22 September 2017

National selections all over the continent are coming to an end especially when considering that the month of March started just a couple of days ago. This years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest will be needing a lot of improvements in order to be elevated in quality but several broadcasters know that in order to do well, their tracks need to be slightly altered and the final versions presented to the European Broadcasting Union will surely denote this element. 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 88.1Mhz 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 when fans can join in and chat amongst each other via the Chat Room and request their favourite Eurovision entry.

The premier focus of this past week has surely been the Beosong competition held in Serbia especially for the simple reason that the Former Yugoslavian country is coming off a stupendous third place finish last year with Zeljko Joksimovic and his entry Nije Ljubav Stvar. It is uncharacteristic for a song outside the ethnic ballad genre to triumph but this was certainly not the case this time round due to the fact that at the end of the evening, with around a different of five thousand votes, the group Moje 3 finished as the winners with the song Ljubav Je Svuda ahead of the first runner-up being Dusan Svilar with the track Spas. In the final show, there were another three entries competing, all having been brought down from the fifteen presented in the semi-final stage of the competition. As a matter of fact, in third place was Saška Janković with the song Duga u tvojim očima, in fourth place Halo performed by Marija Mihajlović and in fifth place were the group Sky's with the song Magija. We had the opportunity to speak to all five of the performers and their interviews will be aired this week.

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Extensive coverage of the 2013 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest continues with yet another exclusive interview set to be aired this week. The focus this time round will be on none other than Jessika who participated within the selection with the track Ultraviolet co-written by Philip Vella, Thomas G:Son and Gerard James Borg. Jessika's profile in the past couple of months has definitely risen considerably for the simple reason that she is one of the main actresses in a local television series entitled Il-Klikka. This was the best showing for Jessika in the competition having managed to finish in eighth place at the end of the evening whilst also managing fourth place with the public just behind Kevin Borg, Gianluca, and Chris Grech. 

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Radio International is always keen to present songs during the show apart from the weekly features and therefore, collaborating the two ideas together will see the emergence of Eurovision UnverCover whereas tracks performed at the Eurovision Song Contest will be covered by other singers. The actual tracks will be played first followed by the cover and this will make things interesting. Apart from this feature, there will be new material played on the show by a number of former representatives including Patricia Kaas. All of the latest news is also covered during the weekly broadcast noting resources from escflashmalta.com and escXtra where Luke Fisher, the Editor makes a weekly round-up. A round up of the national finals thus far is set to be conducted by Alasdair Rendall. Follow the show through the official website and also send your requests through the contact link which is found on the aforementioned website.

Source: Team of Radio International

Deborah C, one of the finalists in this years' edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with the track Love-O-Holic composed by Johan Bejerholm and penned by Gerard James Borg, has just released her entry onto digital store, iTunes. The recording, production and distribution is being taken care off by CAP-Sounds, noting that the songwriter has worked with Fabrizio Faniello in the past, and with Deborah C being the backing vocalist for No Surrender that year, it doesn't come as a surprise really. It has already appeared in the top two hundred (200) on iTunes in the past couple of hours, so people have already started to purchase their copy.

The local performer has come out of nowhere, to lead the music scene in the country following her successful triumph at the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza with the song Jekk Nużaw Moħħna composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas to the lyrics of Joe Chircop. Love-O-Holic was the second entry that Deborah C performed at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest having qualified in 2012 with the song You Make Me Go Uh Uh featuring Leila J but this was the first time she made it into the top ten, by virtue of a ninth place finish. You make purchase your copy of the sound file by visiting iTunes. It will be receiving airplay on several radio station in Europe. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news with regards to the local music scene.

Source: CAP-Sounds, iTunes, Emil Calleja Bayliss (Image)

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Published in Latest News - Local

Throughout the years, people have had a tendency to look at something from the outside but nevertheless, appearances could be deceiving and that is why, behind every track presented in the industry, there is a team of songwriters who came up with the concept and the lyrics along with a producer who made the final adjustments prior to the recording of the vocals. At the last stage, a vocalist comes in and the people get to listen to the song by virtue of that individual. It has become somewhat rare for a singer to be a songwriter as well and that is why, the team behind the scenes bear importance. In the 2013 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, there are thirty six different songwriters involved and they each have a contribution of at least one entry, with some having as much as three in the shortlist that will be performing in the semi-final stage of the competition. Promotion is key and whilst the Public Broadcasting Services has noted the songwriters, we are offering a short recollection of each. A set of critics have listened to the competing entries and their favourite will be getting an award on the show Sas-Sitta. The twenty-first entry from the competition to be presented is Ultraviolet performed by Jessika to the music of Philip Vella & Thomas G:son with lyrics by Gerard James Borg. 

