December 15, 2019

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Late on Sunday edging towards Monday, the Eurofan Cafe was hosting an event with the spotlight being on Malta with Firelight in attendance along with Chiara, a special guest star whose three appearances at the Eurovision Song Contest have been seen by millions all over the world. Whilst promoting her brand new single Mermaid In Love, written by the same team behind Eg a Lif, the Icelandic entry at the 2013 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, she had the opportunity to have a short chat with Radio International's Juergen Boernig.

Sighting nerves as to being a guest at one of the events prior to the actual Eurovision Song Contest, Chiara settled in well and enjoyed the opportunity to meet old friends and wished Firelight and their entry Coming Home written by Richard Edwards Micallef all the very best of luck believing that the song had that special something which could see it succeed in such an international competition. She encouraged the group to enjoy their time, work hard and take as much as possible from the experience. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: Daniel D'Anastasi o.b.o PBS / TVM, Juergen Boernig

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xLGsojm5mOw

Chiara, a three time participant in the Eurovision Song Contest with tracks including; The One That I Love (1998), Angel (2005) and What If We (2009) is ready to reveal her brand new song entitled Mermaid in Love co-written by Örlygur Smári, Pétur Örn and Valgeir Magnússon. The same songwriting team were responsible for Ég á líf, performed by Eyþór Ingi at the 2013 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest.

The revelation will take place during the Europhoria Party were a set of DJs from New York are set to entertain guest with some of the greatest songs in the history of the Eurovision Song Contest. Chiara will be kicking off a promotional tour during the course of summer alongside DJ Valgeir Magnusson who is also her international manager as part of the team at Hands Up Music. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: Press Release (Hands Up Music)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hchM2x458X0

Friday, 06 September 2013 14:06

Malta: Chiara Striving to Succeed in New Genre

In a recent interview with Frederick Zammit during the programme Euromix on Radju Malta, three time Eurovision Song Contest representative Chiara spoke abour her past and present endeavours in the music industry as well as her family including her father and daughter. Throughout the years, Chiara has maintained her status as one of the most elite vocalists in the country, always trying to be contemporary in her musical choices. As a resident singer on the popular game show, Ħadd Għalik, she performed cover songs which suited her vocals but are not in the genre that many had grown accustomed to. It was this particular style of music which helped her land her record deal with Hands-Up Music.

Chiara, represented by Hands-Up Music, an Icelandic record label has just collaborated with Hera Bjork, the 2010 vocalist on behalf of Iceland at the Eurovision Song Contest on a cover version of the track 9 to 5 originally by Dolly Party. They performed it together for the very first time during an event where they were both invited within Germany. It will not be the only time though considering that they will be heading to Paris, France in December for another show. During the course of the interview, Frederick Zammit also asked Chiara about her upcoming plans as a solo artist to which she revealed that she is currently working on her new single, which will be featuring water and female sirens, more commonly known as Mermaids. She is co-writing this track alongside her manager.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hchM2x458X0

Many have enquired about the possibility of Chiara returning to the world of the Eurovision Song Contest when the ban which prohibits her to submit is ultimately lifted. In a diplomatic manner, she stated that 'never say never' but added that unless she listens to something which ultimately blows her away, she will not be returning to the event. Chiara's last participation at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2009 was quite disappointing as her entry What If We composed by Marc Paelinck to the lyrics of Gregory Bilsen could only muster up thirty one (31) points to finish in nineteenth place. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com in the coming days, weeks and months for all of the latest news about the local music industry and the Eurovision Song Contest.

Sources: Frederick Zammit (Euromix), Chiara Official Facebook Page

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Fn6E8FzM4k

Published in Local Music News

In 2009, Chiara represented Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest for the third time with the track What If We composed by Marc Paelinck to the lyrics of Gregory Bilsen achieving a disappointing result. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that it was the beginning of something new for the female vocalist as she signed a record deal with an indepedent label based in Iceland with which she has already released three singles including; Forget Forgetting Me, Żarbun and 9 to 5, the latter being a duet with Hera Bjork. This evening, she will be giving an exclusive interview to Frederick Zammit on the radio programme; Euromix which airs on Radju Malta between 20:30 and 22:00 CET.

