December 11, 2019

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The 39th edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu, considered to be one of the most renowned local competitions, will be officially launched on the 15th January 2015 at the St James Cavalier in Valletta, with the inclusion of a select number of successful former participants.

Karen DeBattista, Rita Pace, Olivia Lewis, Miriam Christine and Frank O'Neill are currently on the performers' bill as the competition evolves by another year. Due to the fact that attendance for the event is limited, an email could be sent to Noel D'Amato, who is coordinating this event on behalf of the committee of L-Għanja tal-Poplu.

In the meantime, due to the interest in the upcoming edition of the local music competition, the committee has thought it best to extend the pre-submission period by a couple of weeks, with submission day now set for the 23rd January 2015. We urge you to stay tuned to even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: L-Għanja tal-Poplu (Official Website, Official Facebook Page)

Published in L-Għanja Tal-Poplu

L-Għanja tal-Poplu is considered to be one of the most renowned local competitions. It is one of the very few that promotes our national songwriters to the full and it also makes it an important point that our mother language, Maltese, could be sung in a music competition. In 2015, the showcase is set to take place on the 21st of March. After analysing the regulations, it can be said that there were no major amendments to the rules and regulations of the festival.

Earlier this year, the competition was won by a relative newcomer, Karen DeBattista, with the song "Jien Ma Naħdimx", composed by Mark Scicluna to the lyrics of Rita Pace. It garnered national acclaim, having been discussed on several talk-shows, over the notoriety of the lyrical prowess which it possessed. Since then, Karen DeBattista has been through to the final of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with the song "12, Baker Street", composed by Jan Van Dijck to the lyrics of Emil Calleja Bayliss.

Frank O'Neill, Christabelle Curmi and Il-Lajks were the first runners-up with the song "Kif Xrobbtuli l-Menti" written by Frank O'Neill himself, leaving Miriam Christine and Olivia Lewis in third place with "Wara l-Kanċell" co-written by Miriam Christine and Joe Julian Farrugia. In order to obtain a copy of the whole regulations they can be found on the official website of L-Għanja tal-Poplu. We urge you to stay tuned to even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the local music scene.

Source: L-Għanja tal-Poplu

Published in L-Għanja Tal-Poplu
Monday, 27 October 2014 19:47

MESC 2015: In-Depth Interview with Dominic

On the 21st and 22nd November, the Public Broadcasting Services will be hosting the 2014-2015 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest at the Marsa Shipbuilding. 20 acts will be taking centre stage, in hope of representing the country at next year's edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, being held in Vienna, Austria. Over the next couple of weeks, will be publishing a series of interviews with all the participants. Whilst thanking the Public Broadcasting Services for this opportunity, Let's continue and follow things up with Dominic.

Would you kindly introduce your entry to our readers and also identify the meaning behind the lyrics?

Once In A While is composed by Elton Zarb and penned by Rita Pace. The song Once is about a breakthrough in someone’s life. Life is full of ups and downs but one should never give up but keep on believing because something good maybe about to happen. This good song urges us to appreciate life more and the good things that we encounter throughout it. The style of the song is Pop Rock.

In Malta, the Eurovision Song Contest is considered to be a major outlet for the music industry, and you stand here as one of the semi-finalists. What does the whole experience mean to you?

Malta being the size it is has its limitations. The Eurovision Song Contest is a stepping stone for the singer to step into the international market as its gives you exposure in European countries and beyond. The contest is a festival I love following and even though I will be competing with other singers it will be un unforgettable experience that I am sharing with the other singers who I can sincerely today call friends. 

Recently, Malta has been rather successful at the Eurovision Song Contest, making the final on four of the last five participation attempts. What do you think is the reason for this success, and do you believe that your entry has what it takes to continue this positive trend?

I believe that the songs chosen lately have been good representations and in order to do well one has to look at the whole package being presented. Besides, I am sure that the professional team assisting the singer makes the whole experience more fun and feel comfortable throughout the start till the end.

If you were given the opportunity to sing another one of the competing entries in the 2014-2015 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, which one would it be and why?

I like all songs because all are different from one another, however if given the opportunity to sing another competing song I would choose Still Here sung by Franklin because I like the style of ballad and its lyrics and is completely different from my song. 

Do you have any plans to release more music in the future, and do you have any particular projects in the pipeline?