Precious Time has to be the first original song that Jessika had presented in a major competition, noting that she had competed in the 2004 edition of the Malta Junior Eurosong competition. It would be the beginning of a career though, because in just a matter of three years, the artist grew up to have stunning looks and a strong voice, taking to the stage of the Malta International Television Song Festival with the song Nistennik composed by Philip Vella and penned by Doris Chetcuti which was then followed by an even more notable appearance at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest in 2008 with the track Tangled composed by Philip Vella and penned by Gerard James Borg. Later on that year, she entered another local competition known as the Malta Hit Song Competition with the song Sweet Temptation written by the same songwriters, finishing in second place. She would ultimately return with the track Smokescreen also written by the same duo in 2009 but did not finish in the top three positions this time.  Her experience in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest grew in 2011 and 2012 having made the cut with the songs entitled Down Down Down and Dance Romance, both composed by Philip Vella to self-penned lyrics by Jessika. Her most recent experience in the industry though has come with the track Golden Ways which has been play listed on 89.7 Bay in the past couple of days.

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Jessika is moving forward musically, both in her career and within this competition noting that she has escaped the typical pop/dance sound for a variant of pop, and one which is somewhat being enjoyed by the public. In the preview video shot by the Public Broadcasting Services, Jessika is seen enjoying herself whilst performing the track on her own in a short cream dress with stunning blue, yellow and red lighting surrounding her throughout. There is a thumping beat in the background which is very reminiscent of the type of music being released by Emeli Sande at the moment and this shows that there is significance in the line of though, and that is to succeed. The catchy bridge featuring a male vocal is somewhat outstanding and gives the track the fresh edge that it requires it to stand out. There is a lot of backing required in the vocals and one has to hope that competency will be the key to success. The songwriters behind this track are Philip Vella and Gerard James Borg with the addition of Thomas G:son. The first two have written a number of entries throughout the years together and have also represented Malta in the international showcase on five occasions, the last time coming in 2008 with Vodka performed by Morena. In the meantime though, G:son is a well recognised figure having written the Spanish and Swedish tracks in the last Eurovision Song Contest whilst working on another five, totalling his number to seven.

The Critics Speak Out 

Rating: 55%

Sharon Vaughn: I am very disappointed to say that this is nothing compelling about the song or the performance which Jessika gives, which is rather unfortunate.

Martin Isherwood: Good title although it's hard to hear the title words when sung. Good chorus. Nice unusual voice, strong vocal hooks. Good energetic production. Good track that has a good strong impact. It does bear a certain resemblance to ‘Next to Me’ by Emeli Sande though doesn’t it?' 

Stano Simor: Jessika could clearly interest the European audience. Interesting murmur in her voice is giving special feeling into the song. Gimmick at the end of the song is clearly that the Swedish composers know that it works. The author's and the composers´s intention to retain main melody is very important, on the other hand the song is loosing variability between Chorus and Verse. Sound very similar and the whole composition is cast into one block. May by it can change by music production updating.

Roberto Meloni: OK, I believe that she should start by re-inventing her look because I just cannot really understand what she would like to say with that hair, make-up and well everything to do with the image. The recorded backing vocals are not a help to the live performance. Sorry, not my taste at all!

Lina Eriksson: Nice with an artist who stands out a bit from the rest. Jessicas voice does a lot for the over-all impression of this song. Like in your average G:son song the chorus sticks in your head.

Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com

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Published in Opinions
Wednesday, 23 January 2013 04:37

MESC 2013: Reviewing the track 'The Remedy'

Music is a universal language through which communication can take place between people of all nations and as a matter of fact, the original idea of the European Broadcasting Union was to unite the continent through the medium of song. The competition which began in Lugano, Switzerland back in 1956 was proudly built on the confines of the still existent Sanremo festival and both have thrived and undergone progress despite the latter somewhat keeping in line with more original traditions. The Malta Eurovision Song Contest on the other hand has also been evolving in the past couple of years and it has truly become a stunning showcase of local talent with performers from both leading circuits of the country. The Public Broadcasting Services is promoting all of the twenty-four entries through radio and television but escflashmalta.com are also conducting their own form of promotion with international critics having a listen to each of the tracks and letting the people know their opinion. The eventual winner as per a vote in Eurovision format will be given an award during Sas-Sitta on NET Television during the telecast taking place on the 9th February. The next entry to be reviewed is entitled The Remedy, composed by Magnus Kaxe and Philip Vella to the lyrics of Gerard James Borg with vocals provided by Klinsmann

Klinsmann is one of the veteran performers in the competition despite being relatively young in terms of age and this is due to the fact that he has managed to make the finals of every edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest since 2007 with the results varying and the genre developing and maturing. In the beginning, it was all about pop/rock with the tracks presented in the vein of McFly and Busted but suddenly, there was a change, a positive one indeed when he came out on stage with his best friend, Benjamin Darmanin and performed an acoustic type of song with complete basis on guitars and vocals. His best result still came during his inaugural performance with his entry She Gives Me Wings composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas and penned by Rita Pace finishing in third place but nevertheless, the song presented in 2010 entitled This Love composed by Klinsmann himself to the lyrics of Jonathan C Spiteri was the second best result in seventh place. In recent months, Klinsmann joined as the lead vocalist of the band, Planet Seed who have been nominated for Best Newcomers at the Bay Music Awards and the Malta Music Awards respectively. Their debut material has done incredibly well on radio and therefore, it goes to show that success comes in small ounces and at different stages of life.

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Entering the 2013 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, following a disappointing result achieved last year, Klinsmann needed to be different and fresh to the audience once more and it seems that this is somewhat the case according to the international audience who has been keeping an eye on the proceedings. The track that he is presenting entitled The Remedy is predominantly pop/rock but nevertheless, the thumping elements throughout give it that arena feel and with the right lighting and setting could definitely work in a large venue. Klinsmann on the other hand is going for a very relaxing look and this very much suits him. Three songwriters are contributing to this track including composers; Philip Vella and Magnus Kaxe who are working together for the very first time and have managed to qualify with two entries. It is worth noting that their pedigree is strong noting that Philip has produced and co-written some for some of the most notable names in the local industry including Ira Losco, Lawrence Gray, Annabelle Debono and Claudia Faniello whilst Magnus Kaxe has been involved in some stunning productions including those of Aqua, Westlife and Celine Dion. The lyrics are penned by Gerard James Borg, the most successful lyricist in Malta who has worked with songwriters from all over Europe and has hit tracks in Iceland, Norway, Sweden and The Netherlands.

The Critics Speak Out

Rating: 70%

Sharon Vaughn: Despite the fact that the vocals are strong, Klinsmann seems insincere performing this entry.

Martin Isherwood: Good chorus. Not sure about the title, a bit too literally medical. Good voice and performance. One of the better entries with good energy but without a real spark of originality.

Stano Simor: A true singer who knows how to sell a song. Klinsmann has power in this entry which also has a chorus that is extremely easy to remember. This style of music is popular currently in the Czech Republic by national singers.

Roberto Meloni: A charismatic performer and a very good song. I am quite intriguing to see how he will be performing this interesting composition live because it is not an easy track. Nevertheless, a definite contender for me.

Lina Eriksson: This song also immediately sticks in my head. And I must admit that I do like the arena oh-oh’s in the chorus. Like some of the others this song will probably do well on the radio. Good, positive lyrics. Remains to see what Malta think about this one, hard to say… 

Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com

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Published in Opinions

Formality is extremely important in several key areas of the local music industry but the term has adapted to the period rather than sticking to the old mentality that came with events such as the Eurovision Song Contest where the audience used to wear dresses and tuxedos. The competition itself has changed and this is surely seen with respect to the success achieved by those who eventually compete noting that record labels gobble them up and get to release an album because of massive appeal. This year, the Malta Eurovision Song Contest will be selecting the twenty-sixth representative of the country and it could a man, a woman, a duet or even a group but whoever it will be, the result will be the same, they will all do the country proud. Promotion is being done on several key programmes on both television and radio with the aim that the audience gets to know the artists competing especially due to the larger percentage being somewhat newcomers to the typical festival audience. In the meantime, our promotion continues as well, calling on international critics to divulge their opinion on the tracks with the winner set to get an award during the programme Sas-Sitta on NET Television on the 9th February. Dorothy Bezzina is the fifteenth artist to be presented with her song Starting from the End composed by Magnus Kaxe and penned by Gerard James Borg. 

