July 16, 2019

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One of the most important assets in the music industry is definitely experience and we have gone onto talk to one of the most experienced performers from the local sector in the form of three time representative Chiara who up till now has also released four studio albums, three of which are of original material and the other one featuring a number of cover versions. In the past couple of months, Chiara has been reinventing her musical taste noting that she has gone onto a current sound, one which is being played on the radio. She has also joined the cast of entertainment on the programme Ħadd Għalik hosted by Angie Laus on Television Malta (TVM). She has found some time to answer some of our questions about her career in the past, present and even the future!

In the past couple of months, the local music scene has continued to grow in strength and prowess and it seems that this idea has spurred on a lot of people to work even harder. One of the most interesting careers which is still developing to this day is yours noting that you have very much changed since 2009 by virtue of taking up a brand new genre, one which shows a completely different image to what many have become used to over the years. What could you tell us of this sudden change and you should we expected an album any time which would maybe correspond to the new you?

Well, change is something that all of us have to go through and I embrace it always, this change came on me slowly, step by step and as you say now I find myself far from where I began but I am in a good place, I like the way I am singing now and it gives me as much satisfaction as my old ballads did.  To be honest albums are always on my mind and I was thinking that all the songs I did in the last couple of years should actually be put on an album to be more reachable to my fans as well, so I cant say I’m not thinking of it.

Your rise to fame commenced during the 1995 edition of the Ghanja tal-Poplu competition when you had entered the competition with the track ‘Ismaghni ftit Habib’ composed by Jason Paul Cassar and penned by Sunny Aquilina. This was just the beginning though because despite the fact that the song had a strong message, you returned with an even more iconic track in the form of ‘It-Tlett Ibliet’. Competing against some of the countries’ leading talent, you still managed to achieve the results but looking back at the beginning, would you consider taking part in a festival in which you would have to perform in Maltese again or is that part of your career completely over?

Malta is my beloved country so singing in Maltese gives me a certain satisfaction. I love to sing in Maltese but taking part in festivals is over for me. Obviously The Eurovision for me is just part of my life and “Chiara” so I am not talking about it. I would go to Eurovision even tomorrow if I had the chance as it is such an important part of my life and carreer and also as I am a big fan. But competing in other festivals, I don’t think I would be comfortable doing that anymore.

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

Entering the Malta Song for Europe for the first time in 1998, you were gunning up against some of the most notable names in the local music industry at the time including former representatives Georgina and Miriam Christine Warner as well as notable runner-up Claudette Pace yet the track that you presented entitled ‘The One That I Love’ composed by Jason Paul Cassar and penned by Sunny Aquilina was the one that made the upset and ultimately, the decision did pay off because Malta was just a couple of points away from winning in Birmingham. What can you recall of winning over here on our shores and being so close to victory abroad?

It was overwhelming, I still think back today and feel all the astonishment I had that night, and still feel the grandness of what happened to me. I feel that that night, maltese people opened a door for me which gave me so much, It was what made me fall in love with the festival and what gave me all my fans around Europe who today, after all these years have become personal friends, so it is a very deep emotion for me to think of the festival in 1998. the victory was very close and up till today when I watch the last part of the festival of 1998 I still half expect Macedonia to give Malta 12 points and we win..but unfortunately it never happens!

When asked about the possibility of future participation back then, you never discounted it and therefore, when you submitted two tracks to the competition in 2005, the people were somewhat excited to see what you were ready to bring to the table this time round. Both of the tracks being ‘Angel’ and ‘Sail Away’ would make the album cut and are still very much favourites of the public but you had to take up a song which you believed could take you all the way and chose the former. Do you believe that your second song would have been received differently by the respective viewers of the Eurovision Song Contest?

