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Friday, 25 January 2013 04:40

MESC 2013: Reviewing the track 'Tomorrow'

Anton Attard, Chief Executive Officer of the Public Broadcasting Services and Head of Delegation for the country at the Eurovision Song Contest has rebranded the competition in a manner where professionalism is at the key of every decision and when one considers the vast improvements that the Malta Eurovision Song Contest has undergone in the past three years, the attribution would be somewhat extremely notable. The countries’ participation was somewhat in decline and since the rebranding exercise took place, there has been an almost qualification and a qualification including support of the home country in the past year. The artist and entry that will be selected by the international panel of judges along with the public at home need to make sure that the chosen track will indeed be the right one that could achieve prestige because it will be facing the obstacles of a larger semi-final. The 24 entries competing in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest have also received equal promotion including on escflashmalta.com where a panel of critics have been called upon to listen to the entries and let us know their thoughts. The eventual winner of the Critics Award will be given on Sas-Sitta to be aired on the 9th February. Featuring in the nineteenth entry is Gianluca Bezzina who will be performing the song Tomorrow composed by Boris Cezek and penned by Dean Muscat.

Whilst being a complete newcomer to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, the twenty-three year old Gianluca has been around within music for a couple of years, being the lead vocalist of the band known as Funk Initiative. The music project has somewhat been a success having been nominated at the Bay Music Awards and the Malta Music Awards for best newcomers back in 2011. Since coming onto the scene, they have released a number of singles with their most successful definitely being their debut entitled Paris but nevertheless have proved versatile in adapating to genres, making them different from the rest of the bands in the country. In the meantime, Gianluca himself has stood out by himself on a number of occasions including during the bi-annual concerts known as Voices where he has been selected to take part following auditions on three occasions; in 2008, 2010 and 2012 respectively. This charity event was followed by another coined as Rockestra were delivering is immensely gratifying due to the large audience present annually. Academically, and somewhat hard to beleive, Gianluca is a doctor having just graduated a couple of months back but he takes both sectors of his life extremely seriously noting that a balance is achievable for those who truly want it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_21g91h4sQ

Seeing his name in the shortlist of entrants that made it through to the second phase was already a shock in itself because this is an artist whose submission was unexpected but one that makes the competition more interesting and indeed, Tomorrow brings about a genre which has never been tackled during the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. Providing competition is intriguing and the judges surely had a difficult role in selecting this crop of tracks although there is variety and that is always key to a successful output. Fans of the Eurovision Song Contest who follow the selections across Europe have been extremely positive this year and that is a good omen. The track in question here seems to be a merge between Jason Mraz and Train with a feel good sound that many would enjoy listening to. Role expectations are clearly undefined this year in the competition with the songwriting credit once more going to Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat, an innovative duo who are competing with three entries despite having never submitted any tracks. They are known to be quite radio friendly although have both worked with former Eurovision Song Contest representative; Thea Garrett for example whilst also writing for some of the leading names in the local music industry including Kristina Casolani and Raquela.

The Critics Speak Out 

Rating: 70%

Sharon Vaughn: The perfect match! Music, lyrics and the artist! Spectacular, and nothing which I can criticise in a negative manner. This is highly crafted. Well done!

Martin Isherwood: Nice idea for the title but a bit clever and hard to grasp. Clever lyrics. Nice Christmas jumper. Unusual vocal sound which whilst tuneful is not particularly nice to listen to - very sibilant. Nice tunes. Pretty tune , clever lyrics but not really a EV contender. In the style of The Housemartin's? 

Stano Simor: Gianluca looks very sympathetic. Song is positive. I'm sure you already have your fans. Unfortunately, the track does not have anything new, but will still stand out. The Caribbean sound is something specific, what I like about.

Roberto Meloni: There are elements of this track which are very similar to others I have heard but nevertheless, the singer has a very nice tone and the sweater is somewhat reminding me of the Melodi Grand Prix. I feel like I would listen to this song, driving to the beach, a beautiful Maltese one.

Lina Eriksson: Sweet Gianluca. This Jason Mraz kind of song makes me smile. I really like these lyrics. Melody, lyrics, production and artist fit great together. One of my favorites

Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=io9GNF5IJ2Y

Published in Editorials

In foreign territories, achieving success is somewhat more challenging due to the size of the country and there is a different estimation and relevance to the term but nevertheless, one of the means of doing so when it comes to the local music scene is surely through the Malta Eurovision Song Contest which sees to an act heading to represent the country abroad. Some of the former representatives have made a number of contacts and thus could ultimately work within the industry in a predominant manner. Promotion is key for any of the competing artists in the competition and therefore, the Public Broadcasting Services led by Chief Executive Officer, Anton Attard has seen to it that each of the twenty-four semi-finalists has a schedule of appearances on a number of radio and television shows. In the meantime, escflashmalta.com is also proudly promoting each act and entry through a series of reviews conducted by professional critics, of which the eventual winner will get an award through Sas-Sitta on the 9th February. More than half-way through, the fourteenth entry to be presented bears the name Perfect Day, composed by Boris Cezek with lyrics by Dean Muscat and sung by Janice DeBattista.