Since returning from her third participation within the international competition, the female artist has gone for a completely different genre, so much so that she even altered her image. The vocals are nevertheless very much present despite the dance music as the tracks have somewhat all been reworked in a Gloria Gaynor, I Will Survive manner. During the interview, Frederick Zammit, a notable personality synomous with the world of the Eurovision Song Contest in Malta will be discussing the terms of the record deal, the controversy creaed by her last solo single, motherhood and mermaids! Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about artists from within the local music scene!

Source: Frederick Zammit

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Fn6E8FzM4k

Published in Local Music News

Chiara, the female vocalist who has represented Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest on three seperate occasions, achieving the best result in 2005 with her self-penned entry Angel is seemingly being pushed by the international media for another bid at the Pan-European competition. Rules of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest in recent years have not permitted artists which represented the nation in the past five (5) years to return and that includes Chiara whose last try came in 2009 with the song What if We composed by Marc Paelinck to the lyrics of Gregory Bilsen. The lacklustre entry finished in a disappointing twenty-second position.

In recent months, the female vocalist has re-invented herself following the signing to an Icelandic Record Label and rather than releasing a variety of ballads, she seems to be focusing on dance/electro tunes which still suit her vocal range in a Donna Summer kind of way. Her latest singles entitled Forget Forgetting Me and My Żarbun have received positive and negative opinions but the international audience has been hovering towards the former. A remix of the the first has just been published under the sub-title The Digital Hoarders Dub Anthem Remix. Chiara has been keeping herself busy in the studio working on both original and cover versions, which she has been performing on the show Ħadd Għalik over the course of the past television schedule. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: Eurovision Ireland

Published in Local Music News

Saturday is known to be an important day in the lead up to the Eurovision Song Contest and this is due to the simple reason that countries would be selecting their entries and this will be the case this week when Sweden select their representative during the Melodifestivalen competition. As has been the case in recent years, an international panel of judges will be called upon to submit their votes and indeed, Malta has been invited for the third year running. Whilst we have no clue to who will be part of the jury, we are proud to reveal that our envoy will be none other than three time Eurovision Song Contest representative, Chiara.

The selection of this artist was surely a good choice considering that she holds a special place amongst several fans of the music competition following her success achieved in 1998 with the song The One That I Love as well as in 2005 with the track Angel which finished in third and second place respectively. Whilst her last endeavour at the event was not met with positive acclaim, she still qualified to the final with What If We albeit finishing in twenty-second position. Since then, she has taken up a guest role on the programme Ħadd Għalik presented by Angie and also updated her look a bit in order to promote her latest music releases having signed a record deal with Hands-Up Music, also responsible for the amazing, Hera Bjork, winner of the International Vina Del Mar competition. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more of the latest news from the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: Ħadd Għalik, JJ Chircop (Image)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sfhg_g6cvBg

Saturday, 28 July 2012 03:50

Malta: A Successful Story in Songwriting

Maltese songwriters have gradually been improving with time noting that it does take a lot of talent to prepare a song and ultimately find the right singer for it but one of the teams that has managed to do just that is surely the one made up of composer Jason Paul Cassar and lyricist Sunny Aquilina who are of course related to each other through family noting that the latter is the father-in-law of the former. Looking back at the history of the Malta Song for Europe, you would not see their names in contention in a number of consecutive years because their tracks take dedication and are submitted when they believe the time would be right for them. The very interesting fact with this team is that they have managed to compete in the finals on more than one occasion whilst having been winners more than once as well. This feature will be looking through at the successes of the team.

