24 May 2017

Maltese singer and artist Amber is thrilled to announce the launch of her single called "What They Say". The song forms part of Amber's upcoming debut album which will be released later this year in Europe and the United States of America.

“What They Say” is composed with Amber in mind. It is a pop song with a dash of jazz, a characteristic that distinguishes Amber from many other pop artists. What makes this song special for Amber is the fact that she took an active role from the initial concept to production. The song is a rhythm and blues (R'n'B) song mixed with Amber’s jazzy and bluesy voice, which makes a unique and interesting blend. Amber’s vocal uniqueness is highlighted in this song to offer the listener a very pleasant texture.

“What They Say” is the creation of Matt Muxu Mercieca, an established singer and song writer and Elton Zarb, an accomplished musician who has scored for movies released by Universal and eOne, with the participation of Amber. “What They Say” is available for download from iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google Play and other online digital stores. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about Amber, Malta's participant in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: Press Release

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Friday, 01 January 2016 15:02

2015: Reviewing a Successful Year in Music

Every year brings with it a number of events, festivals and lots of new material that many appreciate and play over and over throughout the year. The editorial board of escflashmalta.com decided to have a look back at the main highlights of 2015, the year in which no Malta Eurovision festival was held because it was held back in late 2014 but other annual competitions keeping the singers busy such as; l-Għanja Tal-Poplu, Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, the Summer Hit Song Contest and for the very first time a singers competition for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.  There were quite a number of events that kept our site busy and also our readers on the lookout for the next event.

The year surely started in full swing for Amber who after winning the right to represent Malta in November of 2014, a lot of work was done to ensure that the song is given the right boost and everything would be ready for the big night in Vienna. Sadly, Malta finished in 11th place in the semi-final and missed out on a chance to compete in the grand final in Vienna but this whole experience was surely one to treasure for the Maltese ‘Warrior’ and as we head into 2016, Amber is ready to release her first singe ‘What They Say’ by the same team behind ‘Warrior’, Elton Zarb and Matthew Mercieca. 

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The first local festival of the year, happened to be one in Maltese in 2015 in the name of ‘L-Għanja Tal-Poplu’, a festival that has been going for a number of years and has a good following thanks to the importance it gives to the themes of the songs. The winner of the festival was the song ‘Ġismi’ interpreted by newcomer Ecca Muscat. Mark and Matthew Pellicano’s composition attracted a lot of attention from the beginning, thanks to its graphic theme which deals with sexual abuse in fact, Mark Pellicano, the author behind this number won the prestigious  award for the best social theme in the festival. Raquel Galdes finished as the first runner up with the song ‘Ċans Ieħor’ which was penned by Daniel Paul Farrugia and Norbert Borg, whilst Rita Pace ended in third place with ‘Battibekk’ she wrote along side Emil Calleja Bayliss and Paul Attard. 

Following this event, the finalists of other competition were announced but the attention turned to towards the Junior Malta Eurovision Song Contest, where for the very first time 20 singers competed for the right to represent Malta in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Bulgaria. The three favourites from the get go where, Christina Magrin, Veronica Rotin and Destiny Chukunyere, and these three super talented girls surely did not disappoint as they belted out their number and managed to finish in the top three positions. Destiny Chukunyere was the one who ended up on top. After consultation with her team, PBS selected the song that Destiny was going to sing in Bulgaria which was composed by Elton Zarb and penned by Matthew Mercieca, the team behind Malta’s last two Junior Eurovision entries and Malta’s 2015 Eurovision entry.

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Destiny gave her input in the song to both in the composition and also with the lyrics, these prooved to be vital in coming up with a number that suits Destiny’s voice and personality. The creation of a memorable, catchy number in terms of ‘Not My Soul’ was surely a successful formula – Destiny arrived in Bulgaria as one of the top favourites to win the Junior Eurovision for the second time for Malta and she did not let anyone down. She delivered the performance of a lifetime and won the competition with the biggest score to date – managing the rare feat of winning both the public vote and the jury vote. The win was well merited, throughout that week in Bulgaria, Destiny was nicknamed mini Aretha Franklin and we’re sure we will be hearing more of her in the years to come.

