Marc Calleja Bayliss
Nations commencing their selections early have been on the increase in recent years and one of the countries to initiate their process today is none other than Finland whose submission period closed a couple of weeks ago noting a large interest amongst upcoming and established artists in the respective music industry. The broadcaster, responsible for the nations' participation in the Eurovision Song Contest, YLE, appointed a jury to select the best compositions from the submitted entries and in the end forty (40) seems to fill in the required characteristics. The demos of these songs have not been placed online for public listening.
In the next stage of the competition, twelve (12) artists will make it through to the final stages of the competition and they will all be aided to produce their songs with some of the most established individuals in the music indstry. The finalists will be made public on YLE TV2 on the 27th January 2011 and from then onwards, five shows will see the re-touching of the songs making them proper songs prior to the final on the 25th February set to be staged in the Helsinki Ice Hall to which tickets can be bought here.
The selection process bearing the name 'UMK' will be hosted by Ann Lainto who works on the yout radio station of the broadcaster running under 'YleX' but she will not be along as joining her will be Joona Kortesmäki, a professional in the art of entertainment, being a writer and a present amongst others. The forty (40) demos that have been presented to the public, can be heard through this link but one can easily note the fact that most of the names are not that well known unless you count people such as Freeman and Uusi Fantasia who have had past success. Therefore the list features, various newcomers hoping that the genres are different and manage to attract people from all sectors.
The season of national finals which in turns precedes the actual Eurovision Song Contest has turned into quite the interesting affair over the past couple of years with a number of fans following a specific amount of selections over the continent. One of the most popular though is the Melodifestivalen which is organized on a large scale involving four semi-finals, a second chance show and the final putting together six weeks of competition with one aim, to select the representative for the largest musical competition in the European continent.
This years' edition of the Melodifestivalen is being touted as being one of the best and this is due to the fact that its organizer, Christer Bjorkman will soon be stepping down and with Sweden achieving their best result in years thanks to Eric Saade and his song 'Popular' reaching third place, they are hoping to improve on that this time round. In a press conference held yesterday afternoon, it was announced that three females will be hosting the annual showcase and they are none other than; two time Melodifestivalen contestant; Sarah Dawn Finer, Popular Swedish actress; Helena Bergström and a blogging opinionist; Gina Dirawi. It will surely be quite an interesting affair to see the three females presenting the shows due to their extremely different personalities and backgrounds.
The past couple of days have been quite interesting for the local music industry with three entities seeking to award local artists for their endeavours in their respective form of art. Last Saturday marked the ONE Tribute Show, which saw to rewarding the best performers in the Maltese music scene for the past twenty years and winners included none other than former Eurovision Song Contest representatives; Mary Spiteri, Ira Losco and Glen Vella amongst others. In the meantime though, the press launch of the Malta Music Awards also took place with the nominations set to be announced next week whilst the nominees of the peoples' Bay Music Awards have also become public just a couple of days ago. Some of the people who got the nod are still making the weekly charts, as one will surely note in this weeks' update which does not feature any new entries.
One of the most interesting concepts in this weeks' chart update is the fact that the bands seems to be losing support for the very time in ages as soloists or duets take the charge with a host of recently play-listed songs gaining prominence. Starting with the lower echelons at number #10 comes a song entitled '' performed by Relikc. The song peaked just two weeks ago and seems to be leaving the list having managed over a month. Going up one by one, in the next instance at position number #9 comes a former leader of the chart in the form of 2011 Bay Music Awards; Best Group Nominee; Saving Alexis whose song '' has spent quite a long time on the chart and is now swiftly exiting to make room for other songs. In the same period, there was also another headlining song which seems to be losing interest amongst the listeners despite the high end trend that it manages to evoke. I am speaking with regards to '' by The Crowns who have garnered a nomination for the best new band with both their singles leading the local music chart in recent months. They now find themselves in position number #8. This brings to an end the songs which have lost their original places and are heading out of the weekly charts.
