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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
Tuesday, 04 February 2014 11:30

Georgia: Act for Copenhagen Internally Chosen

In 2007, Georgia made their debut in the Eurovision Song Contest with Sopho Khalvashi and her entry Visionary Dream as chosen in a four (4) song national selection. Fortunes for the eastern country have been mixed, making the top ten (10) on two (2) occasions whilst also missing the final on another occasion, that being in 2012 with the song I’m a Joker performed by Anri Jokhadze, who in turn also happened to be the first male to represent the nation.

GPB, the public broadcaster decided to make a revelation at noon, and unveiled the name of the act that will be representing Georgia at the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. Mariko Ebralidze and The Shin have been internally selected in hope of improving on last years’ result, a fifteenth (15th) place finish in the final, having just managed to get through to that phase, finishing in tenth (10th) place in the semi-final stage. The song written by renowned songwriter, Thomas G:Son bore the name Waterfall and was performed by Sopho & Nodi. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more details as they become available.

Source: GPB

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QeiXjVdvA_4

escflashmalta.com is proud to enlist six of the most professional people in the music industry to analyse and assess the entries competing in this years' Eurovision Song Contest. For the second semi-final, three of these with experience in several genres have been putting their respective thoughts forward with the sole aim to see what lies behind each track. The first semi-final along with the three finalist countries voting there have long been concluded as we find ourselves within the middle section of the second semi-final. Attention turns to Georgia whose broadcaster, GPB has been drawn in slot number #15 with the producers thinking this position best. The song entitled Waterfall is co-written by Thomas G:son and Erik Bernholmwith vocals provided by Sopho and Nodi.

Sophie Gelovani was born on March 21st, 1984. She studied piano at the Musical School. In 2005, she graduated from the Ilia Chavchavadze State University, Faculty of International Relations, and afterwards she studied at the Musical School named after Zakaria Paliashvili. Today she is a teacher in the Musical School named after Iakob Gogebashvili. Sophie Gelovani's first TV success was her victory in the talent show Morning Star in 1999. She continued to win prizes in several international festivals, including the first place at the international musical contest Do-Re-Mi in Yerevan, Armenia in 2000 and the Grand Prix of the Songs of the World contest, which was held in Chisinau, Moldova in 2006.

In 2007, Sophie won the Grand Prix at the Vesna Romansa festival in Saint Petersburg as well as the first place at the Moscow International Contest. Most recently, she has participated in the TV project 10+10 in 2011/12. Nodi Tatishvili was born on November 5th, 1986. He graduated from Tbilisi Musical School and Georgia’s Technical University, faculty of Public Administration. In 2011, he graduated from the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance at Burlington School in London. Nodi Tatishvili took part in many international musical contests, including the International Music Festival and The Amber Star in Lithuania, Astana 2007 in Kazakhstan, World Star Quest, Slaviansky Bazar in Belarus, and Golden Voices in Moldova. Apart from that, his is the winner of the Geostar talent show in 2009.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLVXC5Fm_nQ

Nodi is a versatile singer, which is proved by the fact that he sang several main roles in musicals, like Aleksandre Basilaia’s Chkhikvta Kortsili as well as Melodies of Vera District by Giorgi Tsabadze and Giorgi Shengelaia. He was the member of the choir at the Sameba (Holy Trinity) Cathedral in 2008/09. In 2011, his debut album was released under the title I Am Georgian. His first solo concert was held at the Tbilisi Philharmonic Hall in 2011. Georgia is one of the countries that has not been competing in the Eurovision Song Contest for an extremely long time but nevertheless have a relatively successful history noting that they have managed to qualify in four (4) of their five (5) appearances thus far. 