The annual Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza saw a number of new names in the competition, mixed with others who were no strangers to this festival. The result was slightly unexpected as Analise Mifsud’s self penned ‘Kuraġġ’ won the judges hearts with her simple yet very well sung number, a song that speaks about finding the inner strength to fight when you hit an all time low. This was Annalise’s second participation in this event and one can say she went by unnoticed until the final night where she emerged victorious over Dorcas Debono’s ‘Ma Ninsa Qatt’ written by Dominic Cini and Rita Pace which finished in second place and Dario Bezzina’s ‘Dment Li Malti Ħaj’ written by Ray Agius, which was seen as one of the top contenders from the beginning.

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Two other winners who emerged in the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza were Mikaela Bajada who won the New Talent Section and Paolo Micallef who triumphed in the second edition of Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza Junior. Mikaela Bajada reached the finals of the prestigious event and went on to win this section with the song ‘Għandi Ħolma’, a composition of Mark Spiteri Lucas & Francesco Pio Attard.

On the other hand, Paolo Micallef won the judges with his quirky number ‘Maġija B’Tekonloġija’ a composition of Augusto Cardinali and Etienne Micallef – he gave a very intriguing performance as through it he gave the song life. This was Paolo’s second participation in the event and surely celebrated his lucky birthday on the day of the festival. In second place was Nicole Falzon with the beautiful ballad 'Ngħix Ħolma', a composition of Mark Spiteri Lucas and Emil Calleja Bayliss, and in third place, another ballad, this time with a social theme in the form of "Inħobbkom It-Tnejn", a composition of Dominic Cini and Chris Azzopardi, with vocals provided by Rutger Scicluna Galea.

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The Summer Hit Song Contest returned for the second consecutive after having a break of nearly three years. The winner of this edition was the song ‘Tabula Rasa’ sung by the bubbly Julie Pomorksi who won her second festival, ten years after triumphing in L-Għanja Tal-Poplu as a young teenager. Her number was composed by Augusto Cardinali and Giovann Attard, she also had her input in both the composition and the lyrics. It was the first time for Julie, giving a go at songwriting and with the help of Augusto and Giovann, she wrote the beautiful and intriguing ‘Tabula Rasa’. The runner up of the competition was Michela Galea, who also managed to win two awards which are unique to local competitions, she won the best duet with ‘Bounce Back’ singing alongside Janvil and also the best Maltese Cover with ‘Għanja’, an original of Nadine Axisa. This composition was by Renato Briffa and Emil Calleja Bayliss. The second runner up of the competition was Danica Muscat with ‘Amour’, a song composed and penned by Philip Vella. 

2015 year finished off with the announcement of the 20 finalists of the Malta Eurovision, all fighting for a chance to represent Malta in Stockholm, Sweden among the competitors there’s the return of former Eurovision runner-up Ira Losco, who made her return to the local competition with two numbers after months of speculation of whether she will participate or not. Yet, the race is surely still wide open, with 20 strong numbers and varies styles which appeal to different people – in fact both locals and foreigners discussed how this could be one of the best Maltese national selections in a while. The competition will in fact open the festival season in the fourth weekend of January, with the semi-finals on the 22nd of January and the finals the next day.

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One rumour which went round during 2015 was the possible return of  the ‘Festival Internazzjonali Tal-Kanzunetta Maltija’ but unfortunately it was not the case, seems that it was put aside for 2015 for some reason or another. A real pity because it gave light to a number of new Maltese songs in the last edition and gave the enthusiasts another festival to look forward to on a national scale. Yet, so far it was not meant to be. Let’s hope that 2015 would be a year were one gets to celebrate through more competitions and more songs to feast the keen Maltese music lover. 

On behalf of the editorial team of escflashmalta.com, we would like to wish you a Happy New Year filled with joy, health and success in whatever your heart desires. We urge you to keep following escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the local music scene in 2016. All the best! 

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Published in Opinions
Friday, 04 September 2015 18:51

MESC 2016: PBS Publishes Rules and Regulations

PBS (Public Broadcasting Services), the national broadcaster, responsible for Malta's participation at events organised by the European Broadcasting Union, has just published the rules and regulations for participation in the 2016 Malta Eurovision Song Contest.

