December 14, 2019

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In music, a year is very much a reflection of historical evidence and when it comes to 2013, Malta will very much remember the remarkable success that it achieved on both a local and an international field. As the public prepares to drink champagne and sing the tune of Auld Lang Syne along with Happy New Year, originally released by Abba, we aim to have a look at the most memorable moments of the year in this editorial. 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.

January; a relatively quiet month in the local music scene with the Public Broadcasting Services busy prepping for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, which was set to take place during the first weekend of February. Nevertheless, escflashmalta.com for the third year running managed to exclusively reveal the names of the hosts of the selection; Gordon Bonello, Rodney Gauci and Elaine Saliba. In the local music market, Corazon and Lynday both unveiled new singles; Save Your Smile and Daphne but the focus was definitely on the foreign music market with no less than three countries revealing the names of the artists who would represent them at the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest including; France (Amandine Bourgeois), Armenia (Gor Suyjan) and Denmark (Emmelie de Forest).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4KgUYfVtLQ

February; The month of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest was upon us, and following a somewhat technically disappointing semi-final, the Public Broadcasting Services upped the ante for the final night, which saw to the success of Gianluca Bezzina and his entry Tomorrow co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat. It managed to beat the favourite, Needing You sung by Kevin Borg and co-written with Danne Attlerud, Michael Clauss, Simon Gribbe and Thomas Thornholm. Following the evening, escflashmalta.com held their annual awards, seeing to the success of Klinsmann, Chris Grech and the aforementioned Kevin Borg, with NET Television being the place where they were given. In the meantime, both Cyprus and Slovenia made use of internal selections in revealing Despina Olympiou and Hannah Mancini as their representatives.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzGiJxMd3UI

March; In a relatively surprise announcement, L-Għanja tal-Poplu announced that they had received almost forty (40) submissions for the local competition, amongst them from the likes of Romina Mamo and Rita Pace. Keeping in line with the local music scene, Ira Losco followed up the release of her single What I’d Give with a brand new album entitled The Fire which has been denoted by critics as the most notable release in the local music industry. During the same period, on an internal level, stars Marco Mengoni and Cascada were chosen to represent Italy and Germany respectively, or rather confirmed their entries in entirety at this point. Gianluca’s promotional campaign as he represents Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest had officially commenced with the first ever lyric video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rAO1S8TeOM

April; At this month dawned, most of the country had made their respective selection for the international competition and thus focus quickly turned on on the outlook of the local music scene as Karen DeBattista managed to beat Marie Claire Attard Bason to become the first finalist of the 2013 Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, through the Passport 2 Indifest challenge on Sas-Sitta. It was later on revealed that she would be performing the song Riflessi composed by Mark Scicluna to the lyrics of Emil Calleja Bayliss. In the meantime, L-Għanja tal-Poplu took place with Cherise Attard finishing in first place with the track Hawn Siġġu Nieqes composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas to the lyrics of Paul Ellul. At this point, Ira Losco continued her radio and digital success, aided by her first concert in quite some time. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmUMJKj5RNk

The month of May, and thus the Eurovision Song Contest had quickly arrived and several readers of escflashmalta.com had their eyes on Gianluca Bezzina whose Tomorrow was a proven hit and indeed succeeded in not only reaching the final, but finishing in eighth place, the nations’ best result in seven (7)  years. The big winner was Emmelie de Forest from Denmark whose song Only Teardrops enchanted both the jury and the public at home. escflashmalta.com kept their annual coverage with guest commentators including Simon Casey, Davinia, Claudia Faniello, Brooke, Lauren White, 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. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VK4TvZeL6c0

Summer could not kick off on a more positive note with the release of On The Dancefloor by Jan Cortez, setting the tone of the season and earning airplay on 89.7 Bay. As always, the preparations for the Joseph Calleja concert were being held at this point in time, as the line-up was revealed to include Rebecca Ferguson, Zucchero and Gianluca Bezzina, fresh off his success. In the meantime, on a positive note, it was announced by the Culture Department that local artists will get the chance to perform at the Isle of MTV with Kristina Casolani and Gianluca Bezzina both booking their spots at the event. No clarification was given over the choice especially with the top tier of artists; Jon Lukas, Davinia, The Crowns releasing brand new material.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQ9avB4RFrA

As the temperatures were getting warmer, NET Television decided to publish the list of the names who had got through the final of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, and also shot music videos, in an attempt to continue the fine tradition, which started with the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. Maltese, as a national language had definitely it’s most intriguing month due to the fact that apart from the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, it was revealed that the International Festival of Maltese Song was set for a comeback, and no sooner than in November. Some of the most prominent names in the industry put their first foot forward and the line-up was miles better than that presented at the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza with the likes of Miriam Christine, Janvil, Fiona Cauchi, Roger Tirazona and Olivia Lewis who was making her comeback as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfDu1h-BOC8

