June 18, 2019

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Corazon is slowly becoming a household name in our country, the young talented singer songwriter has slowly established herself as one of the best contemporary artists on our islands – with three Malta Eurovision appearances to her name and three ‘Għanja Tal-Poplu’ wins, the name Corazon is surely a name to look out for years to come. Simplicity has always been the key for Corazon and when you see her performing, you would expect to see her behind a piano – a sound she truly cherishes. Apart from being the girl behind the piano, Corazon is popularly known for her crystal clear diction, something a lot of her critics praise her for. 

Defying all the odds, Corazon has finally managed to release her first studio album – surely a milestone especially since the album itself includes songs only in our mother tongue language, Maltese. The work on this album has been substantial and in all it took around five year to complete but the singer songwriter wanted this project to be launched at the right time, when every single thing would have come together. Surely, the wait was worth it as the tracks on the albums along with the arrangements and the detail in the production come together to perfection. Every little detail is important in fact even the CD cover and booklet compliment this maginifcent work.

Album Title: Hawn Jien

Released: 11th January, 2014

Escflashmalta.com had the pleasure to be invited to this album launch which took place at Sir Temi Żammit Hall at the University of Malta and it was surely an absolute pleasure to be able to listen to the album carefully whilst enjoy each track in order to review it for our readers. I dare say it is one of the best releases in recent years. Unfortunately, most artist seem to focus a lot on releasing material in English and lately we did not have any artists releasing albums entirely in Maltese but Corazon has always been one to challenge the norm. 

The album is sophistacted with different musical genres and various subjects explored and exploited to perfection by the talented singer songwriter. Some of the subjects Corazon writes about, challenge the usual subjects we get to hear in songs and her insight into every little detail of the Maltese society makes you envious. In fact, a number of artists would tell you that you know how good a song is when they wish that a particular number is written by them and most of the tracks on this album would surely be the envy of many. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSik5WNduv8

Tracks to look out for:

Jgħidu Kien Hawn Raġel – This track for me is surely the stand out track of the whole album. Musically is so different to what we are used to hearing that automatically makes this song and intruinging one for the listener. The music is complimented perfectly by the lyrics which speak about betrayal and mystery and this is also translated into the general feel of the song. The mastery of all this is that in this track one could hear the typical Maltese sounds and as the song progresses you find yourself tapping and also singing along to its lyrics. After it finishes, you find yourself wondering how it finished so quickly and without even thinking you would want to listen to it again.

Fid-Dar Tan-Nanna – A track I first heard live on television and as soon as I heard it stopped dead in my tracks, listening to every single word. It pictures the old Maltese household to perfection, to every single detail. Those listening to it will surely be reminiscent of either the houses they lived in or else the houses of their parents or grandparents. The younger generations can only picture the typical Maltese house which by time has been replaced by small apartments. The music serves as a bridge that takes you back to the old days and then brings you back to shock you with what the current generations are faced with. The mix itself is sophisticated and done so delicately that without wanting the listener stays on reflecting on what is happening to our generation.

Illejla B’Xejn – This is possibly the most sensitive subject Corazon exploits on this album – the theme of prostitution and someone desperately yearning to be loved. The way she puts the words helps in making the song acceptable. There is a very fine line when dealing with these theme but Corazon has the class to know that she does not need to cross it to get her point across. Musically the song it compliments the lyrics and strings are used to give the song a very intimate feel and her velvety voice help create the desired effect of lust. The song itself won the best social theme in ‘L-Għanja Tal-Poplu’ and this goes on to show that you do not need to conform to the norm to get good results in festivals – if it is done properly one can challenge the norm and achieve great results, something which Corazon keeps doing. 

Final Verdict:

Narrowing down three tracks from eleven tracks on the album have surely been challenging and I would simply put it down to a matter of taste. Each track can stand alone and carries an even weight. I guess this album sends out a clear sign to all doubters of local music and the Maltese lanaguge that songs in our native tongue can sound great and have a contemporary feel to them. Some might argue that this review is a tad too positive but when something is good, you can really fault it in any way especially when Corazon has made sure that even the nitty gritty things critics would normally pick on have been taken care of and dealt with to perfection. A big well done to all the people involved in this album – it surely worth listening to and its songs will surely be ones that will be played on for generations to come.

