August 25, 2019

Login to your account

Username *
Password *
Remember Me

Create an account

Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.
Name *
Username *
Password *
Verify password *
Email *
Verify email *
Captcha *
Reload Captcha
Saturday, 15 March 2014 18:00

Malta: L-Għanja tal-Poplu 2014 - LIVE

Il-Lejl it-Tajjeb! On the 3rd February, the organising committee of L-Għanja tal-Poplu released the song titles and the names of the songwriters of each of the sixteen (16) qualifiers. It was also announced that seventy-one (71) submissions were received, the highest since its return to the local music scene a couple of years ago, denoting that the changes made to the competition have been appreciated by artists, songwriters and producers alike.

In the past of days, escflashmalta.com had the opportunity to speak to almost all of the finalists in a series of interviews published under the logo acronym GħTP. It was a scintillating experience, and one got to know more about the artists, and the songs they are presenting in the competition. For the very first time in a relatively long period of time, the event hosted by Josephine Ebejer Grech and Clint Bajada will be airing LIVE on ONE Television as from 20:15 CET, and therefore we thought it best to cover the proceedings as they occur in a song-by-song account. Those who wish to view the event on internet may also do so through the official website of the private broadcaster, ONE Television.

The Show (Part 1)

Il-Lejla t-tajba. We kick off the show with the choir of the night! It is a colourful mixture of kids and young singers. What a pleasant energy they are radiating! It is a medley comprising of succesful songs from past editions such as Wellidni and It-Tfal tal-lum.  

Clint and Josephine now appear on stage opening the 38th edition of this festival, thanking main sponsors and contributors. Moreover, Clint encourages all present and those watching to sit back and relax, enoy such a very relaxing show, which has a history of being very calm and enjoyable! 
 

Running Order

01. Mara - Marie Claire Attard Bason (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Andrew Zammit)

The very first song is a relatively powerful one. It's a celebration of the power of women and the music blends really well with the message of the song, uttered by the woman narrating abuse and lack of respect from others, mainly from her male counterparts. Attard Bason looks very confident and on stage there are 8 people, two of them backing vocalists but the attention is still on the singer. The determination and consciousness of the woman narrating her past and today's courage are marked very well on her face and in the firmness of her voice! An absolutely great entry! 

02. Il-Quċċata – 7 Spadi (Rita Pace, Jeffrey Scicluna)

The first male singer for the night and he seems very sure of what he is singing about and the anger for that someone that is corrupt and doing what he used to complain about is very evident in his voice! It's like he is telling him off in reality! The chorus is quite catchy and basically delivers a good lesson to those who are ready to do anything to garner power despite the harm they might inflict on others! The title of the song itself represents this fight for power. It's quite a good entry and I would love to listen to it once again! A job well done.  

03. Numri - Estelle Fenech Imbroll (Paul Attard, Mark Scicluna)

Estelle looks very elegant and delicate but there's something in her first moves that tell me she's a bit anxious, the first singer to make me think about this. But she now settles down and focuses on her emotions, looking very pensive and nervous, narrating a difficult life of vice and vicious circles going into one another. The atmosphere on stage is absolutely adequate for this song and the blue is very calm. "Ħajti vojta jekk ma nissugrax" champions the prevalent theme of abuse and harshness of life for this festival. This is a very emotional song delivered by a charming lady doing justice to her song! Thumbs up Estelle!

04. Rutina – Tmien Ħabbiet (Jonathan Laferla, Charlie Bonnici)

  Rutina, sung by Tmien Ħabbiet kicks off with a very systematic rythm which am not sure whether is running in some bad order. It does not convince me at times and the singing does not really blend will with the  lyrics. The voices too, they do not mix really pleasantly either but i DO like the kind of interval in singing for "Hawn Sabiħa!". It's quite authentic. Listening to this once is enough I think. 

05. Kif Xrobbtuli l-Menti - Frank O'Neill, Christabelle Curmi u l-Likes (Frank O'Neill) 

This is a very avantegarde song making use of a huge number of words recently doing their way into the Maltese parlance, such as wajers, plajers and the very popular STESSU. Frank's hat is quite original and Christabelle's facial expressions are absolutely flawless, accompanying the lyrics . The band resembling that of the village festa is quite authentic as well! Great! Not amongst my favourite but I did enjoy this! 

06. Il-Karba tal-Mument - Christian Arding (Kevin Tanti, Chan Vella)

Christian appears on piano in a very quite and calm posture. He is well focused and lets the words out very pleasantly but also in a strong voice, narrating the unfortunate destiny of a lonely individual lacking parents' affection. However, this atmosphere ought to be consolidated by everyone on stage and no just the singer! One of the guitarist strangely smiles a bit too much and it really did not go down well with me! Another one about the negatives of life! This is well expected in this festival! I like this!

