November 14, 2019

Login to your account

Username *
Password *
Remember Me

Create an account

Fields marked with an asterisk (*) are required.
Name *
Username *
Password *
Verify password *
Email *
Verify email *
Captcha *
Reload Captcha

Aram Mp3, Sanna Nielsen and Dilara Kazimova have easily come out of the first day of rehearsals as favourites to win the Eurovision Song Contest with impressive backdrops and remarkable vocal performances. Not Alone, Undo and Start at Fire on behalf of Armenia, Sweden and Azerbaijan are three different ballads, all of which have a special something that will surely get the crowd and the jury going for them but nevertheless, only one has to win.

Aram Mp3 will be taking to the stage of the Eurovision Song Contest completely alone with the sole emphasis of the camera work on the backdrop which is seemingly space in the beginning of the song and then transforms into a series of designs. At the same time there is one spotlight, all focused on him and his vocal. He is currently first with the betting odds and I could very much see the appeal that this is going to have on the actual night of the semi-final, and of course, the final.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J3VtdIz3I3U

Sanna Nielsen has also decided to go solo on the stage with the delegation opting to make use of backing vocalists who will not be making an appearance yet whose vocals are heavenly. They add a lot to the different parts of the song with their harmony as Sanna stands in the middle of the stage and lets the technical crew film her best side basically. This is very similar to Armenia in presentation but yet more simplistic and one which has elevated in my personal rank. I see this one coming in the top three when it comes to the jury even though the public might hold back ever so slightly.

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

Dilara Kazimova will not be alone on stage but then again, this is Azerbaijan and we were definitely not expecting them to turn out without a proper presentation. Rather than a glass box which Farid Mammadov had during his first runner-up appearance last year, we have a dancing acrobat in mid-air but he does not distract from the song itself, which is sounding absolutely beautiful and haunting. Seems it has been a positive day for rehearsals. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kPwJNIsC_C0

Friday, 25 April 2014 15:30

ESC 2014: An In-Depth Review of Austria

It has become customary for the escflashmalta.com editorial board to engage professional individuals from the music industry to assess the songs competing in the Eurovision Song Contest as presented to the European Broadcasting Union during the Heads of Delegation Meeting. Greig Watts, Joseph Zammit, Sharon Vaughn and John Scott from the United Kingdom, Malta, Sweden and the United States have been entrusted with the second semi-final, comprising of sixteen songs and set to take place on the 8th May 2014 at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark. Making use of the running order and moving onto number #6, we catch up with Austria (ORF) who will be represented by Conchita Wurst with the song Rise Like a Phoenix co-written by Charly Mason, Joey Patulka, Ali Zuckowski and Julian Maas.

Conchita Wurst was born as Tom Neuwirth on November 6th, 1988 in Gmunden/Austria. The young artist had always dreamed of a career in showbiz. It all really started in 2006 when he took part in the talent show Starmania. In 2007, he joined the boy band "jetzt anders!", which however only survived for less than one year. He first performed as his alter ego Conchita Wurst, the famous long-haired full-bearded lady, in the talent show "Die große Chance" in 2011. 

Since then, he certainly has not gone unnoticed in Austria. More recently, Conchita Wurst participated in the ORF production "The hardest jobs of Austria", where she worked in a fish factory, and in "Wild Girls", where a group of candidates had to survive in the deserts of Namibia/Africa together with native tribes. "For me the most special and honoring thing is that Austria shows tolerance and acceptance and I’m so happy to be this statement. I’m allowed to be the voice of their beliefs during this time and this really makes me very proud."