Janice DeBattista is a relative newcomer as a soloist within the local music scene but nevertheless, she brings about experience having been the lead singer alongside Louise Ann Tate who also just happens to be a former finalist of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest of the band known as Salt. The musical group is renowned for their Christian Pop/Rock type of genre and predominantly feature seven people in total, some of which might be expected to join Janice during her performance at this years’ edition of the competition. Salt reached their respective heights in 2007 by virtue of winning the Best Newcomer at the Bay Music Awards, something that was indeed followed by the Best Band Award in 2008 respectively. A high degree of confidence surrounds Janice surely noting that the group have performed extensively in Australia, Germany, Gibraltar and Spain. As far as albums go, the group has already recorded a couple including Hello Truth in 2006 and Less Noise More Love in 2009. Janice DeBattista is bringing about a totally different sound to the one which she has grown to perform with the band as she tries to take up the solo route, something which seemingly encompasses the vocals which she provides.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KQAyTO93a_I

Janice DeBattista is a complete newcomer to the world of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest but nevertheless, she is going to take up this experience with positivism and strength, hopefully bringing about a totally different type of artist to the competition, something which the Public Broadcasting Services has been working on for the past couple of years. The entry is entitled Perfect Day and is a piano based ballad with particular focus on the vocals. It does build up relatively slowly but does get going with the aid of the backing vocalists, which give it the required edge which the judges might have enjoyed. The track on itself wouldn’t stand out but with the right running order, would definitely stand on its own. The composer is notable producer Boris Cezek, who has worked with some of the nations’ top artists including Kristina Casolani, Ivan Filletti, Salt, Eve Ransom, Robert Galea and Thomas Hedley as well as lyricist Dean Muscat who has worked with Raquela, former Eurovision Song Contest representative, Thea Garrett and Corazon amongst others. This is the first of their entries which is being presented on escflashmalta.com noting that they have also co-written together the tracks Us Against the World performed by Gianni as well as Tomorrow performed by Gianluca Bezzina. 

The Critics Speak Out

Rating: 42%

Sharon Vaughn: This is well sung and the song itself is very well constructed. She is performing the story well and there is a lot of meaning behind the lyrics.

Martin Isherwood: Hard to know what the song is about despite the obvious title. Hard to engage with lyrically. Good voice although a little thin / nasal. Interesting change into chorus. The arrangement doesn’t really build or develop as the song progresses. Despite being well put together. Very unlikely to do well in Eurovision. Could work for Will Young. 

Stano Simor: Very nice song. Considering the audience of the competition, this will fit in quite nicely using the 70s pop atmosphere that would appeal to a wider range of listeners. The vocals along with the arrangement are well aligned and performed. Pleasant voice. Production is  not among the best in this competition. An oomph of some sort is needed to make this stand out.

Roberto Meloni: Quite intriguing, she does remind me of one of Malta's former representatives, already seen and somewhat forgotten, next please!

Lina Eriksson: The singer has a clean and beautiful voice that together with this song gives me a feeling of a Disney soundtrack. Sweet, but not for the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest. A bit boring I’m afraid. I think this song will have a hard time making it in this crowd.  

Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SeMzkVI83wU

Published in Editorials
Tuesday, 01 January 2013 18:05

Malta: Corazon Releases 'Save Your Smile'

Singer/Songwriter Corazon has well earned her reputation as one of the most respected artists in the local music industry with her pristine crystal clear voice and diction adding that special magic touch for the audience to enjoy throughout. For a number of years, the Għanja tal-Poplu competition was the mainframe behind her success but since making it to the finals of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest last year with the song Mystifying Eyes composed by Paul Giordimaina and penned by Fleur Balzan, it seems that a new chapter in her career is being written. Her success in the local competition was followed by her debut radio release bearing the name Looking For You and she hopes that her brand new single entitled Save Your Smile, her second in English will bear the same success as her first.

This brand new single is penned by Corazon herself with the arrangement and the production conducted by Dean Muscat and Boris Cezek, who as songwriters have presented three entries into the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2013. Speaking about her sophomore single in English rather than Maltese, she says 'I think that musical expression must have no boundaries, least of all where language is concerned. Being familiar with more than one language is a great wealth for any artist'. Save Your Smile is an acoustic/pop number that once more suits Corazon's vocal repertoire, personality and artistic style. because it is distinctly feminine, very emotive and yet contemporary. The lyrics are appealing and easy to relate to. I’m sure everyone can see himself in the songs I write'. Corazon is seemingly in a positive place in her life at the moment co-hosting the daily afternoon show alongside Peter Carbonaro whilst also being a semi-finalist in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2013. Nevertheless, another project she is currently working on is an album of original songs in Maltese which will be launched later in the year. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com and corazonmizzi.com for all of the latest news.

