January 24, 2020

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It has been an extremely busy couple of weeks, with the Junior Eurovision Song Contest and the Malta Eurovision Song Contest staged at the Marsa Shipbuilding. In the former, it was Vincenzo Cantiello with "Tu Primo Grande Amore" on behalf of Italy whilst in the latter, it was all about Amber and her entry "Warrior", composed by Elton Zarb to the lyrics of Matt Muxu Mercieca. It was a groundbreaking victory, taking maximum points from all the jurors, including the public, who were on their feet as the results were being announced.

Amber, competing in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest for the fifth time, with the sixth entry, has been close to victory on several occasions, finishing in 4th place for the last two editions with entries "Because I Have You" and "In Control", both composed by Paul Giordimaina to the lyrics of Fleur Balzan, and also finishing in 3rd place back in 2012 with "Answer With Your Eyes" composed by Ray Agius to the lyrics of Alfred C Sant. 

In 2010, Amber came onto the scene, making her way into the final of the Malta Hit Song Contest with the song "Take It Easy" composed by Ray Agius to the lyrics of Alfred C Sant, before eventually winning her first competition in 2011, the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, with "Trid Tapprezza" composed by Ray Agius to the lyrics of Alfred C Sant. It is yet unknown whether "Warrior" will be the entry that will represent Malta with Anton Attard, CEO of the Public Broadcasting Services stating that a decision will be taken in the coming weeks.

On behalf of escflashmalta.com editorial team, I would like to congratulate Amber, Matt Muxu Mercieca, Elton Zarb and the rest of the team for their achievement. You will definitely have all our support all the way to Vienna, Austria. We urge you to keep tuned to escflashmalta.com, even through Facebook and Twitter, for all the latest news about the Eurovision Song Contest 2015.

Source: escflashmalta.com, Gordon Roxburgh (Image)


Friday, 24 October 2014 11:42

MESC 2015: In-Depth Interview with Amber

On the 21st and 22nd November, the Public Broadcasting Services will be hosting the 2014-2015 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest at the Marsa Shipbuilding. 20 acts will be taking centre stage, in hope of representing the country at next year's edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, being held in Vienna, Austria. Over the next couple of weeks, escflashmalta.com will be publishing a series of interviews with all the participants. Whilst thanking the Public Broadcasting Services for this opportunity, Let's continue and follow things up with Amber.

Would you kindly introduce your entry to our readers and also identify the meaning behind the lyrics?

My entry is called 'Warrior', written by Matt 'Muxu' Mercieca and Elton Zarb. My song is an inspirational message to which anyone can relate to. It encourages anyone who is facing any obstacle, to conquer it. 

In Malta, the Eurovision Song Contest is considered to be a major outlet for the music industry, and you stand here as one of the semi-finalists. What does the whole experience mean to you?

The Eurovision is a huge platform for Maltese artists, authors and composers to showcase their talent locally and internationally. Being one of the semi-finalists is definitely an honor, since from this experience I always learn and enjoy myself. 

Recently, Malta has been rather successful at the Eurovision Song Contest, making the final on four of the last five participation attempts. What do you think is the reason for this success, and do you believe that your entry has what it takes to continue this positive trend?

I think that this positive outcome is a result of all the hardwork being carried out by all the team involved including the artists, authors and composers, as well as the rest of the Maltese delegation. Naturally I believe in my song, however the final result of the eurovision is up to the Maltese public and jury.


If you were given the opportunity to sing another one of the competing entries in the 2014-2015 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, which one would it be and why?

Like most of the other artists, I believe that to participate in a contest of this caliber, one must be sure that the song chosen is exclusively tailor-made for him/her. In this way, the song will truly reflect the person interpreting it.

Do you have any plans to release more music in the future, and do you have any particular projects in the pipeline?

My main focus at the moment is the Malta Eurovision Song Contest.

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

I would like to thank the readers for their constant support. Without you all, I wouldn't have been able to be where I am today. Finally, I hope that you like my entry for this year's MESC as much as I do.