I can never say how it would have been, I think I made the right choice with Angel.  Being that I wrote angel myself for me it was very special and I am always very glad to be able to transmit this special feeling to the audience in front of me, I know that today Angel is special not just for me but for a lot of people around Europe too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhzMQgmi7SY

We are moving forward in time and this brings us to your final participation up to this point in time as you made one final return in 2009 with the track ‘What If We’ composed by Marc Paelinck and penned by Gregory Bilsen. When speaking about this participation, you cited that it was clearly representative of your fathers’ wishes and ultimately when it won in Malta, the track was received well. In the semi-finals of the foreign competition, you made it through to the final stage for the first time since 2004 when Julie & Ludwig had done the honour with ‘On Again .. Off Again’. Three years on, many people believe that the track was not as strong as other material that you have presented to the competition but would you have done anything differently or do you believe that you were in the right?

In this industry you sing because you love singing but you have to be loved by your audience or else the sense is gone out of what you do, so I never say I was in the right, obviously it is a matter of opinion and my fans opinion is very important to me.  What if we at that point in my life was very strong for ma, also because of the emotions wrapped around the passing of my father so I would not change a thing. Although I do agree with most of them that probably the remix of What If We would have been more effective but as you know it is very difficult to change a song after you have won a national selection with it.

The Public Broadcasting Services have seemingly shown increased attention to the participation of Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest in recent years having taken up the competition under their wing directly and initiating a former format to the national final, one which includes both a semi-final and a final round giving the majority of the weighing to a panel of jury, most of which are foreign. Nevertheless, the issue lies at hand that despite this, the favourite of the public has triumphed two years in a row due to the fact that he achieved a respectable top three placing by the same professionals. Do you believe that the system needs to be altered in order to have more of a representative feel?

I feel that the Maltasong is becoming more and more professional and I like the fact that they are always changing and keeping up with the times.  I feel that the people’s opinion is very important as when we go to eurovision its people like maltese in other countries who will then vote for our song, true if you are famous here it helps, but this happens in all the countries not just in malta and we always have the jury to balance it out so I don’t think I would alter anything just now. Some countries go out of their way and get singers from all over the world to try and win the festival, again it is a matter of opinion and of how strongly the country would like to actually win the Eurovision at the end.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5F7AJXWD40A

Keeping in line with the present, just a couple of weeks ago, Malta was rerpesented int he Eurovision Song Contest by Kurt Calleja and his band who performed the tune ‘This Is The Night’ written by Johan Jämtberg, Mikael Gunnerås and the main performer himself. During the semi-final, there had been a lot of talk that the performance was crucial to whether our country could qualify for the very first time since you had done so in 2009 and when the eighteen (18) semi-finalists had performed, many had been saying that we had a very good chance and ultimately, we did qualify only to suffer a disappointing result in the final, one place better than you had achieved. What was the difference from one performance to another in your opinion and what is your view about the winning entry?

Euphoria for me started the race with a lot of advantage, It is a song that captures you immediately when you hear it and in my opinion it was a full set of things which made it win. Sweden have been working really hard for the past years to win , the song is an amazing piece, the production of the song put Euphoria above all the others in the festival and Loreen is captivating on stage, her presence steals your attention for the whole duration of her song. It was just the winner without doubts.  As for the performance of Kurt, I must say that the performance of Thursday was amazing, they were very concentrated and it showed, i felt personally that Saturday was a little bit different but I do understand that the pressure and all the responsibility of the final night can play tricks on you, so I still think they did really well also on the final night.

Chiara has been involved in a number of projects in recent weeks noting that the past year has been quite busy with activities both on local and foreign soil bringing about people of different countries together to enjoy your music. One of the most recent activities that comes to mind is a tribute to the Late Whitney Houston in a concert in which you featured as a guest performer to the lead performer of the evening being none other than former Malta Eurosong runner-up Eleanor Cassar. Each experience is surely a different one but what do you draw from each one and do you have anything coming up in the weeks and months to come?

