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Tuesday, 29 January 2013 00:05

MESC 2013: Initial Rehearsals Commence Today

The final preparations are now going at a steady pace, the stage is set and today the singers will take the stage for their very first technical rehearsal. This is when the excitement starts and builds up throughout the week with the actual showcase taking shape as the days go by. The Public Broadcasting Services has released the stage design for this weekend’s Malta Eurovision Song Contest in which, twenty-four entries will be competing with the hope of representing the country in this years' Eurovision Song Contest set to take place in Malmo, Sweden.

The stage design is once again designed by the talented Carlo Schembri who has been entrusted in carrying out this job for the past number of years. His precision, creativity and flare of imagination leaves us guessing till the very ending but the final result is always spectacular to say the least. The stage is particularly designed for a television spectacle which allows numerous possibilities in terms of different shots the viewers will be able to see during the show this weekend. The director of photography is surely not new to the scene having been Stage Graphics Co-Ordinator at the Isle of MTV – Johnny MC will work closely with Nick Malbon, the Lightning Director for the festival who has also worked with MTV as an architectural lightning programmer.

Having such an experienced team is surely the key for success; they will be aided by Front of House Engineer, Arturo Pellegrini who has collaborated on various projects with Mediaset. The monitor engineer for the festival is also world class like the former names; Filippo Zecchini’s portfolio includes the likes of Andrea Bocelli, Zucchero, Riccardo Cocciante and Pavarotti. The overall set and lightning are going to be some spectacular and PBS described this as a ‘first for Malta’. That is no easy task to live up and expectations are running high but with the first preview image of the design and the stage lit up things look more than promising. Getting the feel and slowly start getting accustomed to the stage, with the positioning and the shots is surely a challenging task which the singers will have to surpass.

The rehearsals are there to make sure that by Friday night everything will be top-notch with everyone ready to rock the arena and rise to the occasion; with a mix of new comers and experienced contestants, it is going to be interesting to see who ready to shine brighter than the others and snatch the golden ticket to Malmo. In the meantime, apart from guest performances from the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest representative, Kurt Calleja and the cast of the hit musical dream series; D.R.E.A.M.S, there will be a special performance of Hot and Famous by the comic duo Gorg & Pawlu as well as Heilsarmee who will be representing Switzerland with the track You and Me. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: Public Broadcasting Services

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKbzOIab0yM

Published in Local Music News
Monday, 28 January 2013 05:15

MESC 2013: More Backing Vocalists Revealed

The Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre will once more be playing host to this years’ edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and with the event taking place in less than a week, preparations within the venue have well been underway for the past couple of days. The competing artists will start their initial rehearsals on Tuesday and will continue perfecting their act until Friday morning when a full run through takes place prior to the evening show. The editorial board of escflashmalta.com will keep you posted with all of the latest details from the event as it has been doing for the past couple of weeks. As a matter of fact, the teams of the respective entries are being revealed simultaneously and some names have clearly gained our attention especially due to their vast experience in the industry.

As expected, Kevin Borg who will be presenting the track Needing You has went for a number of renowned performers including the likes of Josef Tabone, Dominic Cini, Janice Mangion and Nadine Axisa. The latter is certainly the most intriguing having joined Thea Garrett at the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2010 whilst also being a veteran in the local competition, with many past participations. Both Janice and Josef on the other hand managed to make it through to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest on one occasion each in 2006 and 2012 respectively. Another individual who has been rather well noted is Dario Bezzina who will be the backing vocal for Let Your Heart Talk performed by Franklin. The track features predominant male vocals and it is expected that more soloists will be on this respective team.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swPbRG3GuxU

Klinsmann is the third individual to have had his on stage team revealed noting that he will be joined by two female vocalists in the form of Bay Awards Nominee; Lyndsay as well as Kylie Coleiro, who was a finalist in the 2009 edition of the Malta Eurosong competition. Nevertheless, as has been the case in recent years, Klinsmann will also have a guitarist for his rendition of The Remedy and joining him will be Ben who will also provide male backing vocals. That leaves the last two females to make revelations; the first being, Domenique and her entry Too Little Too Late requiring that extra additional aid to make it sound more atmospheric. The team will comprise of the aforementioned, Kylie Coleiro as well as Sarah Crystal and Christine Haber, who is the daughter of former commentator Eileen Montesin. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZvpUmTnw9w

The second artist to reveal the team that will be joining her on stage is none other than Dorothy Bezzina who will be singing Starting from the End in the semi-final. She will be joined by a team of upcoming artists such as Martina Farrugia, and Nathalie Pace who performed with her during Voices as well as former Sfida contestants; Talitha Dimech, Samaria Bezzina and Tezara Camilleri. Honestly speaking, the amount of remarkable vocals backing the artists is just sublime. Rumour has it that Pamela will also make a welcome return with Amber and her entry In Control but this has not been confirmed. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news from the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2013.