At a glance, it seems that there have not been any major changes to the national selection format, noting that each participant will have to submit an original song, pertaining to the requirements as set forth by the European Broadcasting Union, as well as a cover song, which could be either a previously released track by the aforementioned participant or a favourite song in the genre which best suits the applicant.

One of the few changes is that all the vocals during the first and second part of the final phase have to be LIVE, due to the fact that they have to be replicated as such during the Eurovision Song Contest. Submissions will be accepted at the PBS Creativity Hub on the 29th and 30th October 2015 at a fee of €150.

The announcement of the 20 finalists will be made in November, with the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2016 set to take place in January. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news on who will follow our "Warrior", the powerhouse Amber to the international spectacle.

Source: PBS

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Earlier this afternoon, the first dress rehearsal for the second semi-final took place at the Wiener Stadhalle in Vienna, Austria as the Eurovision Song Contest heads into another eventful showcase, after noting the success of Albania, Armenia, Russia, Romania, Hungary, Greece, Estonia, Georgia, Serbia, Belgium. In a striking performance, filled to the brim with confidence, Amber gave her utmost and shone as she sang "Warrior", her original song penned by Matt 'Muxu' Mercieca with music by Elton Zarb.

Tonight! Our "Warrior" will have another dress rehearsal, and it is quite an important one, noting that the professional juries across the 17 competing countries as well as Australia, Italy, Germany, and the United Kingdom will be deciding 50% of the final results. Remember that escflashmalta.com will be LIVE blogging through the Facebook and Twitter accounts for all the three shows with stars such as; Davinia, Brooke, Danica Muscat, Christabelle, Marie Claire Attard Bason and Karen DeBattista amongst others. Stay tuned!

Source: eurovisionaryeurovision song malta

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On Monday, the Wiener Stadhalle in Vienna, Austria will be welcoming an audience for the very first time, as the dress rehearsals for the first semi-final kick-off an extremely busy week, one which will lead to the grand final on Saturday 23rd May 2015. In a formal event, used an an introductory meet and greet, the participants of the biggest music competition in the world gather round and relax, prior to the week long journey.

Clad in a beautiful emerald green dress, Amber took to the red carpet, accompanied by songwriters Elton Zarb and Matt 'Muxu' Mercieca, whilst accompanied by the Maltese Delegation, led by Anton Attard. Our "Warrior" will take to the stage on Thursday in slot number #5. Remember that escflashmalta.com will be LIVE blogging through the Facebook and Twitter accounts for all the three shows with stars such as; Davinia, Brooke, Danica Muscat, Christabelle, Marie Claire Attard Bason and Karen DeBattista amongst others. Stay tuned!

Source: eurovision.tv

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It is hard to believe that it has already been a long week of rehearsals at the Wiener Stadhalle in Vienna, Austria and today marks the second time that the acts of the 2nd semi-final take to the stage, including our very own "Warrior", Amber. Vocally flawless, there was a certain aura surrounding the vocalist that saw her feeling more at ease with the surroundings, and thus emerging as more relaxed on camera. 

The beautiful black lace, shimmers through the blue light, and creates a rather beautiful visual. Once the songs' chorus kicks in, a change of colour ensues, with orange becoming predominant as wings are shown on screen to emit the idea of being independent, free and fighting for what you believe in.

This was a much polished rehearsal, which only augurs well for Amber, Elton Zarb, Matt 'Muxu' Mercieca, and the rest of the Maltese Delegation, as the date of the semi-final etches closer. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about Malta's participation in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015.

Source: eurovision.tv

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In an extremely self-assured run through of rehearsals, Amber proved to be a vocal powerhouse, banging down the walls of the Wiener Stadhalle in order to ascertain that the "Warrior" had arrived. Composed by Elton Zarb, with lyrics by Matt 'Muxu' Mercieca, the song strives to empower both female and male genders as they encompass what could be defined as difficult and troubling times.

Wearing a long black dress, with lace embroidery and a belt, Amber aims to bring out the emotion in the viewer as she connects well with the camera. During the rehearsal, she stood at the centre of a dark stage bathed in blue lights, before switching to fiery orange and gold towards the latter part of the song. According to our sources in the arena and press centre, this looked good on camera.

