January 20, 2020

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Start a Fire co-written by Stefan Örn, Johan Kronlund & Alessandra Günthardt and performed by Dilara Kazimova was internally selected to represent Azerbaijan in the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. Responsible for the commercial release of this track is none other than German Record Label, CAP-Sounds with distribution handled by Universal Music Germany.

This marks the third consecutive year that Azerbaijan has entrusted CAP-Sounds with the official release of their Eurovision Song Contest entry having also been responsible for When The Music Dies and Hold Me performed by Sabina Babayeva and Farid Mammadov in 2012 and 2013 respectively. Manfred Holz, manager of Fabrizio Faniello and Record Label boss is proud of the professional relationship built with Euromedia Company and Ictimai Television, noting that they their vision is always well planned out. You may purchase a copy of the Azeri entry Start a Fire through iTunes and also stream the full version through Spotify. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more of the latest news.

Source: CAP-Sounds


Saturday, 21 September 2013 12:12

Eurovision '14: EBU Amend Rules and Regulations

In a bid to increase transparency and reduce speculation over the integrity of the jury results, the European Broadcasting Union has amended the rules and regulations of the Eurovision Song Contest following consultation with broadcasters all over the continent. At the centre of controversy following the 2013 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest was none other than Azerbaijan whose entry entitled Hold Me performed by Farid Mammadov finished as the first runner-up.

Tabloids in the United Kingdom and Lithuania stated how votes were supposedly bought by the Eastern nation in order to secure a high placing with The Mirror also noting that something was fishy between Malta and Azerbaijan with the former awarding it maximum twelve (12) points in each of the past four (4) years. Anton Attard, the Head of Delegation for Malta rubbished the claims stating that the jury only gave Azerbaijan one set of maximum points in the past four (4) years with the public owing to the final result. It comes as no surprise considering that the Azeri singers have been travelling to Malta consistently prior to their experience at the Eurovision Song Contest.

Each participating country has to appoint five (5) jury members to vote in the semi-final where it is competing or has been appointed to vote in along with the final. As of 2014, the names of the jury members will be made public on the 1st May, five (5) days before the first semi-final. It is imperative that the selected experts did not sit in on the jury in any of the past two editions of the Eurovision Song Contest. Each individual jury will have to rank all the songs in the semi final, and the Final. Right after the Final night, the rankings of each and every jury member will be made public on the official website, thus revealing the split results of juries and televoting for each of the participating countries. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for the latest news.

Source: eurovision.tv


Azerbaijan, one of the countries competing in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest has just revealed their first official preview video in support of their entry Hold Me composed by Dimitrios Kontopoulos to the lyrics of John Ballad and Ralph Charlie Al Fahel. Since the rehearsals commenced earlier this week, it has been rather positive for Azerbaijan who have been dubbed by the international press as outside favourites for the competition. The element which helped it grow in such a positive manner is the stage presentation which is nothing as it was expected by the public. Farid was one of the two artists who visited Malta during a promotional tour in anticipation for the Eurovision Song Contest, with the others being Takasa on behalf of Switzerland.

Turkey, missing from this years' international showcase due to irregularities brought about by the jury voting noting that talent is not being appreciated in their minds had a large imposition on the contest for the simple reason that diaspora is found throughout the continent. Azerbaijan, one of their neighbouring countries has always had a penchant for the language and therefore, it comes as no surprise to see the nation recording a Turkish version of the song Hold Me with the hope of increasing it's tele-voting percentage. The staging of the song is just mesmerizing noting a dancer caged in glass box who first mimics Farid and then another female dancer who moves from the catwalk to the main stage. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: YouTube 


Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan was hosting the Eurovision Song Contest this time last year in a setting which was relatively different as the event was organised on a bigger scale. The idea of giving the international spectacle a more intimate feel commenced as of this year and seems to be working wonders. Nevertheless, Azerbaijan is a nation which has always used the necessary means possible to success and this is definitely seen within the results achieved by the nation across the years. Their worst result thus far is eighth place achieving during their debut with the song Day After Day performed by Elnur & Samir. 

