Backdoor Jam #24: The Hinge Project

The Hinge Project is the third album by guitarist Jes Psaila. The seven original compositions are made up of old ideas and others tunes specifically composed for this album. The arrangements are the collective effort of the quartet which is made up of Mark Attard (kb), Luke Briffa (dr) and Andre’ Micallef (bs), each member contributing to the band’s particular sound. The style is instrumental fusion, the music is melodic, often mellow, and embraces jazz and rock influences. Having played a few venues and events the band recorded the material at Temple Studios last year and is planning its release later this year.

Backdoor Jam #22: Matthew James & Micimago short set

Matthew James Borg is a singer-songwriter who became notable during the first two decades of the 21st century as front-man for the band Red Electrick. During most of the same period he also played keyboard with The Rifffs during their live gigs. In 2014, Matthew joined Peter Borg (guitarist for Red Electrick and owner of Railway Studios) as visual director at the said studios, directing music videos and writing songs for many of Malta’s artists, most of which successfully making it to the local radio charts.In 2018 he ventured out as a solo act releasing his debut single Memories on 22 March 2018 as Matthew James. The Micimago sound has developed into something of good character. His sound is easily distinguished in any songs in whichever genre he decides to work in. This sound was cemented into the Maltese music scene by reaching the no. 1 spot on several radio charts with several singles. Together along with Dav Jr they have created a unique sound through their Newly released hit single Recovering

Backdoor Jam The Best Bits. Six Month Special

Since December 2020 Backdoor Jam has showcased 26 performances from local (and some international) artists and musicians on Gozo, Malta – and there’s many more to come. To mark the halfway point we have compiled an hour-long special of some of the best bits from these super performances, so far. Featuring; Matthew Engerer | Simon Johnson | Dean Barton | Mawk Pheonix | Beesqueeze | Skald | Mel Xkejfa | Joseph Portelli | Sam Christie & Chris Vella | Kali Sun | Jolene Samhan | Ben Denny Mo | Brimba | You can support these artists by buying there full concert on

Backdoor Jam #19: Beesqueeze

Beesqueeze is a Maltese indie dance high-power garage pop/rock duo. The band consists of Kriz Zahra (guitar, bass, synth and vox) & Chris Mallia (drums, vox, guitar and fx) two individuals full of energy. Emerging from their tiny home studio, the band experimented with a variety of electronic sounds, beats and rhythms, whilst maintaining a warm rawness to their sound. Beesqueeze describe their music as ‘Alterdelic’ (alternative / psychedelic) dance rock, and rightly so, as their sound is a pumpy and vibrant combination of alternative rock mixed with psychedelic pop influenced by acts such as The Strokes, MGMT, Tame Impala, Gorillaz and The Pixies. Their first EP ‘Crowd Control’ was released in 2017 and showed the band’s take on finding a crispy new sound. In 2020 the band signed an international distribution deal with Echoism Records and released 3 singles throughout the same year, ‘Say You Do’, ‘Lost at Sea’ and ‘It Won’t Matter’

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Backdoor Jam #10: Matthew Engerer Short Set

Matthew Engerer is the vocalist and songwriter for the band Walrus and the Carpenter. Born and bred in Malta, Matthew grew up playing guitar and started writing songs at the age of 14. In 2004 Matt left Malta on a busking trip that took him around the globe for 15 years, it was during this time that his voice developed into the powerful, emotional force that has become the backbone of his performance. He has performed with Walrus and the Carpenter at several festivals including Mullum Music Festival (2013,2014,2015) and Fall’s Festival (2014) in Australia and the 2017 university festival in China. During his time in Australia Matthew recorded two EP’s, and an album entitled Old Soul’s Eyes

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Backdoor Jam #16: Sam Christie & Chris Vella Short Set

Sam started out playing in many different bands before deciding to go solo, telling us he finds inspiration for his writing from 60s style folk songs which he gives a modern twist too. He draws his main influences from Nick Drake, Elliot-Smith and Bob Dylan. Something that can be clearly heard in Don’t Fall Asleep. His first album “Meet Me At Spoons”was released on the 29th of July 2018 after recording with Chris Vella who also produced the album and other EPs before that.

