October 18, 2019

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Kurt Calleja is representing Malta in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest which is taking place in Baku, Azerbaijan and his journey commenced early yesterday morning actually having departed from the small Mediterranean country with a flight to Istanbul, Turkey by virtue of the national airline, Airmalta. When at the airport in Turkey, the team was received by none other than Reuben Gauci who just happens to be the Maltese Diplomat in Istanbul. Along with an Azeri travel agent, the whole delegation was treated to a tour of the city which is somewhat popular for being a border between Europe and Asia intertwining the cultures together.

Kurt of course was in Turkey just a couple of weeks ago where he met the representative Can Bonomo who will be competing in the second semi-final with Malta. The song along with the performer were well received and it is somewhat hoped that this will show on the night itself. Later in the afternoon, the whole delegation left the city of Istanbul to head to their final destination which is the host city of the 2012 edition of Eurovision Song Contest. This route is not the typical one actually with most participants going through Germany but on their flight, they met up with the delegations from Serbia and Bulgaria along with a number of journalists and other fans. Kurt Calleja will be rehearsing for the very first time later on today so stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: Public Broadcasting Services Press Release (Daniel D'Anastasi)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjhBsCop3Ys

Earlier this year, during the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, the public convincingly decided to send Kurt Calleja and his team over to Baku, Azerbaijan in order to carry the flag with the track This Is The Night which is both penned and composed by a trio of songwriters including Johan Jämtberg, Mikael Gunnerås and Kurt Calleja himself. The track faced stiff competition during the event but after coming on top, there has been a lot of mixed reactions from negative camps yet hope is an important asset which should never be lost and I speak for the majority of the public in saying that the country is behind Kurt and his song hoping to achieve qualification for the very first time since Chiara did the country proud during the 2009 semi-final with the song What If We when the event took place in Moscow, Russia.

As has been the case for most of the participants in recent years, the team for this years' Eurovision Song Contest was given a send off through the programme Ħadd Għalik, hosted by Angie Laus, a leading lady of the production house Where's Everybody known for being the brainchild behind the official preview videos for Malta in 2007, 2008, 2011 and 2012 apart from offering their equipment and their studios during the Malta Eurovision Song Contest in both 2011 and 2012. Kurt was playing with his family against his band and managed to win by just three points. Whilst his plane departs for Baku during the wee hours of the morning, he is expected to arrive late in the evening ready to take on the stage for the very first time on Tuesday morning for his very first rehearsal. Stay tuned to  escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about Kurt Calleja's experience in Baku being the only national media alongside the Public Broadcasting Services to be present on location this year.

Source: escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjhBsCop3Ys

Kurt Calleja and the rest of the team which will be heading to Baku, Azerbaijan in just a couple of days time are making that final push prior to representing Malta in the esteemed music event which is seen by millions all around the world including Australia and the United States. Nevertheless, This Is The Night will be hoping to capture the hearts of the viewers during the night of the second semi-final in hope of making it to the finale on Saturday night. Despite an apparent surge in polls, odds and even viewers' positive reactions, Kurt and his team will still be working hard to overcome the current with latest pundits stating that the falsetto he included in his last two performances were unnecessary. In fact, one particular comment posted on Social Networking Website, Facebook by music theatre performer; Joseph Zammit stated if this is not his worst performance, then it doesn't say much about his talents with clear reference to his performance on RAI DUE during London Live 2.0 where Kurt was a guest earlier this week. This evening, Kurt will be giving one of his final interviews to international media prior to the Eurovision Song Contest.

This interview will be featuring during this evenings' show on Radio International hosted by  escflashmalta.com frontman Jurgen Boernig. It will not be the only one which will be played during the show which can also be followed online through www.radiointernational.tv noting that there will also be interviews with none other than Can Bonomo who will be representing Turkey, Rona Nishliu who will be performing for Albania, Joan Franka who will be representing the colours of The Netherlands, Valentina Monetta who will be representing San Marino, Eleftheria Eleftheriou who will represent Greece and also Pasha Parfeny who will be doing the same on behalf of Moldova. Therefore, tonight do not forget to tune into Radio International hosted within The Netherlands where several interviews as seen above will be aired along with music requests, a quiz, and also Eurovision Song Contest news with our partners escXtra. Stay tuned for more information about the last promotional efforts by this years' participants only on escflashmalta.com

 Source: Press Release

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K-Cl3-egVm0

The preparations for the 2012 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest have been ongoing for quite some time and the Maltese Delegation led by Kurt Calleja and Amber have been quite busy preparing their performance for the second semi-final at this years' event with the song This Is The Night. In the past couple of weeks, their has been a number of people who have been naming Malta as their most preferred entry and things are looking much more optimistic than they were last year when Glen Vella took to the stage with One Life composed by Paul Giordimaina and penned by Fleur Balzan. 

