August 22, 2019

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The 2012 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest has somewhat passed and is now written in the history books of a competition which is thriving for the second time since the conception of the idea. One of the nations who has always taken the continental event seriously is Sweden and despite having hosting duties in the coming months, it seems that they are hoping to succeed in putting on more than one show as their national selection process known as the Melodifestivalen will also be taking place with a star studded field which many presumed would have been more grand. There was talk of a return from Carola or even a debut by Helena Paparizou, two former winners of the Eurovision Song Contest but this was not the case as the whole list of participants was revealed earlier this morning.

In last weeks' announcement, the published names along with their respective songwriters were those expected with the exception of former Melodi Grand Prix runner-up; Tone Damli who will be competing with one third of the popular group E.M.D in the competition otherwise known by his name as Erik Segerstedt. Other contenders include the schlager trio made up of Pernilla Wahlgren, Hanna Hedlund and Jenny Silver but newcomers such as Felicia Olsson could also be observed. This time round, the list is somewhat more intriguing to be honest and includes some stars whom many will remember from the European charts. It is important to point out that the 2013 edition of the Melodifestivalen will be commencing in February will continue taking place until the beginning of March in a five week showcase extravaganza as has been the case for the past couple of years.

Karlskrona

  • Burning Flags - Cookies 'n' Beans (Fredrik Kempe)
  • Gosa - Marie N'Diaye (Johan Åsgärde, Mattias Frändå & Mary N’Diaye)
  • Heartbreak Hotel - Yohio (Johan Fransson, Tobias Lundgren, Tim Larsson, Henrik Göranson, Yohio)
  • Paris - Jay-Jay Johanson (Jay-Jay Johanson)
  • Porslin - Anna Järvinen (Björn Olsson, Martin Elisson)
  • Skyline - David Lindgren (Fernando Fuentes, Henrik Nordenback, Christian Fast)
  • Vi Kommer Aldrig Att Förlora - Eric Gadd (Eric Gadd, Thomas Stenström, Jacob Olofsson)
  • We’re Still Kids - Michael Feiner & Caisa (Michael Feiner, Caisa Ahlroth)
Gothenburg

Skellefteå 

  • Alibi - Eddie Razaz (Peter Bostrom, Thomas G:son)
  • Dumb - Amanda Fondell (Freja Blomberg, Fredrik Samsson)
  • En riktig jävla schlager - Körberg, Rabaeus, Malmberg & Ronander (Kjell Jennstig, Leif Goldkuhl, Henrik Dorsin)
  • Falling - State of Drama (Göran Werner, Sebastian Hallifax, Emil Gullhamn, James Hallifax)
  • Heartstrings - Janet Leon (Fredrik Kempe, Anton Malmberg Hård af Segerstad)
  • Hon har inte - Caroline af Ugglas (Heinz Liljedahl, Caroline af Ugglas)
  • In and out of love - Martin Rolinski (Thomas G:son, Andreas Rickstrand)
  • Island - Elin Petersson  (Elin Petersson)

Malmö 

  • Bed on fire - Ralf Gyllenhammar (Ralf Gyllenhammar, David Wilhelmsson)
  • Breaking the Silence - Therese Fredenwall (Terese Fredenwall, Simon Petrén)
  • Jalla dansa salwa - Behrang Miri - (Behrang Miri, Anderz Wrethov, Firas Razak Tuma, Tacfarinas Yamoun)
  • Must be love - Lucia Piñera (Peter Kvint, Jonas Myrin)
  • Rockin’ the ride - Army of Lovers (Alexander Bard, Henrik Wikström, Per QX, Andreas Öhrn, Jean-Pierre Barda)
  • Tell the World I’m here - Ulrik Munther (Peter Boström, Thomas G:son, Ulrik Munther)
  • Trivialiter - Sylvia Vrethammar (Thomas G:son, Calle Kindbom, Mats Tärnfors)
  • You - Robin Stjernberg (Robin Stjernberg, Linnea Deb, Joy Deb, Joakim Harestad Haukaas)

Source: SVT

Sunday, 25 November 2012 15:00

Sweden: 'Heal' by Loreen - A Review

The dawn of a brand new year is not too far away and one of the key projects which we intend to relaunch as we brace ourselves for the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest which will surely be preceded by an intriguing season is a set of album reviews as released by artists who have already been to the Eurovision Song Contest and have continuously achieved success on home turf and surrounding countries. For this feature, we have secured the professional writing skills of singer/songwriter Jean Claude Vancell who is quite busy at the moment preparing for a number of events in the industry. Nevertheless, you will be seeing more of these articles as the weeks go by and as a matter of fact, what better way to kick off than with the collection entitled Heal which is of course, the debut album released by Loreen, this years' winner of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Artist: Loreen