August, known to be the last official month of summer saw to the release of Fed Up by Maxine Pace, who would later on be given a prominent role in the Maltese delegation during the surprise return of the country at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Joseph Calleja gives his annual concert with only a handful of performances garnering a standing ovation, one of them being of the song Xemx which he performed in a duet with Gianluca Bezzina. Glen Vella, representative of Malta in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest released a statement where he acknowledged that Finally by Richard Edwards should have represented the country, and most likely achieved a much better result. By the end of the month, the International Festival of Maltese Song had a logo and Red Electrick had a brand new single, The Runaway which would top the local music charts for several weeks.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZlIgSyyKqg

Double the amount of entries received for L-Għanja tal-Poplu were received by the International Festival of Maltese Song, and whilst this number was encouraging, there was still a sheer amount of disappointment with many sceptic over the quality of the competition. Joseph Calleja was recognised as the world renowned tenor he has become by receiving a nomination at the Class Brit Awards. The Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza took place with Fabrizio Faniello sweeping the top prize with the track Aħfirli Jekk Trid composed by Minik to the lyrics of Rita Pace. The surprise of many came when during the evening news bulletin, on the 25th September 2013, Malta had internally selected Gaia Cauchi to do the honours and represent the country at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZYVnLGnXcnw

The 2014 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest might be months away, but the preparations from artists, songwriters and producers had commenced and a flurry made use of escflashmalta.com to reveal their intentions including; Tiziana Calleja, Gloriana Arpa Belli, Eleanor Cassar, Richard Edwards, Klinsmann, Melanie Zammit, Kaya, Janvil, Claudia Faniello, Danica Muscat, Fabrizio Faniello, Neville Refalo and Josef Tabone amongst others. Olivia Lewis gave an interview to a Radju Kottoner, stating she was planning to release a debut album in Maltese in the very near future, one which include all her hits along with brand new and original songs. The Public Broadcasting Services accepted entries for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with several submissions, eventually totalling to a record breaking  210, the largest amount since the national broadcaster took over the selection process in totality.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hgUgQvUbJHY

November, the month in which there were three major events; kicking off with the International Festival of Maltese Song which was not only the return of Olivia Lewis, but also her success with the song Hawn Mill-Ġdid composed by Paul Abela to the lyrics of Joe Julian Farrugia. In second place was Mark Tonna and his track Poeta Bla Kliem composed by Mark Scicluna with lyrics by Emil Calleja Bayliss and in third place, Dario and Grecia Bezzina with the song Solitaire composed by Dario Bezzina to the lyrics of Rita Pace. Malta’s return to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest proved successful, as The Start co-written by Matt Mercieca, Elton Zarb, Gillian Attard and Gaia Cauchi emerged as the clear favourite in the week leading up to the competition, and then finishing as the remarkable winner.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thje0DAh_lU

Just a day before the final though, the public broadcaster revealed the names of the acts through to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2014, a list which comprised of several newcomers such as Raquel Galdes, De Bee and Daniel Testa whilst also noting former Eurovision representatives in the form of Fabrizio Faniello and Miriam Christine. It was always going to be a year to remember, but nevertheless, several broadcasters were at this stage revealing their intentions for the upcoming edition of the international competition, seeing to the return of Portugal and Poland, whilst Valentina Monetta, The Common Linnets, Tijana Dapcevic and Conchita Wurst were internally selected to represent San Marino, The Netherlands, FYR Macedonia and Austria respectively. As the year came to an end, Ukraine and Albania made their respective choices and the Public Broadcasting Services unveiled the music videos accompanying the entries in next years’ selection process.

Source: escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEH0iDktSNc

Published in Editorials
Friday, 04 October 2013 13:07

France: Casting Call Procedure Commences

FranceTélévisions, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of France within the Eurovision Song Contest has launched a casting call which will see to the selection of an artist to represent the nation at the upcoming edition of the international competition taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark. Earlier this year, Amandine Bourgeois and her entry L'Enfer et Moi finishing in a disappointing 23rd place with just 13 points.

