March 25, 2019

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On the 10th December, 24 semi-finalist participants were put in front of a panel of professional ‘expert judges’ to assess their song-writing, and vocal capabilities, coming up with a verdict which was made public on the 12th December. 16 songs have made the final of L-Għanja tal-Poplu Żgħażagħ 2019, which you might recall having returned 12 months ago after a long hiatus which lasted a total of 11 years.

Organised by the L-Għanja tal-Poplu Committee in collaboration with St Benedict College in Kirkop, the Ministry of Education, L-Akkademja tal-Malti as well as the Malta Concert Orchestra, previous winners of L-Għanja tal-Poplu Żgħażagħ have included: Brooke in 2005, Christabelle in 2006, Marilena in 2007 and Aidan Jay Drakard & Eliana Gomez Blanco in 2018.

The next winner will come forth from the list of 16 participating entries:

Demi Galea - Fil-Fond (Rita Pace, Mark Spiteri Lucas)
Martina Galea Loffreda – Għoxrin (Corazon Mizzi)
Gianluca Cilia – Ħaġar Qim (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Philip Vella)
Elisa Andrea Muscat – Ħamra Nar (Paul Ellul, Mark Spiteri Lucas)
Jasmine Farrugia – Ħorrox Borrox (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Augusto Cardinali)
Nathaniel Attard & Martina Abela – Ilallu (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Dominic Cini)
Amber Grace Scerri – Iljun (Cliff Casha, Georgea Falzon)
Kacey Azzopardi – Jonqsok Biss il-Kliem (Rita Pace, Augusto Cardinali)
Kayley Cuschieri – Kellimni (Joe Julian Farrugia, Augusto Cardinali)
Klara Vassallo & Leon Bartolo – Kull Deni Ħudu B’Ġid (Andrea Cassar)
Eksenia Sammut – Leħni (Paul Ellul, Mark Spiteri Lucas)
Shania Cauchi – Mużajk (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Mark Scicluna)
Kayley Cuschieri – Qegħdin Sew! (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Mark Spiteri Lucas)
Mychael Bartolo Chircop – Stenbaħt (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Philip Vella)
Thea Aquilina – Tal-Punt (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Andrew Zammit)
Nathaniel Attard – Taparsi (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Mark Spiteri Lucas)

The festival is set for Friday 15th March 2019 at the theatre of St Benedict College in Kirkop. On behalf of the editorial team at escflashmalta.com, we would like to wish all the performers, and the respective songwriters of the 16 finalists the very best of luck. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about L-Għanja tal-Poplu Żgħażagħ and the local music industry when it becomes available.

Source: ghanjafest.com

The 2018 edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Minsk, Belarus has just come to an end with the winner being Roksana Wegiel with Anyone I Want to Be for Poland. Co-written by Maegan Cottone, Nathan Duvall, Cutfather, Peter Wallevik, Daniel Davidsen, Malgorzata Uscilowska and Patryk Kumor finished at the lower-end of the top 10 with the juries but placed 1st in the online vote, giving her a steady lead.

Malta’s Ela who gave an incredible account of herself during her remarkable performance of Marchin’ On finished in 5th place, which in turn is Malta’s best result at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest since 2015 when Destiny Chukunyere had won it with Not My Soul.

It is yet unknown where the 2019 edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest will take place but one things’ for sure, whoever will be hosting will have an extremely high standard to look up to after a fantastic show put up by the Belarusian Television an Radio Company (BTRC) in collaboration with the European Broadcasting Union.

We would like you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through social media platforms; Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about Malta’s participation in the Eurovision Song Contest and the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: escflashmalta.com, junioreurovision.tv

This afternoon, Europe’s young talents will be sharing their talent on the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Taking place from the Minsk Arena in the Belarusian capital Minsk, twenty countries will take to the stage in a two and a half hour live show.