The Maltese delegation has been quite busy promoting their entry all around Europe noting a tour that has included countries such as Azerbaijan, Turkey, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Italy, and The Netherlands. The song is also written by a pair of Swedes and therefore that might also be an interesting addition. In the meantime, the host country has been quite prolific noting that the OGAE Club there put the song in thirteenth position whilst the Luxembourg region voted for Malta in tenth place. These are all good signs actually because diaspora played an important role. One last ounce of support has also been seen in the general sense of the betting odds as the nations' entry has rise some seven places moving out of the bottom five for the very first time in quite some time. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more information about the Maltese participation in the Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Source: Betting Odds, OGAE

Sweden has always been noted to be a country with a strong music industry and their participation in the Eurovision Song Contest has always been almost always been treated with success missing the final only on one occasion, being back in 2010 when Anna Bergendahl and her entry This Is My Life failed by virtue of finishing in eleventh place. In preparation to the actual competition, they call upon leading names in the music and entertainment industry with the aim of listening and commenting on the entries that would have been put forward by all of the countries including their very own. The results of the first semi-final were released last week with Cyprus leading the board and that meant that the second semi-final entries were not far away. In fact, Malta is competing in the very first part of the evening and hence the verdict was passed.

Unfortunately the panel which is led by singers Lena Philipsson and Mans Zelmerow as well as commentators Gina Dirawi, Thomas Lundin and Lisette believe that Malta does not have the right entry to make it to the finals having received just nine (9) points out of a possible total of twenty-five (25) meaning that it did not even garner half of the required points and languished just slightly above the bottom of the board. The Swedish previews have been noted to have quite the impact of the public. The focus of the evening was definitely Sweden and their entry Euphoria who received the maximum amount of points but nevertheless, the songs which were given a second place were Serbia and Ukraine who will be represented by Zeljko Joksimovic and Gaitana with the songs Nije Ljubav Stvar and Be My Guest. Keep a close eye on escflashmalta.com in the coming days for more news about the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: SVT

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4nJcmLMb5to

Over the past couple of months, it has been well noted that the relations between Malta and Azerbaijan have been very strong due to the fact that the Public Broadcasting Services and Ictimai Television have worked closely together in order to ensure a successful partnership for this year and for many years to come. The fourth country to be performing on Thursday, the night of the second semi-final of this years' Eurovision Song Contest is none other than Malta, a country of mixed fortunes in the showcase especially as of late noting that the tide of the former century seems to have turned. This time round, the small nation in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea is being represented by Kurt Calleja and his entry bearing the name This Is The Night written by Johan Jämtberg, Mikael Gunnerås & Kurt Calleja.

Kurt took his first singing audition when he was very young merely to join the school choir because he wanted to be with his friends. Years later he was chosen to sing in the children's choir during the last visit to Malta of his Holiness Pope John Paul II. It was only in 2005 that Kurt took singing very seriously. In 2008 Kurt moved to the UK for a year to work as an air steward. During this period in England, Kurt spent most of his free time studying the piano and performing in a number of small venues such as restaurants, bars and clubs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcc8_9KYCHo

Back in Malta he started off as a backing vocalist on a television variety show and later as a solo singer on another family show on the national television station. Kurt has taken part in several television programmes. The year 2010 got Kurt to perform in a duet in the national final of the Malta Song For Europe. Actually, 2010 was quite a successful year for Kurt as he took part and won the international festival called Orfeo In Italia, a festival that is held in Venice.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6earU3YuFsk

Kurt Calleja has also been part of a number of local events including the Farsons Beer Festival amongst others. Nevertheless, one particular occasion which is truly noteworthy is the time when Kurt performed as a supporting act for world famous Zucchero. The song This Is The Night is written by Kurt Calleja and composed by Johan Jämtberg, Mikael Gunnerås. Kurt together with the composers is working on his first album which will be out shortly.

The Critics Voice Their Opinion

Magnus Kaxe

  • At last – an up-tempo song! Kurt has a charming charisma and smile, good vocals and performs a simple, efficient and danceable song with a modern pop dance touch. My fear is that the song might be a little too simple, especially the first part of the chorus (“This is the night” etc.) Though the “oh-oh-oh” ending of the chorus has a great hook. I would have loved to hear more of Kurt’s higher vocal range, which would’ve brought even more energy into the song. But – I believe Malta will reach the finals! Let's go with a total of seven (7) points for this one.