07. Fejn Huma? - Daniel Borg (George Cassar, Daniel Borg)

 Wow! This song begins without the music and it allows all attention on the words and his manner of delivery is like a very casual daily conversation! Interjections such as "Illaħwa"  and "illistrina" turn this song into a relevant message accompanied by music, making reference to recent issues that on a national basis made it to the headlines quite a number of times, such as the Mistra issue. The theme is quite common but it has been transformed quite well and this stands out: "Malta fittex erġa' ejja lura għal li kont"! If only this becomes true! Brilliant!

08. Jien Ma Naħdimx - Karen DeBattista (Rita Pace, Mark Scicluna)

Another elegant singer! Karen has something in her eyes giving power to this fragile female housewife, and she too seems quiet. The lyrics make me go nuts literally for they kind of support the stereotype rather than try and challenge it but the hell with this! I like this song, I like the singer and also the fact that the audience goes clapping in the midst of it! "Jien ma naħdimx imma ma nieqaf qatt", ok it does not challenge the stereotype but it does give us a clear indication of the pity reality many women are living in nowadays! Amazing song, amazing stage setting and choice of everything really! Kudos Karen! To the top three she must go!

09. Immigrant Regolari - Teddie Zammit (Rita Pace, Teddie Zammit)

What strikes me most is the energy that Mark Lawrence is radiating! He seems so passionate playing the piano. Teddie with quite an emotion narrates the life in transition of a migrating bird  and it does remind me of the fate of human immigrants but it really does not stand out, except for the last bit, whereby the music changes course. Still, does not impress me.

10. Pupa - Denise Spiteri (Mark Laurence Zammit)

Denise to me appears like a younger Corazon, delivering a very strong interpretation of her song! I like all the energy and the control she has on her voice. Simply calm and pleasant! Thumbs up to this too!

11. Il-Bamboċċu, Il-Bambinu u l-Budaj - Frans Casha (Frans Casha)

And off we go to a year or two back. Something went wrong but we're now back on track and the song kicked off as expected seconds later. This might seem old fashioned, considering all songs preceding it and looking at the backing vocaist wearing a traditioanlly Maltese dress and head piece but it does make us think of the prevalent music of the past. The dominant colour on stage is red and White, a strong link to the Maltese flag and identity. Frans Casha is accompanied by a female voice which blends quite well but does not blend quite well all the energy of the the young man behind him on the synthesizer. Frans's calmness contrasts quite well with all his head movements! It does not do justice really! A very average entry.

12. Wara l-Kanċell - Miriam Christine u Olivia Lewis (J J Farrugia, Miriam Christine)

Miriam Christine starts off the song playing the piano and she immediately immerses us in their mysterious world. Olivia is on the other hand standing in centre stage and their voices are kind of AMAZING! They perfectly accompany each other without any faults! Olivia delivers the song firmly and Miriam Christine is all focused on the playing and her singing! It's quite a breathtaking entry! I really do not want this to reach its final seconds! They have the perfect pronounciation and synchronisation! Ought to WIN. 

13. BħalGħasfura - Mario Debono (Mario Debono)

Do not know wheter David Azzopardi with his Pastizzi chant or the Greenfields have taken over the stage but Mario is managing to make me sing to his tune! It's quite a relaxing song but I would have preferred him singing alone rather than along the backing vocalist! The melody is quite enjoyable too. This probably will be forgotten very soon. 

14. Djarju ta' Tifkiriet - Simone Gauci (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Mark Spiteri Lucas)

Simone seems very focused and all serious but then she breaks into a very sweet smile and her emotion follows the lyrics! She delivers her song with a delicate passion that is convincing. The chorus is absolutely fascinating, magical I dare say, it's flowing pace is quite authentic too. Standing on the same spot with a standing microphone is the right choice and Simone's gaze at the end completes the circle! This is a promising entry! Would like to listen to it once again! 

15. Liberat – Teddie Zammit (George Cassar, Teddie Zammit)

And once again, it's Teddie. But he's back with another song that does not really impress me! The stage setting suits the song really well and this time round this guitarist does make justice to the song for he follows the correct emotion and gestures, so thumbs up to this young champ! I like the ending and how the song fades away to its final seconds. 

16. Insellmulkom - Domenique (Joe Chircop, Philip Vella)

And the final song, entitled Insellmulkom looks like it is hinting the final entry for this 38th edition of the festival! But it surely does NOT deserve a final ranking for it is a very powerful song! Domenique is not new to such festivals and surely not with this theme! It reminds me of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza and it stands out particulary tonight for it's the sole song bearing a patriothic theme. She goes very high in her notes and looks determined to succeed and make our ex Presidents and Prime Ministers feel very proud! It's a song thanking all those who stood up for our country and showed courage! She looks magnificent and does great justice to the lyrics! Another song chasing the trophy for the night!

The Show (Part 2)

All 16 songs are now being scrutinised by the Jury, comprising of David Aloisio, Vince Fabri, Rosabelle Bianchi, Eric Montfort, Elaine Falzon, Kevin Farrugia, Maria Abdilla and David Azzopardi. 

In the meantime there's a long intermission.  

There is now an interview with Walter Micallef about the history of the Maltese song during turbulent times and the need to give the song in Maltese the respect and attention it deserves! 

