October 22, 2019

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A set of professional individuals in the music industry were enlisted by escflashmalta.com to assess each of the competing entries in this years' Eurovision Song Contest in both an individual and collective manner apart from passing general comments from their point of view. All of the information is obtained from the official website of the international spectacle and indeed, pertaining to the running order as decided by the producers, Cyprus will be performing in slot number fourteen (14) from the sixteen (16) entries which will be competing during the first semi-final. CyBC, the broadcaster resposible for the participation of Cyprus in the Eurovision Song Contest will be represented by the song An Me Thimase composed by Andreas Giorgallis to the lyrics of Zenon Zindillis with vocals provided by Despina Olympiou.

Despina Olympiou was born and raised in Limassol in Cyprus. However she studied in London where she obtained her degree in piano and music theory. Olympiou started singing professionally in 1992 and she collaborated on stage, with great Greek performers such as Charis Alexiou, Giorgos Dalaras, Mimis Plessas, Marios Tokas, Glykeria, Demetris Mitropanos and Michalis Hadjiyiannis. Her debut album was released in 2000 entitled Ton Mation Sou I Kalimera (The good morning of your eyes). Her single Vale Mousiki (Put some music on) was released in 2003 and it was certified platinum. Her second album entitled Ehoume Logo (We have a reason) was released in 2004, and her third album entitled Afto Einai Agape (This is love) was released in 2005. Her single Pes To Dynata (Say it loud) which was a great success was released in 2007 and there followed her fourth album entitled Mazi Horista (Separated together) which was certified gold. 

Her album Mia Stigmi (One moment) was released at the end of 2009 with eleven songs, the music which was composed by Michalis Hadjiyiannis. She went on tours in collaboration with top singers in the United States, Australia and Europe, singing in famous theatres and concert halls. This year, she will participate in the Eurovision Song contest representing her country with the song An Me Thimáse (If you remember me). Andreas Giorgallis studied music and sound engineering in London. His career begun in 1988, as a producer and sound engineer. In 1996, Giorgallis was the composer of the song Mono Gia Mas (Only for us) performed by Constantinos Christoforou, with which Cyprus participated in the Eurovision Song Contest. Zenon Zintillis was born in Nicosia and studied and worked in the United Kingdom His song represented Cyprus in the Eurovision Song Context in 1998 in Birmingham as a lyricist with the song Genesis performed by Michalis Hadjiyiannis.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TWphXEgW5Eo

In recent years, internal methods of selection have become increasingly popular for the simple reason that less funds are spent, especially in the midst of an economic crisis. Thanks to a series of private sponsors, Cyprus was one of the nations to ensure their participation in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. Ultimately, they selected Despina Olympiou who is a star in both Cyprus and the neighbouring country of Greece with their music industry somewhat in unison. She will be following in the footsteps of Ivi Adamou who was also chosen internally but had a song selection, one which was not really required with both the public and the jury agreeing that La La Love was the way to go. The choice was extremely well respected even in foreign waters because not only did it manage to make it through to the final but also surpassed Greece. Commercial success was also achieved in Scandinavia. 

Cyprus is one of the countries which is yet to succeed in the Eurovision Song Contest noting that despite thirty (30) participations, their best result has only been a fifth place finish. The first time that this happened was back in 1982 when Anna Vissi performed the song Mono I Agapi but it would only be followed fifteen years later when Hara & Andreas Constantinou took to the stage with their rendition of Mana Mou. It also happened once during recent times with Lisa Andreas and her entry Stronger Every Minute did the same honour in 2004. Since the semi-final system was inaugurated, the country has failed to deliver positive results on a consistent basis but nevertheless, one has to point out that in the past three years, there have been two qualifications, followed by mediocre results in the final. Despina Olympiou will be hoping to follow this successful feat as she performs her entry in Sweden to millions of fans all over the world.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 43%

Magnus Kaxe: I love the acapella intro which is unusual for Eurovision. Unfortunately the song develops into a rather boring song. Please skip that horrible drum loop from the second verse and on-wards. Overall the production sounds cheap and not well worked-through. If it hadn't been for the acapella intro this song would only get 1 point from me.

Lina Eriksson: Extra points for singing in greek, and it goes well with the song. But still the song itself doesn't appeal to me. It feels like I've heard it a thousand times before and I wasn't too impressed the first thousand times either. Good singer, good voice. Production out of date.

Matt Mercieca (Muxu): I like this one, its sweet and simple, its a ballad, but this has that new vibe in it, so it doesn't sound dated. I wish i knew what she was saying, but the strings in the production are beautiful, and yet again a key change, which i seem to dislike so much.