"We, and not at least myself, want to stand for a society without hate and discrimination. And if I’m honest, I think everyone of the contestants should stand for the same, cause we are joining a very opend minded project, so they should be open minded too." This is just a part of the exclusive interview organised by eurovision.tv which could be seen on the biography page.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ni5n097kTs

Austria has only won the Eurovision Song Contest one occasion, that being back in 1966 when Udo Jurgens who had already represented the country twice took the podium with Merci Cherie. Since the introduction of the semi-final system, Austria has not been as successful though noting that following a couple of years off, they returned in 2012 to mixed success going into the final with Nadine Beiler and then finishing dead last with the Trackshittaz.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 70%

Greig Watts: This one has already got a lot of press for obvious reasons, I am going to try and judge the song without interference from that, and actually I like the way it feels a bit Culture club/Boy George (funny that) to start with, and then it goes all James Bond in the chorus and 2nd verse. Almost has a Shirley Bassey meets Adele vibe, and actually im really liking the song and almost wishing it didn’t have all the hype around it as it could be a potential winner and the vocalist actually performs it really well, would be nice to just judge the song, but from my own experience in the competition its not just about the song these days

Joseph Zammit: Well this is certainly an interesting one. Here we have the mandatory gay/drag act that has become a staple on the Eurovision stage. This time however, it comes with a twist! The male singer in full drag, also has a full beard! Originality points all round!! Not much to say about this one because the music has nothing to it. Watch any James bond movie and you would have heard this song. It can easily be the new Bond theme for the upcoming Bond movie, 'James Bond – Not a Close Shave!' Also, on a personal note, can there for once be a drag act song which is not about self revelation and fighting oppression? All in all, a relatively predictable and unoriginal song.

Sharon Vaughn: Her voice is divine, and the song is compellingly appropriate for the artist and her journey. However, it does feel a bit Vegas and over the top.

John Scott: The I found the song to be quite effective with interesting retro elements. It sounds like a great theme for a James Bond movie. The song is a great match to his voice.

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ToqNa0rqUtY

Published in Editorials
Friday, 25 April 2014 15:03

ESC 2014: An In-Depth Review of Poland

It has become customary for the escflashmalta.com editorial board to engage professional individuals from the music industry to assess the songs competing in the Eurovision Song Contest as presented to the European Broadcasting Union during the Heads of Delegation Meeting. Greig Watts, Joseph Zammit, Sharon Vaughn and John Scott from the United Kingdom, Malta, Sweden and the United States have been entrusted with the second semi-final, comprising of sixteen songs and set to take place on the 8th May 2014 at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark. Making use of the running order and moving onto number #5, we catch up with Poland (TVP) who will be represented by Donatan & Cleo with the song My Słowianie - We Are Slavic which they wrote themselves.

Donatan is famous in Poland as a music producer. He created music for more than 50 albums. Many of them received gold and platinum status. In 2012, Donatan launched his authorial album "Equinox" (Równonoc). This album is a compilation of the traditional Slavic sounds with some rap elements. "Equinox" reached, already at pre-sale, the gold status and after few months got granted the diamond sale status. Donatan received many prestigious music awards.

In 2013 Donatan began to work with Cleo. Their single debut We Are Slavs (My Słowianie), produced by Donatan, became a smash hit. Their video clip has become popular on youtube where it has been viewed more than 40 million times. Last year, the single My Słowianie also reached top ten in charts. This song has been chosen as the Polish entry in the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest.

“The Slavic blond girl with the Polish charm and a black voice," they say about Cleo. Cleo is a singer, songwriter, a chorus gospel girl and a painter. She is a woman with many faces, a chameleon discovered by Donatan. This will mark the return of Poland in the Eurovision Song Contest following two years of being absent having last been represented by Magdalena Tul and the song Jestem which did not get through the semi-final stage.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RIHJyO0hmNU

Poland started to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest back in 1994, when on that occasion, the lovely Edyta Gorniak took to the stage with To Nie Ja! finishing in second place, which like Hungary's fourth place achieved during the same year remains the most successful result. In recent years, with the introduction of the semi-final system, the country has not really set the scoreboard alight and has as a result decided to take a break as already noted above. Sending their most popular song in the country is definitely a gamble especially since Europe might find it offensive.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 39%

Greig Watts: Um!, Being western I simply shouldn’t understand this, but it’s the Eurovision contest and there’s been uprising of Slavic nations recently who could well vote for this. Its not my favourite music to listen to, but it feels like a modern attempt to bring Slavic music into the 21st century and its done quite well. I was trying to judge the songs, but video is also a bit distracting and I like the use of the accordion, and clapping!!, So not my own favourite song, but im bumping into the final just because the impact is higher than a couple of the other simple songs!

