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)
Romina Mamo has been around within the upper stage of the local music industry since competing in the 2003 edition of the Malta Song for Europe with the track Here Today, Gone Tomorrow composed by Dominic Galea and penned by Joe Friggieri which did not make it through to the finals but then returned in the 2005 edition with the song We Can Do Better written by Carm Fenech in a trio which featured Neville Refalo and Rachel Fabri alongside Romina but her most decadent performance within the same competition came earlier this year as she took to the stage with DNA written in a collaboration between Michael Johannes Tanczos and Gerard James Borg. She has also compiled all of her notable efforts in an album released last year entitled Eyes On Me. In the meantime, as she awaits the results of the upcoming edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, she has released a brand new single.
Her latest effort entitled Delicious Poison is composed by Philip Vella and penned by Gerard James Borg and was an entry which managed to make it through with the final 62 in this years' edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. The dynamic songwriting duo are known to have written five of last decades' entries for Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest including two top ten efforts; Desire by Claudette Pace in 2000 and 7th Wonder by Ira Losco in 2002. The track continuous a trend which Romina seems to have started with regards to Poison considering that she had won the Malta International Hit Song Contest with the song Poison Ivy a couple of years back, a song which is written by Clinton Paul. Her latest effort though keeps in line with the recent uptempo sound which she seems to have grown fond of and considering that another competition maybe on the cards quite soon, it does not come to a surprise that she has spruced up her look once more. In the meantime, have a listen to Delicious Poison just below and let us know your thoughts. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.
Source: Facebook, Youtube
The start of the twenty first century had been known to bring about a number of changes in the local music industry but it is worth pointing out that just prior to that, a brand new male vocalist in the form of Fabrizio Faniello was born and from then onwards, it has been a constant fight for success, which in most cases has also been attained. The renowned performer has already managed to represent Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest on two occasions received mixed results with his final participation putting his career in doubt but working through difficulties is part of the game and ultimately, he has returned with new material and with a solid set of fans who will always be around to support his work. His most recent single entitled The Hardest Thing written by Wayne Hector, Elliot Kennedy and Gary Barlow taken off his fifth studio album Surrender is already doing well abroad especially following the video release which was an escflashmalta.com exclusive.
Considering that Fabrizio Faniello has been to the European showcase at least twice, it seems that he does have an audience which prefers listening to his vocal and in fact, he could be found at number #1 on the chart which is compiled by eurovisionontop.com ahead of acts who did better than him at the event when they competed including none other than Ani Lorak, Lena, Patricia Kaas, Ott Lepland, Alexander Rybak and Hadise amongst others. Nevertheless, it is also worth noting that airplay is vital and hence forth, it seems that Germany have picked up on the track as well because The Hardest Thing by Fabrizio Faniello is currently at number #22 at Radio Contact. The chart which is currently being led by Adele, David Guetta and Rihanna is definitely a huge achievement for the Maltese star who for the most part of his career has been signed to Spectre Media and CAP-Sounds which are affiliated with Universal Music Germany. Should you wish to purchase your copy of the track, visit the iTunes store. The editorial team at escflashmalta.com would like to wish Fabrizio Faniello the very best of luck with his success and in the meantime, we hope that you stay tuned for more news.
Source: Official Facebook Page
One of the most promising up and coming talents in the local music industry is surely Danica Muscat who has been around for just a very short time, mostly appearing at the Junior Eurosong competition prior to leaving Malta for Italy to appear on the hit reality television series, Io Canto which is hosted by Gerry Scotti on Canale 5. She had the opportunity to perform with some of the most amazing artists there including the likes of Pierdavide Carone amongst others but then again, she has returned to Malta with more intelligence about the music scene than many others who have been around for longer. Throughout this interview, we have spoken about a number of things including possible participation in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2013. Have a look at what she had to tell escflashmalta.com!
Throughout the past couple of years, Danica Muscat has evolved as an artist not only in vocal capabilities but also in character and that is very important in order to succeed in this business. Going back a couple of years, one would remember your respective successes achieved in Romania as well as in Italy within a number of music competitions where you competed against individuals from all over the world including countries where the music scenes normally thrive. Do you believe that such experiences have helped you more in terms of becoming the musical artist that you are today and what advice would you give to aspiring performers who are hoping to follow in your footsteps?
I believe that such experiences do help ,Malta is a small country and obviously since our music industry is still in it infancy ,Malta compared to bigger countries who harvest their talent early, local talent is not usually appreciated early locally , as it stands it is hard for new artists to be noticed and come forward since opportunities at a high level are few and limited. Also by competing and working abroad on a professional level helps especially in self-discipline .I must also stress that the level of training and especially the level of the vocal coaches is really important, and should not be regarded lightly when choosing.