This year, they are being represented by Farid Mammadov and his entry Hold Me which is a co-write between Dimitris Kontopoulos, John Ballard & Ralph Charlie Al Fahel. Farid had the opportunity to visit Malta this year, and as a matter of fact, an appearance on Xarabank aired on Television Malta, the main organ of the Public Broadcasting Services will be shown tomorrow evening. Following his first technical rehearsal, it seems that almost everything is going his way except for the attire but then again, that is just personal opinion. The whole setup looks impressive and the idea to have a dancer in a boxer who mimics his moves is just stunning. Juergen Boernig and his team in Sweden had the opportunity to chat with him following his rehearsal yesterday. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more interviews. 

Source: escflashmalta.com


Published in Interviews
Wednesday, 24 April 2013 05:51

Azerbaijan: Reviewing the track 'Hold Me'

escflashmalta.com has enlisted three individuals from different music industries to help analyse and classify the tracks competing in the second semi-final of this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest noting that they come from the United Kingdom, United States and the Czech Republic respectively. In the earlier section of the draw comes Azerbaijan, which has been drawn by the producers in slot number four (4) following the performance of the FYR Macedonia. The idea of the producers is to have as many different genres as possible spread out in order to keep the competition flowing both for the public and the jury alike. Ictimai Television, broadcaster for Azerbaijan will be represent by Farid Mammadov whose entry Hold Me is composed by Dimitrios Kontopoulos with lyrics by John Ballard and Ralph Charlie Al Fahel.

Farid, age 21, has effortlessly proven that he is one of the finest vocalists in Azerbaijan. To win the national final Farid provided a touching performance of the song Hold Me a very strong romantic ballad. The song is composed by Dimitrios Kontopoulos, who previously produced Eurovision songs for Ani Lorak, Sakis Rouvas and had 27 number one hits in Greek national airplay charts. The main source of inspiration to Farid has been Azerbaijani music as well soul, jazz, and pop. He was raised on Mugham, a form of traditional Azerbaijani folk music and very complex vocal art. Meanwhile, since the age of eight Farid got engaged to the soul and jazz music, in particular Stevie Wonder. At his very first concert he performed Wonder's all-time-hit I Just Called to Say I Love You. He is also a talented songwriter. At the semi-final of the national selection Farid performed his own song Gel Yanima (Come to Me).

His competitive spirit is also shown in Farid's strong passion for sports. He enjoys participating in freestyle wrestling, which is regarded as the Azerbaijan's national sport, and Brazilian martial art capoeira. There is no doubt that he inherited sporting abilities from his parents. Farids mother was a silver medalist for the Soviet Union in gymnastics. Not to mention both parents are also into music with Farid's mum playing piano and his father used to sing and play keyboards in a rock band. Farid was honoured to work with such outstanding mentors in his country as Vagif Gerayzade and Aybeniz Hashimova before he became a mature solo singer. Although it was his dream to sing for Azerbaijan, he previously had never participated in national selections to the Eurovision Song Contest, as he felt like the time was not right for him.


Over the last few years he has developed his singing ability to the point where he was ready to succeed. Farid managed to win not only the jury vote in the final, he also gained the highest number of televotes from the audience during the qualifying rounds. In autumn 2012, as many other finalists of the Azerbaijani national selection, Farid took part in the casting process for the new international music talent show The Big Stage (Böyük Səhnə). In the show top-rated songwriters, producers, choreographers and vocal coaches from Azerbaijan, USA, the UK, Greece, Sweden and Ukraine worked closely together to create a very special artistic environment for young performers with the only aim to polish their skills and help the emerging talents. There at the creative campus of the show Farid came to the Dimitrios Kontopoulos' attention - the composer of Hold Me.

In 2008, Azerbaijan entered the Eurovision Song Contest for the very first time and managed to finish in a respectable eighth place with the song Day After Day performed by Elnur & Samir but things have only got better and that remains to be their worst result thus far noting that they managed a second runner-up finish in 2009 with Always sung by another duet, this time being Aysel and Arash and then ultimately finishing on top of the leaderboard in 2011 with the song Running Scared sung by Ell & Nikki. They will be hoping that their success within the top ten will continue this year and it has no reason not too considering that Farid is an extremely competent performer with the song being relatively strong. Malta and Azerbaijan have built a strong bond over the past couple of years and therefore, it is not surprising that Farid will be stopping by Malta this coming weekend.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 87%

Martin Isherwood: Very strong chorus. Lyrics works well. Very strong voice. Not sure about the key change - feels a little bit forced. Love the production once the track is in fully. Hints of 'Glorious' Andreas Johnson or Robbie Williams Millennium in the chorus. Great song!

