November 22, 2019

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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. Dario and Grecia Bezzina are the seventh artists and they will be performing the track Solitaire composed by Dario Bezzina to the lyrics of Rita Pace.

Throughout the years, this sibling duo has somewhat been present within a series of festivals, amongst them the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza in which you last took part in 2012 with the song Se Nibda Jien which was also penned by Rita Pace. Each experience is different but nevertheless, would you rather perform together or as solosists?

As you rightly pointed out, each experience is unique in itself. We believe that our voices blend well together and there is obviously chemistry between us. When we perform together there is more responsibility towards each other but on the other hand we think that the level of ‘stress’ is shared equally between us. In our opinion it depends mainly on the song - when a composition is written for two voices, we find no objection in performing together. 

Grecia, back in 2011, you finished as the first runner-up within L-Għanja tal-Poplu with the song Tal-Komma Twila composed by Dario Bezzina to the lyrics of Emil Calleja Bayliss. It was your first major success within the local music scene and it was also your debut entry within that respective competition. Looking back at the performance, two years on, would you have changed anything to possibly solidify your position or maybe even better it and how did the experience help you become the artist you have become today?

I am very satisfied with my performance and genuinely I won’t change anything. I think this experience was a major step in my music career. It provided me with various opportunities, both locally and abroad. 

Dario, many will remember your second place finish at the 2004 edition of the Junior Eurosong with Eviva L-Mużika but then again, you have come a long way since then, even reaching the semi-final of the Malta Eurosong. Nevertheless, it is worth pointing out that you are managing to earn the respect of the industry by virtue of your compositions, having managed to get through to the finals of several competitions in recent years. How does being a songwriter differ from being a vocalist and which do you prefer?

In my opinion a song is a work of art - the songwriter plays the role of an artist whereas the vocalist represents the colour on canvas. Although both roles encompass different characteristics, they are both vital for a composition to be complete. I believe that when a singer performs a self-written composition it provides an added advantage in the sense that, the singer/songwriter would find it easier to pass on the message of the song to the audience. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pxpjhFBz8wY

The International Festival of Maltese Song, returning following an eleven year absence will be seeing you join forces once more in a duet entitled Solitaire which is composed by Dario Bezzina to the lyrics of Rita Pace. Would you care to explain to our readers the meaning behind the lyrics and what genre the song encompasses?

Our song is a traditional ethnic ballad. The game solitaire is a metaphor which describes how our traditions are in absolute solitude. We believe that our traditional belongings are not being given the importance they deserve. We must be proud of our history, our own language and cultural environment as they are the main authentic features which make us Maltese. 

As a music competition, the International Festival of Maltese Song will be following in the footsteps of L-Għanja tal-Poplu and Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza in promoting the national language through the medium of music. 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?

There was an absolute need for this comeback! For many years, the International Festival of Maltese Song served as a platform for various songs in Maltese which are still very popular nowadays. Thanks to the Committee of the Festival, our songs are being promoted in the best way possible. For this reason, we will surely support its continuation in the years to come!

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

We would like to thank you all for your support – the support you give us is beyond rewarding. Thank you for the constructive criticism we continuously receive as it is one of the key elements which keeps us on our toes ;) Love you all ;) xxx 

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

In 2007, Klinsmann made his debut within the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with the track She Gives Me Wings composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas to the lyrics of Rita Pace and for the next six consecutive years found his way into at least the semi-final stage of the competition. In fact, his last participation was earlier this year as he presented a track entitled The Remedy composed by Philip Vella and Magnus Kaxe with lyrics by Gerard James Borg.

escflashmalta.com is in a position to confirm that after seven consecutive years, Klinsmann will not be submitting a song for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2014. On a post on his Official Page on Facebook, he stated 'I'm not gonna take part as a performer this year. I'm gonna give it a miss after 7 consecutive years.' Technically speaking, it could very much mean that Klinsmann could join another act on stage as a band member or possibly co-write an entry, something which he is getting accustomed to do alongside his band, Planet Seed. This is the second former Malta Eurovision Song Contest to confirm absence from the event at the first hurdle following the likes of Nadine Axisa. More stories will be unveiled by escflashmalta.com in the coming days, so stay tuned.

Source: escflashmalta.com, Emil Calleja Bayliss (Image)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dy35AgTBiVE

Published in Local Music News
Friday, 11 October 2013 08:24

FiKM 2013: Interview with Dorcas Debono

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. Kicking off our feature is newcomer Dorcas, who will be performing the track Din Jien composed by Minik to the lyrics of Rita Pace.

