Marc Calleja Bayliss
Maestro Ray Agius is one of the most talented songwriters in the local music industry noting that some of his work has represented the country in foreign waters, including Keep Me In Mind performed by Mike Spiteri which achieved tenth place back in 1995 as well as Let Me Fly which was sung by Debbie Scerri landing ninth place back in 1997. He is also the most successful songwriter in the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza having penned a total of six winning entries, the last of which being B'Rieda tal-Azzar performed by Mike Spiteri in 2011. At the moment, his latest project is composing the music to the lyrics of Michael Vella Haber and Evelyn Saliba la Rosa for the series D.R.E.A.M.S which airs every Wednesday on Television Malta at 20:45 CET. escflashmalta.com has always been proud to support this project due to the fact that it gives space to the younger generation of performers. This evening will mark the twenty-ninth (29th) episode of the series are the recent developments in storylines continue to develop and evolve accordingly.
Alex (Luke Brincat) seems to be the focal point of the story at the moment especially after the revelation that he comes from a long line of royal descendants. Jade (Rachel Genovese), Katia (Jade Cini) and Andre' (Jervis Galea) were the last to see him as they were having a double date in a restaurant. Unfortunately, the thugs that want to see the dynasty dead including Francalanza (Joe Tanti) managed to force his mother, Gina (Jospehine Fuller) to get him into the car with them. His location is still unknown but nevertheless, the audience knows that thus far, he is still alive. As his parents are re-united in this upcoming episode, they receive a mysterious package, and with caution, they have to vet the package. In the meantime, Katie and Jade are still trying to grasp the whole situation and thus snoop around ever so slightly to try and understand better.
Two weeks ago, Antoinette (Annalise Psaila) was visited by a talent scout (Dominic Cini) in order to try and lure her to the United States of America where there she would be studying to improve her voice and use it in the best possible manner. She has yet to tell her parents about the opportunity that has been granted to her but nevertheless approaches her mother, Theresa (Shirley Blake). Could it be the reaction expected by Antoinette or will everything go swiftly? On the other hand, Hilda (Evelyn Saliba La Rosa) goes to see her sister in jail to speak of the progress being done with regards to her fellow inmates problems. Elaine (Graziella Zammit), Janet (Donnah Busuttil), Patsy (Analise Mifsud) and Maria (Marie-Claire Sammut) all seem to be entangled in a web, possibly of romance but nevertheless, more problems seem to evolve rather than be solved in this particular situation. Stay tuned for this and more on this evenings' episode of D.R.E.A.M.S. kicking off at around 20:45 CET.
Source: Rewind Productions
Despite a series of non-qualification attempts, San Marino was one of the first countries to confirm their presence in the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest set to take place in Denmark. Earlier this year, Valentina Monetta took to the stage with the track Crisalide (Vola) composed by Ralph Siegel and penned by Mauro Balestri, finishing in eleventh place, the best result by the micro-state. This was the second time that Valentina had taken on the role of representative having performed The Social Network Song composed by Ralph Siegel and penned by Timothy Touchton, Jose Santana Rodriguez finishing in fourtheenth place the preceding year.
SMTV, broadcaster responsible for the participation of San Marino has signed a pre-agreement which sees Valentina Monetta represent the micro-state for the third time. The artistic director will be none other than Fabrizio Raggi whilst Ralph Siegel will once more pen the entry as has been touted for the past couple of weeks. The announcement will not come as a surpsrise after the Director of the broadcasting house of San Marino had stated that he would be happy to see Valentina give it another shot in 2014. Valentina is the fourth artist ever to represent her country three times in a row following in the footsteps of Lys Assia (Switzerland), Corry Brokken (The Netherlands) and Udo Jurgens (Austria). Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Denmark.
