Dean Muscat, an accomplished male songwriter who co-wrote "Tomorrow", sung by Gianluca Bezzina during the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest, has recently turned his attention to becoming a lead vocalist, issuing his debut single, "Twentysomething". A guitar led ballad, with hints of wind chimes and a harmonica, there is a certain aura which quickly reminds the listener of a Ben Howard album track, one which stands out from the rest.
"Twentysomething", written and recorded by Dean Muscat at home, was then professionally mixed and mastered by Robin Ball and Ivan Jackman. Since being uploaded onto YouTube, it has amassed well over a 1,000 views, as well as a string of positive comments. Dabbling into the art of performance, Dean Muscat is hoping to spread around a positive message, one which brings out emotion. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the local music scene.
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.
Malta, filled to the brim with talent has produced some scintillating collaborations along the years, but none of them will match up to the expectation of an upcoming combination featuring Gianluca and Davinia. The renowned vocalists, who competed against each other in the 2013 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with "Tomorrow", co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat, and "Betrayed" composed by Elton Zarb to the lyrics of Matthew Mercieca, are joining forces on a brand new radio single.
As stated above, collaborations could very much scintillating if given time and dedication, hence why the creative process is currently in full swing. Elton Zarb of Freetime Productions will be responsible for the music, whilst Matthew Mercieca will be responsible for the lyrics. This is a project initiated by Davinia, currently at number #9 on Malta's Top Ten with Nathan D, having been as high up as number #3 with her latest single "Ouch!" It is worth keeping in mind that Gianluca represented Malta in the 2013 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, achieving the nation's best result in 8 years by finishing in 8th place. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.
In 2013, The Netherlands took to the stage of the Eurovision Song Contest with one of the most popular female singer/songwriters in the nation; Anouk, following years of declined invitations. It was truly a step in the right direction, noting that they reached the finals for the very first time since 2004, achieving a top ten (10) position by virtue of a ninth (9th) place finish. Birds, a wonderful atmospheric ballad laid solid foundations for the release of her most recent studio album, Sad Singalong Songs, which peaked at number #1 in The Netherlands.
It has been quite an astonishing couple of months for Anouk, with her most recent solo effort, Wigger also climbing steadily into the digital charts, despite no apparent promotion, and her most recent collaboration with DJ Afrojack; You and I is currently peaking at number #2 on iTunes, having been made available just a couple of hours ago. At this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, The Netherlands will be represented by The Common Linnets; a duo made up of Waylon and Ilse DeLange, the latter being one of the most famous singer/songwriters in the country. The song is yet to be announced although a formal presentation in expected in the next couple of weeks. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news.
In 2013, Tomorrow co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat with vocals provided by Gianluca, was selected by the professional jury present in the venue as the song to represent Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest, despite having finished second in the public vote. In the months following the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, the singing doctor grew in confidence and reached eighth (8th) place, the nations’ best result in eight (8) years, whilst also finished first with the jury during the semi-final stage of the competition. In 2014, Gianluca is still around of course, and has just published his brand new single, Light Me Up.
Less than a week ago, Gianluca took to the stage of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest as one (1) of the three (3) hosts for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. Rather than conventional hosting though, him and Ira Losco, Malta’s most successful female artists performed a handful of duets, ones which will go down in the local music scene as timeless. Their performance of Let Her Go was a distinct highlight, noting that the original version shot back to number #1 on the local iTunes in recent days, as did original versions of Happy and Something I Need, performed at the event by Gianluca and his siblings. Whilst Gianluca has always admitted that his day job as a doctor comes first, he has become a great performer, and thus we encourage you all to purchase a copy of his debut album Waiting for Tomorrow and latest single Light Me Up. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news.
Source: Official Facebook Page
In 2013, Birgit Õigemeel and her entry Et Uus Saaks Alguse made sure that Estonia got through to the final of the Eurovision Song Contest on three consecutive occasions for the very first time since 2004, the year in which the semi-final system was introduced to the international event. Whilst her twentieth place might have not been enlightening on a personal level, she had a lot to be thankful for; having had the opportunity to become a mother of a baby boy and also release a brand new studio album entitled Uus Algus.
One of the tracks on the album entitled Pea Meeles Head is a stunning ballad featuring the vocals of Ott Lepland, one of the most successful artists in Estonia, having achieved sixth place at the 2012 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with Kuula, a track which he helped co-write. It is important to note that this is not the first time that the two had collaborated together, having also joined forces on a Christmas Tour back in 2011. The duet emphasises the ability of both performers and would have definitely made a great entry for the Eurovision Song Contest. You may listen to the track through Spotify. In the meantime, stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.
In music, a year is very much a reflection of historical evidence and when it comes to 2013, Malta will very much remember the remarkable success that it achieved on both a local and an international field. As the public prepares to drink champagne and sing the tune of Auld Lang Syne along with Happy New Year, originally released by Abba, we aim to have a look at the most memorable moments of the year in this editorial. As a matter of fact, we have been through the major news items for both the general Eurovision Song Contest as well as the local music scene and one could easily denote the progress that has been made on both a national and a foreign level of vocal talent and songs in general.
