June 26, 2019

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L-Għanja tal-Poplu has published the names of the songs through to the final with those lending their voice to them, publishing through social networking website, Facebook that they will be the ones interpreting the songs. L-Għanja tal-Poplu - Festival tal-Kanzunetta Maltija is turning 43 this year, and has been one of the most influential competitions in the local music scene having given rise to some of the most recognisable talent in Malta.

Bejn L-Erba' Ħitan - Kayley Cuschieri
Dawl Għajnejja - Fabrizio Faniello
Din Għalik - Francesca Zammit
Fil-Ħoġor tat-Tieqa - Ruth Portelli
Fil-Klassi - Ishmael Grech
Għadu Mhux il-Waqt - Janice Mangion
Ħallini Nħobbok - Jade Vella
Id-Ditta Tal-Ġlekk - Joseph Refalo
Il-Verità - Philip Vella
Jekk Tafx Min Jien - Nedved Galea 
Mhux Li Kien - Justine Bezzina
Minn Kajfas Għal Għand Pilatu - Rachel Lowell
Misraħ Ġawhra - Dorcas Debono
Pjazza Ġdida - Mark Cachia
Tfewwaħ - Cherylis
Vuċijiet - Maria Spiteri

One of the more recent winners to have left a mark was definitely Karen DeBattista whose entry “Jien Ma Naħdimx” penned by Rita Pace to the music of Mark Scicluna stirred up quite a debate on whether mothers actually work. Last year’s winner was Michela Galea, a former Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza winner, who was also Miss World Talent back in 2017, having won the Miss World Malta crown. Her song, “Mhux Kulma Jleqq Deheb” is penned by Emil Calleja Bayliss with music by Renato Briffa.

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

Source: ghanjafest.com, L-Għanja tal-Poplu (Facebook)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Source: ghanjafest.com

Gianluca Cilia, the Maltese representative at the Junior Eurovision in 2017 with ‘Dawra Tond’, emerged victorious in the biggest song competition in Maltese for kids called ‘L-Għanja Tal-Poplu Żgħażagħ’. The singers present original tracks to this competition and the finalists get to interpret their songs with the Malta Concert Orchestra under the direction of Mro Joe Brown & Mro Paul Abela. 

The winning song Ħaġar Qim won the Middle School section and was later announced as the overall winner of this competition. The entry pays homage to one of Malta’s World Heritage Sites – the historic temples of Ħaġar Qim. The idea behind the song came after Gianluca visited the site on a school visit – there he learnt more about it and was fascinated how this structure, built with such precision, survived over so many centuries. The temple phase in Malta dates back to 3600 to 3200BC. 

It was surely not an easy feat for the 11 year old, as he was the youngest participant taking part in this competition; open for kids aged between 11 to 16 year olds. The songwriters behind his winning entry are Philip Vella and Emil Calleja Bayliss. Philip has represented Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest as a composer on numerous occassions namely 2000, 2002, 2004, 2007, 2008 & 2017 while Emil C is the lyricist behind Malta’s last two Junior Eurovision Song Contest entries, including Gianluca’s ‘Dawra Tond’. 

Malta’s 2018 Junior Eurovision entrant Ela Mangion, was one of the three backing vocalists behind the youngster alongside his sister Giulia Cilia and upcoming artist Ilenia Camilleri. Gianluca and his team were under the guidance of Nadia Vella and Glen Vella from Vocalbooth Studios, Malta’s 2011 Eurovision Song Contest representative. One of the special guests of the night was the 2006 winner of this prestigious competition, Christabelle, Malta’s 2018 Eurovision Song Contest representative who presented Gianluca with the winning trophy. 

Gianluca would like to take the opportunity to thank the whole team behind him and also passes his congratulations to Martina Galea Loffreda, the winner of the secondary school section with the song ‘Għoxrin’ penned and composed by Corazon, a five time finalist in Malta’s selection for the Eurovision Song Contest. 