The live show will be hosted by Eugene Perlin, Zina Kupriyanovich and Helena Meraai, with a special performance by last year’s winner, Polina Bogusevich. The participants of the show will also join together to perform the theme song for this year’s contest, “Light Up”.

Malta will be represented by 12 year old Ela Mangion with the song “Marchin’ On”, written by Ela with Emil Calleja Bayliss and composed by Cyprian Cassar. Ela is in good spirits for the show - you can see what she said to us when we sat down with her earlier this week here.

01. Ukraine: Darina Krasnovetska - "Say Love"
02. Portugal: Rita Laranjeira - "Gosto de Tudo (Já Não Gosto de Nada)"
03. Kazakhstan: Daneliya Tuleshova - "Ózińe sen"
04. Albania: Efi Gjika - "Barbie"
05. Russia: Anna Filipchuk - "Unbreakable"
06. The Netherlands: Max & Anne - "Samen"
07. Azerbaijan: Fidan Huseynova - "I Wanna Be Like You"
08. Belarus: Daniel Yastremski - "Time"
09. Ireland: Taylor Hynes - "IOU"
10. Serbia: Bojana Radovanović - "Svet"
11. Italy: Melissa & Marco - "What Is Love"
12. Australia: Jael - "Champion"
13. Georgia: Tamar Edilashvili - "Your Voice"
14. Israel: Noam Dadon - "Children Like These"
15. France: Angélina - "Jamais Sans Toi"
16. FYR Macedonia: Marija Spasovska - "Doma"
17. Armenia: L.E.V.O.N - "L.E.V.O.N"
18. Wales: Manw - "Perta"
19. Malta: Ela - "Marchin' On"
20. Poland: Roksana Węgiel - "Anyone I Want to Be"

The winner will be decided by an online vote and a professional jury, each counting for half of the overall result. You can vote online at www.jesc.tv for 3-5 countries, including Malta. The vote will close once the show begins, and will reopen once the performances are over.

You can follow the show live on TVM and TVM HD, and additionally over YouTube from the Junior Eurovision official channel. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through social media platforms; Facebook and Twitter.

Source: junioreurovision.tv, escflashmalta.com

Saturday, 24 November 2018 14:53

JESC 2018: A Sit Down with Malta's Ela

By

Whilst the temperature back in Malta sits at a balmy 22 degrees, in Minsk, the capital of Belarus, it's an icy -5. But what's an even bigger contrast is that while most twelve year olds are back at home, going to school and spending time with their friends - Ela Mangion is gearing up to perform in front of the biggest audience of her life at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

Having performed in countries from Italy to Lithuania and Russia, the scenario isn't that strange to Ela. But this event, the little sister (or brother) of the adult contest which takes place each May, is the biggest opportunity she's had so far. "It's a really good promotion for young singers. It's nice to unite with other countries," she tells me. She fondly recalls meeting some of the other contestants of this year’s contest here and there in the past, including the two female hosts of this year’s contest, adding “It’s like we’re on a journey together.”

Preparing for such an event like this is a hectic challenge, there’s a lot going on here. The schedule is tightly packed with rehearsals and excursions, and there’s even time slotted in for the kids to unwind at the “Euroclub” in the show’s official hotel. The team from PBS includes a producer, songwriters, choreographers, dancers as well as press and media managers. Some would be intimidated by this, but Ela seems to be taking it in her stride. “I’m more excited than nervous… but if there is any nervousness, it’s the positive kind,” she admits. “But I’m relaxed. I think if other people see me relaxed, they can be relaxed too. It’s tiring - but I like it, I like this life a lot,”.

“Marchin’ On” is the song that Ela will be singing at the contest. It’s an anthemic song that talks about dealing with the pressures of social problems that we come across in life, and how with the help of everyone, we can overcome these problems. “The song came out exactly how I wanted it - I really feel the message. The first time I heard it, I was mind blown,” she says. She worked together with producer Cyprian Cassar on the melody and asked lyricist Emil Calleja Bayliss to help create the story.

