December 09, 2019

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Saturday, 20 October 2012 03:01

Malta: The Quiet Girl with the Big Voice

Across the European continent and even further outside of the borders, it seems that the Maltese Islands have earned a respectable reputation for the sheer amount of vocal talent that tends to feature either annually or every now and then. There has been a progression with regards to the production of the songs that are being written for local artists and therefore, releases are now even earning rave reviews in foreign waters which have led to a number of performances abroad. Nevertheless, there is a lot of hype over the next edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and whilst we have absolutely no clue on whether such young talent is submitting, a feature would definitely do the artist justice nevertheless especially after being a focal point earlier this year. In fact, the quiet girl with the big voice that I have deemed is none other than Ylenia Vella, whom many will remember as to having backed Kurt Calleja up vocally.

Ylenia Vella burst out onto the music scene at a relatively tender age submitting entries for the Malta Junior Eurosong competition and coming extremely close to being the Maltese representative in 2009 actually with her track My One True Passion finishing in second place behind Francesca & Mikaela with their entry Double Trouble which also reached a respectable top ten finish abroad. Despite the fact that Ylenia never managed to triumph and finished in second, third and fourth place, she decided to not let the experience mar her career and therefore, submitted an application to be part of the showcase Don't Stop Me Now which was set to air on Television Malta and hosted by none other than Eileen Montesin and Christine Haber. Following a number of weeks of performances, Ylenia was crowned the winner of the competition, a stepping stone for the young performer and a chance to be recognized by not only the masses but even a host of songwriters on the Maltese Islands. She got the chance to perform with Kurt Calleja in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest as a female backing vocalist but unfortunately, it seems that she was replaced by another voice as Ylenia had described with Amber later on stating that the decision was taken up by the Public Broadcasting Services and that Ylenia had a fantastic voice which will represent Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest in the future. It will be quite interesting to see whether this will happen anytime soon but whatever the decision of Ylenia Vella will be, she will always have the stupendous voice of an angel.


Published in Local Music News

89.7 Bay has always spearheaded the importance of the local music scene and it is extremely refreshing to see that the existing divide between radio and local competitions is coming to an end because of the evolution of the respective acts that are coming forth and taking reigns over their respective music careers. In recent weeks, Ira Losco was leading the local chart with her hit single What I'd Give which still finds itself in position number #3 just behind the likes of the group Scar, former entrants in the Malta Song for Europe for starters who have most recently released their latest track White Lie. Nevertheless, the focus of the past two weeks has surely been Kurt Calleja who has found his way onto the chart with a brand new song which is definitely giving him an edge over the prior music he released. The song entitled Boomerang co-written by K-Warren could be found at number #10.

People have become somewhat infatuated with the track noting that it was also at number #2 on iTunes following it's release and prior to the performance giving on the Granaries at the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza. There is a lot riding on his follow up to the song This Is The Night which saw Malta advance to their first final of the Eurovision Song Contest since Chiara had done the honour in 2009 with the track What If We. Enlisted to help out in the final mix was Dan Pursey, a man who does not need a lot of introduction having worked with Five, Westlife, Kate Winslet, Ronan Keating  Clay Aiken, The Saturdays, Il Divo, Leona Lewis and Will Young just to mention a few. On the backing track, there are Matthew James Borg of Red Electrick and Kurt's very own brother, Kevin! The editorial board of would like to wish Kurt the very best with his new single and hopefully, it will scale up the chart a little bit higher in the weeks to come whilst reminding you to tune in every Monday night to listen to the Chart Update by Nathan D on 89.7 Bay.

Source: 89.7 Bay

Published in Local Music News
Thursday, 13 September 2012 07:26

Exclusive: Special KKI 2012 Guest is Kurt Calleja

The 2012 edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza is due to take place in just a couple of days time hoping that the weather will ultimately hold up with all of the respective festivities taking place on The Granaries in Floriana next week. In fact, the final list of participants of the competition has now finally been announced with four acts gaining a place on the prestigious stage having made it through a 60% Jury and 40% Tele-Voting phase which was transmitted weekly through the programme Indifest hosted by Christine Haber and Ronald Briffa on NET Television every Tuesday evening for the past couple of weeks. Earlier this week, it was revealed that the first special guest for the actual night of the competition would be last years' winner and 1995 Eurovision Song Contest representative; Mike Spiteri but he will also be joined by this years' Eurovision Song Contest representative being Kurt Calleja.

