Rehearsals for this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest commenced on Monday and will be going through early next week including during the days where the semi-finals are planned. We would like to invite you to the weekly Ultimate Eurovision Experience. Apart from the means of FM Radio in the Netherlands on FM 106.8 and the audio stream from the studio via www.radiointernational.tv and on Digital Cable 781 & Cable 8.1Mhz in the Netherlands, the show will also be web-televised via the Radio International TV Channel from the studio and linking up the many international Eurovision fans and friends and play your requests and read your messages out on air. The simulcast will be from 2000 – 2300 hours CET. Due to the fact that we are currently in Malmo, there won't be the typical music requests or interviews that we normally air.
In supporting the Eurovision Song Contest, Radio International will be airing a two week special entitled Eurovision 2013 Meets Eurovision 2013 which is basically as review of last years' entries in comparison to this years' entries. It will be the final way to familiarise yourselves with the songs that will be taking to the stage in less than a weeks time really. As rehearsals are currently ongoing, we would like you to follow all of the latest interviews through the official Youtube Channel of escflashmalta.com as well as following the coverage of all of the rehearsals as they unfold on stage. In this years' edition of the international spectacle, there are a total of thirty-nine (39) countries fighting for the right to host next years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. Two semi-finals will see to the qualification of ten (10) songs each with those selected then performing alongside the Big Five and the host country within the final. We encourage you to stay logged on with escflashmalta.com as more news is uncovered.
Source: Press Release
Cascada fronted by lead vocalist, Natalie Horler got another promotional activity settled as a performance of the song Glorious, the entry for the Eurovision Song Contest on behalf of Germany took place during this years' edition of the ECHO Awards which took place last night. In recent weeks, there has been a lot of talk over the general commercial disappointment regarding this years' national selection by nevertheless, the winning entry was as high as number #6 and is spending a fourth week in the top #50 which should definitely count as a positive element. That was only one of the several connections with the Eurovision Song Contest that evolved throughout the course of the evening.
Lena Meyer-Landrut, winner of the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest with the track Satellite is still going strong in her native Germany with both the album Stardust and the leading single of the same name managing to go up to number #2 in the charts. During the course of the gala, Lena was awarded with the accolade for Best Video whilst she gave a resounding performance of her latest track entitled Neon (Lonely People) which she had also performed during the national final earlier this year. In the meantime, last years' Eurovision Song Contest representative, Roman Lob was also awarded the Best Radio Single by the organising body for his song Standing Still which got Germany to eighth place at the annual event. Cascada will have to keep in mind that in the past three years, the country has managed top ten positions and thus, she might be feeling anxious but if last nights' performance is anything to go by, she seems very much prepared. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.
Source: ECHO, Lina Schütze (Image)
2013 is officially just a couple of hours away and several people are already gearing up to pop the corks off their champagne bottles but nevertheless, there is still one more day to go through and hopefully, that will also be one to remember in a positive manner. It has been an endearing year, with several positive aspects. 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. Kicking off things in January, one has to remember that the announcement of the semi-finalists of the 2012 Malta Eurovision Song Contest took place on the programme Xarabank preceding a number of promotional activities which took place across the national broadcasters' frequencies including Television Malta, Radju Malta and Maltin Biss.
That is just the beginning noting that when the showcase actually came about as held in the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre at the end of February, several people were shocked to see that Eleanor Cassar with the song I Want to Runaway and Annalise Ellul with Whoop It Up! were eliminated at the first hurdle. The final also opened up a number of questions due to the fact that Kurt Calleja with the track This Is The Night managed to beat the favourite Claudia Faniello with Pure despite not managing to win the full approval of the jury. According to unconfirmed statistics, he won the tele-voting by a large margin which secured his representation of the country. At this same time that the event was being staged, organisers of the Għanja tal-Poplu were gearing up for the return of the competition and indeed, they managed to garner forty two (42) entries in total, including from Malta Eurovision Song Contest semi-finalist; Janice Mangion, Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza finalist; Grecia Bezzina and escflashmalta.com contributor; Clive Muscat. February was proving to be a month of competitions and in fact, our portal covered the Sanremo showcase extensively through Elaine Camilleri, seeing to the victory of Emma Marrone with favourite Arisa languishing in second place. In the meantime, Kurt Calleja had begun his promotional tour in the same month heading to the artist selection in Azerbaijan, strengthening the bond created between the two countries in the previous year.