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Backdoor Jam #8: Mawk Phoenix Short Set

After spending two decades producing in Los Angeles with countless radio hits and music compositions featured on Blood Diamond, Little Miss Sunshine, Sex & The City, Charmed, Scrubs, and more, Mawk Phoenix was ready to transform his art as well as himself. His album ‘This Is The Sound‘ (Very Music) marks Phoenix’s solo debut as a singer-songwriter. “I realized that as a producer I was ready for evolution,” says Phoenix. He stepped away from mainstream success of producing chart-topping artists to consider his hopes and dreams. “I became inspired to define my authentic voice and sound. That time resulted in articulating my own story of growth and self-transformation”

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Backdoor Jam #12: BRiMBA

Brimba composes of Kyle Drakard on electric guitar, Dean Montanaro on bass, Pete Galea on drums and Egle Pranaityte on vocals. They are the musical equivalent of a spider on a unicycle playing Twister – their words. A super exciting contemporary trio blending a bit of jazz with aggressive odd-time riffs and fluid rhythmic interplay – all housed under some pretty cool and captivating vocal lines.

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Backdoor Jam #20: Kersten Graham

The love of blues, pop rock, classic rock, and power ballads, are what drives him today as an established singer-songwriter, blues & rock guitarist. After the success of his first, “Close to Home”, he went on to release his second single, “Got It All Wrong”, which sported 15,000+ views upon the first month of release, receiving huge amounts of radio and TV coverage, which led him to be invited to some prestigious events in Malta alongside some amazing artists in the local music scene. Kersten Graham has just released his new single KAOS – check it out now.

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Backdoor Jam #13: Simon Johnson

There was a massive influence of 60’s sounds and modern day classics filling my young ears, my dad learned all the classic songs in a very Folky kind of way on his old Nylon string Guitar, I guess that’s what drew me to a more natural acoustic sound and an interest in Folk Music” As an adult this has opened my Mind to world music in a very big way as I now have no certain genre that I belong to, I am just a songwriter with an appreciation of all music from all cultures” 

Backdoor Jam #17: Jolene Samhan

Singer/songwriter, Jolene Samhan is bringing a fresh taste of music to the world. Born and raised in Nadur with Brazilian, Palestinian and a German-Polish background, she does not only look the part but she is definitely ambitious to produce a unique sound as she enters the music industry bound to be one of Malta’s strongest and loudest voices. Her first taste of producing music was through ‘Place’ in collaboration with Micimago and Shaun Axiaq where she sang and wrote the lyrics for the track. This led them to win the Lovin Music Award for Best Dance Track 2019 while also being nominated for Best Song of the year. Eventually, she released her solo debut single ‘February 1st’ in 2021.

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Backdoor Jam #3: Mel Xkejfa Duo Short Set

Melissa Portelli, the well known vocalist from local band Chasing Pandora, and Acoustic Guitarist Danny Magro, who is also a well known session guitarist in Malta. Together they embark on this musical project, performing their own music, and music from Chasing Pandora’s well crafted acoustic music based albums.

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Backdoor Jam #2: Skald Short Set

Skald are Bertu Aquilina, Gabriel Gauci, Simon Bezzina, Jesmar Bezzina and Aaron Debattista– a quintet formed recently to breathe life into Maltese literature and culture with their own blend of original music. A superior blend of rock and blues and rootsy traditional Maltese folk music.

Backdoor Jam #18: Karl Consiglio

His poems range from the sensitively romantic, to the downright surreal, all the way to the simply, plain and funny. Very prolific, always original, and on fire Karl’s work is to be approached in the way one would a strange dog in a strange alley

Backdoor Jam #11 : Káli Sun

Playing hungarian and east folk traditional music, with a touch of improvisation. Song 1: Sari Gellin an old Azerbaijani folk song Song2: Gyere ki te Gyöngyvirág a Hungarian Moldavian traditional folk song

Members are Ralph Eimann: Percussion Csaba Maksi: Guitar, Bori Magyar: Vocal, Flute Tamás Merkl: Bass, Guitar

Bori became a professional singer with Besh o droM, a Hungarian world music band. Ever since, her main musical profile is a fusion between traditional folk music and other genres, including pop, rock and jazz. Bori classifies herself a world music singer.

Backdoor Jam #15: Mike Meinke

Guernsey based guitarist, vocalist and didgeridoo-ist, Mike Meinke, began his musical journey in a time of no internet when people did physical things! He learnt guitar from an old Red Hot Chilli Peppers cassette tape. Play, stop, figure the note out and repeat. Inventive fingerstyle, percussive guitar akin to influences such as John Butler, Fink and Nitin Sawhney, and distinctive smokey vocals thread his multi-genre music together. As a lover of all music, Mike prefers to think of music without boundaries rather than be restricted to one scene – folk, rock, reggae and blues being the primary cornerstones of his creations.


Backdoor Jam #5: Joseph Buttigeg and Mario Abela

Joseph Buttigieg who hails from Qala, is an arts enthusiast and cultural operator. 1st poem was chosen, because poet Oliver Friggieri passed away a few months ago. He was considered a great contributor to Maltese Literature by many. In this poem chosen he reflects on his life as a poet and explains the process which he goes through to write poems. 2nd was chosen because the author, an ex-President of Malta was from Qala. It elicits a sense of melancholia from the reader/listener.

