Marc Calleja Bayliss
Despite the lack of Maltese participation in this years' Junior Eurovision Song Contest, it seems that the interest has somewhat remained existent amongst the locals and therefore we have sought to bring you the latest updates from the event as soon as they become possible. In the past couple of days, the Heads of Delegation Meeting took place as the running order for the show was presented. This years' final taking place in Yerevan, Armenia will be staged on the 3rd December 2011. During the same aforementioned meetings, the respective individuals representing the broadcasters presented their final material which artists will be performing.
Initially, it was thought that thirteen (13) countries would be going to be present during this years' edition but a participation entry from Latvia saw the number rise to fourteen (14) therefore matching last years' number of participants. Unfortunately it seems that this was not meant to be though because suddenly it was announced that the former number were set to be present in delegations but without a statement from the European Broadcasting Union, it was still unclear who would be sitting out. In the end, the nation which did not submit a song was San Marino due to lack of time. Prior to seeing which entries were chosen in recent days, we would like to let you know the draw for the running order of this years' event as decided during the Heads of Delegation Meeting earlier this week.
As the days drew near to the Heads of Delegation Meeting, another three entries were published, the one of Latvia entitled 'Moondog' performed by none other than Amanda Bashmakova and written by Janis Lusens, Guntars Racs, Amanda Bashmakova. The first two names are familiar as they were behind the Latvian entry at the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2010 entitled 'What For?'. The second entry to be published in recent days is the one from Moldova entitled '' to be sung by Lerika and written by 2010 National Final Participant, Eugen Doibani. The final entry presented just hours prior to the meeting was that of Sweden keeping in line with their late tradition. SVT will be sending a male artist to the Junior Eurovision for the very first time with the singer being Erik Rapp and the song he will be performing entitled '' written by the teen himself alongside Mikael Gunneras who had written a Melodi Grand Prix song in 2005 and Johan J'Amtberg who wrote the entry 'Over and Over' for Kurt Calleja which finished as the second runner-up in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest.
Yesterday, late in the afternoon, the Icelandic broadcaster responsible for the nations' participation in the annual Eurovision Song Contest has made a revelation with regards to their national selection bearing the name; Söngvakeppni Sjónvarpsins. Despite the recent positive results with the nation making the finals of the competition each and every year since the year 2008 when Euroband and their song 'This Is My Life' managed a mediocre position at the end of the evening held in Belgrade, Serbia.
This year, RÚV, has revealed a total of 150 entries which somewhat depicts decreasing interest amongst the locals especially when one takes up the submissions of the two previous years with 2010 showing a total of 174 and with the year before having a total of 200 entries submitted within the respective period. The broadcaster is yet to announce how many entries to make it to the final show of the competition and this will be quite interesting as there will only be one show without any semi-finals headlining in February. The names that make it to the final stages of the competition will be revealed in two to three weeks time. Make sure to keep following ESCflashmalta for all of the latest news.
One of the most successful countries at the Eurovision Song Contest in recent years has surely been Turkey because following a long stint of disappointing results, they made a switch in the language they performed in achieving their premier success in 2003 when one of their most popular singers, who goes by the name Sertab Erener took to the stage with the song 'Every Way That I Can' just pipping Belgium to the top spot at the end of the evening. This marked the beginning of a new era for the nation and they have never looked back since. Unfortunately their first real downfall in years came earlier this year when they failed to make it out of the semifinal with the group Yuksek Sadakat and their song 'Live It Up'.
One of the singers which many people would like to see representing her country is none other than Hande Yener having a formidable music career eight albums, the latest being just a couple of months ago under the name 'Teşekkürler' which actually means Thank You. She has been working with a number of well known musicians and will be looking forward to add to her hits in Turkey having managed a total of ten (10) at number one (1) position since the start of her career. In a recent interview with a Turkish tabloid, she stated that she would very much like to represent her country at the Eurovision Song Contest and bring back the event to her home country with a song and show that is world class material. The singer already was contacted to be the representative back in 2008 but negotiations fell though. This time round, she is the one presenting herself ready to bring back honour in the country.
