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On the 15th March, Sir Temi Żammit Hall played host to the 38th edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu, a revitalised music competition for which there were a total of seventy-one (71) submissions, sixteen (16) of which were presented to the audience present in the venue and at home with ONE Television broadcasting the event directly in real-time. Josephine Ebejer Grech & Clint Bajada presided over the competition as hosts, not only introducing the song title, artists and songwriters but even the musicians on stage, something which was innovative and well planned. Supported by the Malta Arts Fund and Fondazzjoni Ċelebrazzjonijiet Nazzjonali, it was truly an evening to remember.

David Aloisio, Vince Fabri, Rosabelle Bianchi, Eric Montfort, Elaine Falzon, Kevin Farrugia, Maria Abdilla and David Azzopardi were the professional panel of judges for the competition and they selected a worthy bunch of winners, all of which were mentioned by the public present during several points throughout the evening. Nevertheless, it seems like the jury and the public agreed greatly on the winning entry Jien Ma Naħdimx with music by Mark Scicluna, lyrics by Rita Pace and vocals by songbird, Karen DeBattista. In second place was the comical upbeat song about social media entitled Kif Xrobtuli l-Menti, written by Frank O'Neill, who performed it with Christabelle Curmi and Il-Lajks, leaving in third place a soft beautiful ballad entitled Wara l-Kanċell penned by Joe Julian Farrugia to the music of Miriam Christine who also performed the song in a duet with Olivia Lewis.

In the meantime, this competition is known to award a number of other trophies, in order to point out the exceptional quality of talent that Malta is known to have. Christian Arding was awarded with the Best Interpretation for his entry Il-Karba tal-Mument composed by Chan Vella to the lyrics of Kevin Tanti whilst Denise Spiteri was given the Best New Artist accolade for her stunning performance of Pupa written by Mark Laurence Zammit. The coveted Social Theme award which is given to the lyricist who challenges the stereotype and comes up with a brilliant all around combination went to Rita Pace for the wonderful Il-Quċċata which she wrote to the music of Jeffrey Scicluna, performed by 7 Spadi leaving only the singer/songwriter award which went for the aforementioned Frank O'Neill.

We would like to thank the organising committee of L-Għanja tal-Poplu for their fantastic support throughout these past couple of weeks, giving us the opportunity to speak to the artists, and making the songs available beforehand, giving the event positive publicity. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news about the local music scene and participation in the Eurovision Song Contest as soon as it becomes available.

Source: Official Website, Official Facebook Page

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

Published in L-Għanja Tal-Poplu
Saturday, 15 March 2014 18:00

Malta: L-Għanja tal-Poplu 2014 - LIVE

Il-Lejl it-Tajjeb! On the 3rd February, the organising committee of L-Għanja tal-Poplu released the song titles and the names of the songwriters of each of the sixteen (16) qualifiers. It was also announced that seventy-one (71) submissions were received, the highest since its return to the local music scene a couple of years ago, denoting that the changes made to the competition have been appreciated by artists, songwriters and producers alike.

In the past of days, escflashmalta.com had the opportunity to speak to almost all of the finalists in a series of interviews published under the logo acronym GħTP. It was a scintillating experience, and one got to know more about the artists, and the songs they are presenting in the competition. For the very first time in a relatively long period of time, the event hosted by Josephine Ebejer Grech and Clint Bajada will be airing LIVE on ONE Television as from 20:15 CET, and therefore we thought it best to cover the proceedings as they occur in a song-by-song account. Those who wish to view the event on internet may also do so through the official website of the private broadcaster, ONE Television.

The Show (Part 1)

Il-Lejla t-tajba. We kick off the show with the choir of the night! It is a colourful mixture of kids and young singers. What a pleasant energy they are radiating! It is a medley comprising of succesful songs from past editions such as Wellidni and It-Tfal tal-lum.  

Clint and Josephine now appear on stage opening the 38th edition of this festival, thanking main sponsors and contributors. Moreover, Clint encourages all present and those watching to sit back and relax, enoy such a very relaxing show, which has a history of being very calm and enjoyable! 
 

Running Order

01. Mara - Marie Claire Attard Bason (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Andrew Zammit)

The very first song is a relatively powerful one. It's a celebration of the power of women and the music blends really well with the message of the song, uttered by the woman narrating abuse and lack of respect from others, mainly from her male counterparts. Attard Bason looks very confident and on stage there are 8 people, two of them backing vocalists but the attention is still on the singer. The determination and consciousness of the woman narrating her past and today's courage are marked very well on her face and in the firmness of her voice! An absolutely great entry! 