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

Published in Editorials

On Saturday 11th January 2014, various journalists, artists, and scholars will be attending a special launch, one of a debut album, entitled Hawn Jien by renowned vocalist, Corazon. The collection is set to feature a number of original tracks, all of which will be in Maltese, respecting the cultural diversity that the national language is known to offer. The title has been carefully selected to reflect upon the very first success of the artist, noting that Hawn Jien was the winning song at the 2007 edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu.

It is worth noting that we do not have any information with regards to the playlist, thus adding to the mystery to see which tracks made the cut considering that success in that local music competition has come on a further two occasions; in 2009 with Tal-Aħħar and in 2010 with Mill-Għajnejn ta’ Tifla. Corazon is currently preparing for a third consecutive participation within the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, whilst also being the host of daily television programme; TVPM and recent commentator for the Public Broadcasting Services during the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, an international song competition which Malta won for the very first time in history, thanks to Gaia Cauchi and her entry The Start co-written with Matt Mercieca, Gillian Attard and Elton Zarb.

Back to Hawn Jien, the collection was created with the help of several people, including the extremely talented Manolito Galea at Lito's Place. The event on Saturday 11th January is being supported by the National Council of the Maltese Language as well as the Department of Maltese at the University of Malta, Marsovin, Nenu the Artisan Backer, Coca Cola, and Maypole. escflashmalta.com is looking forward to the release of this collection, one which will surely go down well, and be remembered in the confines of cultural history.

Source: Corazon's Official Facebook Page

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CSik5WNduv8

Published in Local Music News

In music, a year is very much a reflection of historical evidence and when it comes to 2013, Malta will very much remember the remarkable success that it achieved on both a local and an international field. As the public prepares to drink champagne and sing the tune of Auld Lang Syne along with Happy New Year, originally released by Abba, we aim to have a look at the most memorable moments of the year in this editorial. 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.

January; a relatively quiet month in the local music scene with the Public Broadcasting Services busy prepping for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, which was set to take place during the first weekend of February. Nevertheless, escflashmalta.com for the third year running managed to exclusively reveal the names of the hosts of the selection; Gordon Bonello, Rodney Gauci and Elaine Saliba. In the local music market, Corazon and Lynday both unveiled new singles; Save Your Smile and Daphne but the focus was definitely on the foreign music market with no less than three countries revealing the names of the artists who would represent them at the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest including; France (Amandine Bourgeois), Armenia (Gor Suyjan) and Denmark (Emmelie de Forest).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4KgUYfVtLQ

February; The month of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest was upon us, and following a somewhat technically disappointing semi-final, the Public Broadcasting Services upped the ante for the final night, which saw to the success of Gianluca Bezzina and his entry Tomorrow co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat. It managed to beat the favourite, Needing You sung by Kevin Borg and co-written with Danne Attlerud, Michael Clauss, Simon Gribbe and Thomas Thornholm. Following the evening, escflashmalta.com held their annual awards, seeing to the success of Klinsmann, Chris Grech and the aforementioned Kevin Borg, with NET Television being the place where they were given. In the meantime, both Cyprus and Slovenia made use of internal selections in revealing Despina Olympiou and Hannah Mancini as their representatives.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzGiJxMd3UI

March; In a relatively surprise announcement, L-Għanja tal-Poplu announced that they had received almost forty (40) submissions for the local competition, amongst them from the likes of Romina Mamo and Rita Pace. Keeping in line with the local music scene, Ira Losco followed up the release of her single What I’d Give with a brand new album entitled The Fire which has been denoted by critics as the most notable release in the local music industry. During the same period, on an internal level, stars Marco Mengoni and Cascada were chosen to represent Italy and Germany respectively, or rather confirmed their entries in entirety at this point. Gianluca’s promotional campaign as he represents Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest had officially commenced with the first ever lyric video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2rAO1S8TeOM

