What is the Eurovision Song Contest all about? Apparently it is only a song contest with a nationalist side, but I would like to tell you how this worked for me. I am a Spanish guy with a university level education. Until May 2013 my knowledge about Malta was reduced: a small island south of Italy and one of the countries members of the European Union. Little else. Yes, I also knew that its capital is Valletta.
Then on 16th May 2013 I was reading some paperwork in front of my TV set at home. It was showing the second night semi‐final of the Eurovision Song Contest. At some point a song called my attention and I put my eyes on the screen: I saw a smiling young guy singing a rather cute (and fresh) song. When it ended I found out that the singer was called Gianluca, the song “Tomorrow”, they were representing Malta… and I also realised that I was smiling and feeling some inner joy difficult to describe. Technically I think that this must be something similar to “cognitive empathy”.
I became interested in the singer, with his warm voice, I wanted to hear more songs by him: Amazon, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Google… one thing brought another and, on the way, I also unveiled Malta. One of the first things that I learnt was that Gianluca was a medical doctor (it was commented in all the interviews) and then my first piece of information about the country was this: alright, maybe in Malta all singers need a second job to survive. However I am an optimistic person and I changed this thought by this one: blessed the country where its medical doctors sing.
Today I have two copies of the first CD by Gianluca, one in my car, the other at home, and most of my friends got that CD too as a last year Christmas present; I have known about Samaria and Dorothy, great voices too, and the rest of the musical Bezzina family; I have discovered part of the musical landscape of the island: Ira Losco, Joseph Calleja, Funk Initiative, Firelight, Wayne William, Amber, L'Aħwa… to mention but a few, and the sweet blend of “Xemx”; I have bought several books about Malta and its extraordinary language (I even have a course of Maltese and an English-Maltese dictionary, but please do not check me); plenty of bookmarks on Maltese literature and classical songs lie in my navigator; I have learnt about the country newspapers and TV channels and, as a consequence, about the people of Malta and its sunburnt and luminous islands.
For me Malta always will be Gianluca and the Bezzina's. I cannot think of better image and heart for a country that wishes to be loved. Now you answer the question I posed at the beginning: what the Eurovision Song Contest is about? And then, did Gianluca and his group do their job at the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 in Malmö? Was it all about the singing… only? 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 and the local music scene.
Federica Falzon, a student of La Voix Academy under the direction of Gillian Attard and also recent winner of the talent show "Ti Lascio Una Canzone" on RAI Uno had the opportunity to perform a duet with Joseph Calleja during his annual concert on The Granaries last night. Their interpretation of the Gianni Morandi classic "In Amore" received a rapturous applause from the 30,000 strong audience, whilst also commended in both local and foreign press.
Shortly after her triumphant run on Italian Television, and on her way back to Malta, she was revealed by the Public Broadcasting Services as representative of Malta at the 2014 edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. It was the beginning of a new journey, signing to Ironic PR & Artist Management, home to a host of artists such as; Davinia, Maxine Pace, Shauna Vassallo, Gaia Cauchi, Christina Magrin, Kurt Cassar and many others whose sole aim is to succeed.
Prior to her experience in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, Federica is set for some more television appearances, including one during the Summer Hit Song Contest this Monday on F Living as well as a nationwide concert taking place on the 7th August 2014 at the Għaxaq Music Festival featuring a multitude of stars from both La Voix Academy and Ironic PR & Artist Management. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.
On the 15th November 2014, Malta will be hosting the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, with Federica Falzon set to represent the Mediterranean Nation with a track co-written by Elton Zarb and Matt Mercieca. Nevertheless, the co-winner of "Ti Lascio Una Canzone" will have a prior event in which she will be participating in, the annual Joseph Calleja Concert which will also include guest performances by British X Factor Winner, Leona Lewis and Italian superstar, Claudio Baglioni.
Billed as the event of the season and featuring performances by some of the most recognisable stars in both the local and the foreign music industry, tickets kick off at €80 and may be purchased here. Amongst the others who had the opportunity to perform during the Joseph Calleja Concert in the past, one would find none other than; Ronan Keating, Gianluca, Hayley Westenra, Lucio Dalla, Amber, Dionne Warwick and Gillian Zammit. Federica will be gracing the stage, joining some of the most elite performers in the event. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even on Facebook & Twitter for all the latest news as soon as it becomes available.
Source: NNG Promotions, La Voix Academy
Mużika Mod Ieħor, a blog with a critical eye on the several releases in the local music scene was founded several years ago by Dr Toni Sant, an individual who has managed to slide in and out of the scene through various methods, having been part of the board that used to organise the Malta Eurovision Song Contest in the past as well as a disc jockey on multiple radio stations. At the end of the year, an awards system is put in motion in order to bestow a couple of honours upon some artists who might have either been overlooked or who had still garnered popularity throughout the year.
