14 – 20 February 2001

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Freddie Portelli CD launch

By Nadine Brincat

Local music icon and Elvis look alike, Freddie Portelli, launched his eighth CD album, the first triple album to be recorded by a local artist, yesterday at a press conference held jointly between Exotique, Cisk, and Dive at the Hard Rock Café, at Bay Street.

Freddie Portelli's newly released album, Reaching Out, consists of 42 tracks spread over three CDs. Seven of the songs feature Claudette Portelli, Freddie's daughter, when she was aged between 12 and 15 years.

Grace Borg, Director of Exotique, proudly announced Mr Portelli's album, appealed once again to local authorities to put an end to piracy, which she views as no less than theft.

When asked about the Napster ruling by The Business Times, Ms Borg said that the site was facilitating piracy, "the world is aware about piracy and authorities want to stop it. It seems that only local authorities are not as intent on the issues," she claimed.

During his address, Freddie Portelli said that he viewed piracy as a cancer, "it kills the industry, not only financially, but even when it comes to artists' morale," he explained. Although the popular local artist, has seven CDs under his sleeve, one of which is Ghal Dejjem, a record selling double album, this is his first official CD launch. Mr Portelli thanked his sponsors, adding he was grateful for the help he received, acknowledging the obstacles faced by local artists trying to break out in the music scene.

Freddie Portelli, well known abroad, particularly with Maltese persons living abroad, decided to record the album in English so as to reach this audience too.

Ms Borg also took the occasion to announce that Exotique, which has an outlet at the Tripoli airport, will be opening another shop in the Tunes airport, shortly. "Malta is a small market, and sales are limited. By opening stores abroad, we can widen our market, and promote local artists among foreign customers," she said.

Freddie Portelli will be performing live at Hard Rock Café, tomorrow evening, while a Freddie Portelli imitation contest was organised on campus last night. When asked by The Business Times, Freddie Portelli said the contest is an occasion for his many imitators to enjoy themselves. A spokesperson from Di-ve stressed the close link between Freddie Portelli and the company, which webcast one of his concert, reaching a very good following, adding the CD can be purchased on-line from the site di-ve.com.

The Business Times, Network House, Vjal ir-Rihan San Gwann SGN 07
Tel: (356) 382741-3, 382745-6 | Fax: (356) 385075 | e-mail: editorial@networkpublications.com.mt