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Qormi, Ħal Qormi, Malta

Qormi, Ħal Qormi, Malta
Band Rock Blues


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This band has not uploaded any videos



"Summer Programs: Making the Song"

They came from as far as Malta and from as nearby as Lynn, Massachusetts, but they all had the same goal: to write and perform a killer song. And of the more than 150 who auditioned for a slot in the Five-Week Summer Performance Program's Performing Songwriter Showcase, more than 40 earned a spot on stage.

Eight of the artists performed at Cafe 939 one night in early August, one of three shows directed by singer-songwriters Melissa Ferrick '90 and Sally Taylor, and assisted by Berklee faculty members, who mentored the students in songwriting in preparation for the concert. The students brought their finished songs forth, telling tales of loneliness, home, and relationships, among other songworthy fodder.

Meanwhile, the other 32 students divided performances between one night at the Berklee Performance Center—directed by faculty member Kristin Cifelli, alumna Kate Klim, and other faculty members—and four afternoons outside the Berklee Bookstore, directed by alumnus Bob Stanton.

For the 939 shows, there was a sort of coffeehouse vibe, which was decidedly the point. "What's so important to Berklee and the Songwriting Department—is that if a song is good it should be able to stand up on its own," said adjunct professor Ferrick, artist-in-residence for Five-Week. "That is the fear we try to overcome with these students, which is their ability to get on stage with their instrument by themselves and play the song. It means arranging. It means tightening the song structures up. It means helping them get rid of instrumental sections that might work if you had a BPC band behind you and someone could take a solo, but in the coffeehouse or one-on-one setting, it's like you want to get to the chorus, you want to get to the moment."

This summer was Ferrick's third involved with the songwriting component of the Five-Week Program. "It's getting bigger and what seems to be happening is that the level of talent is getting stronger," she said. For the first time, the showcase also was open to performance poets studying under liberal arts assistant professor Caroline Harvey. Three poets performed at one of the Cafe 939 showcase concerts.

Several singer-songwriters who performed at a Cafe 939 showcase shared their thoughts on the process of songwriting with Ferrick.

Mikaela Attard

Age: 18 Hometown: Malta Instrument: Voice and Piano Song: "I'm Never Around Me"

On inspiration: Well, I guess I'm like some other artists: I get inspired by every single thing that occurs around me so I don't really know exactly from where this song emerged. Music is a living experience; it might have been a person, an apple, a cat, or a Starbucks coffee that stroked something inside to write my song during my stay. Berklee has been such a great experience on its own. My song is about talking to my conscience. Sometimes you do things and then hear someone else say something about what you did, right or wrong, some sort of justification that might put guilt or frustration on the individual. In my song, I'm telling my second voice inside to shut up and let me think what I want to, live my life how I'd like to, do whatever I need to . . .

On working with Melissa Ferrick: Melissa Ferrick helped me with the structuring and polishing of the song and also instructed me which words from the lyrics would be good to replace. She enjoyed how I transformed it eventually and supported my performance. Melissa is one-of-a-kind and I had a great time working with her on my track. I've also learned a lot from my friends at the shows. It's always good to pursue each and every song coming from individuals who emerge from different cultures, norms, and styles.

- berklee.edu

"Malta Music Awards 2010"

Winter Moods emerged with the biggest trophy haul at the 15th edition of the Go Malta Music Awards last night.
The show was held at the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre at Ta Qali, with nearly 5,000 people attending.
Winter Moods won the awards for the Best Group, Best Album and Best Song.
Group front man Ivan Grech also won the award for the Best Composer.
Aaron Benjamin carried the Best Male Artiste Award while Kristina Casolani won the Best Female Artiste.
Mikaela won the trophy for the best emerging artiste.
UK-based Maltese singer John Lukas won a Lifetime Achievement Award.
The Legends Award went to The Rifffs.
Voices Choir won an award for the outstanding artiste of the decade.
Last night’s show included a performance by Anthony Costa, a member of the ex-boy band Blue, who performed All rise and One Love. Lenny Zakatek, of Alan Parsons Project fame, performed the recently-issued Games people play.
Best Album – ‘Argento’ – Winter Moods
Best Group – Winter Moods
Best Song – ‘My Neverland’ – Winter Moods
Best Female Artiste – Kristina Casolani
Best Male Artiste – Aaron Benjamin
Best Artiste Hip Hop/RnB – Dimal feat Maddee
Best new talent – Mikaela
Best composer – Ivan Grech
Best Video – ‘Who the heck is rek” -Red Electrick
Best Metal Band – Nomad Son
Best Dance Production –Tenishia bi “Strager to myself”
Best Image – Chasing Pandora
Best CD cover – “OBE” -Frenzy Mono
Best website – www.mementonostri.com
Lifetime Achievement – Jon Lukas
Recognition Award – Voices
International Achievement Award -Nomad Son
Legends Award- The Rifffs
Artiste of the decade - Joseph Calleja - The Sunday Times