Joseph Zammit: Okay, good. For a second there I realized that I liked most of the songs I heard so far, which made me worry because it is very unlike me. Thank the heavens that this song came along. What a piling heap of garbage. Where to begin? Let's start with the music. It is lazy, as generic as they come, repetitive, boring and annoying. It only has a simple continuous clap rhythm and some random chords thrown here and there. 

The song is trying to convince the listener that the singer is proud to be a Slavic girl, because slavic girls are the best in the world, and she conveys that message …. by saying that they are great at churning butter, using their bodies to get what they want and staying in the house The lyrics are bigoted and demeaning and yet she sings them in a patriotic fashion. Either this girl is an idiot or she is pulling off a great patriotic stunt for votes. Now I am no radical feminist, but even I find this a bit offensive.  All in all this song was a waste of time to listen. Then there was the video and, well TITS!!! TITS GALORE!! so because of that.

Sharon Vaughn: I found very little positive to say about this one.

John Scott: The chorus is quite catchy even though the lyrics are a bit awkward in phrasing. The verse lyrics are difficult to understand. The musical bridge is quite nice.

Source: eurovision.tv

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

Published in Editorials
Thursday, 24 April 2014 10:38

ESC 2014: An In-Depth Review of Georgia

It has become customary for the escflashmalta.com editorial board to engage professional individuals from the music industry to assess the songs competing in the Eurovision Song Contest as presented to the European Broadcasting Union during the Heads of Delegation Meeting. Greig Watts, Joseph Zammit, Sharon Vaughn and John Scott from the United Kingdom, Malta, Sweden and the United States have been entrusted with the second semi-final, comprising of sixteen songs and set to take place on the 8th May 2014 at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark. Making use of the running order and moving onto number #4, we catch up with Georgia (GPB) who will be represented by The Shin & Mariko and the song Three Minutes to Earth written by Eugen Eliu to the music of Zaza Miminoshvili.

The Shin is a Germany-based band that became famous for their creative ways of interweaving traditional Georgian music with influences from pop and world music. For their performance in the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest they are joined by vocalist Mariko Ebralidze. Their Eurovision entry Three Minutes To Earth reflects this idea: "It describes the last three minutes of a long walk back to Earth, back home." Shin also means "home", so the band name is linked to the lyrics.

Mariko Ebralidze was born in 1984 in Tbilisi. She graduated from a music school, piano department, and in 2000, she was enrolled at #2 Music College named after Zakaria Paliashvili pursuing the specialty of a pop singer. In 2008, she received a bachelor's degree as a soloits and teached from the Pedagogical Institute of Music Arts. Until 2013, Mariko Ebralidze participated in several high-ranked festivals in Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Germany.

Mamuka Gaganidze, His parents said that, already at the ripe age of three, Mamuka would spend hours lost in song—he could perform nearly every popular Georgian tune on cue. Mamuka himself recalls frequently performing in front of the mirror in his childhood, imagining a full auditorium and the applause of a captive audience. At the age of six Mamuka began to study the piano and was invited to join the children’s vocal-instrumental ensemble “Nergebi” [The Saplings].

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9lqoX6kKRsE

Georgia, one of the most recent nations to partake in the Eurovision Song Contest with only one apparent disappointment, that being in 2012 when Anri Jokhadze perfomed the song I'm a Joker and finishing in twelfth place in the semi-final. Their most successful result at this point in time is a 9th place finish achieved on two occasions; the first time in 2010 with the song Shine sung by Sofia Niharadze and the second time being in 2011 with the track One More Day performed by the group Eldrine. They have yet to properly trouble the scoreboard though and they hope that this entry featuring a mixture of folk and mainstream might do the trick.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 60%

Greig Watts: Interesting! Different for my western ears to hear. Although I work in Eastern euorpe a lot so I am open to hearing different styles. Took a long time to get to the female vocal though which was the most interesting for me. Seems to be a song full of ad libbing guitar playing and a very unusual arrangement. I cant tell you what the chorus is at all, but it kind of goes a long nicely. Its an interesting piece, but I am not sure I would ever be able to sing it back to you as feels very experimental., but I’ll mark it higher for its difference and this could appeal to the eastern bloc

Joseph Zammit: Clearly these people don't know how to let the past go. Here we have three old people, followed by what I can assume to be a hippy groupie with a good voice, who still believe they are singing in the fields of Woodstock and chanting. Protest songs like Bob Dylan against damaging the environment....I guess. I can't really say for sure what the song is truly about since the lyrics make absolutely no sense. 'Three minutes to earth for you and for me'? What? 