I am now preparing to go to Germany for a concert I will do there with Hera Bjork from Iceland and other Eurovision singers.  For me every performance gives me a new memory to be proud of, by now I have come to know so many singers who I love and I am very proud to say I sang with them. When I sing in Malta its always more special as my Maltese audience is my family and I want to give them my best , also singing with singers like Eleanor and other maltese singers for me is more special and emotional as these singers are actually my personal friends so for me it is honour when I am asked to take part in such concerts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FC6-QWBsOt0

This years’ edition of the Eurovision Song Contest has just finished but many countries are already preparing for the next one which will be held in Sweden. The Public Broadcasting Services is yet to formally announce their participation even though it seems that the positive showing this year would be enough to consolidate our future in the competition. Should the rule of the former participants be lifted, would you be tempted to the return and hopefully represent Malta for a fourth time in the competition and if so, would you fuse the elements that you have encompassed throughout the years together or would you take one style and make sure it is well represented?

As I always say if I was given half a chance I would go back to eurovision tomorrow!! I love the festival and it would be a great honour for me to be entrusted with this important task to represent my country once again. I have also been asked by other countries quite a lot of times to represent them in the Eurovision but till now I am still waiting for another chance to represent my own Malta before I actually go for someone else. But I can never say I will never go again, It is a wish of mine to be there amongst the fans once again. As for the style, it would depend on the particular place I would be at the time so I can’t say what it would be.

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

There is one thing I always say to my fans and I will always repeat, and it is THANK YOU , for everything you have given me, for the chance to share my music and emotions with you and the luck of getting to know you and love you so much. Richness for me is not money, it is the collection of people who surround you in your life, and  you make me richer every year and I will be grateful forever. I promise to always do my best to make you proud of being my fans.

Source: escflashmalta.com, JJ Chircop Photography

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeKBo56B7Hc


Published in Interviews

Summer months are pretty pleasant when one realizes, how much input there is from a music standpoint and with our latest collaboration with 89.7 Bay, one will see a lot more potential and the possibility of emergence between the two distinct parts of the local music scene. One of the tracks that has been getting a lot of airplay since released a couple of days back is entitled So Good which is written and sung by Muxu. The mere mention of the name will surely bring about memories of two duets being Still Missing You alongside the vocals of Talitha as well as the Feel Good Song by Davinia but then again, he is also known for his solo work such as Broken, Beat My Drum, Broken and Electronic

The track in itself has been produced by soforealproductions who have worked with the likes of Canton James, T-Pain, Ludacris, B.O.B, Snoop Dog, Drake and Katy Perry amongst others. The track features main vocals by Muxu as mentioned along with the backing vocals of Amber, who also took up the role during the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest with Kurt Calleja during the performance of This Is The Night. We are proud to exclusively carry off the second video on behalf of an artist as escflashmalta.com attracts more interest from the various sides of the local music industry. The video has been shot by Fiction Focus Pictures with special acknowledgments put forward to Masquerade, Dance Project, Elton Zarb of Freetime Studios, Sandra Mercieca and Chris Goa Farrugia.
 
 
We have also had the opportunity to speak to Muxu about the track and the direction that it will take his career and this is what he told he had to say 'This is my fifth Year releasing music in Malta and though I love every single song I ever released, this time I wanted to do something that I have been wanting to do for a while I felt like being free and doing music that I love, I am an old school RNB JUNKIE, and all though some may say "So Good" is not as commercial as my other material, I am super proud of this song like a proud daddy. So Good makes me feel so good, its a nice simple jam, that makes me feel good.' We are honoured to bring you this video exclusively and hope that you enjoy it as much as we did over here at escflashmalta.com.
 
Published in Local Music News

Innovation is the key to success and in the past couple of weeks, the editorial board at escflashmalta.com has been brainstorming a number of possible ideas on how to move forward with regards to the content presented and one of the ideas was to promote artists who release material consistently and make it to the local top ten on the 89.7 Bay charts as announced weekly by Nathan D who has been one of the main supporters on our online media since beginning just over two years ago. The very first week of our project will be featuring Carlo Gerada whose latest track entitled My World features the vocals of Jan Cortez, a former contestant on the hit reality show L-Isfida.