Dorothy Bezzina will be making her fourth appearance at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest noting that she had first managed to make it through to the finals in a duet with Victorio Gauci entitled Promises composed by Chan Vella and penned by Alexia Schembri, followed by a second participation with the song Moments, also co-written between Chan Vella and Alexia Schembri, last year with the song Autobiography composed by Magnus Kaxe and penned by Gerard James Borg and of course this year. The female artist has a predominantly positive track record in the world of musical theatre where she has consistently trained throughout the years. Amongst her achievements, she denotes her roles in musicals such as; The Sound of Music, Jekyll & Hyde, Fiddler on the Roof and The Rocky Horror Show amongst others. She has also had the opportunity to perform in a multitude of national charity events including Voices and Rockestra on more than one occasion. Her love to musical theatre has always well been encompassed and this did indeed show during her stunning renditions at the Simply Webber concert held in 2011 by Masquerade Theatre. Dorothy has seemingly done a lot in her career, and indeed, when one does perform at the Royal Albert Hall in London, the aims have to be considerably higher.

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Achieving success with her entry last year, Dorothy Bezzina was most likely eager to work with the songwriters for a second consecutive year and the track Starting from the End was born and follows its predecessor somewhat nicely. The genre of the track is not explained in just a couple of words really, noting a fusion of a pulsing beat into what seems to be a pop track with a clear Scandinavian standing. The focus on the vocals is rather pivotal to the outcome of the song and the vocals indeed shine through the track which will definitely need an extra boost with some live backing vocalists which was the same case last year bringing the song to a whole new level. This is one of the many mixed song-writing teams that have managed to qualify to this years’ semi-final of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. The composer is Magnus Kaxe, a man whose background does indeed do him justice noting that he has worked as a songwriter, sound engineer and a producer with the likes of Celine Dion, Backstreet Boys, Clay Aiken, Jessica Folker, Aqua, Westlife, Gareth Gates, Amy Diamond and Britney Spears whilst Gerard James Borg, the co-writer of five Maltese Eurovision entries is most notably collaborating with a number of foreign songwriters with his songs entering the Swedish and Icelandic charts amongst others. 

The Critics Speak Out

Rating: 72%

Sharon Vaughn: A very strong chorus… but the verses are seemingly trying to be more clever than they are heartfelt. She sings great and soars on the choruses when she knows what they mean.

Martin Isherwood: Good strong chorus, but I'm not sure it's the right title - 'against the odds'? Some good lyrics but not sure what the song is trying to say overall. Very strong vocal and musical hooks. Great track. The synth and drum sounds make the track feel 'noisy' . Very good track overall.

Stano Simor: Excellent energy coming from this song which includes a great link to the chorus. Typical example if you combine the correct voice with the right team of songwriters. I can imagine a show on stage that would raise the whole atmosphere of the song.  Strong chorus, which perfectly supports Dorothy's voice. 

Roberto Meloni: Girl with strong vocals is unfortunately not supported by a the best possible composition … I don’t think she will finish higher than her brother although she is extremely talented and beautiful. 

Lina Eriksson: Good composition, good lyrics, good voice. This is one of the better ones for sure but it doesn’t make it all the way. It doesn’t take my breath away. Depends on how Malta will vote. 

Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com

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Published in Opinions
Saturday, 19 January 2013 16:00

MESC 2013: Reviewing the track 'Overrated'

The European Broadcasting Union is promising a lot of changes in this years’ edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, some of which have already been detailed accordingly, including the running order which will be decided by the producers rather than by the typical draw which has always managed to garner interest amongst delegations and fans alike. Sweden is always the nation used as a hub to experiment with the event noting that the millennium competition held in Stockholm was not far too different in terms of bringing about innovations. Malta will be sending its twenty-sixth (26th) representative in Malmo and considering the improvements that have been pushed into the Malta Eurovision Song Contest in these past couple of years; a positive result should be expected. Last year, the country overcame the odds and in a tough semi-final managed to come out on top, qualifying in seventh place with This Is The Night performed by Kurt Calleja. All of the respective acts competing in this years’ selection are currently receiving promotion and escflashmalta.com is also aiding by publishing the thoughts of professional critics on each entry. Ultimately, the winner will get an award, as presented on the program Sas-Sitta set for the 9th February. Entry number thirteen (13) is entitled Overrated, composed by Philip Vella to the lyrics of Gerard James Borg with vocals provided by Marilena.