Now I may be sounding harsh on them, but that's just me. Actually I rather like this song. A song from Georgia which starts with a semi Native American chant immediately struck me as interesting. The music has a nice and encouraging folk feel to it with some nice vocals and skillfull guitar playing. Also it has a kicka** bass line to boot. You know how rare it is to find a song with a great uplifting baseline nowadays? Especially in Eurovision. Its bad lyrics and its random, unfulfilling ending however leave a bit to be desired.

Sharon Vaughn: Whereas I appreciate the extremely advanced musicianship, this strikes me as way too fussy and academic to touch anyone... which is my criterion for excellence.

John Scott: An interesting blend of styles and instrumentation. But the song is a little too unfocussed for me. It's hard for the brain to latch on to any one part because there are so many different musical pieces.

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o9ixkdkbieU

Published in Editorials
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 18:45

ESC 2014: An In-Depth Review of Norway

It has become customary for the escflashmalta.com editorial board to engage professional individuals from the music industry to assess the songs competing in the Eurovision Song Contest as presented to the European Broadcasting Union during the Heads of Delegation Meeting. Greig Watts, Joseph Zammit, Sharon Vaughn and John Scott from the United Kingdom, Malta, Sweden and the United States have been entrusted with the second semi-final, comprising of sixteen songs and set to take place on the 8th May 2014 at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark. Making use of the running order and moving onto number #3, we catch up with Norway (NRK) who will be represented by Carl Espen and the song Silent Storm written by Josefin Winther.

Carl was raised by his mum, with his two siblings. They lived on an island outside Bergen, called Osterøy. Even though the island is not more than a 40 minutes drive from Bergen city, it is a very rural and idyllic place. Carl has always loved to spend time in the nature, and was a real fishing enthusiast as a boy. His mother sang a lot, and his childhood home was always filled with music. Among his cousins, aunts and uncles, you can find the woman behind the song Silent Storm, Carl’s cousin Josefin Winther, a London based artist and songwriter born in Bergen in 1986. Four years younger than her cousin, Josefin has no problem recalling a day in her life being 12 years. Carl Espen had entered a local music competition on Osterøy, and Josefin was standing with her aunt in the audience.

Carl performed Wild World by Cat Stevens, and ended up winning the whole competition. Josefin was so proud. Since then Josefin has pursued her own career in music, and established herself as a critically acclaimed artist and songwriter. That fact that Josefin has followed her dream, has always been a big inspiration for Carl Espen. As a young man Carl enrolled in the military, and served for six months in Kosovo. In his adult life Carl became a carpenter, specialising in frames and glass. For the past 12 years he has been working for different companies within this industry. He has also done a lot of volunteer work for cancer research, and at night has worked as a doorman at Bergen’s rock bar Garage. Music has always played big role in Carl’s life, and he has carried this dream with him all along. 

Josefin has always thought that more people should hear his beautiful and unique voice, and in August 2013 she finally sat down a wrote a song especially for Carl. She saw that he had so much inside him that needed to be expressed, and she wanted to give him the opportunity to express it through a song that was truly his own. The result was Silent Storm. She played it to him and he knew straight away that this was his song. They decided to enter into the Norwegian national selection, Melodi Grand Prix, and the rest is history. The steps onto the Eurovision Song Contest stage on the 8th of May will not be many, but for Carl they will be crucial.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETLYR9icV1k

Norway is a scandinavian country which holds the record for the most last place finishes but has still recorded three victories in total; the first one being in 1985 with La Det Swinge performed by Bobby Socks, the second one being in 1995 with Nocturne performed by Secret Garden and most recently in 2009 when Alexander Rybak entertained the masses with Fairytale. Following that success though has been quite difficult, failing to qualify in 2011, and then managing only last place in 2012 before returning back to the top five in 2013 with the song I Feed You My Love sung by Margaret Berger.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 86%