January; a relatively quiet month in the local music scene with the Public Broadcasting Services busy prepping for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, which was set to take place during the first weekend of February. Nevertheless, escflashmalta.com for the third year running managed to exclusively reveal the names of the hosts of the selection; Gordon Bonello, Rodney Gauci and Elaine Saliba. In the local music market, Corazon and Lynday both unveiled new singles; Save Your Smile and Daphne but the focus was definitely on the foreign music market with no less than three countries revealing the names of the artists who would represent them at the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest including; France (Amandine Bourgeois), Armenia (Gor Suyjan) and Denmark (Emmelie de Forest).
February; The month of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest was upon us, and following a somewhat technically disappointing semi-final, the Public Broadcasting Services upped the ante for the final night, which saw to the success of Gianluca Bezzina and his entry Tomorrow co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat. It managed to beat the favourite, Needing You sung by Kevin Borg and co-written with Danne Attlerud, Michael Clauss, Simon Gribbe and Thomas Thornholm. Following the evening, escflashmalta.com held their annual awards, seeing to the success of Klinsmann, Chris Grech and the aforementioned Kevin Borg, with NET Television being the place where they were given. In the meantime, both Cyprus and Slovenia made use of internal selections in revealing Despina Olympiou and Hannah Mancini as their representatives.
March; In a relatively surprise announcement, L-Għanja tal-Poplu announced that they had received almost forty (40) submissions for the local competition, amongst them from the likes of Romina Mamo and Rita Pace. Keeping in line with the local music scene, Ira Losco followed up the release of her single What I’d Give with a brand new album entitled The Fire which has been denoted by critics as the most notable release in the local music industry. During the same period, on an internal level, stars Marco Mengoni and Cascada were chosen to represent Italy and Germany respectively, or rather confirmed their entries in entirety at this point. Gianluca’s promotional campaign as he represents Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest had officially commenced with the first ever lyric video.
April; At this month dawned, most of the country had made their respective selection for the international competition and thus focus quickly turned on on the outlook of the local music scene as Karen DeBattista managed to beat Marie Claire Attard Bason to become the first finalist of the 2013 Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, through the Passport 2 Indifest challenge on Sas-Sitta. It was later on revealed that she would be performing the song Riflessi composed by Mark Scicluna to the lyrics of Emil Calleja Bayliss. In the meantime, L-Għanja tal-Poplu took place with Cherise Attard finishing in first place with the track Hawn Siġġu Nieqes composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas to the lyrics of Paul Ellul. At this point, Ira Losco continued her radio and digital success, aided by her first concert in quite some time.
The month of May, and thus the Eurovision Song Contest had quickly arrived and several readers of escflashmalta.com had their eyes on Gianluca Bezzina whose Tomorrow was a proven hit and indeed succeeded in not only reaching the final, but finishing in eighth place, the nations’ best result in seven (7) years. The big winner was Emmelie de Forest from Denmark whose song Only Teardrops enchanted both the jury and the public at home. escflashmalta.com kept their annual coverage with guest commentators including Simon Casey, Davinia, Claudia Faniello, Brooke, Lauren White, Magnus Kaxe and Christabelle. Thousands of people viewed the respective reports and with the aid of the team of Radio International and Eurovision Ireland, the competition was analysed and covered in the most profound and detailed way possible.
Summer could not kick off on a more positive note with the release of On The Dancefloor by Jan Cortez, setting the tone of the season and earning airplay on 89.7 Bay. As always, the preparations for the Joseph Calleja concert were being held at this point in time, as the line-up was revealed to include Rebecca Ferguson, Zucchero and Gianluca Bezzina, fresh off his success. In the meantime, on a positive note, it was announced by the Culture Department that local artists will get the chance to perform at the Isle of MTV with Kristina Casolani and Gianluca Bezzina both booking their spots at the event. No clarification was given over the choice especially with the top tier of artists; Jon Lukas, Davinia, The Crowns releasing brand new material.
As the temperatures were getting warmer, NET Television decided to publish the list of the names who had got through the final of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, and also shot music videos, in an attempt to continue the fine tradition, which started with the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. Maltese, as a national language had definitely it’s most intriguing month due to the fact that apart from the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, it was revealed that the International Festival of Maltese Song was set for a comeback, and no sooner than in November. Some of the most prominent names in the industry put their first foot forward and the line-up was miles better than that presented at the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza with the likes of Miriam Christine, Janvil, Fiona Cauchi, Roger Tirazona and Olivia Lewis who was making her comeback as well.
August, known to be the last official month of summer saw to the release of Fed Up by Maxine Pace, who would later on be given a prominent role in the Maltese delegation during the surprise return of the country at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Joseph Calleja gives his annual concert with only a handful of performances garnering a standing ovation, one of them being of the song Xemx which he performed in a duet with Gianluca Bezzina. Glen Vella, representative of Malta in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest released a statement where he acknowledged that Finally by Richard Edwards should have represented the country, and most likely achieved a much better result. By the end of the month, the International Festival of Maltese Song had a logo and Red Electrick had a brand new single, The Runaway which would top the local music charts for several weeks.