In yet another piece of exclusive information trusted to, we are pleased to announce that the lead singer of the track This Is The Night which found the way into the final of this years' Eurovision Song Contest has agreed to give the crowd present a couple of renditions of his tracks. Since coming back from Baku, Kurt has not been laying around idle having just put out a brand new track, in a completely different vein to his Eurovision entry with the title being Boomerang. What is remotely impressive is that the song managed to peak at number #2 in the iTunes chart over here in Malta, making the artist even more successful than he had already become in recent months. This years' edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza will be staged on Tuesday 18th September 2012 on The Granaries in Floriana and hosted by Ronald Briffa and Christine Haber. Stay tuned to for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source:, Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza

Friday, 31 August 2012 17:12

Malta: New Single Release by Kurt Calleja

Since representing the country at the 2012 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest in Baku, Azerbaijan with the track This Is The Night, Kurt Calleja has managed to achieve quite an intriguing fan base, one which has been supporting his every move. It is to be noted that the performer was only the third to qualify to the final of the annual music competition following in the footsteps of Julie and Ludwig in 2004 with the track On Again .. Off Again as well as Chiara in 2009 with the song What If We, ultimately achieving somewhat of a disappointing placing in the final following a performance which could at best be described as below par unfortunately with the excitement highly noticeable. Nevertheless, the foundation for a career has been well set and Kurt is looking forward to releasing a host of new songs. The latest single is entitled Boomerang and it will be played in full for the first time this evening.

The track in itself is written by singer/songwriter K-Warren with the production as well as the mixing done by Dan Pursey, a man who has worked with the likes of Stephen Gately of Boyzone, A1, Five, Westlife, Kate Winslet, Atomic Kitten, Ronan Keating, Clay Aiken, The Saturdays, Il Divo, Will Young and Leona Lewis amongst others. The main vocals of the track are provided by Kurt Calleja but then again, it is also to be noted that he is aided in the backing department by his brother Kevin Calleja as well as Matthew James Borg who is the lead singer of the popular band, Red Electrick. The respective recording was done at Blacklight Studios by Peter Borg. The track will be available for people to buy through the medium iTunes as from Monday 10th September 2012 so make sure to stay tuned to that but should you like to listen to the full track before, make sure to be present at the G7 Party in Gianpula this evening. Stay tuned to for more of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: Facebook

Published in Local Music News

It has been reported in the local media that being in the final of the Eurovision Song Contest for the first time in three years was a huge success and everyone seems to be in full agreement that Kurt Calleja along with the rest of his team did their best to impress the voters all across the continent with their rendition of the track This Is The Night despite this somewhat not materialising in the amount of points which were predicted in the lead up to the final competition held on Saturday evening which was won by Loreen and her entry Euphoria for Sweden but nevertheless, there have been a lot of positive and important factors which make this years' edition of the esteemed event, one of the most successful for the Maltese entry especially considering the amount of digital sales.

In the past couple of years, there has been a lot of talk with the fact that the charts are being affected by digital sales with the most predominant ones being through the medium of iTunes, a company which sells music, videos, e-books and films through an online store and downloaded onto one of several devices created by the company Apple. The song that represented Malta in this years' music competition has to be the most successful thus far noting that it has managed to enter the charts in fourteen countries based on being downloaded from the official Eurovision Song Contest album. This data was sent in to at around 02:00 CET and might vary within other times of the day both in positive or negative ways because the charts are updated within a matter of hours.

  • Austria: #85
  • Belgium: #170
  • Denmark: #162
  • Estonia: #197
  • France: #164
  • Finland: #119
  • Germany: #73
  • Greece: #56
  • Malta: #4
  • Norway: #80
  • Sweden: #20
  • Switzerland: #174
  • The Netherlands: #151
  • United Kingdom: #143

I must say that the song has really managed to do quite well and the countries which have put it in the top hundred in their respective digital charts show that it was extremely well liked. In fact, Kurt Calleja who will be releasing his debut album later on this year might have had the right impact on his career and could most likely plan his material release in a number of nations especially following his success in Norway, Austria, Sweden, Greece and Germany. The Maltese delegation is expected to return back to the country is just a matter of hours with the plan scheduled to land at 11:25 CET. Make sure to go and support Kurt Calleja, his band and all of the Maltese delegation including Peter Carbonaro, Daniel D'Anastasi and Anton Attard amongst others as a showing of goodwill and good faith.