Studies have always taken precedent for Marilena but nevertheless, many will surely recall that she has grown into the scene through her experiences in the past, especially by virtue of representing the country in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest back in 2004 alongside the rest of the group known as The Young Talent Team whose entry Power of a Song did not set the scoreboard alight yet managed a mid-table position at the end of the evening. Nevertheless, the first major competition as a teenager surely came in 2007 when participating in the Ghanja Tal-Poplu competition, she achieved first place with the track B’Fommu Sieket composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas and penned by Paul Ellul. As a matter of fact, this was only the beginning noting that she had managed to gain entry into a number of competitions including the Malta Hit Song Contest in 2008 with One Goal composed by Elton Zarb and penned by Rita Pace, and in 2009 with Unforgettable composed by Philip Vella and penned by Gerard James Borg. The latter ended up being a successful track winning an esteemed competition in Egypt where thirty-seven countries had been competing. In 2011, she entered the finals of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with the song He’s A Demon composed by Michael Henry and penned by Anthony Grech whilst she managed to reach the same stage during the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza with Dil-Qalb Kbira and Bl-Ikbar Serjeta composed by Philip Vella and penned by Joe Chircop, of which the latter reached second place.

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Coming into the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, the timing might not be right considering that exams at the University have just commenced today but nevertheless, she is poised to bring her best cards to the table and with her entry Overrated, many consider her slightly lucky. Marilena entered the competition as the twenty-fourth entry following the withdrawal of Dress Rehearsal performed by Saska Hunt which was also a composition of Philip Vella and Gerard James Borg. The genre of this track is predominantly pop featuring a bit of dance but nevertheless, the sound is very reminiscent to the material being released by Jessie J which is definitely an added positive. Comparing the two entries she has presented in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, this has to be significantly better and would literally beat the other one out of the water. Song-writing credit in this entry is given to Philip Vella and Gerard James Borg who have together worked on five Eurovision entries for the country including the ones presented in 2000, 2002, 2004, 2007 and 2008 respectively. This is the only entry which they are presenting as a duo noting that despite having a couple of songs, there are other songwriters involved.

The Critics Speak Out

Rating: 50%

Sharon Vaughn: I do not think this song makes any sense to be truthful, and I just cannot feel what the lyrics are trying to convey.

Martin Isherwood: Well put together pop song with catchy oohs and aahhs – chorus could be stronger hook-wise although the verse is good. Got a Eurythmics feels to it. Dangerous title for a song.

Stano Simor: Marilena act on stage very sympathetic  Colour of her voice is nice, but does not fit into the song she sings. Chorus has that "hand ups" feeling, but is just not strong enough. Uuuh Aaaah is too much cliche. Anyways keeping fingers to get final top 10.

Roberto Meloni: Well, the title is perfect for this song, .Sorry Marilena, you have a really good image but this song is not that good.

Lina Eriksson: This track feels a bit dated and I'm missing a great hook to keep me interested. Though, I've only heard a minute of this song, maybe it gets going later on? A very positive artist with a cute voice...therefore I get a little bit confused listening to the lyrics.

Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com

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Published in Opinions
Monday, 14 January 2013 04:00

MESC 2013: Reviewing the track 'Loverdose'

The inclination of foreign success has somewhat triggered the improvement of the local music scene noting that the new direction being taken up is somewhat impressive especially when a local product is somewhat being worked upon in unison by experienced people in the field from both the country and beyond. Artists are thinking outside the box whilst remaining true to their initial concepts. One of the key factors of getting their tracks promotion is through the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, an even organised by the Public Broadcasting Services in which the winning entry would ultimately represent the country at the prestigious continental event which is shown all over the world and garners millions of viewers. The nation is proud to boast a twenty-five years history in the event including a number of consecutive top ten finishes including two first runner-up finishes achieved in 2002 and 2005 respectively thanks to 7th Wonder performed by Ira Losco, and in 2005 by virtue of Angel sung by Chiara. Investment is the key to improvement and as a matter of fact, the broadcaster has been doing a lot of changes to the selection process and it has reached a higher standard. escflashmalta.com is promoting this years' entries with an award set to be given on the programme Sas-Sitta as assessed by critics. The eight track to be presented entitled Loverdose is performed by Melanie Zammit with the composers being Maria and Niclas Lundin and the lyricist being Gerard James Borg.