Ħaġar Qim is now available on all leading digital platforms. This would not have been possible without the support of the German record label, CAP-Sounds who have published the song. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: Press Release, Gianluca Cilia (FB)

On the 10th December, 24 semi-finalist participants were put in front of a panel of professional ‘expert judges’ to assess their song-writing, and vocal capabilities, coming up with a verdict which was made public on the 12th December. 16 songs have made the final of L-Għanja tal-Poplu Żgħażagħ 2019, which you might recall having returned 12 months ago after a long hiatus which lasted a total of 11 years.

Organised by the L-Għanja tal-Poplu Committee in collaboration with St Benedict College in Kirkop, the Ministry of Education, L-Akkademja tal-Malti as well as the Malta Concert Orchestra, previous winners of L-Għanja tal-Poplu Żgħażagħ have included: Brooke in 2005, Christabelle in 2006, Marilena in 2007 and Aidan Jay Drakard & Eliana Gomez Blanco in 2018.

The next winner will come forth from the list of 16 participating entries:

Demi Galea - Fil-Fond (Rita Pace, Mark Spiteri Lucas)
Martina Galea Loffreda – Għoxrin (Corazon Mizzi)
Gianluca Cilia – Ħaġar Qim (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Philip Vella)
Elisa Andrea Muscat – Ħamra Nar (Paul Ellul, Mark Spiteri Lucas)
Jasmine Farrugia – Ħorrox Borrox (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Augusto Cardinali)
Nathaniel Attard & Martina Abela – Ilallu (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Dominic Cini)
Amber Grace Scerri – Iljun (Cliff Casha, Georgea Falzon)
Kacey Azzopardi – Jonqsok Biss il-Kliem (Rita Pace, Augusto Cardinali)
Kayley Cuschieri – Kellimni (Joe Julian Farrugia, Augusto Cardinali)
Klara Vassallo & Leon Bartolo – Kull Deni Ħudu B’Ġid (Andrea Cassar)
Eksenia Sammut – Leħni (Paul Ellul, Mark Spiteri Lucas)
Shania Cauchi – Mużajk (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Mark Scicluna)
Kayley Cuschieri – Qegħdin Sew! (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Mark Spiteri Lucas)
Mychael Bartolo Chircop – Stenbaħt (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Philip Vella)
Thea Aquilina – Tal-Punt (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Andrew Zammit)
Nathaniel Attard – Taparsi (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Mark Spiteri Lucas)

The festival is set for Friday 15th March 2019 at the theatre of St Benedict College in Kirkop. On behalf of the editorial team at escflashmalta.com, we would like to wish all the performers, and the respective songwriters of the 16 finalists the very best of luck. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about L-Għanja tal-Poplu Żgħażagħ and the local music industry when it becomes available.

Source: ghanjafest.com

Earlier this year, we ran the headline that third time’s a charm for Michela Galea as she won L-Għanja tal-Poplu – Festival tal-Kanzunetta Maltija and that headline could apply once more for Sarah Bonnici as she stole the show at this years’ edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza following her rendition of “Il-Pinna”, a song which she co-composed together with Mark Laurence Zammit with Emil Calleja Bayliss penning the lyrics.

Singing 8th on the night, in a field of 22, Sarah Bonnici came out on top in a festival which many commented to have had a significantly strong line-up. Following her in 2nd place was second time participant Victoria Sciberras, whose song “Siluwett” is penned by Emil Calleja Bayliss and composed by Kaya. Rounding out the top 3 was Sebastian Calleja, whose choreographies throughout the years have surely provided a spectacle for many. His song, “Dak Li Taf” is penned by Giovann Attard and composed by Dominic Cini.

Other winners at the end of the evening were Maria Spiteri and Martina Fenech whose songs, “Manann”, composed by Mark Scicluna with lyrics by Emil Calleja Bayliss and “Qalbi”, composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas with lyrics by Emil Calleja Bayliss were given the titles, Best New Talent and Public Choice Award.

