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Friday, 28 September 2012 14:06

Belarus: National Final Planned for December

Belarus is one of the eastern countries in the Eurovision Song Contest which has not managed to achieve positive consecutive placings, only managing to qualify to the final on two respective occasions, those being in 2007 with Dmitry Koldun and his entry Work Your Magic as well as in 2010 when the song Butterflies was performed impeccably by the group 3+2. The internal selections were seemingly a case of not working rather than doing so and that is why, the Belarussian broadcaster thought it was best to revert to a national final format, known in the nation as Eurofest. It was expected that there would be a couple of changes in the system following the disqualification of the eventual winner last year leading to the group Litesound with the track We Are The Heroes going to the Eurovision Song Contest which took place in Baku, Azerbaijan but it seems that BTRC will not be changing a thing except the month when the final is said to be taking place, December. The rules have been released in Belarussian through the official website.

The national broadcaster will be accepting songs for the 2013 Eurofest until the 22nd October meaning that there is far less than a month to prepare even though most of the artists and producers would have been working on brand new tracks for quite some time. The submissions will be whittled down to a number which can go up to as much as fifteen so that a semi-final will take place sometime in November. It is not yet known whether the public and the jury will be voting in this respective semi-final out of which five acts will be chosen to make it through to the final stage which as already mentioned will be staged in December. The full details of the preselection process with the most likely dates for both rounds will be revealed on Wednesday, 3rd October 2012 within a press conference which is being organized by the committee heading the procedure. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news with regards to Belarus and all of the other competing nations in the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest which is taking place in Malmo, Sweden. 

Source: BTRC

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

Thursday, 27 September 2012 14:34

Malta: Airport Impressions to Tour in Sweden

The strides of improvement that the local music industry has underwent in the past couple of years has been beyond overwhelming noting that Jagged House alone now represents some of the most professional and successful artists around including the likes of former Eurovision Song Contest representative; Ira Losco who is currently planning to release a brand new album following an extended quiet period as well as other groups such as Tribali, The Rifffs and of course, Airport Impressions who continue to impress their ever growing fan base. A couple of days and weeks back it was revealed that the latter band who scooped all of the major accolades at the Malta Music Awards as well as the Bay Music Awards were invited back to Sweden, not for just one performance but a four date mini-tour.

Airport Impressions have become a popular name to many in the local music industry especially after releasing their debut album Minutes of a Lifetime with tracks written by the groups themselves as well as worked upon under the typical pop/rock genre which many have come to enjoy. Amongst the standout tracks from the respective collection, one will surely mention the likes of Walk With MeBorderline, and their hit single Freedom which is still regularly played on local radio stations. Four dates have been setup starting as from tomorrow as the band leave for the Swedish capital, Stockholm later on this evening alongside their Manager, Howard Keith. The editorial team at escflashmalta.com wishes them the very best of luck as they represent the very best that the country has to offer musically. Stay tuned for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available. 

Source: Facebook, escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gvF3TElPicc

Published in Local Music News
Tuesday, 25 September 2012 08:38

Denmark: A Record 692 Entries Submitted

Victory for Denmark at the Eurovision Song Contest has come twice, the last of which coming back in the millennium thanks to the Olsen Brothers with Fly On The Wings of Love but nevertheless, following a stint of somewhat mediocre results, they returned to their absolute best in 2010 and 2011 respectively as Chanee and N'Evergreen finished in fourth place with In a Moment Like This whilst the group a Friend in London managed fifth place with New Tomorrow. Earlier this year, Denmark managed to finish in a disappointingly low position with the track Should've Known Better performed by Soluna Samay despite the expectations and therefore, the Scandinavian country need to re-brand once more as the nation who can found a hit song in terms of a catchy chorus and a flowing verse. It seems that the wishes might be granted as DR revealed that they received a record breaking 692 entries for the upcoming edition of the Dansk Melodi Grand Prix competition.