In just a couple of weeks, the fever of the Eurovision Song Contest was sweeping the continent and it was revealed that the British Broadcasting Corporation had chosen a legend in the form of Engelbert Humperdinck to represent the United Kingdom. The announcement was met with mixed criticism noting that ultimately his entry Love Will Set You Free did not really achieve the expected result but nevertheless in Malta, there were other elements at hand noting that the original backing vocalist with the track This Is The Night being Ylenia Vella was sacked by the Public Broadcasting Services and replaced by Amber who had in February obviously finished in third place with her entry Answers With Your Eyes without any public support. Kurt Calleja did not answer any questions about the change and continued his promotion in Bulgaria and Lithuania whilst also filming the promotional video of the track on his return to the country. In Malta, on a private television station known as NET Television, preparations for the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza had begun and Simone Gauci was announced as the first finalist following her victory on Passport 2 Indifest having beaten former finalist; Marie Claire Attard Bason in the process. Her entry bearing the name Id F'Id was specifically written for her by Renato Briffa and Keith Zammit.
In April, it was all about Kurt Calleja and Malta's participation in the Eurovision Song Contest noting that he had managed to top the local iTunes chart with his entry whilst also visiting another set of countries; Turkey, Georgia and The Netherlands bringing his promotional tour to an end in a major party which included several major interviews. One of the male stars of the local music industry, Fabrizio Faniello continued to rebuild his image and the release of his album Kasmaran in Indonesia proved to be a massive success denoting the artist as a star in the Asian country. escflashmalta.com continued to work extremely close with a number of sources and uncovered that Elaine Saliba was set to be the commentator for Malta at the international competition, although it was then revealed at a later stage that Ronald Briffa would be aiding her analysis providing some comic relief. The impressive younger generation of musical prodigies never cease to amaze and Gaia Cauchi won the right to represent the country in Sanremo Junior 2012, ultimately becoming the winner a couple of months later. The month came to an end with one of the artists of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, being Wayne releasing the official video clip for his self penned track entitled Time with which he had competed a couple of months earlier.
The month of the Eurovision Song Contest quickly came about and May seemed to be quite intriguing in the local music market with the return of Christabelle with the track Say as well as Brooke with Fairytale but the media was somewhat enthralled at the single release of Miss You with main vocals by Wintermoods featuring the renowned international tenor; Joseph Calleja. It was also a month in which the finalists for the 2012 edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza were revealed, quickly noting that this had to be one of the fields which was missing a lot of the more predominant names yet nevertheless featuring the upcoming generation of artists such as Domenique, and Danica Muscat amongst others. Performing at the Eurovision Song Contest, Kurt Calleja made the country proud on the night of the semi-final achieving seventh place but it seems that nerves got the best of him on a Saturday night with his performance dropping in quality although this did not hurt his success charting on the iTunes top 100 in Austria, Greece, Norway, Sweden and of course, Malta. escflashmalta.com kept their annual coverage with guest commentators including Simon Casey, Raquela, Claudia Faniello, Sophie, 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.