The evening was hosted by Louise Tedesco and Charles Camenzuli and featured a number of guests including: Michela Galea, as winner of L-Għanja tal-Poplu – Festival tal-Kanzunetta Maltija; Nicole Falzon, as winner of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza 2017 and the dance troupe Alegria. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the local music scene. 

Source: NET News

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

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

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

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

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

Source: escflashmalta.com, Geoffrey Buhagiar (Photography)

The 42nd edition of the festival L-Għanja tal-Poplu will take place on Saturday 1st September 2018 at Pjazza Teatru Rjal in Valletta. The 16 competing entries which were chosen from 137 submissions will be accompanied by the Malta Concert Orchestra which in turn will be composed of 40 musicians under the direction of Mro Joe Brown and Mro Paul Abela.

Mr Charles Schembri, Chairman of the festival announced that the winners this year will be chosen through a combination of popular and expert voting. He also noted down that the festival is organised by the Maltese for the Maltese. Throughout these 42 editions, hundreds of composers, authors, singer-songwriters, musicians and singers contributed their work while always hitting the imagination, aspiration, creativity and enthusiasm of the Maltese public. Mr Albert Marshall, executive chairman of the Kunsill Malti għall-Arti said that the festival should continue to work in favour of our cultural identity through Maltese songs, which in turn have to be innovative and of high quality.

L-Għanja tal-Poplu is being organised with the help of the Cultural Partnership Agreement of the Kunsill Malti għall-Arti, along with the Malta Concert Orchestra and Pjazza Teatru Rjal, whose resources are being offered so that this edition is yet another success.

The presenters for this festival will be Kim Dalli and Owen Bonnici. In the second part of the festival, Mro Paul Abela will be exhibiting some of the successes throughout his musical careers. Tickets for this festival can be obtained from www.ticketline.com.mt with special prices of €10 till the 10th August.

The running order of the 16 finalists for the 42nd edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu – Festival tal-Kanzunetta Maltija

Name of Song – Singer (Author, Composer)

1 – Għaliex Tlaqt? – Ruth Portelli (Ryan Caruana, Mark Scicluna)
2 – Min Aħna? – Cain (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Philip Vella)
3 – Nistenniek – Charlene (Corazón Mizzi)
4 – Allura – Philip Vella (Joe Chircop, Philip Vella)
5 – L-Immigrant – Alan Casha (Alan Casha & Andrew Vella)
6 – Fjuri tal-Karti – Krista Spiteri Lucas (Paul Ellul, Mark Spiteri Lucas)
7 – L-Aħħar Żifna – Mark Cachia (Singer-Songwriter)
8 – Pawlu l-Babaw – Neville Refalo (Corazón Mizzi & Neville Refalo)
9 – Anamika – Monica Said (Monica Said, Conrad DImech & Michael Camilleri)
10 – Mhux Kif Ħsibt – Dwett (Giovann Attard, Pamela Bezzina & Alex Debono)
11 – Din L-Art Ħelwa – Dominic & Ina (Joe Julian Farrugia, Andrew Zahra)
12 – Mhux Kulma Jleqq Deheb – Michela Galea (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Renato Briffa)
13 – Ħadd Ma Jaf Xi Jrid – JAMM Band (Singer-Songwriters)
14 – Bis-Serqa – Rita Pace (Singer-Songwriter)
15 – Wegħdni – Lydon Incorvaja (Rita Pace, Glen Vella)
16 – Fi Lsien in-Nies – Dario & Grecia Bezzina (Emil Calleja Bayliss & Dario Bezzina, Dario Bezzina)

L-Għanja tal-Poplu is organised by L-Għanja tal-Poplu committee together with Pjazza Teatru Rjal with the collaboration of L-Akkademja tal-Malti. The Malta Concert Orchestra will be lending its support to this festival working hand in hand with the composers of the finalist participants. L-Għanja tal-Poplu is supported by the Kunsill Malti għall-Malti – Cultural Partnership Agreement.

