December 12, 2019

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On the 21st March, L-Għanja tal-Poplu took place at Sir Temi Żammit Hall, at the University of Malta, under the stewardship of Ryan Borg and Angie Laus. Broadcasted LIVE through Radju Malta, with guest commentator Tony Micallef, and airing on Television Malta 2 on the 31st March, the competing entries bore an intriguing mixture of recurrent social themes, some which relate to the masses, and others which are more individually specific.

Karen DeBattista, winner of L-Għanja tal-Poplu 2014 with the song "Jien Ma Naħdimx" composed by Mark Scicluna to the lyrics of Rita Pace was the special guest at the beginning of the evening, to a rapturous applause. Later on, another special guest, albeit a singer/songwriter, Philip Vella was presented with the 'Għanja Li Tibqa' Award for his multiple participations in L-Għanja tal-Poplu, performing a medley of iconic songs, including, "Marija", "Kemm Jien Beżżul" and "Fil-Każ Grazzi".

A professional jury, which included the likes of Joe S Grech, Paul Abela, Paul Buhagiar and Albert Marshall went for mature numbers, songs which embody a strong message, either musically or lyrically, yet at times difficult for the general public to comprehend. The aim is to challenge the perception on issues which people rarely discuss in public, including sexual abuse, re-introducing prisoners into society and quarelling.

Best New Talent: "Niftakarna" - Abstract Acoustic Duo (Gabriel Cassar)

Best Singer/Songwriter - Mark Cachia for "Waqt Li Qed Nitfi d-Dawl"

Best Social Theme: "Ġismi" - Ecca Muscat (Mark Pellicano, Matthew Pellicano)

Best Interpretation Award: "Battibekk" - Rita Pace (Emil Calleja Bayliss u Paul Attard, Rita Pace)

Third Place: "Battibekk" - Rita Pace (Emil Calleja Bayliss u Paul Attard, Rita Pace)

Second Place: "Ċans Ieħor" - Raquel Galdes (Daniel Paul Farrugia, Norbert Borg)

First Place: "Ġismi" - Ecca Muscat (Mark Pellicano, Matthew Pellicano)

On behalf of the editorial team at, we would like to congratulate all the winners, as well as the 16 finalists, for being so cooperative in organising the promotional campaign which included a series of interviews, and also presentation of entries. We urge you to stay tuned to even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about L-Għanja tal-Poplu and the local music scene.

Source: L-Għanja tal-Poplu

Published in L-Għanja Tal-Poplu

On the 21st March 2015, L-Għanja tal-Poplu, a local music competition known to breathe life into the music industry, will be turning thirty-nine. Following the huge success of "Jien Ma Naħdimx", composed by Mark Scicluna to the lyrics of Rita Pace, with vocals provided by Karen DeBattista, a surge of interest was reported, as a record number of 105 submissions were received. in partnership with the organising committee has been given the opportunity to have a chat with the sixteen competing acts, whilst also presenting the full version of each respective entry in contention. Act number twelve is Abstract Acoustic Duo, whose song "Niftakarna" is written by the male counterpart, Gabriel Cassar.

The Abstract Acoustic Duo, which consists of Gabriel Cassar and Lenice Tabone, is a relatively new project having only been around since 2013. As a matter of fact, this also marks your debut in L-Għanja tal-Poplu. How did the project come about, and where do you see yourself in twelve months' time? 

We have been playing together in the same bands quite for a few years now, yet, as it has been stated, it was  in 2013 that Abstract Acoustic Duo had its own big bang. We live just a couple of meters away from each other (in the same block actually), and this advantage has lead us to kill some time together with a guitar in hand and our very own vocals. It was the summer of 2013, when on a nine-day wonder, we were faced by an opportunity to play on a regular basis in a cafeteria... so yes, one can say that this particular cafeteria was in fact Abstract’s birthplace. 

The infatuation has continued to explode in this collaboration and the tentative for l-Ghanja tal-Poplu, is undoubtedly one of its results. In twelve months’ time, we would like to see this baby-project develop even more, and although it’s not our aim to be popular, we look forward to having more gigs together whilst sharing a smile with our audiences. Original material is always on the pipeline, so we hope that in a year’s time, the harmony amongst us would be more tentative in its creativity and muse.