The project is divided into five categories; TOP ALBUM, TOP SINGLE/EP, TOP VIDEO, TOP ONLINE RELEASE and TOP OVERSEAS RELEASE, in a clear bid to make sure that no one is left out of the running in the several awards. Voting could take place through one’s personal account through Facebook on the official website, and then also follow the standings which are updated on an hourly basis. Artists from the Eurovision Song Contest, including none other than; Chris & Moira (1994), Ira Losco (2002) and Gianluca Bezzina (2013) are all nominated.
Artists which escflashmalta.com has promoted in the past including; Jean Claude Vancell, Scarlet Sally, Cryptic Street, Karma Skies, nosnow/noalps, Winter Moods, Joseph Calleja, Lauren Aquilina, Jon Lukas Woodenman and The Crowns are amongst the many who have been nominated. We urge you to cast your vote, as escflashmalta.com aim to support this venture from this year onwards with the support of the likes of people like Dr Sant who aid improve the local music industry, giving it a voice across the world.
Source: Mużika Mod Ieħor '13
Answer With Your Eyes, composed by Ray Agius to the lyrics of Alfred C Sant, with vocals provided by Amber was the second runner-up, behind Claudia Faniello's Pure, composed by Philip Vella to the lyrics of Gerard James Borg and Kurt Calleja's This is the Night which he co-wrote with Johan Jämtberg and Mikael Gunnerås. Her top three position might have solidified her the opinion of critics though, having later on that month been selected to replace Ylenia Vella as backing vocalist.
In a recent interview with local magazine Gwida, the young female vocalist revealed that she was worried about her reputation in the music industry, one which was budding at the time, having thought about being the villain and taking up a role which did not initially belong to her. At the time, she asked the delegation whether her withdrawal would have seen Ylenia back in the position of backing vocalist. The reply was a categorical 'no' and that the first runner-up of the audition stage would have been given the opportunity instead. Therefore, she took on the challenge of representing Malta as a backing vocalist. Later on that year, Amber was also a guest singer during the Concert of Joseph Calleja, performing a duet entitled A Thousand Years.
Earlier this year, another blunder saw Amber becoming the talk of the competition, noting that an accredited member of the official website of the Eurovision Song Contest, incorrectly published a piece which stated that In Control composed by Paul Giordimaina to the lyrics of Fleur Balzan would be representing Malta at the event. The information was incorrect, especially for the simple reason that the voting process had not even commenced but nevertheless, as the artists gathered on the stage, where the greenroom was situated, there was a lot of fuss. Clarification was required and this is something that Anton Attard, Chief Executive Officer of the Public Broadcasting Services dealt with immediately, the following day. Amber has since been working hard on more new material and has just been selected as one of the semi-finalists in next years' edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. Stayt tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.
The Classic Brit Awards rewards excellence in classical and crossover music, and are seen by the music industry as the equivalent of the Brit Awards which recognise talent in the pop genre. It is an absolute honour to be the first local media to pick the news up that Joseph Calleja, the internationally acclaimed tenor from Malta is nominated in one of the awards' prestigious categories, that being none other than the Breakthrough Artist of the Year. The accolade sponsored by MasterCard is given to the artist who has made an impact on the music scene within the past year despite being relatively new.
Be My Love - A Tribute to Mario Lanza released through Decca Music is the work which helped him garner the nomination but nevertheless, his most recent studio album Amore will definitely aid the committee to reach a verdict. The latest collection which features a mixture of popular and non-popular tracks is currently on sale across the world, managing to peak at number #1 on the iTunes Chart in Malta, #86 on the mainstream chart in the United Kingdom and also number #4 on the Classical Chart in the United Kingdom. This years' edition of the Classic Brit Awards is set to be hosted by Myleene Klass from the Royal Albert Hall on the 2nd October 2013. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.
Source: Classic FM
iTunes Malta, the digital store which is locally based has somewhat been registered a series of fluctuations towards artists who participated in last nights' edition of the annual Calleja concert. Italian singer/songwriter Zucchero is the one who has seemingly benefit the most from the event with his tracks Miserere, Baila (You Sexy Thing), Vedo Nero, Cosi Celeste, Il Volo and Diamante peaking at numbers #2, #6, #11, #12, #14 and #15 respectively. On the other hand, it seems that the crowd fell in love with Rebecca Ferguson whose song Backtrack has entered at number #1. The highlight of the evening was definitely Xemx performed by Gianluca and Joseph Calleja but due to the fact that this version is not commercially available, the public is purchasing the version of the Big Band Brothers which could be found at number #5.
Gianluca, the male vocalist who represented Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest earlier this year with the track Tomorrow is also seeing his sales rise as pre-orders for his album Waiting for Tomorrow are on the increase. The debut studio collection which escflashmalta.com gladly reviewed a couple of months back is currently at number #9 having been briefly out of the top ten. It is important to denote that Zucchero's All the Best is currently at number #2 whilst Rebecca Ferguson's Heaven is at number #15. It shows that the public enjoyed the concert and appreciated the best of the live music available during the course of the evening. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about the local music scene including chart information and statistics.