April; At this month dawned, most of the country had made their respective selection for the international competition and thus focus quickly turned on on the outlook of the local music scene as Karen DeBattista managed to beat Marie Claire Attard Bason to become the first finalist of the 2013 Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, through the Passport 2 Indifest challenge on Sas-Sitta. It was later on revealed that she would be performing the song Riflessi composed by Mark Scicluna to the lyrics of Emil Calleja Bayliss. In the meantime, L-Għanja tal-Poplu took place with Cherise Attard finishing in first place with the track Hawn Siġġu Nieqes composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas to the lyrics of Paul Ellul. At this point, Ira Losco continued her radio and digital success, aided by her first concert in quite some time. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DmUMJKj5RNk

The month of May, and thus the Eurovision Song Contest had quickly arrived and several readers of escflashmalta.com had their eyes on Gianluca Bezzina whose Tomorrow was a proven hit and indeed succeeded in not only reaching the final, but finishing in eighth place, the nations’ best result in seven (7)  years. The big winner was Emmelie de Forest from Denmark whose song Only Teardrops enchanted both the jury and the public at home. escflashmalta.com kept their annual coverage with guest commentators including Simon Casey, Davinia, Claudia Faniello, Brooke, Lauren White, Magnus 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=VK4TvZeL6c0

Summer could not kick off on a more positive note with the release of On The Dancefloor by Jan Cortez, setting the tone of the season and earning airplay on 89.7 Bay. As always, the preparations for the Joseph Calleja concert were being held at this point in time, as the line-up was revealed to include Rebecca Ferguson, Zucchero and Gianluca Bezzina, fresh off his success. In the meantime, on a positive note, it was announced by the Culture Department that local artists will get the chance to perform at the Isle of MTV with Kristina Casolani and Gianluca Bezzina both booking their spots at the event. No clarification was given over the choice especially with the top tier of artists; Jon Lukas, Davinia, The Crowns releasing brand new material.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQ9avB4RFrA

As the temperatures were getting warmer, NET Television decided to publish the list of the names who had got through the final of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, and also shot music videos, in an attempt to continue the fine tradition, which started with the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. Maltese, as a national language had definitely it’s most intriguing month due to the fact that apart from the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, it was revealed that the International Festival of Maltese Song was set for a comeback, and no sooner than in November. Some of the most prominent names in the industry put their first foot forward and the line-up was miles better than that presented at the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza with the likes of Miriam Christine, Janvil, Fiona Cauchi, Roger Tirazona and Olivia Lewis who was making her comeback as well.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nfDu1h-BOC8

August, known to be the last official month of summer saw to the release of Fed Up by Maxine Pace, who would later on be given a prominent role in the Maltese delegation during the surprise return of the country at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Joseph Calleja gives his annual concert with only a handful of performances garnering a standing ovation, one of them being of the song Xemx which he performed in a duet with Gianluca Bezzina. Glen Vella, representative of Malta in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest released a statement where he acknowledged that Finally by Richard Edwards should have represented the country, and most likely achieved a much better result. By the end of the month, the International Festival of Maltese Song had a logo and Red Electrick had a brand new single, The Runaway which would top the local music charts for several weeks.

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

Double the amount of entries received for L-Għanja tal-Poplu were received by the International Festival of Maltese Song, and whilst this number was encouraging, there was still a sheer amount of disappointment with many sceptic over the quality of the competition. Joseph Calleja was recognised as the world renowned tenor he has become by receiving a nomination at the Class Brit Awards. The Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza took place with Fabrizio Faniello sweeping the top prize with the track Aħfirli Jekk Trid composed by Minik to the lyrics of Rita Pace. The surprise of many came when during the evening news bulletin, on the 25th September 2013, Malta had internally selected Gaia Cauchi to do the honours and represent the country at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

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

The 2014 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest might be months away, but the preparations from artists, songwriters and producers had commenced and a flurry made use of escflashmalta.com to reveal their intentions including; Tiziana Calleja, Gloriana Arpa Belli, Eleanor Cassar, Richard Edwards, Klinsmann, Melanie Zammit, Kaya, Janvil, Claudia Faniello, Danica Muscat, Fabrizio Faniello, Neville Refalo and Josef Tabone amongst others. Olivia Lewis gave an interview to a Radju Kottoner, stating she was planning to release a debut album in Maltese in the very near future, one which include all her hits along with brand new and original songs. The Public Broadcasting Services accepted entries for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with several submissions, eventually totalling to a record breaking  210, the largest amount since the national broadcaster took over the selection process in totality.

