Jolene Samhan

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Jolene Samhan

Jolene Samhan was born on 16y and comes from Nadur, Gozo sister of the Island of Malta.

Jolene started practicing singing at the age of 10 with a well-known Gozitan singer, Audrey Marie Bartolo, however Jolene had started showing interest in the performing arts from a young age.

Jolene recorded her first cover professionally in a recording studio at the time when Audrey Marie Bartolo was her teacher. The song was ‘You Raise Me Up’. At the age of 12, Jolene continued singing exercises with Melanie Zammit at The Powerhouse Performing Arts School. Melanie taught Jolene technic, vocal lessons and stage presentation. Melanie Zammit helped Jolene participate in many local singing events. Jolene also took part in the annual showcases the Powerhouse organized.

The first singing competition Jolene took part in was ‘The Gozo Motor Show’ in 2011 where she got 2nd place. She sang Pricetag by Jessie J. In the same year, Jolene took part in the Voices of the Stars Competition by Deshger Productions and also placed 2nd. It was a big competition since she was competing against many Maltese singers. These competitions were the start of Jolene’s exposure.

At the age of 11, Jolene collaborated with a number of young, Gozitan singers and Mro. Antoine Theuma on a song which he composed for ecoGozo. This song was created to encourage people to help make the environment a better and cleaner place. The famous ecoGozo mascot, ‘Kikku the bee’, was also seen in this which can be found on YouTube.

Jolene participated in many festivals and competitions throughout her career. In 2012, Jolene participated in the Nadur Song Festival and got 1st place. She participated again in 2013, getting 1st place as well as the 1st Overall Award. In 2014, Jolene participated in the ‘Raise Your Voice Competition’ by Erseb Productions and sang ‘Titanium’ placing 3rd and ‘Clarity’ placing 4th. In 2015, Jolene won the ‘Powerhouse Singing Award’ which was given to her by her singing teacher, Melanie Zammit.

In 2013, Jolene sang with a well-known local band called the Philarmonic Imnarja Band for the Nadur feast. She sang ‘Music Was My First Love’ by John Miles. Jolene sang with the Philarmonic Imnarja Band again in 2015 and she sang ‘Yesterday’ by the Beatles. In 2014, Jolene auditioned for the OltreOceano Festival and was accepted to perform at Palermo, Sicily however was also offered a record deal by OltreOceano for 2015 which she did not accept due to school purposes. In 2015, Jolene sang at the OltreOceano Festival in Palermo where she met many well-known singers. A person Jolene truly enjoyed meeting was Iskra Menarini, an Italian singer, musician and record producer of art rock and pop. Jolene enjoyed this grand event in Palermo.

Additionally in 2014, Jolene sang Human when the Queen’s Baton Relay visited Gozo on its way to the Commonwealth Games in Scotland. Jolene was accompanied by Stephanie Curmi on the piano and Denise Buttigieg and Jasmine Buttigieg dancing contemporary dance. Anton Buttigieg, Minister of Gozo and Victor Galea, the Gozo College Principal where also present. Furthermore, Jolene sang for the San Marino representatives, ’The Peppermints’, during the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2014. There had been a welcoming event at Jolene’s school, Gozo College Girls’ Secondary, which was held for The Peppermints. Jolene sang ‘Human’ once again with Stephanie Curmi on the piano and a violinist. This event was broadcasted during the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2014 on TVM.

Jolene has participated in many plays throughout her career. In 2009, Jolene was part of the main cast in The Sound of Music as a Main Sister of the Abbey and in 2010 she was part of Annie as Mrs. Hannigans. In 2012, Jolene joined the Gaulitanus Choir to participate in a small play of extracts from Oliver Twist and The King and I which was directed and produced by Mro. Colin Attard.