Back in 2008, you had managed to get through to the semi-final phase of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza within the Teenage Talent portion of the competition. The song that you had performed entitled Stilla was composed by Kaya to the lyrics of Rita Pace. It has been around five years since that experience, but considering that it was one of the premier festivals in the country, it should surely stick to mind. Hence, what do you recall from back then and if you had the opportunity, would you have done anything differently?

That was my very first festival on a good level i can say. At that time i was only 15 years, from that time i have matured a lot regarding music. It helped me though i was very new that time , it was a very nice experience even though i didn’t managed to make it to the final but for me it was already a big step to make it to the semi final along the others. Obviously if I had to get through the same experience again i will change some things but overall I am happy with what i did back in the 2008.

Lawrence Gray and Georgina Abela are two of the former winners of the International Festival of Maltese Song having triumphed in 1998, 2002 and 2001 respectively. By participating in this years’ edition, following an absence of eleven years, you alongside another thirteen artists have the possibility of being handed that elite trophy which would see you rise to the top of the local music scene. Knowing that there is such a possibility, how does it feel and what ventures do you have in mind in the next couple of months?

I am really happy that I made it to the final with the other 13 artists. I couldn’t ask for more for sure If I had to win this prestigious festival and be on top of the local music scene which I think every singer will aim to reach this target, for me it’s my dream and i would be really happy. So for the next months after this festival is over I will start immediately working on more original songs which can lead me to another prestigious festivals here in Malta. 

In this years’ edition of the International Festival of Maltese Song, you are presenting an entry entitled Din Jien composed by Minik to the lyrics of Rita Pace. Would you care to explain to our readers what the lyrics speak about what genre the song encompasses?

The Song Din Jien is a very strong Ballad which is composed by Minik and a very nice lyrics penned by Rita Pace. The song speaks about this women that she’s not accepting herself and she’s not happy for what she is, she looks in the mirror and don’t accept her reflection but after all the song has a very positive message because  she starts accepting herself and live for what she is and not for what others think about her and she changed her a life to a positive one. I hope that the message will deliver to all those who will be listening to my song because surely it can help many people that they are passing from the social problem.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0n8wzyzQ4n8

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?

Yes, for sure there is a wide place for this prestigious festival because it promotes local music and local artists, it gives the opportunity for the singers to perform with the national language and a big space to all local composers and writers. Thanks for the hard work of the committee we are getting a very good promotion. I believe that this festival has to keep on going and I will keep on supporting for sure through the next years.

As the youngest participant in this years’ edition of the International Festival of Maltese Song, it must feel slightly daunting to take to the stage of the Mediterranean Conference Centre where you have the opportunity to perform with a live band under the direction of Maestro Sigmund Mifsud. What are you looking forward to most within the competition and how are you preparing?

It was my dream that someday i will perform at the Mediterranean Conference Centre, it’s a big honour that I have the opportunity to sing with live band which will be directed from the Maestro Sigmund Mifsud. Obviously I am really looking forward for the Final day to perform my song along with my team. Preparations are going very well, I am really working hard to give a very good product on the night.

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

First of all I hope you will like my song and especially my final performance and  don’t forget to watch this prestigious festival on the 9th Novembr, If possible come and join us and watch live for the Mediterranean Conferance Centre which without any doubt it’s going to be a festival to remember and off course keep on supporting the music scene and local music artists.

Published in Interviews

In 2001, Fabrizio Faniello managed to garner the ticket to represent Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest with the track Another Summer Night composed by Paul Abela to the lyrics of Georgina Abela before eventually returning for another stint in 2006 with the track I Do which he co-wrote with Aldo Spiteri. Along the years, the male vocalist had managed to triumph in all the major competitions in the country except the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, an event in which he had only managed top three positions.

This year, many had said that his entry Aħfirli Jekk Trid composed by Minik to the lyrics of Rita Pace was the one to beat and indeed, everyone was spot on as the competition that has eluded him for so long has now been conquered. A constant force within the local music scene, Fabrizio managed to revive his career upon entrance into the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2011 as the track No Surrender proved to be a local and foreign hit and ended up being the lead single off his latest album bearing the same name. In an interview given to escflashmalta.com supporting his participation in this years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, he stated that he would most likely enter a song in the upcoming edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest if the right melody comes along.