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

November, the month in which there were three major events; kicking off with the International Festival of Maltese Song which was not only the return of Olivia Lewis, but also her success with the song Hawn Mill-Ġdid composed by Paul Abela to the lyrics of Joe Julian Farrugia. In second place was Mark Tonna and his track Poeta Bla Kliem composed by Mark Scicluna with lyrics by Emil Calleja Bayliss and in third place, Dario and Grecia Bezzina with the song Solitaire composed by Dario Bezzina to the lyrics of Rita Pace. Malta’s return to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest proved successful, as The Start co-written by Matt Mercieca, Elton Zarb, Gillian Attard and Gaia Cauchi emerged as the clear favourite in the week leading up to the competition, and then finishing as the remarkable winner.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thje0DAh_lU

Just a day before the final though, the public broadcaster revealed the names of the acts through to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2014, a list which comprised of several newcomers such as Raquel Galdes, De Bee and Daniel Testa whilst also noting former Eurovision representatives in the form of Fabrizio Faniello and Miriam Christine. It was always going to be a year to remember, but nevertheless, several broadcasters were at this stage revealing their intentions for the upcoming edition of the international competition, seeing to the return of Portugal and Poland, whilst Valentina Monetta, The Common Linnets, Tijana Dapcevic and Conchita Wurst were internally selected to represent San Marino, The Netherlands, FYR Macedonia and Austria respectively. As the year came to an end, Ukraine and Albania made their respective choices and the Public Broadcasting Services unveiled the music videos accompanying the entries in next years’ selection process.

Source: escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NEH0iDktSNc

Published in Editorials

Franklin Calleja, one of the youngest and most promising male vocalists in Malta is striving to achieve success and in doing so, working extremely hard. Nine years ago, he discovered his talent in the art of music and therefore, followed intuition and starting honing his skills. The singer achieved prominence through the talent show Don't Stop Me Now hosted by Eileen Montesin, former Eurovision Song Contest commentator for Malta. He impressed the panel of judges and the audience with quite a couple of songs, especially Hallelujah.

Musically, he is inspired by the likes of Whitney Houston, Leona Lewis and Mariah Carey and in his free time enjoys fashion photography and modelling. The fact that he goes beyond borders is exceptional and has helped him be the best version of himself possible whilst still being unique. Another way in which Franklin has expressed his talent is through the art of acting, noting a role within the television series Deja Vu which aired on NET Television. The title track used in every episode was the runner-up entry at the 2005 Malta Song for Europe. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QrlQxg2whug

After winning the talent show Don't Stop Me Now, Franklin entered the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with the track Let Your Heart Talk composed by Ray Agius to the lyrics of Alfred C Sant where despite not making it through to the finals, was recognised by the general public and the local/foreign press present at the event. The experience also confirmed his talent with Angie Laus of Ħadd Għalik, another television programme which airs on Television Malta inviting him to become a resident artist. 

With Copenhagen selected as the host city of the Eurovision Song Contest, many denote that 2014 is not too far away, with most artists preparing their entries for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. Franklin is yet to announce his intentions however with a cover version of Quedate Conmingo, originally by Pastora Soler just published below, it is easy to denote that there is a certain affinity with the competition. With such vocals, it comes as no surprise that several songwriters are looking to work with the upcoming male vocalist for the upcoming edition. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news. 

Source: Franklin Calleja (Facebook)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDduPMf5k8Y

Published in Local Music News

In 2012, Pure composed by Philip Vella to the lyrics of Gerard James Borg with vocals by Claudia Faniello finished as the first runner-up at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. The track went onto top the iTunes chart in the country, ahead of the winning entry, This is the Night which represented Malta at the international showcase, succumbing to a disappointing final position. Since then, the public have reportedly kept on asking Claudia to perform the track and indeed, she did during Echoes, a street concert in support of Puttinu Cares.

