20 January 2018

In 2010, Thea Garrett had went on record stating that "music in life practically means everything, and that she aims to push as hard as she could in order to achieve her life's ambitions". This was audible during the postcard, prior to the performance of "My Dream", composed by Jason Paul Cassar to the lyrics of Sunny Aquilina, which would go onto triumph, winning almost the entire support of the professional panel of judges, and the public at home.

In a recent television interview with Owen Bonnici on the programme 'One Night Stand' which airs on ONE Television, Thea Garrett said that she would not consider going a step backwards and returning to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. The reasoning was that other opportunities should be taken as new avenues are explored. The singing sensation, now based in the United Kingdom, recently made it to the latter stages of a casting call for a role in the hit musical 'Les Miserables' on the West End. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: One Night Stand (ONE Television)

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Published in Latest News - Local

CAP-Sounds, a record label based in Germany and distributed by Universal Music, known for publishing most of the entries that Malta has sent to the Eurovision Song Contest has prepared a special surprise for all fans of the international competition. escflashmalta.com is proud to exclusively reveal that the company has been busy speaking with artists, songwriters and label executives about getting the rights to each of the songs that represented Malta in the past, from the first ever entry in 1971 to the most recent one in 2013.

Unfortunately, despite all their efforts, some songs are missing either due to unclear legal issues or personal reasons but that should not marr the cloud of the compilation album, the second ever to be put on disc and digital platforms such as iTunes, Amazon and Spotify. It is a must have collection for all fans of the Eurovision Song Contest, and of course, of Malta’s participation in the international competition. This compilation includes none other than; Marija l-Maltija (1971), L-Imħabba (1972), Could It Be (1991), Little Child (1992), This Time (1993), Keep Me In Mind (1995), In a Woman’s Heart (1996), Let Me Fly (1997), The One That I Love (1998), Believe ‘n Peace (1999), Desire (2000), Another Summer Night (2001), 7th Wonder (2002), On Again ... Off Again (2004), I Do (2006), Vertigo (2007), Vodka (2009), What If We (2009), My Dream (2010), One Life (2011) and This Is The Night (2012).

A further suprise by CAP-Sounds are the inclusion of four (4) bonus tracks, all from this years’ edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, with Safe (Miriam Christine), Just No Place Like Home (Fabrizio Faniello), One Last Ride (Daniel Testa) and Because I Have You (Amber) all making the final cut. escflashmalta.com would like to thank Manfred Holz, owner of CAP-Sounds for taking up such an initiative, one which we had been personally hoping to happen for a very long time. Stay tuned for more of the latest news.

Source: escflashmalta.com / CAP-Sounds

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In 2010, Thea Garrett was the surprise winner of the Malta Eurosong competition with her entry My Dream composed by Jason Paul Cassar to the lyrics of Sunny Aquilina. Despite the fact that the track failed to get through to the finals, the female vocalist worked her way into the music industry by making a number of international contacts. Not only, having also moved to United Kingdom in order to further her studies at the London School of Musical Theatre, of which she has also become an alumni following her recent graduation.

In the year following her participation within the Eurovision Song Contest, Thea unveiled two follow-up singles, one entitled Frontline composed by Dean Muscat to the lyrics of John Galea and the second being a duet with Marcin Mrozinski bearing the name In Our Love composed by Jason Paul Cassar to the lyrics of Sunny Aquilina. It has been noted that Thea Garrett could possibly return to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest next year but she has stated on more than one occasion that it is highly unlikely that she would return to the competition unless something special happens. In the meantime, it is most likely the right call because with such a crisp diction and magnificient voice, musicals are more her oyster than the actual song competition. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about former representatives of the international competition.

Source: Clint Gerald Attard (Image)

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Published in Latest News - Local

In 2011, the Public Broadcasting Services issues a rule which stated that no representative from the past three years could enter the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. Nevertheless, it was extended to the artists who had honoured the country in the previous five years in both 2012 and 2013, with one vocalist always granted permission to return as every year wore down. During the evening news bulletin, last night, Keith Demicoli revealed that this is one of the rules which have been completely dismissed by the host broadcaster with only Gianluca not permitted to submit an entry.

