29 June 2017

In 2014, a local music competition known as the Summer Hit Song Contest was revived, with the aim being to submit entries with a particular vibe, one which radio stations across the country would not have any issue in promoting through airplay. A professional panel of judges assessed the quality of each respective submission before reaching a desired result, one which gave success to the song "Back To..", written by Mark Scicluna and Emil Calleja Bayliss, with vocals provided by Domenique.

It has been around 4 months since then, and the organising committee, in conjunction with F Living is proud to announce the 6th edition of the Summer Hit Song Contest, with the rules and regulations made public. There are no major amendments, apart from the fact that songwriters, irrespective of nationality are now permitted to submit entries. For the FULL version of Regulations along with the Applications, please send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and it will be answered back as soon as possible.

Each submission is to be handed in against a fee of €50 in total. Submissions will be received at BME Studios in Luqa on the 21st March 2015, between 10 o'clock in the morning, and 1 o'clock in the afternoon (10 am till 1 pm). There are cash prizes to be won by the top three of the competition, whilst the winner of the sms voting will get a seperate award as to ascertain a professional choice. For more information, visit the Official Facebook Page

Even though the competition will feature 18 different acts, 1 has already been given the greenlight to proceed, having been given the opportunity to compete as a result of the Public Choice Award given in 2014. As a matter of fact, Rita Pace & Audrey Marie will be competing in a duet for the second consecutive year. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com, even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: F Living, Summer Hit Song Contest

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Published in Latest News - Local
Wednesday, 31 December 2014 10:22

2014: Another Year Filled With Successful Stories

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 2014, the year that saw two Malta Eurovision Song Contest competitions, the annual competition l-Għanja Tal-Poplu and Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, the return of the Summer Hit Song Contest and also the Junior Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Malta. 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 started off with Firelight emerging victorious at the Malta Eurovision with their song ‘Coming Home’, the band came together for the Eurovision Song Contest but looked beyond the festival. The Micallef siblings came together along with their friends and gave us the country folk pop entry. One would not say it was a shocking win because some critics did tip the song on doing well, but surely surprised a number when it emerged victorious over public favourites Jessika, Daniel Testa & De Bee. The band managed to reach the finals of the Eurovision Song Contest in May and Richard Edwards’ composition received good airplay in a number of countries in Europe. This kicked started their career with new material being released recently and a number of gigs in Germany.

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After the Malta Eurovision, it was time for the scene to focus on a local festival in Maltese. 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 outright winner of the festival was the song ‘Jien Ma Naħdimx’ interpreted by the relative newcomer Karen DeBattista. Mark Scicluna & Rita Pace’s composition was a hit from the get go and after it won the song received substantial airplay on a number of radiostations. The powerful lyrics were surely the reason behind its success; the message portrayed in the lyrics shows the work done by housewives which is normally not appreciated by the other members of the family. It was surely the stepping stone for Karen DeBattista who was participating only  in her third festival in three years and after this success she also managed to reach the finals of the Malta Eurovision with ’12, Baker Street’.

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The much awaited return of the Summer Hit Song Contest was imminent and many were happy to see that this festival was finally back, after a break of nearly three years. The winner of this edition was Domenique who although still relatively young, she has cemented herself as one of the established artists in the local music scene. Domenique always expressed her love towards festivals and is a popular face in a number of local competitions in Malta. ‘Back to...’ a composition by Mark Scicluna & Emil Calleja Bayliss managed to scoop the top prize in this festival and many commented that Domenique’s strong interpretation thanks to her experience in these competitions was vital in this win. The song was always seen as a strong entry but many saw it as a contender after the stunning celebrity duet Domenique delivered alongside Rosman Pace – a unique factor to this competition.

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The annual Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza saw an influx of songs related to the fifty year anniversary of Malta’s independence and even though competing authors were free to write on different subjects, this one proved to be the most popular. The result was surely unexpected as the song which was highly tipped on winning the competition finished in fourth place whilst the young and upcoming star Michela Galea won the judges hearts with her rendition of ‘Mixja Li Bdiet’ a subtle song that speaks about the stages Malta has been through since its independence fifty years ago. Renato Briffa & Alfred E. Baldacchino surely did their homework right as they write a catchy tune, with subtle lyrics that embrace the country’s vision of independence and gave it to an apt, fresh and confident performer who delivered the song strongly. It was a well deserved win for the teenager who won the first festival in her first major competition.

