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 Maltese representative in this years' Eurovision Song Contest namely Thea Garrett has embarked on a trip that will take her to the city of Antwerp in Belgium where she is set to be promoting her entry composed by Jason Cassar and written by Sunny Aquilina which will be performed in the 11th position within the first semi-final to be staged on the 25th May 2010.
Apart from several media exposure through the television and also the radio stations, Thea was given an extra event to deal with yesterday having met with the Belgian Ambassador to Malta. The culmination of the trip will be taking place this evening when a party is set to be hosted. A total of seven participating countries will be making the trip as seen below:
- Armenia - Eva Rivas - Apricot Stone
- Belgium - Tom Dice - Me and my guitar
- Bosnia & Herzegovina - Vukasin Brajic - Thunder and Lightning
- Greece - Giorgios Alkaios - Opa
- Ireland - Niamh Kavanagh - It's for you
- Malta - Thea Garrett - My Dream
- Serbia - Milan Stankovic - Ovo Je Balkan
After all of the participants assemble at the Ramada Plaza Hotel within Antwerp, Belgium, the media will be taking pictures. This will be followed by the introduction of the seven artists who will all be given exposure through interviews. A welcome reception is then set to be held for all the media and invited guests within the AEC Antwerp. An hour later, a speech by the host of the event namely Bram Bierkens from the organising committee of the event. The performances would kick off straight after mixed with some interesting forms of arts including a fashion show and a tribute act.
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"