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What is the Eurovision Song Contest all about? Apparently it is only a song contest with a nationalist side, but I would like to tell you how this worked for me. I am a Spanish guy with a university level education. Until May 2013 my knowledge about Malta was reduced: a small island south of Italy and one of the countries members of the European Union. Little else. Yes, I also knew that its capital is Valletta.

Then on 16th May 2013 I was reading some paperwork in front of my TV set at home. It was showing the second night semi‐final of the Eurovision Song Contest. At some point a song called my attention and I put my eyes on the screen: I saw a smiling young guy singing a rather cute (and fresh) song. When it ended I found out that the singer was called Gianluca, the song “Tomorrow”, they were representing Malta… and I also realised that I was smiling and feeling some inner joy difficult to describe. Technically I think that this must be something similar to “cognitive empathy”.

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

I became interested in the singer, with his warm voice, I wanted to hear more songs by him: Amazon, YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Google… one thing brought another and, on the way, I also unveiled Malta. One of the first things that I learnt was that Gianluca was a medical doctor (it was commented in all the interviews) and then my first piece of information about the country was this: alright, maybe in Malta all singers need a second job to survive. However I am an optimistic person and I changed this thought by this one: blessed the country where its medical doctors sing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KaqAmhKqDw

Today I have two copies of the first CD by Gianluca, one in my car, the other at home, and most of my friends got that CD too as a last year Christmas present;  I have known about Samaria and Dorothy, great voices too, and the rest of the musical Bezzina family; I have discovered part of the musical landscape of the island: Ira Losco, Joseph Calleja, Funk Initiative, Firelight, Wayne William, Amber, L'Aħwa… to mention but a few, and the sweet blend of “Xemx”; I have bought several books about Malta and its extraordinary language (I even have a course of Maltese and an English-Maltese dictionary, but please do not check me); plenty of bookmarks on Maltese literature and classical songs lie in my navigator; I have learnt about the country newspapers and TV channels and, as a consequence, about the people of Malta and its sunburnt and luminous islands.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sdEItaYD-Bw

For me Malta always will be Gianluca and the Bezzina's. I cannot think of better image and heart for a country that wishes to be loved. Now you answer the question I posed at the beginning: what the Eurovision Song Contest is about? And then, did Gianluca and his group do their job at the Eurovision Song Contest 2013 in Malmö? Was it all about the singing… only? We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest and the local music scene.

Source: escflashmalta.com

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

Published in Editorials
Wednesday, 26 November 2014 16:22

Netherlands: Amber Bondin on Radio International

Apart from the means of FM Radio in the Netherlands on FM 106.8 and the audio stream from the studio via www.radiointernational.tv and on Digital Cable 781 & Cable 8.1Mhz in the Netherlands, the show will also be web-televised via the Radio International TV Channel from the studio and linking up the many international Eurovision fans and friends and play your requests and read your messages out on air. The simulcast will be from 2000 – 2300 hours CET when fans can join in and chat amongst each other via the Chat Room and request their favourite Eurovision entry.

Radio International has built a name for itself throughout the years by bringing about exclusive video and audio interviews with some of the most notable names to have either participated in the Eurovision Song Contest or even in national selections preceding the continental event. This week's episode will be somewhat centred on what happened during the past two weeks, with both the Junior Eurovision Song Contest winner; Vincenzo Cantiello and the Malta Eurovision Song Contest winner; Amber both given the limelight. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aWKveH5_DY8

As the curtain on the 2015 season of the Eurovision Song Contest is beginning to ope, David Mann will continue to look at cover versions from the event whilst the latest news from escXtra and escflashmalta.com will be read out. In the meantime, former representatives of the Eurovision Song Contest are always looking for ways to please their fans and thus new music is being recorded and published throughout the year. Radio International will be playing the most recent singles as sent in by several record labels. We urge you to tune into Radio International this evening at 20:00 CET in order to request your favourite entry from the Eurovision Song Contest and listen to the special features.