1st Place: Aħfirli Jekk Trid - Fabrizio Faniello (Minik / Rita Pace)

2nd Place: Miegħek Hemm Jien - Neville Refalo (Minik / Rita Pace)

3rd Place: Ħallini Ngħidlek - Nicole Brincat (Minik / Stephen Baldacchino)

Tele-Voting: B'Ħarsitna 'l Fuq - Domenique (Mark Spiteri Lucas / Paul Ellul)

Best Performance: B'Ħarsitna 'l Fuq - Domenique (Mark Spiteri Lucas / Paul Ellul)

Teenage Talent: Kliem Maġija - Kimberly & Lyann (Minik / Lyann)

He had also revealed that the track will be released on iTunes the day following the competition. This means, that it would be the first winning entry of the local competition to be released to the digital music market. Special guests for the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza included Deborah C who had accompanied Fabrizio as a backing vocalist back in 2011 as well as Gianluca who represented Malta at this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. The jury for the evening comprised of Alison Ellul, Deborah C, Clint Spiteri and Ronald Briffa. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for the rest of the results and more news as it becomes available.

Source: escflashmalta.com

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

Sunday, 15 September 2013 23:45

Malta: Interview with Mauro and Kim (KKI 13)

escflashmalta.com would like to present the penultimate interview with regards to this years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza. Mauro and Kim are taking part as a duet together for the very first time, and their entry is entitled Gloria written by Rita Pace. Below, our editorial board devised a set of questions in order to get to know Mauro and Kim a little bit better whilst Chris and Moira, former representatives of Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest heard all of the competing entries stating that this one in particular has a 'bombastic feel to it, but good voices nevertheless', awarding it five (5) points in total.

Mauro, regardless of whether you’re competing as a soloist or in a duet, this is your fourth appearance as a vocalist within the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, making you somewhat a veteran in comparison to some of the other performers who are making their debut, not only in this competition, but even in the local music scene. You have been absent from this particular showcase for the past five (5) years which could very much mean a lifetime due to the extremities of life. What have you been up to in recent years and what type of memories do you hold when it comes to the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza?

Well , as you said this is my 4th time in the Konkors kanzunetta indipendenza; twice as a soloist and two times in a duet. Yes i’ve been absent for 5 years cause I other priorities in life that I had to put my singing career to the side for a while and focus on other things but that doesn’t mean that I stopped performing. I was still doing vocal training whilst taking good care of my voice. Indifest gave my career a boost as a singer and I always had a good feedback. One memory that I can’t forget when I had the song illum duet with Diane Castillo and we were the favourites to win the festival together with other duo Ivan and Priscilla with the song Dan Hu il-mument. Unfortunately, during our performance, the microphone didn't work at first and then we ended up finishing in 18th place .. but that's competition for you and one cannot have expectations. 

Kim, in 2008, you had managed to join the finalists of the teenage category with the track Kull Mument Prezzjuż composed by Ray Agius with lyrics by Godwin Sant, eventually missing out to Gabriella Massa and her entry Għada Mas-Sebħ composed by Renato Briffa with lyrics by Doris Chetcuti. You have already endured the experience of performing on the illustrious Granaries stage but nevertheless, this is your debut alongside some of the nations’ elites. How are you preparing for such a momentous occasion and have you thought about what to wear?

Whilst congratulating Gabriella Massa on getting first place, I was still proud of the success I achieved in 2008, noting that I managed first place with the jury and second place with the public at home. Gloria, the song I am performing this time round is quite different and both me and Mauro are taking it seriously due to the respect that the festival holds amongst the public. The clothes are ready and final preparations for our performance are being fine tuned. We are ready to rock the stage on Thursday 19th September 8th Song hehe.

Throughout the years, many people have gone on record stating that performing a solo entry is somewhat more difficult because the excitement is only focused on one particular individual yet in a duet or a trio, the tension should be easier due to the fact that it is split evenly. Having joined forces for this years’ edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, would you say that nerves are already playing a part in your presentation or are you looking to avert them in order to be at your best on the night of the competition? 

That’s why we call it team work, because we share all our feelings and emotions. At the moment we are at full speed doing with rehearsals but everything seems settled thus far.. Well to be honest with you nerves have already got the best of us. Nevertheless, we are fully prepared to give the best we can on the Granaries.

Gloria, written by singer/songwriter Rita Pace is set to be performed as the second duet of the evening in position number eight, noting that the competition will be opened by the duet entitled Li Jien Illum featuring Simarija and Mikhail and that another duet entitled Inwegħdek featuring Josef and Johanna will follow you in slot number ten. It has been a while since the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza has seen three duets competing for the same prize but do you recognise them as your main competition in the eyes of the jury?