Gigi D'Alessio, Ronan Keating, Lucio Dalla, Bryan Adams, Dionne Warwick and Hayley Westenra have all had the opportunity to perform on The Granaries in Floriana as guests of renowned tenor, Joseph Calleja. The annual concert which officially commenced in 2009 has become a crowd favourite and as a matter of fact, thousands flocked to both the seating and standing areas to enjoy the stunning vocals of the man who has been dubbed as the Maltese Tenor. On stage this year, he was joined by none other than; Italian singer/songwriter, Zucchero; British X Factor runner-up, Rebecca Ferugson; Techno/Dance producers, Tenishia and Eurovision Song Contest representative; Gianluca. In the meantime, NNG Promotions responsible for the event also lined-up a surprise in the form of crowd favourite; Riccardo Cocciante who has been a regular in Malta as of late.
escflashmalta.com was present during the concert and denoted the importance that each performance was given noting that Rebecca Ferguson attracted the younger audience whilst Zucchero and Cocciante pulled in the older audience. NNG Promotions and Joseph Calleja have worked hard to open classical music to the masses and that is something which in my opinion, they have succeeded in doing courtesy of the Ministry for Tourism including the Secretariat for Culture. Most of the performances, especially the duets were accompanied by the BOV Children's Choir under the direction of Soprano, Gillian Zammit whilst the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra was led by Mercurio.
Whilst the audience was totally on their feet for the performance of Miserere featuring Calleja and Zucchero, everyone started to sing along as Gianluca and Calleja performed the song Xemx originally by the group, The Tramps. Calleja is an Ambassor for Culture on behalf of Malta and therefore, it comes as no surprise that he continues to promote the local music scene through a national language.In recent years, NNG Promotions has been the most viable organiser for nation wide events having brought British artists such as Elton John, Tom Jones and James Blunt as well as Italian artists such as Laura Pausini. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about the local music scene.
On the 1st August 2013, a significant portion of the local crowd will be heading to The Granaries in Floriana to attend the annual summer concert given by Joseph Calleja. In a press conference held earlier this afternoon at the Xara Lodge, it was unveiled that for the very first time ever, the standing area will be sponsored by the government and will be free of charge for anyone wishing to attend. Tickets for the seating areas will cost between €80 and €200, the same as they have been in recent years. Joseph Calleja is looking forward to the annual summer concert stating that he is proud that despite the economic climate in the rest of Europe, Malta is still putting up such an event which will be filmed in high definition with a total of fourteen (14) cameras.
Special guests for this years' spectacle will include none other than; Gianluca Bezzina, who just returned from the Eurovision Song Contest where on behalf of Malta he finished in eighth place, the best finish since 2005; Rebecca Ferguson, a former first runner-up on the British version of the X Factor who has found fame at home and abroad; Zucchero who will be returning to Malta once more and is set to perform the song Miserere with Calleja and the popular DJ Duo Tenishia who were ranked in the top one hundred DJs in the world. They will be accompanied by the BOV Children's Choir and the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra.
NNG Promotions, organisers of the summer concert are also in talks with several international broadcasters for television airing abroad. In the meantime, Joseph Calleja has also promised to sing some material off his fifth album, Amore which is out later on this year. What is special about this set is that it has also been recorded in Malta and will most likely be the first ever major release on an international label such as Decca, the classical subsidiary of Universal Music. escflashmalta.com encourages people to attend the concert set to be given by Joseph Calleja and support local artists, especially such who have a habit to represent Malta in the best possible way. Stay tuned for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.
Source: Times of Malta, Allen Venables
The Granaries, in Floriana have hosted some of the most iconic performers across the years including Dionne Warwick, Michael Bolton, Gigi D'Alessio, Ronan Keating, Elton John, Riccardo Cocciante, Jose Carreras and Lucio Dalla. Most of the performers mentioned in the list have performed with Joseph Calleja, the internationally renowned opera star who continues to rise to the occasion within every showcase. NNG Promotions, responsible as agents for Calleja in Malta have organised an annual showcase for the past couple of years which is always sold out weeks prior to it taking place. It seems that 2013 will be no different as the first details emerged on The Sunday Times of Malta.
The crowd are normally perceived to enjoy a mixture of classical and contemporary and therefore, the guests accompanying the tenor would normally represent the genres well. As a matter of fact, the first two revealed this morning are none other than Zucchero and Rebecca Ferguson who both feature stunning vocal ranges albeit in their different ways. Zucchero, who was in Malta a couple of months back in a headlining concert performed a number of his new songs alongside hits such as Diavolo In Me and Baila Morena whilst Rebecca Ferguson, a former runner-up of the British X Factor will surely entertain crowds with hit songs such as Nothing's Real But Love and Too Good to Lose. A local guest who will also be giving a special performance is Gianluca who just came back from a successful venture at the Eurovision Song Contest where he finished in eighth place. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com and nngpromotions for all of the latest news about the Joseph Calleja concert.
Source: Times of Malta