The difference between the performance at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and the street concert is that at the latter, she performed the track in an unplugged manner and therefore, had to adapt with a timpani and a guitar. The result was fantastic and the emotion flowing through the vocals of the female vocalist was felt throughout the audience. Claudia Faniello returned to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest earlier this year, with a track she co-wrote with Errol Sammut, one entitled When It's Time, finishing in second place and reaching number #2 on Malta's Top Ten with Nathan D on 89.7 Bay. Alongside her co-writer, she is working on her sophomore album, a follow-up to her debut Convincingly Better. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: Official Facebook Page

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

Published in Local Music News

Kevin Borg, first runner-up at the 2013 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with the track Needing You which he co-wrote alongside Danne Attlerud, Simon Gribbe, Thomas Thornholm and Michael Clauss is currently in the studio working on a couple of tracks for other artists as well as new material for himself. Despite not winning the local selection process, missing out to Gianluca and his entry Tomorrow co-written by Dean Muscat and Boris Cezek, Kevin has been pretty busy in both Malta and Sweden, headlining a series of events.

Mönsterås, a city in Sweden recently welcomed an outdoor concert, something that is quite common in the Scandinavian nation during the months of summer. Kevin Borg was one of the headlining acts and he got the opportunity to perform to around 3,000 people who sang with him throughout all of the performances. Following the aftermath of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, Kevin had stated that the possibility for him to return to Malta and possible represent the nation at the international competition was somewhat slim as his aim was to present the best of both nations, considering that the Eurovision Song Contest was taking place in Sweden. Kevin Borg keeps in touch with his fans through Social Networking website, Facebook and there he just posted a status saying 'working on a great new song, even if it takes its course of time, I think it will be worth it.' Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: Bernard Polidano (Image)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AzGiJxMd3UI

Dorothy Bezzina, a female vocalist who reached the finals of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest on four occasions, the most recent being earlier this year with the track Starting From the End composed by Magnus Kaxe to the lyrics of Gerard James. Despite the disappointing result, she accompanied her brother, Gianluca at the Eurovision Song Contest as a vocal coach as he saw the country finish in eighth place with the track Tomorrow co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat. During a recent marathon broadcasted on major local channels, Dorothy had the opportunity to perform the track Don't Know Why, originally sung by the outstanding Norah Jones.

Dorothy, a teacher by profession is also professional trained in musically theatre having had the opportunity to star in some of the leading musicals organised at the Manoel Theatre including Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde, a Masquerade Production. Dorothy Bezzina is also hoping to represent Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest in the near future and the success of her brother will surely spur her onwards especially after achieving her best result last year with her entry Autobiography garnering support from the jury and the public to finish in eighth place. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: Eurovision Fest (YouTube Channel), Emil Calleja Bayliss (Image)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3n8OWwO2kkc

Published in Local Music News

Jessika, one of the younger vocalists in the local music scene with ample experience achieved within the festival circuit, having been a contender at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest on four occasions, reaching the final round on two of such occasions. In recent months, she has taken up a lead role on the television series Il-Klikka which has sparked her popularity even further and saw her place at an even better position at this years' showcase. escflashmalta.com has been in touch with the vocalist turned actress about her current career endeavours in both music and film.

Jessika, one of the fast rising stars in the local music industry especially following your latest participation within the Malta Eurovision Song Contest where you presented the track Ultraviolet composed by Philip Vella and Thomas G:Son with lyrics provided by Gerard James Borg. This was the very first time that the trio has collaborated together on an original song and you were fronting their product, one which was very much appreciated by the public. What was your initial reaction when listening to the demo version of the song and do you have a clue to how the collaboration between such talented songwriters came about? 

I immediately fell in love and I think that’s quite important as it’s perceived by the audience when I’m performing it. Philip Vella and Gerard James Borg were always friends with Thomas G:Son but never had the chance to collaborate on something. This year they had the chance to do it and I was the lucky chosen one to perform the song Ultraviolet and I will always cherish the opportunity given as it was one of the greatest experiences so far.   

In 2008, Jessika formerly known as Jessica Muscat made it through to the Malta Song for Europe for the very first time and the blonde haired, green wearing lady took to the stage in a supposedly angry manner as she performed the track Tangled composed by Philip Vella to the lyrics of Gerard James Borg. On that occasion, it was not meant to be and you did not get through to the final but so did a hefty amount of established artists including former Eurovision Song Contest representative; Mary Spiteri amongst others. Looking back, how did you view the experience and what would you have done differently?

