August 23, 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. Miriam Christine is the eleventh artist and she will be performing the song Stejjer composed by Andrew Zahra to the lyrics of Joe Julian Farrugia.

Mid-Nineties, Miriam Christine was starting to leave an impact within the local music scene, reaching the finals of the Malta Song for Europe on two consecutive years, in 1995 and 1996 respectively. During the latter year, the upbeat In a Woman’s Heart composed by Paul Abela to the lyrics of Alfred C Sant was selected as Malta’s entry in Oslo, Norway and once abroad, managed to garner tenth place. Would you have done anything differently whilst abroad as you look back on the experience and do you believe that you were too young?

It was an amazing experience, and a music and life lesson too. I have such beautiful memories of that year which I will carry with me forever. I do believe that I was very young when it all happened. I was not able to make certain decisions myself and I definitely did not agree on  quite a few things that were decided on my behalf, like the costume design and choreography. Having said that I do believe that everything happens for a reason in our life. Thanks to the Eurovision I made a lot of friends, and so many opportunities came my way, like various concerts abroad, awards and recording sessions. I do not regret anything. 

Your comeback into the local music scene has been seen as relatively successful, managing to win a local music competition, the Malta Hit Song Contest with your own composition, Alone Today prior to reaching the final stages of the Malta Eurosong with another self-penned song entitled Mama. What was the main reasoning behind your comeback and what are your current plans for the near future?

I love to write songs and perform. That is always the main reason behind any music venture I get involved in. I do however believe that sometimes, it's best to take a little break to recharge the batteries and refresh ideas. Hence the reason why sometimes I seem to disappear. It is a very exciting time at the moment for me. I am eagerly waiting the final night of the Festival Kanzunetta Maltija. I am in the finishing stages of a new music project where I contributed as a singer on a chill-out album. I am also preparing to shoot a new TV programme where I am the main host together with another three local celebrities. And I am working on new music material which hopefully will be released next year. I am at a very happy place at the moment.

Unless the records are mistaken, this is your sixth participation within the International Festival of Maltese Song, having also been part of the line-up during the event won by Lawrence Gray and his entry Eklissi, eleven (11) years ago. It seems that you had been close to being a regular at the showcase, and have also shown your support to the competition by virtue of participating within the submission process. Do you have any fond memories which you would like to share?

I have always loved this Festival. I think my fondest memory was when I participated for the first time in 1995 (my composition Int Tajtni Idek). The show was held at the amphitheater in Ta Qali. I loved performing there with a live band, and for the first time, singing one of my compositions on such a big stage at only sixteen years of age. The cherry on the cake was actually placing third! I will never forget that special night.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5E5NREaUy5k

Stejjer composed by Andrew Zahra to the lyrics of Joe Julian Farrugia is the song that you will be presenting in this years’ edition of the International Festival of Maltese Song. Would you care to explain the meaning behind the lyrics and the genre that the song encompasses?

The songs starts off as a ballad, but then evolves nicely into a soft-rock song. I adored it from the first time I heard it. The melody is strong and the lyrics are so moving. The song is about all the stories that are written in time during a long, loving relationship between two people. It describes the hopes, dreams, experiences and memories that two people build together. I dedicate it to my loving parents who this year celebrated their 40th year of marriage.

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?

It definitely has a place within our local music industry. I had been secretly hoping for its comeback for many years. It was such a pity when they stopped organizing it. There is a big lack of songs in our beautiful Maltese language, and there is no other way to put it: the Maltese and Gozitan public love Maltese songs. I know this because I continuously meet local people who keep mentioning some of my Maltese songs, and saying how much they love listening to them. I really wish and hope that the Festival Kanzunetta Maltija is back for good.

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

As always, I would like to thank all the lovely fans who keep supporting us local artists, our music and our dreams. Without your constant support, I would not be able to find the inspiration and the will to continue pursuing my music dreams and projects. Thank you all. Big hug.

Published in Interviews