Source: Press Release, Ghanjafest.com

On the 2nd and the 3rd June, a professional panel of expert judges were listening to 42 original songs, all of which were hoping to make-up the final 16 entries for the upcoming edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu – Festival tal-Kanzunetta Maltija. In the end, even though there was a fierce competition, some high-quality entries were said to have been left out with others making the final composition.

It is extremely impressive that this year, the organising committee received no less than 137 submissions owing to the competitions’ growing profile in recent years. In 2017, Jessica Magro made a successful debut leaving with the trophy for her incredible rendition of “Meta r-Ramel Jitħallat Mas-Silġ”, composed by Pamela Bezzina and penned by Paul Ellul.

These are the 16 entries for the 42nd edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu – Festival tal-Kanzunetta Maltija, with the songwriters (lyricist first, composer second) in brackets:

Allura – Philip Vella (Joe Chircop, Philip Vella)
Anamika – Monica Said (Monica Said, Conrad Dimech & Michael Camilleri)
Bis-Serqa – Rita Pace (Rita Pace)
Din L-Art Ħelwa – Dominic & Ina (Joe Julian Farrugia, Andrew Zahra)
Fi Lsien In-Nies – Dario & Grecia Bezzina (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Dario Bezzina)
Fjuri tal-Karti – Krista Spiteri Lucas (Paul Ellul, Mark Spiteri Lucas)
Ħadd Ma Jaf Xi Jrid – Jamm Band (Jamm Band)
L-Aħħar Żifna – Mark Cachia (Mark Cachia)
L-Immigrant – Alan Casha (Alan Casha & Andrew Vella)
Mhux Kif Ħsibt – Dwett (Giovann Attard, Pamela Bezzina & Alex Debono)
Mhux Kulma Jleqq Deheb – Michela Galea (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Renato Briffa)
Min Aħna? – Cain Portelli (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Philip Vella)
Nistenniek – Charlene Mercieca Magro (Corazon Mizzi)
Pawlu l-Babaw – Neville Refalo (Corazon Mizzi & Neville Refalo)
Wegħdni – Lydon Incorvaja (Rita Pace, Glen Vella)

Those who were involved in this year’s professional jury in either the first or second phase of the competition included: Bertu Aquilina, Michael Bugeja, Rita Calleja, Maria Ciappara, Vince Fabri, Justin Galea, Frank O’Neill, Vanni Pule, Jesmond Tedesco Triccas, and Mariele Zammit.

The 42nd edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu – Festival tal-Kanzunetta Maltija will be taking place at Pjazza Teatru Rjal on the 1st September 2018 in collaboration with L-Akkademja tal-Malti, Kunsill Malti għall-Arti – Cultural Partnership Agreement and the Malta Concert Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Joe Brown and Maestro Paul Abela. For more information, either visit ghanjafest.com or else logon to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter.

Source: ghanjafest.com

L-Għanja tal-Poplu Żgħażagħ 2018 was held towards the end of last week, precisely on Friday 2nd March 2018 in the Theatre of St Benedict School in Ħal Kirkop. All of the participants were between 11 and 16 years of age and they presented original material in Maltese, singing about current themes which are close to their heart. The main aim of the music festival is to encourage the writing of original lyrics and melodies apart from sharing their thoughts about just about anything which is on their minds, or those of their peers.

Not 1 but 2 categories were featuring in the 4th edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu Żgħażagħ noting that “Il-Ħolma” penned by Ray Mahoney, composed by Dominic Cini and sung by Riona DeGiorgio won the first category, featuring performers between 11 and 12 years ago while “Dwell” penned by Emil Calleja Bayliss, composed by Dario Bezzina and interpreted by Eliana Gomez Blanco & Aidan Jay Drakard won the second category featuring performers between 13 and 16 years of age. The latter were also the overall winners of the L-Għanja tal-Poplu Żgħażagħ 2018.

The evening was hosted by multiple Għanja tal-Poplu winner Corazon Mizzi, alongside teenagers Kayley Cuschieri and Nathan Aquilina while the special guests featured Francesco Puzo, Rosario Lanzara and Luca Rossin, three singer/songwriters from Italy who were all led by Maestro Vincenzo Sorrentino.

