October 16, 2019

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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)

Published in L-Għanja Tal-Poplu

30 semi-finalist participants, shortlisted by a panel of ‘expert judges’ on CD, were put under a #live test in front of a second panel of professional ‘expert judges’, and the final verdict was released earlier on Tuesday 5th December with a total of 17 songs put forward to the festival, L-Għanja tal-Poplu Żgħażagħ 2018. Back after a decade long hiatus, the competition drew a lot of support when first announced and it seems that the demand and interest is rather high.

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 saw Brooke, Marilena and Christabelle make a name for themselves by virtue of finding the right message to share back in 2005, 2006, and 2007 respectively. The next winner will come from the following list of 17 participating entries.

Bradley Debono - Bla Isem, Bla Kunjom (Paul Ellul, Marco Debono)

Eliana & Aidan Jay - Dwell (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Dario Bezzina)

Thea Gauci - Għerf il-Baħar (Rita Pace, Geordie Debono)

Thea Gauci - Ħmistax (Ingrid Vella, Mark Spiteri Lucas)

Riona Degiorgio - Il-Ħolma (Ray Mahoney, Dominic Cini)

Charisse Ann Vassallo - Il-Verita' (Ivan Debattista, Mark Spiteri Lucas)

Thea Aquilina - Kieku Nista’ (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Cyprian Cassar)

Eliana Gomez Blanco - Kliem (Ingrid Vella, Philip Vella)

Rachel Lowell - Li Tiżra’ Taħsad (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Philip Vella)

Martina Galea Loffreda - Ma Nafx Għala (Joe Julian Farrugia, Augusto Cardinali)

Luana Schembri - Manikin (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Andrew Zahra)

Elisa Muscat - Sib Ħin (Rita Pace, Priscilla Psaila)

Kira Copperstone - Skont id-Daqqa Iż-Żifna (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Mark Spiteri Lucas)

Nathan Psaila - Stennejtek (Manuel Chircop, Dominic Cini)

Emma Cutajar - Ta’ Rasi (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Priscilla Psaila)

Ilenia Camilleri - Triq Oħra (Rita Pace, Philip Vella)

Jahel Cardona - Weġibni Ma’ (Rita Pace, Marco Debono)

The festival is set for Friday 2nd March 2018 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 17 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

Published in L-Għanja Tal-Poplu