02. Il-Quċċata – 7 Spadi (Rita Pace, Jeffrey Scicluna)

The first male singer for the night and he seems very sure of what he is singing about and the anger for that someone that is corrupt and doing what he used to complain about is very evident in his voice! It's like he is telling him off in reality! The chorus is quite catchy and basically delivers a good lesson to those who are ready to do anything to garner power despite the harm they might inflict on others! The title of the song itself represents this fight for power. It's quite a good entry and I would love to listen to it once again! A job well done.  

03. Numri - Estelle Fenech Imbroll (Paul Attard, Mark Scicluna)

Estelle looks very elegant and delicate but there's something in her first moves that tell me she's a bit anxious, the first singer to make me think about this. But she now settles down and focuses on her emotions, looking very pensive and nervous, narrating a difficult life of vice and vicious circles going into one another. The atmosphere on stage is absolutely adequate for this song and the blue is very calm. "Ħajti vojta jekk ma nissugrax" champions the prevalent theme of abuse and harshness of life for this festival. This is a very emotional song delivered by a charming lady doing justice to her song! Thumbs up Estelle!

04. Rutina – Tmien Ħabbiet (Jonathan Laferla, Charlie Bonnici)

  Rutina, sung by Tmien Ħabbiet kicks off with a very systematic rythm which am not sure whether is running in some bad order. It does not convince me at times and the singing does not really blend will with the  lyrics. The voices too, they do not mix really pleasantly either but i DO like the kind of interval in singing for "Hawn Sabiħa!". It's quite authentic. Listening to this once is enough I think. 

05. Kif Xrobbtuli l-Menti - Frank O'Neill, Christabelle Curmi u l-Likes (Frank O'Neill) 

This is a very avantegarde song making use of a huge number of words recently doing their way into the Maltese parlance, such as wajers, plajers and the very popular STESSU. Frank's hat is quite original and Christabelle's facial expressions are absolutely flawless, accompanying the lyrics . The band resembling that of the village festa is quite authentic as well! Great! Not amongst my favourite but I did enjoy this! 

06. Il-Karba tal-Mument - Christian Arding (Kevin Tanti, Chan Vella)

Christian appears on piano in a very quite and calm posture. He is well focused and lets the words out very pleasantly but also in a strong voice, narrating the unfortunate destiny of a lonely individual lacking parents' affection. However, this atmosphere ought to be consolidated by everyone on stage and no just the singer! One of the guitarist strangely smiles a bit too much and it really did not go down well with me! Another one about the negatives of life! This is well expected in this festival! I like this!

07. Fejn Huma? - Daniel Borg (George Cassar, Daniel Borg)

 Wow! This song begins without the music and it allows all attention on the words and his manner of delivery is like a very casual daily conversation! Interjections such as "Illaħwa"  and "illistrina" turn this song into a relevant message accompanied by music, making reference to recent issues that on a national basis made it to the headlines quite a number of times, such as the Mistra issue. The theme is quite common but it has been transformed quite well and this stands out: "Malta fittex erġa' ejja lura għal li kont"! If only this becomes true! Brilliant!

08. Jien Ma Naħdimx - Karen DeBattista (Rita Pace, Mark Scicluna)

Another elegant singer! Karen has something in her eyes giving power to this fragile female housewife, and she too seems quiet. The lyrics make me go nuts literally for they kind of support the stereotype rather than try and challenge it but the hell with this! I like this song, I like the singer and also the fact that the audience goes clapping in the midst of it! "Jien ma naħdimx imma ma nieqaf qatt", ok it does not challenge the stereotype but it does give us a clear indication of the pity reality many women are living in nowadays! Amazing song, amazing stage setting and choice of everything really! Kudos Karen! To the top three she must go!

09. Immigrant Regolari - Teddie Zammit (Rita Pace, Teddie Zammit)

What strikes me most is the energy that Mark Lawrence is radiating! He seems so passionate playing the piano. Teddie with quite an emotion narrates the life in transition of a migrating bird  and it does remind me of the fate of human immigrants but it really does not stand out, except for the last bit, whereby the music changes course. Still, does not impress me.