“Niftakarna”, written by Gabriel Cassar, the male counterpart of this duo, is the song that Abstract Acoustic Duo 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?

Basically, ‘Niftakarna’ anticipates the reality of childhood friendships enriched with simplicity and energy  from sunrise till sunset with one of the scenes capturing their enthusiasm for the game ‘hide and seek’. However, as time goes by, one of the friends hides away leaving behind all the memories and good times they used to have. 

Our song is quite simple and humble in its own structure involving only our vocals and an acoustic guitar.

In 2015, L-Għanja tal-Poplu is turning thirty-nine (39), and during the years, it has earned a positive reputation, by virtue of breathing life into the music industry. It is no secret that the lyrics of each entry could cause controversy amongst the public. What is your view with regards to this statement, and do you believe that your entry challenges public perception?

It is true that sometimes, the public ‘s reaction to certain messages might be subject to controversy which in our opinion is the artist’s capability of bringing about moral and ethical debates regarding significant issues. Our song’s principle aim isn’t to bring about any controversy, yet it suggests appreciation for long-lost friendships in one’s own life which undoubtedly leave an impact on the present way of life.

Would you like to say anything to our readers at

Whilst we recommend full support for Maltese music and talent, we would also like to encourage the readers to love one another and live the real scope of life in faith, hope, and love.

Published in Interviews

L-Għanja tal-Poplu, a local music competition, known to breathe life into the music industry, officially takes on a new dimension as of today, as more details emerge. is in an exclusive position to announce that the hosts for this year will be none other than; Ryan Borg of “Sibtek” and Angie Laus of “Ħadd Għalik”. This year’s competition features an extravagant mixture of upcoming and established vocalists, all vying to join that coveted honour roll, which has seen to the emergence of several artists throughout the years.

The most recent winner, Karen DeBattista, whose “Jien Ma Naħdimx” written by Mark Scicluna and Rita Pace has become truly iconic, will be one of the special guests during the show. It is expected that she will be performing prior to the start of the competition, whose running order has now also been drawn by four of the contestants, whilst being interviewed on the programme “Mill-Għanja tal-Poplu” hosted by Tony Micallef on Radju Malta 2.

01. L-Għawdxija - Ta' Verna Folk Band (Augusto Cardinali)

02. Pjan – Simone Gauci (Ingrid Vella, Augusto Cardinali)

03. Il-Malti - Mario Debono (Mario Debono)

04. 'Charlie' l-Artist – Michela Dalli (Rita Attard, Andrew Zahra)

05. Illum Jien Pensjonant - Joe George Micallef (Alfred C. Sant, Joe George Micallef)

06. Dawn l-Għajnejn - Ana Maria Grima (Rita Attard, Siobhan Vassallo)

07. Niftakarna - Abstract Acoustic Duo (Gabriel Cassar)

08. Fejn Marru t-Tfal? - Michela Galea (Rita Pace, Renato Briffa)

09. Darbtejn Insiru Tfal - Jeffrey Scicluna (Rita Pace, Jeffrey Scicluna)

10. Ġismi - Ecca Muscat (Mark Pellicano, Matthew Pellicano)

11. Il-Lupu Li Tarah Hi Biss - Denise Spiteri (Mark Laurence Zammit)

12. Waqt li Qed Nitfi d-Dawl - Mark Cachia (Mark Cachia)

13. Bit-Tlikki Tlikki - Christabelle Curmi (Clifton Casha, Carmel Dalli)

14. Min Taħseb li Int? - Teddie Zammit (Teddie Zammit)

15. Ċans Ieħor - Raquel Galdes (Daniel Paul Farrugia, Norbert Borg)

16. Battibekk – Rita Pace (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Paul Attard, Rita Pace)

The 39th edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu will be taking place on the 21st March 2015, within the Sir Temi Żammit Hall at the University of Malta. The renowned local music competition not only promotes Maltese as a main language, but delves into the social theme element, hoping to raise awareness about several worldly topics. We urge you to stay tuned to even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about L-Għanja tal-Poplu 2015.

Source: L-Għanja tal-Poplu (Committee)

Published in L-Għanja Tal-Poplu