Continue developing my music career both as a singer and as a composer. Both have their tuition and practice but with determination I know I get there.

Would you like to say anything to our readers at

Your support gives us courage to continue presenting to you the music we write, compose and sing. Without you out there this will not be possible.

Published in Interviews

Tonight! The Summer Hit Song Contest continues. A music competition which originally took place between 2008 and 2011 and featured Miriam Christine, Neville Refalo, Romina Mamo, Minik and Siconix as winners, with a brand new selection of original songs. The celebrity-packed show is set to host leading singers from the local entertainment scene.

It's Time for the Celebrity Duets on the Summer Hit Song Contest! The third phase of the Summer Hit Song Contest series kicks off tonight at 20:30 on f Living Channel with the much-awaited Celebrity Duets phase. Top local artists will be invited by this year's participants to feature as special guests in a duets-version rendition of their songs.    

Fiona Vella from Fiona Couture will spice up the show with her critique on the artists' fashion sense. Miriam Christine, the very first winner of the Malta Hit Song Contest (2008) will return to the show with a specific role ... one, which will be revealed during the show. During this week's show we will be able to follow the following Celebrity Duets:

Mark Tonna will feature in Rita Pace and Audrey Marie's entry, 'Overboard';

Annabelle will feature in Danica Muscat's entry, 'Fearless';

Pamela will feature in Roberta Briffa's entry 'If I Was Her' and in Joseph's entry 'Fool for Love';

Amber will feature in Rachel Verzin's entry 'The Joke Is On You'.

The guest artists will also perform songs from their own repertoire, whilst the Summer Hit Song Contest participants will draw their own place in the final's running order.

The competition aims to promote the local music artists in search of a true hit song. The show is produced and hosted by Deo Grech and Ignatius Farrugia. Stay tuned even through Facebook and Twitter for the latest news from this year's edition of the Summer Hit Song Contest. Show is aired on Mondays and Sundays at 20:30 CET on F Living channel, your favourite tv channel for the best music this summer.

Source: Summer Hit Song Contest

In 2013, following an 11-year absence, the International Festival of Maltese Song returned to the local cultural calendar under the auspice of the Secretariat for Culture, then led by the Hon Dr Jose Herrera. The music industry was excited, and exuberant to learn of the return, with several well known artists putting their name forward in the hope of restoring pride back into a returning showcase which had in the past featured winners such as; Ira Losco, Lawrence Gray and Georgina. 

What added to the grandeur of the showcase though was the inclusion of a small orchestra, led by Maestro Sigmund Mifsud, largely responsible for the Rockestra in recent years. Following the exclusion of live music from the Eurovision Song Contest, no local festival decided to invite the orchestra back, citing it as a waste of financial resources, a reason which we disagree with, wholeheartedly. Anyway, the issue at hand is that rumours are quickly spreading round that despite the promise made by the Secretariat for Culture less than 12 months ago, the International Festival of Maltese Song might not be making a return in 2014.

This comes as a surprise to many, especially in a year in which Malta is celebrating several anniversaries in relation to becoming an independent and republic country. Nothing represents Malta better than original music in the national language, but it seems that this element is well and truly miscalculated by our lawmakers, because if the festival does not take place then we are back to square one, lacking an independent competition which best represents the local music scene and the language that represent the nation and it's communities abroad, in countries such as Australia, Canada and the United States, who proudly following the competition in 2013.

The International Festival of Maltese Song has helped several artists, acting as a launch pad, noting that even upon it's return, it saw to the beginning of a brand new music career, that of Dorcas Debono whose merited 4th place with the song "Din Jien" written by Minik and Rita Pace would have never took place. At this stage, this editorial is being written for the authorities to make the right choice and not remove this competition from the cultural calendar. It would be wrong, immoral and deeply unpatriotic. Stay tuned to even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Published in Editorials

In recent years, the Malta Eurovision Song Contest has been the only local platform for songwriters and vocalists to produce original songs in English, but that has officially changed with the re-introduction of the Summer Hit Song Contest which returns to F Living as from the 14th July 2014. A total of 18 entries got through to the final stage of the competition with no less than 8 of them having already made it to the top of the music scene by virtue of reaching the Malta Eurovision Song Contest on at least one previous occasion.