France 3, the actual broadcaster selected to take care of the event since 2001 onward, is looking for an artist over the age of sixteen, who would send a demo via web transfer to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. prior to Sunday, 24th November 2013. In the meantime, the song should be mostly in French although an additional couple of phrases in a foreign language would also be accepted. The actual selection of the song is yet to be revealed but nevertheless, more information is expected from FranceTélévisions during the course of the season. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: FranceTélévisions

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hQwiQj5Dyj8

Martin Isherwood from the United Kingdom, Sharon Vaughn from the United States and Stano Simor from the Czech Republic represent diverse music scenes in their respective nations with their contributions duly noted across the year. Their aim in joining this feature is to see what lies beneath each track of this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. The first semi-final along with the three finalist countries voting there have long been concluded and yesterday marked the conclusion of the acts competing in the second semi-final as well, leaving only the remaining direct finalists, which amount to three. Attention turns to France whose broadcaster, France 3 will be represented by Amandine Bourgeois and the track L'Enfer et Moi composed by David Salkin to the lyrics of Boris Bergman. 

In 2008, Amandine won “La Nouvelle Star” (French Pop Idol). The audience instantly fell under the spell of her warm and hoarse voice, both powerful and fragile at once. In 2009, her debut album 20m² is certified Gold. For her second album Sans Amour Mon Amour in 2012 she records in the famous Abbey Road studios in London, with Amy Winehouse and Plan B’s staff. Amandine uses her inner emotions to sing, to write and feed her inspiration. Amongst some of her most beautiful memories: a duet she performed with Scorpions, and opening for Johnny Hallyday’s concerts in the historical Royal Albert Hall venue in London.

Amandine is proud and honoured to represent France at the ESC. She wanted to offer the audience a song she felt completely at ease with, a song close to who she was. L’Enfer Et Moi, written by Boris Bergman and composed by David Salkin, is in perfect harmony with her personality. For her fans and for the Eurovision Song Contest, she swears to give it her all! David Salkin began percussion. Then, he learned drums and guitar. At 15 years old, he was the drummer for the French singer Pierre Vassiliu during his first tour. He composed for Kadja Nin, Raoul Petite and Pierre Vassiliu, and played on stage and in studios with some of the best French singers, such as Alain Bashung, Jacques Higelin, Zazie, Florent Pagny, Stephan Eicher and Ismaël Lo.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sjttHafsyE

Boris Bergamn is a very famous French writer. He was born in London of Russian origin, and arrived in France at the age of 14. In 1968, he created the lyrics of the song Rain And Tears, one of the big hits for the Greek band Aphhrodite’s Child. Then, he wrote for a lot of very famous French singers, such as Nana Mouskouri, Juliette Gréco, Richard Anthony, Dalida, Michel Delpech, France Gall, Patrick Juvet, Régine, Gérard Lenormand, Nicoletta, Christophe, Catherine Lara, Nicole Croisille, Marie Laforêt and Alice Dona. Boris Bergman is well-known by the fans of the Eurovision Song Contest. In 1973, he wrote the song Un Train Qui Part for Monaco (8th place). In 1975 he began again writing for Monaco with the song Une Chanson C’est Une Lettre (13th place).

Until the millennium, France was one of the most successful countries in the Eurovision Song Contest managing to reach the top ten on several occasions, whilst also managing five victories in total, the last one coming back in 1977 with the song L'oiseau et l'enfant performed by Marie Myriam. In recent years, there have been a number of internal selections but despite enlisting notable artists, at times the live performance did not live up to the success and thus the result was somewhat disappointing. Last year, the country was represented by Anggun and the song Echo (You and I) which only managed to garner some points thanks to the jury as the public awarded her the dreaded 'nil points'. Their last top ten result was achieved back in 2009 with Patricia Kaas and her song Et S'Il Faillait Le Faire finishing in eight place. 

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 67%

Martin Isherwood: Strong voice with loads of character Good chorus Unusual snare sound at the start and interesting arrangement. Starts out like a French Amy Winehouse with a touch of Duffy and finishes like Adele 'rolling in the deep'. In the final anyway.

Sharon Vaughn: I love the feel and texture of this track/song ... it is a little different and that is good news.

Stano Simor: Amandine has a very good voice and French lyrics in general sound extremely sexy. Due to the fact that France is already competing in the final, they will most likely not be coming with a certain attitude to achieve success. It is a pleasant song to listen to but technically with minimal ambitions to reach a high position on the night of the final.

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQJaab8j4fU

Published in Editorials

In this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, France will be represented by Amandine Bourgeois, who in turn will be performing the track L'Enfer Et Moi composed by David Salkin to the lyrics of Boris Bergman. Despite the fact that the song and the artist fit extremely well together, it was the broadcaster that brought them together in an internal selection which features several music professionals. It seems that there were a number of possible choices but ultimately decided on this combination, which has also meant a return to the spotlight for Amandine Bourgeois who just signed a new record deal with Warner Music France. During most of the day, the French performer was attending the OGAE France meeting where the fans of the competition voted their top ten entries in this years' edition.