Over the past couple of months, one of the star acts to have been making headlines all over the world when it comes to the music industry has surely been none other than two time Eurovision Song Contest representative Fabrizio Faniello, a leading artist in Malta and one who has accolades in so many forms that it is quite dubious whether anyone can match him in the years to come. His return from the abyss earlier this year was absolutely amazing managing to enter the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with the song 'No Surrender' and finishing in fourth position with a backdrop of just one national scale festival in recent years, that come in the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza with the song 'Futur' in 2009 when he had finished in third place.
Fabrizio Faniello is one of those singers who had to wait before going onto represent Malta for the very first time at the annual music event but his time came in 2001 when with the song '' composed by Paul Abela and penned by Georgina Abela, he went onto do the honours for Malta in Copenhagen getting a great reception there and even managing maximum points from the host nation helping him finish in ninth place. He would go onto release his music in Scandinavia and gather success but he still wanted to do the event more time and his second time came in 2006 when with the song '' written by himself alongside Aldo Spiteri. Unfortunately, the result abroad was dissatisfying finishing in twenty-four position. He disappeared from the spotlight returning to the music festival earlier this year and managed a fourth position. Now, ESCflashmalta is in a position to exclusively confirm that Fabrizio Faniello still wishes to do this more than ever and noting the saying that three is the magic number he is ready to give it another go.
We have been in touch with Cap-Sounds front-man and the artists' Manager, Manfred Holz who told ESCflashmalta that 'Fabrizio is very much interested to return to the competition .. and that he would very much like to be there once more and that is why he is working on a number of potential tracks for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2012''. Should he actually make it to the selection, it would make it his ninth participation noting that he has taken part in 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2006 and 2011 up to this point in time. He has managed to achieve a lot of his success in the Scandinavian market, Asian Market and also mainland Europe through Germany where his recording company is actually based. This is somewhat a huge career for a local artist and in fact as we speak, he is preparing to embark on yet another promotional visit abroad where he is set to be performing on the 'Idol' series in Latvia prior to making an appearance during a huge show planned in Germany which will be celebrating the best of fifty years of pop music. Before that though, you can catch him on 'Bonġu Bundy' where he will be promoting his brand new video commemorating the last event mentioned.
Source: Cap-Sounds (Manfred Holz)
In the past couple of weeks, several of the regional broadcasters announced their method of selection with regards to the finalists they will be presenting for the grande final which is set to be staged on the 10th December in the Bodensee Arena found within the city of Kreuzlingen. This will be a pivotal moment for the nation as they will be hoping that the end choice will end up being as successful as this years' entrant Anna Rossinelli who made it tot he finals with her song 'In Love for a While' pipping Glen Vella and the Maltese entry 'One Life' to eleventh place at the end of the semi-final. The first three finalists which have now been made public come from DRS3.
The Swiss German broadcaster had the opportunity to select three songs for the upcoming Swiss selection which will be featuring a total of fourteen entries, all of which will be sung in abridged version. Most of the songs, six in total will be coming from SF which is the main broadcaster under the European Broadcasting Union, then comes RSI which is the Italian speaking region who will be choosing two entries and last but not least, the French speaking broadcaster, RTS who will be selecting three in total.
Update: It has just been announced that the song by Sara McLoud entitled 'Lost' had actually been published back in 2009 as an acoustic song and therefore the respective broadcaster, DRS3 has named its first alternate for the selection. See the finalists below. The three entries selected by the Swiss German broadcaster have come from the SF selection noting their ongoing collaboration and they are as follows:
In this weeks' edition of the popular local magazine 'Gwida' issued earlier this week, it has been noted that the next Tuesdays' edition of the show 'Insiru Nafu Lil' hosted by renowned presenter Stephanie Spiteri as well as pyschologist, Dr.Anton Grech will be exclusively featuring the dynamic duo of former Eurovision Song Contest representative Ira Losco and her manager, Howard Keith of Jagged House. It will be a programme to remember surely as it will be getting indepth information about the artist, away from the glare of the spotlight.