Greig Watts: I love the opening of this with piano and his haunting voice that draws you in nicely! And the chorus does lift me using his beautiful vocal again, almost Celtic, can I say that? Ha ha . Now I am waiting to see if the song builds, and it does and actually this is giving me Goosebumps while I listen, well done Norway good selection in my opinion. Interesting end with the big drop and silence, but I guess the song is called Silent Storm

Joseph Zammit: Not the happiest of songs in this year's competition I'm sure. Slow, brooding, and haunting, it has a soft piano melody throughout the piece with a beautiful vocal melody to go with it. A solid song with a solid build up and adding of instruments with a very hair-raising chord progression leading to the chorus. It is a sad slow song yes, however in my opinion, this song does not fall into the trap of becoming a dreary generic ballad with no feeling. 

It flows and builds up to a climax as any good song should. Overall I quite like this one, though of course, it is one of those songs which will most definitely find much difficulty in succeeding on a pumped up and energetic Eurovision stage. I particularly love it when near the end of the song, the musical climax stops as soon as he sings the word 'Silence'. It shows that there was some poetic thinking behind this song as well. I like that. 

Sharon Vaughn: Very moving, genuine and vocally mesmerizing.

John Scott: A very unique voice. It is very effective against the piano. Overall, a very strong ballad.

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LBOjxBty8U

Published in Editorials
Wednesday, 23 April 2014 12:44

Sweden: Warner Music Releases Preview Video

Melodifestivalen, the annual extravaganza organised in Sweden over a period of six weeks in search for the next entry to represent the Scandinavian nation at the Eurovision Song Contest is known to come to an end towards the end of March, a week prior to the Heads of Delegation Meeting, which as you may recall is also the deadline of submissions by participating broadcasters.

Nevertheless, keeping in line with annual tradition, Sweden have just presented an official music video which is being promoted through Social Networks; Facebook & Twitter as well as viral website, YouTube. Undo co-written by Kempe, Kreuger and Pirouzpanah with vocals provided by Sanna Nielsen is current second favourite to win the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest according to the Betting Odds. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news.

Source: Warner Music Sweden

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

Firelight are currently planning to jet off to the Eurovision Song Contest and represent Malta with the song Coming Home written by Richard Edwards Micallef. Opening the second semi-final will be no easy feat but nevertheless, the group seem ready to take Europe by storm following their short promotional tour in The Netherlands, Russia and the United Kingdom. Garnering support from music professionals all around, it comes as no surprise that the Norwegian Jury on ESC+PLUS have voiced their support for the entry.

Christine Guldbrandsen who represented Norway in the 2006 with the song Alvedansen and Dina Mislund who tried her luck at representing her home country in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Needs both agreed that Malta should come out on top in the international competition voting with Something Better performed by Softengine on behalf of Finland finishing in second place and Calm After the Storm sung by The Common Linnets for The Netherlands in third place. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news.

Source: ESC+PLUS

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qxi5C-lGX2Y

Aram Mp3, the male singer/songwriter who will represent Armenia in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest has just concluded his promotional tour across the continent in support of his entry Not Alone which is still according to the betting odds, the song to beat. As of 2014, Armenia has yet to trouble the top five when it comes to the international competition but all that is set to change if fans are anything to go by.

AMPTV, the public broadcaster responsible for the internal choice of both the singer and the song ensured that Aram Mp3 got the best possible warm up for the event by virtue of being in attendance at the Official Parties held in both The Netherlands and London whilst also visiting Austria, Poland, Belgium, France, Germany and Russia. Not Alone will open proceedings of this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest going up first during the first semi-final on the 6th May 2014. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news.