The very first successful time of the collaboration was their initial songwriting project entitled The One That I Love performed by an astonishing and still extremely green Chiara who took to the stage of the Malta Song for Europe giving a masterclass performance without having anyone join her on stage. She showed up more experienced acts such as  Claudette Pace, Miriam Christine, Marisa D'Amato, Marvic Lewis and Georgina to finish as the winner. The element was kept when they went to the Eurovision Song Contest noting that the extra addition was a high number of candelabras which added to the performance in the long term giving it that special power which it might have needed to create an intense and romantic atmosphere. The song would go onto finish in third place and was the closest in winning the competition for the country and therefore remains in many hearts, as the best song ever to come out from the country. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZFCq_d57o8

Their second flair at writing in the Malta Song for Europe competition would come in 2003 when the duo reunited on a track entitled Love Will Shine Forever, the debut entry of singer/songwriter Rosman Pace and one which would give him the best placing he would ultimately achieve noting that he has continuously managed to rank in the top ten on a number of subsequent occasions. This track was completely different from their first songwriting experience because the fact of the matter remains that it hit the right note with the juries and the people on the night by virtue of making it to the final round. It was the first year with the semi-final and therefore, no guarantee was existent on whether acts would make it through to the final. Rosman has continued to perform with his last experience in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest coming back in 2011. They managed to discover yet another intriguing name here.

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

Following the success with finding acts such as Chiara and Rosman, the bar was being set extremely high indeed but then again, it seems that they have always managed to find new talent when people might be doubting what the country holds in terms of musical prodigies and next up comes Kevin Borg who was a young teenage male from Floriana with a soft vocal that always brought out the best in terms of emotions. Their first try together would ultimately take place during the Malta Song for Europe in 2006 with You're My Dream which is a typical Maltese ballad involving a very soft percussion and a touch of guitar. This would be a good first outing with the song finishing in eight place just as good as Rosman had done three years before but the difference here was that the song was once more quite different. They would return the following year with the song Whenever which would be in a similar style. Accompanied by Jason on the piano, the track romped to fourth place. The next year, he would have been the ultimate favourite but faith had it that Kevin would go abroad to Sweden, compete and then win Idol, signing a contract with Sony Music and making a number of diverse contacts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aUxmi02tboE

The list continues to grow but nevertheless, their next triumph and the last one recorded thus gat has to be te one that would come in the Malta Eurosong competition of 2010 when Thea Garrett and her astonishing ballad entitled My Dream came to life. The strong artist had been relatively unknown to the music scene having only made a couple of appearances in television programmes, rather reality shows but still having had the opportunity to perform with the likes of Gigi D'Alessio during a trip to Italy. Jason Paul Cassar and Sunny Aquilina had not written a song for the festival in three years and therefore, the expectations were quite high. They entered the festival hoping that they would do well and it seems that they knew what it would feel like to finish at the top once more because Thea not only won the jury on the night but also the tele-voting beating much more popular names including the likes of Glen Vella, Tiziana Calleja, Lawrence Gray, Eleanor Cassar and Claudia Faniello. The song did not qualify through to the final of the Eurovision Song Contest, finishing in twelfth place but it was still a relatively good result.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORICLU2O_FI

Published in Local Music News

One of the most important assets in the music industry is definitely experience and we have gone onto talk to one of the most experienced performers from the local sector in the form of three time representative Chiara who up till now has also released four studio albums, three of which are of original material and the other one featuring a number of cover versions. In the past couple of months, Chiara has been reinventing her musical taste noting that she has gone onto a current sound, one which is being played on the radio. She has also joined the cast of entertainment on the programme Ħadd Għalik hosted by Angie Laus on Television Malta (TVM). She has found some time to answer some of our questions about her career in the past, present and even the future!

In the past couple of months, the local music scene has continued to grow in strength and prowess and it seems that this idea has spurred on a lot of people to work even harder. One of the most interesting careers which is still developing to this day is yours noting that you have very much changed since 2009 by virtue of taking up a brand new genre, one which shows a completely different image to what many have become used to over the years. What could you tell us of this sudden change and you should we expected an album any time which would maybe correspond to the new you?

Well, change is something that all of us have to go through and I embrace it always, this change came on me slowly, step by step and as you say now I find myself far from where I began but I am in a good place, I like the way I am singing now and it gives me as much satisfaction as my old ballads did.  To be honest albums are always on my mind and I was thinking that all the songs I did in the last couple of years should actually be put on an album to be more reachable to my fans as well, so I cant say I’m not thinking of it.

