Ian James Vella, stage name J Anvil, born August 4th, 1975 in Attard. 8 year’s ago Ian decided to trust himself and talent in the Malta's Song for Europe festival. His song YOU, composed by Augusto Cardinali, with lyrics by John Attard were chosen among more than a hundred others and was one of the 22 finalists competing to win the honor of representing Malta in the Eurovision song contest 2005. At his young age Ian has already accomplished a lot in life. As dancer, husband, and father and now as a singer, his story is quite inspiring.
Ian James received his education at St Benild School and Stella Maris College, and is presently working as Full time Media. He is married to Nadine and has a daughter, Jade Marie and a son, Craig Roy. Ian holds his family tight in his heart. Also deep in his heart is his love of music and the world of entertainment.
Ian's career in show business took off at a very tender age. He did not start as a singer but as a dancer. By the age of 11 he was already dancing modern jazz and later started to learn Latin American and ballroom dancing. His dancing career offered many opportunities of traveling abroad to take part in various competitions and dance festivals. Ian performed in Weymouth, UK as well as in Italy. At the age of 13 Ian James was chosen to represent Malta in the Belgrade Eurovision, on the occasion of world children’s day. Together with his partner in dance and in life, Nadine, he also participated in many dancing competitions and festivals, both locally and abroad. Ian and Nadine won the title of Malta dancing champions which they held for the following 5 years.
Ian James took part in various musicals as a dancer. These included Inez Farrug and taht tlett saltniet. Ian is an avid fan of musicals and classical music. He also played the violin for a number of years. Some of His idol singers/Artists and entertainers are Fred Astaire, ginger Rogers, Michael Buble, Elton John, Rihanna, Jessie j, Neyo, Bruno Mars….. and his singing career started when as a dancer and choreographer for a number played by Claire Balluci during the Malta song for Europe festival 2004. He was inspired to try his voice at singing. It was here that he discovered a very clear strong voice at singing, and from there on he started taking singing lessons. During the past years he has been taking his singing very seriously studying under the guidance of Mro. Brian Cefai. and foreign voice coaching. In this short span of time Ian took part in various local singing festivals, even managing to win 1st, 2nd and 3rd placing in quite a number of them. Ian with stage name Janvil had the opportunity to present / produce and host most of famous programmes on all local stations in Malta. Bailando, a completion of dance was aired every Sunday and Happy days a magazine programme with lots of entertainment aired on One TV, Sass Sitta on Net tv and Saturday Night a Saturday entertainment programme, and more. Presently presenting Lux Design a programme dedicated for interior designs and home lovers aired on the national station TVM. He also presented the famous Malta song for Europe 2007 and had the opportunity to present with Eduardo Costa a famous Italian Actor. Janvil is invited on various programmes every week. In September 2005 he placed 2nd in the popular Festival Indipendenza. Ended up in fourth place with only 21 votes away from 3rd placing in 2006. Malta song for Europe 2009 Janvil finished in 8 place with an outstanding performance. This year was an outstanding Festival with a brilliant performance and was vowed by a good number of public votes With Song Topsy Turvy.
Last year Ian achieved 2nd place in the Discovery Festival in Varna and a year after 2nd in the Golden Melody festival. Janvil performed in the Business women of the year in Bulgaria. Last year back again in the finals of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with the song “You are my life” composed and written by his producer George Georgiou. www.facebook.com/ian.j.vella?fref=ts
Johnston Farrugia k/a Hooligan
From Qrendi, living in Zurrieq
Website / Facebook page ? : www.facebook.com/bookmarks/groups#!/Hooligan.FB2 www.facebook.com/bookmarks/groups#!/HooliganMalta
Local/International artists/musicians who inspire you ? :
Snoop of course. I’ve been following him since the age of 13. I’m inspired by Snoop as he knows what people want. His style is versatile; you never know what to expect in his career. He started off with the name of Snoop Doggy Dogg; changed to Snoop Dogg and now he’s being called Snoop Lion. His style has changed as well from Rap/Hip Hop to Reggae!! But I really love his guts in music as he always succeeds.