10. Pupa - Denise Spiteri (Mark Laurence Zammit)

Denise to me appears like a younger Corazon, delivering a very strong interpretation of her song! I like all the energy and the control she has on her voice. Simply calm and pleasant! Thumbs up to this too!

11. Il-Bamboċċu, Il-Bambinu u l-Budaj - Frans Casha (Frans Casha)

And off we go to a year or two back. Something went wrong but we're now back on track and the song kicked off as expected seconds later. This might seem old fashioned, considering all songs preceding it and looking at the backing vocaist wearing a traditioanlly Maltese dress and head piece but it does make us think of the prevalent music of the past. The dominant colour on stage is red and White, a strong link to the Maltese flag and identity. Frans Casha is accompanied by a female voice which blends quite well but does not blend quite well all the energy of the the young man behind him on the synthesizer. Frans's calmness contrasts quite well with all his head movements! It does not do justice really! A very average entry.

12. Wara l-Kanċell - Miriam Christine u Olivia Lewis (J J Farrugia, Miriam Christine)

Miriam Christine starts off the song playing the piano and she immediately immerses us in their mysterious world. Olivia is on the other hand standing in centre stage and their voices are kind of AMAZING! They perfectly accompany each other without any faults! Olivia delivers the song firmly and Miriam Christine is all focused on the playing and her singing! It's quite a breathtaking entry! I really do not want this to reach its final seconds! They have the perfect pronounciation and synchronisation! Ought to WIN. 

13. BħalGħasfura - Mario Debono (Mario Debono)

Do not know wheter David Azzopardi with his Pastizzi chant or the Greenfields have taken over the stage but Mario is managing to make me sing to his tune! It's quite a relaxing song but I would have preferred him singing alone rather than along the backing vocalist! The melody is quite enjoyable too. This probably will be forgotten very soon. 

14. Djarju ta' Tifkiriet - Simone Gauci (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Mark Spiteri Lucas)

Simone seems very focused and all serious but then she breaks into a very sweet smile and her emotion follows the lyrics! She delivers her song with a delicate passion that is convincing. The chorus is absolutely fascinating, magical I dare say, it's flowing pace is quite authentic too. Standing on the same spot with a standing microphone is the right choice and Simone's gaze at the end completes the circle! This is a promising entry! Would like to listen to it once again! 

15. Liberat – Teddie Zammit (George Cassar, Teddie Zammit)

And once again, it's Teddie. But he's back with another song that does not really impress me! The stage setting suits the song really well and this time round this guitarist does make justice to the song for he follows the correct emotion and gestures, so thumbs up to this young champ! I like the ending and how the song fades away to its final seconds. 

16. Insellmulkom - Domenique (Joe Chircop, Philip Vella)

And the final song, entitled Insellmulkom looks like it is hinting the final entry for this 38th edition of the festival! But it surely does NOT deserve a final ranking for it is a very powerful song! Domenique is not new to such festivals and surely not with this theme! It reminds me of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza and it stands out particulary tonight for it's the sole song bearing a patriothic theme. She goes very high in her notes and looks determined to succeed and make our ex Presidents and Prime Ministers feel very proud! It's a song thanking all those who stood up for our country and showed courage! She looks magnificent and does great justice to the lyrics! Another song chasing the trophy for the night!

The Show (Part 2)

All 16 songs are now being scrutinised by the Jury, comprising of David Aloisio, Vince Fabri, Rosabelle Bianchi, Eric Montfort, Elaine Falzon, Kevin Farrugia, Maria Abdilla and David Azzopardi. 

In the meantime there's a long intermission.  

There is now an interview with Walter Micallef about the history of the Maltese song during turbulent times and the need to give the song in Maltese the respect and attention it deserves! 

Corazon follows Walter and speaks about her first debut at the l-Għanja tal-Poplu way back in 2006 with Kieku Taf.  She ends by emphasising the need to keep on producing good quality songs in Maltese so as to keep the pace and keep on developing and safeguarding our national language. 

And back to Sir Temi Zammit Hall. 

Clint points out that this is a celebration of anything that makes us Maltese!
Now it's time for the Għanja tal-Poplu Choir with its contribution entitled L-Għanja tal-Maltin.  

Now Corazon is delivering three of her songs included in her recent album: Hawn Jien. The first one was Illejla b'Xejn and now she's delivering Id-Dar tan-Nanna.  Before delivering the last song, she elaborates a bit on this album and emphasises that good quality music in Maltese may arouse very strong emotions. Her final song is going on now and it is Jgħidu Kien Hawn Raġel. 