It was my very first experience in a contest of that calibre and I performed in an energetic manner rather than an angry one, if I can correct you. I was still in my first year at University and looking back I find I did a good job in performing and doing exams at the same time. Thus getting an A and many more good grades and conjunctionally giving a good performance. That year, the set up of the contest was a bit different because only 8 of the 16 made it to the final round. Still an experience to remember and I believe that I learned a lot and grew a lot as an artist from my first experience.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1NnbUjCdhl8

At this years’ edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, Malta was represented by Gianluca with the track Tomorrow co-written by Dean Muscat and Boris Cezek. Following both the performance of the semi-final and the final, Malta returned to the top ten for the very first time in eight years. The general public had not sought to send Gianluca to represent the nation at the international spectacle, opting to send Kevin Borg and his entry Needing You co-written with Thomas Thörnholm, Michael Clauss, Dan Attlerud and Simon Gribbe. What is your opinion on jury and public voting and do you agree with the current system?

I actually like the current system as it gives chance of expression from both the jury and the public voting. I always believe that a song and it’s singer should be judged by a team of experienced people in the music industry as they should know what is in, at the moment and other technicalities, on the other hand, I also believe that the public should have a say because at the end of the day it’s the same public who is buying and listening to the song and artist itself. 

During this years’ edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, you were accompanied by a number of people on the main stage including Sean Vella on piano, as well as three female backing vocalists; Tezara Camilleri, Annabelle Debono and Yazmin Halledie. All the three have tremendous amount of experience in the industry especially Annabelle who accompanied Morena at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2008, your debut year. Many people think that the choices of the backroom team might be somewhat random but clearly, everything is selected accordingly. How was the onstage team selected and do you see them take to the stage on their own?

I always choose my team really carefully and I do it together with my author and composer, this year I was very lucky and happy with my on stage team. It’s not only that I appreciate their vocal abilities but also their personality. There was never a dull moment this year and I believe it showed that we were enjoying our performances every time we were on stage. And yes I do see them all take to the stage on their own as I believe in them, their voices and personalities... why would I have chosen them huh?!!

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7rdC1YwieI

Apart from singing, the general public have now got used to seeing you on the television screens as you act out a leading role in the television series Il-Klikka created by V Squared Productions. We had the opportunity to introduce the series through escflashmalta.com in the beginning of the autumn/winter schedule and describe ourselves as true and avid followers. Your character is an aspiring performer who becomes part of a girl band, one which is set to take the nation by storm, hopefully also succeed abroad. Truthfully, how much do you relate to the actual storyline and on another note, would you actually be interested to become part of a girl band or would you rather be a solo performer?

I’m really enjoying the experience with Il-Klikka as I’m meeting many beautiful and talented people and it’s always great to have the publics’ support as it takes a lot of hard work and time from all the actors and the production team to have a television series to the liking of the audience. I sometimes see resemblance in my character and that of Audrey (played in the series) as I’m always aspiring to hit it big time as a singer. However in some other areas I find that I’m much more spontaneous and talkative rather than the silent and timid Audrey whom I believe I was a bit alike before I became a Spanish teacher... being a teacher makes you talk a lot to explain for the benefit of the students’ themselves. Since I began my singing career at the tender age of 6 years old, I always sang solo only on occasions I sang duets which I enjoyed as well. In life I’ve learned to never say never because no one knows what the future might hold. 

In just a year, you became a lead actress in a television series, a notable performer in the eyes of the public and the brand new recipient of a stage name, something that the local music industry seems to be adopting at a rather astonishing pace. Amongst the most notable stage names in Malta at the moment, there are surely the ones of Kaya (Priscilla Psaila) and Minik (Dominic Cini). You went from Jessica to Jessika and this is something that has also been very much respected by the public. How did you manage to have such a smooth transition in promoting yourself and do you think it was the right time to carry out this process?

