Minister for National Heritage, Arts & Local Government Owen Bonnici took to Facebook to share a moment of praise towards the organisers, winners, authors and composers behind the 46th edition of Malta’s own Għanja tal-Poplu after what is considered to be a very successful edition.
The popular Maltese song contest took place on July 30 in Pjazza Teatru Rjal, with the Malta Concert Orchestra providing the night’s musical serenade under the direction of Mro Joe Brown. The festival was presented by Valerie Vella and televised on TVM, welcoming 131 musical entrants.
Alexia Micallef’s ‘Fil-Kexxun’, written by Lon Kirkop, took home gold for this year’s edition, speaking about the difficulties of individuals with anorexia whilst offering some courageous sentiments. Micallef also bagged the Enzo Gusman prize for best interpretation.
Marija Bellia’s ‘Ismi’, written by Iona Dalli and Bellia herself, took home second place, addressing the brutal rape and murder of Pauline Dembska towards the beginning of this year whilst also touching upon topics of femicide, domestic violence, rape and everything that has to do with the horrors faced by women in today’s society. Thanks to her chilling interpretation, Bellia also took home the prize for best singer-songwriter.
Local group MARA secured third place with their song ‘Ħelu Manna’ written by Emil Calleja Bayliss and Philip Vella. The song’s celebration of grandparent’s sweet delights put a smile on many people’s faces and certainly caught the attention of many viewers.
The prize for best social theme went to Joe Julian Farrugia for his song ‘Mr X’, interpreted by Philip Vella. The song speaks of a recent case in Malta, where an individual was reported missing without anyone knowing his name. Meanwhile, għana singer Tony Camilleri was presented with the ‘L-Għanja Li Tibqa’ prize for his outstanding contribution to Maltese music.
L-Għanja tal-Poplu is supported by the Malta Arts Council and the Valletta Cultural Agency.
Congratulations to all performers!