And it is now! Results are soon to be released!

The best Young Talent: Pupa (Denise Spiteri) 
The Best Interpretation: Il-Karba tal-Mument (Christian Arding) 
The best Singer/writer: Kif xrobtuli l-Menti (Frank O'Neil) 
The best Social Theme:  Rita Pace (Il-Quċċata)
2nd Runner up: Wara l-Kanċell (Miriam Christine and Olivia Lewis) 
1st Runner up: Kif Xrobtuli l-Menti (Frank O'Neil, Christabelle Curmi u l-Likes)
WINNER: Jien ma Naħdimx (Karen DeBattista)

Published in Local Music News

L-Għanja tal-Poplu, a music competition with original songs in Malta is turning thirty-eight (38) in a couple of days whilst encountering a resurgence, noting that the amount of submissions this year reached seventy-one (71), the highest in reality since the committee introduced the element of live instruments during the performances. escflashmalta.com has been granted permission to speak to the sixteen (16) competing acts, and thus we move onto the eleventh act in our series; Miriam Christine & Olivia Lewis who will be performing the song Wara l-Kanċell composed and penned by Mark Laurence Zammit.

Miriam Christine & Olivia Lewis, two female vocalists who have both represented Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest, in different decades with completely opposite genres. This is the most high profile act to enter this years’ edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu, giving the competition a much needed boost in terms of name dropping. What was the reason behind this submission and what can the public expect?

Olivia and I have participated in this Festival a few editions ago. It is a great medium to put a strong message across. We felt that this was a good platform to launch our first song together as we are planning to work on a project together. Our aim is to evoke feelings in the Maltese and Gozitan people through the strong lyrics and beautiful melody we are putting forward. For all of us involved in this song, it is very important to achieve this.

Wara l-Kanċell, composed by Miriam Christine to the lyrics of Joe Julian Farrugia is the song that you will be presenting in this years’ edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu. Would you care to explain the meaning behind the lyrics and the genre that the song encompasses?

This is a sad ballad which reflects all the inner struggles, thoughts, hopelessness, wishes, turmoil that prison inmates go through whilst serving their sentence behind bars. 

L-Għanja tal-Poplu is known to be a celebration of lyrical prowess amongst friends, noting that the competitive feel is very much forgotten during rehearsals or the actual night of the competition. With ONE, the most successful private broadcaster in Malta supporting this event, it seems to denote its successful reputation. Do you believe that there’s a place for this competition within the local music industry and do you support it’s continuation in the years to come?

We definitely support the continuation of this Festival. This competition is a great medium to put some beautiful songs with strong lyrics out there. The Maltese public are continuously searching for Maltese songs. Let us keep them happy and keep those beautiful Maltese songs coming!

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

We are so happy and feel so blessed that year after year we keep receiving all the love and support from our fans. Thank you so much for giving us strength to continue doing what we are so passionate about... Beautiful music.

Source: Official WebsiteOfficial Facebook Page

Published in Interviews

escflashmalta.com has always represented the best interests of the local music industry, by bringing the public the latest news from songwriters, producers, musicians and artists who have a local heritage whilst also supporting the nations' participation in the Eurovision Song Contest. It has become customary for the portal to organise features in relation to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and therefore, for the third consecutive year, the escflashmalta.com awards were given, in partnership with ONE Radio 92.7 FM.

Clint on ONE, a flagship programme hosted on Saturday morning by Clint Bajada, the individual who has made the local music scene the centre of his radio strategy, played host to the awards this morning with Marc Calleja Bayliss, Editor-In-Chief of escflashmalta.com appearing on behalf of the portal to hand out the awards and also answer any related questions. The three (3) coveted awards were all given their prime attention, noting that the professional members of the music industry were assigned the preview videos of the songs, making their selection as if being judges of the actual competition, the public who had the right to select only one (1) song per IP Address, and last but not least, members of the media who had to select the best five (5) and the worst two (2) in rank order.