In fact during the upcoming edition of the programme, Stephanie Spiteri will be speaking to Howard Keith who is the manager of a number of local artists including Red Electrick, Airport Impressions, Tribali and The Characters apart from the aformentioned Ira Losco. She will be talking to him about the singer away from the public eye, in the background when she is at ease with friends, family and just about her daily life. In the meantime, Dr.Anton Grech will speak to the singer hrself about her life away from the media, what she understands by success and also what she feels when she performs. Together, the two hosts will join each other and see how Ira Losco has managed her success over the year. It will be quite an interesting programme airing next Tuesday at 20:30 on NET Television.
Source: Gwida, Allen Venables (photography)
Going back through the midst of time, to a year when Ireland was a dominant force in the annual musical event known as the Eurovision Song Contest, 1994, one would note the debut of a brand new country, Lithuania. This nation would not find its footing for quite a number of years managing sporadical mediocre results at best. The representative broadcaster, LRT have announced their national selection for the coming year as they attempt to tackle a number of nations in hope of achieving a result worthy of their musical culture.
The submission process has commenced and entries will be accepted until the 31st December 2011 which marks the end of the year. All of the applicants have to make sure to submit the necessary details including names, birthdates, contact details, a curriculum vitae of their work, a number of photography, the entry in itself and last but not least lyrics. As per the regulations of the European Broadcasting Union, entries cannot have been published prior to the 1st September 2011. The countries' best result in the event came in 2006 when the comical group known as LT United sang their way to sixth place with the song 'We Are The Winners'. The best placing for the nation in terms of just that, a placing came earlier this year as Evelina Sasenko finished in fifth place within the semi-final with her song 'C'Est Ma Vie' which managed nineteenth position at the end of the evening. We would like to wish Lithuania the very best of luck within their endeavours.
The local recording studios are booked, producers are busy, singers and songwriters are adding their final touches and that can only mean one thing, the submissions for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2012 are not too far away and indeed they are with less than a week to go before the Public Broadcasting Services (PBS) will be receiving songs in anticipation to the nations' participation in the biggest musical event in all of the continent. The rumour mill is as always building strongly about who will be submitting songs and who will not but one artist who has exclusively revealed to ESCflashmalta that she will not be sending in any songs is three time national final participant, Raquela.
In the past couple of years, the singer gained fame for her astonishing vocal, one which is remarkably breathtaking at times. Her first television appearance had come during a show which saw to the selection of the artist who would accompany the group Simply Red during a concert here in Malta where she had teamed up with former Eurovision Song Contest representative Ludwig Galea. Prior to that, she had already amazed the crowds at an event organized by Maestro Sigmund Mifsud under the name 'National Orchestra Goes Pop Concert' as well as other events such as 'Voices' which is organized in support of charity. In the year 2009, she made a major breakthrough making the final cut of the Malta Eurosong competition with the song 'Crossroads' composed by Philip Vella and penned by Gerard James Borg. Despite the amazing performance, Raquela was too much of a newcomer to win over the support of the public and thus she returned in 2010 with another song entitled 'Here I Am' written by the same team behind her initial entry but unfortunately failed to make it to the finals. She turned away from the competition and would return much stronger.
The return to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest in 2011 with the song 'If I Could Do It All Again' composed by Marc Paelinck and penned by Matthias Strasser was well deserved and for the very first time finished in fifth place, a result which was confirmed by both the judges and the tele-voting. Subsequently, Raquela made headlining appearances at a number of events during the summer but the pinnacle of the season was surely the release of her single 'Entertain Me' written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat. The singer has exclusively spoken to ESCflashmalta in the past couple of days that she will not be returning to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest in 2012 taking a break following three consecutive years telling us: 'I have decided to focus and invest more time in my studies and in myself. With regards to my singing career, I have achieved the required level so far. Following this, I intend to return to performing on stage for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest in the coming years, but so far, I have chosen to re-prioritise my aspirations.' We would like to wish Raquela the very best of luck with her endeavours in the next twelve months. Keep following our web portal for more exclusive material in the coming days.