With the months leading up to the competition behind everyone, the summer was set to kick in and in fact, June was a relatively quiet month with the Public Broadcasting Services confirming their intentions to not return to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. On the other hand, Sophie was representing the country in the United Kingdom during the celebrations of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, undergoing a cross-country tour which saw her perform with the likes of X Factor runner-up, Marcus Collins whilst Kevin Borg was being wooed by the local public who wanted to see him represent the country in Sweden, the winning nation of the Eurovision Song Contest. The annual award for the worst dressed artist at the Eurovision Song Contest was decided with Rona Nishliu on behalf of Albania finishing on top. July proved to be less quiet and somewhat more eventful with Sweden deciding on Malmo as host city of the Eurovision Song Contest with the winner also coming to Malta to give a concert. In fact, on the Islands, things were becoming quite interesting with the Joseph Calleja concert featuring Ronan Keating, Gigi D'Alessio and Amber taking place on the Floriana Granaries, days before the official single release of What I'd Give by Ira Losco, her first track taken off the 2013 yet untitled album.
August came about but was quiet uneventful once more with Ira Losco releasing the official video for her new single and Kurt Calleja working on new material off a yet untitled album slated for release in 2013. In fact, Boomerang was picked up on 89.7 Bay and also made the charts by virtue of the amount of airplay received. As autumn and September drew in, the Public Broadcasting Services released the regulations for the 2013 Malta Eurovision Song Contest whilst other sectors of the scene were showing their strengths as new singles were also released by Janvil entitled Make My Day, Muxu bearing the name Pour Down on Me and last but not least a young girl brand coined as Cryptic Street with Indecisive. The second major music competition in Malta known as the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza was won by Deborah C with the track Jekk Nużaw Moħħna written by Mark Spiteri Lucas and Joe Chircop. Success was a thing of the month noting that the popular pop/rock band known as Airport Impressions went on tour in Sweden, headlining three major events and garnering international recognition. escflashmalta.com continued to air the local music scene by virtue of releasing a number of videos exclusively including the one of Muxu which you could also view just below.
It seemed like winter would not be setting foot on the country this year with October coming in full swing and the music scene bringing things up to speed in an excruciatingly busy ratio with exclusive video releases by Cryptic Street and Fabrizio Faniello along with new singles released by the group Cruz; Good On You, Chiara; Forget Forgetting Me, Dimal & Lyndsay; Let's Make It Happen. During this time, one of the singles was also picked up by a record label and as a matter of fact, Chiara is now a true recording artist with the backing of an Icelandic record label which also takes care of former Eurovision Song Contest representative; Hera Bjork. Whilst pop and rock are seemingly the two most popular genre in the country, the duo known as Tenishia received an accolade of which the whole country should be proud of with the official DJ Mag putting them as the fiftieth best in the world ahead of renowned musicians like Benny Benassi. The Public Broadcasting Services revealed that they received a total of 182 submissions for the 2013 Malta Eurovision Song Contest from a variety of countries and a matter of fact, submissions were sent in from four former representatives including; Fabrizio Faniello, Miriam Christine, William Mangion and Ludwig Galea but none of them would make the cut in the long run. The collaboration between this portal and the series D.R.E.A.M.S continued as a second season written by the talent Vella Haber and Saliba La Rosa returned featuring two main new actresses being Michela Dalli and Kristen Camilleri.
The month of November, was finally starting to show signs that the weather would be cooling down and in fact, the revelation of the twenty-four semi-finalists of the 2013 Malta Eurovision Song Contest seemed to be the only heated moment with a host of newcomers revealed in the list especially artists who have garnered attention through radio such as the likes of Gianluca Bezzina, and Davinia with others coming from notable national showcases including Chris Grech. December was relatively quiet noting that in the beginning, the Junior Eurovision Song Contest took place with Ukraine finishing on top with the track Nebo but the focus of the local music scene was surely on the Bay Music Awards which saw Red Electrick walk away with a total of two awards in total, the most of the night which also saw success going in the way of JJoy, Kelly Stellfox, Ira Losco, Carlo Gerada, Jan Cortez, Christabelle, and Cryptic Street. The Malta Eurovision Song Contest also hit a bump on the head with the withdrawal of Saska Hunt and the track Dress Rehearsal who was replaced by the first alternate on the list; Marilena Gauci with the track Overrated. We indeed hope that this year in fact wasn't just that and that it was ideal for each and every one of you. We look forward to serving you for another eventful year, as 2013 dawns in a couple of hours.