Published in Interviews

In 2013, one of the surprise packages of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest was female singer/songwriter Davinia, whose entry "Betrayed" composed by Elton Zarb to the lyrics of Matt Mercieca finished in 3rd place. True to her character, she returned with a second entry, "Brand New Day", but the result was not as expected and did not trouble the scoreboard despite touted as a potential winner.

Davinia, a guest writer on escflashmalta.com has confirmed to this portal that she does not intend to submit an entry for the 2015 edition of the Malta Euroviion Song Contest for the simple reason that she will be relocating to the United States of America, where she will be studying vocal technique and music theory. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the 2015 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: Davinia Pace (Website, Facebook, Twitter)


Published in Local Music News

'Floating on Air' is the name of the new single by Gaia Cauchi, winner of the 2013 edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, with music by Elton Zarb and lyrics by Matthew Mercieca. This follows her debut single 'The Start' which won the prestigious children's competition back in November. Launched during the Malta International Food Festival in Ħaż-Żabbar to a large audience, it was well received by those present.

Gaia Cauchi, a student of La Voix Academy, has been on a high since triumphing at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, having been a guest at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, at Sanremo Junior Malta, the Eurovision Song Contest and also finishing as the first runner-up on the Romanian talent show; Next Star which airs on Antena 1. 'Floating on Air', written in the form of a theme song could be said to be a mixture of genres; including ballad, r'n'b and pop. You may listen to the song below, whilst we urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even on Facebook & Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: Gaia Cauchi (Official Facebook Page)

On Monday 12th May, established female vocalist Davinia released her new single 'OUCH!' across the airwaves in Malta. Nevertheless, for those wishing to purchase a copy of the track, it will be available on major digital platforms such as iTunes, Deezer and Amazon as from the 24th May. The track is a collaboration with award-winning Maltese DJ and producer Carlo Gerada, singer/songwriter Matt Mercieca, with mastering by Elton Zarb at Freetime Studios.  The two latter names are responsible for Davinia’s past releases, ‘Sail Away’, ‘Betrayed’ and ‘You Are My Home’.

'OUCH!' is the second release of Davinia in 2014, having previously published 'Brand New Day', the song with which she made it through to the finals of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, and was then subsequently released on all major platforms following public demand. With lyrics symbolic to new beginnings, positive outlook and restored hope, Davinia dedicated ‘Brand New Day’ to the LGBT community in support of the passing of the Civil Union Bill in Maltese Parliament. The passing of this bill was celebrated by a mini-concert held in Palace Square last month, and was headlined by Davinia herself. In stark contrast, ‘OUCH!’ adds new colour to Davinia’s already colourful muscial portfolio. 

Known mainly for jazz and soul influenced ballads, this latest offering is a bold move away from Davinia’s past work. Although ‘OUCH!’ talks about a failing relationship, it posseses playful elements, with a beat tailored to a fun and mischevious Mediterranean summer. As a genre, ‘OUCH!’ classifies as Electronic Dance Music (EDM) which at times shifts towards Dance. It is expected to be played at Malta’s top festivals and clubs over summer, including Society and an open air venue, for which details will follow. 

We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news as soon as it becomes available. In the meantime, for more information above Davinia and her latest projects, please visit either her Official Website or her Official Facebook Page.

Source: Press Release


Published in Local Music News

Gaia Cauchi, winner of the 2013 edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, with The Start which she co-wrote with Gillian Attard, Elton Zarb and Matthew Mercieca, had the opportunity to showcase her astonishing vocal range during a recent Beatles Tribute Show which was organised by the FĊN (Fundazzjoni Ċelebrazzjonijiet Nazzjonali) at Smart City, a technological park in Kalkara, last Sunday.

Gaia was not alone on stage having been accompanied by a choir made up of students from La Voix Academy under the direction of Gillian Attard with assistance by De Bee, first runner-up during the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and Matt Mercieca, co-writer of The Start, Betrayed, Brand New Day and Until We Meet Again. The performance of the song All You Need is Love, originally performed by The Beatles went down extremely well with the crowd. Below you may see the recorded version and we urge you to focus on the audio since the visual is a tad shaky. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more updates.