It’s clear that this girl lives and breathes music. “I like RnB, Soul, Jazz, and of course pop music,” she says. Ela cites many of the musical greats as her inspirations, and talks about her admiration for artists such as Beyoncé. “But I don’t want to listen to pop music all the time,” she interjects. “Everyone is blasting the radio with pop music.” It’s clear that she’s interested in fresh and new sounds - the next thing I know, she’s telling me about the young American singer/songwriter/producer H.E.R. “She’s amazing, one of my inspirations. When I see her perform, I think ‘I want to do that - she’s a singer, songwriter, producer - a triple threat’,”. I tell her that her unique taste is quite striking to me. “The beautiful thing about music is that you try to do something that everyone else does. You have to be unique, that’s the best thing. That’s why I try to search for older artists, which I mix with modern tastes,”, she says. She looks up to local talent too - “We have a lot of talent in Malta. I love Brooke, Ira, Amber… they are icons for me”, she excitedly tells me.

But where does this all come from, I wonder? “My father is the musical one in my family. He listens to everything from soft rock, jazz…,” she tells me, adding “I get my inspiration from him,”. On the other hand, she looks up to her mother for fashion - one of her other big interests. “She’s like my stylist - a fashion inspiration”. After the contest in Minsk, she wants to get even more into music. “I am going to take lessons in guitar, and after lessons in music production. I want to produce to write…. I want to do everything,” she tells me, before pausing and stating “I want to start playing the drums… but then I also want to play the harp!” I look at her inquisitively, surprised at her wish to play the harp. “You can use it for a lot of things, it makes music really melodic,”.

It’s clear to me that Ela is really invested in music. She’s supported in all of this by all of her friends back home. “Everyone’s really supportive of me, even my teachers at school - I love them all so much.” She tells me how she managed to get some of her friends to take part in her music video for Junior Eurovision. “They’re singing [my song] all the time - in class, in the hallways,” she smiles. “But I am missing them a lot. They’re even organising a party at school to watch the contest!.”

Ela Mangion will perform “Marchin’ On” at this year’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest - live on TVM from 16.00 local time on November 25th. The online voting is already open, and you can vote for Malta (alongside 2-4 other countries) at www.vote.junioreurovision.tv. This counts for 50% of the overall result. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through social media platforms; Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news from Minsk, Belarus.

#TeamMalta ran into the press conference, moderated by Denis Dudinsky in positive spirits, taking questions from local and international media outlets. Ela was bursting with energy throughout, even singing a beautiful rendition of Viva Malta, with her father providing backing vocals to the amusement to all those present. Asked why she’s not performing in Maltese at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, Ela said that while she greatly enjoys singing in the language, she wanted the message of the song to reach a wider audience, hence why the choice of English.

In a series of questions put forward by the press present, Ela highlighted that her 3 favourite performers are: Jael from Australia, Darina from Ukraine and Daniel from Belarus. She also spoke positively about Belarusian delicacies and the beautiful scenery, especially the forests which are the biggest in the world. You’re welcome to watch Ela’s rendition of Viva Malta as sung during the press conference just below, and be sure to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through social media platforms; Facebook and Twitter. Remember that the Junior Eurovision Song Contest is this Sunday 25th November, and will be aired live as from 16:00 CET on Television Malta.

Source: escflashmalta.com

Earlier this afternoon, 12-year old Ela took to the stage at the Minsk Arena in Belarus and gave a brilliant account of herself, showing her distinctive vocal range and commanding stage presence. It is worth pointing out that she is accompanied by 4 dancers on stage; 3 girls and 1 boy who add that extra something to what is already a very solid presentation.

Ela is singing Marchin’ On, which she co-wrote with lyricist Emil Calleja Bayliss and composer Cyprian Cassar. She speaks about how people should face their problems head on, and never look back. It is a very positive and uplifting message which everyone needs to hear, and which they will in the penultimate slot, number 19 on Sunday 25th November at 16:00 CET.