Moving upwards and gaining ground over some of the most contemporary artists of our generation is the rising star, Thea Garrett, who represented Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2010. She is back with her fourth overall single and her second one on the radio bearing the name 'Walk On By'. It is only in its second week and already finds itself in position number #7 which is surely quite good at this stage. Moving on to position number #6, one would easily recognize a new entry from last week in the form of Corrina whose single '' featuring a strong bass line and beat attracts listeners from all over the spectrum but mostly teenagers. In position number #5, comes a song which is nominated for the best track in the upcoming Bay Music Awards with a collaboration between Kristina Casolani, U-Bahn and DJ Ruby under the name ''. Just missing out on the best three song of the week, is the track '' performed by Three Stops to China which only entered the chart two weeks ago.
Making it to the top three for the very first time in their musical careers is the duo known as Of the Owl with the track 'I Mean It ... I Want It', a very different sound than the generic one which people have been accustomed to listen to making them unique in that area. Also heading upwards and itching to reach that top spot are none other than Bay Music Awards 2011 nominees; Muxu and Davinia with the '' which has now peaked at position number #2. At the very top of the charts for the second consecutive week is a band which is still relatively new and have just released their second single weeks ago. The group are also nominated for the best newcomers for this years' accolades presented by the station but the song gaining them the prominence they are getting is ''.
In the past couple of years, she has gone from a Idol contestant to one of the most popular singers in her native nation following her appearance at the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2008 with the song 'Hold On, Be Strong' which finished in an astonishing fifth place putting Norway on the upper echelons of the scoreboard where it rightfully belongs after putting in so much effort in terms of entry quality. As you may have noticed, the singer has changed her surname due to her marriage just a couple of months ago but she has decided to opt for the change even with regards to the music industry and this has not affected her especially since her last single, 'Glorious', the official song for the Skiing championships made it to number #7 in the official charts when it was released just months ago.
The singer has not given up her chance to the return to the illustrious European event hoping to represent either Norway again or even Sweden noting her participation in the latter with none other than former Eurovision Song Contest representative Sahlene in the song 'Killing Me Tenderly' which peaked at number #10 in Sweden despite failing to make the final and also in the former, she tried back in 2010 with the song 'Make My Day' which peaked at position number #14. The albums have not set the charts alight unfortunately with her third album bearing the same name as her entry in the Melodi Grand Prix just managing a number #39 position, barely in the top forty (40). She will surely be hoping that her brand new material which has been recorded for the holidays alongside the Oslo Gospel Choir will be more successful. Bearing the name 'Lys Imot Mørketida' which translates into the Light against Dark Periods, it will be released on the 14th November 2011 and we will be keeping you posted on more material released in due time.
Source: Maria Haukaas Mittet Facebook
In recent years, the Swedish broadcaster responsible for the nations' participation in the annual Eurovision Song Contest; SVT has initiated a brand new concept which would see an unknown act without the support of a record label or a background in performing making it to the finals of the Melodifestivalen. This year, it was decided that the format would be quite similar to the actual showcase, with people voting for just a couple of hours after having the possibility to listen to the songs for a week. The verdict has now taken place and therefore people will be once more selecting the song that will make it to the 2012 edition of the Melodifestivalen which will be hosted by three females as announced in an official press conference yesterday afternoon.
This past month has been quite interesting in Sweden due to the fact that this pre-selection was taking place. The voting has not commenced as of yet because the time span which has been put forward at this point in time is between 13:00 till 14:00, Swedish Local Time. The winner will eventually make it to the semi-finals of the 2012 Melodifestivalen. This year, it seems like the transmission of the eight (8) songs will be taking place through radio as opposed to the television broadcaster which took over to air the show from a specially commissioned place last year. It will be quite interesting to see which of the acts will make it to the finals although it seems that the first song in the list is the favourite at this point in time.
- Maria BenHajji - I mina drömmar
- David Nestander - Beautiful love
- Bowties - Need to know
- Caroline Coquard - Ingenting, ingen
- Trison - Forever by your side
- Grand Slam - All day all night
- A heartbeat away
- Never Alone - Marilyn Monroe
One of the nations which is yet to achieve major success in the annual musical event known as the Eurovision Song Contest is Belarus with only one top ten result to their name up to this point in time. Late yesterday afternoon, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of the nation, BTRC, opened the submission process for the national pre-selection, Eurofest 2012 which will be taking place for the very first time in two years. In a surprising twist of events and just for the sake of trying to improve their chances on the international scale, BTRC, have introduced a clause in the rules and regulations which states that international songwriters are allowed to submit their own compositions.