Corazon follows Walter and speaks about her first debut at the l-Għanja tal-Poplu way back in 2006 with Kieku Taf.  She ends by emphasising the need to keep on producing good quality songs in Maltese so as to keep the pace and keep on developing and safeguarding our national language. 

And back to Sir Temi Zammit Hall. 

Clint points out that this is a celebration of anything that makes us Maltese!
Now it's time for the Għanja tal-Poplu Choir with its contribution entitled L-Għanja tal-Maltin.  

Now Corazon is delivering three of her songs included in her recent album: Hawn Jien. The first one was Illejla b'Xejn and now she's delivering Id-Dar tan-Nanna.  Before delivering the last song, she elaborates a bit on this album and emphasises that good quality music in Maltese may arouse very strong emotions. Her final song is going on now and it is Jgħidu Kien Hawn Raġel. 

And it is now! Results are soon to be released!

The best Young Talent: Pupa (Denise Spiteri) 
The Best Interpretation: Il-Karba tal-Mument (Christian Arding) 
The best Singer/writer: Kif xrobtuli l-Menti (Frank O'Neil) 
The best Social Theme:  Rita Pace (Il-Quċċata)
2nd Runner up: Wara l-Kanċell (Miriam Christine and Olivia Lewis) 
1st Runner up: Kif Xrobtuli l-Menti (Frank O'Neil, Christabelle Curmi u l-Likes)
WINNER: Jien ma Naħdimx (Karen DeBattista)

Published in Local Music News
Thursday, 13 March 2014 20:00

GħTP 14: Interview with Teddie Zammit

L-Għanja tal-Poplu, a music competition with original songs in Malta is turning thirty-eight (38) in a couple of days whilst encountering a resurgence, noting that the amount of submissions this year reached seventy-one (71), the highest in reality since the committee introduced the element of live instruments during the performances. escflashmalta.com has been granted permission to speak to the sixteen (16) competing acts, and thus we move onto the ninth act in our series; Teddie Zammit who will be performing the songs Immigrant Regolari and Liberat, which you composed to the lyrics of Rita Pace and George Cassar.

Teddie Zammit, an experienced singer/songwriter who has been already taken part in L-Għanja tal-Poplu on a previous eight (9) occasions, succeeding in one way or another a total of three (3) times by winning either a top three (3) slot or one of the other prizes given towards the end of the competition. How have you evolved through the years, and what do you recall of your first memory back in 2001?

Obviously, experience helps and the more the participation the more you become fond of this unique festival that gives the opportunity to authors and musicians to express themselves live on stage. The unique festival that gives high importance for the lyrics and the theme. Back to 2001, my first experience was a fantastic one with the song Riflessi that won the Price for the best musical arragment. To be honest by time I began to lose interest in this festival as it was becoming too commercial and was loosing its identity. Now as everyone knows this festival went back to its original roots and with this I am so pleased. 

Immigrant Regolari, which you composed to the lyrics of Rita Pace is the first (1st) 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 is about the bird that emigrates from one place to another and often while passing over us or while having  some rest is offended by hunters. The style and genre of the musical composition is contemporary folk.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cSK-o5udX-E

L-Għanja tal-Poplu has proven to be a forum of upcoming talent throughout the years, and not many will remember that prior to her participation in the Eurovision Song Contest, you had performed in a duet with Morena, who was at that point a newcomer and using her real name, Margaret Camilleri. How important is this competition in exploring fresh talent, and would you recommend participation for aspiring musicians?

Nearly all the known singers and musicians in the begining of their career have experienced L-Ghanja tal-poplu who some them make a comeback and participates again today. I believe that this festival serves  as a very good step in the career of a musician, author or a singer. 

Liberat, which you composed to the lyrics of George Cassar is the second (2nd) 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 is about the person that finished imprisonment or was given an amnesty and yet he feels that he is still in prison due to the fact that he is not accepted in society. The style and genre of this song is folk rock.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Hp_4wqQDhW4

L-Għanja tal-Poplu is known to be a celebration of lyrical prowess amongst friends, noting that the competitive feel is very much forgotten during rehearsals or the actual night of the competition. With ONE, the most successful private broadcaster in Malta supporting this event, it seems to denote its successful reputation. 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 have great admiration for those few who gives special attention to the Maltese song written and sung in Maltese. In my opinion the Maltese song with Maltese lyrics is still considered by Certain radio stations And DJs as third class or less. This means we as a nation culturally fall lot behind compared to other countries who feel proud of their local product and their language. I will continue to support this festival as long as it is organized full live on stage.  

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

Always be proud of local talent and learn to listen not to hear. In other words "ejjew nibdew nevalwaw, niggudikaw u nikritikaw bis sens".

Source: Official Website, Official Facebook Page

Published in Interviews
Wednesday, 12 March 2014 01:15

GħTP 14: Interview with Karen DeBattista

L-Għanja tal-Poplu, a music competition with original songs in Malta is turning thirty-eight (38) in a couple of days whilst encountering a resurgence, noting that the amount of submissions this year reached seventy-one (71), the highest in reality since the committee introduced the element of live instruments during the performances. escflashmalta.com has been granted permission to speak to the sixteen (16) competing acts, and thus we move onto the seventh act in our series; Karen DeBattista who will be performing the song Jien Ma Naħdimx composed by Mark Scicluna to the lyrics of Rita Pace.