AvroTros, the broadcaster responsible for The Netherlands from next years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest is yet to unveil what selection method will be used following the success achieved by Anouk and her entry Birds which qualified to the final and finished in ninth place. This was the very first qualification since 2004, the same year in which the semi-final system was implemented but on top of that, it was also the first top ten result since 1999 when Marlayne had performed One Good Reason finishing in eighth place. During a recent concert given by Anouk in The Netherlands, she suggested a name of who could possibly represent her home country next year.
The name suggested is that of Shirma Rouse, the female backing vocalist at this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. Shirma is trying to establish herself as a lead vocalist in The Netherlands at the moment noting the release of a studio album entitled Chocolate Coated Dreams as well as lead single Gotta Be My Girl. The genre of the performer is predominantly motown and seems to be inspired by The Supremes, echoing a sixties vibe. AvroTros which will officially be incorporated in the next couple of months features both broadcasters with membership into the European Broadcasting Union, is thought to have a large national selection planned in order to let the public have a decision on the final outcome. Plans will be revealed in due course but in the meantime, we encourage you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.
Gianluca, representative of Malta at this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the track Tomorrow co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat is currently working on his debut studio album. During the Pan-European competition, the young male artist who is a full time doctor by profession achieved the best result for Malta since 2005 when he finished in eighth place whilst accompanied on stage by Kenny D'Ugo, Gabriel Cassar, Christopher Tate, Louise Anne Bugeja Tate and Samaria Bezzina.
In recent weeks, Gianluca has been busy in the studio with Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat recording a set of brand new songs, all of which will be included in the debut studio album. One of the four tracks included on the extended play that helped promote Malta to the rest of the continent in the months leading up to the competition was I'll Be There which Gianluca also had the opportunity to perform during the London Preview Party. This track, a cheerful, ditty number has been released in full for all to hear. It is worth noting that the set of original songs will most likely be light and tailor made for the summer months. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.
Source: Official Facebook Page
In recent years, during the course of the summer months, the focus of the editorial board at escflashmalta.com switches completely to the local music scene and this year won't be any different. A decision was taken up a couple of days back to host weekly interviews with a number of artists who make up the local music scene and kicking off the feature will be none other than Corazon. It is worth noting that the female performer is a three time winner of L-Għanja tal-Poplu, a two time finalist in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, and host of the daily television programme TVPM alongside Peter Carbonaro.
In recent years, your profile has risen following two successive appearances at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with the ballads Mystifying Eyes and My Stranger Love, both composed by Paul Giordimaina and penned by Fleur Balzan. Apart from being talented, there is always an amount of luck attached to getting through to the final phases of such a competition. Will you be putting your name forward in the eventuality of such a selection process in 2014 or will you be taking a break and focusing on other specific projects?
I agree that the Malta Eurovision Song Contest is a very important platform for artists in Malta, because of the popularity it enjoys and also because of the professional way it is put up. At the moment I am evaluating the best way to present myself next year.
A host of artists from the local music scene including yourself have successfully represented Malta in international competitions finishing within the top three and this is definitely positive for an industry which lacks the necessary means to compete with the ones abroad. One of your last triumphs abroad was surely in Tenerife, Spain where you had performed the song Come Fly With Me composed by Renato Briffa and penned by Alfred E Baldacchino. How does such an experience shape your professional attitude and what is your take on the talent that makes up the local music scene?
Performing abroad has allowed me to break out of my microcosm and realise how much talent and commitment there is out there. I really admire artists who are committed to becoming better, and more complete singers/musicians/songwriters from the inside. This requires a lot of self-motivation, stamina and hard-headedness as it’s very easy to get discouraged and demotivated. The music market in Malta unfortunately encourages a laissez-faire attitude and many artists are caught in the trap of ‘playing what people want’ which closes them in a suffocating and delusional cycle. I’d like to think that I can manage to make people ‘like what I play’ which is an inverse measure. I really admire Maltese artists who have managed to break the cycle and succeed in it. I realise that this can be a slower path towards feeling appreciated artistically, but it is definitely more challenging and rewarding.