Source: Press Release, Claire Farrugia (Image)

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

Published in Local Music News
Wednesday, 26 December 2012 06:50

MESC 2013: 'Never Walk Away' Most Viewed Thus Far

2012 is becoming another relic in just a couple of days time noting that Christmas has officially come to an end and people are paving the way for the new year which will surely be intriguing especially for those who might have thought that the world was really coming to an end. The Public Broadcasting Services wasn't an entity which had such a belief and thus started to organise the 2013 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest noting that the list of twenty-four semi-finalists was concluded just a couple of days back following the withdrawal of Dress Rehearsal by Saska Hunt which was eventually replaced by Marilena Gauci with the song Overrated. Whilst the official videos are being widely promoted on the engine used by the Public Broadcasting Services within their website, they have also been uploaded on viral website, YouTube and thus, one could take up the idea of views per track and it seems that the top five is quite intriguing with the leader of the pack running away with it at the present moment.

The track Never Walk Away co-written between Peter Borg, Matthew James Borg, David Cassar Torreggiani and Chris Grech has wracked up the most views at the moment noting that the band influenced entry performed by Chris Grech is being singled out for the very reason why the artist has become known, his raspy vocals which soar towards the end of the track making it sound like that typical song from the radio. It has not been a case of the locals falling in love with it wholeheartedly noting that there is a lot of foreign support for the track which sounds like a promising single from a budding new artist, stating what people have come to denote it. At this present moment, it has managed to garner around 10,000 views and has been shared many times of social media including Facebook and Twitter. Chris Grech himself is not a well known artist to be receiving multiple views based on his name so this is pretty much an intriguing start.

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

In second place comes none other than Kevin Borg with his entry Needing You a co-write between Thomas Thornholm, Simon Gribbe, Dan Attlerud and Michael Clauss. This has to be the most obvious option because despite the national interest at hand, the following that Kevin has in Sweden is relatively huge and therefore, the hits are picking up slowly and have at this point in time gone up to more than 6,000. This could be dubbed to be a mixture between the Maltese and Scandinavian ballad because it has a slow build up worked mainly around the vocals of the performer which also have a slight rasp to them in the vein of an Italian performer or even one of his good friends, Fabrizio Faniello. The fact that the Eurovision Song Contest is set to be held in Sweden seems to be the asset that many people are counting on and having a host country working in your favourite is definitely a positive idea.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=as2sMXXlXBk

A newcomer always somewhat finds it difficult to kick start their preparations for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest in the best order but it seems that glitz and glamour are calling onto a new performer, one whose name is Melanie Zammit and who will be performing Loverdose composed by Niclas and Maria Lundin and penned by Gerard James Borg, whose international collaborations are becoming somewhat more common in recent years. Melanie Zammit is a relative unknown in the Maltese music scene having only released one single prior to this competition through 89.7 Bay Radio and also major television stations. She has charisma and fashion sense and that seems to have got the crowd going but nevertheless, it is important to say that her pop/dance number is putting people in third gear and dancing along even in places where they shouldn't. The live performance is going to be quite the showcase, or rather, that is my feeling.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnT3TgeyQLA

Whenever a certain songwriters comes into the fray, it seems that it could be pure instant gold and as a matter of fact, Thomas G:Son who also co-wrote the winning entry of this years' Eurovision Song Contest has worked with the renowned local songwriting duo of Philip Vella and Gerard James Borg to create Ultraviolet performed by Jessika who is currently in a process of re-branding herself. The singer/songwriter who is also starring in a television series known as Il-Klikka on ONE Television has been receiving a lot of positive comments with regards to her track whose opening notes have been similarly linked to Emeli Sande's popular song Next to Me but nevertheless, the focus here is definitely on the catchy tune which one easily hums along and performed at the slightest listen. Jessika has become a true artist and with the right staging, this could very much be one of the favourites on the night. It has received almost 4,000 views at the moment making it the fourth most watched entry.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2vO8vxYFjk

The final track that we are featuring due to being in the top five of the most viewed thus far is none other than Tomorrow performed by Gianluca Bezzina and co-written between Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat. The songwriters are not your typical festival duo and as a matter of fact, it shows that the competition is becoming more of a merge between the festival and the radio scene making it one of the most successful transitions in the industry. This Jason Mraz, Train inspired entry is hitting the right notes with many people due to the fact that it puts you in a cheery disposition and instantly get you hooked. Humming is one of the most important elements to get to know a particular track and this is one of those songs which you hum along daily without even realizing. It has received around 3,500 views at the moment and seems to be most vulnerable at the helm but nevertheless, a charming pop/acoustic number. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about the 2013 Malta Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=io9GNF5IJ2Y

Published in Local Music News
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