Karen DeBattista, a newcomer to the local music scene whose vocals have well and truly been recognised by a couple of professional personnel, seeing you through to the finals of the Malta Summer Hit Song Contest, the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza and now, L-Għanja tal-Poplu. How have you as an artist grown throughout these competitions and what lies ahead in the future?

I must say that taking part in local competitions surely helps artists to grow first and foremost with regards to confidence and stage presence. I remember my first time on stage; I was absolutely petrified. By time I realised that all that was needed was self-assurance and experience. It also widens an artist’s circle of musical companions, meaning that with each experience I made new friends, both singers, and also composers and authors. I hope to work on new projects, although I don’t like to plan too far into the future. We’ll see what comes my way in the future!

Jien Ma Naħdimx, composed by Mark Scicluna 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?

The song is a simple ballad, yet its simplicity in music compliments the lyrics while allowing the audience to follow the theme of the song. The lyrics are directed towards society’s view with regards to the role of housewives. We seem to be under the impression that women who opt not to find a paying job have all the time in the world to do whatever they please.

In reality, the work which has to be done with regards to taking care of the family and doing all that is necessary to make a house a home requires the same, if not more, effort than a ‘regular’ job. There is no payment for a housewife’s work; all that she would want is the gratitude shown by family members and the proper importance given to her by society.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CShSN9jTJfc

L-Għanja tal-Poplu is known to be a celebration of lyrical prowess amongst friends, noting that the competitive feel is very much forgotten during rehearsals or the actual night of the competition. With ONE, the most successful private broadcaster in Malta supporting this event, it seems to denote its successful reputation. 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?

Without a doubt! I believe that we need to push more boundaries with regards to local music especially when it comes to writing lyrics in Maltese. I sincerely hope that this particular competition leads the way to similar productions in the future. Our language is a jewel, especially when combined with sweet music composed by so many talented musicians. 

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

I would like to encourage the audience to be part of this celebration of local talent; it means the world to us performers!

Source: Official Website, Official Facebook Page, Emil Calleja Bayliss (Photo)

Published in Interviews
Thursday, 06 March 2014 00:30

GħTP 14: Interview with the group 7 Spadi

L-Għanja tal-Poplu, a music competition with original songs in Malta is turning thirty-eight (38) in a couple of days whilst encountering a resurgence, noting that the amount of submissions this year reached seventy-one (71), the highest in reality since the committee introduced the element of live instruments during the performances. escflashmalta.com has been granted permission to speak to the sixteen (16) competing acts, and thus we move onto the second act in our series; 7 Spadi who will be performing the song Il-Quċċata composed by Jeffrey Scicluna to the lyrics of Rita Pace.

7 Spadi, a group of friends who have already performed together in a previous edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu, that being two (2) years ago with the song Ħsad Qabel Iż-Żmien, albeit without a formal group name. How does this experience differ in general and what is the main line of thought behind the name of the group?

Changes occur in every aspect of life and therefore also in music. Some of my friends in the group have known each other for quite some time now. Few of them I also knew them in strollers, believe it or not! So I am definitely sure that talent has grown in each and one of us. 7 SPADI – well! To get with this group title, I spent loads and loads of sleepless nights, and do not get me started on the nightmares! But actually it was during a calm night when I came up with this name as if some kind of dream or vision inspired me! 

Perhaps one of the meanings suggests that our group is equal irrelevant of size, age, nationality, politics, character, religion and colour. Ironically, I used to love playing spades on the computer. Nevertheless, we are trying to portray a very strong message given that our spades are trying to pierce all the society quickly, including us too!

Il-Quċċata, composed by Jeffrey Scicluna 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?

As I said before, we are trying to give a lesson or rather try to portray a picture depicted by those whose lives changed from zeros to heroes, actually villains rather than heroes! It has a slow rock rhythm. Everyone tries hard to obtain something in life. Sacrifices and experiences are necessary for each and every one of us to grow in life and, why not, we also need some help from others too. 

But sometimes as soon as our lives change, our habits and our perceptions change too. We must realize that we are living in the same world and success and flaws happen all the time in our lives. So everyone must keep his feet on the ground and also stay humble and alert because one can lose whatever he worked for.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BZaWBypiZ88

L-Għanja tal-Poplu is known to be a celebration of lyrical prowess amongst friends, noting that the competitive feel is very much forgotten during rehearsals or the actual night of the competition. With ONE, the most successful private broadcaster in Malta supporting this event, it seems to denote its successful reputation. 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 always believed in local talent, but unfortunately not everyone does! Some people might say that our language does not fit with music which I definitely disagree. But are we doing enough to sustain what I and others say about local music? In my opinion we are not doing enough. 

