Etienne Pawney In-Naxxari

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Etienne Pawney In-Naxxari

Etienne Pawney In-Naxxari.

is a folksinger from Naxxar. Born on the 13th October 1985, he was baptized in Bormla but at the age of two, his family moved to Naxxar, a locality in northern Malta. He has Scottish ancestry through his great-grandfather.

His father is James Pawney Jimmy Il-Bormliż. It was through his dad that he inherited the love for għana. At the tender age of thirteen, he sang at the Ħamrun Pigeon Club.

Five folk singers were already available, and although there is an accepted rule that spirtu pront can be sung with odd numbers, with one singer in the role of il-farrad, to allow this child an opportunity, the other singers agreed that they'd sing in pairs of three, thus giving Etienne his first chance to showcase his talent.

The young Pawney was paired with Michael Brignone l-Wesu, whereas the other folksingers included his father James, Leli Axisa l-Baqra and Salvu Cassar Il-Ħamra.

Etienne has an older brother, James Pawney Jimmy iż-Żgħir who had also started to folk sing, but went through stoppages and interruptions, although he folk sang again on the 30th August 2013 at the Klabb tal-Boċċi ta' San Ġorġ in Qormi; and another younger brother Costantino Pawney, born in 1987, who had a temporary stint as a folk singer too.

Pawney's favourite folksinger is Pawlu Seychell l-Għannej, since his voice is clear and did not harbour malice in his improvised verse, and another favourite is Ninu Galea l-Kalora, who excelled in replies, in the botta u risposta form.

Etienne Pawney In-Naxxari and Fredu Grima d-Dimonju in Qormi, August 2013.

He has several favourite folk ballads, including two by Żeppi Spagnol Il-Kelba about the fireworks tragedy in Birkirkara, which occurred on the 27th June 2007, and the Xatt ir-Risq tragedy during regatta day and another ballad about champion horse Isard du Pont, sung by Mikiel Cutajar Is-Superstar.

As an eighteen year old, in 2003 Pawney was invited to folk sing in Australia by his uncle Reno Grima. During these three months, he folk sang in Melbourne at the Klabb tal-Għannejja, Albion Club and Ir-Rampa. He also sang at the Ħamrun Club in Sydney, where he exchanged witful bouts of folk song with Salvu Galea tal-Kalora, Żaren Attard Il-Bukkaċ, Ġużeppi Azzopardi Ras Il-Bagħal, Toni Zerafa l-Kampanjol, Michael Magrin Iż-Żabbari and Fredu Cachia l-Fra.

Pawney is regularly invited at events organized by Mikiel Cutajar Is-Superstar and Vince Cumbo tal-Iżgej. He is acquiring fame for his incisive lyrics and determined use of voice in improvised verse.

Etienne Pawney In-Naxxari folk singing in Marsaxlokk, 2013.

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