As the preparations for this years’ Malta Eurovision Song Contest are underway with the composers, authors and singers finalizing their entries, the common public have already started discussing who they think is the clear favourite to succeed Kurt Calleja in Malmo, Sweden. Big names from the local radio industry have been mentioned throughout but attracting them to the local competition is always challenging but if any of them submit and make it through to the finals they will surely stand a good chance to do well and possibly win.
Albeit this, though it seems that the front runner for this years’ contest is none other than last year’s second runner up Amber. Amber made a name for herself after managing to come second in the local talent show ‘ID’ and from then on she never looked back. She participate in the Malta Hit Song Contest and the year after went on to win the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza with Trid Tapprezza. The same year she made it through the semi-finals of the contest with two songs Touch Wood and Catch 22, with the latter making it through to the final stages of the competition.
Last year, it was Amber’s second time in the contest and she captured the judges’ attention achieving a third place thanks to her power rendition of Answer with Your Eyes. From this experience onwards, Amber was presented with a number of opportunities. She was approached by PBS to accompany Kurt Calleja in Baku as his main backing vocalist. This experience gave her a taste of the Eurovision world and having carried a vital role last year, some people thing that this could be her year; all this assuming that Amber is submitting an entry to this year’s competition but if she does she will surely be the main front runner.
The other favourite will surely be Claudia Faniello who was last year’s first runner-up with her magical song Pure. A lot of people think that Claudia Faniello’s year was last year but if she decides to return to the competition for the eighth time expect her to return with a something strong and original. It will take something special to surpass Pure but Claudia showed what she is capable of achieving last year and few would be surprised if she manages to come back with something even stronger. So, if she returns no one should count her out, especially considering the strong results she’s had in recent years.
The return of former entrants is always possible. Fabrizio Faniello has been trying for a number of times and he has always done well. He is just one of two singers who represented Malta on more than one occasion and if he succeeds, he will emulate Chiara's feat. Other entrants who tried again after their win include; Paul Giordimaina Georgina, Mary Spiteri, William Mangion, Moira&Chris, Mike Spiteri, Miriam Christine, Debbie Scerri and Ludwig Galea. The return of some of these is remote but others have kept in touch with festivals and haven't ruled out a return. These mainly include Olivia Lewis, Miriam Christine and Ludwig Galea; if any of these return, they will surely pose a significant threat.
Having mentioned the two main front runners one cannot forget other talented individuals who have been participating in the contest for a number of years. The finalists in recent years have all presented strong entries and none should be underestimated in such a competition. After all this is a song contest which should reward the best song at the end of the night and not a popularity contest. Two years ago, an unknown Thea Garrett won the hearts of the local public and the judges’ votes with her power ballad My Dream. So who knows, it might be someone new who can repeat the same feat, although it is not an easy one, surely it isn't impossible.
Well, there are a lot of questions that are left to be answered, most of these questions will be answered in the upcoming days when the submissions come to a close at the end of this month but until then we have to play the waiting game. We cannot really comment either before we hear the final versions of the songs that will be submitted this year but we would like you to share your views with us on which singer, singers or bands you think should be the ones succeeding Kurt Calleja. In the meantime, keep following escflashmalta.com for all the latest updates about the local music scene.
Maltese songwriters have gradually been improving with time noting that it does take a lot of talent to prepare a song and ultimately find the right singer for it but one of the teams that has managed to do just that is surely the one made up of composer Jason Paul Cassar and lyricist Sunny Aquilina who are of course related to each other through family noting that the latter is the father-in-law of the former. Looking back at the history of the Malta Song for Europe, you would not see their names in contention in a number of consecutive years because their tracks take dedication and are submitted when they believe the time would be right for them. The very interesting fact with this team is that they have managed to compete in the finals on more than one occasion whilst having been winners more than once as well. This feature will be looking through at the successes of the team.
The very first successful time of the collaboration was their initial songwriting project entitled The One That I Love performed by an astonishing and still extremely green Chiara who took to the stage of the Malta Song for Europe giving a masterclass performance without having anyone join her on stage. She showed up more experienced acts such as Claudette Pace, Miriam Christine, Marisa D'Amato, Marvic Lewis and Georgina to finish as the winner. The element was kept when they went to the Eurovision Song Contest noting that the extra addition was a high number of candelabras which added to the performance in the long term giving it that special power which it might have needed to create an intense and romantic atmosphere. The song would go onto finish in third place and was the closest in winning the competition for the country and therefore remains in many hearts, as the best song ever to come out from the country.
Their second flair at writing in the Malta Song for Europe competition would come in 2003 when the duo reunited on a track entitled Love Will Shine Forever, the debut entry of singer/songwriter Rosman Pace and one which would give him the best placing he would ultimately achieve noting that he has continuously managed to rank in the top ten on a number of subsequent occasions. This track was completely different from their first songwriting experience because the fact of the matter remains that it hit the right note with the juries and the people on the night by virtue of making it to the final round. It was the first year with the semi-final and therefore, no guarantee was existent on whether acts would make it through to the final. Rosman has continued to perform with his last experience in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest coming back in 2011. They managed to discover yet another intriguing name here.