Sharon Vaughn: There are not a lot of words to describe this song except that it is pretty much Eurovision by numbers but nevertheless, done in extremely well, bliss!

Stano Simor: Azerbaijan gives you traditionally depends on a strong representation and promotion. Hold Me has a strong melody, simple text that will be easily understood by the audience including countries of the far east, which is a strong demographic when it comes to this competition. The song has been seemingly written for Farid's vocals as it fits him perfectly. This should get Azerbaijan a very strong result, not in the semi-final but in the final!

Source: eurovision.tv


Published in Editorials

Ten artists competing with original songs took to the stage of the Azeri national final at the end of the preselection season back in March with Farid Mammadov and his entry Hold Me composed by Dimitris Kontopoulos to the lyrics of John Ballard and Ralph Charlie ultimately selected to take on the honour of representing the nation. A promotional tour has somewhat become essential for the country in recent years noting that appearances all over the continent have been very much planned. We are in an exclusive position to reveal that Farid Mammadov will be coming to Malta in a weeks' time for a recording of the programme Xarabank produced by Where's Everybody and hosted by Peppi Azzopardi. 

Azerbaijan and Malta have a somewhat special connection noting that Kurt Calleja and This Is The Night was very much well appreciated during last years' edition of the international spectacle. This has always augured well and in return the former country has also received the maximum points for three successive years. Farid Mammadov has already been to countries such as Greece and The Netherlands with Malta being just another stop, albeit an important one. Television Malta, the main organ of the Public Broadcasting Services will be using the most popular programme to showcase both Farid Mammadov and Gianluca in the days leading up to the their semi-final. The recording will be taking place within the next couple of days but the broadcaster is set for the 10th May 2013. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest whilst thanking Where's Everybody for providing us with this news item.

Source: Where's Everybody, escflashmalta.com


Saturday, 30 March 2013 17:00

Azerbaijan: Extensive Promo Tour for Farid

Farid Mammadov and his entry Hold Me composed by Dimitris Kontopoulos with lyrics by John Ballard and Ralph Charlie has recently embarked on an extensive promotional tour ahead of his appearance at the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest set to take place in Malmö, Sweden. Ictimai Television, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of the country within the esteemed international competition held a national final at the beginning of the month which selected both the artist and the entry, something that has not happened in Azerbaijan in quite some time.

Rome, the capital city of Italy was the kick off point of the promotional tour for Farid Mammadov as he performed during a concert held on behalf of Azerbaijani Students and Alumni International Forum. This was his first time in the country and therefore took some time off his schedule to sight see and ultimately ended up taking a lot of photos just like any other tourist would. Next up will be Athens, the capital city of Greece where Farid will be performing at a Eurovision Party held at the Noiz Club on the 7th April. The event is being organised by Eurovision fansite, Oikotimes in light of their twelve year anniversary. Farid will also be giving interviews to several media outlets including; ERT, Oikotimes, Star Channel, Showtime Cyprus and many others. It will be quite interesting to see whether Farid will be coming over to Malta during his promotional tour to ascertain relations between the two countries. Maximum points have been given by Malta to Azerbaijan in the past three years. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: Official WebsitePress Release


Azerbaijan is always one of the last countries to select their entry for the Eurovision Song Contest in a format that has worked resoundingly for them in the past couple of years. This is a nation found in the east which has always managed to qualify and rank within the top ten, more so in the top five for the past four years. Ell & Nikki managed to triumph with the song Running Scared in 2011 and as a matter of fact, the capital city of Baku was host to the international spectacle last year which saw to the victory of Sweden with the track Euphoria performed by Loreen.

This time round, Azerbaijan will be taking part with a male soloist, Farid Mammadov who will be performing the original song Hold Me co-written by John Ballard, Ralph Charlie and Dimitris Kontopoulos. The latter name mentioned is one of the most predominant in the Greek music industry having worked with a number of renowned artists including Anna Vissi, Kary Garmbi and Elena Paparizou whilst also being the man behind This Is Our Night performed by Sakis Rouvas at the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest, finishing in a respectacle ninth place. According to Euromedia, the nation has chosen the artist and the song which he or she performed and thus Farid with Hold Me seems to be the winning act. You may listen to the song below. Azerbaijan will compete alongside Malta in the second semi-final. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: Eurovision.tv, Ictimai