Source: escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWB-fIeiQp0

Published in Local Music News

With this years’ edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest just a couple of days away, the final days of promotion have commenced with the final leg of the schedule put forth for a number of artists. Nevertheless, appearances as a group are rare especially when taking into consideration that this is a competition in which someone will come out as the winner, leaving the others all in runner-up slots. Eight particular entries will fall at the first hurdle following a jury and public vote on Friday evening and that is what will prove interesting. When the time comes, it will indeed come but until then the Public Broadcasting Services continues preparations and this evening, all of the acts will be present on the programme Xarabank as the final pre-show takes place with lighthearted moments, medleys and more.

Peppi Azzopardi, the host will be on hand to host the programme produced by Where’s Everybody and will definitely keep everyone entertained whilst calling out the names of the participants, in a manner which could be termed as funny. There are twenty-four entries competing to represent the country in the Eurovision Song Contest and two in particular have somewhat been running away with our public poll for ages as you could denote on the right hand side. Chris Grech and Kevin Borg have distinctly different entries and their own legion of fans but the jury will decide. In the meantime, tonight after the eight o’clock news bulletin at 20:45 CET, it is imperative to switch on Television Malta which is also offered through a webcast and follow the proceedings live. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: Television Malta

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

Published in Local Music News
Wednesday, 23 January 2013 12:57

MESC 2013: The Running Order is Revealed

The Public Broadcasting Services is currently busy putting together the showcase for the 2013 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest which is set to take place on the 1st and the 2nd February at the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre in Ta’ Qali. The twenty-four entries competing in the semi-final had not yet been told their position within the running order although in an escflashmalta.com exclusive, it was revealed that whilst Fall Like Rome by Richard Edwards would be opening the show, Betrayed by Davinia would be closing the spectacle. The rest of the running order was decided by the producers of the show in order not have recurrent song genres after each other.

The results of the semi-final will be decided in the same manner of the final noting that there will be a panel of seven local and foreign judges followed by tele-voting which will have the weight of just one judge. The first evening will be pivotal denoting that eight songs have to be eliminated and considering the outcomes of the past two years, there might be a couple of surprises. Last year, many were shocked to see I Want to Runaway sung by Eleanor Cassar and Whoop it Up! performed by Annalise Ellul failing to make it through to the final stage but indeed, this is a competition and surprises can occur. The full running order was released by the Public Broadcasting Services this morning and will be as follows;