The arts have somewhat been kind to this performer noting that Melanie Zammit is what many would denote a triple threat noting that she is somewhat fluent in all of the major three fields which makes her an extremely suitable candidate for musical theatre. One of the main reasons for success has surely been to the fact that Melanie took everything up at a relatively early age starting with classical ballet at just five (5) years old before moving onto singing at the beginning of the years in which people had been calling her a teenager, that being thirteen (13). Education was important, but nevertheless, as soon as the ordinary levels came to an end, she moved to the United Kingdom as she wanted to pursue the arts as something more than a hobby. She studied at some of the most prestigious schools in the country including the Central School of Ballet followed by the Leicester College of Performing Arts, each time with a scholarship respectively. She knew that the choice was sublime but nevertheless, she missed contemporary music and in 2010 returned to Malta in order to work on her vocals as well as some original material and despite having been back to the United Kingdom later on that year to obtain a diploma, she has been around since and her also released two singles on the local radio scene including Electric Sound and Insomnia. It is important to point out that the former also managed to make the cut of the top ten on the same radio station and therefore was the beginning of her career.

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Without any previous experience in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, as is the case for quite a couple of this years' semi-finalists, Melanie is set to prove herself with a track which is receiving a lot of traction and which has managed to hold onto a top five place on the escflashmalta.com public poll since the very beginning around two weeks ago. It seems that the pulsing, catchy mixture of pop and dance music has really gone well with the public and might prove to be enticing with the right staging on the night of the semi-final which is set to take place on the 1st February at the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre in Ta' Qali. The credit of songwriting in this song is split between Swedish and Maltese musicians noting that the composers are none other than Maria Lundin, also known as Maria Marcus along with Niclas Lundin whose entries have managed to qualify to the selection process of the Scandinavian country in 2010, 2011 and 2012 with a number of well known performers including; Sara Lumholdt who was a part of the group A*Teens and Andreas Lundstedt who was a part of the group Alcazar amongst others. In the meantime, the lyricist is Gerard James Borg who has penned the lyrics of five Maltese Eurovision entries including a number of runner-ups in the local competition such as Pure performed by Claudia Faniello last year. This collaboration is somewhat new but could definitely prove to be successful considering the pedigree that the team is bringing to the table.

The Critics Speak Out

Rating: 71%

Sharon Vaughn: Love this! She is confident and accomplished. The song itself has a hook and the true feeling of a hit.

Martin Isherwood: Good title and strong chorus although the idea of a Loverdose could be used more effectively playing on the overdose rather than I need my dose which is less dramatic. Good voice. Very strong musical hooks. I must say, this is a well put together dance pop track.

Stano Simor: Melanie brings to the national competition as one of the few modern current trends. Example that Eurovision Song Contest still attracts the young generation. Loverdose is example of this. Song does not have enough hit factor, but definitely has my support.

Roberto MeloniThis is the perfect song to empty the dance-floor at 5 in the morning in the disco. I’ll suggest it to all the Maltese DJs. Sorry Melanie, don’t take it personally, but this song is bad. 

Lina Eriksson: My other candidate for 1st place following Richard Edwards. Great hook and title. I like it even before I start to listen. This song is gonna do great on the dance floors and radio all around Europe. It feels more modern than most of the songs in the competition. I like it a lot.

Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com

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Published in Opinions

The Public Broadcasting Services are proud members of the European Broadcasting Union and thus have the possibility of competing in a number of events including the Eurovision Song Contest, which has been found to be the most watched non-sporting event in several countries and having an audience which reached to four corners of the globe. Malta has been competing for twenty-five years with the initial participation coming in 1971, followed by another in 1972, then three years later in 1975, followed by a sixteen year period before participating in every other edition since then. Gaining the responsibility of representing a country is not an easy feat and some artists including Chiara and Fabrizio Faniello had the opportunity to do so on three and two occasions respectively. Exposure is the key to success and when it comes to the national selection stage, the broadcaster has really been working on improving the showcase and this has been seen in the past three years as both the show and the song quality have somewhat peaked this time round. escflashmalta.com is also doing a round of promotions through reviews, with the final winner to be revealed on NET Television within the programme Sas-Sitta days after the competition. The seventh entry to be reviewed is Love-O-Holic performed by Deborah C, composed by Johan Bejerholm and penned by Gerard James Borg.

