Mistura – Isma’ Bilfors
Blues in Maltese is not a new phenomenon. The best exponent is possibly Walter Micallef, who is no stranger with the crowd at L-Għanja tal-Poplu. Antonio Olivari has here team up with singer Malcolm Bonnici (along with Matthew Agius on bass and Francesco Sultana on drums) to make up the group Mistura, who were this year awarded the Best Newcomers accolade.
Kultural – Malta Tiegħi
It cames as no surprise to me that the fabulous Kultural won this edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu with their biting song. This is 21st-century Maltese patriotism at its best. I would have been both disappointed and amazed if they didn’t manage to stand out among all the other acts and songs at this year’s contest.
Kantilena – Baħħâr
My praise for Kultural should not be read as in any way diminishing the other participants at this year’s festival. This is especially the case for Drinu Camilleri who was named Best Singer-Songwriter for this song. I have already featured this band on a previous edition of my podcast, and L-Għanja tal-Poplu seems a natural home for them.
Rita Pace – Kwadru jew Tond
A contest festival for around a decade or so, singer-songwriter Rita Pace has already won the Best Social Theme Lyrics three times in previous editions of L-Għanja tal-Poplu. This song is particularly crafty and among the ones that certainly stand out among the 15 that took part in this year’s contest. The live version of the song featured Clifford Borg on piano, Paul Attard on guitar and Marie-Claire Attard Bason on backing vocals.
Tale Kwali – Blokk Appartamenti
Antonio Olivari’s other appearance at L-Għanja tal-Poplu this time took the form of a collaboration with his old Stummin’ Home buddy Stephen Ferrito, along with violinist Sean Borg (who is incidentally a blood relative of mine), percussionist Francesco Sultana, and Daniel Borg on backing vocals.
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