Source: Aram Mp3

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

Monday, 21 April 2014 22:45

ESC 2014: An In-Depth Review of Israel

It has become customary for the escflashmalta.com editorial board to engage professional individuals from the music industry to assess the songs competing in the Eurovision Song Contest as presented to the European Broadcasting Union during the Heads of Delegation Meeting. Greig Watts, Joseph Zammit, Sharon Vaughn and John Scott from the United Kingdom, Malta, Sweden and the United States have been entrusted with the second semi-final, comprising of sixteen songs and set to take place on the 8th May 2014 at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark. Making use of the running order and moving onto number #2, we catch up with Israel (IBA) who will be represented by Mei Feingold and the song Same Heart written by Rami Talmid.

At the age of just 8 months old, Mei Finegold was whistling melodies in her crib. Her family says she was born to sing. It was only a matter of time before she became one of the most unique singers on the Israeli musical scene. Now her career has taken another step, as Mei will be representing Israel at the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest in Copenhagen with the song Same Heart. What few people knew was that one of Mei's biggest dreams was to do musical theatre. In 2010, her dream came true: Mei was offered a part in a huge musical production at the Cameri Theatre. 

She played a young woman who had lost her husband, struggling to start a new romantic relationship with her husband's best friend. Mei was praised by the critics and audiences for her performance and won the respected "Best New Actress 2010" award for her role.  During that time, Mei released her debut album Soda Pop, which she wrote herself. Ever since, Mei has been working with human rights organisations, volunteering and empowering the fight against violence. Mei's story encouraged hundreds of men and women to share their own personal experiences and start a healing process. In 2011, Mei "started working" on what she refers to as "the most meaningful project of her life". 

She gave birth to her baby daughter, Emily, and became a mother. During her pregnancy, Mei joined the electronic pop rock group, Limozina Express as their lead singer. The members of the band have been very well known and extremely respected musicians in Israel for decades. Together they perform on the largest stages across the country. An evening where Mei started on stage ended with her in the delivery room giving birth. In 2012, Mei was cast once again in a musical production at the Cameri theatre. This time it was Kazablan, a classic Israeli musical. Mei plays a character called Roza, a larger than life local bar owner which the critics and audiences fall in love with. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DyB3s_RS3I

In May 2013 at the annual Israeli Theatre Awards, Mei was nominated for and won the prestigious award "Best Supporting Actress Of The Year" for her role as Roza. Israel has been successful at the Eurovision Song Contest on three occasions, the most recent being back in 1998 when Dana International managed to strut her way to an astonishing victory with the track Diva beating stiff competition from both Malta and the United Kingdom. In the past couple of years, the country has failed to get out of the semi-final despite sending some pretty strong songs, putting all their hopes on Mei Finegold and her entry Same Heart.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 66%

Greig Watts: She has an interesting low voice, so im waiting for the chorus to have an impact as she goes high, and its just ok for me and then goes to the typical dance riff. Just ok for me to be honest, but interestingly I like the song more when she goes into the other language (Hebrew I presume) and nice key change at the end, still I think not a winner.

Joseph Zammit: What can I say, this lady has clearly had some issues with relationships in the past. A tough woman who is no longer going to be pushed around. This message is clearly shown with the rough heavy guitar riffs in the beginning. A good start I thought. Pity that it didn't keep on going like this all the way. Half way through it, the song brings in a synth and turns into a hard club piece and ruins it, turning it into a generic piece. 

The fact that in the chorus, the lyrics 'We don't beat from the same heart' are hurried up to fit in with the music clearly shows that it was originally written in her mother tongue and then hastily changed to English for the sake of the competition, which is a pity, because when she does sing in Hebrew in a portion of the song, it does sound much better. This is a song which had potential to be a stand-alone, however it conceded to commercial beats. It will undoubtedly appeal to a wider demographic of Eurovision viewers, however, it makes it less special of a song in itself. 

Sharon Vaughn: Skinning you out is a quite bizarre phrase to use in a pop song. And I am afraid the female warrior theme has been done and done better.

John Scott: She has a very interesting and unique voice. The song builds nicely and the chorus is instantly memorable. The hook stayed in my head long after I first listened to the song.