Double the amount of entries received for L-Għanja tal-Poplu were received by the International Festival of Maltese Song, and whilst this number was encouraging, there was still a sheer amount of disappointment with many sceptic over the quality of the competition. Joseph Calleja was recognised as the world renowned tenor he has become by receiving a nomination at the Class Brit Awards. The Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza took place with Fabrizio Faniello sweeping the top prize with the track Aħfirli Jekk Trid composed by Minik to the lyrics of Rita Pace. The surprise of many came when during the evening news bulletin, on the 25th September 2013, Malta had internally selected Gaia Cauchi to do the honours and represent the country at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.
The 2014 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest might be months away, but the preparations from artists, songwriters and producers had commenced and a flurry made use of escflashmalta.com to reveal their intentions including; Tiziana Calleja, Gloriana Arpa Belli, Eleanor Cassar, Richard Edwards, Klinsmann, Melanie Zammit, Kaya, Janvil, Claudia Faniello, Danica Muscat, Fabrizio Faniello, Neville Refalo and Josef Tabone amongst others. Olivia Lewis gave an interview to a Radju Kottoner, stating she was planning to release a debut album in Maltese in the very near future, one which include all her hits along with brand new and original songs. The Public Broadcasting Services accepted entries for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with several submissions, eventually totalling to a record breaking 210, the largest amount since the national broadcaster took over the selection process in totality.
November, the month in which there were three major events; kicking off with the International Festival of Maltese Song which was not only the return of Olivia Lewis, but also her success with the song Hawn Mill-Ġdid composed by Paul Abela to the lyrics of Joe Julian Farrugia. In second place was Mark Tonna and his track Poeta Bla Kliem composed by Mark Scicluna with lyrics by Emil Calleja Bayliss and in third place, Dario and Grecia Bezzina with the song Solitaire composed by Dario Bezzina to the lyrics of Rita Pace. Malta’s return to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest proved successful, as The Start co-written by Matt Mercieca, Elton Zarb, Gillian Attard and Gaia Cauchi emerged as the clear favourite in the week leading up to the competition, and then finishing as the remarkable winner.
Just a day before the final though, the public broadcaster revealed the names of the acts through to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2014, a list which comprised of several newcomers such as Raquel Galdes, De Bee and Daniel Testa whilst also noting former Eurovision representatives in the form of Fabrizio Faniello and Miriam Christine. It was always going to be a year to remember, but nevertheless, several broadcasters were at this stage revealing their intentions for the upcoming edition of the international competition, seeing to the return of Portugal and Poland, whilst Valentina Monetta, The Common Linnets, Tijana Dapcevic and Conchita Wurst were internally selected to represent San Marino, The Netherlands, FYR Macedonia and Austria respectively. As the year came to an end, Ukraine and Albania made their respective choices and the Public Broadcasting Services unveiled the music videos accompanying the entries in next years’ selection process.
At the moment, we are gearing up for the upcoming season accompanying the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest but that does not mean our coverage of former entrants stops there. Robin Stjernberg, representative of Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest earlier this year, has recently revealed his sophomore album, Pieces. The release of the collection along with a single of the same name is being promoted through a promotional video, attached at the bottom of the page.
Robin Stjernberg, signed to Lionheart Music Group, and distributed by Universal Music, also home to artists such as Sonja Alden and Anna Bergendahl is looking to launch his career following his runner-up finish in Idol and his participation within the Eurovision Song Contest. His sophomore release peaked at number 2 in the Swedish charts and has already been certified gold following a surge in sales during the first week of release. Both the single and the album could be purchased through digital store, iTunes. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.
Source: Press Release
FranceTélévisions, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of France within the Eurovision Song Contest has launched a casting call which will see to the selection of an artist to represent the nation at the upcoming edition of the international competition taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark. Earlier this year, Amandine Bourgeois and her entry L'Enfer et Moi finishing in a disappointing 23rd place with just 13 points.
Emmelie de Forest, the winner of this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the track Only Teardrops co-written by Lise Cabble, Julia Fabrin Jakobsen and Thomas Stengaard has just unveiled the music video for her follow-up single, Hunter and Prey. The track co-written by Lise Cabble, Jakob Glæsner and Emmelie de Forest was selected from the strong twelve track debut album which bears the sane name of her most successful track yet, the winning entry of the Eurovision Song Contest 2013.
The video is recorded in the nature at Sejerø, a small island outside the west coast of Zealand and was directed by Nicolas Tobias Følsgaard. Included in the video are the two drummers, who backed Emmelie up on stage in the Danish final as well as in Malmö, Jacob Baagøe and Morten Specht from Copenhagen Drummers. Since winning the international competition, Emmelie de Forest released her debut album Only Teardrops through Universal Music Denmark. It has managed to chart in several countries including Denmark (#4), France (#91), Germany (#61) and Sweden (#50) amongst others. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.
Source: Universal Music Denmark