Tenishia hold their own as the most successful DJ/Producer in Malta, selling arena shows and appearing everywhere from TV to mobile phone adverts. Winners of ‘Best Newcomer Award 2005′, ‘Best Live Performance 2005′ and ‘Best Dance Tune Award in 2008 & 2009’ at the Malta Awards , Tenishia has taken Malta’s clubbing scene by storm, they played in all the island’s major clubs and events, including MTV Summerdance and rocked thousands of clubbers with their cutting edge DJ sets and live shows!
Tenishia’s story started in summer 2004 when Joven Grech and Cyprian Cassar joined forces for music production after a long talk about music in a small bar. Joven was already into djing for a few years while Cyprian had a perfect ear for good melodies due to his classical music background of playing the piano and other musical instruments from a very young age. They entered the Maltese club scene officially on the 12th of March 2005, as Tenishia, with a Live PA which reached maximum limit of bookings around the Maltese islands within few weeks for the best local events including MTV Malta. TV, radio stations, internet, magazines and newspapers featured their interviews and information which quickly gained popularity for Malta’s new artists. Loved by the crowd, the duo won the ‘2005 Best Newcomer Award’ just eight months after their debut and another award some months later as ‘ Malta’s Best Live Performance 2005′. Today they have enough local fans to put up their own ‘Tenishia Live’ event that’s sell out the biggest clubs on the island of Malta.
How did this performance’s idea and later, the event, come to life?
I knew that events like these are attended by any kind of people, from old to young, party goers and those who never stepped foot in a club. With this in my mind I came up with the idea of infusing the orchestra into my set which was an idea I had in my mind for years and years. In fact, I had already discussed this with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra back in 2012 but because I was so busy touring and doing my thing it never came to life.
What about choosing the tracks for the performance, the main idea for the concert?
Keeping culture in mind and the age mixed crowd I came up with the idea of showcasing the story of Electronic dance music with my set starting from the 70s. The idea was liked straight away and soon I found myself working on it. Considering we went through over 17 iconic electronic dance tracks the challenge wasn’t easy, the deadline was not too far away so I had to also pause my touring to able to complete all this in time. I split the performance into 3 sections starting with the 70s and 80s then house then the big ending with Trance music. It was a win-win situation, the event in fact changed a lot of people idea that DJs only play “Boom Boom” only (like the old people call it) and also proved a fact that the authorities are embracing the DJ culture in Malta.
How was it representing Dance music alongside one of the worlds finest collection of musicians?
The orchestra gives such class to music, and even though I am an Electronic music producer, one can never take away the credit and the value of real acoustics instruments – especially when played live in an orchestra. This was definitely a proud moment for me! The concert was closing the opening celebrations of Valletta, the capital of my country, being named the European Capital of Culture for 2018. Electronic Dance has grown so much throughout the years, from a niche type of music to such a huge scene nowadays. Embracing DJing in such an event was definitely another step forward!
How did it all come about in the first place?
The chairman of the Valletta 2018 contacted me as he was organizing the celebration to discuss doing a show to close the whole night, which was called ‘Erba Pjazzez’ which basically means ‘Four City Squares’. He organized some world class activities going on in the main four squares of the capital, with loads of performances ranging from singing, dancing, light projection and also a huge walking giant amongst many other things. I was given the duty to close all this! Knowing how varied the crowd was going to be and how important this event was, the idea of doing just a DJ performance wasn’t sitting well enough in my head so I came up with infusing a whole orchestra into my performance.
Were you more nervous or just excited about the opportunity?
The deadline surely made me nervous, as I had to produce over 17 tracks in 10 weeks before even sending everything to the orchestra. To make it in time, I had to get help from another very talented Maltese producer called Damian Mizzi. He is actually a music composer for films but also loves my style of music so basically he could speak both the orchestra’s language and mine. Anyhow, we managed to do it in time and finally I could relax and turn that feeling into excitement!
How did you go about selecting a track list and choose what you were going to play?
I kind of knew that the crowd was going to be very varied in age and I also knew that the main subject was culture, so I came up with the idea of telling the history of Electronic Dance with some of the most iconic tracks that marked the genre, starting from the 70s and 80s up till the late noughties. The track list varied from Jean Michelle Jarre and Giorgio Moroder to Daft Punk and Faithless, Tiesto and Paul Van Dyk!
Was the collaboration and rehearsal easy and did it come naturally?
Once we had everything in place with production, it came quite naturally. We actually rehearsed it 3 times in total and we were good to go.
What do you have in the pipeline for your fans in the coming months?
While another show like this is surely on my mind, at least in 2019, at the moment I’m working on some new remixes which I can’t really name yet. Also, a new remix by another DJ of one of my biggest tracks “Where Do We Begin” is in the pipeline, and a few originals are on my mind. Touring has been going great for me, especially in Asia, but up next I’m looking forward to perform at some summer events at home in Malta before I head out of the country again.
What was the most memorable moment of the whole experience?
I think the closing track was one of the best… Barber’s Adagio for Strings! I get the shivers every time I re-watch that bit!