01. Fall Like Rome – Richard Edwards (Kaxe / Philip Vella / Gerard J Borg)

02. Tides of Illusion – Ylenia (Jason Cassar / Mario Farrugia)

03. Perfect Day – Janice DeBattista (Boris Cezek / Dean Muscat)

04. Never Walk Away – Chris Grech (M Borg / P Borg / D Cassar Torreggianni / C Grech)

05. Overrated – Marilena (Philip Vella / Gerard J Borg)

06. No One’s Home – Petra (Wayne Micallef / Richard Micallef)

07. Starting from the End – Dorothy Bezzina (Kaxe / Gerard J Borg)

08. Too Little Too Late – Domenique (M Paelnick / M Strasser)

09. Ultraviolet – Jessika (T G:Son / Philip Vella / Gerard J Borg)

10. Let Your Heart Talk – Franklin (Ray Agius / Alfred C Sant)

11. When It’s Time – Claudia Faniello (Errol Sammut / C Faniello)

12. My Stranger Love – Corazon (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

13. Needing You – Kevin Borg (Borg / Gribbe / Thornholm / Attlerud / Clauss)

14. Superstar – Scar (Konrad Pule)

15. Loverdose – Melanie Zammit (N Lundin, M Lundin, Gerard J Borg)

16. Fantasy – Danica Muscat (Paul Abela / Joe J Farrugia)

17. Wonderful Today – Petra & Richard (Wayne Micallef / Richard Micallef)

18. Love-O-Holic – Deborah C (Bejerholm / Gerard J Borg)

19. Us Against the World – Gianni (Boris Cezek / Dean Muscat)

20. Keep Believing – Raquela (Raquela)

21. Tomorrow – Gianluca Bezzina (Boris Cezek / Dean Muscat)

22. In Control – Amber (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

23. The Remedy – Klinsmann (Kaxe / Philip Vella / Gerard J Borg)

24. Betrayed – Davinia (E Zarb / Muxu)

The dynamics of how the show will proceed are yet unknown when it comes to interval acts and so forth but the Public Broadcasting Services selected Elaine Saliba and Gordon Cauchi as the main hosts of this years’ competition with Rodney Gauci doing the backstage interviews. Kurt Calleja, last years’ representative is not expected to perform in the semi-final stage of the competition but is preparing a medley of some of the best songs in 2012 for the final night according to his Facebook Page. This years’ Malta Eurovision Song Contest might be an extremely close affair for the third year running with the people denoting two artists; Kevin Borg and Chris Grech as their front runners. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com in the coming days for more news about the 2013 Malta Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: Public Broadcasting Services

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjhBsCop3Ys

The participants of this years’ edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest have been promoting their entries on a number of television and radio programmes as per the schedule set up for them by the Public Broadcasting Services yet today will mark the very first time that they are coming together on a show. Ħadd Għalik has played a major role in promoting the artists of the competition in recent years through fun filled activities, perfect for the entertainment of families. Amongst the games, there are a number of questions which the artists have to answer about each other and that has always proven to be absolutely hilarious. The show will be aired between 12:10 and 15:30 CET on Television Malta which could be streamed through the official website.

This years’ edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest is proving to be one of the most competitive in recent years noting that there has been a higher standard of quality and the country stands a better chance to do well based on that. Earlier this week, there were doubts with regards to the draw that the country was given at the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest, but nevertheless, despite performing in the first part of the second semi-final, the editorial board is confident that with the best entry, the odds will be overcome. Our public poll with more than five thousand votes sees Never Walk Away by Chris Grech in first place followed by Needing You by Kevin Borg in second place. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news with regards to this years’ edition of the local showcase.

Source: Television Malta

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qq0QxauIyic

Published in Local Music News
Wednesday, 16 January 2013 02:20

MESC 2013: Reviewing the track 'Needing You'

The Public Broadcasting Services has always sought to represent the country in the best possible way when it comes to music and therefore the organisation of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest came into existence for this reason, to make sure that the public along with an expert jury make the best possible selection for the prestigious event which is viewed by millions of people all across the world. Despite being small in terms of size, this country has produced some astonishing vocal talent noting the success being achieved on a foreign scale with various genres including: opera, pop, dance and rock amongst others. When the Eurovision Song Contest participation is in question, there were a number of consecutive top ten finishes throughout the nineties and with the growing number of participants, Malta also ranked highly on occasion whilst beating others to make it through to the final stage on three occasions, in 2004, 2009 and 2012 thanks to Julie & Ludwig, Chiara and Kurt Calleja respectively. Promotion is the key for success and as the competition is set to take place in around two weeks time, escflashmalta.com continue to promote each entry with a set of highly acclaimed people in the foreign music industry speaking their mind on each track with the eventual winner given an award on the programme 'Sas-Sitta' which airs on NET Television. The tenth entry to be presented is Needing You performed by Kevin Borg and co-written with Michael Clauss, Simon Gribbe, Dan Attlerud, and Thomas Thornholm. In the reviews below, you'll notice that Knut Oyvind Hagen is commenting instead of Sharon Vaughn who previously worked with Kevin Borg on his debut album.