Source: Brooke Borg,

Published in Local Music News

In just a couple of hours, the final of this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest is set to take place in Baku, Azerbaijan and the preparations for the show are still taking place even as we speak with the final rehearsal in motion for the acts to tune up in the best possible way although many will surely be holding back in order to give a sublime performance during this evening. The audience will of course be selecting their top favourites amounting to half of the final vote with the rest of the result decided last night by panels of jurors in each of the competing nations. Malta is in the final for the very first time since 2009 but suddenly Kurt Calleja and his band are really receiving a lot of attention apart from getting one of the loudest reactions in the hall last night when he spoke to them in Azeri.

The interest in the Eurovision Song Contest for Malta is definitely as high as it has ever been and the excitement and the tension are growing especially when fans speak through the medium of message boards stating that they believe that our country has become a dark horse and will most likely finish within the top ten marking the best result for Malta since 2005 when Chiara and her beautiful ballad Angel had managed to finish in the runner-up position. At this stage though, I would like to tell everyone that we have to believe and achieve so that we can keep uttering the words of Kurt Calleja through the end. We have to remain humble at all times whilst reminding people so that this evening they would vote for entry #21 meaning our very own This Is The Night performed by a remarkable Kurt Calleja and the rest of his stage entourage including Rebecca, Kevin, Amber, Christian and Warren. 

In the meantime, we have also been in touch with the Maltese Head of Delegation, Anton Attard, the man who has been keeping in touch with for the past couple of days and this is what he had to say in anticipation for this evenings' showcase 'Reaching the final from semi-final 2 is no mean feat and I praise the band and the team for that. We are convinced that the performance tonight will make all of the Maltese proud irrelevant of the final result.' This evening, you can follow the final of the Eurovision Song Contest through the medium of TVM and also TVMHD where the commentary will be done by none other than Ronald Briffa and Elaine Saliba who have been quite witty and funny during the first two semi-finals. The votes will also be given out by newscasters and former Malta Eurovision Song Contest host Keith Demicoli so stay tuned to as we cover this years' final.

UPDATE: We have just managed to garner a comment from Kurt Calleja himself who tells us 'Thanks to all for the continuous support. From my end I am committed to keep on giving my best.'


The Eurovision Song Contest has most recently been dubbed as the most popular non-sporting event in the world due to the fact that it is largely followed all over the mainland continent from which it has been titled meaning Europe as well as the United States of America and Australia who follow the competition with a lot of expectation. In the meantime though when it comes to Malta, the competition has to be one which manages to unite the people in the best possible way and this year should be quite special especially now that Kurt Calleja has made it to the finals of the competition with the song This Is The Night but whilst he has already overcome a hurdle, it seems that he has managed to garner another stone to his circle of success by charting in the regional iTunes store of Sweden.

The song that is representing Malta in this years' Eurovision Song Contest is actually written by Swedes and it seems that the people have recognized their traditional sounds in the track by virtue of going forth to by it through the digital medium of iTunes. During the night, the track has continued to rise and currently peaks in position #53 meaning just behind tracks like Waterline for Ireland (#51), Aphrodisiac for Greece (#50), Kuula for Estonia (#43), Nije Ljubav Stvar for Serbia (#42), Nar Jag Blundar for Finland (#28), Stay for Norway (#21), Loreen for Sweden (#5). This is a very good placing for Malta and definitely could be one of the songs to garner points come the final with Malta at the moment placing in sixth place out of the songs which are competing in the final. Stay tuned to for all of the latest news about Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: iTunes

The adventures of the Eurovision Song Contest began quite abruptly this year noting that the very first rehearsals for Malta were on the third day of proceedings despite competing in the second semi-final of the prestigious competition but nevertheless, the delegation was ready and found their ground in Baku, Azerbaijan easily with the team having been there before for a number of promotional activities. The time has come and this evening, Kurt Calleja, Rebecca Mifsud, Warren Bonello, Kevin Paul Calleja, Amber and Christian Calleja will be flying the flag for Malta with the song This Is The Night which has been written by Kurt himself alongside the music stylings of Johan Jämtberg and also Mikael Gunnerås.