We think it’s good to have other duets in the competition to make the competition more exciting and at the same time, more colourful. Every song in the competition has the possibility of becoming the next winner of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza. We are there with another 20 finalists who all have the same chances of victory ... now let wait for the results next Thursday J

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

I would like to say thank you to the escflashmalta.com followers for a great feedback regarding our song. We are doing our best to perform the best way possible and hope you will enjoy the performance on the night. And thank you for putting us in the 6th place in the televoting. For us it means a lot.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iN1dkTvB7c4

Published in Interviews

Aħfirli Jekk Trid, music by Minik with lyrics by Rita Pace is the song that Fabrizio Faniello will be performing at this years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza. Through his Official Facebook Page, Fabrizio revealed that he plans to release the song as a single through digital store, iTunes. This is innovative for entries competing in the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza which never get solo release. The public have shown a true liking to Aħfirli Jekk Trid which currently ranks in the top five of tele-voting and also lies in first place on the escflashmalta.com poll just ahead of Li Jien Illum by Simarija and Mikhail.

This years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza scheduled to be held on the 19th September 2013 on The Granaries in Floriana is set to be hosted by Mark Azzopardi and Christine Haber with live broadcast on NET Television. Apart from the twenty participants competing in the Established Category, there will be three (3) artists who will make it through from the Teenage Category apart from the special guests which will include none other than; Gianluca who represented Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest with the track Tomorrow with music and lyrics by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat as well as former Malta Eurovision Song Contest participant; Deborah C who was also the winner of last years' edition of the local competition with the song Jekk Nużaw Moħħna composed by Philip Vella to the lyrics of Joe Chircop.

In a recent interview with escflashmalta.com, Fabrizio declined to confirm on whether he would be submitting an entry for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest stating that he is currently working on a brand new studio album and should a particular song fit into the requirement of the competition, then he would most likely submit. Something that could spur the return of Fabrizio to the elite international forum could definitely be the fact that the Eurovision Song Contest is taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark which was the same place where the male vocalist made his debut back in 2001 with the song Another Summer Night composed by Paul Abela with lyrics by Georgina Abela. In the meantime, stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more news about Aħfirli Jekk Trid which will be released a digital single through CAP Sounds and Universal Music Germany on the day following the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza.

Source: Fabrizio Faniello (Official Facebook Page)

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

Published in Local Music News

The Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza is a local competition which aims to promote the national language of the nation through the medium of song. The most familiar name in this years' line-up is that of Fabrizio Faniello, an individual who has been to the Eurovision Song Contest on two occasions, achieving mixed results. He returns to this showcase with one aim, to win and in order to do that, he is competing with the track Aħfirli Jekk Trid composed by Minik with lyrics by Rita Pace. Below, our editorial board devised a set of questions in order to get to know Fabrizio a little bit better whilst Chris and Moira have also heard all of the entries in order to comment on them. With regards to Fabrizio, they stated that 'the song has amazing lyrics! and that the vocal performance is passionate and stunning' ultimately awarding him with a maximum ten (10) points.

In 2006, the public entrusted you to represent Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest for the second time in five years with the track I Do which you co-wrote with Aldo Spiteri. Unfortunately, the performance at the international spectacle left much to be desired and the result reflected this fact, with only Albania offering some sort of relief. Would you have done anything differently and do you regret taking part once more?

There where circumstances in the performing that sure I would do differently today as now I know what and why it went wrong back in the days …. But, even bad experiences make you stronger if you are ready to learn from them, therefore I am very unhappy for the result, but I won’t regret it, - it gave me an aim in life now ….. to prove I can do much better, - No Surrender!!

In this years’ edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, you will be performing the song Ahfirli Jekk Trid composed by Minik to the lyrics of Rita Pace. This is your second foray into the competition within recent years having previously reached third place with the track Futur composed by Minik with lyrics by Clinton Paul by the same team. The difference between the two songs is relatively evident but that is surely a positive feature. Which out of the song do you prefer and why?

Both Rita and Minik have done an amazing job on the song that they presented. It seems like the were reading my mind when they wrote this song. In the meantime, Futur is a great song too and I was happy with the result, now of course I hope that the new song is beloved by the people and the judges, as this festival is the only one I did not win so far in Malta, so pleeeeeease, help me reach my goal!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hoMvYHCbOm0

You entered the local music scene at a relatively young age noting your debut within the Malta Eurovision Song Contest back in 1998 with the track More Than Just a Game composed by Paul Abela with lyrics by Georgina Abela. On that occasion, you were the first runner-up and ultimately managed to get to the Eurovision Song Contest in 2001 with the track Another Summer Night co-written by the same team. Do you think that the jury and the public made the right choice from the entries you put forward towards the international competition? 