Deborah C is a relatively young performer at just twenty-two years of age but nevertheless, it is worth noting that she has become somewhat renowned through her participation in the leading competitions in the country starting at a very young age through the Junior Malta Eurosong competition in 2005 with the track Closer which had finished in tenth place at the end of the evening with 69 points. The following year, the upcoming performer decided to compete in the Malta International Television Song Festival which aired on ONE Television under the scrutiny of Norman Hamilton and ultimately qualified with the track Hemm Int composed by Mark Debono and penned by Doris Chetcuti. She continued to develop her genre even further and then took the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza by storm having managed to qualify to the event on three occasions; the first time in 2008 with Pandora composed by Philip Vella and penned by Gerard James Borg, the second time in 2011 with Fjamma composed by Philip Vella and penned by Gerard James Borg and last year having made it through with the track Jekk Nużaw Moħħna composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas and penned by Joe Chircop. All of the three tracks won the tele-voting portion of the competition whilst the latter was also the winner of the jury voting. 2012 will always be an important year for Deborah C because alongside Leila J, she also made the finals of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest.
 
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The renowned performer will be making her solo debut in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2013 because she will be taking to the main stage being credited with the main vocals on her own although backing vocalists are definitely expected within the track Love-O-Holic which has been branded as a typical Eurovision Song Contest entry by numbers which needs that specific oomph for it to come through. It will definitely be a demanding entry where the vocals are important and therefore, with the right stunts could be well performed. Credibility has been key and Deborah C has been earning herself quite the fan-base by virtue of appearing on the weekly popular programme Ħadd Għalik which airs on Television Malta, is hosted by Angie Laus and produced by Where's Everybody as was the case with the previous performer presented, that being Franklin. The songwriting credit in this song has a lot of weight noting that the composer is none other than Johan Bejerholm who has already been a runner-up at the Eurovision Song Contest with this entry Always presented for Azerbaijan in 2009 respectively whilst the lyrics is Gerard James Borg who has been to international showcase on five occasions, with a first runner-up finished coming in 2002 thanks to 7th Wonder performed by Ira Losco. It is quite intriguing to denote that the local songwriter has worked with a number of artists from all across the world and indeed has been a stunning portfolio throughout the years. 
The Critics Speak Out
 
Rating: 57%
 
Sharon Vaughn: Unfortunately, there is absolutely nothing I have to say about this track which is complimentary. Cliche after cliche.
 
Martin Isherwood: Interesting title. Some dubious lyrics. Great voice. Got the right energy but I'm not sure it's convincing enough. 
 
Stano Simor: Deborah is very natural on stage. The chorus is very catchy. On the other hand, chorus reminds me the German schlager charts. It definitely has a great chance to get into the final though. 
 
Roberto Meloni: This is quite bad actually, and it does indeed get worse when it goes into the refrain from the verse and let's just not mention that bridge because it is truly horrendous. Mamma Mia!

Lina Eriksson: Another hooky title.  Modern and with good lyrics this song is really hooky.I believe it can make it really far in this competition. Great singer. I’m not crazy about the mid-eight part though. 
 
Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com

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Published in Opinions

The tickets are selling fast and that could only mean that the 2013 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest is not too far away and indeed, as in less than a month, a winner will be known and the preparations for the final product would have also begun. The Public Broadcasting Services have carefully planned a promotional strategy for each respective entry through Television Malta, Radju Malta and Magic Malta whilst our web portal escflashmalta.com initiated this feature yesterday with high profile critics introduced late last year having a say of each respective entry, with their compiled score ultimately listed as a percentage out of the total maximum points which could have been awarded, fifty but nevertheless, the result will be based on their top ten preferences, with a Eurovision styled voting pattern to decide the winning track which will be revealed during Sas-Sitta on the 9th February. The second act, is Richard Edwards who will be performing the song Fall Like Rome composed by Philip Vella and Magnus Kaxe with lyrics by Gerard James Borg. This will be the opening entry in the semi-final of the 2013 Malta Eurovision Song Contest.

