Published on Wednesday 6 March 2024

Launch is part of an ongoing partnership to invest in the sustainable growth of voluntary organisations that strengthen Malta’s creative and cultural ecology.

Arts Council Malta (ACM) announces the launch of the video Il-Baħħ u Jien, based on the song that won L-Għanja tal-Poplu Festival 2023. The video was launched at Pjazza Teatru Rjal as part of an ongoing investment by the Council in voluntary organisations, like L-Għanja tal-Poplu, which offer Maltese musicians the opportunity to express their art while showcasing the Maltese language.

The investment in L-Għanja tal-Poplu is part of the Council’s continued ’s drive to strengthen Malta’s creative and cultural ecology by providing stable support for organisations to plan ahead, grow, and develop in alignment with Strategy 2025, the national strategy for culture.

Chair for Arts Council Malta Albert Marshall said: “Initiatives like the one we are celebrating today help us create synergy with a number of voluntary organisations that focus on the cultural and creative sectors. By investing in these organisations, Arts Council Malta is truly putting the arts at the heart of Malta’s future, making stronger inroads in the journey towards fulfilling our vision for a more diverse and inclusive sector.”

Marshall also referred to the importance of enabling cultural organisations like l-Għanja tal-Poplu to build and strengthen their operational capacity in a bid to create sustainable management models.

He also stated: “Strategy 2025 places priority on collaborative efforts with artists and cultural organisations whose dynamism, creativity, and innovation have enriched the sectors substantially over the past few years. Throughout it all, Arts Council Malta has played a central and vital role in empowering and facilitating these creative endeavours.”

The launch of Il-Baħħ u Jien, he added, is part of the implementation of a vision that supports diverse artistic expressions by Maltese artists. 

Il-Baħħ u Jien is written by Natasha Grima, composed by Charlene Grima, and sung by Christian Arding, winner of L-Għanja tal-Poplu 2023. Ray Calleja is the artistic director for the video. The track, which puts the spotlight on mental health issues faced by men, was an instant hit, racking up 10,000 views on social media within a few days of release. The author was inspired to write the song following “a close personal encounter with a dear one.”

“I was very shocked and saddened by what had happened to my friend. Walking in nature and writing songs helps process my emotions as part of my healing. So, while walking my dog one day I could visualise the events and internally feel the desperation people who try to die by suicide must go through. By the time I got home from my walk I had a song”, Grima said.

L-Għanja tal-Poplu festival is dedicated to original Maltese songs comprising a wide variety of genres and has been a significant platform for showcasing the Maltese language and musical talent over the years. Il-Baħħ u Jien took part in the 48th edition of the event, which saw some 40 semi-finalists present original compositions to the Maltese public.

For more information about Arts Council Malta partnerships with cultural organisations, visit