There are other favourite artists whom I get inspired from, but Snoop remains number one.
Previous experience at ‘Festival Internazzjonali tal-Kanzunetta Maltija’? :
Never been in a Festival before.
How do you see your chances in winning the ‘Festival Internazzjonali tal-Kanzunetta Maltija’ this year ? :
I believe in the song, in myself and in Janvil! Surely this is gonna be a great experience to add to the others!
What is your opinion on Competitions(local)? :
I love competition especially when it’s well organized! This is a new experience for me and who knows.. Probably there will be more to come!
What is your favourite music style? :
Hip Hop, Rap and R&B are my favorites. However I listen to all types of music, such as 80’s, 90’s, Rock, Classics, Dance, Reggae, etc.
I’m not the type to stick to one kind of music, though I’m a rapper I always try to experiment by mixing my style with any other.
When and how did your life in music start? :
It started in 2002. A TV presenter asked me and my friend, David k/a Buggly to work on the opening theme song of his show. He knew that we are into rhymes and RAP, and obviously such an opportunity wasn't the one to let go. So we started to work on it with great enthusiasm and fortunately enough for me, through this experience I managed to get to know people like Joanne Bugeja, who helped me getting where I am today!
This TV show used to be held in different places. We used to meet on a weekly basis, sometimes we even met at my place. At the time I used to live on my own and every time we had this meeting, we ended up partying all night. These are such nice memories which I treasure for life!
Being shy in character I wasn't that good to push myself forward, but one day I asked Joanne to listen to some lyrics I wrote. I just wanted her to give me some feedback on it. Never imagined her reaction when she listened to me, flow the lyrics with Snoop's instrumental music in the background.
She was so amazed that she immediately told me "Hooli... next week ghal go studio int!" She listened to RAP before but never in the Maltese language. It was something original; that she believed will be a hit. I was surprised at her reaction and over the moon at the same time.
To cut a long story short she introduced me to Andrew Zammit's Studio and there we recorded my first song Maltama ft. Buggly, which was given to DJ Alfie Fabri and DJ Banana to air on radio stations. It did great. Was requested by many and Hooligan was by then becoming more popular everyday.
We worked on more songs and in 2003 I launched my first album, Originali Bhali into the Maltese music scene. It did a great hit. I was managed by Joanne for three whole years. Through her I gained success and thanks to her I am who I am today.
Do you write your own stuff? – and if so what inspires you? :
Yes I write my own lyrics for the simple reason that I only feel comfortable rapping my own. I get inspired very easy. My lyrics are real and generally picture the world around us. I also get very much inspired by my own mood at times.
What are your biggest ambitions in music?
I like to keep my feet to the ground, especially in music. In my career I always reached where I aimed, but I also believe that there are many more opportunities yet to come which I welcome with pleasure!
A 3 word comment about The Eurovision Song Contest?
Change In Voting!
Describe a typical day in your life?
I try to manage my daily duties, such as work, gym, a helping hand at home, cooking but I also give priority to England and Man UTD football matches, performances and other commitments related to music. By the end of the day I always make sure to find time to party.
Football, Boxing, Billiard and Clay shooting basically.
Favourite book ?:
Any good horror though I prefer movies.
Scarface, Godfather 1,2,3, Rocky, Predator, Alien, Indipendence Day and many more..
Favourite holiday/trip ?:
Up to this day, I think it was in Spain and Bulgaria, but have some other great destinations planned in the coming months/ years J
Do you have a message to The Maltese Nation?:
Compared to other nations, the Maltese are the best, especially when we put politics and other differences aside. We are limited in land but unlimited at heart and brains, so my message is – Keep it up. LOVE, PEACE, RESPECT!
Interviewed by Joseph Portelli – Music News Malta Editor.