This is not the first time that Carlo Gerada makes it to the chart noting that he is quickly becoming one of the most established artists in the radio scene. In the past couple of months, we have seen work such as I Never Meant and Can't Stop which featured the musical stylings of Scott Walker and guest vocals by Chess and Azazel respectively. He is working on brand new material daily and seems to be giving several artists a run for their success especially with his music being extremely current and consistent with what is being played in the foreign charts such as those in the United Kingdom, United States and also Germany. The track My World is a new entry at number #8 as announced by Nathan D on 89.7 Bay earlier this week. Should you have missed the programme, make sure to visit the official page and listen to the podcast recording of the whole show. In the meantime, we had the opportunity to ask a couple of questions to Carlo Gerada.

How does it feel to be one of the new entries in the only local music chart that is being presented in Malta?

Having my work being listed anywhere is more than I ever dreamed my 'hobby' would take me. Being listed as a new entry on one of Malta's top local radio stations is a feeling I have still yet to get used to! 

Music normally represents the emotions of the artist, what could you tell us about the track and the feeling that it evokes?

Yes it does, in fact I do not specialize in one particular genre because I feel that every genre has a very different feeling. My mood plays a huge part in making music.

There is a lot of buzz going round about this track especially due to the fact that summer is around the corner. Do you believe that it could live up to the expectations of the listeners?

I sure hope so! It's still too early to say but shares, likes and comments about constantly looping the track have been popping up amongst top social network sites. I am currently working on a music video too which I think will further make it more interesting.

Source: 89.7 Bay

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3jHAb_dZ0S8

Published in Interviews

During the past couple of days, we have been very much keeping you updated with everything that is going on with the local music scene noting brand new releases and successes and we can also let you in on the fact that this summer will be quite an interesting one for escflashmalta.com as we will be working and collaborating with a number of entities and artists in some notable projects. We are proud to the be the first media outlet to promote the brand new music video of the track Fairytale as officially released onto radio in recent days by Brooke, one of the leading artists in the world of pop and r'n'b when it comes to the Maltese Islands.

In the most recent update at 89.7 Bay, the track has peaked at position number #4 and the release of the video along with a string of performances on local television in the next couple of days will surely continue to help Brooke climb even higher. For the past couple of months, the performer has been busy working on new material and it seems that the fruit of this work is really coming about together well. The video for the song which you can watch below was shot in Los Angeles within the same venue where Lady Gaga shot the video for her hit song Paparazzi. It is important to note that the focus of the music video is a couple, the female being none other than Brooke and the male being none other than Brant Daughtery, known for playing the role of Noel Kahn in the ABC hit series Pretty Little Liars. It is also important to note that Fairytale is written and produced by Howard Russell, an American who has worked with the likes of Jay Z. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more news about the latest music releases from Malta.

Source: Brooke Music, escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7GNFjM_rms

Published in Local Music News

Individuals at nineteen years of age are generally deciding what to do in their life, what to pursue and one man decided to debut in opera as Macduff in Verdi's adaptation of Macbeth at the Astra Theare in Gozo going onto become a notable winner of the Belvedere Hans Gabor Competition within the same year. This would be the first in a number of acclaims for a young Joseph Calleja as he would go onto win to prestigious Caruso Competition in Milan and then also the Plácido Domingo's Operalia International Opera Competition in 1998 and 1999 respectively. That was just the beginning of a long and successful career for the young tenor who goes about his year going from one Opera House to another, around the whole world performing to sold out crowds who eagerly await to listen to his stunning vocal range.

