Ben “Loyal” Attard from the south of Malta, is known for his unique acoustic singing style across the Maltese islands. During the last series of X Factor Malta, he captured a loyal following of fans. Air Malta caught up with the singer to find out what he’s been up to since his television debut and his top tips for things to do in Malta.

Ben Loyal Attard | X factor | Air Malta
Image Credit X factor Malta (PBS)

Hi Ben! You’ve had a whirlwind year; how would you describe things since X-Factor?

As far as 2019 goes, X factor opened up new opportunities and new experiences that have been genuinely magical. Before I had to chase people to hire me, but now I can’t believe I am the one being chased. On New Year’s Eve, I played an exclusive gig at the Xara Palace Hotel in Mdina. It was amazing, I drove and parked inside the silent city, which is something only Mdina residents get to do.

Unfortunately, as we all know, 2020 took quite a turn. Although I landed quite a few gigs I had to postpone quite a number due to COVID-19. After some measures were lifted, I’ve had just one gig so far. Hopefully, things will pick up, as I still practice- I am always learning and creating new material.

How would you describe your musical style for those that may not have heard of you?

That’s a tough question, my style varies depending on what I am singing and how I am feeling. I guess my style is more – my voice directing me, instead of me directing my voice. Some songs I can ever so softly whilst other pieces require more gruff tones and projection.

Ben Loyal | things to do in Malta | Air Malta
Image Credit X Factor Malta (PBS)

What are your biggest inspirations?

My first inspiration was definitely Jason Mraz. In my eyes, he is such a talented artist. It would be my ultimate dream to meet him, and I would probably pass out if I had to sing beside him. His lyrics resonate with many and are very profound. I do believe Jason has opened the door for other musicians such as Ed Sheeran, George Ezra and Hozier. These three artists are also a significant influence in my music style, along with James Blunt.

What’s next for Ben Loyal?

As mentioned earlier, due to COVID-19, I am not sure what’s next. I wish I could audition for The Voice, perhaps the Italian version. Though it would be equally impressive to try The Voice of UK, Australia, or America, as those are all highly regarded.

Where would you recommend tourists to visit in the Maltese islands?

Where to begin? Well, you can’t plan a holiday to Malta without putting the beautiful and historic capital city, Valletta, on your list. Naturally, one must also visit Mdina, known as the silent city. This fortified city in the north of Malta boasts beautiful quaint streets, maze-like alleyways and stunning views. Be sure to head to the south to explore the fishing village of Marsaxlokk. At the opposite end of the island, venture North to experience the breathtaking countryside of Mellieha. While you are there, don’t forget to visit our sister island, Gozo!

Any other top tourist tips?

Don’t just google places to visit as it will only give you the most prominent touristy spots. Make friends with the locals, they just might take you to sites that are yet to be discovered by many, including the Maltese!