For more of the latest news on the ground in Belarus, we urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through social media platforms; Facebook and Twitter.

Source: escflashmalta.com, junioreurovision.tv

12-year-old singer/songwriter Ela will represent Malta in the next edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest held in Minsk, Belarus with the uplifting original number Marchin’ On, composed by Cyprian Cassar and penned by Emil Calleja Bayliss.

Ela was chosen to represent Malta following her triumph at the Malta Junior Eurovision Song Contest on the 8th September whereby a panel of professional judges and the general public each had a 50% share in deciding the winner from a possible 16 competing entries.

It was the first time since 2010 that a national final featuring original songs took place. On that occasion, it was Nicole Azzopardi and Knock Knock!... Boom! Boom! which emerged victorious, finishing in 13th place at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Co-incidentally on that occasion, the event also took place in Minsk, Belarus.

In support of Malta’s participation at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, Ela together with the Public Broadcasting Services produced a music video further highlighting the message of the song that even through times of dismay and despair, you should never give up hope, and march on.

We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about Malta’s participation in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: Television Malta, JuniorEurovision.tv

Earlier this year, we ran the headline that third time’s a charm for Michela Galea as she won L-Għanja tal-Poplu – Festival tal-Kanzunetta Maltija and that headline could apply once more for Sarah Bonnici as she stole the show at this years’ edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza following her rendition of “Il-Pinna”, a song which she co-composed together with Mark Laurence Zammit with Emil Calleja Bayliss penning the lyrics.

Singing 8th on the night, in a field of 22, Sarah Bonnici came out on top in a festival which many commented to have had a significantly strong line-up. Following her in 2nd place was second time participant Victoria Sciberras, whose song “Siluwett” is penned by Emil Calleja Bayliss and composed by Kaya. Rounding out the top 3 was Sebastian Calleja, whose choreographies throughout the years have surely provided a spectacle for many. His song, “Dak Li Taf” is penned by Giovann Attard and composed by Dominic Cini.

Other winners at the end of the evening were Maria Spiteri and Martina Fenech whose songs, “Manann”, composed by Mark Scicluna with lyrics by Emil Calleja Bayliss and “Qalbi”, composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas with lyrics by Emil Calleja Bayliss were given the titles, Best New Talent and Public Choice Award.

The evening was hosted by Louise Tedesco and Charles Camenzuli and featured a number of guests including: Michela Galea, as winner of L-Għanja tal-Poplu – Festival tal-Kanzunetta Maltija; Nicole Falzon, as winner of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza 2017 and the dance troupe Alegria. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the local music scene. 

Source: NET News

Making a surprise return for 2018, Malta’s national selection this year’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest also includes the addition of original songs - for the first time in eight years. Budding artists aged between 8 and 14 from the island were invited to submit their original compositions earlier in the summer, whilst PBS enlisted the help of an expert jury to shortlist sixteen of them for a live show.

The national selection will take to our screens this Saturday (8th September) at 16:30 on TVM and TVM HD, live from the Where’s Everybody’s studios in Qormi. The host will be local TV presenter and actress, Taryn Mamo Cefai. PBS has released all of the finalists’ songs on their website, for listening before the show. Below you can see the full list of artists taking part in the competition - click their names to read more about them and hear their song.

 