The Latvian selection for the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest will commence within the next couple of days as all of the submissions will be made public for the people from all of the world to listen to but the idea behind it all is to give their opinion as they will not be the ones selecting which make it through to the next stage of the competition. The names of the singers and songwriters will also not be made public in order for the full focus to be on the respective songs. The 2012 edition of the Eirodziesma will be receiving a massive revamp in order to get the nation back on track with regards to results noting that their last appearance in the finals came back in 2008 at the hands of the Pirates of the Sea with the song ''.
It is yet to be seen who has submitted songs and only those who will make it through will be revealed actually. The last time that all of the seventy-one (71) submissions will be online is November 1st and the announcement of the songwriters of the twenty (20) entries to make it through to the semi-finals will be revealed during a press conference hosted by the broadcaster, LTV on the 8th November 2011.
Speaking to the media, the producer of Eirodziesma, Aigars Dinsbergs stated 'The internet vote has just advisory status. The 20 songs entering the semi final will be decided by the Artistic Council which has the rights to make the corrections and improvements to the list of the songs'. The semi-finals consisting of ten songs in the upcoming national selection will be staged on the 7th and 14th January and will be broadcast live for the very first time as in previous years, pre-recorded videos were shown. Ten songs will be competing in the final as five will be selected out of each show chosen by the Jury and Tele-Voting. The winner will be selected on the 18th February 2011 in Ventspils during which once more, both methods of selection, Jury and Tele-Voting will be doing their job in the Super-Final stage.
Over the past couple of years, the local music industry has been seeing a number of changes with regards to the protagonists in it as a new generation evolves and takes over from the old guard. One of such performers is surely none other than the sixteen (16) year-old Domenique whose career is surely hitting the right notes at the right time. Following a number of preparations, she is now ready to launch her premier collection of tracks under the title 'L-Anġlu tal-Baħar' which translates into 'Angel of the Sea'. It is a project which has been long in coming and with the aim of bringing about a certain feeling noting that the title refers to the tragedy of Theo Bugeja, a teen from the fisherman's town of Marsaxlokk.
The album is made up of original songs in the Maltese language with diverse social themes to respect the various values and aspects of everyday lives which people endure in the long term. Amongst the subjects that are dealt with, there includes; bullying, eating disoreders, breakdown of familiar relationships, teenage years and also impairments amongst others. Still, that is very much general and when one considers the event that our country has been a part of in recent years, it is commendable to see an artist covering topics such as; abortion, petards, animal abuse, excessive driving, drugs and also pedophilia. The themes which have been dealt with all have meaning and they do mean something to a number of individuals and the emotion that Domenique brings to the songs is astounding in itself.
Composers that have worked on this album include none other than Chan Vella, Mark Debono, Priscilla Psaila, Clinton Paul as well as Philip Vella whilst lyricists include Alexia Schembri, George Cremona, Christopher Azzopardi, Rita Pace, Keith Zammit and Pierre Calleja. Some of the names mentioned above include songwriters who have had their work showcased all of Europe and the world and that is something which the singer surely holds high in her regard. The songs for the album were recorded in the studios of Philip Vella who is of course, the writer of five Maltese entries in the Eurovision Song Contest including '', '', '', '' and ''.
The photo-shoot for this album featuring the artist was done thanks to the company 'Fotoclassic' whilst the design of the album was done by 'Palymra Limited'. The album which could be bought from local music shops as well as through personal contact of the singer costs €10. The artist, Domenique would like to thank everyone who was behind the making of this album as she puts her material on the market for the very first time in what promises the first to many experiences for the young artist who made her debut in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest earlier this year with the song 'I'll Follow the Sunshine'. It is also to be noted that she is currently starring in the Maltese Television Series 'D.R.E.A.M.S' airing on Television Malta (TVM) every Monday at 20:30 CET.
Source: Press Release