Source: Press ReleaseDaniel M Photography

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4KEgc5uduM

It has been an extremely busy couple of weeks, with the Junior Eurovision Song Contest and the Malta Eurovision Song Contest staged at the Marsa Shipbuilding. In the former, it was Vincenzo Cantiello with "Tu Primo Grande Amore" on behalf of Italy whilst in the latter, it was all about Amber and her entry "Warrior", composed by Elton Zarb to the lyrics of Matt Muxu Mercieca. It was a groundbreaking victory, taking maximum points from all the jurors, including the public, who were on their feet as the results were being announced.

Amber, competing in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest for the fifth time, with the sixth entry, has been close to victory on several occasions, finishing in 4th place for the last two editions with entries "Because I Have You" and "In Control", both composed by Paul Giordimaina to the lyrics of Fleur Balzan, and also finishing in 3rd place back in 2012 with "Answer With Your Eyes" composed by Ray Agius to the lyrics of Alfred C Sant. 

In 2010, Amber came onto the scene, making her way into the final of the Malta Hit Song Contest with the song "Take It Easy" composed by Ray Agius to the lyrics of Alfred C Sant, before eventually winning her first competition in 2011, the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, with "Trid Tapprezza" composed by Ray Agius to the lyrics of Alfred C Sant. It is yet unknown whether "Warrior" will be the entry that will represent Malta with Anton Attard, CEO of the Public Broadcasting Services stating that a decision will be taken in the coming weeks.

On behalf of escflashmalta.com editorial team, I would like to congratulate Amber, Matt Muxu Mercieca, Elton Zarb and the rest of the team for their achievement. You will definitely have all our support all the way to Vienna, Austria. We urge you to keep tuned to escflashmalta.com, even through Facebook and Twitter, for all the latest news about the Eurovision Song Contest 2015.

Source: escflashmalta.com, Gordon Roxburgh (Image)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F4KEgc5uduM

After an amazing show, we got to know who will be the 14 (fourteen) competing in the Maltese National Final tomorrow evening. There are some of the qualifiers which were a bit of a surprise to see them go through to the next stage, but after tonight's performances, we can say that all the acts did brilliantly and it was a wonderful show.

At the end of the evening, there were 6 eliminated acts; Lyndsay, Iona Dalli, Raquel, Domenique, Danica and Corazon. People in the venue were surprised at the outcome, noting that there were seriously surprised to see Danica and Raquel miss out on a place in the final. The only explaination for this, is to ensure that there is diversity in terms of genres.

At the post-showcase press conference, Head of Delegation and Public Broadcasting Services Chief Executive Officer, Anton Attard congratulated the qualifiers, whilst thanking the other 6 acts for their contribution to an extremely high standard.Following the draw of the first and last slots in the running order, the producer came up with a finalised version of the draw, one which you may denote below.

01. "Breakaway" - Glen Vella (Kevin Borg / Simon Gribbe)

02. "12, Baker Street" - Karen DeBattista (Jan Van Dijck / Emil Calleja Bayliss)

03. "Once in a While" - Dominic (Elton Zarb / Rita Pace)

04. "Chasing a Dream" - Trilogy (Paul Abela / Joe Julian Farrugia)

05. "Closed Doors" – Chris Grech (Chris Grech / Edward Mifsud / Peter Borg / David C Torreggiani)

06. "Love and Let Go" - Ekklesia Sisters (Philip Vella)

07. "Fandango" - Jessika (Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg)

08. "It's OK" - Deborah C (Elton Zarb / Matthew Mercieca)

09. "Warrior" - Amber (Elton Zarb / Matthew Mercieca)

10. "Beautiful to Me" - L-Aħwa (Erik Anjou)

11. "Still Here" - Franklin Calleja (Alexander Rybak)

12. "Rush" - Christabelle (Elton Zarb / Matthew Mercieca)

13. "The One That You Love" - Lawrence Gray (Elton Zarb / Lawrence Gray)

14. "Something in the Way" - Daniel Testa (Charlie Mason / Mans Ek)

On behalf of the editorial team at escflashmalta.com, we would like to congratulate the 14 qualifiers, and the 6 non-qualifiers for putting up a great show. We urge you to stay tuned even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the 2015 Malta Eurovision Song Contest as soon as it becomes available. Just a quick reminder, that during the Final, a LIVE report will be conducted by Clifford Jo Zahra, who was at the venue during the semi-final.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O71C93FXTww

On the 21st and 22nd November, the Public Broadcasting Services will be hosting the 2014-2015 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest within the Marsa Shipbuilding, host venue of this year's edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. 20 acts will have the opportunity to perform on an incredible stage, one which has been specifically designed and create for the international competition. Earlier this afternoon, the running order of the semi-final was made public.