Looking for You, your first single away from the world of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest was aimed at reaching the masses who listen to the radio and indeed, it was air played by 89.7 Bay which is considered to be a hallmark in the career of any local artist. What is even more intriguing is that you were the one who wrote the song with the production and the mixing done by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat. Tell us, what inspired you to write this song in particular and would you consider working on something similar for the festival bridging the gap between the festival and radio?
Speaking of breaking boundaries. I think that Boris and Dean have managed to do this with Gianluca’s song this year and we all know that the formula worked! ‘Looking for You’ definitely worked as a radio single and with hindsight I think it would have also worked for Eurovision. It’s catchy and meaningful at the same time and Boris and Dean helped me find the correct balance between those two elements. I’ll take your question as a suggestion and think about it, it’s definitely an option to consider!
Maltese, a beautiful language which I personally have had the pleasure of studying, under the tutelage of some of the more formidable lecturers in the country. Your affinity with the language has been noted on more than one occasion, with years of participations in L-Ghanja tal-Poplu including earlier this year with the track it-Tweġiba which translates into ‘The Answer’. You have won the event, not once or twice but thrice, the last victory coming in 2011 with the track Mill-Ghajnejn ta’ Tifla which translates into From the Eyes of a Daughter. What is your opinion about the Maltese language and why do you return to L-Ghanja tal-Poplu time and time again?
The ease with which I express myself in Maltese explains why it is my preferred language to write songs in. Of course it is also the language with which I expressed my most important feelings throughout my life. As a baby I’d call out to my parents in Maltese, and I’ve said my first ‘Inħobbok’ in Maltese. Incidentally my mother used to be a Maltese teacher so she exposed me to so much Maltese literature at home and painstakingly corrected every minute spelling mistake in my writing and that’s where I get an annoying, meticulous streak in speaking and writing Maltese properly. The ‘Ghanja tal-Poplu’ was the first time I exposed my songwriting in public and found an immense sense of encouragement and enthusiasm in those who heard my lyrics and my songs. This is why the festival means a lot to me and I keep taking part because I am attached to it and the atmosphere that surrounds the festival.
Staying on the topic of language, your cultural and ethical background has very much been reflected in the tracks you have presented in Maltese across the years and therefore people have grown to expect you to perform subjects which evoke a certain type of aura. At this present moment, you are working on an album of brand new and original songs in Maltese; one which you performed on the television show, TVPM entitled Id-Dar tan-Nanna. The track was met with positive acclaim on social networking outlets but what is to be expected of the whole album and when will it be released to the local music market?
That’s right – you are so correct in judging what the public is expecting out of me. I am sure the end result will not be disappointing in that regard. The album is studded with new tracks dealing with different aspects of Maltese life and society. The lyrics are interesting, intricate and moving but at the same time easy to understand, because they speak of a reality we all know and have been exposed to. I hope that the album will set new standards in Maltese music and that it can pass on the message that Maltese music has not stopped at ‘The Tramps’ and ‘New Cuorey’. Although I have a great admiration for our musical legacy, I believe that it must be adjourned and new artists need to keep writing valid and lasting Maltese music.
The album may surprise quite a few ears as regards the way the tracks are arranged. The piano is an important feature, but it is definitely not the only feature. At the studio with engineer Manolito Galea, we have experimented with many different kinds of piano sounds, in order to create a distinct character for every track but the piano is only the base of more complete arrangements, so beautifully put together by Dominic Galea, a master in adapting music to words in Maltese. I have not set a target date for myself as I’ve already invested so much in it that I’d like to keep refining things until I am convinced that it is the best it can be, even visually. The advantage I have in this regard is that the tracks are undated and don’t come with an expiry date. However, I am imagining that we can close things off in a couple of months and, without promise, will probably be launching the album around October.