In the past couple of years, Joseph Calleja been a great ambassador for Malta noting that he even went onto title one of his albums released by Decca Music as The Maltese Tenor. He also makes up one of the most notable events in the local cultural calender with his Annual Summer Concert in which he performs a mixture of pop/opera along with some of the most renowned names in the international music industry. In the past, the likes of Dionne Warwick, Riccardo Cocciante, Michael Bolton, Hayley Westenra and Lucio Dalla have all been present. We have been proud to have been a prime supporter of the concert last year noting that the year before that, escflashmalta.com was still establishing itself as a leading local music portal. We had interviewed Joseph Calleja himself about the lead up to the event as well as his career thus far which has included a huge number of accolades.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DGg7aNplmts

This years' concert is surely going to be a special one as Joseph Calleja has become an official Cultural Ambassador as appointed by the Prime Minister earlier this year. The promotional company which looks after the concert is none other than NNG Promotions and the names that they have brought forward to come to Malta for the concert are those of Ronan Keating who is of course the lead performer of the band Boyzone whilst also being a well known solo recording artist for hits such as When You Say Nothing At All, If Tomorrow Never ComesFather & Son and Life Is A Rollercoaster amongst others as well as Gigi D'Alessio known for tracks such as Insieme A LeiMon AmourUn Cuore Malato (with Lara Fabian) and most recently Respirare (with Loredana Berte). This year, the concert will be held on the 7th July 2012 at the Floriana Granaries and you have a chance to attend thanks to us here at escflashmalta.com by answering a simple question.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S4kzGhDEURA

QuestionWhat was the name of the track that Ronan Keating wrote for the Eurovision Song Contest in 2009?

The competition will continue to run until the end of the month actually with all of the correct answers to be considered through a draw which will be conducted by the editorial team. It is important to note that there will be two winners announced at the end of each week noting that it is vital to keep on checking our Facebook Page for the latest news. Please send your answers to the following address: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. whilst in the meantime, those who would not manage to win, make sure to get your hands on the tickets by visiting the page of NNG Promotions. On the 7th July, a leading tenor and two great stars will take to the stage for the show of a lifetime, be a part of it, don't miss out!

Source: NNG Promotions, Anton Attard, www.allenvenables.com

Published in Local Music News

One of the countries that has not been lucky in the Eurovision Song Contest since the introduction of the semi-final system has surely been The Netherlands who have only managed to get through this hurdle on one occasion, being back in 2004 when their entry entitled Without You ended up garnering a disappointing result in the finals of that years' edition held in Istanbul, Turkey. Since then the outlook has been bleak and in recent years, they even changed their broadcasters in an effort to bring back a fresh sound. For this years' edition of the music competition, they went for a huge national selection which was professionally organized by John Del Mol, known for creating hit shows such as The Voice and in the long run, Joan Franka and her track You and Me ended up being the final.

Joan Franka is not a complete newcomer to the music scene actually having participated in her nations' version of the ever popularity growing competition known as The Voice although she did not win finishing as the runner-up. The track that she is presenting in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest which is being staged in Baku, Azerbaijan is one which she wrote with Jessica Hoogenboom and despite being an underdog in the final and even failing to garner the most amount of jury votes at last part of the selection process, she managed to convince the viewers that she was the choice. Our team in Baku including Juergen Boernig and Eric Lehmann caught up with the performer prior to the first dress rehearsal and spoke to them about the experience.

Source: Juergen Boernig, Eric Lehmann

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

Published in Interviews

Nina Badric is one of the most popular artists in the Ex-Yugoslavian regions having amassed a lengthy career from 1995 onwards which have included multiple successes. This is the fourth time that she has put her name forward to represent her country having been the most successful prior to this year back in 2003 with the track Čarobno Jutro by ranking in second place to Claudia Beni and her song Više Nisam Tvoja who went onto achieve the third worst result of the country by finishing in fifteenth place despite having been a favourite. She was internally selected by Croatian Television; HRT to represent the country and save them from two years of unsuccessful results.