01. Luana Schembri - "No Rest For The Wicked" (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Philip Vella, Luana Schembri)
02. Giorgia Borg - "10" (Muxu, Gillian Camenzuli Kerr)
03. Zaira Mifsud - "Shout Now" (Muxu, Cyprian Cassar)
04. Jahel Cardona - "Home" (Muxu, Cyprian Cassar)
05. Katryna & Rihana - "The Puppet and the Clown" (Christopher Azzopardi, Kaya, Katryna Borg, Rihana Azzopardi)
06. Isaac Tom - "Bonfire Nights" (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Dario Bezzina, Isaac Tom Spiteri)
07. Albert-Lauren - "Paper Boats" (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Cyprian Cassar, Albert-Lauren Agius)
08. Kristy Spiteri - "NANN" (Ritienne Frendo, Cyprian Cassar & Mark Scicluna)
09. Yarin Coleiro - "Can You Be the One" (Muxu, Cyprian Cassar)
10. Lora Grech - "Finish Line" (Muxu, Elton Zarb)
11. Riona Degiorgio - "Infinity" (Muxu, Dominic Cini)
12. Kylie Meilak - "Crystals" (Muxu, Elton Zarb)
13. Eliana Gomez Blanco - "Music Takes Control" (Muxu, Cyprian Cassar)
14. Aiden Aquilina Cohen - "Wherever You Go" (Muxu, Cyprian Cassar)
15. Ela Mangion - "Marchin’ on" (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Cyprian Cassar, Ela Mangion)
16. Thea Aquilina - "Back To My Freedom" (Bruce Robert Francis Smith, Ylva Persson, Linda Persson, Rickard Bondel Truumeel)


The outcome of the Malta Junior Eurovision Song Contest will be decided by a public televote and an expert jury, each having an equal say in the result. The public can vote once all of the songs have been performed, by calling the number 523021XX (the last two numbers being the songs’ number in the running order). Only one vote from each line will be registered. The winner will fly to the capital of Minsk, Belarus, to represent the country in the international final of the competition on November 25th - competing against 19 other countries in the biggest edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest yet.

In last year’s event, Malta was represented by Gianluca Cilia with the song “Dawra Tond” - composed by Dominic Cini and penned by Emil Calleja Bayliss. The 10 year old placed in 9th position overall, whilst obtaining 2nd place in the public vote. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the 2018 Malta Junior Eurovision Song Contest, and subsequent Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2018. He will also perform as a special guest during the show, after all of the sixteen competing songs have been performed.

Source: ESCflashmalta.com, Public Broadcasting Services, BTRC (Image)

Michela Galea has won the 42nd edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu - Festival tal-Kanzunetta Maltija with the number “Mhux Kulma Jleqq Deheb” (Not all that glitters is gold), composed by Renato Briffa with lyrics by Emil Calleja Bayliss. The two and a half hour spectacle took place once again at the legendary Pjazza Teatru Rjal in Valletta, compèred by Owen Bonnici and Kim Dalli.

The winner was chosen by the votes of an expert and popular jury. The prize of first runner-up went to Dwett (Cherylis & Mikhail) with the song “Mhux Kif Ħsibt” (Not as I thought), penned by Giovann Attard to music by Pamela Bezzina & Alex Debono whilst the second runner-up was awarded to the song “Allura” (So what), interpreted by Philip Vella, who is also credited as composer together with the lyricist Joe Chircop.

Of the other awards handed out during the results segment of the show, the “Best Interpretation” prize was awarded to Monica Said for the song “Anamika”. The award for “Most original lyrics” went to “Nistenniek” by Corazón Mizzi as interpreted by Charlene, whilst JAMM Band won the award for “Best singer-songwriter” with the song "Ħadd Ma Jaf Xi Jrid". A special achievement award known as L-Għanja li Tibqa’ was also given to Mro Paul Abela, for his contribution to the Maltese music scene.

21 year old Michela hails from Mġarr and already boasts a wide wealth of experience in the arts. A former reigning Miss World, Michela won the title of “Miss World Talent” whilst representing Malta at the 2017 edition of the event. She has taken part in numerous editions of local musical festivals in the past, including Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza (KKI) and two previous editions of L-Għanja tal-Poplu. She was also cast in a number of television series, such as “D.R.E.A.M.S” - and for the past few years has been seen as a resident singer on prime-time TV show “The Entertainers”, broadcast on NET Television.

The entire show can be rewatched for up to seven days on TVM’s on demand service, by clicking here, and we urge you all to visit escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: escflashmalta.com, Geoffrey Buhagiar (Photography)

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