Basically, it is now time to reveal the full results of all three (3) awards, with the Public Award and Media Award having been presented to Trevor Fenech, representative of Daniel Testa whose One Last Ride written by Stephen Rudden and Lawrence Peter Bridge actually finished in third place during the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, and the Critics Award going to Davinia and her entry Brand New Day written by Matt Mercieca to the music of Elton Zarb, who in turn was present to accept the award. This was the first time ever in the history of the escflashmalta.com awards that one (1) artist managed to take home two (2) awards, meaning that there was more of consensus especially when keeping in mind that it was also a track which finished in the top three (3) come the end of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_1YFUT4dffU

Media Award; we are proud to have been in contact with almost forty (40) different individuals, each representing a media outlet and each will be noted below. Their aim was simple, to select the most notable five (5) entries and the worst two (2) in rank order. The final tally which you will note below comprises of votes from; Luke Borg (esctoday.com), Eric Nocito (ESC Reporter), Helen C Wood (Radio International), Garrett Mulhall (Eurovision Ireland), Aija Medinika (LTV), Frank Zammit (Stargate Studios), Theofilos Toronidis (ESC Daily), Knut-Oyvind Hagen (NRK), Clint Bajada (ONE Radio 92.7), Ramona Depares (Times of Malta), Samantha Ross (ESC Insight), Tobias Larsson (YLE), Michael Bugeja (Times of Malta), Nathan D (89.7 Bay), Joseph Zammit (escflashmalta.com), Media Team (Insite), Ian Fowell (eurovisionary), Toni Sant (MMI), Patrick Strouk (escflashmalta.com), Alasdair Rendall (escflashmalta.com), Keith Mills (AKOE), David Debono (RTK Radio), Wayne Aquilina (ONE Radio 92.7), Joe Tanti (ONE Radio 92.7), Edward Montebello (eurovisionary), Ian Scerri (escflashmalta.com), Gabriel Ellul (Media.Link Communications), Darragh Reck (RTE), Ruth Frendo (Gwida), Valentina Rossi (V Squared), Belen Garcia (escplus), Liam Clark (escXtra), Deo Grech (ONE Radio 92.7), Alexandru Busa (escflashmalta.com), Emma Backfish (escXtra), Jon Lukas (Channel Radio) and Juergen Boernig (Radio International).

One Last Ride - Daniel Testa : 1460 points

Hypnotica - Jessika : 1040 points

Brand New Day - Davinia : 920 points

Coming Home - Firelight : 840 points

City Lady - Ryan Paul Abela : 680 points

Take Me - Pamela : 640 points

Safe - Miriam Christine : 520 points

Pin the Middle - DeBee : 460 points

Just No Place Like Home - Fabrizio Faniello : 380 points

Love Will Take Me Home - Franklin : 380 points

Because I Have You - Amber : 320 points

Let the Sunshine In - Sophie DeBattista : 320 points

Oblivion - Chris Grech : 260 points

Until We Meet Again - Deborah C : 260 points

Some Kind of Wonderful - Wayne William : 260 points

Addictive - Romina Mamo : 200 points

Lovetricity - Christabelle : 160 points

Ten - Corazon : 20 points

Invisible - Raquel Galdes : -20 points

Now and Forever - Andreana : -220 points

Public Award; due to problems with the server capacity and the award, we had been given the ultimatum to close the poll early, but nevertheless, it was important to note that despite this, almost three thousand (3000) individual votes were submitted. It was a different story to last year when Kevin Borg and Chris Grech had been harshly campaigning against one another through social media, with the latter coming out as the victor. The full results as noted below depict a totally different story with a relatively outright winner and an even more representative top three (3).