Following the conception of Television, the society has changed by virtue of getting messages through this so called screen which translates images which are either being filmed there and then or having been recorded prior to the actual broadcaster. On the other hand, Malta has become renowned for the drama that is produces on the three main television stations; Television Malta, ONE Television and NET Television respectively. Intriguing as it may sound, the repertoire of actors is somewhat increasing and this is due to the fact that media houses are including people from various sectors in their showcases noting that one of the latest individuals to garner a role is none other than Jessica Muscat, the four time participant at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, who is currently taking part in the drama Il-Klikka which airs on ONE every Tuesday night at 20:30 CET.
Jessica Muscat first made it onto the local music scene by virtue of the 2004 edition of the Junior Eurosong but then again, she quickly found her form amongst the elite of the older generation making it through to the semi-final of the Malta Song for Europe back in 2008 with the song Tangled composed by Philip Vella and penned by Gerard James Borg during a time in which she was conducting University exams, putting her effort into both areas respectively. Nevertheless, she continued to excel from then onwards, making it to the finals of the Malta Hit Song Contest on ONE Television with Sweet Temptation composed by Philip Vella and penned by Gerard James Borg finishing in the runner-up position. Within the following year, meaning 2009, Jessica released her debut album Home Run compiling all of her competition tracks as well as a couple of new ones into one. The first effort did astonishingly well and showed her as a true lyricist for the very first time being the girl behind the words for I’m a lil’ bit crazy. The year somewhat continued to build up by making it to the semi-finals of the 2009 Malta Song for Europe with two songs; Hey You and Smokescreen and despite ample praise from critics and fans alike, she failed to make it through to the finals.
Nevertheless, it was not really a huge setback for the artist going onto Hollywood for a ten day vocal camp working with the likes of Seth Riggs who was conducting this programme. For those who might not know, Riggs has worked with the likes of Faith Hill, Michael Bolton, Ricky Martin and Kelly Clarkson amongst many others. Graduating from University with a degree in Communications and Hispanic Studies, Jessica continued to work hard to achieve success and indeed, in 2011, she returned to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with the song Down Down Down which she co-wrote with Philip Vella whilst also making it through to the semi-finals in 2012 with Dance Romance which she also co-wrote with Philip Vella. It seems that summer has been quite busy for Jessica by working on her second solo album alongside her record producer Paul Powell and under the vocal direction of Joshua Alamu who was called upon by the British Broadcasting Corporation to help them out with the scouting for the hit reality show The Voice. The blonde haired artist is no more in existence with Jessica going more for an orange flame sort of feel now as she appears in this new drama series alongside the likes of Tezara Camilleri, who many will remember for performing Defying Gravity in Sfida hosted by Claudette Pace. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more news in the coming days and weeks.
The Maltese Islands have been truly gifted with some astonishing vocals throughout the years, some of which have shined at particular moments and others which just amaze at any given point in time. One of the latter is surely that of Corazon who brings about a touch of warmth and peace to every track, especially ones which are specifically written for her either in Maltese or English. Looking back through a personal record collection, it has to be noted that her very first outing within a competition came at the 2005 edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza where she had performed the track L-Irġiel which she co-wrote alongside her mother Mariella but nevertheless, things have changed a lot since then and so has her respective genre with fast, uptempo pop songs seemingly set aside giving way to slow, piano ballads which are much more suited to her voice and soothing to the ear.
She would wait another two years before returning to the local music scene with the track Hawn Jien being entered in the 2007 edition of the Għanja tal-Poplu and ultimately winning. She would return the following year with another song bearing the title Illejla B'Xejn which won the prize for the best interpretation. In 2009, performing alongside singer/songwriter Walter Micallef, she won with a masterful performance of the track Tal-Aħħar and she would take part once more in 2010 achieving victory with Mill-Għajnejn Ta' Tifla becoming the first consecutive winner in a very long time. This string of successes was playing quite the role in general with many people getting to know her even better as a performer and an individual because the lyrics and music, written by herself expressed her beliefs and thoughts in the best possible way.
Moving onto the English portion of competitions, Corazon achieved success in the 2010 edition Malta International Hit Song Festival with the song Set the Night on Fire written by Philip Vella. She would also represent Malta in Spain with the song Come Fly With Me composed by Renato Briffa and penned by Alfred E Baldacchino. She entered the Malta Eurosong competition for the very first time in 2009 with the song Another Side of Me written by Philip Vella. Many believe that it should have made it through to the final but it did not unfortunately and thus, Corazon had to wait a couple of years before finding the right song once more, managing to do it with Mystifying Eyes composed by Paul Giordimaina and penned by Fleur Balzan. Things are definitely moving into the right direction for the twenty five year old performer and we believe that she will become more of a star in the years to come with a strong possibility to represent Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest. One of her last releases Looking for You showed how versatile she truly is, eventually making the radio chart on 89.7 Bay Radio. The voice of an enchantress is a personal opinion at this stage and many are hoping that she will enter the 2013 Malta Eurovision Song Contest. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest features.
