Age is definitely just a number for Gianluca Cilia, the 11-year-old singer who two years ago represented Malta at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Now, the young boy who’s always smiling is seemingly back for more, having just nabbed the top prize at the country’s biggest song competition for kids.
Backed by the Malta Concert Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Joe Brown and Maestro Paul Abela, Gianluca emerged victorious L-Għanja Tal-Poplu with the song Ħaġar Qim, winning both the Middle School section and the overall competition.
The idea behind the song (that pays homage to one of Malta’s World Heritage Sites) came after Gianluca visited the iconic historic temples on a school visit. Together with the songwriting dynamic duo of composer Philip Vella (who represented Malta at the Eurovision some six times) and lyricist Emil Calleja Bayliss (who was behind the last two Junior Eurovision representatives for our island), Gianluca quickly rose to the top of the competition even though he was the youngest participant this year.
And with bucketloads of smiles and passionate moves, the 11-year-old quickly stole the hearts of the audience in front of him.
But Gianluca wasn’t the only Junior Eurovision veteran on stage for Ħaġar Qim
Throwing down some powerful backing vocals alongside upcoming artist Ilenia Camilleri and Gianluca’s own sister was actually Ela Mangion, last year’s Junior Eurovision entrant.
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, who just last year represented Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest.
Thanking his team for the constant support, Gianluca also took the opportunity to congratulate Martina Galea Loffreda who won the secondary school section with her Corazon-penned song Għoxrin.
Ħaġar Qim will soon be on all digital stores, but is already on YouTube, Soundcloud and iTunes. This would not have been possible without the support of the German record label CAP-Sounds.