Żaren Ellul ta' Fellusu

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Żaren Ellul ta' Fellusu

Żaren Ellul ta' Fellusu.

is an improvised verse folk singer from Żebbuġ, Malta. He was born on the 7th February 1954 to Żaru l-Koppi from Ħal Kirkop and Karmena ta' Fellusa from Żebbuġ.

Żaren was raised in his mother’s home town, Żebbug and hence he was known with the nickname of his mother’s family. He practices the trade of a stonemason, which he insists is different from that of a bricklayer. (In Maltese we distinguish between l-Imgħallem, who is the senior builder and the rest of the crew, who have to follow his instructions).

Born in a family of nine boys and two girls, he has one other brother Żeppi Ellul ta' Fellusu, aka Żeppi ż-Żebbugi, who also folk sings. His mother Karmena folk sang l-għana tal-banju. This left an impression on young Żaren as well as his older brother by nine years, Żeppi.

He started his folk singing at the age of fifteen, when paired with Duminku Sciriha Il-Qerrieda, also from Żebbug, at the wine shop ran by Leli z-Zagogu in the limits of Ħal Dwin and Ħal Mula, both areas in Żebbuġ. Iz-Zagogu used to record these sessions on open reel, but it is not known if they have survived. Żaren also folk sang with a ten-year old Jesmond Galea tal-Kalora and with Karmnu ċ-Ċiequ, near Tad-Dawl.

He has never folk sung a ballad, although he likes Żaren Mifsud ta' Vestru 's Ġużeppi u Maria and his brother's Il-Kaċċatur u l-Bidwija, which was recorded in 2011.

His favourite folk singer is Ninu Galea l-Kalora for his ability to maintain the chosen subject in his improvised verse and keep a rhythm and two other favourites are Pawlu Degabriele l-Bies and Salvu Darmanin Ir-Ruġel.

Ellul believes that the golden years of għana were the Sixties, with the arrival of a crop of talented folk singers, who were literate, in an era when the invasion of Anglo-American pop music on the local airwaves was in its beginnings.

Żaren has reactivated his presence on the għana circuit since 2006, after a hiatus of many years. In the 2013 Għanafest edition he took part in a nofs għanja bout with his brother Żeppi and is now a regular in folk music events. He is also noted for his wide command and able usage of Semitic words, at times colourful, in his improvised verse.

Żaren Ellul ta' Fellusu with brother Żeppi at Trust Pub, Żejtun, August 2013.

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