"Sliema Light Orchestra concerts"

Sliema Philharmonic Society recen­tly organised two concerts by the Sliema Light Orchestra conducted by Mro Sigmund Mifsud at the University’s Sir Temi Zammit Hall.
The orchestra played popular songs, such as Deep Purple’s Smoke on the Water, The Beatles’ Hey Jude and Winter Moods’ Marigold, which were performed by Mark Spiteri, Victorio Gauci, Justin Galea, Ryan Dale, Dorothy Bezzina and Mikaela.
The HSBC Children’s Choir, under the direction of Gillian Zammit, and trumpet soloist Kevin Abela also participated. There were debut performances by singers Ana-Maria Grima, Nathalie Pace, Dario Mifsud Bonnici, Joseph Camilleri, Mariza Baldacchino, Isabelle Luca Borg, Jodi Heckenlaible and Ian Tirchett. - The Sunday Times

"Singing sisters off to Berklee College"

Summer’s here but singing sisters Mikaela and Yorika won’t be around for much of it as they head to the US for an intensive tuition programme.
The two girls left an indelible impression on the judges during the recent Vodafone Upcoming Artist competition, with Mikaela emerging as the outright winner and Yorika, who was her backing vocalist in the competition, also drawing a significant amount of attention.
More recently, following various auditions, the girls were accepted at the world-renowned Berklee College of Music in Boston, Massachusetts, where they will be attending an intensive programme as well as giving some live performances and writing new music.
Fully charged and understandably excited at the prospect that lies ahead of them, Mikaela and Yorika will joined by Jimmy, John and Anthony for a ‘farewell’ gig at Rookies on Thursday night. Doors open at 9pm.
www.myspace.com/mikaelamyspace - The Sunday Times

"Xirka Rock III: Rocking in the woods"

It may have started out as a crazy thought over an Indian meal and a few pints by a small group of rock fans discussing their favourite bands and albums, but Xirka Rock events – two so far, with another tomorrow night – have fast earned a reputation for being a great night out if rock is your thing.
Fronting an all-star line-up of top local musicians from various genres, one might expect a clash of egos within the confined space of the stage, but the Xirka Rock ‘band’ isn’t about ‘who’s better, who’s best’ – it’s all about having a good time playing good old rock ’n’ roll and entertaining the crowd, and this they do with much energy and huge amounts of passion.
The line-up for tomorrow night’s Xirka Rock concert, at the Greek Theatre of the Buskett Roadhouse, reads like a who’s who of the local music scene, with the list so far including Errol Sammut, Ira Losco, Pawlu Borg Bonaci (Fakawi), Red Electrick, Gianni, Ivan Filletti, Peter Paul (Tribali), Frank Calleja (Behead­ed and Slit), Airport Impressions, Gilberto Arredondo (The Creepers), Mikaela Attard and Eliza.
This edition also features local music legend Freddie Portelli.
The concert will also feature an opening acoustic set from Colourblind, Fire’s Kenneth Calleja, Bridget Bone and Debbie Stivala. Doors open at 9.30 p.m.
Tickets cost €7 and are available at the door.
For more information, look for the Xirka Rock page on Facebook. - The Sunday Times

"Upcoming Talent"

The Vodafone Upcoming Artist 2011 competition was held at the Palace Hotel, Sliema, last Tuesday. Seen here are event organiser Sigmund Mifsud and competition winner Mikaela Attard. - The Sunday Times

"Mikaela is Vodafone's Upcoming Artist"

Upcoming young performer Mikaela was recently declared the winner of the Vodafone Upcoming Artist 2011 competition, while Gianluca placed second and Chris Grech came third.
The competition had been running for a number of weeks and involved various live jamming sessions at Temptasian at The Palace Hotel, Sliema, from which eight finalists were chosen.
Videos of the finalists posted on Vodafone’s Facebook page went viral, giving people the opportunity to ‘like’ the videos and vote by SMS. This played an important part in the final vote, since SMS votes and Facebook ‘Like’ votes each carried 20 per cent of the total vote.
Another 40 per cent of the vote came from the judging panel and the remainder from artistic director Mro Sigmund Mifsud.
Sporting her trademark flaming red hair, Mikaela is no stranger to accolades; she was, in fact, voted best New Artist at the 2010 Malta Music Awards and has been attracting the attention of Maltese music fans with her particular brand of pop rock.
The young singer said she is looking forward to an exciting musical future ahead, adding that she wanted to give “a wild outburst of thanks to all those who not only popped by at the jamming sessions, voted for me and liked my video but also who supported me through this competition”.
Mikaela’s performances during the competition also featured musicians Jimmy Bartolo, Banjo Cachia and younger sister Yorika Attard, all of whom she thanked “for rocking the stage with me”.
The aim of the Vodafone Jamming Sessions is to provide emerging singers and musicians with the opportunity to perform live before an audience and compete for the title. The competition was open to pop and rock performers aged over 16.
All the finalists said the experience was a learning curve due to the fact that they had to organise the accompanying musicians themselves while deciding which songs to perform both for the jamming sessions and the final night.
Some also said the experience gave a good boost to their self-confidence.
All finalists got together on the final night to perform a closing song. - The Times of Malta


'Away He Goes'
'Call Me'
'Hear Me Out'
'Fall Apart'

All songs were released and given airplay on several radio stations.



