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Philippa Naudi Opens Up About Her Musical Journey And X Factor With Jake On Malta’s Top 10


Singer, writer and producer Philippa Naudi known as one of the X Factor judges, sat down with Jake to discuss the journey that led up to her career as a member of The New Victorians.


The sister duo ‘The New Victorians’ basically started out very unexpectedly. From a very young age, Philippa and her sister Bettina showed their love for music especially since they grew up into a family that also were fond of music. At just 6 years old, Philippa was already playing the guitar and writing some music. The sisters’ first public performance took place during their cousin’s wedding when 13-year-old Philippa and Bettina were asked to sing.



A few years later, the sisters entered a song writing competition that took place in America and won in the youth division section. The prize was recording 3 demos in a studio, which was something very new to them. However, Philippa said that initially they had never planned out to continue singing together since herself and Bettina are completely opposites with Philippa being the energetic sister and Bettina being the more quiet one.


With the help of a family friend, the sisters got introduced to Howard Keith Debono after he sent him their demos. Philippa jokingly said that when they met him at the studio, they had no idea who he was. His comments after hearing only 20 seconds from their songs were that “they were talented” but the songs were “too complicated.” He also said that becoming established in the music industry wasn’t going to be easy especially since they were both females. However, this situation changed in the present as the industry has become dominated by women.


Sibling artists in a pandemic - The Malta Independent


Jake asked the singer about the style of music they’ve produced along these ten years as a duo and how much of it has changed. Philippa said that at the time, since they both didn’t know anything about music production, their music was organic with Bettina behind the piano and Philippa with the guitar. Thankfully, their parents stepped into to help and support them by providing them with the resources they needed such as a book about recording for dummies.


Eventually, Bettina wanted to experiment with their style of music and started studying audio production in London. In fact, in the present Bettina takes care of anything production related and Philippa usually gets involved with visuals and ideas. However, their unique selling point as artists was the harmony in their voices. Being sisters, their voices are different but still complimentary. Whilst Bettina’s voice has hoarse tones, Philippa’s is clearer making them compliment each other better.


Philippa was also asked about her opinion on what holds local artist back from trying to establish themselves in other countries outside of Malta as well. In her opinion, the situation is tricky in Malta because on one hand, Malta being a small country makes it easier to break into but on the other hand, an artist can’t remain stuck in Malta. Maltese artists also tend to see music as a hobby and prioritize a plan B just in case it doesn’t work out. The industry in the present is more saturated so making a bigger noise is harder.



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A post shared by philippa naudi (@philnaudi)


From her experience in a theatre company, she was used to a system where they said one thing they like and three things they would do better and this method of criticism worked best for her especially when the criticism came from people they trusted. In her opinion, criticism is respectful and should be in the artist’s interest to acknowledge and accept it.


During the podcast, Jake also asked her about her experience being a judge in The X Factor. Before being a judge, Philippa was scared because she wasn’t used to these things especially since she tends to talk fast. However, she kept in mind that during her career she valued help she received from mentors and wanted to give back and help push others further.



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A post shared by philippa naudi (@philnaudi)


Philippa said that although there was a negative mentality around groups, this mentality is changing as she noticed less resistance from participants to be in groups. In fact, this year there were more already formed groups with different styles. She sees a lot of potential in the groups but it all comes down to how much they’re willing to work.


She commented that so far the judges agreed on the decisions for the most part. She said: “The competition is what it is, your judge’s relationship with you is what it is, it’s subjective, some judges might be more inclined to one sound over another.” Philippa concluded by saying that up to this point, the judges houses phase in the competition was the most difficult because once she got to know the contestants, having to tell them that they can’t go forward was brutal.


Malta’s Top 10 with Jake will be back tonight at 9.30pm!