Nina Badric feels honoured to have got the chance to represent her country this time round and will be looking forward to addressing the song to her people and the audience at the 2012 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest where she is competing alongside Malta and their entry This Is The Night performed by Kurt Calleja and the rest of his band which includes Warren, Chris, Kevin, Rebecca, and Amber. Up till now she has given very good rehearsals but the problem lies with the fact that it is coming opposite Slovenia in the running order with a very similar song and might therefore fall off the map. Our team which now includes Eric Lehmann, the President of OGAE Luxembourg spoke to Nina about her performance, entry and career heading into the competition.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jD3ZaUq-rIU

Published in Interviews

One of the most intriguing nations to compete in the Eurovision Song Contest is surely Denmark noting that they have become quite successful in recent years with top five finishes in a row, something that France did during 2001 and 2002 thanks to Natasha St Pier and Sandrine Francois. This year, their hopes lie on the ever so charming Soluna Samay who is performing the song Should've Known Better written by Chief 1, Remee and Isam B. They are posed to qualify and the betting odds as well as the polls suggest that this could yet be another positive result for the Scandinavian country even though the song is once more very middle of the road and making me lose interest in it every time it is performed. Nevertheless most of the people who hear it in the semi-final would be listening to it for the very first time.

Despite a large amount of positive results during the years, Denmark have only won the competition on two occasions, the last one being in 2000 thanks to the Olsen Brothers and their entry Fly On The Wings of Love which surprised everyone by running to victory. The following year, their entry had been my number one with Never Ever Let You by Rollo & King featuring the typical Scandinavian Pop sound which was very much in vogue at the time. As already mentioned, their success in recent years has prompted the nation for the possibility of another positive result. In this interview with Soluna Samay, Juergen Boernig and Lilian Brunell discuss the fact that she is representing Denmark, see more facts and details about her background and ultimately analyse the name of the singer and where it comes from. Make sure to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more exclusive interviews.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-77QSYjkE0

Published in Interviews

When the list of finalists in Romania was initially released, there was quite a buzz going on with regards to the fact that one of the groups had a massive fan base behind them and had already gained recognition in the music industry. The group Mandinga had initally come in the top three true but did not win the playback phase of the competition but then performed great live and ended up being the winners with the song Zaleilah. In recent days, the popularity of the group has expanded far beyond Romania following two strong performances and therefore, it might be a case of a surprise at this years' music competition.

This is actually the fourteenth appearance of Romania in the Eurovision Song Contest and following years of disappoinment, they managed to succeed on a number of occasions and have not failed to make the final in any of their respective attempts. In the past two years, they finished fourth in the semi-final and one of those entries entitled Playing With Fire finished in third place in the long run giving the country the best result ever tying it with Luminita Anghel and Sistem. In this interview, Juergen Boernig and Lilian Brunell speak to the group about their experience in Baku thus far as well as their clothing selections amongst other things.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=llbWCyJM3iU

Published in Interviews

Each individual present at the 2012 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest is defined through a particular role and then there are some which might not be in attendance such as myself who still have a job to carry out. The Maltese Delegation also has external personnel including Elaine Saliba who will be commenting on the three shows being the two semi-finals and the final following a great job hosting the Malta Eurovision Song Contest earlier this year as well as former host of the same competition; Keith Demicoli who will be the one reading out the points of the Maltese jury and televoting combined. This exclusive revelation came by virtue of the Maltese Head of Delegation and Public Broadcasting Services Chief Executive Officer; Anton Attard who is currently in Baku, overseeing that the preparations are going according to plan. This marks the beginning of a new chapter between the broadcaster and escflashmalta.com who will together help promote and support the Maltese entry at the esteemed music event.

Keith Demicoli started out at Television Malta as a newscaster and has been quickly working his way up into the ranks at the station actually noting that he has become somewhat of a cult figure, synonymous with the world of the Eurovision Song Contest noting that he has been given the position of host at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest on two occasions, the first being in 2010 alongside Pauline Agius and the second being 2011 with Valerie Vella. During the 2012 edition of the national competition, it is important to note that Keith was selected to be the head judge and therefore, already has know how on how to give the points. It will be quite a spectacle as the dashing Keith Demicoli is up to the screen during the final ready to give away the votes of the entries which will be competing in the final. In the meantime, remember that today was the beginning of a new journey for Kurt Calleja and his entry This Is The Night who rehearsed the song for the very first time to positive acclaim. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: Anton Attard (Head of Delegation)

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