One Last Ride - Daniel Testa : 581 votes

Because I Have You - Amber : 479 votes

Addictive - Romina Mamo : 258 votes

Hypnotica - Jessika : 240 votes

Love Will Take Me Home - Franklin : 188 votes

Now and Forever - Andreana : 181 votes

Take Me - Pamela : 142 votes

Just No Place Like Home - Fabrizio Faniello : 122 votes

Invisible - Raquel Galdes : 110 votes

Safe - Miriam Christine : 108 votes

Brand New Day - Davinia : 106 votes

Ten - Corazon : 77 votes

Coming Home - Firelight : 52 votes

Pin the Middle - DeBee : 44 votes

City Lady - Ryan Paul Abela : 30 votes

Lovetricity - Christabelle : 28 votes

Some Kind of Wonderful - Wayne William : 26 votes

Until We Meet Again - Deborah C : 24 votes

Oblivion - Chris Grech: 22 votes

Let the Sunshine In - Sophie DeBattista : 16 votes

Critic Award; the voting of five (5) professional individuals from the international music industry. John Scott, Sharon Vaughn, Martin Isherwood, Stano Simor and Greig Watts have been commissioned to review the competing entries, mark them out of ten (10) and published as a percentage online and finally to vote in Eurovision format and send in their personal scores. The chosen individuals all have multitudes of experience in the industry with John Scott working with the likes of Nicole Scherzinger and Little Mix; Stano Simor co-writing for some of the most familiar faces in Slovakia and the Czech Republic whilst also being the manager of Mista, a former Slovakian selection runner-up; Martin Isherwood being one of the Headmasters at the Liverpool Istitute for Performing Arts; Sharon Vaughn co-writing for Delta Goodrem, Agnes, The Wanted and Jedward and Greig Watts who in turn is an accomplished songwriter/producer and has worked with The Overtones, Natalia and Kate Ryan amongst others.

Brand New Day - Davinia : 38 points

Take Me - Pamela : 31 points

One Last Ride - Daniel Testa : 27 points

Pin the Middle - DeBee : 25 points

Love Will Take Me Home - Franklin : 24 points

Coming Home - Firelight : 22 points

Just No Place Like Home - Fabrizio Faniello : 22 points

Safe - Miriam Christine : 14 points

Until We Meet Again - Deborah C : 14 points

Hypnotica - Jessika : 14 points

Addictive - Romina Mamo : 12 points

Now and Forever - Andreana : 10 points

Invisible - Raquel Galdes : 9 points

Lovetricity - Christabelle : 9 points

Some Kind of Wonderful - Wayne William : 9 points

Because I Have You - Amber : 3 points

Let the Sunshine In - Sophie DeBattista : 2 points

City Lady - Ryan Paul Abela : 2 points

Oblivion - Chris Grech : 0 points

Ten - Corazon : 0 points

At this stage, we would like to thank all of the people involved in making the escflashmalta.com awards presented by ONE Radio 92.7 a success, including none other than Mediterranean Ceramics who designed three (3) beautiful trophies, each owing to the identity and brand that this portal has built in the past five (5) years since it's inception. Collaborating with Clint Bajada and ONE Radio 92.7 was also a pleasure and we hope that this fruitful collaboration continues in the years to come. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news and more exclusive features as the days, months and years go by.

Source: escflashmalta.com, ONE Radio 92.7, Emil Calleja Bayliss (Image)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUOi3p73HpI

Published in Local Music News

The 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest is months away but several countries have either confirmed their participation or released their regulations for national selection processes. Apart from the means of FM Radio in the Netherlands on FM 106.8 and the audio stream from the studio via www.radiointernational.tv and on Digital Cable 781 & Cable 8.1Mhz in the Netherlands, the show will also be web-televised via the Radio International TV Channel from the studio and linking up the many international Eurovision fans and friends and play your requests and read your messages out on air. The simulcast will be from 2000 – 2300 hours CET when fans can join in and chat amongst each other via the Chat Room and request their favourite Eurovision entry.

In anticipation of the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, the team of Radio International had the opportunity to visit Malta, which hosted one of the most organised national finals to take place in Europe this year. Whilst there, they had the chance to speak to all of the entrants, including a series of special guests, some of which represented the Mediterranean Island in the continental competition in the past. In this weeks' episode, one will listen to interviews held with the 1996 Eurovision Song Contest representative; Miriam Christine as well as her team of songwriters; Emil Calleja Bayliss and Mark Scicluna as well as last years' second runner-up; Davinia with her friend and lyricist; Muxu who also helped co-write Malta's winning entry at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, that entitled The Start.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geVt2jK_lL0

As the dawn of a brand new season approaches, Radio International will be hosting a brand new feature, one entitled Denmark's Eurovision Song Contest History which will be reflecting on the entries that the Scandinavian nation sent to the annual music competition. David Mann will continue to look at cover versions from the event whilst the latest news from escXtra and escflashmalta.com will be read out. In the meantime, former representatives of the Eurovision Song Contest are always looking for ways to please their fans and thus new music is being recorded and published throughout the year. Radio International will be playing the most recent singles as sent in by several record labels. We urge you to tune into Radio International this evening at 20:00 CET in order to request your favourite entry from the Eurovision Song Contest and listen to the special features.

