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X Factor Malta: Meet the judges

X Factor Malta: Meet the judges

X Factor Malta is back for season three, with two judges returning and two judges joining the team. Music producer Howard Keith Debono and superstar Ira Losco have returned to their judges’ seats, whilst musicians Ivan Grech and Philippa Naudi, will be joining them on the panel. Let’s take a closer look at the four judges to find out why they’re here…

Philippa Naudi

Philippa Naudi is half of the singing-sister duo The New Victorians. The charismatic and super energetic sister duo The New Victorians burst onto the scene around six years ago, following their success at the Alchemy Songwriting Competition in the U.S. In 2015, they launched their debut album Seeker Seeker, with singles like Keep Me In Love, and then in 2018 released Silence, the EP with-which they opened for multi-platinum artist Anastacia, on her European Tour – Evolution, and for the BBC Concert Orchestra in 2019. They have since become a household name.

Apart from her performing talent, Philippa is also a songwriter and producer. In recent years, the artist also dived into the musical theatre scene together with her sister Bettina, by producing and directing original shows, some of which were also showcased internationally at the Edinburgh Festival.

IVAN GRECH

Ivan Grech is the front man of Wintermoods, one of Malta’s biggest alternative rock bands. Their concerts have always attracted the biggest crowds in terms of local performances. Through their career, Winter Moods had to opportunity to meet and perform with some of their idols, namely Bryan Adams, Elton John, Roger Hodgson (ex-Supertramp), Bob Geldof, Fish (ex-Marillion), Antonello Venditti, Deep Purple and the SAS Band. 

Front man Ivan Grech keeps reinventing himself through his music and consistent string of hit songs and projects. Being a highly respected personality, Ivan Grech appeals to all audiences and apart from years of experience in the music industry, this is one of the factors that makes him an extraordinary judge on X Factor Malta.

Howard Keith Debono

Howard Keith Debono is the founder of Jagged House Music Company as well as a music producer and artist manager. He is the man behind some of Malta’s leading artists such as X Factor Malta’s very own Ira Losco and The New Victorians, and has had a lot to offer to the industry for the past twenty years.

A pianist from a very young age, Howard has formed part of bands since the age of ten.  Practising turned into recording and this is what lead to a great understanding of leadership and dynamics. He eventually started producing his very own material as well as other artists’. Howard is involved in the whole life cycle of his artists’ songs. – from pre-production to promotion to being on the mixing desk when it is performed live. From the first two seasons of X Factor Malta, we know that Howard doesn’t beat around the bush, he says it as it is and is ridiculously perfectionist and demanding but this is what makes him excellent at picking out the very best.

Ira Losco

Malta’s very own pop queen Ira Losco’s career breakthrough came in 2002, when she represented Malta in the the Eurovision Song Contest with the hit song 7th Wonder, where she placed second in the competition, achieving Malta’ best ever result and thus becoming a household name. Losco has released six studio albums so far in her career, and is one of the most successful local musicians of all-time.

To date Losco has performed in over 25 countries and has won more than 20 music awards. She has appeared in front of audiences ranging from 1,000 to 80,000, and has played alongside renowned international acts such as Elton John, Maroon 5, Akon, Mel C, Ronan Keating, Bob Geldof, Tokio Hotel and Gigi D’Alessio. She even collaborated with Jason Derulo in the 2018 FIFA World Cup anthem. She excelled as one of the judges and mentors in season one and two of X Factor Malta as well as season one of Malta’s Got Talent. The artist is a dominant force on the local music scene and we don’t need to wonder why she’s returned for the third season.

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