For a first rehearsal, this was positive, and things could only get better in the coming days, as more rehearsals ensue. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about Malta's participation in the Eurovision Song Contest 2015.

Source: eurovision.tv

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Amber, the female vocalist chosen to represent Malta at the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest with "Warrior", an original song penned by Matt 'Muxu' Mercieca to the music of Elton Zarb, will be giving a LIVE interview to Juergen Boernig of Radio International in The Netherlands, just days prior to her departure for Vienna, Austria.

Apart from the means of FM Radio in the Netherlands on FM 106.8 and the audio stream from the studio via www.radiointernational.tv and on Digital Cable 781 & Cable 8.1Mhz in the Netherlands, the show will also be web-televised via the Radio International TV Channel from the studio and linking up the many international Eurovision fans and friends and play your requests and read your messages out on air. The simulcast will be from 2000 – 2300 hours CET when fans can join in and chat amongst each other via the Chat Room and request their favourite Eurovision entry.

A quick reminder that the Maltese entry "Warrior" is available for purchase through iTunes, and also available for streaming on Spotify. In Vienna, Amber will be taking to the stage in position number #5 during the second semi-final slated for the 21st May 2015. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: JJ ChircopPress Release

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In November 2014, a panel of professional judges from five different countries, along with the public unanimously agreed that "Warrior", written by Elton Zarb and Matt 'Muxu' Mercieca with vocals provided by Amber would represent Malta at the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, Austria. It has been a busy fortnight for the female singer, going onto give two sold-out concert at the Mediterranean Conference Centre before jetting off to Russia and the United Kingdom on a promotional trip, which will see her perform in two major events.

First up is the Eurovision Gala Concert organised by Graffa Media and Communications Agency which is taking place this evening at 19:00 (GMT+3) at the Place De Paris, Korston Hotel, which is one of the major hotels in Moscow. Amber, will be starring along with another eleven international acts from the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest including representatives from Belarus, Iceland, Australia, San Marino, Montenegro, FYR Macedonia, Israel, Azerbaijan, the United Kingdom and Russia as well as a number of former participants. This event in particular is being highly publicised in Russia, and will be preceded by a red-carpet entrance.

The second event on the itinerary is the London Eurovision Party which is taking place at the Cafe de Paris and which Malta has taken part in for the past couple of years, noting that Firelight, Gianluca Bezzina, and Kurt Calleja were all amongst the acts to have made the trip. Fifteen acts will be present this time round, those coming from the United Kingdom, Australia, Sweden, Norway, Switzerland, Germany, Malta, Latvia, Austria, Hungary, Montenegro, Cyprus, Greece, Moldova and the Czech Republic. A couple of former representatives, including the aforementioned Kurt Calleja and Ray Caruana, who represented the United Kingdom in 1989 will be amongst the special guests.

A quick reminder that the Maltese entry "Warrior" is available for purchase through iTunes, and also available for streaming on Spotify. In Vienna, Amber will be taking to the stage in position number #5 during the second semi-final slated for the 21st May 2015. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: tvm.com.mt, JJ Chircop

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One of the most talked about acts preceding the 2015 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest has surely been Genealogy, a 6-piece super group comprising of Essai Altounian, Tamar Kaprelian, Vahe Tilbian, Stephanie Topalian, Mary-Jean O'Doherty and Inga Arshakyan who will take the stage to perform 'Face the Shadow' on behalf of Armenia.

As part of their promotional campaign, Genealogy are sending Good Luck wishes to all the participants in this year's edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, whether or not competing in the first semi-final, as is Armenia. As a matter of fact, yesterday was Malta's turn, with the Official Facebook Page of the group posting a lovely message in Maltese, stating "Xorti tajba Malta mill-Armenja". In recent years, relations between Malta and Armenia have been very strong, as noted at the 2015 Malta Eurovision Song Contest where Gohar Gasparyan, Head of Delegation, was a member of the Professional Jury.

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We remind you that the Maltese representative will be the featured star in "Amber in Concert - Warrior" taking place on Friday 17th and Saturday 18th April 2015, before jetting off to promotional visits to Russia and the United Kingdom. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about Amber, and her journey to the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, Austria.

Source: Genealogy (Official Facebook Page)

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