With the Public Broadcasting Services having already drawn Lyndsay in slot number #1 and Ekklesia Sisters in slot number #2, during the initial meeting held earlier this month, it was down to the producers to select the rest of the running order, hoping to create a mixture of genres, aiming to keep the public entertained. A quick glance at the list, one would realise that wherever the genre is seemingly similar, they are grouped in a specific manner. 

1. "Home" – Lyndsay (Boris Cezek)

2. "Could Have Been Me" – Iona Dalli (Philip Vella)

3. "Still Here" – Franklin (Alexander Rybak)

4. "Rush" – Christabelle (Elton Zarb / Matt Mercieca)

5. "Fandango" – Jessika (Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg)

6. "Closed Doors" – Chris Grech (Chris Grech / Edward Mifsud / Peter Borg / David C Torreggiani)

7. "12, Baker Street" – Karen DeBattista (Jan Van Dijck / Emil Calleja Bayliss)

8. "Something in the Way" – Daniel Testa (Charlie Mason / Mans Ek)

9. "Breakaway" – Glen Vella (Kevin Borg / Simon Gribbe)

10. "Stop Haunting Me" – Raquel (Elton Zarb / Matt Mercieca)

11. "Take Me As I Am" – Domenique (Biglert / Schneider / Jangklev / O’Connor)

12. "The One That You Love" – Lawrence Gray (Elton Zarb / Lawrence Gray)

13. "It’s OK" – Deborah C (Elton Zarb / Matt Mercieca)

14. "Close Your Eyes" – Danica Muscat (Elton Zarb / Emil Calleja Bayliss)

15. "Secretly" – Corazon (Corazon)

16. "Beautiful to Me" – L-Aħwa (Erik Anjou)

17. "Warrior" – Amber (Elton Zarb / Matt Mercieca)

18. "Chasing a Dream" – Trilogy (Paul Abela / Joe Julian Farrugia)

19. "Once In a While" – Dominic (Elton Zarb / Rita Pace)

20. "Love & Let Go" – Ekklesia Sisters (Philip Vella)

Just a quick reminder that you may still purchase tickets for the 2014-2015 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest by visiting the ticketing portal, Ooii. The prices are €10 (Gold Circle), €20 (Platinum Circle) for the semi-final, and €20 (Gold Circle), €30 (Platinum Circle) for the final. In the latter round of the competition, 14 acts through from the 20 competing in the semi-final will fight for the right to represent Malta in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest, held in Vienna, Austria. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: PBS / TVM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kAGepcIs8W8

'The Celebrity Night' is the new Saturday night show which will be broadcast at 20:30 on F Living Channel. The series which officially kicked off just two weeks ago, revolves around one-to-one interviews, which speak of class, decadence and wit, and have become synonymous with Deo Grech's presenting style.

Tonight's special guests are the singers; Romina Mamo and Amber, as well as television host; Roderick Azzopardi Custo. In the meantime, Fiona Vella from Fiona Couture and Natius Farrugia join in the second part of the show for the Celebrity Discussion. Also note, that there will be the inclusion of The Dancel Dancers, whose synchronisation with music is just sublime. This and much more during the first show of the series 'The Celebrity Night' tonight at 20:30 on F Living Channel. 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: F Living, Press Release

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nk8SDVIyb6I

Published in Local Music News
Friday, 24 October 2014 11:42

MESC 2015: In-Depth Interview with Amber

On the 21st and 22nd November, the Public Broadcasting Services will be hosting the 2014-2015 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest at the Marsa Shipbuilding. 20 acts will be taking centre stage, in hope of representing the country at next year's edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, being held in Vienna, Austria. Over the next couple of weeks, escflashmalta.com will be publishing a series of interviews with all the participants. Whilst thanking the Public Broadcasting Services for this opportunity, Let's continue and follow things up with Amber.

