Strummers and our audience will remember Kelly Busuttil from last year’s edition of Strummin’, with her heart-wrenching rendition of L’Aurora. She has published one beauty of a song called Sing Again. Annemarie Zammit met up with Kelly to get to know the story behind the music.
You sang Eros Ramazzotti’s L’Aurora during last year’s Strummin’. You wrote the lyrics and music for your new song Sing Again. Is this your first original?
I must say Strummin’ was a wonderful experience. I enjoyed every second of it and knowing we would be helping Hospice Malta made it even more special. I am glad that the public is appreciating my new song and video. This song was mainly a dedication to Louis Vaesen, a man who was and still is like a second father to me. He was a special person. The fact that his family and friends loved the song and appreciated that I paid tribute to him through my music, was the most important factor to me. The song also turned out to be a way for people to get to know my story and to show my love for music.
What is the story behind ‘Sing Again’?
It is the first song I have shared publicly but I had written and recorded another song for which I was nominated for the Aġenzija Żgħażagħ New Upcoming Artist Award at last year’s Malta Music Awards. At the same time I started connecting the bits and pieces I had written a few years before, which eventually created the song Sing Again. I wanted this song to be simple — it is meant to show a mixture of true life emotions through simplicity. I created a melody to my lyrics and thanks to a DegreePlus course at the University of Malta, I met Mark Micallef and Luca Spiteri who worked with me on writing the music, so that the song became what it is today.
Basically the story is my own musical life. The song is a dedication to Louis. He was a singer and a born entertainer and when I was young, I used to watch him sing and I wouldn’t stop singing myself. Unfortunately cancer took him away from us, and it felt like he took the sun away with him. I found it hard to accept that he wouldn’t be back again. Eventually I started losing interest in music until I stopped singing. I would only write songs which I would keep to myself, and I found it very hard to sing in front of other people. Then around two years ago I went through a phase where I decided to focus on myself, on what I really want, and I reconnected with music. I started spending some time with London-based Maltese singer-songwriter and beatboxer Dana McKeon, who encouraged me to come out of my shell, and well, that’s what I did. And this is what the song is all about!
There’s one line from the song which I find really stands out – “If I sing, I feel connected to you.” What are singing and music to you?
Every part of the song has a deep meaning. That line was a way of me realising that instead of quitting singing because Louis left us, I could use music to keep my connection with him. And this is what helped me regain my passion for music. Singing is much more then just hitting the correct notes to me. In fact there have been a number of listeners who said they could feel deep emotions through my singing. Some even confessed that they cried while listening to this song as it reminded them of someone dear, or because they could feel how much I loved Louis and how much he meant and still means to me.
Speaking of music and singing, what about Barber’s Cut? You were quite a hit last year when you supported Kevin Borg during the Beland Music Festival.
Basically I had been part of a duo called Skinny Jimmy, when Barber’s Cut asked if I’d be interested to try out with them as they were looking for a singer. It was my first experience with a band and eventually it led me to my first experience of singing in front of so many people at the Beland Music Festival. I must admit I was really excited before going on stage but I had a blast once I was up there. We have now parted ways but there are some new projects in the pipeline as a new band is being created. You will definitely hear about us!
Well done Kelly! In ‘Sing Again’ you hope Louis will be proud of you. We know he is! Very proud!