Certain individuals and also places of work should try to include the Maltese language in their factories, hospitals, contracts, explanations, job descriptions, notice boards and all that is related to facilities and work places. Then we can say that Maltese can be included and fits right EVERYWHERE before convincing that it is good to be sung as well!

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

7 is a perfect number: we are not that perfect, I know! But I am sure that with the help of our SPADES, we can pinch you quick so that everyone realizes that even though we cannot be perfect, but at least we can try to. Enjoy life and its beauty. MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

Source: Official Website, Official Facebook Page

Published in Interviews
Thursday, 27 February 2014 00:55

GħTP 2014: Running Order for Final Unveiled

On the 3rd February, the organising committee of L-Għanja tal-Poplu released the song titles and the names of the songwriters of each of the sixteen (16) qualifiers. It was also announced that seventy-one (71) submissions were received, the highest since its return to the local music scene a couple of years ago, denoting that the changes made to the competition have been appreciated by artists, songwriters and producers alike. In the coming days, escflashmalta.com will be publishing a series of interviews with each of the artists confirmed as participants in this years’ edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu, dealing with the social theme, and also past experiences in the music industry.

On Wednesday evening, the organising committee of L-Għanja tal-Poplu unveiled the running order for this years’ edition having just finished a series of promotional shoots, one for the postcards which will accompany each entry as well as the photographs which will be used for press releases in leading local tabloids. At this point in time, we have no clue with regards to the quality of the songs, but nevertheless, the professional jury had an extremely difficult time to decide which sixteen (16) deserved to get through. escflashmalta.com has permission to air a 30 second snippet from each song, these accompanying the questions and answers to be publishing in the coming days.

01. Mara - Marie Claire Attard Bason (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Andrew Zammit)

02. Il-Quċċata – 7 Spadi (Rita Pace, Jeffrey Scicluna)

03. Numri - Estelle Fenech Imbroll (Paul Attard, Mark Scicluna)

04. Rutina – Tmien Ħabbiet (Jonathan Laferla, Charlie Bonnici)

05. Kif Xrobbtuli l-Menti - Frank O'Neill, Christabelle Curmi u l-Likes (Frank O'Neill)

06. Il-Karba tal-Mument - Christian Arding (Kevin Tanti, Chan Vella)

07. Fejn Huma? - Daniel Borg (George Cassar, Daniel Borg)

08. Jien Ma Naħdimx - Karen DeBattista (Rita Pace, Mark Scicluna)

09. Immigrant Regolari - Teddie Zammit (Rita Pace, Teddie Zammit)

10. Pupa - Denise Spiteri (Mark Laurence Zammit)

11. Il-Bamboċċu, Il-Bambinu u l-Budaj - Frans Casha (Frans Casha)

12. Wara l-Kanċell - Miriam Christine u Olivia Lewis (J J Farrugia, Miriam Christine)

13. Bħal Għasfura - Mario Debono (Mario Debono)

14. Djarju ta' Tifkiriet - Simone Gauci (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Mark Spiteri Lucas)

15. Liberat – Teddie Zammit (George Cassar, Teddie Zammit)

16. Insellmulkom - Domenique (Joe Chircop, Philip Vella)

The 38th edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu is being organised with the help of the Malta Arts Fund and in collaboration with Studio 7. Authors, composers, singers and musical groups wishing to participation can find all the required information through the Official Website, or the Official Facebook Page. The renowned local competition which has been given a true facelift in recent years is also being given a brand new visual identity in 2014 with emerging artist Darren Tanti responsible for a new logo, one which encompasses the idea of live music and singing, elements of L-Għanja tal-Poplu. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for the latest news.

Source: Għanja tal-Poplu (Facebook)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLOCT-U-dVQ

Published in L-Għanja Tal-Poplu

On the 31st January, the organising committee of L-Għanja tal-Poplu was receiving entries for the 38th edition of the illustrious competition, in hope of finding a track to succeed Hawn Siġġu Nieqes composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas to the lyrics of Paul Ellul, with vocals provided by Cherise Attard, as the winner. The organising committee of L-Għanja tal-Poplu has decided to introduce a number of brand new regulations including a financial reward for the winner of the singer/songwriter accolade as well as the top three (3) as chosen by a panel of judges.

The list of sixteen (16) participants was selected from a total of seventy-one (71) submissions, which means that L-Għanja tal-Poplu practically doubled the amount of submissions from the previous year when almost forty (40) tracks were sent in. The organising committee appointed five (5) professional judges to review the songs and spoke highly of each of the respective submissions, finally reaching the below verdict. The Committee will be confirming the names of the finalists in due course, as songwriters confirm the demo artist to be the final artist. escflashmalta.com will be doing its utmost to publish the names as soon as possible.