Forget the flashy costumes, the over-the-top hair dos and the army of dancers. Loreen is here. As she has proven during this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, the singer does not need anything else but her own voice and a good song to take over Europe. Loreen is a 29-year-old Swedish pop singer and music producer. She started off her musical career by appearing on Swedish Idol in 2004 and placing 4th. She resurfaced in 2011 when she took part in the Swedish selection for Eurovision with My Heart is Refusing Me (a track now part of the album).

She failed to make it through the final, but returned next year with her track Euphoria, with which she won the Melodifestivalen and later the Eurovision Song Contest in Azerbaijan. She spoke out against the violation of human rights when in Azerbaijan with local political activists saying "Human rights are violated in Azerbaijan every day. One should not be silent about such things." Loreen was the winner of the Best Swedish Act at the MTV European Music Awards 2012. She was also nominated for Best European Act which she lost to Dima Bilan (The winner of the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest).

Album Title: Heal

Released: 22nd October (Europe)

Heal is published by Warner Music, Sweden, and is Loreen’s debut album. Recorded over two years (between 2010 and 2012), it showcases Loreen as an up and coming artist in the European charts after her victory for Sweden at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest. It was released as already mentioned above on the 22 October. The recurring theme throughout the album is breaking-up and finding strength in oneself. The production of the album has a heavy dance feel to it, which is currently very popular in Europe. The tracks have very intricate beats and harsh synths.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jmzs5r1flBA

The presence of an orchestra in some of the tracks in the album enhances and softens the song production in songs such as Euphoria and Sober. Loreen had a significant role as a songwriter in the album, penning tracks such as In My Head, My Heart is Refusing Me and Sober. The album has performed well in the charts reaching the top twenty in six countries and peaking at number 1 in her home country, Sweden, where it has also been certified platinum. It has been released in Sweden, Ireland, Germany, Belgium, The Netherlands, United Kingdom, Canada, Mexico, France and Japan.

Tracks to look out for:

In my head – An amazing opening to the album. I especially love the piano solo in the track. Loreen shows a subtler vocal dynamic than in the rest of the album. I liked the gentler tone of her voice on this one.

My heart is refusing me – Loreen has participated in Melodifestivalen in 2011 with this track, which has now been reworked for the album. I really like the new remix. I am amazed how this did not do well in the competition. A real bass-thumper with a great melody line.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pfo-8z86x80

Euphoria – We've heard it endless times before. On the album the track is introduced with a beautiful arrangement for strings which contrasts well with the strong sounds in the record. Her vocal rendition is impeccable, even though I do have to admit that I enjoy her live interpretation so much more.

Crying out your name – This, in my opinion, is the stronghold of this album. Lyrically it strikes a chord with me. Overall it is a very well written song. The production is nothing short of amazing with a beat reminiscent of dub-step in the beginning.

Final Verdict:

I never expected myself to enjoy this album so much. I do not usually enjoy listening to Euro-dance but Loreen has found the right balance between pop and dance in her record. This will definitely not be leaving my iTunes playlist for a very long time. If Loreen works hard enough to promote this, we’ll keep hearing of her well into the future, something which can’t be said about all winners of Eurovision.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BPt21Lq-hbY

Published in Editorials
Thursday, 22 November 2012 23:00

Portugal: RTP Withdraws from Competition

RTP, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of Portugal in the Eurovision Song Contest have just revealed that they will not be taking part in the upcoming edition of the continental event despite having a tremendous backdrop behind them including three qualifications in the past five years achieved in 2008, 2009 and 2010 thanks to Vania Fernandes, Flor-De-Lis and Filipa Azevado. Ultimately, they would manage mediocre placings in the final but definitely gave them the edge to continue participation. Despite their marvelous attempt at mastering yet another Fado type of ballad earlier this year during the event which took place in Azerbaijan, they couldn't do better than thirteenth place achieving 39 points from across the board including eight points from France and six points from The Netherlands.