Since 2010, Richard Edwards has picked up a number of accolades to his name and gained fame across the country for his performances at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest along with a couple of singles which have been released on the local airwaves. As a matter of fact, his entry Finally is still thought to be one of the most beautiful songs presented in the competition and to this day, many international critics still question the choice of the public over the one of the jury noting that he would have achieved a higher placing but nevertheless, it was just not meant to be. Ultimately though, Richard returned last year with another track entitled Look at Me Now and once more finished in third place with the public vote, yet failing to wrack up the support of the judges succumbing to a respectable sixth place finish. His single releases, have included You're Gonna Thank Me and My Mistake and it is still expected that an album will be following within the next couple of months considering that his material is becoming increasingly numerous. It is important to note that he also auditioned for the X Factor competition a couple of years back and unlucky for him, had to follow a tough act such as Leona Lewis but with his tracks played on 89.7 Bay and XFM, success is seemingly within reach.

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This time round, instead of presenting a solo entry on his own alongside the composition of renowned composer, Jan Van Dijck, he has teamed up with a set of new songwriters who might be familiar to the local public. Fall Like Rome, is a very intriguing type of entry because it features a mixture of genres but has a predominant country tinge surrounding pop and rock at the very same time. There is a certain uplifting element in the way that the backing vocals come together with the sound of the violins and that is what makes the whole track come together. Philip Vella and Gerard James Borg have worked together on numerous entries in the past with their most recent success coming last year with Pure performed by Claudia Faniello which finished in second place but they have been to the Eurovision Song Contest on five occasions, all in the past decade. Yet, joining their musical expertise in the composition is none other than the Swede, Magnus Kaxe whose first experience in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest came last year with Dorothy Bezzina and her entry Autobiography. This is not a man to be taken lightly in the industry having proudly worked with the international superstar; Celine Dion and recently disbanded Irish group; Westlife.

The Critics Speak Out

 Rating: 70%

Sharon Vaughn: Impressive singer, nevertheless, the mass mixing of metaphors, so the message ends up getting lost leaving the singer performing without having anything to believe in.

Martin Isherwood: Good title and strong chorus. Clever lyric but not sure that the simile stands up. Strong engaging introduction bit the verse doesn't live up to the promise. Great track with good ideas. 

Stano Simor: One of the best songs of this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Malta. Catchy vocal line, arrangement, production. Composers and authors have done a good job. Richard is a good singer, but the colour of his voice doesn't fit with such a song in my opinion. Overall, with some aided visuals, this will get a strong result.

Roberto Meloni: I needed to put on the refrain for three times to get over the shock of the lyrics. Richard, Rome will NEVER fall! Sorry, but I can’t get the metaphor. Good melody though, and remarkable falsetto skills.

Lina Eriksson: Just when I’m about to give up my hope for Malta based on this running order, Richard Edwards appears and totally sweeps me off my feet. I love this! I've said it in other years and I’ll say it again; Richard has got it all. He’s got the voice, the looks, the charisma and this year his best song entry ever. Melody, lyrics, production… For me, this is the winner…perhaps of the whole Eurovision Song Contest. I simply fall like Rome.

Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com

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Published in Opinions
Thursday, 03 January 2013 15:00

MESC 2013: 'Overrated' Preview Video Published

The 2013 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest will be taking place in the opening weekend of February and it seems that preparations are currently ongoing at full swing noting that the twenty-four preview videos of the tracks will be participating have now been published on the official website of the Public Broadcasting Services for the public to enjoy. The last edition to the preview videos has been the replacement entry Overrated performed by Marilena, composed by Philip Vella and penned by Gerard James Borg, keeping the songwriting duo with the same amount of entries that they originally had noting that they had also been behind Dress Rehearsal by Saska Hunt. You can watch the full preview video here.

The festive break surely reflected why the video took longer than expected to be uploaded whilst the Public Broadcasting Services have to be commended on how they approached the situation of withdrawal by virtue of inviting the first alternate to compete in the semi-final alongside another twenty-three entries on the 1st February at the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre. Marilena was overjoyed at the opportunity and it seems that the people have quickly grown fond of her entry placing her in fourth place on the escflashmalta.com poll, in which each person is entitled to one vote per IP Address. The preview video is slightly different to the other ones due to the fact that it took place exactly after one of the live shows of the popular television programme Xarabank but it is still a positive promotional use and will put her on sync with all of the other competing entries. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about the 2013 Malta Eurovision Song Contest in due course.

Source: Public Broadcasting Services

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