Corazon, a vocalist who started participating in notable singing competitions at the tender age of eighteen to a known figure in the entertainment industry having had the opportunity to host L-Ghanja tal-Poplu last year as well a personality on the daily television show TVPM which you also host alongside Peter Carbonaro who is the Music Manager for the Artist who would be representing Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest. How do you manage to level between the two roles and would you give up singing completely if a major hosting opportunity comes along?
The risk here would be that of falling into a comfort zone and never excelling at any one of the two disciplines or alternatively that of allowing one career to overshadow the other completely. This dual personality of mine is still setting in everyone’s minds including mine and I am very conscious of the traps I can allow myself to fall into. I cannot say it was easy this year to juggle two very demanding careers. How have I managed? I practically work around the clock and depend a lot on the enormous amount of support from those around me. If a great opportunity in hosting comes along, I would be more than ready to sideline my singing career for a while and this also applies vice versa. But definitely not ready to give up singing completely, or at least music in a broader sense as the latter means more to me than simply being a singer.
For the very first time since 2005, Malta not only managed to qualify from the semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest but also managed to reach a top ten position thanks to Gianluca and his entry Tomorrow co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat. The issue at hand is that the choice of the act was mainly based through a local and international panel of judges which made their decision relatively clear, defying the public of Kevin Borg and his song Needing You which he co-wrote with Thomas Thörnholm, Dan Attlerud, Michael Clauss and Simon Gribbe. Looking at things from an outside perspective, what is your opinion?
If you are asking me whether we’d have done better with Kevin Borg, I really don’t know and no one will ever know. What if the public had to vote again now, with hindsight of the final result?
Would you like to say anything to our readers at escflashmalta.com?
Thank you so much for supporting local music and I promise you’ll be the first to know as soon as my new album is ready. I’m looking forward to sharing this exciting project with you!
L'Essenziale performed by Marco Mengoni, who also just happens to be the co-writer alongside Roberto Casalino and Francesco De Benedettis finished in seventh place at the Eurovision Song Contest with a total of one hundred and twenty six points. Ultimately, commercial success has been achieved in no less than eight countries including Austria, Belgium, Germany, Netherlands, Spain and Switzerland amongst others. This years' edition of the Pan-European event had the best following in the past three years in Italy noting that the broadcaster, RAI is showing an increased interest in presenting music to the rest of the continent with record labels using the platform to promote artists abroad.
Firenze was lit up during most of the evening as they hosted the MTV Italy Awards last night and one of the drawcards was undoubtely Marco Mengoni who performed his latest single Pronto a Correre taken off his sophomore album of the same name. The brand new track which is currently at number #9 on the FIMI Charts is quite different to his debut single off the album, L'Essenziale but captures the audience with a strong message. Marco was nominated for several awards, and did managed to triumph in a couple including the 'Air Action Vigorsol Superman' Award which was given to the artist who is most likely idolised. Marco Mengoni is one of the fastest rising stars in Italy and he will surely become one of the successful stories of Sanremo in the many years to follow. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.
Source: Official Facebook
TV Hemm, the daily television show produced by Where's Everybody is set to unveil the latest music video by Fabrizio Faniello. The renowned male artist has collaborated with Posse Jones on a song bearing the name The Sound of Life is Pop which will be used as a theme song for a television show in Germany. The revelation will be made on Friday, 21st June 2013 on Television Malta, the national broadcaster but nevertheless, the video will then be made available on YouTube and other Social Networks.
Fabrizio Faniello garnered considerable fame when he represented Malta in the 2001 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the track Another Summer Night composed by Paul Abela to the lyrics of Georgina Abela finishing in ninth place and achieving maximum marks from the host country, Denmark. In 2006, he won the ticket to represent the country for a second time with the track I Do which he co-wrote with Aldo Spiteri but was rather unsuccessful. In recent years, Fabrizio spoke of his desire to return to the Pan-European event and has participated in the 2011 and 2012 editions of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest finishing in fourth and sixth place respectively. escflashmalta.com had the pleasure to carry his latest official video for the track The Hardest Thing originally performed by Tose Proeski and co-written by Gary Barlow, lead singer of Take That and current British X Factor judge. Stay tuned for all of the latest news.