The four vocalists who will benefit from this change in particular are; Chiara, Thea Garrett, Glen Vella and Kurt Calleja who all represented Malta in the past five years with varying degrees of success. It is important to denote that three have also submitted their willingness to return to the competition should they be offered the right song with only one opting to remain out of the fray. Thea Garrett who flew to Oslo, Norway with the song My Dream composed by Jason Paul Cassar to the lyrics of Sunny Aquilina failed to get through to the final, finishing in twelfth place but made a number of contacts which have also led to the release of a couple of songs. She has subsequently moved to London where she is perfecting her vocal technique at a renowned music academy.

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Chiara, the female vocalist who represented Malta on three occasions, the last of which being with the track What If We composed by Marc Paelinck to the lyrics of Gregory Bilsen is currently signed to an Icelandic Record Label whose interests in the Eurovision Song Contest go deep considering that each artist that represents the Scandinavian country is represented by them. At the moment, Chiara has just unveiled her latest single, a cover of the hit song 9 to 5 in a duet with Hera Bjork who also went to the international competition. Chiara would jump at the chance to do it again should she have the absolutely perfect song. This is something that she stated on Euromix, hosted by Frederick Zammit on Radju Malta earlier this month.

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Glen Vella is a true fan of the Eurovision Song Contest and one has to denote that he won the national selection relatively quickly, having participated as a soloist on only three occasions in total. His winning entry, One Life composed by Paul Giordimaina to the lyrics of Fleur Balzan was a decent effort but nevertheless, lacked that special quality which would have taken it into the final at the international event. It is true that he missed out only by one (1) point but nevertheless, I was never too keen on the actual song itself. He has spoken about returning time and time again and was also present in Sweden earlier this year where he was invited to perform by fans of the event.

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Kurt Calleja was the surprise package of the year 2012 despite having managed to earn a reputable fan base following his second runner-up finish at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest in 2011. Following his participation within the international competition with the song This Is The Night which he co-wrote alongside Johan Jämtberg and Mikael Gunnerås, which saw him reach the final and finish in twenty-first place, Kurt returned to Malta and tried to launch a proper music career. His follow-up single, that entitled Boomerang was a massive success, picked up on 89.7 Bay and earning him a double nomination as Best Solo Artist at the Bay Music Awards and Best Male Artist at the Malta Music Awards. Nevertheless, launching his album Love On Mars has proven difficult despite a successful launch concert.

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Whilst Chiara, Glen Vella and Kurt Calleja could possibly throw their hat into the ring, there might be some unfinished business with former representatives; Fabrizio Faniello and Olivia Lewis. The male vocalist who represented Malta on two occasions in 2001 and 2006 respectively has just won the third biggest music competition by virtue of winning the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza with the song Aħfirli Jekk Trid composed by Minik to the lyrics of Rita Pace. On the other hand, Olivia, representative of 2007 signalled her return by making it through to the final of the International Festival of Maltese Song, the second biggest music competition in Malta. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about the upcoming edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, organised by the Public Broadcasting Services.

Source: escflashmalta.com

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Published in Opinions

Rhiannon, originally known behind the scenes as the female backing vocalist in My Dream composed by Jason Paul Cassar to the lyrics of Sunny Aquilina with lead vocals by Thea Garrett. As many remember, the track eventually went onto represent Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest with Pamela, Nadine Axisa and Jacqueline Pace Delicata appearing as female backing vocalists. The problem for Rhiannon at the time was that she was just sixteen years old and unable to take to the international stage. Almost four years later, the young female vocalist is set to take the local music scene by storm as she plans to reveal her debut single on Malta's Top Ten with Nathan D which airs weekly on 89.7 Bay.

The debut single entitled Take a Look is a co-write between Rhiannon and Ramzi, the latter of which has already found success in recent weeks with the track Fed Up by Maxine Pace, a former participant within the Malta Junior Eurosong competition. In recent years, this portal has helped promote the local music scene to the best possible capacity and therefore made contact with Rhiannon prior to the full release of her debut single. Following a quick discussion about her upcoming plans for the near future, we came to an agreement to exclusively preview forty-five (45) seconds of her debut single which remember will be available to listen to through all major radio stations within the next couple of days. We would like you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about the local music scene.

Source: escflashmalta.com, Tonio Lombardi (Image)

Published in Latest News - Local
Friday, 19 October 2012 01:29

MESC 2013: Who Is The One To Beat?

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. 

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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.

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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.

Source: escflashmalta.com

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Published in Opinions
Saturday, 28 July 2012 05:50

Malta: A Successful Story in Songwriting

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. 

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Published in Latest News - Local

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

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Published in Latest News - Local

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.

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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"

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