Ray Axisa

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Ray Axisa was born on March 4, 1960 at Tarxien. He grew up in the small locality of Fgura at that time, and has lived there until today in this locality of Fgura which has grown well over the years.

At the age of sixteen, Ray married Mary Rose and they had six children, Marousca, Janelle, Clifton, Christine, Stefanie Rose and Steven, five of them are married, Ray was the young grandfather of ten grandchildren.

He started at the age of nine in Fgura Primary School, when he was singing with the school choir when the teacher was sitting in front of him singing, and after he had told his mother about him, and she talked him, to his Uncle, George Schembri who was a pianist and father of the Schembri singers Iris & Alexander Schembri who had already started singing before him, from there began to take part in various evenings and competitions that were held all over Malta and we can say that in the first contest that was took part in it which was held in Birżebbugia had ended up winning third place, Encouraged by this success he had taken part in another contest in Fgura organized by the PL club and had come in second place.

He had great encouragement from his parents as well. In these competitions he was always the leader along with his cousins Alexander Schembri and the late Iris Schembri where in the late sixties and early seventies they dominated the Maltese music scene in their categories.

He later also appeared in various television and radio programs. He also started singing with some bands both in the evenings and at weddings.

He traveled for a Contest in Sicily and Naples, was a member of the group Delfini Ferrieħa tal-Birgu, in 1973 he won the Honor of Mr Canzionissima 1973.

In 1974 the author and composer Alfred C. Sant had offered him a song called Għadna Żgħar which he had sung and released a 45 rpm record and his son had exploded in the Top 20 rankings in Malta. after this success Ray Axisa continued to be offered more songs by Alfred C. Sant and continued to be successful with them including Donnok li Tibża minn Babaw. Also an interesting fact to Alfred C. Sant he had even offered him two great songs L-Għannej and Qalb ta' Kampanjol but although he had started recording them, he did not continue them, and as far as I know they were very successful by singers Tony Camilleri and Tony Gauci respectively.

Ray released a CD entitled Għadna Żgħar with twelve beautiful songs such as Qsamtli Qalbi, Sajda ta' Patist, Marouska u Janelle (dedicated to his two daughters), Ma Kienx Mument u Kieku Taf minn X’ Hiex Għaddejt. He had a double-A-Side single with his band We-Five called Kieku Taf Min X’hiex Għaddejt and Il-Muturi Lejn l-Armier the two songs comes penneds by Alfred C. Sant. The last single was released back in 2006 with the songs My Country World lyrics by Dorian Micallef and music by Andrew Zammit and Il-Mixja Fis-Skiet with lyrics and music by Augusto Cardinal.

During one of these competitions in Malta and she had seen the composer Sheila Roberts and offered him some songs, incidentally she had written some songs for Neil Reed who had the great success Mother Of Mind. Shiela Roberts had written him two songs that Ray had recorded and had sent them to England to study there, and he had done well, so much so that he had and at fifteen year old he got an invitation to go to England and Ray had gone to Shiela Roberts at Middlesex, there he also met Vince Laus in Luton who tried to enter the ITV Audition program ‘Opportunity Knocks' where he was the only Maltese who ever took part in it. Although unfortunately since he had Maltese Citizenship species were cut off, despite this Ray did not give up and after some time back in Malta he was raised again and changed his name from Ray Axisa to Ray Taylor even for the fact that his grandfather was Irish to be able to return go.

There he met Millionaire John Newton and it was he who applied for it again, although in this Audition he unfortunately did not go well or realized the way he changed his name he had not made it to the finals, despite this he was still a wonderful experience for Ray from whom he learns a lot.

After this adventure in February and March 1981 he went to Australia where he spent seven weeks, stayed with his uncle and even had a birthday party.

There he had done two shows, one of them for a fishing club, while in the other show there was on tour the weeping Maltese singer George Agius and Charles Iż-Żiffa who had organized the show and during this dinner dance they introduced him and ended up singing Freddie Portelli's famous song Viva Malta to the delight of the Maltese emigrants, after this show he had a very good write up in the Maltese Herrald magazine besides there was a band and they were they brought a notice that they were looking for a singer, and an old man had told him 'don't be tempted' try to sing with them' and Ray told him 'I'm tempted I'm not going back to Malta soon' and his uncle told him all for even though Ray was just 21 years old he already had two daughters. And he had joined this band called The Foriegners because their members were Italian, English, Australian and Maltese Ray, and so they started touring and playing in clubs in Australia. to get Ray back down to Malta, and they told him 'and yes how long it will take, to return back’ 'I went down and stay there 'because Ray's intercession was to earn some money, because' they didn't choose him!

Back in Malta over time he even ended up on the Malta Song for Europe committee and also had experiences going to the jury in competitions abroad such as Blatislava and Bulgaria when he went to Mark Tonna and Fabrizio Faniello who was the the first time he had competed outside. By the time Ray had started to slow down from the contest and had made some thirteen year old stunned by the sound. And he even organized several evenings as a Councilor. Ray Axisa's voice was also heard on various songs released on some cassettes or cd's of feast marches, political and even football celebrtion song. Today Ray is retired from singing and his happiness with his wife is enjoyed by their children and all their grandchildren.