Nevertheless, this was not enough to convince them to take part in the 2013 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. Portugal is the longest competing country in the Eurovision Song Contest without a victory having taken part a total of forty six times thus far with a total of nine entries achieving top ten status, the last of which being in 1996 with Lucia Moniz and her track O meu coração Não Tem Cor which achieved sixth place with a total of 92 points. According to insiders, the reason of withdrawal is a merge between the recent privatization of RTP along with financial difficulties within the country and the broadcasting house. Despite the fact that Portugal will be missing during the Swedish edition of the continental event, it seems that they are already making plans for a possible participation in the 2014 edition. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest as soon as it becomes available.

Source: http://escportugal2.blogspot.com/

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fk5i7Hfyy3o

Thursday, 22 November 2012 15:20

Poland: TVP Confirms Malmö Absence

The Eurovision Song Contest has been quite a daunting challenge for a couple of countries since the introduction of the semi-final system especially when one takes into account that success had been viable beforehand. As a matter of the fact, Poland a debutante in 1994 managed to do well only on their first try with Edyta Górniak obtaining a first runner-up finish with the song To Nie Ja. After that, the broadcaster had to wait quite some time for another top ten result, with Ich Troje managing a seventh place with Keine Grenzen-Żadnych Granic. Since the introduction of this current format, Poland has qualified from the semi-final once, that being in 2008 with Isis Gee and her song For Life but unfortunately have suffered in the three years following that noting that their last representative; Magdalena Tul finished in last place with her song Jestem. TVP have decided to withdraw once more from the Swedish edition taking place next year.

First in 2012, it was due to a number of issues principally the lack of funding due to the Olympics and the Euro competition but they have just made their minds up about non-participation in 2013 as well. The Chief Executive Officer at Polsat Television; Marcin Perzyna states that the Eurovision Song Contest has been focusing more on the show in recent years rather than the music and that there is the 'phenomenon' f voting for your neighbouring countries. Nevertheless, he also added that the competition is the best route in order to promote Polish artists but they haven't had any success in quite some time. Therefore, a withdrawal from Malmö has now also been confirmed with no real reason given to the European Broadcasting Union except that there was a lack of agreement on the issue. This is the second year in a row where they do not intend to compete and considering that they took part for sixteen years in a row, they will most likely return in the near future. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: Wirtualne Media

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ya7mZMK-5M

Saturday, 17 November 2012 16:31

Sweden: Debut Album by Loreen Hailed a Success

At one point in time, credibility was somewhat the issue with the Eurovision Song Contest but leading record labels from all over the world have been showing interest in a number of performers who have made it to the continental competition especially those which have succeeded in terms of public opinion. One of the foremost performers is surely the winner of this years' extravaganza, Loreen whose entry Euphoria catapulted her to success in her native Sweden, surrounding countries and even beyond. Warner Music Sweden was the company to literally gobble her up when the opportunity came about and in fact, they have just worked together on producing a fine, modern album which has received rave reviews and positive sales across the board. 

Euphoria was a major success all over the continent managing to top the charts is no less than nine countries including Sweden, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Norway and Switzerland whilst also managing top three positions in The Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom amongst others. The debut album which bears the name Heal was officially released on the 22nd October but following a bout of promotional performances by the artist herself in a number of nations, it is seeing a surge in sales thus rising to number #1 in Sweden, #6 in Finland, #6 in Norway  #7 in Switzerland, #12 in Denmark, #16 in Germany and #16 in The Netherlands. This trend is continuing and is expected to last quite a while longer. Sweden are currently preparing to host the 2013 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest but this years' edition will always be known as the birth of a true star. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: Warner Music Sweden

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vvG_hN9bHzQ

Tuesday, 13 November 2012 16:10

Sweden: Artists Revealed Within Two Weeks

The 2013 edition of Melodifestivalen is looking to be one of the most prominent national selections that Sweden hosts due to the fact that the Eurovision Song Contest will be staged in the aforementioned Scandinavian nation within the city of Malmo. There has been a lot of rumours spreading around about the possibility of garnering some of the most predominant people in the music industry but then again, the most notable names seem to be coming from the songwriting point of view. All of the revelations with regards to the acts will be made in the coming weeks noting that the Swedish broadcaster; SVT will announce the first batch of acts this coming Monday 19th November with the second batch of semi-finalists set to be announced the following week on the 26th November.

