleri

Best Duet: "Bounce Back" (Renato Briffa / Emil Calleja Bayliss) - Michela Galea & Janvil

Best Maltese Song: "Għanja" (Walter Vella / Mark Attard / Joe Julian Farrugia) - Michela Galea

3rd Place: "Amour" (Philip Vella) - Danica Muscat

2nd Place: "Bounce Back" (Renato Briffa / Emil Calleja Bayliss) - Michela Galea

1st Place: "Tabula Rasa" (Augusto Cardinali / Julie Pomorski / Giovann Attard) - Julie Pomorski

On behalf of the editorial team at escflashmalta.com, we would like to congratulate the winners circle, as well as the other 16 participants who made this year's edition of the Summer Hit Song Contest a memorable one. A round of applause also for the organising committee, led by Deo Grech, as well as F Living Channel namely, Karl and Romina Bonaci for their continuous support. Stay tuned to this portal even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the local music scene.

Source: F Living, escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ogF_31y9Wdg

As has become customary, Media.Link Communications held a press conference to launch the 24th edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, spearheaded by Charles Stroud as the new Chairman, whilst being flanked by Sandra Grech, Clarissa Ellul and Noel D'Amato. A full copy of the regulations as well as the applications may be obtained through MaltaRightNow, for both KKI 2015 and for KKI Jr 2015. Another new regulation is that every artist is limited to the submission of only 6 prospective entries, noting that he may only perform 1 song during the final night.

Due to the negative impact brought about by the rules and regulations presented for the 24th edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, with worthy songs such as “Ma Tintefix” sung by Neville Refalo, “Kastelli Fl-Arja” sung by Gloriana Arpa Belli and “Int” sung by Laura Bruno left out of the final selection of 20 finalists, the organising committee thought it best to return to the original method of selection whereas it will be the professional jury who will pick those who will compete in the final night, and as a result, 20 finalists will be chosen from the judging phase. Once more tele-voting will be applied only during the final, and will have merit as a stand-alone award.

Important Dates 

KKI 2015

Submission: 17th July (till 7 pm)

1st Eliminatory Phase: 18th July (CD)

2nd Eliminatory Phase: 25th July (LIVE) 

 

KKI Jr 2015

Submission: 17th July (till 7 pm)

1st Eliminatory Phase: 19th July (CD)

2nd Eliminatory Phase: 29th July (LIVE) 

Following the success of newcomer Michela Galea, whose entry "Mixja Li Bdiet" composed by Renato Briffa to the lyrics of Alfred E Baldacchino was a worthy winner, it seems that interest is well and truly alive, noting the belief that the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza may once more make a name for itself as a scouting competition, with previous winners including; Amber (ESC 2015), Ira Losco (ESC 2002), Miriam Christine (ESC 1996), Mike Spiteri (ESC 1995) and Fabrizio Faniello (ESC 2001, 2006).

Source: Malta Right Now, Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza (Official Page)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l1ShnR5eZUU

Monday, 16 March 2015 15:00

GħTP 2015: Interview with Michela Galea

On the 21st March 2015, L-Għanja tal-Poplu, a local music competition known to breathe life into the music industry, will be turning thirty-nine. Following the huge success of "Jien Ma Naħdimx", composed by Mark Scicluna to the lyrics of Rita Pace, with vocals provided by Karen DeBattista, a surge of interest was reported, as a record number of 105 submissions were received.

escflashmalta.com in partnership with the organising committee has been given the opportunity to have a chat with the sixteen competing acts, whilst also presenting the full version of each respective entry in contention. Act number ten is Michela Galea, and her entry is entitled "Fejn Marru t-Tfal", composed by Renato Briffa, to the lyrics of Rita Pace.

In a relatively short span of time, you have become a recognisable figure in the local music scene, having been triumphant at the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza with the song “Mixja li Bdiet”, composed by Renato Briffa to the lyrics of Alfred. E. Baldacchino. Was it a natural choice to participate in a follow-up competition which specifically deals with the Maltese language? 

Being able to sing in our native Maltese language is an asset for us as Maltese artists. We must be proud of our language and thanks to these festivals we are able to promote the Maltese language. Apart from that, l-“Ghanja tal-Poplu” gives the opportunity for musicians to perform live with the singers. This is the major reason why I wished to be part of this memorable and national event.

“Fejn Marru t-Tfal?” composed by Renato Briffa, to the lyrics of Rita Pace, is the song that you will be presenting in this years’ edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu. Would you care to explain the meaning behind the lyrics and the genre that the song encompasses?

This song deals with the difficulties encountered by parents who are raising children: maintaining discipline but at the same time showing affection, without that affection being seen as weakness or in the worst scenarios as physical abuse. One must also take into account that kids and teens seem to know more than parents about certain things and the song therefore asks  where their innocence is gone, and what has led to this.

