Songs like “Flower in the Vault” and “Wherever the Heart Loves” are among the most popular songs in the Maltese language, despite having never won anything at a song festival.
To mark fifty years since the beginning of his music career, Mike Spiteri told us that he has sung these songs thousands of times and that it is not true that the Maltese is too harsh a language and does not lend itself to melodious songs.
Fifty years ago, Mike Spiteri sang on stage for the first time and soon after was invited to be the lead singer of the rock group, Dragster which was very popular with students.
From there he became one with progressive rock music and began a full-time career as a professional singer.
“Raising a family from a music career is a bit tough but I managed because I was very careful.”
The father of three children says that the life of a performer and entertainer is not easy but that he managed to stay put because he was determined and willing to make many sacrifices.
“There was a time when I would simply sleep and sing. You can’t live like that. Today I appreciate where I live. I like the quiet, the peace and the greenery and it is important for me because the life of a performer, at might, takes its toll.”
After some years working in Tunisia, in the early eighties, he returned to Malta and won the International Malta Song festival with the song ‘Computer’. But the songs he is most famous for are Flower in the Vault and ‘Wherever the heart loves’ even if never won festivals with them.
“I personally prefer ‘Wherever the heart loves’, but ‘Flower in the Vault’is very popular and is a happy, upbeat song.
The most cherished moment in his long career was in 1995 when he took part in the Eurovision Song Contest with the song ‘Keep me in mind’, where he came in tenth place among 23 countries.
“When you are representing Malta and you are called up on stage ”and now this is Malta” at that moment you feel many many things.”
“And those are moments that you never forget.”
In the latest edition of “Għajna tal=Poplu”, Mike Spiteri and Hooligan were recognised for their contribution to Maltese song which Mike Spiteri believes should be nurtured and given the importance it deserves.
“There was a time when we criticised our language for being harsh and not melodious but it is not true because if you have a melodious song then you have a good song.”