Source: escflashmalta.com, Kris Micallef (image)
Greta Salóme, a 26-year-old Icelandic singer and violinist, is an up-and-coming artist with a classical background. She was first put into the spotlight when representing her country in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest held in Baku, Azerbaijan. Her entry was a duet with Jónsi entitled Never Forget. This song made it to the Final on the prestigious event, reaching 20th place with forty six points in total despite being a fan favourite, ultimately winning an accolade for best group at the 2012 edition of the ESC Radio Awards. It is highly noticeable that she has raw talent, which she uses intelligently to produce pop music with a classical vibe.
The exposure Greta Salóme gained in the Eurovision Song Contest landed her a record deal which would allow her to release the album that she had already been working on for two years. Greta has just recently released this debut album In The Silence, which she began round around the time when starting her Master’s degree at the Iceland Academy of the Arts in early 2010. The album, produced by Þorvaldur Bjarn, is packed with emotion. Greta admits to being very proud of her album, saying that it combines joy and sorrow, and contradictions. The Eurovision song Never Forget, which earned Greta’s recognition, is part of the album together with the Icelandic version. The mysterious and powerful sound of this album gives the listener an amazing and unique experience and showcases Greta Salóme’s fascinating talent in combining classical with contemporary music. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more news from artists who have been to the Eurovision Song Contest.
Source: Hands-Up Music
Iceland has been taking part in the Eurovision Song Contest for a quarter of a century and they are yet to be crowned winners of the prestigious music competition yet they have managed to overcome the premiere hurdle for five consecutive years with entries which many have dubbed as fan favourites and which have excelled through their respective performances. One of the key personnel to have managed to make the nation stand on it’s feet once more has been Yohanna who represented Iceland in the 2009 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest held in Moscow, Russia and finished in second place with the track Is It True? It seems that she has been keen on a return and next year might just be the one according to preliminary reports.
One of the twelve entries which the Icelandic broadcaster, RÚV revealed as qualifiers bearing the name Þú is actually written by Davíð Sigurgeirsson who just happens to be Yohanna’s boyfriend. It has also been revealed that she was the one who performed the vocals on the demo version of the track and thus, a reason for why the song has now reached the final stage of the competition. Since representing her country in the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2009, she tried to return in 2011 with the track Nótt but could only manage a performance in the finals missing out to Sjónni's Friends whose entry Aftur Heim made it through to Dusseldorf, Germany. Speaking to the press, she has been very tight lipped about a possible performance in the Icelandic national final which could also feature Birgitta, the 2003 Icelandic representative, going onto state "It could well be me that ends up performing the song, but nothing has been decided yet. Davið is so laid back about the whole thing. The fact that he has made it to the final twelve songs is a victory in itself."
It has to be noted that Yohanna was the artist who managed to secure the best result for Iceland tying with Selma who had achieved the same result back in the 1999 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the track All out of Luck missing out to Sweden and Charlotte Perelli’s Take Me To Your Heaven. In the past year, Yohanna decided to leave Iceland and move to Norway with the possibility of expanding her music horizons but it has been quiet thus far despite several television appearances including some notable prime time programmes. It seems that the festive season will be proving quite popular with several offers coming in for her to perform in a number of events, eventually having to decline the possibility to go on the Bó Haldórsson's Christmas show, as she did last year. In the meantime, more revelations about the Icelandic selection for the 2013 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest will be made in due course so stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest as soon as it becomes available.
