Tenor Cliff Zammit Stevens celebrates a decade of music

Tenor Cliff Zammit Stevens speaks about what this milestone means to him, and the personal spur that pushes him forward

Cliff Zammit Stevens
Cliff Zammit Stevens

Why is this 10-year milestone important to you, and what do you hope to communicate with your loyal audience through it?

It’s a massive accomplishment for me to have performed and organised my annual concerts for the past 10 years. I look back to when I started in the intimate setting of St James Music room and would never have imagined to be performing at St George Square with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra and Ira Losco as my special guest 10 years later. There is so much work and preparation to organise such an event but it is always so rewarding and such a humble moment for me. I have worked on a very special programme with a repertoire that ranges from the classical era to current pop chart tunes which will definitely please everyone attending.

Ahead of this concert, you’ve also collaborated with Ira Losco for a cover of the beloved Maltese song ‘Xemx’. What led you to this idea, and was it like to collaborate with Ira?

Xemx was one of my Mum’s favourite songs and so I felt it was very apt to dedicate this song to her. Ira is a true professional and one of the most humble artists I have ever had the honour to work with and so it was a beautiful journey collaborating and recording the single. We are also super excited to be performing Xemx for the first time during my upcoming concert. All proceeds from Xemx will go to the Marcy Foundation, which I have recently launched.

Cliff Zammit Stevens
Cliff Zammit Stevens

Could you speak a bit about the Marcy Foundation, and the work that it engages in?

The Foundation was founded in memory of my late mother, Marcelline, known by everyone as Marcy. My mother never judged anyone, instead she went out of her way to help anyone who needed help. For this reason, I have decided to carry on her way of being by setting up a foundation that creates awareness about subjects that are stigmatised.

The Marcy Foundation will focus on five main pillars, which are: Domestic Violence, Mental Health, Child Abuse, Drug Abuse and HIV. My family and people very close to me have had experiences in all these areas and therefore these causes are very much at heart.

All these subjects are considered taboo and not freely spoken about – on the other hand, my mum would sit down and sip her coffee and talk about anything with anyone with no shame or judgement.

Who was she to judge? Who is anyone to judge? We all have our baggage to carry, and those with the heavier baggage should feel comfortable to speak openly about their problems in order to seek comfort and help which they deserve.

The Foundation is created on the values of honesty, kindness and open-mindedness, as after all, that was my mum – an honest, kind and open-minded person.

We are aware that there are many campaigns, foundations, organisations, which are already working hard at helping these victims and raising awareness in relation to these issues. The Marcy Foundation is not a competitor with these agencies – it aims to create awareness not by offering services which are already well provided for by other service providers, but it aims to spread the message, to spread the information in order to raise awareness about these issues and make it “okay not to be okay”.

Only when a multitude of persons speak up will society realise that everyone is affected in some way or another by these issues and therefore will be less concerned with judging others and rather focus on how we can prevent or at least lessen the instances of these events happening.

Cliff Zammit Stevens will be performing his 10-year anniversary concert at St George Square, Valletta on October 3 at 21:00. Ira Losco will be accompanying him as a special guest. Tickets: https://www.showshappening.com/