Malta: Reviewing the track 'This Is The Night'Written by Marc Calleja Bayliss
Over the past couple of months, it has been well noted that the relations between Malta and Azerbaijan have been very strong due to the fact that the Public Broadcasting Services and Ictimai Television have worked closely together in order to ensure a successful partnership for this year and for many years to come. The fourth country to be performing on Thursday, the night of the second semi-final of this years' Eurovision Song Contest is none other than Malta, a country of mixed fortunes in the showcase especially as of late noting that the tide of the former century seems to have turned. This time round, the small nation in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea is being represented by Kurt Calleja and his entry bearing the name This Is The Night written by Johan Jämtberg, Mikael Gunnerås & Kurt Calleja.
Kurt took his first singing audition when he was very young merely to join the school choir because he wanted to be with his friends. Years later he was chosen to sing in the children's choir during the last visit to Malta of his Holiness Pope John Paul II. It was only in 2005 that Kurt took singing very seriously. In 2008 Kurt moved to the UK for a year to work as an air steward. During this period in England, Kurt spent most of his free time studying the piano and performing in a number of small venues such as restaurants, bars and clubs.
Back in Malta he started off as a backing vocalist on a television variety show and later as a solo singer on another family show on the national television station. Kurt has taken part in several television programmes. The year 2010 got Kurt to perform in a duet in the national final of the Malta Song For Europe. Actually, 2010 was quite a successful year for Kurt as he took part and won the international festival called Orfeo In Italia, a festival that is held in Venice.
Kurt Calleja has also been part of a number of local events including the Farsons Beer Festival amongst others. Nevertheless, one particular occasion which is truly noteworthy is the time when Kurt performed as a supporting act for world famous Zucchero. The song This Is The Night is written by Kurt Calleja and composed by Johan Jämtberg, Mikael Gunnerås. Kurt together with the composers is working on his first album which will be out shortly.
The Critics Voice Their Opinion
- At last – an up-tempo song! Kurt has a charming charisma and smile, good vocals and performs a simple, efficient and danceable song with a modern pop dance touch. My fear is that the song might be a little too simple, especially the first part of the chorus (“This is the night” etc.) Though the “oh-oh-oh” ending of the chorus has a great hook. I would have loved to hear more of Kurt’s higher vocal range, which would’ve brought even more energy into the song. But – I believe Malta will reach the finals! Let's go with a total of seven (7) points for this one.
- I must say that this track sounds like a mashup between the Spanish; Enrique Iglesias and the American; Usher, a dancefloor song performed by a lovely guy. This is a worthy effort from the nation, nine (9) points are truly deserved!
- A really bleak and washed-out song, saved a bit by charismatic Kurt behind the microphone. He radiates warmth and likeability, and I sincerely wish he will find something more meaningful to perform at a later stage of his career. I am slightly less optimistic than my colleagues above in giving him five (5) points for this performance.
Performer: Kurt Calleja
Composers: Johan Jämtberg, Mikael Gunnerås & Kurt Calleja
Authors: Johan Jämtberg, Mikael Gunnerås & Kurt Calleja
Song: This Is The Night
History of the Nation
Malta have had quite the interesting record in the Eurovision Song Contest and this year will be celebrating twenty-five years in the event like Iceland actually who have a similar history to the small Mediterranean nation. Over the course of time, the nation that is yet to win the Eurovision Song Contest has finished third on two occasions, the first being in 1992 as Mary Spiteri and her track Little Child finished in third place and then in 1998 when Chiara and her debut entry The One That I love. Apart from this, Malta has laso finished second on two ocassions, the first one being in 2002 when the local pop/rock chic Ira Losco performed the song 7th Wonder to amaze the audience in Tallinn and then in 2005 when a breathtaking performance of Angel by Chiara made the audience weep. since the introduction of the semi-finals, Malta has only made the final twice, in 2004 with On Again...Off Again by Julie & Ludwig and in 2009 with Chiara and her third entry What If We. In the past two years, Malta has missed out but only just with seven points in 2010 and just one point in 2011.