The system for the 2012 selection will be quite interesting because a professional jury will be selecting the best fifteen (15) performers that submit interest and also thirty (30) songs that are sent into the broadcaster and the idea is that this hub of songs which should be the best is then used as a 'Base' for the artists to select what they would like to sing and if it does not work out, then they may opt to change it therefore, the songs submitted should be sung by demo artists because at the end of the day, a Belarussian national will end up performing it. The semi-final in which the original songs will be chosen and premiered will be aired in December but it is imperative that the submitted entries are not released, published or publicly performed prior to the 1st September 2011 which is also the rule stipulated by the European Broadcasting Union. The songwriters who would like to submit their entries should make sure to include the followed details: Questionnaire Statement, Two Printed Copies of the Lyrics, Recording of the Song on a Disc and then of course sent to 'Ul. Makayonka, 9, Minsk, Belarus, 220807' with the title being 'Project 'EuroFest'. For more information, please make sure to follow the official website.
Success in the music industry is not that easy to achieve especially when certain nations lack the resources to make a career in the long term yet the annual musical competition known as the Eurovision Song Contest which brings about millions of viewers together has become popularized over the years to be a stepping stone for brand new artists. Therefore, when a star from the event reaches the music charts in a particular nation or well release a single and an album for example, then the event would have played a pivotal role in creating contacts for respective musicians, artists and other people who were somewhat involved in the organization. Three artists who have been at the musical competition are releasing brand new material onto their music scene hoping to add to their accolades of success.
Returning artists to the Eurovision Song Contest have not always proven to be successful and one of the aforementioned performers is surely the Cypriot national; Evridiki who took to the stage on three particular occasions, the first of which came in 1992 with the entry 'Tairiazoume' then followed by the song 'Ime anthropos ki ego' in 1994, both of which finished in a respectable eleventh place but then, in 2007, it all fell apart when the fan favourite 'Comme Ci, Comme Ca' failed to make it out of the semi-final. The singer is celebrating twenty years in the industry and she is commemorating it with a brand new album of duets. One of the songs is none other than the song 'Meine' (Stay), a rock ballad in genre sung with Giorgos Papadopoulos who also co-wrote it alongside Kurikos Ntoumos.
The first of the next two performers is none other than the Ukrainian representative at this years' musical event, Mika Newton who took to stage in a stunning performance of her song 'Angel'. She has been keeping quite busy and is now dropping a brand new single entitled 'Let It Rain' produced by Walter Afanasieffand who also co-wrote alongside Michelle Lewis and Adrian Bradford. The people she is currently working with have a lot of experience in the international music industry and that just proves how much of a success she has become since finishing in fourth place earlier this year. This new single shows off the true strength in the voice of Mika whom in my opinion was not fully tested at the Eurovision Song Contest.
The next singer definitely does not need much of an introduction, he has become an overnight celebrity in his native country. The individual concerned is none other than the second runner-up at this years' Eurovision Song Contest; Eric Saade who following his performance of the song 'Popular' went onto release his sophomore album entitled 'Saade: Vol 1' but will now be returning with a brand new compilation of original songs under the title 'Saade: Vol 2' which will be released on the 30th November 2011. Prior to that though, the Swedish performer has just released his brand new single today, a collaboration with one of the hottest pop stars at the moment in the form of DEV. When asked, the singer was ecstatic and wanted to take up the project. The brand new single entitled 'Hotter Than Fire' will surely be another hit for the young performer.
Source: Escdaily, Escxtra, Oikotimes
The Norwegian selection for the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest is already gaining ground following the large amount of submissions sent in with the hope of taking the country back to the finals after the disappointment endeared by fan favourite, Stella Mwangi and her track 'Haba Haba'. Each and every day for the past week, the broadcaster responsible for the participation in the annual musical event, NRK, has been publishing the names of the artists who have managed to get the ticket to take part in the Melodi Grand Prix. Some of them are also surprised on the spot when they are told that they have been invited to compete.