Bħal Għasfura (Mario Debono)

Djarju ta' Tifkiriet - Simone Gauci (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Mark Spiteri Lucas)

Fejn Huma? - Daniel Borg (George Cassar, Daniel Borg)

Il-Bamboċċu, Il-Bambinu u l-Budaj (Frans Casha)

Il-Karba tal-Mument - Christian Arding (Kevin Tanti, Chan Vella)

Il-Quċċata - Jeffrey Scicluna (Rita Pace, Jeffrey Scicluna)

Immigrant Regolari - Teddie Zammit (Rita Pace, Teddie Zammit)

Insellmulkom - Domenique (Joe Chircop, Philip Vella)

Jien Ma Naħdimx - Karen DeBattista (Rita Pace, Mark Scicluna)

Kif Xrobbtuli l-Menti - Frank O'Neill (Frank O'Neill)

Liberat (George Cassar, Teddie Zammit)

Mara - Marie Claire Attard Bason (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Andrew Zammit)

Numri - Estelle Fenech Imbroll (Paul Attard, Mark Scicluna)

Pupa - Denise Spiteri (Mark Laurence Zammit)

Rutina (Jonathan Laferla, Charlie Bonnici)

Wara l-Kanċell - Miriam Christine u Olivia Lewis (J J Farrugia, Miriam Christine)

The 38th edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu is being organised with the help of the Malta Arts Fund and in collaboration with Studio 7. Authors, composers, singers and musical groups wishing to participation can find all the required information through the Official Website, or the Official Facebook Page. The renowned local competition which has been given a true facelift in recent years is also being given a brand new visual identity in 2014 with emerging artist Darren Tanti responsible for a new logo, one which encompases the idea of live music and singing, elements of L-Għanja tal-Poplu. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for the latest news.

Source: YTC, GħTP

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmUMJKj5RNk

Published in L-Għanja Tal-Poplu

In music, a year is very much a reflection of historical evidence and when it comes to 2013, Malta will very much remember the remarkable success that it achieved on both a local and an international field. As the public prepares to drink champagne and sing the tune of Auld Lang Syne along with Happy New Year, originally released by Abba, we aim to have a look at the most memorable moments of the year in this editorial. As a matter of fact, we have been through the major news items for both the general Eurovision Song Contest as well as the local music scene and one could easily denote the progress that has been made on both a national and a foreign level of vocal talent and songs in general.

January; a relatively quiet month in the local music scene with the Public Broadcasting Services busy prepping for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, which was set to take place during the first weekend of February. Nevertheless, escflashmalta.com for the third year running managed to exclusively reveal the names of the hosts of the selection; Gordon Bonello, Rodney Gauci and Elaine Saliba. In the local music market, Corazon and Lynday both unveiled new singles; Save Your Smile and Daphne but the focus was definitely on the foreign music market with no less than three countries revealing the names of the artists who would represent them at the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest including; France (Amandine Bourgeois), Armenia (Gor Suyjan) and Denmark (Emmelie de Forest).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4KgUYfVtLQ

February; The month of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest was upon us, and following a somewhat technically disappointing semi-final, the Public Broadcasting Services upped the ante for the final night, which saw to the success of Gianluca Bezzina and his entry Tomorrow co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat. It managed to beat the favourite, Needing You sung by Kevin Borg and co-written with Danne Attlerud, Michael Clauss, Simon Gribbe and Thomas Thornholm. Following the evening, escflashmalta.com held their annual awards, seeing to the success of Klinsmann, Chris Grech and the aforementioned Kevin Borg, with NET Television being the place where they were given. In the meantime, both Cyprus and Slovenia made use of internal selections in revealing Despina Olympiou and Hannah Mancini as their representatives.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzGiJxMd3UI

March; In a relatively surprise announcement, L-Għanja tal-Poplu announced that they had received almost forty (40) submissions for the local competition, amongst them from the likes of Romina Mamo and Rita Pace. Keeping in line with the local music scene, Ira Losco followed up the release of her single What I’d Give with a brand new album entitled The Fire which has been denoted by critics as the most notable release in the local music industry. During the same period, on an internal level, stars Marco Mengoni and Cascada were chosen to represent Italy and Germany respectively, or rather confirmed their entries in entirety at this point. Gianluca’s promotional campaign as he represents Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest had officially commenced with the first ever lyric video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rAO1S8TeOM

April; At this month dawned, most of the country had made their respective selection for the international competition and thus focus quickly turned on on the outlook of the local music scene as Karen DeBattista managed to beat Marie Claire Attard Bason to become the first finalist of the 2013 Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, through the Passport 2 Indifest challenge on Sas-Sitta. It was later on revealed that she would be performing the song Riflessi composed by Mark Scicluna to the lyrics of Emil Calleja Bayliss. In the meantime, L-Għanja tal-Poplu took place with Cherise Attard finishing in first place with the track Hawn Siġġu Nieqes composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas to the lyrics of Paul Ellul. At this point, Ira Losco continued her radio and digital success, aided by her first concert in quite some time. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmUMJKj5RNk