There is a tendency in Denmark that the songs are submitted by the songwriters themselves and therefore, some interesting revelations for the broadcasting house are attributed quickly. In fact, out of the record number of submissions, DR is quick to point out that singer/songwriter and former Eurovision Song Contest representative Niels Brinck was there to submit a track which is very different to Believe Again which saw him finish in thirteenth place in Moscow. Also present to submit a song were non typical faces of the Dansk Melodi Grand Prix in the form of duo Muri & Mario who are actually huge fans of the nationwide event. It will be quite interesting to see which songs eventually get through knowing that DR have a tendency to pick six acts from the submitted songs and then add another three to four tracks as wildcards to invigorate the selection process a bit more by virtue of adding well known names to the star quality of the show. It is expected that the final of the Dansk Melodi Grand Prix takes place in February. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: DR

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDXeK0r3aKs

Melodifestivalen, the Swedish national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest has always been known to be organized on a huge scale due to the fact that the Scandinavian country can boast several resources but nevertheless, the results following a victory have almost always been disappointing with their last ever try going to Roger Pontare and his track Spirits Are Calling My Name which finished in a surprisingly encouraging seventh place in 2000 as opposed to what happened the previous time when Christer Bjorkman had done the honour in 1992 with the ballad entitled I morgon är en annan dag finishing in twenty second place with just nine points. The upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest is being staged in Malmö and it seems that the broadcaster, SVT, does not only want to put up an exceptional show but also be represented by a great entry noting that the submissions reflect an increase in the quality of names rather than numbers. The provisional list as posted by Aftonbladet tends to be quite correct.

According to the initial reports, the main names to be included in next years' selection process are actually two former winners of the Eurovision Song Contest, the first being none other than three time representative Carola who last did her nation proud in 2006 with the song Invincible and the second being two time representative Helena Paparizou who last took part in 2005, winning the competition for her native Greece. Her mixture in terms of heritage is quite intriguing and Christer Bjorkman has been hoping to get her on board for quite some time. Amongst the others names who have been mentioned, there are the likes of multiple Melodifestivalen attendees such as Sarah Dawn Finer who played the role of hostess last year alongside Mans Zelmerow who was the host in the previous year and last but not least Linda Bengtzing who is known for performing Schlager uptempo songs in Swedish. There were a couple of other names from the last edition of the competition, those being David Lindgren and Sean Banan but former participants such as Cookies N Beans as well as Jessica Folcker and Jessica Andersson will surely be draw cards. One of the names which was not mentioned on the list by Aftonbladet was that of Tone Damli, but then again, Expressen, another Swedish tabloid did include her in their respective list. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com as we follow the proceedings unravel in the days and weeks to come.

Source: Aftonbladet

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ST0eMNnb33I

Thursday, 20 September 2012 16:23

Sweden: Tone Submits Entry in Melodifestivalen

The Norwegian version of Idol is well known for creating some of the most notable names in the Scandinavian music industry including the likes of Kurt Nilsen and Tone Damli Aaberge amongst others and the latter has been catapulting to fame each and every year as her record label, Eccentric Music have trusted her instincts, with all of her album releases managing a top twenty five charting position. Her most recent effort was entitled Looking Back peaking at number #13 and spawning hit singles Look Back which went up to number #8 as well as Imagine, a duet with Eric Saade with peaked at number #9 in Norway. The stars tend to align before finishing in the runner-up position and she is hoping that her time has come in Sweden instead of her native Norway.