Source: Vísir, EuroVisionary.com
The dawn of a brand new year is not too far away and one of the key projects which we intend to relaunch as we brace ourselves for the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest which will surely be preceded by an intriguing season is a set of album reviews as released by artists who have already been to the Eurovision Song Contest and have continuously achieved success on home turf and surrounding countries. For this feature, we have secured the professional writing skills of singer/songwriter Jean Claude Vancell who is quite busy at the moment preparing for a number of events in the industry. Nevertheless, you will be seeing more of these articles as the weeks go by and as a matter of fact, what better way to kick off than with the collection entitled Heal which is of course, the debut album released by Loreen, this years' winner of the Eurovision Song Contest.
Forget the flashy costumes, the over-the-top hair dos and the army of dancers. Loreen is here. As she has proven during this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, the singer does not need anything else but her own voice and a good song to take over Europe. Loreen is a 29-year-old Swedish pop singer and music producer. She started off her musical career by appearing on Swedish Idol in 2004 and placing 4th. She resurfaced in 2011 when she took part in the Swedish selection for Eurovision with My Heart is Refusing Me (a track now part of the album).
She failed to make it through the final, but returned next year with her track Euphoria, with which she won the Melodifestivalen and later the Eurovision Song Contest in Azerbaijan. She spoke out against the violation of human rights when in Azerbaijan with local political activists saying "Human rights are violated in Azerbaijan every day. One should not be silent about such things." Loreen was the winner of the Best Swedish Act at the MTV European Music Awards 2012. She was also nominated for Best European Act which she lost to Dima Bilan (The winner of the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest).
Album Title: Heal
Released: 22nd October (Europe)
Heal is published by Warner Music, Sweden, and is Loreen’s debut album. Recorded over two years (between 2010 and 2012), it showcases Loreen as an up and coming artist in the European charts after her victory for Sweden at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. It was released as already mentioned above on the 22 October. The recurring theme throughout the album is breaking-up and finding strength in oneself. The production of the album has a heavy dance feel to it, which is currently very popular in Europe. The tracks have very intricate beats and harsh synths.
The presence of an orchestra in some of the tracks in the album enhances and softens the song production in songs such as Euphoria and Sober. Loreen had a significant role as a songwriter in the album, penning tracks such as In My Head, My Heart is Refusing Me and Sober. The album has performed well in the charts reaching the top twenty in six countries and peaking at number 1 in her home country, Sweden, where it has also been certified platinum. It has been released in Sweden, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, France and Japan.
Tracks to look out for:
In my head – An amazing opening to the album. I especially love the piano solo in the track. Loreen shows a subtler vocal dynamic than in the rest of the album. I liked the gentler tone of her voice on this one.
My heart is refusing me – Loreen has participated in Melodifestivalen in 2011 with this track, which has now been reworked for the album. I really like the new remix. I am amazed how this did not do well in the competition. A real bass-thumper with a great melody line.
Euphoria – We've heard it endless times before. On the album the track is introduced with a beautiful arrangement for strings which contrasts well with the strong sounds in the record. Her vocal rendition is impeccable, even though I do have to admit that I enjoy her live interpretation so much more.
Crying out your name – This, in my opinion, is the stronghold of this album. Lyrically it strikes a chord with me. Overall it is a very well written song. The production is nothing short of amazing with a beat reminiscent of dub-step in the beginning.
I never expected myself to enjoy this album so much. I do not usually enjoy listening to Euro-dance but Loreen has found the right balance between pop and dance in her record. This will definitely not be leaving my iTunes playlist for a very long time. If Loreen works hard enough to promote this, we’ll keep hearing of her well into the future, something which can’t be said about all winners of Eurovision.
Greece is known to be one of the most successful countries in the Eurovision Song Contest since the introduction of the semi-final system managing eight consecutive finishes in the top ten but the artist to manage to break that commanding record was none other than Eleftheria Eleftheriou who took to the stage with her ethnic dance inspired track entitled Aphrodisiac. The genre has worked wonders for the Hellenic nation in the past but did not manage to do the trick unfortunately despite receiving ample support from the fans of the renowned showcase. Nevertheless, despite the disappointment, Eleftheria is still enjoying a considerable amount of success in both Cyprus and Greece. It has recently been revealed that the performer will be making her way to Malta on a promotional visit where she will be performing during the Maltese Olympic Committee Awards on the 2nd December 2012.