Organised by the L-Għanja tal-Poplu Committee in collaboration with St Benedict College in Kirkop, the Ministry of Education, L-Akkademja tal-Malti as well as the Malta Concert Orchestra, L-Għanja tal-Poplu Żgħażagħ has now seen not three but four winners with Eliana & Aidan joining Brooke, Marilena and Christabelle. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the local music industry and L-Għanja tal-Poplu.

Source: Press Release, għanjafest.com

Tonight, the biggest music festival in the country will take place - with the aim of choosing Malta's 31st entry to the Eurovision Song Contest. Over the course of the last quarter of 2017, the one hundred and twenty nine songs submitted for the competition were whittled down to just sixteen - which will all be performed live tonight from the Malta Fairs and Convention Centre in Ta' Qali.

The show will begin at 21:00 and will be broadcast live on TVM / TVM HD. The compère of this year's show will be Colin Fitz. Opening this year's show will be last year's winner, Claudia Faniello - who will reprise her winning song from last year, "Breathlessly". The sixteen acts taking part in this year's festival will take to the stage in the following order as seen below; in addition, they will be seen in postcards before their performances at various local heritage sites across the island.

1. AIDAN - "Dai Laga" (Aidan Cassar)
2. Miriana Conte - "Rocket" (Cyprian Cassar, Muxu)
3. Jasmine Abela - "Supernovas" (Charlie Mason, Jonas Thander)
4. Matthew Anthony - "Call 2morrow" (Jonas Gladnikoff, Tom Wiklund, Peder Eriksson)
5. Danica Muscat - "One Step at a Time" (John Ballard, Ruth Mussie, Jerusalem Yemane, Irena Krstva, Kian Fakhary)
6. Dwett - "Breaking Point" (Elton Zarb, Muxu)
7. Lawrence Gray - "Love Renegade" (Cyprian Cassar, Muxu)
8. Richard & Joe Micallef - "Song for Dad" (Cyprian Cassar, Richard Micallef)
9. Tiziana Calleja - "First Time" (Tina Stenberg)
10. Eleanor Cassar - "Back to Life" (Jonas Gladnikoff, Michael James Down)
11. Rhiannon - "Beyond Blue Horizons" (Rhiannon Micallef, Cyprian Cassar)
12. Brooke - "Heart of Gold" (Borislav Milanov, Dag Lundberg, Niklas Lif, Brooke Borg)
13. Christabelle - "Taboo" (Johnny Sanchez, Thomas G:son, Christabelle Borg, Muxu)
14. Deborah C - "Turn It Up" (Christian Schneider, Aidan O'Connor, Sara Biglert, Erik Grönwall)
15. Avenue Sky - "We Can Run" (Jonas Gladnikoff, Matthew Ker, Glen Vella)
16. Petra - "Evolution" (Elton Zarb, Muxu)

Alongside the main attration of the festival, there will be a number of interval acts. Claudia Faniello will take to the stage during the voting with her band, whilst last year's Maltese entrant at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, Gianluca Cilia, will reprise his song "Dawra Tond", followed by a brand new song in a similar style - "Wam Bam". Performances by Analise Dance Company will also feature in the show throughout.
The result of this year's contest will be determined by a jury and a televote, each having a 50% share in the result. The jury - whose names will be announced during the show, compromises of five members. The public will be able to vote by calling 5230 21XX (the last two numbers being the singers' number in the running order). Only one vote per phone will be accepted.

In addition to the main show on TV, Public Broadcasting Services will also offer a backstage glimse to the proceedings online - TVM's presenters will be live giving the immediate reactions of the participants backstage, whilst other cameras will offer views of what is happening behind the scenes. The "second screen" footage can be accessed at https://www.tvm.com.mt/mt/secondscreen/.

ESCFlashmalta would like to wish all of the performers tonight the best of luck.

Source: tvm.com.mt

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