The European Broadcasting Union created the Eurovision Song Contest with the sole aim of uniting the country of one continent through the medium of song and Malta through the Public Broadcasting Services has been present for twenty five years noting twenty one appearances in the final stage of the competition with three qualifications and four non-qualifications from the semi-final system. The selection process used to search for the artist and the entry that will ultimately honour the colours of the flag is always one of the most predominant music showcases of the year with followers being both local and foreign hence the major investment. This year, as twenty four semi-finalists compete to represent Malta, exposure is key and escflashmalta.com is carrying out a set of professional reviews with the points awarded through a Eurovision system seemingly unveiled a winner through the programme Sas-Sitta on NET Television just days after the competition comes to an end. The fifth entry to be reviewed is Keep Believing performed, composed and penned by Raquela.
Entering the Malta Eurosong competition back in 2009 proved to be the beginning of an extremely successful career for Raquela noting that her entry Crossroads composed by Philip Vella and penned by Gerard James Borg had received the newcomer entry and was praised by the international media for discovering new talent. At the end of the evening, a mid-table placing was all she had to show despite the stunning performance but having had the opportunity to take part in a talent show in the preceding months and also perform with former Eurovision Song Contest representative was enough to get her going. Raquela reached the finals of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest in 2011 with a similar type of entry entitled If I Could Do It All Again composed by Marc Paelinck and penned by Matthias Strasser but this time was rather appreciated finishing in fifth place according to both the jury and the tele-voting. She decided to give the festival a miss for a year in which she took some time off before ultimately returning with a radio single bearing the name Entertain Me co-written between Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat. It reached the charts on 89.7 Bay and led to a number of events throughout the rest of the year. Doing the commentary for escflashmalta.com during the Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals must have given her the push she needed to return.
When the list of the qualifiers of the second phase had been published, it was revealed that the duo that make up the renowned Tenishia had been the songwriters of the track but this was only a mis-understanding noting that the entry Keep Believing was written by the performer herself but had been produced in the dance prodigies’ studio. This is a completely different style for Raquela whose main audience is seemingly inclined to liking her charming ballads in which she could showcase her power vocals in the best possible way. Unfortunately for the people, this is not the genre she has taken up this time round with dance music becoming more of an intriguing asset for her to explore. It is quite intriguing that she is the songwriter of this song considering that she has never written her own material before but most likely, she did go with the idea of the melody to her production team and they created it together. There has actually been a lot of talk with regards to this entry which somewhat suits the vein of the winning entry of the 2012 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, Euphoria as many songs being presented in foreign national finals seemingly denote. Feedback has been mixed but with the right draw, this could actually be one of those dark horses on the night, supposing that the jury sees that there is an image and a voice behind this package.
The Critics Speak Out
Sharon Vaughn: Technically speaking, this track sounds like a medley of songs which I would not want to hear once more.
Martin Isherwood: A good voice. Takes forever to get to somewhere that feels like a Drop or Chorus. Unusual song structure and odd mix of folky melodies and dance beats. Got some of the elements required but doesn’t feel enough like a song
Stano Simor: Choosing dance music for Eurosong 2013 is definitely right. Gimmick at the end of the song is also good. I think the voice of Raquela does not fit with her color. The first half of the song part is not strong enough. It is extremely important that the song garners an audience.
Roberto Meloni: Well, the exact contrary of the title of the song. She looks so insecure, not believing in what she is doing at all! On the other hand, I would feel the same on that stage trying to figure out the meaning of all those messy vowels sung in a row!
Lina Eriksson: Singer/songwriter Raquela. In the beginning I really like this hybrid of song and remix. But like most remixes it gets a bit boring with all the repetition and I find myself still waiting for the big chorus when the song has ended.
Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com