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEd1TsVBo9U

Published in Editorials

The editorial board of escflashmalta.com has continued to get in touch with artists competing in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest and in this specific case, the semi-final in which Malta will be competing with the song Tomorrow co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat with vocals by Gianluca. As a matter of fact, before he takes to the stage, there will be Finland whose surprise winner at the end of the national selection was Krista Siegfrids with the song Marry Me which she co-wrote with Erik Nyholm, Kristoffer Karlsson, Jessica Lundström. Finland will be hoping to return to the final this year, having been disappointed last year with their entry När Jag Blundar performed by Pernilla Karlsson.

Finland is one of the most unsuccessful countries to compete at the Eurovision Song Contest having only managed one victory, that being in 2006 at the hands of Lordi with the song Hard Rock Hallelujah having been disappointed on each attempt at qualification since the semi-final system was introduced apart from finish last on eight occasions. This was surprising because the genre was different from previous winners. Nevertheless, Finland has improved greatly since then with only one last place finish and several qualifications. What will you be doing to continue the recent successful trend of Finland?

I think that Marry Me is a really catchy song and I hope that people around Europe will like our energetic and crazy performance! We wanna make whole Europe go DiNG DoNG!!! :) Vote for happiness, girl power, craziness and LOVE!!!

Despite the fact that you have been performing for a number of years, The Voice of Finland was definitely the required boost to establish yourself as a solo artist. How did the experience of the talent show help you grow as an artist and what have you learned that you will be trying to utilize at the Eurovision Song Contest?

The Voice of Finland was a good experience because the Finnish people got to know me and after that I got a lot of gigs and other job offers. It made me stronger and more determined to focus on my solo career.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KdNTubMPL7o

Marry Me, the song that you will be performing on behalf of Finland at the Eurovision Song Contest is your debut single, the kick start to your career and will be part of the yet untitled studio album released four (4) days ahead of the actual semi-final where you will be competing. What should your fans and people around the continent expect?

My Ding Dong album is a piece of me. All the songs are stories of my life in one way or another. I'm really proud that I've done most of the song my self. There will be many crazy party songs with funny lyrics. I wanna entertain people and I want you to dance and smile! :) But there is also one ballad on the record which I wrote to my father who passed away when I was 15. He was a great man and he deserves many beautiful songs.

Your entry for this years’ international spectacle has an extremely catchy tune and one could instantly start singing the lyrics by the second chorus if not the first. As regards to the live performances seen during the national final, you had both backing vocalists and dancers apart from the typical props which have become part of the show. Could you describe what you will be doing in terms of staging in the semi-final?

I don't wanna tell you what's gonna happen on stage yet. But I can tell you that we are FULL OF SURPRISES! :) The show will be energetic and funny and of course I'll be performing in a huge wedding dress ;)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C0u9dsvMZKs

You have one of the most impressive music videos accompanying your entry for this years’ Eurovision Song Contest but nevertheless, a number of countries including Denmark and Sweden for example have opted to use their national selection performance. What made you and your team decide to record a music video and what is the aim behind it, meaning do you believe that such promotion is important for get a higher ranking?

I've always wanted to do a music video. This is the first one and I'm really proud of it. I think it's hilarious! :) Love the script that my favorite director Elias Koskimies did! I just want people to watch it and love it! I think music videos are important for an artists career. You get to know the artist better if you have music videos.

It has become no secret that due to the fact that is indeed a competition, performers tend to have a listen to the tracks that they are competing against and one of the countries which will be hoping to qualify alongside Finland is Malta. The performances will be back to back with Finland taking the fifth slot as opposed to Malta which will be singing in the sixth slot. Have you heard the Maltese entry, Tomorrow co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat with vocals by Gianluca and what were your thoughts?

Yes, I've heard Malta's song and I think it's really beautiful! It's a feel good song that I would like to listen to on the radio. Malta has by the way always had great songs in ESC.

Would you like to say anything to your fans at escflashmalta.com?

JOIN TEAMDINGDONG AND MARRY ME!!! :) <3 Hugs and kisses from Krista <3

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FdU02F9lT2g

Published in Interviews

The editorial board encourages the public to select their favourite ten qualifiers on the right hand side of the screen but in the meantime, three professional individuals from the music industry showcase their opinion about the competing entries. All of the information is obtained from the official website of the international spectacle and indeed, pertaining to the running order as decided by the producers, Ireland will be performing in slot number thirteen (13) from the sixteen (16) entries which will be competing during the first semi-final. RTE, the broadcaster resposible for the participation of Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest will be represented by the song Only Love Survives co-written between Wez Devine and Ryan Dolan, the latter will also be providing the vocals for the entry. 