Kevin Borg is definitely a well known figure in the music industry and not only within the local spectrum but even abroad having moved to Sweden back in 2008 with the hope of making it through to the live stages of the hit reality television show Idol which aired on TV4. He succeeded in passing through to the live phases and with remarkable performances every week, he seemed to be a shoe in for one of the top positions. Competing against the female Alice Svensson in the final, he was praised by the judges and was crowned as the winner with a high percentage of votes, going on sign a recording contract with Sony Music leading to the release of his winners single bearing the name With Every Bit of Me which peaked at number #1 as well as his debut album entitled The Beginning which fared just as well by reaching number #3. Following the release of another track entitled Streetlights, Kevin decided to part ways with the label because of creative control and has been co-writing a number of tracks with artists all over the country including the recent Idol runner-up Robin Stjernberg amongst others. Kevin tried his luck to represent Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest in the past, first trying out in 2006 with the track You're My Dream and then in 2007 with Whenever, both composed by Jason Paul Cassar and penned by Sunny Aquilina. They reached eighth and fourth place respectively but nevertheless, it gave him the courage to go and give it a shot on the foreign music circuit and it worked.

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

Speaking to the local media, Kevin has come clean about his particular noting that he has indeed returned because of the public perception at this current moment stating that he would absolutely love to represent the country at the Eurovision Song Contest which will indeed be taking place in Sweden, the same nation in which he is still extremely popular. The entry he is presenting to the competition entitled Needing You has been co-written alongside Simon Gribbe, Michael Clauss, Dan Attlerud, and Thomas Thornholm. The significance of each songwriter has somewhat been recorded in the Scandinavian music industry especially the latter three who have proudly worked with the likes of Kikki Danielsson, Alcazar, Barbados, Afro-Dite, Fame, Pernilla Wahlgren, Jan Johansen, and Magnus Carlsson. It is important to denote that the same team had also co-written the Norwegian entry in the 2004 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest entitled High performed by Knut-Anders Sorum, finishing in a disappointing twenty-fourth place. Kevin Borg and Simon Gribbe are currently producing a number of tracks together as could be heard on soundcloud, some of which would have been suitable for the competition as well. It is yet unknown in which position he will be performing within the running order due to the fact that the producers will be taking care of it, in order to make sure that there will not be any clashes of genres.  

The Critics Speak Out 

Rating: 80%

Martin Isherwood: Good chorus melody - should really be called Unbreakable. 'Needing You' is vague, inverted, contradictory and unspecific. You wouldn't say this to someone so best not to sing it. Lyrics could be more clear. Good voice and good performance. Good strong melodies. Well put together track. Nice tune but lyrics are a bit vague. A big ‘love you forever’ ballad - just say that.

Stano Simor: Kevin can definitely reach the female audience with such a track. He has quite a beautiful colour to his vocal chords which together with the songwriters' production bring this ballad on an extremely professional level. Stunning performance.

Lina Eriksson: Kevin competed and won Swedish Idol a few years ago. There’s no doubt he’s a great singer. This is a beautiful ballad, with beautiful lyrics and the production suits it well. Good work!

Roberto Meloni: This is one of the strongest songs of the National Selection for Malta. Well, I was actually expecting more from Kevin Borg, but of course he is undoubtedly a very good singer and performer and he will do really well. A definite top three.

Knut-Oyvind Hagen: This is actually a really good boy-band ballad. Had Westlife released this 10 years ago, it would have topped the European charts. Slightly old fashioned, but excellent vocals make this a serious contender.

Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=as2sMXXlXBk

Published in Editorials

The Public Broadcasting Services are highlighting every inch of detail to make sure that this years' edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest is even better than the past two years in which the current administration decided to revamp the process by virtue of bringing in a more professional setup. Guests have always been an intriguing element of the showcase and there are rumours floating about with regards to who will ultimately becoming a part of the show but the focus here is with the participants themselves noting that the twenty four semi-finals will be having a number of additional individuals in the wings, taking care of vocal roles within the respective tracks. We have been in touch with a number of performers and their respective managements and learned some intriguing names will ultimately be seen despite not entering the semi-final stage of this years' competition. escflashmalta.com is exclusively bringing you a list of the names unveiled.