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_uB4JMw4ctc

Published in Editorials
Monday, 21 April 2014 15:24

ESC 2014: An In-Depth Review of Malta

It has become customary for the escflashmalta.com editorial board to engage professional individuals from the music industry to assess the songs competing in the Eurovision Song Contest as presented to the European Broadcasting Union during the Heads of Delegation Meeting. Greig Watts, Joseph Zammit, Sharon Vaughn and John Scott from the United Kingdom, Malta, Sweden and the United States have been entrusted with the second semi-final, comprising of sixteen songs and set to take place on the 8th May 2014 at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark. Making use of the running order and kicking off with number #1, we catch up with Malta (PBS) who will be represented by Firelight and the song Coming Home written by Richard Edwards Micallef.

Richard is 31. Music is in his blood. His father is a well-known singer in Malta and just about all his family are entertainers. Richard plays the Appalachian mountain dulcimer, acoustic guitar, and percussion. He is joined in Firelight by his sister, Michelle Mifsud, on the piano, and brothers Wayne William, as backing vocalist, and Daniel Micallef on the acoustic guitar. Additional band members are Tony Polidano, on the upright bass, and Leslie Decesare on the drums and harmonica.

In 2005, Richard took a step away from home to venture in the UK music industry. While in the UK he got the chance to perform alongside Leona Lewis, Ray Quinn and other X Factor contestants. He got the thumbs up from the legendary Simon Cowell on the judge’s panel and made it to the final 80. Later Richard joined a British rock band called Cast Away. His role in the band was playing the bass and vocals. He spent time touring many places across the south east of England. Richard returned to Malta in 2009. He has co-produced a number of singles with his brother, Wayne William. 

His music made it to the local charts hitting the top spot for a number of weeks. Richard entered the Malta Eurovision Song Contest in 2003 and 2005 as part of the group The Mics. Since 2010, Richard took part as Richard Edwards and came as close as the runner up in 2011 with the song Finally. Firelight’s song Coming Home is a mix of pop, rock and folk rolled into one. Richard believes people will be able to relate to Coming Home in many different situations and thinks it should be especially poignant for the thousands of emigrants who travel across Europe for work, spending months away from their families.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w5JgiPlLKKg

Malta, a country which is quite similar to Iceland in terms of results, noting that they have finished in second place on two previous occasions, and are yet to record a victory. It was back in 2002 and 2005 when the small Mediterranean Country almost topped the board not to mention that during the nineties, they failed to reach the top ten only once, at the end of the decade with Times Three and their entry Believe N Peace. Two artists have represented the country on more than one occasion, those being Chiara and Fabrizio Faniello whilst several others have tried their luck including; Miriam Christine, Chris and Moira, Mary Spiteri, Debbie Scerri, Paul Giordimaina, William Mangion and Georgina.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 80%

Greig Watts: This one may have an advantage as I heard it before when judging for Malta, however I didn’t mark it very highly then and was proved wrong as it got through. For me it doesn’t really have a chorus so I still think its hard to see how it will do well in Eurovision overall. It has a nice blend of the two voices, but nothing has grabbed me and its 2 minutes into the song already, what seems to be the chorus is 2 mins 15 and im a bit bored by then, best part is the change when the female comes in.

Joseph Zammit: And might as well start from home. I have to admit that the first time I heard it during the Malta Eurovision, I judged it rather harshly as a band who jumped on the commercial success that the 'Mumford'-style bands had achieved last year. And I still believe that. They did however release a new version out for their official video which makes it somewhat less of an homage to Mumford and Sons and more of a stand alone song, and I have to admit, I do like it. 

The vocals in this are very unique and pleasing to the ear, the rhythm and melody of it is catchy and it easily gets stuck in your head, lyrics make sense and I'm sure are meaningful if applied to the correct setting. I did notice that the lead singer's brother has now joined the band to go up for the competition as well. I don't know whether it was an act of brotherly love or whether he dragged him along to rub it in his face that he was the one who beat him, just like any good brother would. The latter image amuses me. I have faith that this song will do well in the competition. I'm not saying that because of some ardent feelings of patriotism but because this song is all in all a very good song. 

Sharon Vaughn: This remains my favourite of all the contestants in this semi-final. They are current, the singers are incredible and by far the best in the competition.

John Scott: This one grows on me with each listen. The vocals and playing are very strong. The male female combination is interesting. 

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qxi5C-lGX2Y

Published in Editorials