Ryan Dolan is a young singer-songwriter from Strabane in Co. Tyrone. He has played support to many acts over the years including Tinchy Stryder, Jedward and many more. Dolan has been described as one of the most exciting homegrown musical talents to be discovered in Ireland in recent years. His YouTube channel has received over 800,000 hits. Dolan said, “I am thrilled to have been chosen to represent Ireland in the Eurovision Song Contest. I’d like to thank my family, friends and my mentor Stuart for all their support over the last few months. It’s such an honour to have been chosen to represent Ireland at Eurovision. I can’t wait to perform in Malmő in May.”

Co-composer Wez Devine is a 34-year-old songwriter/producer originally from Malahide, Co. Dublin now based in Lifford, Co.Donegal. So far the fruits of their labour include being featured on BBC Radio1 in the UK in 2012 – their track titled The Secret by Zenemy DJz featuring Dolan found great support and was daytime play-listed by the giants of the station Sara Cox, Hugh Stevens and Scott Mills. They are hopeful that their latest composition Only Love Survives will bring Eurovision back to Ireland for the eighth time. Dolan's Eurovision mentor is Spotlight Productions director Stuart O’Connor. O'Connor is the man behind all Jedward's live tours in the last three years. He devised the performance of Waterline at last year’s contest.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AagebZAT8o

O'Connor recently produced and directed The Best of Eurovision Show with six previous winners Johnny Logan, Linda Martin, Niamh Kavanagh, Dana, Charlie McGettigan and Paul Harrington. He was a judge on RTÉ's Supercrew and choreographed the highly acclaimed RTÉ Big Music Week Lipdub YouTube video. Ireland decided to keep the format of their recent preselections following the success achieved in the international competition with five mentors selecting the artists and their respective entries. There were three genres represented, including the stunning ballad which is very much popular in Ireland especially one involving a young female with a guitar. As a matter of fact, Aimee was the first runner-up with her song Crashing Down.

Ireland is known in the fan circles of the Eurovision Song Contest as royalty, having managed to achieve victory on a record breaking seven (7) occasions. It is important to point out here though that their last success was back in 1996 when Eimear Quinn had managed to stun everyone with her crystal clear vocals in a stunning rendition of The Voice. Since then, it has not been pretty positive for Ireland and even more so, since the millennium, the top ten has only beckoned on three occasions, in 2000 with Millennium of Love, 2006 with Every Song is a Cry for Love and in 2011 with Lipstick. Qualification has also been troubling but has been achieved since 2010 and Ryan Dolan will hope to do so once more in 2013 as he takes to the stage in Sweden.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 77%

Magnus Kaxe: Is this Swedish House Mafia? No, but this will also move the dance floors around Europe this summer. It's an elegantly written track with positive and energetic vibes. Ryan has a good voice in the video and I really hope he can perform well on stage too. Not only love survives -  Ryan Dolan will also survive - at least to the final.

Lina Eriksson: One of the more modern songs this year. Even if it doesn't sweep me off my feet I'm guessing it'll do just fine in the semi and on the ESC-dancefloors.

Matt Mercieca (Muxu): This one is super cool, I love the beat, and its super current, not completely in love with the lyrics, but I see this one doing well, if not on eurovision, even radios, the chorus is much better then the rest of the song, but its super good! very catchy.

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iGaZKoim43U

Published in Editorials

Tomorrow, co-written by Dean Muscat and Boris Cezek with vocals provided by Gianluca is being touted as a dark horse in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. The young performer was a complete newcomer to the festival scene a couple of months ago and ultimately finished in second place when it came to the public just behind favourite, Kevin Borg but nevertheless, with the overwhelming support of the jury, he was given the opportunity to carry the flag on behalf of the country. The Public Broadcasting Services are doing their utmost to promote both him as an artist as well as the actual track, an infectious indie/pop song which is current in both genre and presentation.

A promotional tour might not always be key to success but several countries appreciate the visit and this year, one has to applaud the broadcaster on their strategy. Earlier this year, Gianluca was asked to appear as a guest performer in Armenia where he had the opportunity to perform during the national selection but nevertheless, this would not be the only destination noting that in the past couple of hours, he also performed to a massive crowd at the Eurovision In Concert in Amsterdam, The Netherlands. The annual party featured twenty-six of the competing artists in this years' international spectacle. 

In an interview which he gave to esckaz, it was also revealed that he will be visiting Bulgaria, Romania, Hungary and London. The latter was previously revealed exclusively by escXtra. In the meantime, Gianluca has also decided to take a stance and select his favourite entry in this years' Eurovision Song Contest, that being Ég á Líf by Eyþór Ingi on behalf of Iceland. This does not come to a surprise considering the stunning message that the track encompasses. We would like you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about Gianluca and his entry Tomorrow as they represent Malta in this years' international competition.