Kicking off things with the respective announcements was none other than Davinia who will be closing the semi-final at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with her entry Betrayed composed by Elton Zarb and penned by Muxu. She will be joined on stage by three backing vocalists which include; Rachael Tedesco Triccas and Jade Cini from the hit series D.R.E.A.M.S who will also be opening the showcase as well as former Junior Eurovision Song Contest representative; Nicole Azzopardi who is seemingly eyeing a possible entry in the next couple of years. The second performer is none other than Danica Muscat who will be performing the song Fantasy composed by Paul Abela and penned by Joe Julian Farrugia and will be joined by a fleet of people which feature Claire Mercieca, Chrissy Warrington, Jody Magri, as well as former Malta Eurovision Song Contest finalists; Dario Mifsud Bonnici and Benjamin Darmanin.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xq5sBvjedr4

It was revealed yesterday that a request had also been made by Kevin Borg to have former Eurovision Song Contest representative; Glen Vella join the backing vocalists but due to his recent participation, this was not accepted and thus Glen will be taking care of a team of unknown backing vocalists which is rumoured to have several members of the Animae Gospel Choir which Glen and Pamela created a couple of years back. In an exclusive announcement, we are proud to reveal that former Malta Song for Europe finalist; Fiona Cauchi will be present within the team of Claudia Faniello who will be presenting the track When It's Time co-written between the performer and Errol Sammut, lead vocalist of Airport Impressions. The full team of this entry will be unveiled in due course on her Official Facebook Page. In a revelation made today on social networking website; Facebook it seems that Dorothy Bezzina of the song Starting from the End written by Magnus Kaxe and Gerard James Borg will be joined by upcoming artist; Martina Farrugia.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zIh0gcPh8A

Two of the most intriguing performers in this years' Malta Eurovision Song Contest are definitely Chris Grech with the track Never Walk Away co-written by Matthew James Borg, Peter Borg and David Cassar Torreggiani and Melanie Zammit with the song Loverdose co-written between Maria & Niclas Lundin and Gerard James Borg. They have both spoken to us and told us of the people that will be joining them on stage with the male artist bringing about one of his composers; Matthew James Borg of Red Electrick fame on stage alongside the upcoming Cheryl Balzan with the female on the other hand bringing two newcomers in the vein of Ann Gauci and Gabriella Azzopardi alongside Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza and Malta Hit Song Contest finalist; Talitha Dimech. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the exclusive news as soon as it becomes available for publishing.

Source: escflashmalta.com

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

We are officially less than a month away from the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2013 and as the excitement looms closer, two particular entries keep on gaining momentum in the poll on our web portal.. The song Never Walk Away interpreted by Chris Grech has managed to pip Needing You performed by Kevin Borg out of the top position thus far. Things can still change and therefore we encourage all our readers to vote in our poll and share the poll with family and friends – it is a case where the more votes the merrier. One can vote from every IP address, this guarantees a fair ground for all the participants. 

It seems that the rest of the positions have somewhat been the same in the last couple of weeks but each and every vote counts as the positions are fairly close. Apart from Chris Grech who gained the top position over Kevin Borg’s entry, it has to be noted that even Ylenia Vella garnered a number of votes and thus moves up a number of positions in the last couple of days. The top five though remain unchanged and although the race is close each song has kept its own respective position – with Loverdose in third, Overrated in fourth and Ultraviolet in fifth place. 

It is important to note that Overrated has not been officially released by PBS, although its release is now imminent and it should be online in a couple of days. Marilena joined the other 23 semi-finalists after the withdrawal of Saska Hunt and the announcement was done more than a week and a half ago. The page of the singer has been uploaded on the official page but the video with the full version of the song still looms on the horizon. This somewhat gives the entry a slight disadvantage in terms of views online but it would be very difficult to say that it will have a direct effect on the actual result.

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

Mentioning online views on the internet – it seems that this is simple a one way race. Never Walk Away by Chris Grech has almost garnered double the views of Kevin Borg’s entry Needing You which stands in second place. The rest of the pack follows and it seems that ultimately the views acquired on YouTube are in a way a reflection of the results the poll on escflashmalta.com has at the moment. There are only slight differences but in general it seems like the general public is in consensus on who are the favourites to represent the country in the city of Malmo, within the Scandinavian country of Sweden. 

Another song which has attracted a massive following on YouTube is the song Hot & Famous by the comedic pairing of Gorg & Pawlu which was announced on Xarabank as the 25th entry in the competition as a wildcard. During Xarabank, it was never said that this was a joke but few expect the duo to officially compete on the night especially since the singers’ profiles was not updated with the rest of the competitors. A video accompanying the clip has also been issued but no official statement by Public Broadcasting Services was released to say that this song will not be competing. If this video had to be compared with the other songs in contention, it ranks second after Chris Grech’s Never Walk Away.