Deo Grech, organiser of the Summer Hit Song Contest is pleased to be working with a professional production team, noting that F Living have been nothing but supportive of the project, one which has been previously won by Miriam Christine, Neville Refalo, Romina Mamo and Minik featuring Siconix. Almost all of the artists uploaded their entry on viral website YouTube, as had been reported by a couple of weeks ago, with an updated list shown below;

Another Night in Heaven (Philip Vella / Rita Pace) - Christian

Back To (Mark Scicluna / Emil Calleja Bayliss) - Domenique

Fearless (Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg) - Danica Muscat

Fire Spell (DJ Toby / Natasha Turner) - Mauro

Fool For Love (Miriam Christine / Rita Pace) - Joseph 

Hourglass (Rita Pace / Emil Calleja Bayliss) - Simone Gauci

If I Was Her (Renato Briffa / Rita Pace) - Roberta Briffa

Just Wait (Elton Zarb / Rita Pace) - Marie Claire

My Hero (Renato Briffa / Keith Zammit) - Anna Azzopardi

One Precious Mile (Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg) - Kelly Cassar

Overboard (Rita Pace) - Rita Pace & Audrey Marie Bartolo

Pretend (Renato Briffa / Doris Chetcuti) - Odessa Green

Shout! (Minik / Rita Pace) - Julie Pomorski

Summer Ladies (Andrew Zahra / Rita Pace) - Ina Robinich

The Joke Is On You (Elton Zarb / Emil Calleja Bayliss) - Rachel Verzin

The One (Renato Briffa / Keith Zammit) - Janice Mangion

To Hell and Back (Philip Vella / Rita Pace) - Ana-Maria Grima

You (Minik / Alison Ellul) - Dayle Camilleri 

Earlier this afternoon, F Living published the first promotional video in support of the Summer Hit Song Contest with a recap of all the participating entries. On behalf of the editorial team, I would like to wish everyone the very best of luck, and hope that the best song triumphs. For more details about the competition, visit the Official Facebook Page. We urge you to stay tuned to even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

A career in music is somewhat subjective to the opinion or either the public or a panel of professional judges, pertaining to the audience. In three years, one of the artists who has truly shown potential for growth has been none other than Karen DeBattista, a female vocalist whose first venture in music came at the Summer Hit Song Contest back in 2011.

Performing the song "Memoirs" composed by Mark Scicluna to the lyrics of Daniel Muscat was just the beginning, garnering traction when duetting with Thea Garrett, months shy after representing Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest. Since then, Karen has never looked back and had the opportunity to perform as part of the BOV Children's Choir during the Joseph Calleja Concert as well as The Voices Choir in support of charity.

Whilst thriving in the spotlight, Karen knows when the time is right, and putting herself forward for the Passport 2 Indifest competition was a good idea. Garnering the support of Annabelle Debono and Janvil in the final round of the competition, she triumphed and found herself in the 2013 Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza. The song allocated to her, "Riflessi" composed by Mark Scicluna with lyrics by Emil Calleja Bayliss was extremely well received.

Whilst the reviews were glowing, the results were not as forthcoming, but all that would change as her L-Għanja tal-Poplu 2014 entry "Jien Ma Naħdimx" composed by Mark Scicluna to the lyrics of Rita Pace won the support of the professional jury and has received the backing of several key figures, praising the image that Karen gave the song, along with crystal clear diction. The future is ripe for this young 21 year old, who is on constantly keeping her fans updated through Facebook and Twitter. Stay tuned to for all the latest news.

Published in Editorials

In the local music industry, the Eurovision Song Contest is one of the most coveted events to garner the opportunity to perform in, noting that it has also spurred on the beginning of some astonishing careers, including those of Ira Losco, Fabrizio Faniello and Miriam Christine to name a few. These three though have another successful victory in hand that differs them from all the rest, and that has come during the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza organised by Media.Link Communications. is a covering the event, having also been represented on the committee in the past seeing to the editions from 2010 till 2012.

Tomorrow, 3rd April, Media.Link Communications will be hosting a meeting for composers, lyricists and vocalists who wish to partake in the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza. In recent days, there have been a lot of rumours but nevertheless, the birth of a new edition kick starts tomorrow, with a brand new committee taking over and hoping to give the competition more credibility as it used to have in the past. The most recent winner was Fabrizio Faniello with the song Aħfirli Jekk Trid composed by Minik to the lyrics of Rita Pace. It also successfully entered the iTunes Chart for a couple of weeks. We urge you to stay tuned to for all the latest news.