The month of May, and thus the Eurovision Song Contest had quickly arrived and several readers of escflashmalta.com had their eyes on Gianluca Bezzina whose Tomorrow was a proven hit and indeed succeeded in not only reaching the final, but finishing in eighth place, the nations’ best result in seven (7)  years. The big winner was Emmelie de Forest from Denmark whose song Only Teardrops enchanted both the jury and the public at home. escflashmalta.com kept their annual coverage with guest commentators including Simon Casey, Davinia, Claudia Faniello, Brooke, Lauren White, Magnus Kaxe and Christabelle. Thousands of people viewed the respective reports and with the aid of the team of Radio International and Eurovision Ireland, the competition was analysed and covered in the most profound and detailed way possible. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VK4TvZeL6c0

Summer could not kick off on a more positive note with the release of On The Dancefloor by Jan Cortez, setting the tone of the season and earning airplay on 89.7 Bay. As always, the preparations for the Joseph Calleja concert were being held at this point in time, as the line-up was revealed to include Rebecca Ferguson, Zucchero and Gianluca Bezzina, fresh off his success. In the meantime, on a positive note, it was announced by the Culture Department that local artists will get the chance to perform at the Isle of MTV with Kristina Casolani and Gianluca Bezzina both booking their spots at the event. No clarification was given over the choice especially with the top tier of artists; Jon Lukas, Davinia, The Crowns releasing brand new material.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQ9avB4RFrA

As the temperatures were getting warmer, NET Television decided to publish the list of the names who had got through the final of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, and also shot music videos, in an attempt to continue the fine tradition, which started with the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. Maltese, as a national language had definitely it’s most intriguing month due to the fact that apart from the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, it was revealed that the International Festival of Maltese Song was set for a comeback, and no sooner than in November. Some of the most prominent names in the industry put their first foot forward and the line-up was miles better than that presented at the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza with the likes of Miriam Christine, Janvil, Fiona Cauchi, Roger Tirazona and Olivia Lewis who was making her comeback as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfDu1h-BOC8

August, known to be the last official month of summer saw to the release of Fed Up by Maxine Pace, who would later on be given a prominent role in the Maltese delegation during the surprise return of the country at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Joseph Calleja gives his annual concert with only a handful of performances garnering a standing ovation, one of them being of the song Xemx which he performed in a duet with Gianluca Bezzina. Glen Vella, representative of Malta in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest released a statement where he acknowledged that Finally by Richard Edwards should have represented the country, and most likely achieved a much better result. By the end of the month, the International Festival of Maltese Song had a logo and Red Electrick had a brand new single, The Runaway which would top the local music charts for several weeks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZlIgSyyKqg

Double the amount of entries received for L-Għanja tal-Poplu were received by the International Festival of Maltese Song, and whilst this number was encouraging, there was still a sheer amount of disappointment with many sceptic over the quality of the competition. Joseph Calleja was recognised as the world renowned tenor he has become by receiving a nomination at the Class Brit Awards. The Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza took place with Fabrizio Faniello sweeping the top prize with the track Aħfirli Jekk Trid composed by Minik to the lyrics of Rita Pace. The surprise of many came when during the evening news bulletin, on the 25th September 2013, Malta had internally selected Gaia Cauchi to do the honours and represent the country at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

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

The 2014 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest might be months away, but the preparations from artists, songwriters and producers had commenced and a flurry made use of escflashmalta.com to reveal their intentions including; Tiziana Calleja, Gloriana Arpa Belli, Eleanor Cassar, Richard Edwards, Klinsmann, Melanie Zammit, Kaya, Janvil, Claudia Faniello, Danica Muscat, Fabrizio Faniello, Neville Refalo and Josef Tabone amongst others. Olivia Lewis gave an interview to a Radju Kottoner, stating she was planning to release a debut album in Maltese in the very near future, one which include all her hits along with brand new and original songs. The Public Broadcasting Services accepted entries for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with several submissions, eventually totalling to a record breaking  210, the largest amount since the national broadcaster took over the selection process in totality.

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

November, the month in which there were three major events; kicking off with the International Festival of Maltese Song which was not only the return of Olivia Lewis, but also her success with the song Hawn Mill-Ġdid composed by Paul Abela to the lyrics of Joe Julian Farrugia. In second place was Mark Tonna and his track Poeta Bla Kliem composed by Mark Scicluna with lyrics by Emil Calleja Bayliss and in third place, Dario and Grecia Bezzina with the song Solitaire composed by Dario Bezzina to the lyrics of Rita Pace. Malta’s return to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest proved successful, as The Start co-written by Matt Mercieca, Elton Zarb, Gillian Attard and Gaia Cauchi emerged as the clear favourite in the week leading up to the competition, and then finishing as the remarkable winner.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thje0DAh_lU

Just a day before the final though, the public broadcaster revealed the names of the acts through to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2014, a list which comprised of several newcomers such as Raquel Galdes, De Bee and Daniel Testa whilst also noting former Eurovision representatives in the form of Fabrizio Faniello and Miriam Christine. It was always going to be a year to remember, but nevertheless, several broadcasters were at this stage revealing their intentions for the upcoming edition of the international competition, seeing to the return of Portugal and Poland, whilst Valentina Monetta, The Common Linnets, Tijana Dapcevic and Conchita Wurst were internally selected to represent San Marino, The Netherlands, FYR Macedonia and Austria respectively. As the year came to an end, Ukraine and Albania made their respective choices and the Public Broadcasting Services unveiled the music videos accompanying the entries in next years’ selection process.