Source: CAP Sounds
Only Teardrops, co-written by Lise Cabble, Julia Fabrin Jakobsen, Thomas Stengaard with vocals provided by Emmelie de Forest was the undisputed winner of this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with both the professional juries and the public at home selecting the track as their overwhelming favourite. DR, broadcaster responsible for the participation of Denmark in collaboration with Sony Music have worked on a promotional video which will help promote the song across the continent.
The track which has peaked within the top ten in more than ten countries including; Sweden, Spain, Norway, Sweden, Luxembourg, Iceland and The Netherlands has received positive criticism and continued to add to the high acclaim that the Eurovision Song Contest has been achieving as of late with several commercial success to the winners. One cannot forget tracks such as Euphoria by Loreen which won for Sweden in 2012 or Satellite by Lena-Meyer Landrut which won for Germany in 2010 because their stories have been written in time and both artists have found success following the competition. Emmelie de Forest is also promoting her debut album of the same name which has already peaked at number #4 in Denmark. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.
Following a one year absence from the top ten, Greece made a remarkable return earlier this year with the track Alcohol is Free performed by Koza Mostra featuring Agathon Iakovidis. ERT, the national broadcaster is currently facing some financial issues but nevertheless, the European Broadcasting Union and major broadcasters around Europe are supporting the cause in the best possible way. In the meantime, it is thought that Greece will still return to the pan-European competition in Denmark and thus the rumours have already commenced especially with the possibility of a MAD Television and ERT collaboration.
Kostas Martakis, first runner-up at the national final back in 2008 with the track Always and Forever composed by Dimitris Kontopoulos and penned by Vicky Gerothodorou is one of the names being touted as the next representative. Nevertheless, the focus will definitely be on a national selection should both broadcasters be involved in the decision making. Since emerging on the reality talent show, Dream Show back in 2006, Kostas Martakis has won considerable acclaim and signed multiple record deals including with Sony BMG Greece (2006-2009), Universal Music Greece (2009-2012) and most recently Platinum Records (2013).
Speaking to the Greek media about the possibility of representing Greece at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2014, he stated 'Do you think it's my time to go? .. I will be honored if I find the right song, which I want the people to vote for'. We're sure that such rumours will continue to persist in the next couple of months. Kostas Martakis appeared during the Greek national selection as a special guest where he performed Fairytale with Alexander Rybak. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest which is taking place in Denmark following the victory of Emmelie de Forest with the song Only Teardrops.
Gypsy Genes, a non-traditional name for a brand new band which is ready to take over the local music scene hoping to 'bring to the island, something new and hip'. I was sent their debut single entitled Red Hot Money through a message on social networking website, Facebook and indeed, it seems to be a fusion of disco, funk and pop at the very same time. Typically, I am not the biggest fan of several genres jumbled up together but this is a professionally produced track and merits success. Gypsy Genes is made up of five members; Raxku on Drums, Kram on Keyboards, Chris Xuereb on Bass, Rikki Lee on Vocals and David Cassar Torreggiani on Guitars.
David Cassar Torreggiani is definitely the most experience of the clan noting that he is also a part of the group Scar who were in this years' edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest whilst also co-writing the track Never Walk Away by Chris Grech which finished in fourth place and also won the public award on escflashmalta.com as given out on Sas-Sitta which airs on NET Television. Red Hot Money has already been gaining popularity on radio considering that it entered Malta's Top Ten with Nathan D on 89.7 Bay as the only new entry of the week. Those who would love to listen to the track constantly may purchase it through digital store, iTunes. We encourage you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about the local music scene as soon as it becomes available.