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Two other winners who emerged in the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza were Kurt Cassar who won the New Talent Section and Kayley Cuschieri who triumphed in the inaugural edition of Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza Junior. Kurt Cassar reached the finals of the prestigious event and went on to win his section with the song ‘Inservi’, a composition of Elton Zarb, Gillian Attard & Emil Calleja Bayliss. The song was well received from the start and many saw it as a potential winner as the whole package stood out from the rest of the field. This surely opened the horizons for Cassar. On the other hand, Kayley Cushcieri is a known face in the music circles but she surely left a lasting impression when she triumphed with the song ‘Għannaqni’ - an emotional heartfelt song that speaks about a daughter begging her mother to hug her instead of abusing her; another strong message written by Rita Pace to Mark Spiteri Lucas’ composition.

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The biggest highlight this year for the local industry has definitely been the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. The event was the biggest live broadcast the national broadcaster has put up and Malta was represented by the talented soprano Federica Falzon who rose to fame after winning the  popular Italian show ‘Ti Lascio una Canzone’. Federica Falzon had the opportunity of a lifetime performing at such a esteemed event in front of her home crowd and she surely made the most of it as she delivered an excellent performance of 'Diamonds' finishing in a prestigious fourth on the night. Many local fans though would love to see the return of the pre-selection show for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest as this would involve the audience at home choosing their junior representative and also be the perfect showcase for up and coming talent – something which sadly is not given as much prominence as it should.

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Given that Malta was hosting the Junior Eurovision, it came to no surprise that the PBS announced that the Malta Eurovision will be brought forward this year. It caught the singers and songwriters a bit off guard and this showed in the number of submitted entries but many critics argued that the quality of songs in the finals was the best it has ever been. Although a tough competition, Amber emerged as the clear front runner and after two strong performances on both Friday and Saturday night it was a unanimous decision by the judges and the public vote that she should be the next Maltese representative at the Eurovision Song Contest. She conquered the festival with Elton Zarb & Muxu’s composition ‘Warrior’ which so far has been well received from abroad. The song is expected to be enhanced and many are looking forward to hear the finalised version of the next Maltese representative.

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After all that one can realize that it has been quite a year and if one would think that everyone is currently taking a break, one would be mistaken as in November the committee of L-Għanja Tal-Poplu issued its regulations so the year will be once again kickstarting very soon although the first major festival of 2015 is expected in March and not in February like last year. This is due to having the Malta Eurovision a few months earlier. A festival many would love to see its return would definitely be the ‘Festival Internazzjonali Tal-Kanzunetta Maltija’ which saw its return in 2013 but seems that it was put aside for 2014 because of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. A real pity because it gave light to a number of new Maltese songs in the last edition these include Olivia Lewis’ winning entry ‘Hawn Mill-Ġdid’, Mark Tonna’s ‘Poeta Bla Kliem and Dario & Grecia’s ‘Solitaire’. Maybe 2015 would be a year were one gets to celebrate through more competitions and more songs to feast the keen Maltese music lover. 

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On behalf of the editorial team of escflashmalta.com, I 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 2015. All the best.  

Source: escflashmalta.com

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Published in Opinions
Wednesday, 24 September 2014 12:24

SHSC 2014: Triumphant Domenique in First Victory

The 5th edition of the Summer Hit Song Contest, hosted by Deo Grech & Natius Farrugia, at The Dome Theatre within the Seabank Hotel, was truly a memorable night, a triumphant journey. 18 acts, carefully chosen by a select panel of professional judges, took to the main stage to perform their entry, having received ample promotion throughout the summer season, courtesy of F Living, Music News, escflashmalta.com and RTK Radio.

Lyndsay Pace, Mireille Bonello, Marisa D'Amato, Charlene Azzopardi, Daniel Falzon Mallia, George Cremona and Heathcliffe Balzan were solely responsible for the result last night, picking Domenique and her entry "Back To...", composed by Mark Scicluna to the lyrics of Emil Calleja Bayliss in first place. Nevertheless, with around 10 points separating the top three, one has to commend the first runner-up, "My Hero" composed by Renato Briffa to the lyrics of Keith Zammit with vocals provided by Anna Azzopardi as well as the second runner-up, "Pretend" composed by Renato Briffa to the lyrics of Doris Chetcuti.

On the other hand, "Overboard", the only duet competing in this year's edition of the Summer Hit Song Contest, featuring Audrey Marie & Rita Pace were chosen as winners of the tele-voting and as a result, also granted the opportunity to compete in next year's edition fo the Summer Hit Song Contest, a revelation made by Deo Grech & Karl Bonaci during the course of the evening. Remember, the competition will be broadcast on F Living on Saturday 27th September at 20:30 CET. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook & Twitter as we bring you the latest news from the local music scene.

Source: Summer Hit Song Contest, Marc Calleja Bayliss (image)

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