Would you kindly introduce your entry to our readers and also identify the meaning behind the lyrics?

My entry is called 'Warrior', written by Matt 'Muxu' Mercieca and Elton Zarb. My song is an inspirational message to which anyone can relate to. It encourages anyone who is facing any obstacle, to conquer it. 

In Malta, the Eurovision Song Contest is considered to be a major outlet for the music industry, and you stand here as one of the semi-finalists. What does the whole experience mean to you?

The Eurovision is a huge platform for Maltese artists, authors and composers to showcase their talent locally and internationally. Being one of the semi-finalists is definitely an honor, since from this experience I always learn and enjoy myself. 

Recently, Malta has been rather successful at the Eurovision Song Contest, making the final on four of the last five participation attempts. What do you think is the reason for this success, and do you believe that your entry has what it takes to continue this positive trend?

I think that this positive outcome is a result of all the hardwork being carried out by all the team involved including the artists, authors and composers, as well as the rest of the Maltese delegation. Naturally I believe in my song, however the final result of the eurovision is up to the Maltese public and jury.

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

If you were given the opportunity to sing another one of the competing entries in the 2014-2015 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, which one would it be and why?

Like most of the other artists, I believe that to participate in a contest of this caliber, one must be sure that the song chosen is exclusively tailor-made for him/her. In this way, the song will truly reflect the person interpreting it.

Do you have any plans to release more music in the future, and do you have any particular projects in the pipeline?

My main focus at the moment is the Malta Eurovision Song Contest.

Would you like to say anything to our readers at escflashmalta.com?

I would like to thank the readers for their constant support. Without you all, I wouldn't have been able to be where I am today. Finally, I hope that you like my entry for this year's MESC as much as I do.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hGz_EWYmzc

Published in Interviews

In just 4 weeks, Malta will have a national final, in hope of selecting the best possible entry to represent the nation at next year's edition of the Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, Austria. The selection, spread over two nights, on the 21st and 22nd November, is set to take place at the Marsa Shipbuilding and will feature a host of well known and upcoming stars, all vying to present themselves in a professional manner, in hope of gauging public reaction and receiving support.

Earlier this afternoon, the Public Broadcasting Services published the Official Music Videos accompanying the entries competing in what has been dubbed the 2014-2015 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. Recorded at WE Media Studios, the genres of the competing entries are varied, although one thing is clear, this is a different Mediterranean country than what the public were used to several years ago with the level of production having significantly improved, following investment in the local music market.

"Home" - Lyndsay (Boris Cezek)

"Breakaway" - Glen Vella (Kevin Borg / Simon Gribbe)

"Chasing a Dream" - Trilogy (Paul Abela / Joe Julian Farrugia)

"12, Baker Street" - Karen DeBattista (Jan Van Dijck / Emil Calleja Bayliss)

"Still Here" - Franklin Calleja (Alexander Rybak)

"It's OK" - Deborah C (Elton Zarb / Matt Mercieca)

"The One That You Love" - Lawrence Gray (Elton Zarb / Lawrence Gray)

"Warrior" - Amber (Elton Zarb / Matt Mercieca)

"Something In The Way" - Daniel Testa (Mans Ek / Charlie Mason)

"Fandango" - Jessika (Philip Vella / Gerard J Borg)

"Rush" - Christabelle (Elton Zarb / Matt Mercieca)

"Closed Doors" - Chris Grech (Chris Grech, Edward Mifsud, Peter Borg, David C Torreggiani)

"Beautiful to Me" - L-Aħwa (Erik Anjou)

"Stop Haunting Me" - Raquel (Elton Zarb / Matt Mercieca)

"Close Your Eyes" - Danica Muscat (Elton Zarb / Emil Calleja Bayliss)

"Secretly" - Corazon (Corazon)

"Could Have Been Me" - Iona (Philip Vella)

"Take Me As I Am" - Domenique (Biglert / Schneider / Jangklev / O'Connor)

"Once In a While" - Dominic (Elton Zarb / Rita Pace)

"Love and Let Go" - Ekklesia (Philip Vella)

As the saga officially comes to a beginning, escflashmalta.com would like to introduce the Public Award, which will be returning for a third consecutive occasion. You may select your favourite entry competing in the 2014-2015 Malta Eurovision Song Contest by clicking on this webpage. We urge you to stay tuned to this portal, even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: TVM / PBS

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwB6hLtxUSE

It’s hard to believe that the Public Broadcasting Services already has a line-up for the next edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with twenty entries set to compete for the ticket to represent Malta in Vienna, Austria. The national final, set to take place at the Marsa Shipbuilding on the 21st and 22nd November will be featuring a host of well known and upcoming stars, all vying to present their work, and garner the respect of the general public and the professional panel of judges.

