Backdoor Jam #37: Dario Genovese
Inspired by everything vintage , Dario Genovese is a local singer-songwriter and guitarist. Driven by the influences of early rock stars such as Bob Dylan, Johnny cash and the Beatles, Dario formed his own band back in 2012 where he released several EPs as well as two full length albums. After 8 years fronting the band Dario stepped down to pursue a solo career in 2020. Clearly born in the wrong era, Dario is determined to carry on releasing music true to his roots.
Backdoor Jam #38: Memphis Mac
Memphis Mac consists of Cameron Gray on Lead guitar & vocals, Andreas Micallef on Lead Guitar, Luca Grima on Bass Guitar & Erin Portelli on Drums. These are poster children for rock and roll, long hair, laid back attitudes, and a thirst for havoc. The band has a rather simple plan in mind, and that’s to revive the days of rock and roll. When everything was easier and everyone was free to express themselves without shame. Being inspired by all the great artists of the genre such as, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Cream, Deep purple etc. This generation is in dire need of getting that sense of freedom back and see life thrive as it once did. They are making strides in turning their dreams into a reality, building up a strong following on social media in a short span of time, and working on publishing their first EP.
Backdoor Jam #34: PlaKard
PlaKard is a contemporary progressive jazz band formed as ‘The PlaKard Project’ in Malta in August 2016 by bassist Matthew John Scicluna and drummer Kyle Drakard. The band launched their debut gig featuring Warren Galea as guitarist in January 2017. A few days later, Matthew Camilleri joined the band as a guitarist and in April 2018 the band released their debut album ‘Jump The Fence’.
Backdoor Jam #29: Brodu
Brodu started in a picnic in 2010/2011 when Zizza asked Fre to form a band to record stuff by Darren “Pupazz” Gatt and Mark Abela. Zizza and Fre needed a very able and soulful guitarist and asked Drinu, who Zizza knew from the “Bossa Nova Flying Cats”. Sam, the ivory tinkler, who played with the likes of “Mac Rebennack” and “The Deputies”, joined soon after. Their first drummer was Roberto Angelone, and after Roberto left, Zizza went on drums, and Evan Vassallo from “Duħħan” and “Kontroll” came in as a guitarist and band manager. With Evan as band manager the band went into bankrupcy and was sued by the Malta Arts Fund. The band needed desperately a very good manager, marketing strategist and drummer to stay alive, and Chris “Ratman” Mallia was hired and saved the band and led the band to record three albums and a couple of singles,
Backdoor Jam #33: Alexandra Alden
Maltese-born Alexandra Alden has had a string of hits across the Maltese Islands. Her lyric-focused sound is dense with poetry and philosophical musings. Alexandra Alden has lived in three different countries and moves house at least once a year- not necessarily due to her own choosing. For some reason, she can’t seem to stay put in one place for too long. It’s in the midst of these transitions that Alden’s songs come to life, signalling the end of a chapter and the start of a new one. Recently she has sat as a judge on X Factor Malta, released two albums, Wild Honey and Leads To Love and runs a successful open mic series called The Songbird Sessions
Backdoor Jam #32: Michael Azzopardi
Michael Azzopardi is a singer-songwriter from Malta. Having debuted his first EP, PISTOLA on February 2021, Michael’s songs present an intimate and varied song arrangement with emotionally rich and often vulnerable lyrics. Michael, a visual designer by profession, writes predominantly in the Maltese language and is inspired by the likes of Damon Albarn and Bertrand Belin. Michael produces and directs all his music videos and album artwork with the help of other local artists. This ‘in house’ approach helps Michael express the entire world of the song precisely and efficiently. Michael Azzopardi’s eclectic music is recorded and produced at Ultralow, a local label and production facility run by musician and producer Jimmy Bartolo. His main instruments are acoustic guitar and keys.
Backdoor Jam #30: Nick Morales
Benji Cachia Drums, Alan Portelli Bass, Kelly Busuttil Backing Vox, Egle V Lape Backing vox,
Singer /songwriter Nick Morales has been a part of the Maltese local scene for many years playing in many bands, as well as a session for artists. Mostly known for his bands nosnow/noalps, Dripht, Bila, and 400ppm. Nick has toured all over Europe and recently toured America with the band BILA, he also won local awards and played in all top local festivals.
