October 14, 2019

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In 2014, the Public Broadcasting Services, responsible for Malta’s participation in the Eurovision Song Contest decided to conduct a national final with just twenty (20) entries, rather than the typical twenty-four (24) which many had become accustomed to in recent years. Promotion is always vital, and escflashmalta.com has sent each entry to a professional panel of individuals in the music industry, who have in turn passed on their comments. This year, we have asked the likes of John Scott from the United States, Martin Isherwood from the United Kingdom, Sharon Vaughn from the United States but based in Sweden, Stano Simor from the Czech Republic and Greig Watts from the United Kingdom to do the honours. Today’s review is centred on Brand New Day, composed by Elton Zarb to the lyrics of Matthew Mercieca with vocals provided by Davinia.

Davinia, a resounding newcomer to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest a mere twelve (12) months ago, having entered the competition for the very first time with the song Betrayed, also composed by Elton Zarb to the lyrics of Matthew Mercieca. At 21, she is one of the youngest artists from this years’ crop of participants but nevertheless, experience should definitely not be an issue considering that she has already taken the local music scene by storm, earning a Best New Artist nomination at the Bay Music Awards in 2011 following an astonishing breakthrough with tracks such as Sail Away and Bottled My Teardrops. Following her success in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, Davinia launched a follow-up single entitled You Are My Home to which she also filmed a music video, earning her several positive acclaim and once more a place on Malta’s Top Ten with Nathan D on 89.7 Bay.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8DH26TKwtzw

Elton Zarb and Matthew Mercieca, a collaboration which until not too long ago was inexistent in song-writing noting that Davinia was the one who brought them together, in order to work on a track for this competition specifically. That song, already mentioned above, Betrayed, led to a successful third place finish. Nevertheless, this proved to be the beginning of an extremely successful collaboration with Gillian Attard and Gaia Cauchi calling upon the talented duo to write a song which would ultimately represent Malta at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. The Start, as it was titled ended up winning the international showcase giving Malta their first ever victory in an event organised by the European Broadcasting Union. It is worth pointing out that not only are they working with Davinia this time round, but they also have a second song, Until We Meet Again sung by Deborah C.

The Critics Speak Out

Rating: 73%

John Scott: The hook is really strong. I like the post-chorus part especially. The singer also has very good energy. She is instantly likeable. The song is very fun. Overall, this one is very memorable.

Martin Isherwood: Good voice although thinish sounding. Chorus has nothing to do with the title. Melodically strong. 'Hey how you doing' 'Come back to me' 'Hard to handle' 'Next to me' 'Oooh ooh' 'Boom boom'. All I want is you' - are all stronger titles than the actual title 'Brand new day'. Hints of Adele rubbing shoulders with The Nolans. Strong song but hard to imagine it would stand out in the Eurovision crowd.

Sharon Vaughn: Dig Deeper, people! Even on fun songs like this. But this artist is really cute and tries to give her best throughout the whole performance.

Stano Simor: Atmosphere of the song reminds me of a winner from Germany LENA. This song uniquely lifts all up of the chairs. Gimmick uhh uhh uhh remains in my ears and recalls the 70’s. Atmosphere of the song is full of energy. The authors found the right singer for this hit track.

Greig Watts: Nice and pretty introduction and she has a modern delivery of the vocals (not unlike Lena from Germany), has a nice number of hooks and again has a good singalong feeling, which I personally think is a good thing for eurovision, it has to be memorable from the start. I like the double chorus idea, with the 2nd part Ooh Ooh Ooh, Boom Boom Boom, simple but sometimes simple is good!

Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5m52MWaiT04

Published in Editorials

In 2014, the Public Broadcasting Services, responsible for Malta’s participation in the Eurovision Song Contest decided to conduct a national final with just twenty (20) entries, rather than the typical twenty-four (24) which many had become accustomed to in recent years. Promotion is always vital, and escflashmalta.com has sent each entry to a professional panel of individuals in the music industry, who have in turn passed on their comments. This year, we have asked the likes of John Scott from the United States, Martin Isherwood from the United Kingdom, Sharon Vaughn from the United States but based in Sweden, Stano Simor from the Czech Republic and Greig Watts from the United Kingdom to do the honours. Today’s review is centred on Because I Have You, composed by Paul Giordimaina to the lyrics of Fleur Balzan with vocals provided by Amber.

Amber, has basked in the spotlight of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest on three (3) previous occasions, making her debut back in 2011 with two (2) entries; Catch 22 and Touch Wood, both composed by Ray Agius with the latter having lyrics by Godwin Sant and the former by Alfred C Sant before returning with a vengeance to finish in third place with the impressive Answer With Your Eyes composed by Ray Agius and penned by Alfred C Sant. In 2013, she changed her songwriters by opting to work with Paul Giordimaina and Fleur Balzan, coming up with the eighties tune In Control finishing in fourth place. It is worth pointing out that Amber has also won the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza and represented Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest as a backing vocalist with Kurt Calleja during this performance of This is the Night.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTstdRSgRZ0

Paul Giordimaina and Fleur Balzan, known to be experienced songwriters in the local music scene, and having already been granted the opportunity to pen a representative entry for Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest, that being One Life performed by Glen Vella in 2011. Nevertheless, their success at the selection stage of the competition is unprecedented, having finished as the first runner-ups on at least three (3) occasions, kicking things off with Take a Look performed by Olivia Lewis in 2004, moving onto Someday sung by Eleanor Cassar in 2009 and ultimately finishing off with Just a Little More Love by Glen Vella in 2010. Paul, also a singer, took to the stage on behalf of Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest alongside Georgina back in 1999 as they galloped to sixth place with the song Could It Be composed by Paul Abela with lyrics by Ray Mahoney.