During the course of the weekend, the Public Broadcasting Services will be recording the Official Music Videos which will accompany the entries over the next couple of weeks. According to the rules and regulations, all the qualified entries could have been re-mastered, without the additional change in melodic structure, as has been the case in recent years. This will ensure that the competition is of the highest quality and that everyone would have done their utmost to present the best possible product.

"Home" - Lyndsay (Boris Cezek)

"Breakaway" - Glen Vella (Kevin Borg / Simon Gribbe)

"Chasing a Dream" - Trilogy (Paul Abela / Joe Julian Farrugia)

"12, Baker Street" - Karen DeBattista (Jan Van Dijck / Emil Calleja Bayliss)

"Still Here" - Franklin Calleja (Alexander Rybak)

"It's OK" - Deborah C (Elton Zarb / Matt Mercieca)

"The One That You Love" - Lawrence Gray (Elton Zarb / Lawrence Gray)

"Warrior" - Amber (Elton Zarb / Matt Mercieca)

"Something In The Way" - Daniel Testa (Mans Ek / Charlie Mason)

"Fandango" - Jessika (Philip Vella / Gerard J Borg)

"Rush" - Christabelle (Elton Zarb / Matt Mercieca)

"Closed Doors" - Chris Grech (Chris Grech, Edward Mifsud, Peter Borg, David C Torreggiani)

"Beautiful to Me" - L-Aħwa (Erik Anjou)

"Stop Haunting Me" - Raquel (Elton Zarb / Matt Mercieca)

"Close Your Eyes" - Danica Muscat (Elton Zarb / Emil Calleja Bayliss)

"Secretly" - Corazon (Corazon)

"Could Have Been Me" - Iona (Philip Vella)

"Take Me As I Am" - Domenique (Aidan O'Connor)

"Once In a While" - Dominic (Elton Zarb / Rita Pace)

"Love and Let Go" - Ekklesia (Philip Vella)

With the recording of the Official Music Videos taking place this weekend, it is expected that they are published soon after. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the 2015 Malta Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: TVM, escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqP65vGsmk0

Sunday, 05 October 2014 16:50

MESC 2015: Opening and Closing Acts Drawn

On the 21st and 22nd November, the Public Broadcasting Services will be hosting the 2014-2015 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest within the Marsa Shipbuilding, host venue of this year's edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. 20 acts, as revealed on the program 'Xarabank' last Friday evening, will have the opportunity to perform on an incredible stage, one which has been specifically designed for an international competition.

15 acts have already been part of the prestigious showcase in the past, and these are none other than; Glen Vella, Trilogy, Franklin Calleja, Deborah C, Daniel Testa, Lawrence Gray, Amber, Jessika, Christabelle, L-Aħwa, Chris Grech, Raquel Galdes, Danica Muscat, Corazon and Domenique. As a matter of fact, not only have those acts been through to this phase in the past, some of them have also gone onto represent Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest; Ludwig Galea (2004) who is now part of Trilogy, Glen Vella (2011) and Gianluca Bezzina (2013) part of L-Aħwa.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EFvERdQl43o

In the meantime, the other 5 acts are complete newcomers to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, but not entirely new to the local music scene; MinikKaren DeBattista, Iona Dalli, Eklessia, and Lyndsay. Three of these acts have had a stellar record in the industry, with MinikLyndsay being radio friendly singer/songwriters and Karen DeBattista winning this year's edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu. Gordon Bonello, on behalf of the Public Broadcasting Services drew the running order for the first and last slot during the semi-final with two newcomers; Lyndsay and Eklessia set to open and close the competition. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook & Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: TVM

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