Source: Press Release

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LUOi3p73HpI

Thursday, 27 February 2014 00:55

GħTP 2014: Running Order for Final Unveiled

On the 3rd February, the organising committee of L-Għanja tal-Poplu released the song titles and the names of the songwriters of each of the sixteen (16) qualifiers. It was also announced that seventy-one (71) submissions were received, the highest since its return to the local music scene a couple of years ago, denoting that the changes made to the competition have been appreciated by artists, songwriters and producers alike. In the coming days, escflashmalta.com will be publishing a series of interviews with each of the artists confirmed as participants in this years’ edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu, dealing with the social theme, and also past experiences in the music industry.

On Wednesday evening, the organising committee of L-Għanja tal-Poplu unveiled the running order for this years’ edition having just finished a series of promotional shoots, one for the postcards which will accompany each entry as well as the photographs which will be used for press releases in leading local tabloids. At this point in time, we have no clue with regards to the quality of the songs, but nevertheless, the professional jury had an extremely difficult time to decide which sixteen (16) deserved to get through. escflashmalta.com has permission to air a 30 second snippet from each song, these accompanying the questions and answers to be publishing in the coming days.

01. Mara - Marie Claire Attard Bason (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Andrew Zammit)

02. Il-Quċċata – 7 Spadi (Rita Pace, Jeffrey Scicluna)

03. Numri - Estelle Fenech Imbroll (Paul Attard, Mark Scicluna)

04. Rutina – Tmien Ħabbiet (Jonathan Laferla, Charlie Bonnici)

05. Kif Xrobbtuli l-Menti - Frank O'Neill, Christabelle Curmi u l-Likes (Frank O'Neill)

06. Il-Karba tal-Mument - Christian Arding (Kevin Tanti, Chan Vella)

07. Fejn Huma? - Daniel Borg (George Cassar, Daniel Borg)

08. Jien Ma Naħdimx - Karen DeBattista (Rita Pace, Mark Scicluna)

09. Immigrant Regolari - Teddie Zammit (Rita Pace, Teddie Zammit)

10. Pupa - Denise Spiteri (Mark Laurence Zammit)

11. Il-Bamboċċu, Il-Bambinu u l-Budaj - Frans Casha (Frans Casha)

12. Wara l-Kanċell - Miriam Christine u Olivia Lewis (J J Farrugia, Miriam Christine)

13. Bħal Għasfura - Mario Debono (Mario Debono)

14. Djarju ta' Tifkiriet - Simone Gauci (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Mark Spiteri Lucas)

15. Liberat – Teddie Zammit (George Cassar, Teddie Zammit)

16. Insellmulkom - Domenique (Joe Chircop, Philip Vella)

The 38th edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu is being organised with the help of the Malta Arts Fund and in collaboration with Studio 7. Authors, composers, singers and musical groups wishing to participation can find all the required information through the Official Website, or the Official Facebook Page. The renowned local competition which has been given a true facelift in recent years is also being given a brand new visual identity in 2014 with emerging artist Darren Tanti responsible for a new logo, one which encompasses the idea of live music and singing, elements of L-Għanja tal-Poplu. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for the latest news.

Source: Għanja tal-Poplu (Facebook)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wLOCT-U-dVQ

Published in L-Għanja Tal-Poplu
Wednesday, 19 February 2014 21:30

Malta: Stunning iTunes Chart Debut for Amber

Amber, one of the most highly sought after female vocalists in Malta, and recent participant in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with the song Because I Have You composed by Paul Giordimaina to the lyrics of Fleur Balzan has just become the first act from the competition to reach the top ten of the iTunes singles chart in Malta, despite releases by semi-finalists; Miriam Christine and Fabrizio Faniello as well as second runner-up; Daniel Testa.

In 2011, Amber made her debut in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, being the only artist with two (2) songs and has never looked back from then onwards, finishing in third place with Answer With Your Eyes composed by Ray Agius to the lyrics of Alfred C Sant in 2012, and in fourth place for the past two years with In Control and Because I Have You. CAP-Sounds, entrusted with the release of the Safe (Miriam Christine), Just No Place Like Home (Fabrizio Faniello) and One Last Ride (Daniel Testa) are now also responsible for Because I Have You (Amber). You may purchase any of the songs mentioned above by clicking on their respective song-titles. If you do not live in Malta, iTunes should redirect you to the respective location you are making the purchase from. We would like to thank our readers who are supporting the songs through their respective purchases. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news.