Backdoor Jam #28: Bark Bark Disco
Ian Schranz, best known by the stage name Bark Bark Disco, is a Maltese musician. Born to a professional tennis coach, Schranz started out as an accomplished tennis player, until he switched to music, where he began his career as the drummer of the band, Beangrowers, before establishing himself as a solo artist. Schranz released his first single under the name Bark Bark Disco & was invited to play his debut show, opening for Bonnie Prince Billy. Following this, Bark Bark Disco toured Japan, Europe & the US. Schranz has collaborated extensively with other artists such as Johnny Jewel, Desire, Jeffrey Lewis & Stanley Brinks among others.
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 #26: Andrea Britton
Buy Eyes Wide Open here: https://andreabritton.bandcamp.com First appearing in the UK charts in 2000 fronting recording projects with Oxygen, Andrea Britton’s career as both a recording artist and performer continued with international hits with Sunfreaks, DT8 Project, 4 Strings, Rui da Silva and Soulshaker to name but a few. She fronts Lord Large (Acid Jazz), Lustral (Virgin) and Slovo (Brixtown) and has toured extensively alongside key album and single releases. She has supported Kylie Minogue, Kelly Rowland, Moloko, Damien Rice, Roisin Murphy, Dirty Vegas, Ce Ce Rogers, Shapeshifters, Faithless and more on worldwide tours.
Backdoor Jam #25: Gabriella
Gabriella is a local pop singer and musician. She embarked on her musical journey at the age of five when she started learning the violin. She attended vocal coaching from the age of twelve and following her father’s footsteps, she got a particular interest in bands. Spectrum was her first band where she gained confidence in various styles of music, ranging from Jazz to Rock. Throughout her artistic career, she embarked onto any opportunity that was presented to her especially those related to music and dance. Some of these included singing at the Delicata Wine Festival, Marsovin Wine Festival, UEFA Euro Qualifiers, Strummin’, RockAstra, and also main roles in the musicals ‘Grease’ and ‘Cats’.
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 https://backdoorjamlive.com/videos/
Backdoor Jam #19: Beesqueeze
Backdoor Jam #10: Matthew Engerer Short Set
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.
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”
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.
Backdoor Jam #31: Ali Bosios
I have always been artistic; from how I portray myself to the public to the food I cook. I find beauty all around me and cannot really pinpoint one source of inspiration. It could be a song I hear, an individual’s face, current affairs. Endless array of inspirational moments in my day-to-day happenings. From the mundane to the downright weird and bizarre.”
Check out her portfolio on https://www.facebook.com/AliBosiosArtist
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.
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.
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.
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 #27: Simon Johnson
Simon Johnson is a contemporary artist living and working in Gozo. His work includes acrylic portraits of famous people, musicians and actors but mostly paintings of the Maltese Islands! he paints the traditional boats and buses and iconic buildings and churches across Malta and Gozo conveying the images to canvas. He also uses the Chinese method of sketching with sharpened twigs and Indian ink then color washing them with watercolor. These paintings have been so very popular through the world and he has been commissioned in New Zealand the USA and Germany and Belgium and the UK
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
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 #36: Victor Agius
Victor Agius b. (1982) is a Gozitan artist who works in ceramics, mixed media paintings and sculptures, performance and installation. He has his studio in Xaghra and his works have an intimate connection with earth, committed to present it in its pure form using an archaeological approach around formless matter. He studied art in Malta, Perugia Italy and also at Central St Martin’s College in London. His works are exhibited in galleries and Museums both locally and internationally. Recently he was invited to exhibit his works at Eduardo Secci Gallery in Florence, at the European Ceramics Context at Bornholm Art Museum in Denmark and last year was selected by an international Jury to show his installation at the Museo della Ceramica in Faenza Italy during Premio Faenza. In 2019 he had his public sculpture named Hagarna installed in Gozo together with an art performance between the community and himself. Most of his installations question the role historical objects and sites play in the construction of personal, communal, national and universal narratives. His temporal interventions act as added transparent layers that when brought down and dismantled remain only in the community’s collective memory. Agius’s work offer a reflection about our fragile existence on earth, the concept of time and the way we ritually consume what is around us for our mundane, corporeal and spiritual needs.
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 www.charlottewallisart.co.uk 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.
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.
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’.