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

This song is very relevant in today's society as the topics of discipline and abuse of children and the abuse of adults by children are things we often hear about. The genre that the song encompasses is a ballad accompanied with a piano.

In 2015, L-Għanja tal-Poplu is turning thirty-nine (39), and during the years, it has earned a positive reputation, by virtue of breathing life into the music industry. It is no secret that the lyrics of each entry could cause controversy amongst the public. What is your view with regards to this statement, and do you believe that your entry challenges public perception?

Yes, I think that there is some controversy as regarding to the lyrics in general. Each and every artist wants to deliver a message, be it a positive or a negative one. I think we want to convey what is going on around the world.  Having said that, my song is about the difficulties of raising children and undoubtedly in real life it is not easy to raise children because of the problems we are facing.

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

I would like to thank those people who support local singers and local music because we continuously need their support to move on in our music careers. I encourage you all to come and join us on the 21st March at Sir Temi Zammit Hall Universita for a night of Maltese live music. Let us appreciate all local music!

Published in Interviews
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 10:24

SHSC 2014: Triumphant Domenique in First Victory

The 5th edition of the Summer Hit Song Contest, hosted by Deo Grech & Natius Farrugia, at The Dome Theatre within the Seabank Hotel, was truly a memorable night, a triumphant journey. 18 acts, carefully chosen by a select panel of professional judges, took to the main stage to perform their entry, having received ample promotion throughout the summer season, courtesy of F Living, Music News, escflashmalta.com and RTK Radio.

Lyndsay Pace, Mireille Bonello, Marisa D'Amato, Charlene Azzopardi, Daniel Falzon Mallia, George Cremona and Heathcliffe Balzan were solely responsible for the result last night, picking Domenique and her entry "Back To...", composed by Mark Scicluna to the lyrics of Emil Calleja Bayliss in first place. Nevertheless, with around 10 points separating the top three, one has to commend the first runner-up, "My Hero" composed by Renato Briffa to the lyrics of Keith Zammit with vocals provided by Anna Azzopardi as well as the second runner-up, "Pretend" composed by Renato Briffa to the lyrics of Doris Chetcuti.

On the other hand, "Overboard", the only duet competing in this year's edition of the Summer Hit Song Contest, featuring Audrey Marie & Rita Pace were chosen as winners of the tele-voting and as a result, also granted the opportunity to compete in next year's edition fo the Summer Hit Song Contest, a revelation made by Deo Grech & Karl Bonaci during the course of the evening. Remember, the competition will be broadcast on F Living on Saturday 27th September at 20:30 CET. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook & Twitter as we bring you the latest news from the local music scene.

Source: Summer Hit Song Contest, Marc Calleja Bayliss (image)

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

Michela Galea, coached by Pamela, a veteran participation in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, and herself a former participant in the "Talent Ġdid" in the 2011 edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza has been called up as a replacement for Gloriana Arpa Belli, who was unable to perform two songs due to fact that regulations state that only one performer for each song.

At this stage, 29 songs have both had their artists and their entries revealed, with the organising committee yet to publish the news of both Michela Galea and the last song, apparently "Passaġġ" written by Clinton Paul whose original singer, Domenique, qualified to this stage of the competition with no less than 7 songs.

This year's edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza includes several well known names including; Kaya (MESC 00, 10, 12), Danica Muscat (MESC 12, 13), Neville Refalo (MESC 05), Domenique (MESC 11, 13), Phylisienne Brincat (MESC 92, 94, 95) and Josef Tabone (MESC 06), Francesca Borg (MESC 2012). We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2CFtZmfhtoQ

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. Bernice is the eighth artist and she will be performing the track Sinjali composed by Renato Briffa to the lyrics of Rita Pace.

Back in 2009, you were chosen to compete as one of the finalists within the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza with the song Ngħix Għalik composed by Renato Briffa to the lyrics of Rita Pace. It was actually your last experience within a local competition but one which you will definitely hold close to your heart. Do you recall the evening well and why haven’t you been around as much in recent years?

I hold close to my heart all special experiences and especially the people who have contributed in one way or another towards my successes in life. In recent years, I have been rather busy with life in general and other priorities that I had on my list. One of these was the completion of a Bachelor's of Commerce degree in Accounts and Marketing at the University of Malta. Nghix Ghalik, to date, remains my favourite Maltese song.

In this years’ edition of the International Festival of Maltese Song, you will be performing the track Sinjali composed by Renato Briffa to the lyrics of Rita Pace, the same songwriting duo behind your earlier success. Would you care to explain the meaning behind the song and the genre it encompasses?