Source: iTunes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0pQdfceZLo0

Published in Local Music News

Towards the latter part of 2013, Miriam Christine returned to the local music industry by partaking in the International Festival of Maltese Song with Stejjer composed by Andrew Zahra to the lyrics of Joe Julian Farrugia, following it up in 2014 with participation in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with the song Safe composed by Mark Scicluna to the lyrics of Emil Calleja Bayliss. Nevertheless, what is most striking is her social media activity, taking to both Twitter and Facebook to share behind-the-scenes photos, and also her opinions on diverse issues.

In a joint Twitter/Facebook post, Miriam Christine has decided to openly support and endorse Eoghan Quigg’s campaign in Ireland, as he hopes to represent the nation with The Movie Song written by Karl Broderick, himself already been to the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2005. The Maltese singer/songwriter is keeping herself busy with a number of projects, having just published her latest single Safe on iTunes by virtue of CAP-Sounds and also planning participation in L-Għanja tal-Poplu in a duet with Olivia Lewis, entitled Wara l-Kanċell, one which she co-wrote with Joe Julian Farrugia.

Eoghan Quigg has received a number of endorsements in the past couple of days, including from none other than: Shayne Ward, a former X Factor Winner; Olly Murs, a former X Factor runner-up and one of the most successful male soloists to ever come out of the programme and Shane Filan, the lead vocalist of multi-platinum selling group; Westlife. Miriam Christine, Malta’s representative in the 1996 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest has just added her name to the list. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news and don't forget to purchase your copy of Safe from iTunes.

Source: Miriam Christine’s Official Twitter Facebook

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=94nUFYKpa-U

Tuesday, 11 February 2014 19:45

MESC 14: CAP-Sounds Publishes Songs on iTunes

CAP-Sounds, an internationally renowned record label with distribution handled by Universal Music Germany has been known to support the entries that Malta sends to the Eurovision Song Contest on several occasions, kicking off with 1996 and showing almost year-after-year consistency till 2010. As the curtain drops on yet another edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, a couple of the competing entries have been published on behalf of the record label for public consumption.

One Last Ride written by Stephen Rudden and Lawrence Peter Bridge with vocals provided by Daniel Testa was the second runner-up during the competition, obtaining the second most amount of votes by the general public. It is for this reason that the whole team, led by Trevor Fenech decided to publish this song, along with two fabulous remixes for a mere €1.49. In the meantime, semi-finalist entries; Safe composed by Mark Scicluna to the lyrics of Emil Calleja Bayliss and sung by Miriam Christine as well as Just No Place Like Home written by Johan Bejerholm and performed by Fabrizio Faniello have also been made available for a mere €0.99 each. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news.

Source: iTunes, CAP Sounds

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geVt2jK_lL0

Saturday, 08 February 2014 02:43

MESC '14: Shock Results as Former Entrants Fall

At around midnight, the Public Broadcasting Services brought the curtain down on what could be coined as the most successful ever technical showcase ever, denoting exceptional sound in the arena and at home, stunning visuals on stage and crafty camera work. As always, the end of a semi-final brings about a couple of surprises with the elimination of six (6) entries and 2014 has not been any different with a barrage of comments towards the dissatisfaction of two particular entries not making it through; those being none other than Safe and Just No Place Like Home vocally interpreted by Miriam Christine and Fabrizio Faniello respectively.

This is an analysis of the result, one could really see how the jury decided to discount artists who have already been to the Eurovision Song Contest, with both the female and the male vocalist having been to the international event in 1996, 2001 and 2006, respectively. Other entries which failed to make it out of the semi-final this evening were Now and Forever sung to perfection by Andreana, Addictive performed to the fullest by Romina Mamo, Ten performed by diction perfect Corazon and Invisible sung by the dido-esque vocals of Raquel Galdes.

Having a look at the list of finalists; there is a crop of young upcoming stars, and other who have already garnered exposure throughout the years. It is one of the years, where the field is completely open and despite the loud applause for certain artists in the arena, the jury will decide the final outcome. Christabelle will open the final with Lovetricity whilst De Bee will close with Pin the Middle. Make sure to join us for a second LIVE report this evening, as Olivier Vanhoutte takes us through the fourteen (14) finalists. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news from the 2014 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: Television Malta / Public Broadcasting Services

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9JMfu7rpB8

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