The musical connection knows its roots back in time when Mikaela was young enough to dig Sabbath, Floyd, Harvest, Tosh and bang to Deep Purple's killer tunes whilst enjoying the backseat of the car. Joplin, B.B.King, The Beatles found their spot in the favorite list soon later, only solidifying their position to the present day. Joan Jett, Winehouse, Morrisette, Perry amongst others still leave their influence on the young aspiring red head from Malta.

Fiddling and starting to learn the piano, it offered a broader sense right from the initial point to the music she started to sing to. It also introduced the classical world, bringing Beethoven, Rachmaninov and Richter quite handy. The initial stages of her musical career were filled with performances at singing contests held on a small scale, followed by auditions for parts in several musicals, such as 'We Will Rock You' where she acted out 'Galileo', 'Les Miserables' acting as 'Jean Valjean' and 'Sound Of Music' given the part of 'Maria', with other important auditions pioneering her solo singing career, such list being undoubtedly topped by a prestigious experience given by ‘UK Pop Idol Voice Coaches’: CeCe Sammy, John Mody and Joshua Alamu joining forces with two well-respected German Critics who posed a call for all local acts of all ages for auditions. Hard work and satisfaction worked together to give a shining win to her flank, where the aftermath was the unforetold prize of flying over to London and put her artistry on tape with recording sessions done at the very well-renowned Sarm Studios West. Not to mention, Seal, Alicia Keys, Nirvana, Queen, Depeche Mode, Madonna, Stereophonics, Jamiroquai, James Morrison, Metallica, The Prodigy, Radiohead and Oasis also had their albums recorded there. An original track flourished out of the studio window where Mikaela was the one to water and nourish it together with the voice coaches leading to a release locally and a few months later boated to South Africa, setting the launching venue in Monte Casino, Johannesburg South Africa. The local music there not only thrummed but also clinged its roots in every passing tourist, let alone singing in the same concert.

The following pit stop of the musical journey was the Italian country, where she performed on one of the greatest stages in Naples. Not only once, but she was invited for the second consecutive time after she won a linked festival on her national island. A few more recording sessions dared to show up, this time round being tracks written by an Italian based composer. Probably soon after, she started taking vocal advice and completed a program by Brett Manning (coaches Hayley Williams from 'Paramore' and Taylor Swift amongst others), where he has also organized contests amongst his international students and she was the first-runner up. Following her performances, and achievements not only on the small dot on the map but also overseas, she was rewarded with “Gharfien il-Hila at ‘Jum Hal Qormi’ ceremony the same year, given by the Qormi Local Council. This triggered live gigs and appearances in events organized for the previous President of Malta, Dr Fenech Adami in his own gardens, in addition to the involvement in holding mini concerts at the St. James Cavalier together with Mro. Brian Cefai and Mro. Michelle Cachia Castelletti. Tapping into performances with orchestras, big bands and others with brass set-up surely offered a cornerstone to discover the classical world indulged with all other genres even more. Several events organized by the Sliema Light Orchestra, Qormi Pinto Philharmonic Band, Qormi Orchestra and Mellieha Philharmonic Band, to mention a few, invited Mikaela to give her interpretation solely on 'Mercy on Me', 'Roxanne', 'I don't know how to Love Him', as well as duets on 'Amigos Para Siempre', 'Beatles Medley', 'I Know Him so Well'. Her voice was also sought for to flow with the melody on several hymns locally.

Certainly performing is not the whole picture of a career. Writing songs is the task necessary to thrive the innovation and creativity of the artist which make him unique. Mikaela's original tracks were given bright light on recording sessions at Temple Studios. From brief sessions round half a decade ago, along the years she continued to work on her tracks with the well-known producer David Vella. In 2009, her first ever EP was produced, mixed and mastered by the latter producer. Such EP compiles four tracks including 'Hear Me Out', 'Away He Goes', 'Fall Apart' and 'Condescending'. 'Away He Goes' was her first track released and played on local radios, being given a satisfactory outcome. 'Condescending' followed the same pathway of success and ultimately, 'Call Me' was her latest single released on the radios at the second half of 2010. This song, joining forces with Jotham and Lincoln from one of Malta's leading boy band 'Scream Daisy' received an enormous feedback, which now leaves a way for a new single 'Hear Me Out'