Following the success with finding acts such as Chiara and Rosman, the bar was being set extremely high indeed but then again, it seems that they have always managed to find new talent when people might be doubting what the country holds in terms of musical prodigies and next up comes Kevin Borg who was a young teenage male from Floriana with a soft vocal that always brought out the best in terms of emotions. Their first try together would ultimately take place during the Malta Song for Europe in 2006 with You're My Dream which is a typical Maltese ballad involving a very soft percussion and a touch of guitar. This would be a good first outing with the song finishing in eight place just as good as Rosman had done three years before but the difference here was that the song was once more quite different. They would return the following year with the song Whenever which would be in a similar style. Accompanied by Jason on the piano, the track romped to fourth place. The next year, he would have been the ultimate favourite but faith had it that Kevin would go abroad to Sweden, compete and then win Idol, signing a contract with Sony Music and making a number of diverse contacts.
The list continues to grow but nevertheless, their next triumph and the last one recorded thus gat has to be te one that would come in the Malta Eurosong competition of 2010 when Thea Garrett and her astonishing ballad entitled My Dream came to life. The strong artist had been relatively unknown to the music scene having only made a couple of appearances in television programmes, rather reality shows but still having had the opportunity to perform with the likes of Gigi D'Alessio during a trip to Italy. Jason Paul Cassar and Sunny Aquilina had not written a song for the festival in three years and therefore, the expectations were quite high. They entered the festival hoping that they would do well and it seems that they knew what it would feel like to finish at the top once more because Thea not only won the jury on the night but also the tele-voting beating much more popular names including the likes of Glen Vella, Tiziana Calleja, Lawrence Gray, Eleanor Cassar and Claudia Faniello. The song did not qualify through to the final of the Eurovision Song Contest, finishing in twelfth place but it was still a relatively good result.
The Beland community has always been the one to organize different events that help promote local talent and attract locals to their events. It all started back in 2006 with the concert Alive and from then onward they never looked back. Last year they took the initiative of organizing a week full of concerts with different number of guests throughout the week. escflashmalta.com was on site for most of the days and the crowd just got bigger and bigger with each passing day; surely something the organizers hoped for from the start. This meant one thing – the event was a huge success and when you have a successful formula you stick to it hence why the Beland Music Festival is BACK.
The festival will open on the 12th of May and will come to an end on the 20th of May and if last year’s event is anything to go by, this year’s festival will probably be better and even bigger. Slowly it is establishing itself as one of the event all the lovers of local music look forward to, in fact a number of people have been asking about the festival for quite some time. For the second straight year, the festival will take place in the Market Square in Zejtun and like last year it will take the form of an open air concert which will run for nine straight days. Each and every day has a special theme or a special act assigned to it which also includes a foreign tribute band of one of the biggest bands that ever existed.
Saturday - 12th May at 20:30
Winter Moods Live
Supporting Act: The Crowns
Sunday - 13th May at 10:00
Wheelspin Car Show
‘Belt l-ghannejja’ - Maltese folkloristic music (Ghana) will be performed by local folk singers and guitarists, with Kelinu Cutajar (Is-Superstar)
Sunday - 13th May at 12:00
‘Belandfest’ - Marathon of entertainment with activity for all the family and many attractions including dance shows, animation teams and music performances. There will also be the mobile Blood Donation Unit to encourage people to donate blood and save lives.
Sunday - 13th May at 20:30
‘Delicata Wine Night’ - Live concert by Cash & band, Planet Feed and Antz Walking.
Monday - 14th May at 20:30
‘Nostalgija’ - Special concert gathering most of the well-known local singers together to perform live their Maltese classics that have been entertaining the public over the last four decades. Amongst the artists taking part are Freddie Portelli, Bajzo, Georgina, Christian Arding, Bartolo Sisters (daughters of Sammy Bartolo), Tony Camilleri, Joe George and Mike Spiteri, all live with the Band of Mro. Paul Abela.
Tuesday - 15th May at 20:30
‘Malta Pop Show’ - Pop concert with Malta's most famous Pop singers, including Claudia Faniello, Gianni, Richard Edwards, Fabrizio Faniello, Muxu, Christabelle, Urban Echoe, Keith Dance Studio and more.
Wednesday - 16th May at 20:30
‘Think Floyd - The Definitive Pink Floyd Experience’; International Live tribute show of the legendary group Pink Floyd.
Thursday - 17th May at 20:30
‘The Green Gathering’ - Exactly one month before the feast of Zejtun, all the Beland family and feast enthusiasts will meet at Market Square for this big gathering.