Earlier this evening, the editorial team of escflashmalta.com was proud to bring you the votes of OGAE Malta whose maximum points went to Denmark, followed by San Marino and it seems that the fans in France have a similar wavelength when looking at the points as seen below. Once more, it seems that Malta managed a mid-table position as it has missed out on yet another top ten position. Emmelie de Forest will be representing Drnmark with the song Only Teardrops whilst Valentina Monetta will do the honours on behalf of San Marino as she performs the track Crisalide (Vola). It is important to denote that these points reflect a portion of the actual votes which will be encountered in May owing to both the general public and the professional jury.

  • 1 point: Ireland
  • 2 points: Russia
  • 3 points: Finland
  • 4 points: Sweden
  • 5 points: Ukraine
  • 6 points: Germany
  • 7 points: Norway
  • 8 points: Switzerland
  • 10 points: San Marino
  • 12 points: Denmark

France will be competing in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest for the fifty-sixth time noting that they have emerged victorious on five occasions, the last of which being back in 1977 when Marie Myriam swooped up the win with her entry L'Oiseau et L'Enfant. In recent years, internal selections have taken precedence and in the 2011 edition of the international spectacle, France was the favourite with the track Sognu which could only muster up eighty two (82) points to finish in fifteenth place. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about France in this years' spectacle.

Source: OGAE France, escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YQJaab8j4fU

In just a matter of days, all of the entries competing in this years' Eurovision Song Contest would have presented to the public whilst the final arrangements along with the respective preview videos would be submitted to the European Broadcasting Union during the Heads of Delegation Meeting this coming Monday. There has been a lot of talk over the quality of the songs but nevertheless, it has been relatively improving with the broadcasters seeking renowned producers in their nations to work on the songs which they will be competing with. The official website of the Eurovision Song Contest has already been slaving away publishing the official videos as received by the broadcaster so that people could enjoy them as early as possible whilst decreasting their work load for countries who leave till the very end.

Kicking off the proceedings this morning was Roberto Bellarosa with the song Love Kills on behalf of Belgium. The male vocalist gained recognition in his home country following victory within the debut season of The Voice of Belgium which saw him sign a record deal with Sony Music Entertainment. His debut album entitled Ma Voie was a modest success managing to reach number #11 in the charts with the first single Jealous Guy managing to peak at number #4. Love Kills co-written by Jukka Immonen and Ian Farquaharson will be performed in the second half of the first semi-final. It managed to beat another two tracks in the radio selection held in December. The track has been substantially reworked after negative criticism and it seems that the final product is being well appreciated.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9uExokZcIM

Following Belgium this morning was Russia, one of the most successful countries in the Eurovision Song Contest, having managed to qualify on every successive event. This time round, an internal selection of both the artist and the song took place but nevertheless, the broadcaster being Channel 1 stated that this is still the choice of the public considering that she was the winner of The Voice of Russia with almost one million votes. The announcement of the name came as a shock to many who have known that this particular broadcaster has a tendency to go for renowned artists but nevertheless, it has been pretty good thus far with the song What If performed by Dina Garipova officially presented to the public in it's final version earlier this morning. The song is co-written by Fabriel Alares, Joakim Bjornberg and Leonid Gutkin.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1VwzdeRNjtA

The third entry to be presented in these past couple of days has somewhat been done in stages as one of the Big FIve members has decided to play it's cards in the right manner despite going forward with internal selections since 2009. France internally selected Amandine Bourgeois to take on the task of achieving a good result and indeed, the former Star Academy finalist will be hoping for the very best. People within the music industry have likened her to last years' Italian representative; Nina Zilli but the song she will be presenting at the Eurovision Song Contest entitled L'Enfer et Moi is completely different. It is sassy and has a certain again. Co-written by Boris Bergman and David Salkin, it will be performed within the final. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for the latest news.

Source: Eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U9JwWvGj_w0

Nearly two months after being chosen by an internal jury to represent France at the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest set to take place in Sweden, Amandine Bourgeois will be releasing her entry L'enfer et moi tomorrow much to the delight of fans all across the continent who are anticipating an extremely competent entry. This is not the first internal selection for the Big Five country considering that this has very much been the case since 2009 when Patricia Kaas had been selected to represent the country, ultimately achieving their last top ten result with Et S'il Faillait Le Faire.

In the mid-morning, at around 10:00 CET, the song will be made available through the medium of Spotify. Just before though, she will be the guest star of the radio show Laissez-Vous Tenter which is broadcasted on RTL, the leading radio station in France. Within the show, she is expected to give some information about her participation along with a short preview of the song. The official video clip which will be accompanying the entry will be made available for everyone to view on the official France 3 website, on Thursday. It is also worth mentioning that Warner Music will again this year cooperate with France 3 to promote the French entry as has been the case within the past two years. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: Warner Music France

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1sjttHafsyE