Source: PBS (Image), esckaz.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8WmJXIR9xtw

Sunday, 14 April 2013 04:20

Moldova: Reviewing the track 'O Mie'

Whilst everyone is entitled to an opinion, escflashmalta.com has called upon six individuals who are professionals in music with several successes within their respective careers. Apart from passing on their comments, they also passed on individual scores for each entry as well as a collective top ten which we counted to come up with ten qualifiers. All of the information is obtained from the official website of the international spectacle and indeed, pertaining to the running order as decided by the producers, Moldova will be performing in slot number twelve (12) from the sixteen (16) entries which will be competing during the first semi-final. TRM, the broadcaster resposible for the participation of Moldova in the Eurovision Song Contest will be represented by the song O Mie composed by Pasha Parfeny to the lyrics of Yuliana Scutaru with vocals set to be taken care of by Aliona Moon.

Aliona Moon is a rising star in the Moldovan music scene. She has already participated in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest as a backing musician of Pasha Parfeny. Now the two artists have changed places, and Aliona will be the lead vocalist of this year's Eurovision entry, the touching ballad O Mie. Aliona Munteanu was born on the 25th of May 1989 in Chisinau. Ethnical Moldavian songs and lullabies sung by her mother cultivated Aliona’s love for music. Since her childhood Aliona was a member of lots of artistic collectives, where she performed both music and dances. As their member, Aliona participated at different contests in Hungary, Belarus, France, Romania, Bulgaria and of course in her motherland Moldova.

Later she was involved in the talent show Fabrica de Staruri 2 (Star Factory) where she gained the third place and the title of the public's favourite. With two of her ex-colleagues from Star Factory Aliona formed the pop band Thumbs Up. The band existed for two years until the break-up in 2011. After that, Aliona took some trophies at international musical festivals as a solo artist, most notably at the “Martisor Dorohoian” and “Dan Spataru” festivals, which were held in Romania. Aliona considered it a great experience to be Pasha Parfeny’s backing vocalist for Lautar in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. It encouraged and determined Aliona to participate in Moldovan national selection for the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest as a lead artist. Aliona’s talent and luck earned her the honour and right to represent Moldova in Malmö this year.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vx2RvJaelgA

Following the successful result achieved by Pasha Parfeny at last years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Lăutar, the broadcaster thought it best to have another national selection and one which would ultimately permit foreign songwriters to compete. The idea was to have a song pool from which qualified artists would have the opportunity to select songs and it seems to have fared quite well noting that the selection process was indeed a success. Some of the artists who performed on the demos of the songs in the actual pool ultimately made it and selected the track once more whilst others passed without their track and had to opt for another. Twenty-Four (24) participants took part in the semi-finals stage from which fourteen (14) made it through, seven (7) from each of the two semi-finals.

In the actual final, it seemed that the competition was tight and following the public vote which put Runaways by Boris Covali in pole position, the jury decided that Aliona was the better choice with O Mie, giving the public favourite third place. The public were still delighted because Aliona was actually their second choice, in a similar faith endured during the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. Moldova will be taking part in the Eurovision Song Contest for the ninth consecutive time and they have only missed the final on one occasion, that being in 2008 with Century of Love performed by Geta Burlacu finishing in twelfth place. Their best result remains to be their debut entry Bunika Bate Toba performed by Zdob şi Zdub which managed sixth place. Their second best result was a tenth place finish in 2007 with the song Fight by Natalia Barbu. 

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 27%

Magnus Kaxe: A power-ballad with a female artist that has got her hair stuck in a wind machine. Can this be a winning formula? I've heard the verse a million times before. Then the song builds into a random pre-chorus before getting on to the chorus. Or wait? Where is the chorus? Aha...the pre-chorus IS the chorus. No, this won't do. If one wants to compete in the Eurovision, one has to have a song WITH a chorus. Next please.

Lina Eriksson: Even if neither this song nor this singer is my coup of tea it has the drama melodically that often is well embraced by the ESC-fans. It might make it through the semi but it doesn't get my vote.

Matt Mercieca (Muxu): OH WOW, her hair, the dress, what is happening here? ok got distracted, back to the song, nothing special, i'm sorry i can't get over the outfit I MEAN the dress changes colours, WHY? haha. song is average. and then the sudden change just makes it bad.

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nkbEkuk2TKM

Published in Editorials
Saturday, 13 April 2013 02:00

Belarus: Reviewing the track 'Solayoh'

Matt Mercieca, Lina Eriksson and Magnus Kaxe were engaged by the editorial board of escflashmalta.com to listen to the entries competing in the first semi-final of this years' Eurovision Song Contest, passing forth their constructive critique along with an individual and collective grading. All of the information is obtained from the official website of the international spectacle. Pertaining to the running order as decided by the producers, Belarus will be performing in slot number eleven (11) from the sixteen (16) entries competing during the first semi-final. BTRC, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of Belarus in the Eurovision Song Contest will be represented by the song Solayoh which has been composed by Marc Paelinck to the lyrics of Martin King with Alyona Lanskaya providing the vocals.