In the past couple of years, one of the most dominant names in the local music industry has surely been none other than Janvil whose first appearance came way back in the 2005 edition of the Malta Song for Europe competition with the track You composed by Augusto Cardinali and penned by Giovann Attard which finished in third place but since then, he has made it through on another four occasions, those coming in 2006, 2009, 2011 and 2012 respectively although the results have not been as good as they were the first time round. One of the most important things that have been somewhat detrimental to his career is his image which has been changing quite a lot in recent months and years noting that his brand new single reflects all of this.
The latest track released by the performer bears the name Make My Day written by Melanie Georgiou and produced at G.G. Studios in London during the hot month of July. In fact, one could easily note that the song has been written for the flair of summer and has surely been receiving ample airplay through viral website, YouTube. It is also to be noted that the engineering of the song was conducted by George Platon who wrote his entry for this years' edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest entitled You Are My Life which finished in fourteenth place at the end of the night receiving nil points from the public and eight points from the juries. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.
Source: Official Facebook Page
Since representing the country at the 2012 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest in Baku, Azerbaijan with the track This Is The Night, Kurt Calleja has managed to achieve quite an intriguing fan base, one which has been supporting his every move. It is to be noted that the performer was only the third to qualify to the final of the annual music competition following in the footsteps of Julie and Ludwig in 2004 with the track On Again .. Off Again as well as Chiara in 2009 with the song What If We, ultimately achieving somewhat of a disappointing placing in the final following a performance which could at best be described as below par unfortunately with the excitement highly noticeable. Nevertheless, the foundation for a career has been well set and Kurt is looking forward to releasing a host of new songs. The latest single is entitled Boomerang and it will be played in full for the first time this evening.
The track in itself is written by singer/songwriter K-Warren with the production as well as the mixing done by Dan Pursey, a man who has worked with the likes of Stephen Gately of Boyzone, A1, Five, Westlife, Kate Winslet, Atomic Kitten, Ronan Keating, Clay Aiken, The Saturdays, Il Divo, Will Young and Leona Lewis amongst others. The main vocals of the track are provided by Kurt Calleja but then again, it is also to be noted that he is aided in the backing department by his brother Kevin Calleja as well as Matthew James Borg who is the lead singer of the popular band, Red Electrick. The respective recording was done at Blacklight Studios by Peter Borg. The track will be available for people to buy through the medium iTunes as from Monday 10th September 2012 so make sure to stay tuned to that but should you like to listen to the full track before, make sure to be present at the G7 Party in Gianpula this evening. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.
One of the leading stars in the local music scene is surely Fabrizio Faniello having had the honour of representing the country at the Eurovision Song Contest on two separate occasions, the first one being in 2001 with the song Another Summer Night and the second time in 2006 with the track I Do noting that the results were opposite each other reflective the positive and negative aspects on each side. Following a hiatus, Fabrizio decided to come back to what he loves doing and started by recording a track for the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza entitled Futur which finished in third place before making his national return in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest in 2011 with the track No Surrender which finished in fourth place before trying for another time in 2012 with the track I Will Fight For You (Papa's Song) which would manage a sixth position.
Everything has been quite positive and the release of his album has just helped things even further actually. At the moment, just prior to a day which celebrates father, this years' Malta Eurovision Song Contest track is making waves in the Belgian and the German radio charts noting that it has been available for more than six weeks and currently sits at number #4 as you can see through the official website. On the other hand in Belgium, through BRF1 (Belgischer Rundfunk) he has managed to enter at number #14 for the first time this week. One other major endorsement for this song has been in the United States actually where the retail store Abercromie & Fitch has requested the song to be played within all of their respective shops in the the country giving the track notable exposure in a leading fashion outlet in the world. Fabrizio will continue representing the country in the best possible way and we will be keeping you posted with everything that is going on so stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news!
Source: CAP-Sounds, Manfred Holz
Some of us believe that Eurovision is the main stage of a singers’ success in his career. However, one must believe that where there’s a will there’s a way and although, Eurovision opens a lot of doors to young promising artists, it is not the only road to success. Opportunities, come our way in many different forms and we must have our eyes wide opened to catch them before they are lost. Wayne Micallef is one of those singers whose ambition is to have success with his music in whatever life leads him into and most importantly for people to enjoy his music.
Micallef is a well-known artist in the local music scene with many of his songs finishing in the top local charts. Some of the singles released by the artist in the past years are ‘Breaking Down’, ‘Slip Away’, ‘Save a Life’ and ‘The Parade’. He is also one of the popular singers/songwriters in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with some of the past records being ‘Save a Life’, ‘Everybody Sing’ and the last one being ‘Time’.
Following his performance in the final of this year’s festival, Wayne has teamed up with Brandon Mueller to release a music video for his self penned track ‘Time’. The two talented people has shot the video in Wisconsin in the Fox Valley, USA. One must say that the music video continues to complement the beauty of the song which was very well liked by the fans of the festival. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news from the local music scene.
Source: Wayne Micallef Official Facebook