Your rise to fame commenced during the 1995 edition of the Ghanja tal-Poplu competition when you had entered the competition with the track ‘Ismaghni ftit Habib’ composed by Jason Paul Cassar and penned by Sunny Aquilina. This was just the beginning though because despite the fact that the song had a strong message, you returned with an even more iconic track in the form of ‘It-Tlett Ibliet’. Competing against some of the countries’ leading talent, you still managed to achieve the results but looking back at the beginning, would you consider taking part in a festival in which you would have to perform in Maltese again or is that part of your career completely over?

Malta is my beloved country so singing in Maltese gives me a certain satisfaction. I love to sing in Maltese but taking part in festivals is over for me. Obviously The Eurovision for me is just part of my life and “Chiara” so I am not talking about it. I would go to Eurovision even tomorrow if I had the chance as it is such an important part of my life and carreer and also as I am a big fan. But competing in other festivals, I don’t think I would be comfortable doing that anymore.

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

Entering the Malta Song for Europe for the first time in 1998, you were gunning up against some of the most notable names in the local music industry at the time including former representatives Georgina and Miriam Christine Warner as well as notable runner-up Claudette Pace yet the track that you presented entitled ‘The One That I Love’ composed by Jason Paul Cassar and penned by Sunny Aquilina was the one that made the upset and ultimately, the decision did pay off because Malta was just a couple of points away from winning in Birmingham. What can you recall of winning over here on our shores and being so close to victory abroad?

It was overwhelming, I still think back today and feel all the astonishment I had that night, and still feel the grandness of what happened to me. I feel that that night, maltese people opened a door for me which gave me so much, It was what made me fall in love with the festival and what gave me all my fans around Europe who today, after all these years have become personal friends, so it is a very deep emotion for me to think of the festival in 1998. the victory was very close and up till today when I watch the last part of the festival of 1998 I still half expect Macedonia to give Malta 12 points and we win..but unfortunately it never happens!

When asked about the possibility of future participation back then, you never discounted it and therefore, when you submitted two tracks to the competition in 2005, the people were somewhat excited to see what you were ready to bring to the table this time round. Both of the tracks being ‘Angel’ and ‘Sail Away’ would make the album cut and are still very much favourites of the public but you had to take up a song which you believed could take you all the way and chose the former. Do you believe that your second song would have been received differently by the respective viewers of the Eurovision Song Contest?

I can never say how it would have been, I think I made the right choice with Angel.  Being that I wrote angel myself for me it was very special and I am always very glad to be able to transmit this special feeling to the audience in front of me, I know that today Angel is special not just for me but for a lot of people around Europe too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BhzMQgmi7SY

We are moving forward in time and this brings us to your final participation up to this point in time as you made one final return in 2009 with the track ‘What If We’ composed by Marc Paelinck and penned by Gregory Bilsen. When speaking about this participation, you cited that it was clearly representative of your fathers’ wishes and ultimately when it won in Malta, the track was received well. In the semi-finals of the foreign competition, you made it through to the final stage for the first time since 2004 when Julie & Ludwig had done the honour with ‘On Again .. Off Again’. Three years on, many people believe that the track was not as strong as other material that you have presented to the competition but would you have done anything differently or do you believe that you were in the right?

In this industry you sing because you love singing but you have to be loved by your audience or else the sense is gone out of what you do, so I never say I was in the right, obviously it is a matter of opinion and my fans opinion is very important to me.  What if we at that point in my life was very strong for ma, also because of the emotions wrapped around the passing of my father so I would not change a thing. Although I do agree with most of them that probably the remix of What If We would have been more effective but as you know it is very difficult to change a song after you have won a national selection with it.

The Public Broadcasting Services have seemingly shown increased attention to the participation of Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest in recent years having taken up the competition under their wing directly and initiating a former format to the national final, one which includes both a semi-final and a final round giving the majority of the weighing to a panel of jury, most of which are foreign. Nevertheless, the issue lies at hand that despite this, the favourite of the public has triumphed two years in a row due to the fact that he achieved a respectable top three placing by the same professionals. Do you believe that the system needs to be altered in order to have more of a representative feel?