The Critics Speak Out

Rating: 57%

John Scott: She has a very nice voice. The song is too generic for me. It doesn’t say anything new or in an original way. Melodically it is not very interesting. I also feel that the song should get even bigger at the end than it actually does.

Martin Isherwood: Very nice voice. Unclear what or who this about - 'from my first days - feel never alone' - could be a mother or a relationship or spiritual. A good song should allow the listener to share the joy not just observe it jealously. A lot of movement in the song which makes it hard to follow at first as it seems to keep piling in ideas. Never seems to get going even when the key change and build comes in.

Sharon Vaughn: What she is saying is fine... but please, try a fresher, more creative approach. Saying the same thing that has been said a million times is OK... just look for another way in.

Stano Simor: Amber has a very nice feeling and color of the voice. As a singer, she is definitely ready for the podium in Denmark. The ballad is very well writte, although I think it should have a stronger chorus. In the second part of the song, I would have made use of some backing vocalists to help elevate the song and deliver an emotional rendition.

Greig Watts: I like the nice piano intro and the verse starts and builds up well, the chorus I felt was the pre chorus and was again waiting for it to step up another level to have a bigger impact. It does get stronger the second time around, as the music is building around it and of course when the Key Change happens at the end there is another nice bit of impact. I think as a songwriter myself I am always searching for that extra special part, and this for me is a good song, but it doesn’t quite reach great.

Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_fa-3nFnh50

Published in Editorials

In 2014, the Public Broadcasting Services, responsible for Malta’s participation in the Eurovision Song Contest decided to conduct a national final with just twenty (20) entries, rather than the typical twenty-four (24) which many had become accustomed to in recent years. Promotion is always vital, and escflashmalta.com has sent each entry to a professional panel of individuals in the music industry, who have in turn passed on their comments. This year, we have asked the likes of John Scott from the United States, Martin Isherwood from the United Kingdom, Sharon Vaughn from the United States but based in Sweden, Stano Simor from the Czech Republic and Greig Watts from the United Kingdom to do the honours. Kicking off the feature is none other than Addictive, written by Ylva and Linda Persson with vocals provided by Romina Mamo.

Romina Mamo, has taken to the stage of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest on three (3) previous occasions, making her debut eleven (11) years ago in 2003 with Here Today Gone Tomorrow composed by Dominic Galea to the lyrics of Joe Friggieri before re-emerging in 2005 as part of a trio in a performance of We Can Do Better written by Carm Fenech and most recently with DNA composed by Michael Johannes Tanczos to the lyrics of Gerard James Borg back in 2012. Her experience in the local music scene knows no boundaries having successfully participated in the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, and the Malta International Hit Song Contest. It is worth pointing out that Romina also released her debut album Eyes on Me back in 2011 featuring several local and foreign collaborations.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=877ajrJvtwY

Ylva and Linda Persson, Swedish songwriters who had tried to enter the Melodifestivalen selection through the wildcard selection a couple of years back, but have found refuge in writing songs for foreign artists. They have managed to get into the national finals of Ukraine, where they reached fifth place with the track Love Makes You Beautiful performed by Nataliya, and also Belarus, where they will be going for gold with the song You Will Be Here, sung by Janet. This will be their debut in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, but they will certainly not be in awe of the spectacle considering that they are becoming somewhat accustomed to frolicking around Europe presenting their songs. Addictive is one of two entries in this years’ Malta Eurovision Song Contest which features a team of completely foreign songwriters.

The Critics Speak Out

Rating: 59%

John Scott: The song is not very strong. She sings well, but the hook is not very memorable. The vocals get a bit lost in the mix.

Martin Isherwood: Nice voice - although sounds slightly more cabaret rather than pop. I'm so predictive'? Ok I suppose to get the rhyme with addictive, but at the expense of the sense. Good switch to the chorus. Reminiscent of Adele 'Rolling in the deep' and Robyn 'Hang with me'. Could do well. Nice production - cool drums.

Sharon Vaughn: Over-used theme... and the wo-oh's in the song don't make it current.

Stano Simor: Nice pop song. The chorus is catchy and the production is also good. Romina looks like a fish in water on stage, making me think that this is not her kind of song. The track should have a lower transposition and maybe in the future she can try a ballad.

Greig Watts: This one I think has a strong chorus, and is quite predictable but that can be good sometimes, it has the secondary hook I long for, something extra to add to the chorus, and make you want to sing back. For me the songs weakness is the lyrics, they are not bad at all, just again want it to be slightly more edgy and less predictable, but good song and not all of Europe will be listening to lyrics as intently as me.

Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nk8SDVIyb6I

Published in Editorials
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