February 17, 2020

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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.

escflashmalta.com in partnership with the organising committee has been given the opportunity to have a chat with the sixteen competing acts, whilst also presenting an exclusive 30 second snippet of each respective entry in contention. Act number three is Jeffrey Scicluna, and his entry is entitled "Darbtejn Insiru Tfal", a song which he composed, to the lyrics of Rita Pace.

Jeffrey, it is fair to state that your partnership with Rita Pace has already bore fruit, having been on the receiving end of the 'Social Theme Award' at last year's edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu. Your entry "Il-Quċċata" was several critical acclaim by those present in the hall, and those watching at home. Do you feel daunted at the prospect of expectation, to improve on that result? 

It is always expected to do better in life not only in music. I always try to do my best in everything and everywhere and therefore always improve on my results. But sometimes it is not up to me! Other people’s judgements are not always the same as mine! Well! Rita and I were friends before we started writing and composing songs together. 

I am truly blessed not only with Rita but with all those who work with. Last year’s song ‘Il-Quccata’ went well with those present in the hall and others who listened to this song either on youtube or on other means of communications. The people know what the song meant and definitely it was, or rather is, the truth. Should I think that’s enough? NEVER! Our lives are a bunch of experiences which occurred and are still taking place in our daily lives. 

“Darbtejn Insiru Tfal” which you composed, 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?

This year’s genre is a bit different than last year’s. It has an unplugged style and I felt it very compatible with the festival Ghanja tal-Poplu. The subject is quite straight forward, at least! It focuses on the father’s different behaviours related with his son in contrast with his nephews and nieces. 

The discipline given to us by our fathers could have been quite harsh at times and that sometimes we couldn’t accept or agree on some of the issues. As soon as we become fathers and try the same manners our father did to us, it’s quite a different picture. Ironically our fathers don’t act the same way as they did with us but spoiling their nephews as if they are completely transformed.


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?

I would say that if there is no controversy there is no point in doing this festival right away. Last year’s fantastic song “Jien ma Nahdimx” interpreted by a stunning performance given by Karen Debattista had loads of debates and controversy. Nevertheless some of the arguments were reasonable and factual. Some may have been off beam or rather speculative. 

But the thing is that many people listened to this song. And that is a very interesting point to keep in mind. People are human beings who feel, touch, talk, listen, think, breathe and go through experience in life. This year’s festival is just another experience which we could have lived or rather living through. Many songs this year focus on many aspects of life and everyday existence, not only in our country.

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

If you feel like giving up, just look back on how far you are already. The harder the struggle the more glorious the triumph. Hard work + Dreams + Dedication = SUCCESS

Published in Local Music News