We might be in for a surprise in terms of their participation but if not, probably Gorg & Pawlu will feature in some way or another, at the Malta Fairs and Convention Centre on the 1st and 2nd of February. There are a number of possibilities for the popular comic duo to make an appearance – either as part of the opening or interval act or more importantly as part of the presenting team who will present this years’ competition. Keep following escflashmalta.com for all the latest updates, rumours and news in the lead up the one of the biggest music showcases the Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: YouTube, PBS, escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EI4PdwEHkCI

Published in Editorials

2013 is officially just a couple of hours away and several people are already gearing up to pop the corks off their champagne bottles but nevertheless, there is still one more day to go through and hopefully, that will also be one to remember in a positive manner. It has been an endearing year, with several positive aspects. As a matter of fact, we have been through the major news items for both the general Eurovision Song Contest as well as the local music scene and one could easily denote the progress that has been made on both a national and a foreign level of vocal talent and songs in general. Kicking off things in January, one has to remember that the announcement of the semi-finalists of the 2012 Malta Eurovision Song Contest took place on the programme Xarabank preceding a number of promotional activities which took place across the national broadcasters' frequencies including Television Malta, Radju Malta and Maltin Biss.

That is just the beginning noting that when the showcase actually came about as held in the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre at the end of February, several people were shocked to see that Eleanor Cassar with the song I Want to Runaway and Annalise Ellul with Whoop It Up! were eliminated at the first hurdle. The final also opened up a number of questions due to the fact that Kurt Calleja with the track This Is The Night managed to beat the favourite Claudia Faniello with Pure despite not managing to win the full approval of the jury. According to unconfirmed statistics, he won the tele-voting by a large margin which secured his representation of the country. At this same time that the event was being staged, organisers of the Għanja tal-Poplu were gearing up for the return of the competition and indeed, they managed to garner forty two (42) entries in total, including from Malta Eurovision Song Contest semi-finalist; Janice Mangion, Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza finalist; Grecia Bezzina and escflashmalta.com contributor; Clive Muscat. February was proving to be a month of competitions and in fact, our portal covered the Sanremo showcase extensively through Elaine Camilleri, seeing to the victory of Emma Marrone with favourite Arisa languishing in second place. In the meantime, Kurt Calleja had begun his promotional tour in the same month heading to the artist selection in Azerbaijan, strengthening the bond created between the two countries in the previous year. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJSkfmXGIG4

In just a couple of weeks, the fever of the Eurovision Song Contest was sweeping the continent and it was revealed that the British Broadcasting Corporation had chosen a legend in the form of Engelbert Humperdinck to represent the United Kingdom. The announcement was met with mixed criticism noting that ultimately his entry Love Will Set You Free did not really achieve the expected result but nevertheless in Malta, there were other elements at hand noting that the original backing vocalist with the track This Is The Night being Ylenia Vella was sacked by the Public Broadcasting Services and replaced by Amber who had in February obviously finished in third place with her entry Answers With Your Eyes without any public support. Kurt Calleja did not answer any questions about the change and continued his promotion in Bulgaria and Lithuania whilst also filming the promotional video of the track on his return to the country. In Malta, on a private television station known as NET Television, preparations for the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza had begun and Simone Gauci was announced as the first finalist following her victory on Passport 2 Indifest having beaten former finalist; Marie Claire Attard Bason in the process. Her entry bearing the name Id F'Id was specifically written for her by Renato Briffa and Keith Zammit.

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

In April, it was all about Kurt Calleja and Malta's participation in the Eurovision Song Contest noting that he had managed to top the local iTunes chart with his entry whilst also visiting another set of countries; Turkey, Georgia and The Netherlands bringing his promotional tour to an end in a major party which included several major interviews. One of the male stars of the local music industry, Fabrizio Faniello continued to rebuild his image and the release of his album Kasmaran in Indonesia proved to be a massive success denoting the artist as a star in the Asian country. escflashmalta.com continued to work extremely close with a number of sources and uncovered that Elaine Saliba was set to be the commentator for Malta at the international competition, although it was then revealed at a later stage that Ronald Briffa would be aiding her analysis providing some comic relief.  The impressive younger generation of musical prodigies never cease to amaze and Gaia Cauchi won the right to represent the country in Sanremo Junior 2012, ultimately becoming the winner a couple of months later. The month came to an end with one of the artists of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, being Wayne releasing the official video clip for his self penned track entitled Time with which he had competed a couple of months earlier.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmxAJv9dd6I