Source: escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEH0iDktSNc

Published in Editorials

L-Għanja tal-Poplu, a local music competition which differs from the International Festival of Maltese Song and the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza for the simple reason that it promotes the singer/songwriter along with the use of traditional forms of music whilst also giving prime importance to the lyrics. The event, slated for the 15th March 2014 was officially unveiled to the general public and the media during a gathering held at the Manoel Theatre. There was one main change in the regulations, one which will see songwriters having no limit to the amount of songs they could have in the final stages.

Sir Temi Żammit Hall, the venue which has played host to recent editions of L-Għanja tal-Poplu saw to the success of Cherise Attard with her song Hawn Siġġu Nieqes composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas to the lyrics of Paul Ellul with the first runner-up being Dorothy Muscat with the track Signor Si composed by Sammy Galea to the lyrics of Joe Julian Farrugia and the second runner-up being Rita Pace with her self-composed entry Pupazz, penned by Emil Calleja Bayliss.

Another innovative element incorporated in the results is a cash prize which is set to be given to the first, second and third place finishers. As has been the case in recent years, the competition will be aired both on radio and television. escflashmalta.com is proud to support the event, and moreover to support a local music competition which aims to promote Maltese as a national language and one which could also show diversity in the art of music. In order to download a copy of the rules and regulations for the 38th edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu taking place on the 14th March 2014 at the Sir Temi Żammit Hall, please visit the official website of the competition. Stay tuned for all of the latest news.

Source: L-Għanja tal-Poplu

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmUMJKj5RNk

Published in L-Għanja Tal-Poplu

In 2007, Olivia Lewis won the right to represent Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest with the track Vertigo composed by Philip Vella to the lyrics of Gerard James Borg. She decided to take a couple of years off following such an amazing adventure completing a triumphant return last night during the International Festival of Maltese Song where her entry Hawn Mill-Ġdid composed by Paul Abela to the lyrics of Joe Julian Farrugia finished on top with 75 points, in a combined mixture of public and jury vote. The scintillating evening hosted by Alfred Zammit, Debbie Scerri, Mary Rose Mallia, Lawrence Gray, Renato and Romina Mamo was aired on TVM and TVM 2.

In second place at the end of the evening was the track Poeta Bla Kliem, composed by Mark Scicluna to the lyrics of Emil Calleja Bayliss with vocals provided by another veteran, Mark Tonna. They obtained a total of 72 points, just three points behind the winning act. In third place, the brother/sister duo made up of Dario and Grecia whose traditional song Solitaire composed by Dario Bezzina to the lyrics of Rita Pace impressed the critics present. The International Festival of Maltese Song awarded several prizes to the contestants following the tele-cast in an attempt to make sure that all of the respective talent was recognised. It is also worth pointing out that the international category was won by the group Bellavista from Germany who performed the popular track Sa L-Aħħar, originally by Fabrizio Faniello in German.

Tele-Voting Award: Kuraġġ - Geordie (Philip Vella / Joe Chircop)

WAFA Award: Din Jien - Dorcas (Minik / Rita Pace)

Best Performance Award: Mikrokożmu - Janvil u Hooligan (Augusto Cardinali / Giovann Attard)

Maestro Chircop Award: Għadek Tgħix - Fiona (Renato Briffa / Mark Amaira)

Organising Committee Award: Int Mill-Ġdid - Roger Tirazona (Paul Abela / Joe Julian Farrugia)

Television Award: Sinjali - Bernice (Renato Briffa / Rita Pace)

Best Interpretation Award: Stejjer - Miriam Christine (Andrew Zahra / Joe Julian Farrugia)

Participation Award: Raġġ ta' Tama - Christian (Philip Vella / Cher Vella)

Participation Award: Paċi Sovrana - Donna (Donna Marie Ellul)

Participation Award: Ħolma - Lyann Iles (Paul Abela / Lyann)

Participation Award: Passi fir-Ramel - Domenique (Philip Vella / Mark Amaira)

The organising committee is made up of Chairperson Mrs Josette Grech Hamilton, Deputy chairperson Mr Ignatius Farrugia, Executive Secretary Mr Robert Cefai, Public Relations Officer & Media Relations Mr Deo Grech, Festival Coordinator Mr Ray Falzon, Hospitality Coordinator Ms Simone Bugeja and Technical Coordinator Mr Pierre Cachia. Mr Norman Hamilton serves as the artistic consultant, Mr Anton Attard as the technical consultant on behalf of PBS and Maestro Sigmund Mifsud as the musical consultant. The International Festival of the Maltese Song is organised under the auspices of the Parliamentary Secretary for Culture and Local Councils, Hon. Dr. J. Herrera in collaboration with the World Association of Festival organisers and Artists. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: FiKM (Official Page on Facebook)

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

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. 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
Page 4 of 6