Source: La Voix Academy, escflashmalta.com, Pix by Max Photography


Published in Local Music News

Just an hour prior to her arrival at the Malta International Airport, the Public Broadcasting Services (PBS) announced through the eight o'clock news bulletin that Federica Falzon will be representing the country in the 2014 edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Due to the fact, that the senior edition of the international competition is slated to take in three weeks time, the announcement is thought to be early, giving the broadcaster ample time to work on the organisation of the competition.

In an exclusive comment made to esc-plus earlier this morning, it was revealed that the song that Federica Falzon will be performing in the 2014 edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest will be co-written by Elton Zarb and Matt Mercieca, the latter being a vocal coach at La Voix Academy and together making up a formidable team who went onto win last years' edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. It is well worth noting that they were also responsible for writing Betrayed sung by Davinia, the second runner-up entry in the 2013 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and Until We Meet Again performed by Deborah C, which finished in fifth place at this years' edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest.

Federica Falzon will be the second winner of Ti Lascio Una Canzone to appear on the stage of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. The first was Michele Perniola who represented San Marino with the song O-o-O Sole Intorno a Me in 2013 was also a former champion of the Italian talent show. More details with regards to the song and the presentation will be made in due course, and thus we urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for news about both the Junior Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Malta, as well as the Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Denmark.

Source: esc-plus


Malta has been nicknamed by many as the small country with big talent and after a number of close finishes in the Eurovision Song Contest and victories in foreign festivals, Malta was able to win the Junior Eurovision Song Contest last year thanks to Gaia Cauchi, Elton Zarb, Gillian Attard and Matthew Mercieca. It was no surprise when after Gaia’s emergence from La Voix Academy, that Federica Falzon from the same academy made the headlines by making it through to the finals of ‘Ti Lascio Una Canzone’.

The young Maltese starlet was partnered with Vincenzo Carni and together they formed a lyrical duo. The duo hit the right chord straightaway as they impressed from the very first programme where they went on to win it. After that the duo had another four victories – something impressive especially considering the talent of all the singers competing in this show. The duo did not compete in one of the ten programmes because Federica was unwell but in the others they left their mark as when they did not win they still managed to reach the finals in that particular programme.

Tonight the lyrical duo sang two songs ‘Un Amore Cosi Grande’ and ‘Il Mare Calmo Della Sera’. Federica was impressive in both songs tonight whilst Vincenzo after a small glitch in the first song picked up well and was as equally impressive. This never hindered them in anyway, as the song ‘Un Amore Cosi Grande’ went on to the final three. After the super finalists sang again, it was very evident that the Maltese/Italian duo meant business as they managed to up their game to a new level and their performance had everyone on their feet right from the start. 

Federica Falzon and Vincenzo Carni were announced as the winners of the seventh edition of ‘Ti Lascio Una Canzone’ with the song ‘Un Amore Cosi Grande’. Another feat for our country, especially considering the amount of talent one finds in Italy, known for its culture and musical capacity. A well deserved mention goes to Federica Falzon’s teachers Gillian Attard and Matthew Mercieca from La Voix Academy who have guided the young star throughout her impressive journey. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news.

Source: Rai Uno


Federica Falzon, the ten year old mezzo-soprano who has been sweeping the nation with weekly breathtaking performances alongside the equally talented Italian tenor Vincenzo Carni on the talent show Ti Lascio Una Canzone hosted by Antonella Clerici on Rai Uno, is one of the several prodigies vocally trained by Gillian Attard and Matt Mercieca at La Voix Academy.

Veronica Rotin, Gaia Cauchi, Shauna Vassallo and Maxine Pace who have all had local and international success are all students of the prestigious La Voix Academy whose stellar work continues to raise the cultural profile of the country. Tomorrow marks the final programme of this season for Ti Lascio Una Canzone and the duet featuring Vincenzo and Federica will be performing two entries. They have been given this honour due to having won at least five different semi-finals. We urge all our Italian readers to support this duet during the programme tomorrow whilst reminding the local readers to call upon their friends and family in Italy to also call and support them. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news.