I actually think that the new stage name isn’t that different from the real one and that is why I believe the transition was a good one. I also believe it happened at the right time, as together with my producer Paul Powell we were releasing the new single Golden ways not only in Malta but internationally and Muscat sometimes isn’t easily pronounced abroad.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yBFjrQFd-0

Davinia, second runner-up at this years’ edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with the track Betrayed composed by Elton Zarb and penned by Matt Mercieca has already confirmed through the programme, TVPM that she will be submitting an entry into next years’ edition of the competition and therefore, you can imagine where this question is leading. With the support of the public, having garnered their fourth preference, are you interested in returning to next years’ edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and if so, will you be working with the same mixture of local and foreign songwriters who helped you achieve your best result thus far?

I believe the Malta Eurovision Song Contest is one of the greatest platforms and in these last three years it always improved in all areas and I always liked the experiences I’ve had so far, therefore I might consider to take part again, however I have to make sure I’m competing with a good song as it’s my dream to represent Malta in the Eurovision Contest. I’m always up to working with authors and composers with a good product and I also collaborate therefore I’m hoping to have a good song to return again.

Would you like to say to the readers of escflashmalta.com?

I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the readers that continuously show their support to the Maltese talent. It’s incredible that in this tiny island we’re blessed with so many talents. I believe that through your continuous support, artists like me can reach their dreams as it’s always awesome to have people appreciate what you’re doing.

Source: Official Facebook Page, Emil Calleja Bayliss (Image)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wikHRTwRdA

Published in Interviews

Claudia Faniello, one of the most recognisable voices in the country has just released the music video for the song When It's Time which she penned to the music of Errol Sammut, lead singer of the band, Airport Impressions. The song itself was an entry in this years' edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest where it finished in seventh place, marking yet another top ten finish for Claudia Faniello following last years' first runner-up finish with the track Pure composed by Philip Vella to the lyrics of Gerard James Borg. The recording of this music video along with all of the technical framework were taken care of by the project Media Cast unveiled by Mcast a couple of years back.

Claudia Faniello is the younger sister of two time Eurovision Song Contest representative, Fabrizio Faniello and has seemingly garnered a strong fanbase in the country during the years noting the release of her debut studio album Convincingly Better, her two runner-up finishes at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and her recent success on Malta's Top Ten with Nathan D, which is the local chart on 89.7 Bay. In the meantime, Claudia was also part of the escflashmalta.com coverage for this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest as she made her thoughts on the tracks competing in the first semi-final known. Remember that you could still purchase When It's Time by Claudia Faniello on iTunes whilst watching the video just below. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: Official Facebook Page

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B46BHZzqSJ4

Published in Local Music News

In the next couple of weeks, more interviews will be appearing during the week as the editorial team at escflashmalta.com has been in touch with the committee of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza securing a talk with all of the twenty-finalists in the established category. Nevertheless, as those plans commence, the original summer series of interviews continues today with none other than Amber, a three time finalist at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, a backing vocalist for Malta at the Pan-European competition as well as a guest performer with a number of artists, she is one of the fastest rising stars in the local music scene.

At just eighteen years of age, you reached the finals of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest for the very first time with the track Catch 22 composed by Ray Agius to the lyrics of Godwin Sant. Whilst the final result was somewhat dull in comparison to the whole experience, you managed to pick up a signifant tele-vote, faring higher than a number of established performers including; Wayne Micallef, Claudia Faniello and Ally amongst others.  Ultimately, what did it mean to you to succeed in making it through to the final, and when there, how did it feel to be appreciated by the public?

It was a surprise to find myself competing with 2 songs during the malta eurovision considering the fact that this was my first appearance as a eurovsion participant. Making it through to the final was a big achievement for me as I was a new comer to the eurovision at that time. I felt honoured that people had believed in me and in my song.

You have already participated in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest on three occasions, achieving your best result to date in 2012 when the track Answers With Your Eyes composed by Ray Agius and penned by Godwin Sant finished in third place with only points achieved by the mixture of local and foreign juries. You were not far off in 2013 as the song In Control composed by Paul Giodimaina with lyrics by Fleur Balzan finished in fourth place. The genres of both entries were remarkably different from each other yet you performed them with relative ease. Which one of the two do you cite as your favourite and why?