In fact, the renowned performer has already tried to do the honour for Norway, entering the Melodi Grand Prix back in 2009 but was unlikely to face none other than Alexander Rybak who went onto win the Eurovision Song Contest with the track Fairytale. Her entry entitled Butterflies was a sweet pop song which a number of country influences and did well on the charts managing to climb up to position number #2. Non-Swedish artists do not have a tendency to do extremely well in the Melodifestivalen but then again, it will definitely not hurt to try in giving it a go especially when the competition will be taking place in the same aforementioned country following the victory of Loreen with the track Euphoria earlier this year. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9mJcqzTcT5A

Sunday, 16 September 2012 18:26

The Netherlands: Anouk Seemingly Chosen

Rumours with regards to the following years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest tend to go viral months before the competition taking place especially when it comes to respective representation of certain countries but then again, one of the names which has never been brought up is the one of Anouk for The Netherlands, noting that her fame in her own country and abroad would definitely serve well in the esteemed music competition. A couple of months back, TROS along with John De Mol almost wasted an opportunity to internally choose the artist which had put her name forward but the tables turned and negotiations started following a rant on social media, Twitter. Ultimately it seems that the discussions are reaching that pivotal stage with a finish line in sight and the light at the end of the tunnel looks positive.

Algemeen Dagblad, a Dutch newspaper have just learnt that the broadcaster have requested to cancel their airtime slots in January, the same period which was set to be used for the Nationaal Songfestival making it more likely that the internal selection will go ahead. Anouk seems to have a 'killer song' ready actually and considering her repertoire of songs which includes hits such as Three Days in a Row, Nobody's Wife, Girl and What Have You Done?, things look extremely well placed for the first Dutch qualification since 2004 when the duo Reunion had managed to make it through with their track Without You languishing in the lower part of the final table at the end of the evening. They have tried a variety of ways to try and send the right package but all has been in vain thus far. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: Algemeen Daglad

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a7eSdfygTs0

Tuesday, 11 September 2012 23:46

Belarus: Announcement by BTRC Next Week

Istanbul, Turkey was the host of the 2004 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest which is proudly remembered as being the first which included the semi-final format, albeit only one before the current format was implemented at a later stage following an assessment by the European Broadcasting Union. One of the countries that has been present every year since then though has been the Eastern country of Belarus whose results have been anything but positive noting that in nine years, they have only managed to get through to the final twice, in 2007 with Work Your Magic by Dmitry Koldun and in 2011 with the track Butterflies performed by 3+2. Earlier this year, Litesound took to the stage to perform their song We Are the Heroes ultimately finishing in sixteenth position and therefore putting the Belarussian broadcaster, BTRC in dismay about their selection process for yet another year. 

An article released by the leading newspaper in Belarus states that the announcement of the selection method and the process will be made in a couple of days with the 20th September set forth as the respective date. The source goes onto state that the 'representative for Eurovision will be announced this year so that he/she would be able to thouroughly prepare for the international contest and carry out a promotional campaign'. In the meantime, it has also bee noted that the expenses of the participation with regards to the national selection will be drastically reduced as has been done in several countries with the focus set on the entry and it's respective promotion before heading to Malmo, Sweden. The Eurofest returned last year following a host of internal selection with Alyona finishing as the winner but following an investigation, it was discovered that she had won unfairly and thus the runner-up was given the slot to represent the country. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: Belarussian Telegraph Agency

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5e0FQkgnm4Q

Monday, 03 September 2012 16:54

Sweden: Submissions for Malmö Kick Off

The upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest will be taking place in Malmö, Sweden following the victory of Loreen with the song Euphoria which has become a hit in several European countries including Finland, United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark, Hungary, Ireland and Russia amongst others. Nevertheless, prior to organising the international event, they will also be deemed to select an entry and it is known that the 2013 edition of the Melodifestivalen might be one of the biggest yet as they will be hoping to make an extremely good impression in presenting a track on their own home soil.

They have already done the same thing on a number of years, failing to do well in the same city when the event took place way back in 1992 as Christer Bjorkman finished in twenty second place with just nine points whilst Roger Pontare managed seventh place with eighty eight points in 2000 respectively. Submissions for the upcoming Melodifestivalen opened officially today. The selection has not changed too much since last year noting that instead of the Web Joker selection, there will be a public selection which will be featuring upcoming talent and then there will also be a track chosen for Therese Fredenwall was was selected to participate following her victory at the Svensktoppen Nästa Competition. The Swedish broadcaster has also appointed an expert jury to select fifteen (15) tracks in total from those submitted by some of the most well known songwriters in the country whilst another panel will also be inviting sixteen (16) performers to put entries forward and also compete as part of the 2013 Melodifestivalen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2EsZhLEn3AU