The first addition that was announced for the upcoming pre-selection is a duet between two of the most contemporary artists in Norway; and Monica Johansen also known as 'Minnie Oh' when they come into unison. According to the host of the Melodi Grand Prix, Per Sundnes who also plays a pivotal role in the selection of artists, he says that he has long in tried to convince the girls to make their appearance at their event because he believes that they have great expression and image that would ultimate spice up the showcase. Certain details about their participation are yet to become available but their past experience in the music scene including an a Grammy and X Factor competition as soloists.
Due to the fact that they did not announce an act on Monday, people were treated to two names yesterday and in fact, it is the band known as Plumbo wo are known for their hit song 'Møkkamann' which you are able to hear below. The song that they have submitted to the competition bears the name 'Ola Nordmann' and it speaks about a fellow Swede who just loves nature in all its forms. The idea of the group is to attract viewers of all ages. Apart from their hit single, they have also released a total of three albums and therefore it seems that renowned artists are entering the Melodi Grand Prix. More artists will surely be revealed in the coming days. Stay tuned for more information on ESCflashmalta.
A couple of months ago, it was announced that Ireland will return to the competition in Baku, Azerbaijan following their best result since the millennium as Jedward reached eight (8th) place with their song '' which had come through a national selection. There has been a lot of speculation of the route that the broadcaster would be taking especially due to the fact that the nation once commandeered the event winning a stunning seven times, kicking off with Dana in 1970, then Johnny Logan on two occasions in 1980 and 1987, this was then followed by Linda Martin in 1992, Niamh Kavanagh in 1993, Charlie McGettigan & Paul Harrington in 1994 and finally Eimear Quinn in 1996. The national final that was used last year will return for another go hoping that success does not lie far once more.
Last years' representatives have been touted as the successors of themselves but an internal selection was ruled out this evening when during the evening news on RTÉ, it was announced that last years' mentor system will be used to select the acts that will compete. There will be five music industry professionals and thanks to our collaborator at All Kinds of Everything, Keith Mills, it has just been revealed that one of them is none other than former winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, Linda Martin who will be taking up the twins and will aid Louis Walsh in selecting the track that will most likely be the favourite to represent the country. More names will be announced in due time but rumours have it that the manager of the brothers would love to have a second act and rumours have it that former 'X Factor' Finalist; is interested in doing the show with a huge ballad as she does best. More names and details will be released in due time therefore stay tuned for more information as soon as it becomes available.
One of the premier artists in the local music scene; known for competing in a number of music competitions including the Malta Eurosong, Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza and the Malta Hit Song Contest amongst others has just launched her debut album bearing the name 'Eyes On Me' which is also one of the tracks which has been short-listed. The amount of tracks which have been decided on making the final cut were sixteen (16), and in three languages, with English, Maltese and Italian all present. Skimming through the tracks that have been added to the compilation, one would see a variety of styles ranging from pop to ethnic to represent the vocal capabilities of the artists.
The credits of the album are somewhat extremely impressive actually especially when one notes the fact that a number of foreigners have made the cut along with Maltese and this proves to be an international effort hence the support of one of the promising recording labels in Europe, Cap-Sounds which has been supporting the Maltese entries in the Eurovision Song Contest for quite a couple of years, with the main distribution over the Western sector of Europe through Universal Music Germany. In fact, overseeing this album was the Managing Director, Manfred Holz, also the manager of two time Eurovision Song Contest representative; Fabrizio Faniello whilst the mastering was done in Germany by Frank Motnik. The songwriters that have been included are as follows:
- Philip Vella
- Gerard James Borg
- Deo Grech
- Clinton Paul
- Rita Pace
- Paul Abela
- Figen Cakmak
- Fani Hodara
- Francesco Bonagura
Most of the album was recorded in Malta but there was were also recordings done abroad. The launch in itself was held at the Qawra Palace Hotel; and it was attended by the composers and authors, family and friends together with fans and members of the media including ESCflashmalta and Esctoday from the online press. The album in itself was launched by the Vice President of the World Association of Festival and Artists; Ms Figen Cakmak, who came for this occasion, she was joined by the Executive Producer of the album and also the President of the same association; Robert Cefai. The album is now for sale through two album platforms including; Itunes and Amazon whilst in local record stores, one can also find it in local stores through D'Amato's record shop only. For more information about the upcoming projects that Romina Mamo will be undertaking in the next couple of months, please visit her official website which was also launched on the same day.
Source: Press Release