I think “Another Summer Night” and “I do” are great songs and it was the right choice, nevertheless I would have loved too to perform “No Surrender” in front of an international competition, I got so many positive feedbacks from people who loved the song, - whatever, we have to accept and respect the results, it’s a competition.

Manfred Holz of CAP-Sounds has stood by you as your manager throughout both positive and negative experiences and that is the way that a management should be. Your record label works under the division of Universal Music Germany and thus your material has garnered considerable exposure. Did you actually believe that your comeback would prove to be so successful and are you planning to return to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest in 2014, following a one year gap?

I am very thankful for the work Manfred and the team of CAP-Sounds are doing for me and as well for many other artists, just right now they did a German cover version of “I Do” and this one jumped into the DJ Charts over there, that’s great for me as a writer too … Currently we are working on new material for the upcoming album release in 2014 and end of September I am flying again to Germany for recording sessions of new songs, we will see then, if there is a song in it, which could attract the Eurovision crowd …. 

What would you like to tell our readers at escflashmalta.com?

Once again I would like to thank all supporters and fans from escflashmalta.com , musicians need loyal fans! For everybody of you who wants to see a bit more of me in future, I am doing a brand-new Television Program starting in October, for which you could find more information by visiting the official facebook page!

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

Published in Interviews

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Published in Interviews

Maltese, the national and co-official language of Malta and somewhat the most popular in terms of daily communication noting that English plays a major role within several roles of the work place and education amongst other things. Last night, this language was given utmost importance through the medium of song noting that nineteen (19) original tracks were presented to an audience to highlight the respective use in a competition known as L-Għanja tal-Poplu. This annual showcase will soon be turning forty and therefore has a vast heritage with ample followers, both from a musical and a lyrical point of view. The evening was conducted by Frank O'Neill, a former finalist as well as Valerie Vella, former host of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. The event will be shown on ONE Television next Saturday but in the meantime, we can let you know the results of the evening nevertheless.

KulTural, winners of L-Għanja tal-Poplu in 2012 were the opening act last night as they reminded people what their entry Malta Tiegħi sounded like but nevertheless, the idea of having them open was well respected by the audience present as they joined the long list of winners to have graced the stage along the years. The organisation was spectacular and the respective committee alongside Robert Cefai and Norman Hamilton as representatives of the World Association for Festivals and Artists deserve all of the possible praise. The interval act as people awaited the final results was offered by a flamenco dance group known as Alegria and the finalists themselves who performed a medley of well known songs.

The committee has always been proud to recognise the talent of local artists and therefore, a special award was given to Sunny Aquilina, lyricist of The One That I Love and My Dream for his contribution to the local music scene. The committee have always put a lot of emphasis on the language and therefore, lyrics are always of the essence in this competition and this was seen within the choice of the jury for the evening, composed of scholars within the linguistics and literary field. Nevertheless, other individuals from the music and television industry who were present were none other than Joe Vella, the Radio 101 Disc Jockey and former Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza judge along with Tony Cassar Darien, a brilliant actor known for several roles on television and the stage.

  • Best New Talent: Taħnina - Fiona Camilleri (Robert Carbonaro)
  • Best Singer/Songwriter - Sylvan Borg for Il-Maltin Bil-Politika Mehdijin
  • Best Social Theme: Virtwali - Estelle Fenech Imbroll (Paul Attard / Mark Scicluna)
  • Best Interpretation Award: Kuluri, Lwien - X-Tend (Charles Dalli)
  • Third Place: Pupazz - Rita Pace (Rita Pace / Emil Calleja Bayliss)
  • Second Place: Signor Si - Dorothy Muscat (Sammy Galea / Joe Julian Farrugia)
  • First Place: Hawn Siġġu Nieqes - Cherise Attard (Mark Spiteri Lucas / Paul Ellul)

Congratulations to all of the winners of the awards on Saturday evening but also to the other competitors. The editorial team at escflashmalta.com would like to send their special wishes to none other than Emil Calleja Bayliss who wrote the lyrics to two entries performed during the evening, one being Għal Dejjem performed by Marie Claire Attard Bason to the tune of Mark Scicluna and the other one being Pupazz performed by Rita Pace who also composed the music. The latter was the recipient of the second runner-up position. It is surely another stepping stone.

Source: escflashmalta, Għanja Fest

Published in L-Għanja Tal-Poplu
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