Alyona Lanskaya was born on September 7th in Mogilev, Belarus. Being an apparent Virgo in the Zodiac, her love for her family and for music always came first in her life. She began studying music at a young age: At school, she sang in the choir, performed as a solo artist and as a part of various art groups. She graduated from the Belarusian-Russian University in Mogilev. "My childhood was a very happy one, and sometimes I’d want to return to it - the loving parents and no worries. I used to live in my own world, dreaming at night, coming up with stories for films, always with a happy ending. Because of the light-coloured hair and snow-white skin, the grandma neighbours always called me a "straw girl" – says Alyona Lanskaya. Her career as a professional singer began in 2005, when Alyona took part in the "Slavianski Bazaar" festival in Vitebsk. 

The singer, who during the first training was hesitant to ski, eventually won in the finals after having just a week to learn this sport. In 2008, Alyona, for the first time, took part in an international music festival, in the town of Dobrich in Bulgaria. In 2010, her first solo album Mazes Of Love was released that included songs in Russian, Belarusian and English. Alyona Lanskaya also brought a victory from USA at the “Atlantic Breeze 2010" festival. In 2011, she was awarded the title of Honoured Artist of the Republic of Belarus - she has been the youngest artist ever to receive it! In the summer of 2012, the songs for Alyona’s new English album were recorded. Also in 2012, she took part in the Belarusian national Eurovision selection, and this year she will go on to represent her home country with Solayoh, written by Marc Paelinck and Martin King.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=esqspmVjw-A

An announced in the official biography above, Alyona Lanskaya has already taken part in last years' national selection within Belarus but despite finishing as the winner, she was disqualified over apparent tampering with the voting results. Ultimately, Litesound took centre stage with their entry We Are The Heroes, with Belarus failing to qualify to the final once more. Nevertheless, when the finalists for this years' national selection were announced, it was somewhat clear that Alyona would be getting a second chance and indeed, she finished the winner with an even better result, receiving the trust of both the jury and the public. The song which she performed in the national selection was entitled Rhythm of Love and received mostly positive acclaim from fans of the Eurovision Song Contest, despite being chosen relatively early in December. In second place within the national final were the group Nuteki with the song Save Me.

Belarus have been competing in the Eurovision Song Contest for nine consecutive years making this participation quite important because they would be turning over a new page, the start of a new decade, hoping that it will be more successful than their last. My Galileo performed by Aleskandra and Konstantin was their debut entry back in 2004, a year in which the semi-finals had just commenced and indeed, they would have to wait another two years before their first qualification, with the track Work Your Magic sung by Dmitry Koldun, and finishing in sixth place. It would be a one off, noting that their next qualification was in 2010 with the song Butterflies performed by the group, 3+2 finishing in the penultimate position. Betting Odds and fans alike have been extremely positive to this years' representation and therefore, it might be that the nation would qualify to the final for a third time in ten years.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 63%

Magnus Kaxe: Turkish flavors with vibes from "Every way That I Can" by Sertab Erener from 2003. Even though this song might sound 10 years old, I like it! Simple, catchy and powerful chorus and great performance. This will definitely qualify Belarus to the final.

Lina Eriksson: Well it ain't the first time we hear this kind of Elena Paparizou song in the ESC. Still it tend to appeal to the ESC-voters. I'm guessing it will do well, as long as Alyona pull it of live.

Matt Mercieca (Muxu): Is she singing in english? TYPICAL early 2000's eurovision. It's catchy! I like the ethnic breakdown, and can actually see this doing ok in the festival, but you would not find this on my iPod, …ever…EVER! wow this is exactly the kind of music that makes me cringe.

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N4S4m9R-ffA

Published in Editorials

escflashmalta.com has engaged a number of professional individuals from the music industries to listen to the competing entries in this years' Eurovision Song Contest and pass forth their analysis as well as an individual and collective grading. All of the information is obtained from the official website of the international spectacle and indeed, pertaining to the running order as decided by the producers, Lithuania will be performing in slot number ten (10) from the sixteen (16) entries which will be competing during the first semi-final. LRT, the broadcaster resposible for the participation of Lithuania in the Eurovision Song Contest will be represented by the song Something which has been written by Andrius Pojavis who will also be taking to the stage as the main vocalist.

Andrius Pojavis (29) is the artist that will represent Lithuania in the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest. Born in Jurbarkas, Lithuania, in 1983 he started singing at the age of five and never stopped since! His first band at school was called “No Hero”. After moving to Vilnius he played with some other bands. With one of them, The Hetero, won EuroRock 2006. He started his career as a songwriter in Ireland were he lived for one year. Astuoni (Eight) is the title of his debut album. As the title suggests, the album has eight tracks and is a good representation of the artist style. Astuoni was recorded in Massive Arts, Milan, in 2012. Now Andrius divides his time between Italy and Lithuania. His first single Traukiniai (Trains) arrived in a good position in the Lithuanian Top 20. His next plans include to do a tour around Lithuania while he keeps on writing new songs for the next album.

