Lovin Malta's Top 40 Music Acts To Watch In 2017
Ok, so it's a long list, but Malta has some big talent
What better way to end the year than with a celebration of some awesome Maltese talent? That's why we've come up with a list of the top 40 music acts to watch out for next year. This list combines hip-hop, rock bands, alternative music, Eurovision stars and everything in between. And as always, if we've left one of your favourites out, tag them in the comments below.
He's only 14 years old but he's already a resident DJ at a club and he's making a big name for himself among teens. Also, what a cool DJ name. Major step up from his real name Anthony Mifsud.
39. Chess Galea
Since debuting on IndieGogo with this powerful Pink Floyd cover, Chess has done some other retro covers and released her own album called 1869. It didn't get incredible traction but this girl has a big voice, great looks and is just waiting to be discovered.
38. Eyes To Argus
Eyes to Argus debuted in February of this year, and approaching their one year anniversary, the most they’ve released are tiny snippets and promos like the one up here. That’s all about to change in 2017 though, as the band is set to release their debut album in the coming year. And with a pretty active 2016 that has seen them playing with quite a large handful of Maltese bands and topping most of the local festivals’ lists, there can only be bigger and better things in store from them.
37. The Busker
These blues boys are belting out some kick ass tunes dominating airwaves and heating up the gigging circuit.
This young songwriter is has quickly transformed into a behind-the-scenes Eurovision icon but when he took part in this epic tribute song for his late father he showed that he can be just as good a soloist as any of the artists he writes for. Here's to seeing more of him in 2017.
Back when the hipster scene was still kicking off earlier this decade and places like Coach & Horses were all the rage (and still open), Yasmin Kuymizakis saw one of the fastest jumps to fame within a scene that was already quite saturated with talent. She continued to make music as YEWS following her relocation to London for a couple of years and even performed at Sofar UK, but now, she’s finally back on the rock. And with her latest performance at the famous alternative Christmas party Pudina being the talk of the town, she’s managed to bring back the same excitement and following she had all the way back in 2012.
Her song Pancakes and Cream may have reminded everyone a bit too much of Rebecca Black, but this cute diva racked up more than 140,000 views for her song and nurtured quite a fan base for her cheery pop tune. Watch this space.
33. 215 Collective
Strait Outta Pieta, these young guys are producing some slick sounds both as soloists and as a group. Malta's hip hop scene is definitely getting more inspiring.
We thought their Smiling Man was one of Malta's coolest dance videos, and we're sure you'd agree. "Veiled musicians, electronic wizardry and pulsating synth-pop" is how this music collective describes itself. We're seriously looking forward to seeing what's in store next year.
31. CJ Cordina
This guy is gifted with natural swag and the rare talent of being able to rap convincingly both in English and Maltese. Another young guy hip hop star brimming with potential.
You know how much Lovin Malta loves 360 video, right? Well, we were obviously seduced by this awesome music video. These funky guys have great energy.
KNTRL is one of those projects that you just know is going to be a success before you even hear anything. A solo project by the Dolls For Idols Clint Spiteri, KNTRL is the fruits of a highly talented artist who’s been immersed in the electronic scene for years now, getting to grips with a life that sees him splitting his time between our tiny rock and the colder Berlin. This November saw the release of the EP Stay Closer on the Berlin-based label OFFRecordings, and with famous DJs like Luca Agnelli already eager to remix his songs and DJ MAG US featuring him in their end of the year publication, KNTRL is definitely one to look out for 2017
He's the brother of former Eurovision groover Kurt Calleja, but more importantly, he was one of the Lovin Loungers with a beautiful mashup of two classic The Tramps songs. This guy is going places.
27. Emma Muscat
Startlingly beautiful and with a voice to match, Emma Muscat can be seen and heard playing live gigs all over the island but now she's released her own song and we're thinking there's a lot more potential where that came from.
26. Jo Elise
Jo Elise has a haunting voice and must be one of the best Maltese songwriters of our time. Folk music that could go global in an instant.
25. Swing Nuages
This eclectic band is still starting out but they absolutely killed it at this year's Teatru Unplugged and are literally bursting with potential. Expect great things.
Not sure who we should be mentioning here, whether it's producers AYTO or Kelsey B but their track To The Whistle blasted the local airwaves this summer and we think there's going to be lots more to watch from them next year.
23. The Ranch
Just stop for a second and listen to this tune. Then tell us whether or not you're as excited us about their 2017.