One of the most reliable newspapers in the country has already released their list of possible semi-finalists and last year, they were accurate in predicting thirty (30) out of the thirty two (32) involved in the process. Amongst the songwriters in the 2013 Melodifestivalen, one is expected to see none other than veterans; Bobby Ljunggren and Thomas G:Son but another prominent name is that of Canadian Carly Rae Jepsen whose debut single Call Me Maybe topped the charts around the world. According to the same aformentioned newspaper; the list of participants is set to include former Eurovision Song Contest representative; Tommy Korberg along with Melodifestivalen Finalists; Pernilla Wahlgren, Jenny Silver, David Lindgren, Erik Segerstedt, Ulrik Munther, Cokkies N Beans, Sara Varga, Jessica Andersson, Swingfly, Sean Banan and Matthias Andreasson. In the meantime, other names in the fray include Idol participants; Robin Stjernberg and Amanda Fondell. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest from the 2013 Melodifestivalen as someone follows in the huge footsteps that Loreen and her entry Euphoria filled in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Source: SVT, Aftonbladet

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8iLt5G7bSlI

Tuesday, 13 November 2012 00:00

Iceland: Entries for National Final Published

Iceland is known to be one of the less populated countries in Europe but nevertheless, in a similar fate to Malta, vocal talent is abundant and very much available around every possible corner. Taking into account the recent history of the nation in the Eurovision Song Contest, one had to realize that since the semi-final system was introduced, there have been mixed results but then again, from 2008 onwards, they have always managed to get through to the final stages of the competition including a runner-up finish in 2009 thanks to Yohanna and her entry Is It True? which was given the maximum points from the Maltese public. It seems that 2013 is bringing a renewed interest in the competition with a record number of 240 submissions out of which, twelve have been chosen.

RÚV, the Icelandic broadcaster made sure to appoint a specific jury to select the best songs out of the bunch and it seems that their deliberation has officially been made with the announcement coming forth on the national media within the hour. The list includes an intriguing amount of individuals including none other than Birgitta Haudkall who represented Iceland back in the 2003 Eurovision Song Contest with the track Open Your Heart eighth place with a total of eighty one points. Nevertheless, other prominent figures include Jonas Gladnikoff who co-wrote the Irish entries in 2009 and 2010 respectively; those being Et Cetera and It's For You. Local songwriter Sveinn Rúnar Sigurðsson co-wrote the entries for Iceland in 2004 and 2007, being Heaven and Valentine Lost and last but not least Ashley Hicklin who co-wrote the most successful Belgian entry in years, Me and My Guitar in 2010.

  • Augnablik (Sveinn Rúnar Sigurðsson, Ingibjörg Gunnarsdóttir)
  • Ég á Líf (Örlygur Smári, Pétur Örn Guðmundsson)
  • Sá Sem Lætur Hjartað Ráða För (Þórir Úlfarsson, Kristján Hreinsson)
  • Þú (Davíð Sigurgeirsson)
  • Vinátta (Haraldur Reynisson)
  • Ekki Líta Undan (Sveinn Rúnar Sigurðsson, Ingibjörg Gunnarsdóttir)
  • Kem Til þín (María Björk Sverrisdóttir)
  • Lífið (Hallgrímur Óskarsson, Bragi Valdimar Skúlason)
  • Ég Syng! (Elíza Newman, Gísli Kristjánsson & Ken Rose, Hulda G. Geirsdóttir)
  • Til þín (Sveinn Rúnar Sigurðsson, Ágúst Ibsen)
  • Meðal Andanna (Birgitta Haukdal, Sylvía Haukdal, Jonas Gladnikoff, Michael Down & Primoz Poglajen)
  • Hjartað (Hallgrímur Óskarsson, Ashley Hicklin)

RÚV is hosting two semi-finals this time round rather than the usual three semi-final process noting that six songs will be competing in each stage. Three entries will be making it through each semi-final through tele-voting with the jury having the option to select a seventh entry to join them in the final as a wildcard choice. The first semi-final which will be live from a television studio in Reykjavík will air on the 25th January with the second semi-final taking place the following day on January 26th respectively. The final is set to the following week on the 2nd February live from the Harpa Concert Hall. escflashmalta.com will be covering the Icelandic final live hopefully should it not interfere with the Malta Eurovision Song Contest which could fall on the first weekend of February or the last weekend of January. The performers of the songs will be revealed in due course so stay tuned.

Source: RÚV 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoXdpD_Pv0E

Kevin Borg is one of the most notable names in the local music industry having achieved fame and success in Sweden following his victory in the Idol competition held on TV4 and then signing a record contract with Sony Music. In fact, he ended up releasing a debut album entitled The Beginning managing to reach number #3 in the Swedish charts before being given a cold certified disc due to achieving more than ten thousand units of sales. Since then though, he has always been busy in the industry working on new tracks for other artists as a songwriter and also appearing in a host of theatre productions such as High School Musical amongst others. Following the release of his last single Unstoppable which was a major digital hit, he returns with Christmas Time, a track written for the holidays.