1994, always a memorable year for the simple reason that Ireland had managed to come out on top for the third consecutive time following the success of Why Me? sung by Linda Martin in 1992 and Niamk Kavanagh with the song In Your Eyes in 1993. Nevertheless, the issue here is Lithuania and it was during that year that they took part for the very first time with the track Lopšinė mylimai sung impeccably by Ovidijus Vyšniauskas. It seems that the language barrier was one of the main elements behind the disappointing result. Lithuania had never competed in such an international spectacle when it comes to music and the song did not pick up points from the juries. It is worth noting that Poland, another debuting nation finished in second place with To Nie Ja by Edyta Gorniak. Lithuania withdrew for four consecutive years, returning in 1999. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NYXhPXt_y5E

The representative then was Aiste and the track entitled Strazdas managed thirteen (13) points to finish in twentieth place. Nevertheless, going forward in time, the introduction of the semi-finals has somewhat been of great help to the baltic nation noting that on their third outing in the pre-qualification stage, We Are the Winners by LT United finished in fifth place before reaching sixth place in the final, that being the best resulf for Lithuania thus far. In the meantime, in three of the past four years, the country has successful qualified to the final of the prestigious music event and thus has high spirits. Last year, the country was represented by Donny Montell and his track Love is Blind. Many were skeptical about the track but it managed third place in the semi-final and fourteenth place in the final, being the third best result of the country behind 2006 and 2001 respectively.

Lithuania are somewhat renowned in several fan circles with regards to their selection procedure for the Eurovision Song Contest noting that Eurovizijos takes place in a number of heats, and semi-finals respectively before finally coming to the actual final. The genres which competed in the final were extremely varied and it seemed that one of the main artists to keep in mind was Lina Adomaitis who had already represented Lithuania before but nevertheless, despite finishing first in the early stages, he finished last in the actual final. Ultimately, Andrius Pojavis with the track Something was selected by the jury to represent the nation, just ahead of Girmantė Vaitkutė whose song Time to Shine was a beautiful ballad, very similar to C'Est Ma Vie sung by Evelina Sasenko two years earlier.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 27%

Magnus Kaxe: "Something" could've had something. Andrius is a happy chap with a decent voice. The composition is ok but some parts are just boring and anonymous. It doesn't reach the necessary heights to make it stand out in this year's contest.

Lina Eriksson: An attempt to do a modern popsong gone wrong. Andrius please work on that english pronunciation as well as on hitting those notes. NO.

Matt Mercieca (Muxu): Not my kind of song, his voice and diction bugs me. and I don't like the song, its a very weak pop/rock song. I think the music in the background isn't terrible, his voice just irritates me, and the melody line is so poor.

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MCZ6RRwKcIE

Published in Editorials

Croatia will be taking part in the first semi-final of this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the track Mižerja performed by Klapa S Mora. The decision of the track was taken by an internal panel of professional judges following an external call in which the broadcaster, HRT had already decided to go down a traditional route opting to send a klapa to the international spectacle. It is worth noting that the genre is a heritage, also recognised by Unesco, which in turn is a specialised agency of the United Nations. An official video to accompany the entry was officially published last night.

Mižerja, written by Goran Topolovac who hails from Duga Resa is supporting the tourism of Croatia in general with the video somewhat keeping the traditions alive. Marko Škugor, Nikša Antica, Leon Bataljaku, Ivica Vlaić and Bojan Kavedžija are all from different parts of Croatia and therefore makes their coming together even more interesting. They were actually selected by Maestro Mojmir Čačija and re-worked into the group they have become through producers Nikša Bratoš and Dragan Brnas who created the final version of the track. The balkan nation has never won the Eurovision Song Contest with their best result at this point in time still being a fourth place finish in 1996 and 1999 courtesy of Maja Blagdan and Doris Dragovic. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about Croatia in this years' international spectacle.

Source: HRT

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

Thursday, 11 April 2013 13:00

Montenegro: Reviewing the track 'Igranka'

English has always been a predominant language in recent years when it comes to the Eurovision Song Contest and whilst it has kept the majority this time round, national tongues are becoming popular once more. The escflashmalta.com team of expert reviewers have listened to each entry competing in the international showcase. All of the information is obtained from the official website of the international spectacle and indeed, pertaining to the running order as decided by the producers, Montenegro will be performing in slot number nine (9) from the sixteen (16) entries which will be competing during the first semi-final. RTCG, the broadcaster resposible for the participation of Montenegro in the Eurovision Song Contest will be represented by the song Igranka co-written between Dejan Dedovic (Dedduh), Mario Djordjevic (Noyz), Djordje Miljenovic (Wikluh Sky) and performed by WhoSee ft. Nina Žižić.