The news is quite intriguing especially due to the fact that foreign guest stars have a tendency to come for a number of other showcases but this event will definitely be a mixture of sport and music considering that they have a star studded list of performers during the evening including the runner-up of the 2008 and the 2012 Malta Eurovision Song Contest; Claudia Faniello, the second runner-up of the 2005 Malta Song for Europe competition; Janvil, the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest representative; Kurt Calleja and Deborah C who has carefully garnered attention since winning the 2012 edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza. The Awards show will be taking place at the Grand Ballroom of the Excelsior Hotel and will also be aired live on television. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.
Source: Olivier Vanhoutte
The city of Malmö in Sweden will be hosting the 2013 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest in a couple of months and it seems that most countries are very much content about their upcoming participation by virtue of choosing their representatives relatively early especially now that The Netherlands and Belgium have confirmed Anouk and Roberto Bellarosa. A couple of days back, it seemed that the French Head of Delegation; Bruno Berberes was holding closed auditions in order to select acts to compete in what could have been a national selection or even an internal choice but earlier rumours posted on escflashmalta.com have proven to be true because Fabrice Mauss will be heading to the competition on behalf of France.
Fabrice Mauss is a known individual within the music industry by virtue of being the lead performer of the band which bears his surname. Nevertheless, he has been quite busy launching his solo career as of late even signing a record deal with Universal Music France before going independent releasing his third studio album entitled Minuit Passé under the label VF Musiques / Guess What! In an exclusive interview given to the popular radio station NRJ, Fabrice confirmed us participation in the event saying that retails of the track will be revealed in January or February. He is quite happy and honoured to have been chosen for the role but is quite scared of the final result especially after this years' result achieved by Anggun with the song Echo (You and I) which only garnered points from the jury. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.
Despite the fact that they failed to win the X Factor back in 2009, finishing in a respectable fifth place ahead of acts which were thought to be finishing much higher, they have managed to carve out a successful career with Universal Music Ireland who have sought to push them to the limits with their music releases. One of the main key factors of their success in Europe has surely been led through two entries at the Eurovision Song Contest, first in 2011 with the song Lipstick finishing in eight place and then in 2012 with the song Waterline which could only manage nineteenth place. Nevertheless, their success continues with their most recent album Young Love charting at number #1 in Ireland, #8 in Estonia and #11 in Sweden and #22 in Finland amongst others. They have decided to release their third single off the record bearing the name Luminous.
Their most recent track is being officially released online through all digital platforms including iTunes for example as from Tuesday, 16th October 2012 although it did get an official release in Ireland just slightly before, 12th October 2012. The songwriters of this song are all Swedish; Sebastian Lundberg, Fredrik Häggstam, Johan Gustafson and Marlene Strand meaning that the sound is somewhat expected to be very much in their original vein. The music video shows the brothers in extremely different form than what many are used to but we will let you judge their appearance and their song. It is important to point out that whilst Jedward have not ruled out returning to the competition anytime in the next couple of years, they said that they could potentially return in the future. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com in the coming weeks for more news about Eurostars and the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest.
Loreen, the winner of the 2012 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest is preparing the release of two new singles to the music industry, one entitled Crying Out Your Name written in a collaboration between Niklas Jarl, Ana Diaz and Moh Denebi, the first out of which is known for co-writing the Irish entry Waterline at this years' edition of the prestigious music event held in Baku, Azerbaijan; with the second one bearing the title My Heart if Refusing Me which was of course her Melodifestivalen entry in 2011 failing to make it through to the final stages of the Melodifestivalen despite being a huge fan favourite.