Kevin Borg earned a lot of respect in the beginning of his career in his native land noting that he was increasing his popularity with every performance especially when remembering that he did make it through to the finals of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest back in 2006 with the track You're My Dream and also in 2007 with Whenever both composed by Jason Paul Cassar and penned by Sunny Aquilina. First time round, he finished in eighth place and second time, he also managed a fourth place. The brand new track is a heartfelt ballad with astonishing vocal range which will definitely be noted in this time of sentiments and emotions. The Maltese are embracing the track especially considering that it is currently topping the chart on iTunes. Make sure to purchase your copy if you haven't through the official store. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news.

Source: iTunes, escflashmalta.com

The 2013 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest is taking place in Malmo, Sweden and the preparations are already well underway to make sure  that everything is up to scratch and to the expectations of the general public. Nevertheless, the broadcaster still has to select an entry to represent the nation and Melodifestivalen is known to be one of the most popular events in Scandinavia with several well known artists seeking participation with the backdrop of charting success awaiting them in the aftermath. Christer Bjorkman is currently compiling the list of names who will be taking part in the selection after heading a selection committee to listen to all of the submissions received earlier this year. According to Swedish tabloids Expressen and Aftonbladet, there will be a number of surprises but one name that will not be on the list is that of Swedish superstar; September.

The genre that best describes September is pop with a flavour of euro dance. The track that made her known in her native country was surely Satellites peaking at number #4 but it has to be noted that this was also her debut European release, one which was well planned by the record label charting at position number #3 in Poland, #5 in Romania, #1 in Spain and #8 in the United States. Nevertheless, her big break was still on the way and in 2006, she released the song Cry For You which would peak at number #1 in the United States, #5 in the United Kingdom, #8 in Ireland, #10 in The Netherlands as well as #5 in Poland. She has kept really busy in recent years with her last two albums both charting at number #1 in Sweden, despite one of them released under her birth name; that of Petra Marklund.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kKx7FxMbmXA

Despite the fact that Christer had the perfect dance song lined up for her, it seems that she refused flat out and now even the song seems to be in jeopardy of qualifying because sources close to Bjorkman state that no one could perform it the way that September could. There are several names in the 'confirmed' category according to the tabloids including former entrants; Jessica Andersson, Ulrik Munther, David LindgrenSean Banan, Cookies N Beans and a trio which is composed of Pernilla WahlgrenHanna Hedlund and Jenny Silver but there are also 2011 Idol winner and runner-up; Amanda Fondell and Robin Stjernberg who seem to be on the list. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com as we continue to keep you posted with all of the latest from the 2013 Melodifestivalen.

Source: Aftonbladet, Expressen

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7CUppvIv7Ak

Since winning this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, Loreen has emerged as a true artist and someone who surely has a long standing career by the looks of it having been jetting all over the continent giving performances of all three major singles, those being of course; EuphoriaMy Heart Is Refusing Me and Crying Out Your Name. It has to be noted that the latter two have just been released in two different territories with the artist or rather Warner Music Sweden deciding to promote two tracks at the very same time in different countries. In the past couple of days, she was in Scandinavia performing on a number of talent shows but nevertheless, the biggest performance surely came at the grand opening of the Friends Arena which will be hosting the 2013 edition of the Melodifestivalen and was also considered for the Eurovision Song Contest but then deemed far too big by the European Broadcasting Union and also the Swedish broadcaster; SVT who will be responsible for the overall hosting of the showcase.

It seems that the decision to host in Malmo within a smaller arena was an extremely good one from the acoustics we are gathering from Loreen's performance which as always included plenty of drama. The stage was surrounded by pure emptiness and the people were too far away. The setup of the lighting and the projections was astonishing though and there will be some amendments made to make sure that the final of the 2013 Melodifestivalen will be accommodated better. Still, Loreen's brand new single in Scandinavia being Crying Out Your Name is receiving a lot of promotion with the performer being a guest on the X Factor shown TV4 in recent days and also at the respective opening. Following an opening on the charts at number #42, it has already risen to number #29 and wish such a heavy schedule being put forward, it will surely go even higher. The release of the single of course precedes the album which was also out this week and will thus be receiving a chart placing in just a matter of hours. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more news about winners of the Eurovision Song Contest whilst we urge you to watch the performance below in the meantime.

Source: Warner Music Sweden

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