The disappointment for Georgia actually came last year when they were represented by a male soloist for the very first time. As a matter of fact, Anri Jokhadze's performance of the song I'm a Joker did not go down well, either in the rehearsals or during the live show. The country could only muster up thirty-six (36) points to finish in fourteenth place. It was surely a far cry from the stunning performance given by Sopho Nizharadze back in 2010 when she performed the song Shine to finish in third place during the semi-final whilst managing a ninth place at the end of the evening. The nation has reached the top ten on two occasions, and finished just outside the top ten on the other two meaning that it is always one of those countries to look out for when it comes to the scoreboard. 

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 73%

Martin Isherwood: Good chorus - although comes slightly out of the blue. Not sure what waterfalls have got to do with it. Lyrics feels a bit smugly, lovely dovey between the 2 of them and leaves one thinking - what about us? Great voices. Wow, what a key change - nicely done with a great break and re-entry then the mix engineer shoves the fader higher than it should really go! Big production. Because you loved me' by Ms Dion spring to mind in the chorus.

Sharon Vaughn: Mixed metaphors all over the place. But powerful vocal performance.

Stano Simor: Georgia sent a "great song" duet, which is very emotional and will work very well for the audience. Both singers' voices blend very well together. The composition is very well built piece because there are dramatic but also happiness parts what is working good for emotion of public. One of my favorites in the semifinal round.

Source: eurovision.tv

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

Published in Editorials

Several artists in the local music scene were somewhat preoccupied with their submissions in the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza this past weekend noting that the first elimination phase took place within Media.Link Communications but nevertheless, this is the final week leading up to the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 rehearsals and our reviews are heading towards their ultimate end with the next entry coming from none other than Georgia, one of the most successful countries at the music competition having always been in the final. This time round, they are presenting to Baku, Azerbaijan the singer Anri Jokhadze with the song I'm a Joker composed by Rusudan Chkhaidze and penned by Bibi Kvachadze. The song has been reproduced completely following the national selection making it a decent effort from the country.

Anri Jokhadze is famous as a pop singer in his country. He was born on November 6th, 1980 in Georgia. Anri Jokhadze currently lives and works in Tbilisi, and he is famous and loved by the Georgian audience for his distinctive artistic talent and his powerful voice with a great range of no less than four octaves! This is quite an interesting turn of events for the country noting that Anri will actually be the very first male representative following a number of female artists who have done the country proud most notably knowing that there have been a lot of females named Sopho who have taken to the the renowned music stage. The national selection which Anri managed to conquer and ultimately win was not made up of an astounding quality of entries and it seems that the song which he will be presenting to Europe struck a chord for being quirky and different. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXzO8Tdl8EY

The Critics Voice Their Opinion

Magnus Kaxe

  • The most crazy song of the evening. A crossover of between opera, pop, oriental and funk. Does it work? Maybe for the Eurovision viewers but not for me. It’s not a real song, just different music parts put together in a strange music production. Two (2) points are more than enough for this one!

Marion Welter

  • I have to give this guy a standing ovation for being a great actor and a good performer seemingly extremely special but this song is just not cutting any positive edges unfortunately. Once more another disappointment for an Easter country and therefore one (1) point will suffice.

Tobias Larsson

  • Simply the worst song of the year in every possible way. There is no melody, the lyrics are a complete rip-off from another song ("The Joker" by Steve Miller Band) and the performance leaves an awful lot to be required. Nul points. I agree with my colleagues and would like to give this song only one (1) point.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o1kCgD626Go 

Entry Background

 Performer: Anri Jokhadze

Composer: Rusudan Chkhaidze

Author: Bibi Kvachadze

Song: I'm A Joker

Language: English

Broadcaster: GPB 

History of the Nation 

This will be the countries' fifth appearance in the Eurovision Song Contest having entered for the very first time way back in 2007 with Sopho and her track Visionary Dream which finished in twelfth place in the final giving the nation a good start within the competition. In the meantime, their best result thus far was achieved last year and the year before that when Eldrine and their song One More Day as well as another Sopho with the track Shine both finished in a respectable ninth place. It will be interesting to see whether they can go higher this time round. We have to wait and see.

Source: Eurovision.tv for the Biographical Information and all respective media 

Published in Editorials