The group was created in early 2000s, recording their first demo track titled Dim Po Dim (Puff After Puff). In 2007, the group released their debut album, Sviranje kupcu. After two years of preparation and recording, the band released their second album Krš i Drača in 2012, the WhoSee single Reggaeton Montenegro conquered the charts in the Adriatic region and spent five weeks at number one of the MTV regional Top 20 chart. This hip-hop duo is known for their humour and funny videos, and they are making history as the first band from Montenegro ever to be nominated for a MTV EMA! For song Reggaeton Montenegro, Who See won MTV EMA award for Best Adriatic Act 2012 and MTV Video Play Award 2012 – Double Platinum. 

Video for the song 'Reggaeton Montenegro' in 2012 were aired over 800 times on the MTV. Otherwise, Dedduh is married and works as a salesman in a toy store, while Noyz has his own studio in which he successfully works on video editing and graphic design. The official CD / DVD cover for the Eurovision song Igranka was made by Noyz. Nina Zizic started with musical career in 2003. Her first single was Odlazi and after this she recorded six more singles. She has participated in many music festivals in the region and won a few prizes. At 2006 she participated in Montenegro's selection for Eurovision Song Contest with the song Potraži me. Djordje Miljenovic was born on December the 10th 1980 in Belgrade. To the audience he is more known as Wikluh Sky, as one of the members of trio Bad Copy, beside Ajs Nigrutin and Timbe. Wikluh Sky works as a performer himself and lately as a composer for other artists. He is mostly into hip-hop, reggae, dub-step, R&B.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ZwepOMY9_0

Montenegro is taking part in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest for the fifth time hoping that they will be able to encounter some form of success considering that they are yet to reach the final of the prestigious event. Since the split between Serbia and Montenegro, it seems that success has beckoned for the former as opposed to the latter especially when one takes into considering that they triumphed thanks to Marija Serifovic and her entry Molitva on their first solo outing. Internal selections have somewhat been characteristic for Montenegro with the broadcaster seeking international success without any over expenditure. The best result achieved at this point in time was back in 2009 when Andrea Demirovic took to the stage with the song Just Get Out of My Life finishing in eleventh place with a total of forty-four (44) points which were amassed from all over the continent.

The song which was written by Bernd Meinunger, José Juan Santana Rodriguez and Ralph Siegel, the latter known for winning the 1982 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest was thought to be a draw card but nevertheless, opening the show did not help and thus failed to pass through to the final, albeit by a couple of points. The market that the broadcaster is trying to reach is extremely difficult because alternative genres are yet to receive a lot of attention at the international spectacle despite high acclaim from pundits. This year, they are sending hip-hop infused into dubstep, a true formula which might not be well appreciated when performed live. Nevertheless, one could instantly note that there has been a lot of effort put into the track to make it sound both professional and international. The fact that Montenegro will not be opening the show is also a positive sign but nevertheless, coming after a string of favourites might also be troublesome.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 37%

Magnus Kaxe: Combined male rap in the verses and female vocals in the chorus with a modern house touch. I listened to it five times but I can't still remember a single note. The video is disgusting and focuses more on female body parts than the artists. This is the video one gets when there is no song to speak of.

Lina Eriksson: There aren't any words to describe this song in my opinion. I just have no real opinion about it so I'd rather not even say, No!

Matt Mercieca (Muxu): This is such a Guilty Pleasure, I LOVE IT!!! the guys kind of make me laugh, and remind me of Goerge u Pawlu, but the beat is so current, very dub step , and I love her voice. I'm curious to see how eurovision fanatics react to this, I really like it, when the guys rap its a little funny though. but this girl is Banging , and the song is so cool. Definitely one of my faves this year.

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8BmHI_57vJk

Published in Editorials

Robin Stjernberg and Despina Olympiou will both be hoping to achieve success at this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest and it is intriguing to note that their selection was quite different with the lady from Cyprus chosen internally as opposed to the man from Sweden who had to go through several phases within the annual Melodifestivalen. Both artists have had the chance to speak to the editorial board of escflashmalta.com with interviews being conducted by Marc Calleja Bayliss and Antoine Farrugia. As a matter of fact, our third interview in the build up towards the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest in Sweden is with Zlata Ognevich who will be representing Ukraine with Gravity composed by Mikhail Nekrasov to the lyrics of Karen Kavaleryan.