The month of the Eurovision Song Contest quickly came about and May seemed to be quite intriguing in the local music market with the return of Christabelle with the track Say as well as Brooke with Fairytale but the media was somewhat enthralled at the single release of Miss You with main vocals by Wintermoods featuring the renowned international tenor; Joseph Calleja. It was also a month in which the finalists for the 2012 edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza were revealed, quickly noting that this had to be one of the fields which was missing a lot of the more predominant names yet nevertheless featuring the upcoming generation of artists such as Domenique, and Danica Muscat amongst others. Performing at the Eurovision Song Contest, Kurt Calleja made the country proud on the night of the semi-final achieving seventh place but it seems that nerves got the best of him on a Saturday night with his performance dropping in quality although this did not hurt his success charting on the iTunes top 100 in Austria, Greece, Norway, Sweden and of course, Malta. escflashmalta.com kept their annual coverage with guest commentators including Simon CaseyRaquelaClaudia FanielloSophieMagnus Kaxe and Christabelle. Thousands of people viewed the respective reports and with the aid of the team of Radio International and Eurovision Ireland, the competition was analysed and covered in the most profound and detailed way possible. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjhBsCop3Ys

With the months leading up to the competition behind everyone, the summer was set to kick in and in fact, June was a relatively quiet month with the Public Broadcasting Services confirming their intentions to not return to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. On the other hand, Sophie was representing the country in the United Kingdom during the celebrations of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, undergoing a cross-country tour which saw her perform with the likes of X Factor runner-up, Marcus Collins whilst Kevin Borg was being wooed by the local public who wanted to see him represent the country in Sweden, the winning nation of the Eurovision Song Contest. The annual award for the worst dressed artist at the Eurovision Song Contest was decided with Rona Nishliu on behalf of Albania finishing on top. July proved to be less quiet and somewhat more eventful with Sweden deciding on Malmo as host city of the Eurovision Song Contest with the winner also coming to Malta to give a concert. In fact, on the Islands, things were becoming quite interesting with the Joseph Calleja concert featuring Ronan Keating, Gigi D'Alessio and Amber taking place on the Floriana Granaries, days before the official single release of What I'd Give by Ira Losco, her first track taken off the 2013 yet untitled album.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kw7rby8Zuk

August came about but was quiet uneventful once more with Ira Losco releasing the official video for her new single and Kurt Calleja working on new material off a yet untitled album slated for release in 2013. In fact, Boomerang was picked up on 89.7 Bay and also made the charts by virtue of the amount of airplay received. As autumn and September drew in, the Public Broadcasting Services released the regulations for the 2013 Malta Eurovision Song Contest whilst other sectors of the scene were showing their strengths as new singles were also released by Janvil entitled Make My Day, Muxu bearing the name Pour Down on Me and last but not least a young girl brand coined as Cryptic Street with Indecisive. The second major music competition in Malta known as the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza was won by Deborah C with the track Jekk Nużaw Moħħna written by Mark Spiteri Lucas and Joe Chircop. Success was a thing of the month noting that the popular pop/rock band known as Airport Impressions went on tour in Sweden, headlining three major events and garnering international recognition. escflashmalta.com continued to air the local music scene by virtue of releasing a number of videos exclusively including the one of Muxu which you could also view just below.

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

It seemed like winter would not be setting foot on the country this year with October coming in full swing and the music scene bringing things up to speed in an excruciatingly busy ratio with exclusive video releases by Cryptic Street and Fabrizio Faniello along with new singles released by the group Cruz; Good On You, Chiara; Forget Forgetting Me, Dimal & Lyndsay; Let's Make It Happen. During this time, one of the singles was also picked up by a record label and as a matter of fact, Chiara is now a true recording artist with the backing of an Icelandic record label which also takes care of former Eurovision Song Contest representative; Hera Bjork. Whilst pop and rock are seemingly the two most popular genre in the country, the duo known as Tenishia received an accolade of which the whole country should be proud of with the official DJ Mag putting them as the fiftieth best in the world ahead of renowned musicians like Benny Benassi. The Public Broadcasting Services revealed that they received a total of 182 submissions for the 2013 Malta Eurovision Song Contest from a variety of countries and a matter of fact, submissions were sent in from four former representatives including; Fabrizio Faniello, Miriam Christine, William Mangion and Ludwig Galea but none of them would make the cut in the long run. The collaboration between this portal and the series D.R.E.A.M.S continued as a second season written by the talent Vella Haber and Saliba La Rosa returned featuring two main new actresses being Michela Dalli and Kristen Camilleri.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hchM2x458X0