Source: Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza (Facebook Page)

Spiteri Lucas Entertainment, in conjunction with Media.Link Communications retired the format of Sas-Sitta in favour of a fresh take on a Saturday afternoon programme, Sibt Familja, which also incorporates light entertainment, interviews and a lot of laughter. Ray Attard, is joined by Debbie Scerri, 1997 representative in the Eurovision Song Contest as hosts and are known to welcome a number of personalities from all walks of life. The programme kicks off at around 13:30 CET and finishing at about 16:00 CET, meaning around two and a half hours of pure family entertainment for all. It is broadcast on NET Television.

Playing against each other are two surprise packages in this years' edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest; Christabelle and Daniel Testa, the latter being the second runner-up in a hotly contested edition. Fresh off her recent success in L-Għanja tal-Poplu with the song Jien Ma Naħdimx composed by Mark Scicluna to the lyrics of Rita Pace, Karen DeBattista will be making a guest appearance on Sibt Familja, which also led to her entry into the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza in 2013. The will not be the only vocal guest on the show with former Malta Eurovision Song Contest participant; Ivan Spiteri Lucas and also former Eurovision Song Contest representative; Ludwig Galea both making an appearance.

The VIP interview  conducted by Maestro Mark Spiteri Lucas will be with none other than the veteran actor Joe Borg. It is worth pointing out that all the music during the programme will be played LIVE as led by the gentleman mentioned above. Other attractions include female fashion trends by resident experts Rita Gatt and photographer Clint Gerald together with a team of models as well as comedian, Toni Busuttil. Stay tuned to for more of the latest news about programmes such as Sibt Familja on NET Television, which aims to promote the local music scene and give the general public entertainment.

Source: Press Release

Published in Local Music News

On the 15th March, Sir Temi Żammit Hall played host to the 38th edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu, a revitalised music competition for which there were a total of seventy-one (71) submissions, sixteen (16) of which were presented to the audience present in the venue and at home with ONE Television broadcasting the event directly in real-time. Josephine Ebejer Grech & Clint Bajada presided over the competition as hosts, not only introducing the song title, artists and songwriters but even the musicians on stage, something which was innovative and well planned. Supported by the Malta Arts Fund and Fondazzjoni Ċelebrazzjonijiet Nazzjonali, it was truly an evening to remember.

David Aloisio, Vince Fabri, Rosabelle Bianchi, Eric Montfort, Elaine Falzon, Kevin Farrugia, Maria Abdilla and David Azzopardi were the professional panel of judges for the competition and they selected a worthy bunch of winners, all of which were mentioned by the public present during several points throughout the evening. Nevertheless, it seems like the jury and the public agreed greatly on the winning entry Jien Ma Naħdimx with music by Mark Scicluna, lyrics by Rita Pace and vocals by songbird, Karen DeBattista. In second place was the comical upbeat song about social media entitled Kif Xrobtuli l-Menti, written by Frank O'Neill, who performed it with Christabelle Curmi and Il-Lajks, leaving in third place a soft beautiful ballad entitled Wara l-Kanċell penned by Joe Julian Farrugia to the music of Miriam Christine who also performed the song in a duet with Olivia Lewis.

In the meantime, this competition is known to award a number of other trophies, in order to point out the exceptional quality of talent that Malta is known to have. Christian Arding was awarded with the Best Interpretation for his entry Il-Karba tal-Mument composed by Chan Vella to the lyrics of Kevin Tanti whilst Denise Spiteri was given the Best New Artist accolade for her stunning performance of Pupa written by Mark Laurence Zammit. The coveted Social Theme award which is given to the lyricist who challenges the stereotype and comes up with a brilliant all around combination went to Rita Pace for the wonderful Il-Quċċata which she wrote to the music of Jeffrey Scicluna, performed by 7 Spadi leaving only the singer/songwriter award which went for the aforementioned Frank O'Neill.

We would like to thank the organising committee of L-Għanja tal-Poplu for their fantastic support throughout these past couple of weeks, giving us the opportunity to speak to the artists, and making the songs available beforehand, giving the event positive publicity. Stay tuned to for all the latest news about the local music scene and participation in the Eurovision Song Contest as soon as it becomes available.

Source: Official Website, Official Facebook Page

Published in L-Għanja Tal-Poplu
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