I believe that I cannot compare these 2 entries as they were perferomed in different times during my life and apart from the different genres they also have a different message. Answer with your eyes is all about passion, love and betrayal whilst in control is all about being dominant and independent.As a performer I always study each and every song intensly and try to deliver the message behind the song. Therefore I do not believe that I have any preferences. However I enjoyed performing both songs to the full.

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

On more than one occasion, you have been the subject of severe criticism, kicking off with the appointment of backing vocalist to This Is The Night performed by Kurt Calleja at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2012 to the release of an article published the official website of the Pan-European competition saying that you were supposedly the winner of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with the track In Control. It is important to denote that you handles both events in the best possible manner, giving the public a response which was honest and clear but nevertheless, from your own personal perspective, have such issues made you a stronger individual?

I believe that I can learn from each and every experience whether it is a good or a bad experience.  The general public has a right for the truth.  However it might not always be easy when giving an explanation as unfortunately there will still be a minority to prefer to interpret the situation in their own way. Luckily such situations have thought me that “what doesn't kill you makes you stronger”. As a performer I have learnt that these are difficult and challenging situations that I have to come across during my career, from which I always learn and look ahead.

In 2012, following your participation as a backing vocalist during the Eurovision Song Contest, you returned to another astonishing opportunity, and that was to perform with Joseph Calleja, an internationally renowned opera singer whose affiliation to the international showcase was introducing the country during the postcard preceding Glen Vella’s performance of One Life back in 2011. During the summer concert which also featured Ronan Keating and Lucio Dalla, you had the opportunity to sing the song A Thousand Years originally by Christina Perri. Why was that specific track selected and would you have done anything differently or do you believe the setup was just right?

Perfroimng with Joseph Calleja was simply perfect and I would definately leave the same set up if I had to to it all over again. It was a dream come true and I still cannot believe that I was given the opportunity to perform with such a prominant and humble artist. We had chosen the song a thousand years together after we had short listed our options. We had finalised our decision to this song as it had quite a powerful message behind it and it suited both our voices.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GhhlQ5QtE0

In 2010, you entered the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza for the very first time, making it through to the second phase with no less than two songs, out of which one was selected to get through to the final, that entitled Trid Taprezza composed by Ray Agius and penned by Alfred C Sant. This was your second major local festival having also participated in the Malta Hit Song Contest earlier that year with the track Take It Easy written by the same team of songwriters, finishing in fourth place. Nevertheless you managed to improve this time round coming out as a winner after a tight competition, finishing just ahead of Gloriana Arpa Belli. What does the year 2010 stand for in your mind and what is your perception on local competitions?

2010 was a total turning point in my career.  Both festivals have not only given me a boost but they have also given my name a recognition and also gave me a clear picture of what i wanted to establish in my career. Our islands inhibt people with talent. I believe that professional local competition will show case various talents and  not only provide the artists with exposure but also with experience.

escflashmalta.com had the pleasure of being the first to publish the video to the track So Good written and performed by Matt Mercieca (Muxu) but nevertheless, you feature heavily in various parts, predominantly within the chorus. The track, a mixture of pop and r’n’b is somewhat well suited to your vocals as attributed by general comments of readers of our portal as well as comments on viral website, YouTube. What could you tell us about the collaboration and would you consider working together once more, maybe even for the Eurovision Song Contest, following his success with Davinia and her track Betrayed earlier this year?

Working with Muxu is always a fun and remarkable experience. He is a very talented artist with fresh and unique ideas.When working with Muxu I can give my own interpretation to the song and he even considers my own ideas. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FwXCk0cjyio

During last years’ edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, your third place result was attributed thanks to the support of juries, as the public failed to award you any points unfortunately. We have recently spoken in favour of the professional jury panel for selecting Tomorrow co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat with vocals by Gianluca to represent Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest, having obtained the nations’ best result since 2005. Do you believe that the public are still entitled to have a say in the final result or do you think that the jury should make the decision?

Although during my last year's participation I did not receive any public votes I still fully agree that the general public together with the jury deserve a say in the final result. After all the winner will be representing the country and its citizens. 

Would you like to say anything to our readers at escflashmalta.com

I would like to thank the readers for their constant support throughout my career.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4WGv0lBPkto

Published in Interviews
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