22. Franklin Calleja
He's got the voice of an angel and incredible stage presence for someone so small and fragile looking. He's also been collaborating with Cyprian Cassar which is always a good sign. Here's hoping 2017 won't just be about Eurovision performances for Franklin. Tho with this tune, he's likely to win it too.
21. Mike Stivala
Whether he'll be performing solo as he did for the first time with the Lovin Lounge, or with any of his other bands Stalko and Hey Sus, there's one thing you should know about Mike Stivala: he's ridiculously talented.
You might remember her from previous Malta Eurovision Song Contest performances. She's got an enormous voice and a great entry this year which was penned by the same team as Gianluca Bezzina's. Let's hope it blasts the radio next year.
Brooke was Ira Losco's biggest competition at last year's Eurovision final and she's the one to beat this year. Her voice is rivalled only by her incredible charisma on stage. The song is Unstoppable. And it probably is.
18. Joe Roscoe
We're huge fans of Joe Roscoe, the Maltese busker in Manchester. Give this man a record deal. He's got the potential to sell out stadiums.
17. Maxine Pace
Maxine made an incredible debut on last year's local Eurovision stage but she was let down by the fact that her song was a total ripoff of Meghan Trainor's classic All About That Bass. This year she still sounds super current and could easily be the one to grace the biggest stage available to Maltese artists. Either way, we have no doubt we'll be hearing and seeing a lot of this songstress in months and years to come.
There are no two ways of saying this: these chicks are awesome and the world needs to hear them asap.
15. Chris Birdd
He's a Maltese hip hop singer based in London and he's throwing out some killer tunes. There's something special going on here.
Her public debut was an insane Eurovision cover with the Lovin Lounge and people fell in love with her instantly. Now we're just waiting for some more original material with bated breath.
13. Lara Dimech
This girl can sing. And she can smash a good old Freddie Portelli tune as she showed in the Lovin Lounge. A great performer who will undoubtedly blossom next year.
These guys have already come up with some of the most inspiring Maltese music. We've had a sneak peek of some of their new material and we know it's going to change the game.
11. Sean Quincy
London-based Sean Quincy (aka Sean Manche) has a sound reminiscent of Zayn Malik. He's been working on some awesome material and we're hoping he gets picked up by somebody next year.
Sisters Bettina and Philippa Cassar smashed it this year with an awesome debut album. These singer songwriters are approaching their creative peak and we can't wait for their second instalment.
The headlining act of this year's Teatru Unplugged, KazinSka is a beautiful marriage of festa music and insightful folk rock. We're hoping there'll be an album at some point next year.
8. I Am Willow
Her song Satellite is a revelation. Carrie Haber has been at it for years but she seems to be getting closer to the big time. She'll be releasing an EP next year and if it's anything like Satellite, we're very excited.
PDM have been one of the alternative scene’s sweethearts for the last couple of years, and ever since the 2014 release of their album Għera, they’ve amassed a substantial amount of very faithful followers. With their latest endeavour, however, they’ve put that to the test when earlier this year, they started an IndieGogo funding campaign for their new album. The whole thing was a surprising success, and the guys are now sitting on a newly mixed and mastered 11 track album scheduled for 2017. The hype is strong with this one.
Shyli is without a doubt the hip-hop breakout star of 2016 with her heartfelt track Il-Patt. The good news is that she's not a one hit wonder and she's already belting out new music. Let's hope she gets the budget for some high production value stuff soon.
Malta's tripfolk gem Etnika - now enjoying the Beangrowers' vocals of Alison Galea - will be touring their new album in Australia at the end of January. We expect big things to happen.
Destiny hasn't even turned 15 but she already sounds like the most current singer Malta has ever had. After winning the Junior Eurovision contest last year and performing her new song in this year's show, there's no doubt that big things await this awesome performer.
The Travellers were arguably the best thing to happen to Maltese music in 2016. They've raised high expectations for next year. Let's hope they keep serenading us with awesome tunes that show off the beautiful Maltese language.
Brikkuni is the epitome of Maltese angst and disillusionment. Their new album Rub Al Khali promises an even finer sound than before with the same lyrical punch. Listen to the awesome first title single below and tell us you're not excited.
Red Electrick has been around for 10 years but every time they perform they look ever more ready for an international stage. It's no surprise they will be spending next month in Los Angeles, writing music with a multi-platinum LA-based producer. This could be their (and Malta's) big break.