Mario Abela: “I use paintings, drawings, collage, video and sound that depart from the metaphysical, anthropological theories and history. Through a juxtaposition of images and chance during execution, what starts as storytelling, becomes an exploration into fantastic worlds. This puts concepts like time, memory and chance under analysis, to establish how these determine the interpretation of the past and sometimes forecast the future.

Backdoor Jam #23: Charlotte Wallis & Axel LaCourte

Charlotte has been practicing professionally for over 15 years, exhibiting across the UK, France, Malta, the USA and India. Having been Resident Artist at Kokarkultur, Finland, Arthouse Chantelle, France and Greenmeadows, Kerela, India, she currently creates from her narrowboat on the UK Inland Waterways. She is working on several private commissions, and was last year shortlisted for the Sir John Hurt Art Prize. Her work focuses on space and environment, abstracting forms found in nature, and the spaces in between. Painting is used as a meditative method to understand our place within our environment. For more info, find her at Axel DeLacoute: A musician and instrument maker from Limoges, France, working and living in France and the UK. Strongly influenced by traditional music from any country, and his song writing tells a story without words. He builds and reimagines instruments, taking inspiration from the cigar box guitars played by bluesmen, whose lack of financial freedom and materials did not stop them from making music. His debut solo album recorded in Birmingham, UK, with Nicholas Clarke and Paul Wetton (previously bassist for Robert Plant), is currently at the mastering stage.

Backdoor Jam #14: Rosita & Rae Eriksson

Rosita’s passion for art was fuelled as she was exposed to the different artistic techniques at the Gozitan School of Art. From then onwards, Rosita considered art as a personal mission and pursued to fulfill her artistic yearn through the exploitation of its wide ranging spheres. Rae Eriksson: I’m an “off the cuff” writer. Throw a subject at me and I start hearing it in rhyme. I have been doing it since childhood. I’ve also been involved in music for years, played in a band, and can honestly say I’ve had the pleasure of meeting many top performers. Janis and Jimmy, still favorites, Woodstock 1969. My story is long and would take up too much time. I am 71, with a solid 5 piece horn line still floating around in my head, love the Blues, R&B , and am in complete awe of some of the talent down on this little island.

Backdoor Jam #6: Ben Denny Mo

As a young teenager he could be found playing alongside some of Malta’s best musicians and this played a big part in influencing his musical style which covers soul, funk, folk, jazz, reggae, and ska. His first single Heart Sleeves was a BBC Norfolk Record of the Week and he performed at BBC Music Day. BBC Introducing in Norfolk are big fans of Ben. In 2019 he has played Small World at Glastonbury, Give, Small World Summer Festival and Cambridge Folk Festival, as well as a live session on The James Whale radio show. Ben is a must-see emerging artist.

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Backdoor Jam #7: Joseph Portelli Short Set

Maltese Australian singer-songwriter Joseph Portelli’s FKA Jay P, contemporary pop style music, harks back to the 1970s. Though music comes as naturally to Joseph as eating and sleeping, the rawness in his voice and truth in his words comes from a place of emotional turmoil and life experiences, whereby Joseph channels honesty and experience into his songs.

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Backdoor Jam #4: Barton Short Set

Born in Wakefield England. Growing up Dean was surrounded by music. He’s the front man with band Spirit of Smokie who have toured Europe and Russia extensively over the past 10 years. Supporting artists such as Chris Rea, Status Quo and Chris Norman etc He’s released his solo album “Gravity” and more recently the album “changes” written and recording with his band “Barton”. Dean also plays locally here on Gozo with his band “Lost on the Rock” with Gozo’s own Eugene Bajjada and James Davies. He continues his musical journey and is currently writing new material.

Backdoor Jam #9: David Debono and Penny Dix

David Debono is a figurative artist whose inspiration comes from the simplicity of everyday life especially that of Malta. He uses mostly charcoal and oil paint and has a poetic, symbolic style. His work has been exhibited in various galleries on home soil and also in Italy and many local and foreign private collections. Penny Dix is a qualified therapist, performer and author. She has helped thousands on their healing journeys, recorded UK top 20 hits and written poems and even a book for children. She has lived a colourful life and has been on Gozo for 16 years – no stranger to the Zeppi’s stage. Penny has chosen to read three self-penned poems for Backdoor Jam. All are biographical and based on true experiences from her life.

Backdoor Jam #1: Christmas Special

#1 Performances By: Divine Sinners: “Lonely Christmas’, Ben Denny Mo: ”3 For the Dog’ Andrea Britton and Keith Anthony along with Rubberband: ‘Sing Out Yourself’.