Speaking to the media following the official opening of the selection process; Christer Bjorkman stated 'We are really excited, and are just waiting to hear the music that will be sent in'. Throughout the years, Sweden have always put on a great show and this year, the focus of the whole world will be on them even during their national selection so that one could see what they have in store for the show in itself. Amongst the names that have taken part in Melodifestivalen in the past there have been; Sarah Dawn Finer, Alcazar, Lisa Miskovsky, Danny Saucedo, Amy Diamond, Mans Zelmerow, Linda Bengtzing and Nanne Grönvall amongst others. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: SVT

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

Saturday, 01 September 2012 01:00

Switzerland: SF Selection Procedure Commences

Switzerland have triumphed at the Eurovision Song Contest on two occasions, the first time being in 1956 thanks to Lys Assia and her track Refrain and the second time round coming in 1988 thanks to a young Celine Dion with the track Ne Partez Pas Sans Moi. Since then though, their fortunes at the showcase have been quite mixed with just three top ten finishes, the last one coming back in 2005 thanks to the Estonian band Vanilla Ninja with the song Cool Vibes. In the past two years, the respective broadcaster in charge of the participation at the renowned music showcase, SF has decided to re-brand their selection procedure by virtue of involving all of the regional broadcasters including those which cater for the Italian, French and German speaking parts of the country. Today marks the beginning of the process for the latter as SF commence an internet platform where everyone from across the globe can submit their respective entries.

Thus far, this brand new selection process has somewhat yielded positive results noting that the winner in 2011 was none other than Anna Rossinelli with the track In Love for a While which qualified to the final of the competition before eventually reaching last place. Earlier this year, the country was represented by the group Sinplus with the track Unbreakable which could only manage to finish in the first non-qualifying position at number eleven. During the first year, the track was chosen through the online selection, the one that has just commenced today whilst in the second year, the song was chosen through the Italian regions' broadcast. It will be quite interesting to see how the result will play out this time round especially due to the fact that there are normally hundreds of entries submitted from all over the world including the United Kingdom, United States, South Africa, Australia and Malta amongst others. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: SF

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wxLE5FmNJow

Saturday, 25 August 2012 16:25

Sweden: Kevin Borg Busy Co-Writing Tracks

Kevin Borg was a resident singer on a local television programme and had even tried to represent Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest on two occasions, the first time with the track You're My Dream in 2006 and the second time with the song Whenever in 2007, both composed by Jason Paul Cassar and penned by Sunny Aquilina but tele-voting put him in eight and fourth place respectively. Following his final participation in the local competition, he traveled with his girlfriend to Sweden where she convinced him to audition for Idol, the Swedish version of the notable reality television series in which a number of performers would ultimately compete to win a contract with Sony Music whilst getting weekly exposure on national television, in this case being TV4. Ultimately, Kevin ended up being the winner of the edition and went onto release his debut single With Every Bit Of Me and album The Beginning, both of which charted in the top three. A couple of years onwards and Kevin is working with a host of songwriters and producers on his sophomore release.

There has been a lot of talk in Malta in recent months that due to the fact that the competition is being staged in Sweden, it might be best to have someone who knows the country well and would be willing to represent Malta having already given it a shot in the past. Nevertheless, it might not be the right position to put him in a national selection with the possibility of an internal selection being looked at not by the broadcaster but by the people who have been against that type of decision in the past. It is quite interesting to note though that Kevin Borg is currently working with a large number of people in terms of music including none other than Sharon Vaughn who was the co-writer of Waterline for Jedward, the song which represented Ireland in this years' Eurovision Song Contest and also Dimitri Stassos who co-wrote this years' entry for Greece entitled Aphrodisiac as well as the Spanish entry in 2009 entitled La Noche Es Para Mi. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: Facebook

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yjMJpp8154