The month of November, was finally starting to show signs that the weather would be cooling down and in fact, the revelation of the twenty-four semi-finalists of the 2013 Malta Eurovision Song Contest seemed to be the only heated moment with a host of newcomers revealed in the list especially artists who have garnered attention through radio such as the likes of Gianluca Bezzina, and Davinia with others coming from notable national showcases including Chris Grech. December was relatively quiet noting that in the beginning, the Junior Eurovision Song Contest took place with Ukraine finishing on top with the track Nebo but the focus of the local music scene was surely on the Bay Music Awards which saw Red Electrick walk away with a total of two awards in total, the most of the night which also saw success going in the way of JJoy, Kelly StellfoxIra Losco, Carlo Gerada, Jan Cortez, Christabelle, and Cryptic Street. The Malta Eurovision Song Contest also hit a bump on the head with the withdrawal of Saska Hunt and the track Dress Rehearsal who was replaced by the first alternate on the list; Marilena Gauci with the track Overrated. We indeed hope that this year in fact wasn't just that and that it was ideal for each and every one of you. We look forward to serving you for another eventful year, as 2013 dawns in a couple of hours.

Source: escflashmalta.com, Kris Micallef (image)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iYfY-q2_8o

Published in Editorials

The 2013 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest is set to be quite the scintillating scene noting that there is a lot of interest due to the fact that the competing artists are not only coming from the typical festival background but also from the other sector of the music scene which was coined within the radio spectrum. There are twenty four competing entries in the competition and they represent a variety of styles and the escflashmalta.com editorial board thought it best to see which one seems to be garnering the most support from the public at large whilst having certain limitations noting that it will accept only one vote per IP Address. Early indications show that this will be a two horse race, with a possibility that it could turn out to be a three way battle though, so this will be interesting to see unfold. The Award will then be given out on the programme 'Sas-Sitta' produced by Spiteri Lucas Entertainment on the 9th February 2013.

The Public Poll was initiated on Boxing Day, meaning the 26th December and the response has been remarkable noting that in less than three days, it has already wracked up more than 2,000 votes seemingly looking to eclipse the number of votes achieved at the end of the voting earlier this year, which saw Kaya and her entry First Time triumph in a close battle with Claudia Faniello and the track Pure. At this point in time, the leader is none other than the returning Kevin Borg whose entry Needing You co-written with Danne Attlerud, Simon Gribbe, Thomas Thornholm, and Michael Clauss is receiving around 23 to 25% of the full votes. In a very contentious second place with around 20% to 22% of the full vote comes none other than Chris Grech with the song Never Walk Away co-written with Matthew James Borg, Peter Borg and David Cassar Torreggiani and this is due to the fact that it is being touted as a commercial hit, pointing out that it has garnered the most views on viral website, YouTube. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=as2sMXXlXBk

The closest entry to them seems to be Loverdose performed by Melanie Zammit and written by Maria & Niclas Lundin as well as Gerard James Borg with 12% to 15% of the votes. The amount of people who have tuned in to see the entry has also been in the same range finishing in third place overall and therefore our poll is seemingly very much in tune with the views pointing out that in fourth place comes Jessika with her entry Ultraviolet co-written between Philip Vella, Gerard James Borg and Thomas G:Son achieving between 8% and 10% of the total amount of votes and standing just slightly ahead of the fifth place finisher Davinia Pace whose song Betrayed has managed to turn the tables around in the past couple of hours and achieve between 4% and 6% of the vote. One could easily note who is garnering the most votes and this will be a locked poll most likely whose winner will be decided more near the end. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for regular updates and if you are yet to vote, make sure to do so by clicking here!

Source: escflashmalta.com

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

Published in Local Music News
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