The track has grown to become a well known song in Azerbaijan with a number of people humming along to it in the streets apart from making sure it receives ample promotion, a case in point being the flashmob organised earlier this week. The rehearsals have move swiftly and the team has been confident throughout, hoping to secure Malta a place in the finals for the very first time since Chiara had done way back in 2009 with the song What If We which was also written by foreign songwriters. Glen Vella was quite close last year with his track One Life, failing to garner that one point which would have been enough to secure us qualification. Tonight, I would like to call on the Maltese people to support our representatives during the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest as Kurt and the rest of his team take to the stage in the position #4 within the running order following The Netherlands and prior to Belarus.

I would like to commend everyone for their hard work including the team behind it all which includes, the Artist Manager; Peter Carbonaro, the Head of Press; Daniel D'Anastasi and also the Head of Delegation; Anton Attard who have done as astonishing amount of work to make sure that whatever happens, Kurt would have made the right contacts to kick start a career. We spoke to the Head of Delegation and also the Chief Executive Officer at the Public Broadcasting Services about tonight and he gave us a set of very nice words saying 'I just want to praise the band, the team and the media like who collaborate with us.' The band have shown great chemistry between then and whatever happens tonight, they will remain to be Maltese and we should support them unconditionally throughout without saying that we could have done anything better. Let's keep positive though and remember that the Eurovision Song Contest is a great stepping stone for upcoming artists with millions of viewers all over the world.


In the past couple of days, the press centre has been brimming with excitement with people from all over the European and the Oceanic continent taking over to cover what is arguably the biggest non-sporting event to be held in European waters. With coverage of rehearsals, interviews, pictures and exclusive news, many people have to remember that the accredited media have their chance to cast their vote in the press centre and it seems that Malta has been doing quite well in the second semi-final noting that we have managed to keep our place in the top ten in quite a consistent format. The best placing which we have had is our current one, which actually marks sixth noting that there were days in which we had fallen to eight place. Kurt Calleja along with the rest of his entourage gave two astonishing performances of the song This Is The Night during the technical rehearsals and are now therefore looking set to qualify to the final stages.

Kurt Calleja was selected to represent the country with the majority of the public votes as it was the swing that he ultimately needed when winning the competition with just four points over Claudia Faniello, the lady who will be joining us this evening for the live commentary of the first semi-final. Our performer has been consistent with the media and his jovial character has come across very well noting several invitations to delegation parties across the city including those of Slovakia, Georgia, Azerbaijan and Russia amongst others. The fact of the matter is that this list constantly updates and therefore, one has to see whether there is a consistent showing before reporting on it but the Maltese entry has garnered more than 300 votes and stands just below Sweden, Serbia, Turkey, Norway and Ukraine who are currently found in that particular order on the scoreboard. The Maltese delegation have to enjoy what could be their real last 'free' day but nevertheless, there are a number of things planned actually including a flash-mob in an Azeri square. Good Luck to Malta, Kurt Calleja, his entourage and delegation and stay tuned to for all of the latest news. 

Source: LIVE

The focus of the day for the Maltese fans of the Eurovision Song Contest has surely been Kurt Calleja who will be honouring the small Mediterranean country in the esteemed music event in just a couple of days time as he competes in the second semi-final. The initial response to the rehearsal from foreign waters has been overwhelmingly positive actually which many saying that the song has come alive on a totally different level now that it has made the transition from a small stage to a huge stage. It will also be a sort of track that will feed off the energy of the people in general and therefore, might even be better on the night hoping that all the nerves are kept at bay on the side.

This was the very first time that Amber was part of the performance as well and we believe that she did extraordinarily well having come in as a late replacement. The performance on stage was noted to be good even through bookmakers who have shortened odds ever so slightly prompting us to climb a couple of positions on the possible winners list. Our team in Baku has obviously been making a lot of effort to cover the latest news about Malta and in fact, thanks to our very own Head of Communications, Juergen Boernig who is working alongside the beautiful Lilian Brunell, an exclusive video interview of Kurt Calleja has been shot during the allocated time for interviews. Stay tuned to escflashmalta. com for more news about Kurt Calleja and his endeavours as he competed in the second semi-final with his song This Is The Night.

Source: escflashmalta

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