I feel that the Maltasong is becoming more and more professional and I like the fact that they are always changing and keeping up with the times.  I feel that the people’s opinion is very important as when we go to eurovision its people like maltese in other countries who will then vote for our song, true if you are famous here it helps, but this happens in all the countries not just in malta and we always have the jury to balance it out so I don’t think I would alter anything just now. Some countries go out of their way and get singers from all over the world to try and win the festival, again it is a matter of opinion and of how strongly the country would like to actually win the Eurovision at the end.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5F7AJXWD40A

Keeping in line with the present, just a couple of weeks ago, Malta was rerpesented int he Eurovision Song Contest by Kurt Calleja and his band who performed the tune ‘This Is The Night’ written by Johan Jämtberg, Mikael Gunnerås and the main performer himself. During the semi-final, there had been a lot of talk that the performance was crucial to whether our country could qualify for the very first time since you had done so in 2009 and when the eighteen (18) semi-finalists had performed, many had been saying that we had a very good chance and ultimately, we did qualify only to suffer a disappointing result in the final, one place better than you had achieved. What was the difference from one performance to another in your opinion and what is your view about the winning entry?

Euphoria for me started the race with a lot of advantage, It is a song that captures you immediately when you hear it and in my opinion it was a full set of things which made it win. Sweden have been working really hard for the past years to win , the song is an amazing piece, the production of the song put Euphoria above all the others in the festival and Loreen is captivating on stage, her presence steals your attention for the whole duration of her song. It was just the winner without doubts.  As for the performance of Kurt, I must say that the performance of Thursday was amazing, they were very concentrated and it showed, i felt personally that Saturday was a little bit different but I do understand that the pressure and all the responsibility of the final night can play tricks on you, so I still think they did really well also on the final night.

Chiara has been involved in a number of projects in recent weeks noting that the past year has been quite busy with activities both on local and foreign soil bringing about people of different countries together to enjoy your music. One of the most recent activities that comes to mind is a tribute to the Late Whitney Houston in a concert in which you featured as a guest performer to the lead performer of the evening being none other than former Malta Eurosong runner-up Eleanor Cassar. Each experience is surely a different one but what do you draw from each one and do you have anything coming up in the weeks and months to come?

I am now preparing to go to Germany for a concert I will do there with Hera Bjork from Iceland and other Eurovision singers.  For me every performance gives me a new memory to be proud of, by now I have come to know so many singers who I love and I am very proud to say I sang with them. When I sing in Malta its always more special as my Maltese audience is my family and I want to give them my best , also singing with singers like Eleanor and other maltese singers for me is more special and emotional as these singers are actually my personal friends so for me it is honour when I am asked to take part in such concerts.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FC6-QWBsOt0

This years’ edition of the Eurovision Song Contest has just finished but many countries are already preparing for the next one which will be held in Sweden. The Public Broadcasting Services is yet to formally announce their participation even though it seems that the positive showing this year would be enough to consolidate our future in the competition. Should the rule of the former participants be lifted, would you be tempted to the return and hopefully represent Malta for a fourth time in the competition and if so, would you fuse the elements that you have encompassed throughout the years together or would you take one style and make sure it is well represented?

As I always say if I was given half a chance I would go back to eurovision tomorrow!! I love the festival and it would be a great honour for me to be entrusted with this important task to represent my country once again. I have also been asked by other countries quite a lot of times to represent them in the Eurovision but till now I am still waiting for another chance to represent my own Malta before I actually go for someone else. But I can never say I will never go again, It is a wish of mine to be there amongst the fans once again. As for the style, it would depend on the particular place I would be at the time so I can’t say what it would be.

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

There is one thing I always say to my fans and I will always repeat, and it is THANK YOU , for everything you have given me, for the chance to share my music and emotions with you and the luck of getting to know you and love you so much. Richness for me is not money, it is the collection of people who surround you in your life, and  you make me richer every year and I will be grateful forever. I promise to always do my best to make you proud of being my fans.

Source: escflashmalta.com, JJ Chircop Photography

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IeKBo56B7Hc


Published in Interviews