2003 was the year in which Ukraine joined the family of the Eurovision Song Contest with this year marking the eleventh participation. The nation has been quite successful having managed to finish in the top ten on six occasions including a win back in 2004 thanks to Wild Dances performed by Ruslana and two runner-up finishes in 2007 with Verka Serduchka and her flamboyant entry Dancing Lasha Tumbai and the following year in 2008 with Shady Lady sung by Ani Lorak. Do you feel like you have a successful record to protect as you take on the role of representative and how do you perceive such history?

It’s an honor for me to have been selected to represent Ukraine. And yes, it’s a big responsibility. I feel confident though. I very much believe in my song which was written by Mikhail Nekrasov. Mikhail was the co-author of Ruslana’s song. Karen Kavaleryan wrote the lyrics for Gravity. He was also the author of Ani Lorak’s Shady lady lyrics. 4 powerful backing vocals will add value to my live performance. One of the backing vocalists has been acknowledged as one of the world’s best male jazz voices. So I am placing high hopes on my entry.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X7tGOxg_RCw

Gravity, the track that you will be performing during the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest is composed by Mikhael Nekrasov and penned by Karen Kaveleryan who have worked on a number of successful songs in the past including Never Let You Go by Dima Bilan and Shady Lady by Ani Lorak. What kind of advice and support have they given you as you prepare to take on millions of viewers across the continent?

Mikhail is not only the author of my song, he is also my producer and author of all my songs. Mikhail has always been a great support and I fully trust him and his music. Every day we rehearse together trying to make the song absolutely perfect.

Between 2010 and 2011, you were given the ‘Person of the Year’ accolade in Ukraine and then in the middle of the latter you, the Embassy for Argentina also bestowed on you the title of ‘Best Voice of Ukraine’. You have had a number of successes in this manner apart from several more within the music field by virtue of competing in local and foreign competitions. How do such prestigious moments in your career help you plan for this upcoming adventure as well as the future?

Experience in competitions gives a good practice of taking control over emotions. My main rivals are not other contenders for the win, but my own worries and emotions. Confidence is what an artist gains when performs on a big stage. Then comes pleasure. My main goal is to get pleasure from my performance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fs_PIZ4dA-s

According to several sources, your father is a military doctor whilst your mother is a teacher of literature and language inRussia and nevertheless, their daughter is a vocal performer which is definitely different from their occupations. Your passion for music is believed to have emerged when you moved to Ukraine, a nation which has become not only the place where you live but also your home. Do you still perceive your move to Ukraine was positive and do you have the support of your family in music?

Yes, my move to Ukraine predicted my future life. Crimean peninsula where I grew up taught me to reconcile with nature. I learnt to imitate the sounds of animals, practiced swimming and diving. All of these activities helped me a lot in my vocal career. In Ukraine I met with Mikhail Nekrasov, my producer and my coach. Although I am mixed-blood, Ukraine is my motherland.

Following the allocation draw held by the European Broadcasting Union last year, it became public knowledge that Ukraine would be competing in the first semi-final and just a couple of days ago it was revealed that you would be performing in slot number #7 during the show. You will be preceding Russia who will be represented by Dina Garipova and her entryWhat If as well as Anouk from The Netherlands with the song Birds. These are two ballads with you have a mid-tempo track. Do you think that the outcome of the semi-final will be decided on the draw and what is your opinion on the tracks mentioned?

I think Gravity really stands out from other entries. Its musical performance is different and new to the Eurovision Song Contest. At the same time, I am sure the production team of the show is very professional and their choice of the running order was not occasional. The main goal is to make the show interesting for TV viewers.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G5J-nDZBkeg

During the national selection which was organised way back in December, you were wearing a long white dress with your backing vocalists donning black all behind you. The use of props was not prohibited by the broadcaster but nevertheless you sought to make use of your vocal range and let nothing else distract you. What will you be changing for the live performance during the Eurovision Song Contest and what message do you wish to convey?

I didn’t want to reveal all the details at the National Final. At the same time, my performance in Malmo will be a big surprise. I can guarantee a grandiose show created by the top class director Maxim Litvinov. The main goal is to plunge into the atmosphere of a fairytale and to create a special world on stage.

Throughout the years, you have attended several music institutions and therefore have amassed a lot of knowledge on vocals techniques and so forth, clearly shown within each respective performance. In the Eurovision Song Contest, many people believe that whilst the focus of the juries will be on the voice, one agrees that the song along with the whole package has to be perfect. You are working hard and have engaged the public to help you out with the staging but nevertheless, the decisions will ultimately be yours. Whatever the result at the event is, what should one expect out of Zlata in the next couple of months?

I do have big plans for the after-Eurovision times. But still have to keep the intrigue. But watch out for updates in social networks. Friend me on Facebook and read my tweets!

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

I am very excited to get to know you all in person. Please, do not hesitate to come say hi, take pictures together and enjoy the show!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-onH40yB2uk

Published in Interviews