Source: Rai Uno


Published in Local Music News
Thursday, 17 April 2014 17:55

ESC 2014: An In-Depth Review of Hungary

It has become customary for the escflashmalta.com editorial board to engage professional individuals from the music industry to assess the songs competing in the Eurovision Song Contest as presented to the European Broadcasting Union during the Heads of Delegation Meeting. Martin Isherwood, Deo Grech, Stano Simor and Matt Mercieca from the United Kingdom, Malta and the Czech Republic have been entrusted with the first semi-final, comprising of sixteen songs and set to take place on the 6th May 2014 at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark. Making use of the running order and thus moving onto number #16, we catch up with Hungary (MTVA) who will be represented by András Kállay-Saunders and the song Running co-written with Krisztián Szakos.

András Kállay-Saunders became famous through his participation in the Megasztár talent show, and while working on his career, he soon discovered his love for the Eurovision Song Contest. In his third attempt, he finally won the Hungarian national selection A Dal in 2014 with Running. The song has a very strong message and a personal link to Kállay: "I wrote this song about a childhood friend of mine, and people I have met with similar stories throughout my life. Unfortunately my friend was victim to child abuse, domestic violence. I wrote this song about their experiences and everything that they went though. I would like to raise awareness to this topic."

András Kállay-Saunders was born on January 28, 1985 in New York City to Hungarian model Katalin Kállay and American soul-singer and producer Fernando Saunders. Autumn of 2009, Kállay decided to visit Hungary to reunite with his mother as well as spending quality time with his grandmother. During his visit, he noticed a TV commercial urging talented singers to audition for the nation’s talent competition Megasztár. Kállay finished fourth in the contest but gained a life-changing experience. He realised the doors were opened toward making a life-long dream come true with hard work and dedication. He went on to sign with Universal and permanently resided in Hungary.

In 2012, Kállay entered the Hungarian Eurovision national selection show A Dal, but he unfortunately came short of the finals. During this competition, he developed a pride towards one day bringing the big stage to the country that opened doors to his dream. In 2013 he entered A Dal again with his single My Baby and reached 2nd place. He still had the desire to represent Hungary in Eurovision and wasn’t going to give up trying just yet. While having many songs to his arsenal, Kállay felt it was time to show Hungary a deeper song and chose to send Running, a song inspired by a childhood friend, who grew up dealing with domestic violence and child abuse.


András Kállay-Saunders also has a message for his fans: "I just want to say thank you to everyone who believes in me and supports me." Since returning in 2011, Hungary has been succeeding in getting through to the final of the Eurovision Song Contest with Kati WolfCompact Disc and ByeAlex reaching either a mid-table result, or in the event of the 2013, Kedvesem managing the third top ten result in eleven previous participations. The best result from Hungary was achieved during their debut back in 1994 with Friderika Bayer and Kinek Mondjam el Vetkeimet finished in fourth place with 122 points. Since the semi-final system was initiated back in 2005, it seems that Hungary has faced mixed fortunes apart from the past three years.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 75%

Martin Isherwood: Lyrics seem to be about child abuse and which, whilst a very serious issue, doesn't really seem to sit with the overall vibe of Eurovision Good voice. Ballad feel morphing in to drum n bass - unusual. Good track but I doubt it will enthuse the Eurovision audiences. 

Deo Grech: I rooted for Andras since the very first time I listened to his entry.   He faced a fierce competition in the Hungarian territory at A Dal 2014 from another entry with a similar title 'Running Out of Time', which should have been perfect for Eurovision, too. Having said that, I still prefer Andras' 'Running'.  This is full of emotion and has a very modern production.  With the right marketing, I can see this hitting the radio waves quite easily.  Come May, this will definately be battling it out with the other contenders.  Yes, it will surely be a battle of the ballads at Eurovision 2014.

Stano Simor: Hungary has in recent years quite successful artist, which well represents the unknown Hungarian music scene. András could reach this year especially young generation audience. The combination of slower intro and verses with drum n bass chorus is impressive. The chorus is easy to remember and that's what counts.

Matt Mercieca: I like it! Lyrics are a little blah! with the story telling and what-not. but I love his voice and the beat. and the Chorus is Brilliant!

Source: eurovision.tv


Published in Editorials
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