Jolene Samham

Jolene also took part in Christmas plays and concerts organized by the M.U.S.E.U.M. Subien Nadur from 2011 till this day. Jolene was part of the main cast of these Christmas plays which were also musicals. Jolene’s first acting part was in Stagħnew meta Qassmu Ġidhom which was based on a “Glee” themed story of a group of class mates who wanted to help their school which was about to close. The same idea developed into a sequel called Milied fil-Mizien which was produced the following year. Another play was a free adaptation of the much loved Christmas feature movie “The Christmas Star”, Stagħnew meta Qassmu Ġidhom. The last two years brought us the story of a mischievous angel sent to Earth to help a group of youths that were trying to give a true meaning of Christmas in their locality. These were called, L-Anġlu Mqareb b’Missjoni Speċjali and Ċelestinu Bejn Ħaltejn! Every year, Jolene also took part in the Nadur Christmas Concert singing Christmas songs such as This Little Light of Mine, Rocking Around the Christmas Tree, Let it Snow and A Baby Changes Everything. Mark Azzopardi, the director and producer of the plays, said the following things about Jolene.

“Jolene is very hardworking and a joy to work with. She takes both rehearsals and recordings very seriously. She has a great stage presence and I am very happy that she has accepted my invitation to take part in this year’s stage production called “Il-Milied misjub mill-Ġdid” freely based on the story of Elf!”

Late in 2015, Jolene also auditioned for Il-Ħajja Xejn Cool ta Teenager Jismu Julian which was a contemporary play about the struggles teenagers face during adolescence based on the life of a teenage boy named Julian. Jolene was offered the second main role however she declined this due to school purposes. This play was directed and produced by famous Maltese director Jean-Marc Gafa.

Jolene also participated in a play written by 17-year-old author, Corrine Annette Zahra, which was called Let’s Stop Bullying! Jolene was casted the main part. The play was about a new girl at a school who learns about the school bully however stands up for herself and her new friend. These two girls discuss the effects of bullying and the consequences and reasons leading to this from the perspective of the victim and the bully.

This play was entered in the Gozo Live Writing Competition in 2014 and then was performed at the live event organized by the Gozo Live. Later in 2014, the play was again performed at the Peppermint’s welcoming event at the Gozo College Girls’ Secondary School for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2014. Towards the end of 2015, this same play was then filmed by Alun Hill and Lisa Hill however organized by the Gozo College and Gozo Live. This play was then turned into a short film which is now available on YouTube and is also being seen in schools all over Malta and Gozo. Following, Jolene along with Corrine and the other actors were invited to attend an anti-bullying conference organized by the European Anti-Bullying Network at the InterContinental Hotel at Saint Julian’s. They discussed the play in front of an audience and showed them the short film.

A great opportunity Jolene had was when she joined the local, 15-piece band called DCapital’s which was directed and managed by conductor Mro. George Apap. She performed with them for the first time at Oktoberfest atXlendi, Gozo. She has performed with dCapital’s many times in Malta and Gozo for town events and large events such as at the Excelsior Hotel at Floriana and at the Casalforno Festival at ‘[[Ħal-Qormiħħ. Jolene has also performed with them live on TVM, the local television station, for the Arka Fundraising activity. Moreover, after the grand refurbishment of the World Heritage Site, the [[Cittadella[[, Jolene along with DCapital’s were invited to perform for an event at the Cittadella where the Minister of Gozo, Dr Anton Refalo, was present. She also sang in Sanremo along with the band and their other resident singer Francesca Sciberras, winner of MJESC 2009). Singing with this band, Jolene improved her performing skills and developed many artistic qualities.

In 2016, Jolene released her first cover video of Halo with TestaFilms, Aurora Youth Choir, Eugene Bajada on the cahone and Edmond Camilleri on the guitar. Later on that same year se released her second cover music video of 'Clarity' which was filmed at the Citadel in Gozo. Both videos can be found on YouTube, Vimeo and TestaFilms Facebook page.

Jolene has had many other gigs. She has performed at the Nadur Wine Festiva annually, school prize days, singing for religious purposes at church and school, Christmas concerts and local events in various towns. Jolene has also performed at an opening of an art exhibition in which the artist was Hermine Sammut. Jolene has also been featured on the Times of Malta and other local newspapers.