Rita and Renato are both so talented, creative and innovative. I especially like them for their sense of humbleness, kindness and understanding. We always work well as a team. Together, we now have this song entitled Sinjali, an oriental type of song. As regards the meaning behind its lyrics, the two most important aspects highlighted are faith and courage. Life is a journey and these are the qualities that keep us going through difficult times, emerging finally as better persons, in everything really, be it as a nation or as individuals.

Bernice, you are not only a vocalist, but many people recall you being an actress back in the nineties having starred in the extremely popular series known as Undercover, which was written and produced by Eileen Montesin, aired on ONE Television. Looking back, many people might not recognise you due to the fact that you were somewhat a teenager but nevertheless, you have grown within the public eye. How much does it help for you to be recognised and do you prefer acting to singing?

You would not believe how many people still recognise me from those Undercover days...maybe I left an impact! :) But really and truly I had other appearances spread over the years so people are then constantly reminded of you and the fact that you are an actress. Last I was cast was in Qalb in-Nies 2010/2011 on TVM. So indeed, I did grow in the public eye from a very young age with various TV appearances over the years in acting and singing. These both make me happy and are part of who I am and really I have no preference as long as with what I do I see others enjoying  themselves too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhqmLB2EQbY

As a female vocalist, you have only managed to get through to music competition with original tracks only in Maltese, which is the national language used on the Islands. Nevertheless, are there any intentions for you to submit a song for the upcoming edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest which supports our participation internationally and if not, do you aspire for the future?

I guess I speak and pronounce Maltese so well, people like me singing in our language which is special to me! And on this note I would like to thank and congratulate whoever was behind the idea and pursue of launching such a festival again...it is so important for our culture! As much as I  would like to submit a song for the upcoming Malta Eurovision Song Contest I would not be able to as me and my husband are awaiting the birth of our second child due in February. I also have the first set of exams to sit for soon in Masters of Accountancy.

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?

We should all be proud of the talent we have on these small islands, work together, encourage each other and believe in our people. With so many limitations, we still manage to be among the best and get so far. I support anything that promotes our country and our hard working nation.

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

Keep on supporting the local music scene through ecsflashmalta.com!

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

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 which is yet to be determined. Fiona is the third artist and she will performing the song Għadek Tgħix composed by Renato Briffa to the lyrics of Mark Amaira.

Fiona, you are one of the artists who has a rich history when it comes to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, having managed to make it through to the final stages of the competition on several occasions, the last of which was back in 2009 as part of the group Q whose entry Before You Walk Away composed by Paul Giordimaina to the lyrics of Fleur Balzan. Each experience speaks volumes and of a different time within your career but how has the competition helped you grow as an artist?

As an artist, competition helps you develop that which by yourself you might not be able to attain.....it gives you experience, puts you on the same podium as the others and makes you face many challenges.  Nowadays I do not compete in a festival anymore but am more inclined to participate in a festival and produce each performance to a higher degree of perfection.

In 2011, you participated within the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza with the song Malta Ġrajjietha, a duet with Nadine Axisa composed by Chan Vella with lyrics by Alexia Schembri. It reminded people of the stunning vocals that you had both attributed to the song Words of Love composed by Paul Giordimaina to the lyrics of Fleur Balzan at the 2005 Malta Song for Europe. How does it feel to be back in a competition with the last having been around two years ago?

It feels like I am back on stage with my friends.  It is indeed no competition for me but rather another occasion where I put my vocal prowess in a showcase.

In this years’ edition of the International Festival of Maltese Song, you are presenting an entry entitled Għadek Tgħix composed by Renato Briffa to the lyrics of Mark Amaira. Would you care to explain to our readers what the lyrics speak about what genre the song encompasses?

The song is a modern ballad, I daresay with an Italian twinge in it.  Its strongest element is the theme, which was cleverly penned by Mark when he saw me once on TV discussing with a woman who left a strong mark in my life.  The song speaks about me quoting her most famous words uttered by this woman, now deceased, but who is still very much alive in my heart and mind.  I will be wringing my heart out for sure on the night.....this is a song whose theme, of course, is very dear to me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=azTpCzjRb9M

In recent months, there have been a lot of comments with regards to the progession that the local music industry has made in these past couple of years with several new artists finding their way into recording studios and releasing successful material both in Malta and abroad. What is your take on this matter and should we expect any new material in English from Fiona in the coming months, possibly even for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2014?

I would most definitely not spill any beans on forthcoming projects right now :) let’s say I would only comment that I find this upward surge in the local music industry delighting and encouraging :)

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?

I love my language, I believe in it and I adore singing in it, particularly to foreign people who I am proud to say highly appreciate our native language. For this reason I fully support this festival and do hope that there will be place for it still in future.

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

What should I say......but a massive THANK YOU for all the support and interest you shower us with throughout the year.....I’m really grateful for the love!!!

Published in Interviews
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