Friday - 18th May at 20:30
Airport Impressions Live
Supporting act: Dry Connections
Saturday - 19th May at 20:30
‘Alive The Concert’ - A big concert with Malta's best voices, including Chiara and Glen Vella.
(UEFA Champions League final will be shown on Big Screen).
Sunday - 20th May at 19:15
Zejtun Youth Mass
Sunday - 20th May at 20:30
‘Beland Spectacular’ - The grand closing of the week, with the Beland Band in the leading role in a live concert with a number of famous singers, namely; Mary Spiteri, Lawrence Gray, Thea Garrett, Mikaela, Wayne Micallef, Eleanor Cassar and Raquela.
One can see the festival as an opening to the summer months activities as other activities take place all around the island during the summer months but most of them would not be held on such a grand scale. To organize such a massive event is not easy and Beland would not have been able to provide such a field with different artists were it not for the support they found from their sponsors. The event is free of charge but those in attendance are encouraged to give a small donation that will go directly to Puttinu cares as for another year, the event is being held in aid of Puttinu Care which works for such a noble case. So remember from the 12th of May to the 20th of May your entertainment spot should be in Zejtun at the Beland Music Festival. escflashmalta.com is proud to support this event in fact aiding in the production of the 'Malta Pop Show'. Stay tuned for more information.
Source: Facebook Official Page, The Beland Music Festival
One of the most important promotional events of the year took place in Belgium, a nation which is competing within the first semi-final of this years' Eurovision Song Contest. The event brought together the delegations from Armenia, Greece, Bosnia & Herzegovina, Ireland, Belgium as well as Malta. The schedule included performances on the television un the show TVL as well as a live performance during the Pink Nation event.
Our representative for 2010 namely Thea Garrett performed her entry My Dream written by Jason Paul Cassar and Sunny Aquilina looking extremely charismatic during the performance. According to reports, the artist really did well within the country and was received well by both people as well as the media present. In the meantime, you can see the performance from the program through the youtube video below which has just been uploading in an extremely high quality version.
As part and parcel of our 2010 Eurovision Song Contest coverage, we have contacted all of the former Maltese representatives at this prestigious event and some of them came to us with their greeting for the jolly Thea Garrett who will be performing My Dream penned by Sunny Aquilina and written by Jason Paul Cassar in the first semi-final of this years' event. Today we will be bringing you the greeting of Chris and Moira.
The dynamic duo first burst onto the scene as a duo in the 1994 Malta Song for Europe when they performed the song their self-penned entry More Than Love which blew away the judges of the national selection toppling people such as Ray Caruana who represented the United Kingdom in the 1989 Eurovision Song Contest finishing in second place. Alas, the duo went to Dublin and finished in 5th place which was another brilliant result for our country with the performance being outstanding. The duo would go on to write the 1999 entry Believe In Peace to which they accompanied as backing vocalists and also an entry within the Malta Eurosong competition in 2008 entitled All Right Now which failed to make it through to the final round of the competition. They are currently working on a new album which will be released in due course.
"All the best for the Contest, we are sure you will do your utmost but whatever the result, you make sure you enjoy every bit of it cos that's what you will carry along with you all your life, the great moments!!
Take care and break a leg, regards
Chris & Moira"
The Maltese representative in the 55th Edition of Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Oslo Norway, namely Thea Garrett will be leaving for her destination tomorrow morning with the local press invited to see her off as she makes arrives at 11am. During her time in Oslo, the artist will be rehearsing at least twice during the first week before three dress rehearsals which will follow in the second week.
Thea Garrett had won the Malta Eurosong 2010 competition with overwhelming support from both the professional hailing from European countries as well as the public despite being quite the unknown and relative newcomer to the competition. In Oslo she will be joined by Jes Sciberras who will be playing the part of the seagull, three backing vocalists being Pamela, Jackie Pace Delicata and Nadine Axisa, composer Jason Paul Cassar and lyricist Sunny Aquilina. Recent omens have been quite positive and fans across Europe are seeing Malta as a qualifier within the 8-10th region. The team of ESCflashmalta.com will be bringing you images, video and reports from Oslo to keep you updated on the happenings LIVE.
Eurovision fever has started as today the Maltese contingent heads for Oslo to start the run up for the final night. Tonight Bla Agenda will put you in the mood by presenting the whole contingent and other guests in an animated discussion that will surely interest all those Eurovision fans, and maybe even those who claim to hate Eurovision but watch it none the less.
Thea Garrett will be present to singer he song, along with her backing vocalists Nadine Axisa, Pamela and Jackie Pace Delicata. Also present will be Jason Cassar and Sunny Aquilina, who composed and wrote the lyrics to My Dream respectively. There will also be Jes Camilleri who will accompany Thea on stage. Other personalities are Head of Delegation Joe Dimech, past committee chairmen Robert Cefai and Gaetano Abela, and also Joe Grima.
Source: Press Release