Marion Welter

  • I must say that this track sounds like a mashup between the Spanish; Enrique Iglesias and the American; Usher, a dancefloor song performed by a lovely guy. This is a worthy effort from the nation, nine (9) points are truly deserved!

Tobias Larsson

  • A really bleak and washed-out song, saved a bit by charismatic Kurt behind the microphone. He radiates warmth and likeability, and I sincerely wish he will find something more meaningful to perform at a later stage of his career. I am slightly less optimistic than my colleagues above in giving him five (5) points for this performance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjhBsCop3Ys

Entry Background

Performer: Kurt Calleja

Composers: Johan Jämtberg, Mikael Gunnerås & Kurt Calleja

Authors: Johan Jämtberg, Mikael Gunnerås & Kurt Calleja

Song: This Is The Night 

Language: English

Broadcaster: PBS

History of the Nation

Malta have had quite the interesting record in the Eurovision Song Contest and this year will be celebrating twenty-five years in the event like Iceland actually who have a similar history to the small Mediterranean nation. Over the course of time, the nation that is yet to win the Eurovision Song Contest has finished third on two occasions, the first being in 1992 as Mary Spiteri and her track Little Child finished in third place and then in 1998 when Chiara and her debut entry The One That I love. Apart from this, Malta has laso finished second on two ocassions, the first one being in 2002 when the local pop/rock chic Ira Losco performed the song 7th Wonder to amaze the audience in Tallinn and then in 2005 when a breathtaking performance of Angel by Chiara made the audience weep. since the introduction of the semi-finals, Malta has only made the final twice, in 2004 with On Again...Off Again by Julie & Ludwig and in 2009 with Chiara and her third entry What If We. In the past two years, Malta has missed out but only just with seven points in 2010 and just one point in 2011.

Source: Eurovision.tv for the Biographical Information and all respective media

Published in Editorials
Saturday, 14 April 2012 01:05

Malta: The Biggest Dance of 2012 Arrives

It has been noted on more than one occasion that the Maltese Islands take their participation in the Eurovision Song Contest very seriously and this seems to be the case this year with Kurt Calleja who will be taking to Baku in Azerbaijan with the track This Is The Night, co-written between Johan Jämtberg, Mikael Gunnerås and the performer himself. One of the main aspects which seems to befit the track is an enjoyable routine which is being carried out by a number of people and was also the subject of our April Fools Joke here on www.escflashmalta.com but nevertheless, the day has come as several individuals are expected to flock to Valletta for the biggest dance of 2012.

Later on today at around 10:30 CET, the main square in front of Parliament will become a sight of colours and amusement with a number of people carrying out the dance that has been choreographed by Warren Bonello, part of the staging committee for this years' delegation. All of the team that will be representing Malta is expected to be in attendance alongside members of the Public Broadcasting Services who are shouldering the event through Where's Everybody and their flagship programme Xarabank hosted weekly on Friday nights by Peppi Azzopardi. We would like everyone to go and support the Maltese representative and have an enjoyable time. You can view the children of St.Paul's Bay Primary School training for the day in the video clip below. Stay tuned to www.escflashmalta.com for more information.

Source: Xarabank

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XHHM8gJUdx8

The Maltese Delegation for the 2012 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest which is set to take part in Baku, Azerbaijan is definitely flying under the media radar as much as possible this year noting that Kurt Calleja is currently in the country of Georgia where he seems to be promoting his track This Is The Night which will be performed in the fourth position within the second semi-final of the esteemed music competition. Nevertheless, this secrecy has been somewhat a theme to how the promotion has been taking place but nevertheless, if the results are achieved, then the Maltese people as a whole will be happy as there were with Chiara back in 2009 performing What If We in the finals.

In the past couple of months, Kurt Calleja has been visiting nations which had yet ever to be touched upon by Maltese representatives actually and these included Azerbaijan, Bulgaria and also Lithuania. It seems that the strategy of the Public broadcasting Services is to try and attract as much votes as possible from the Eastern side of the continent. Georgia of course are competing in the second semi-final with Anri Jokhadze and his song I'm a Joker. The song has not been highly regarded but nevertheless, since a brand new version appeared, it has got some positive reviews from the fans and the critics. Kurt Calleja will have more trips still to come noting that he is set to attend the Eurovision In Concert set to take place in The Netherlands and our esteemed sources tell us that he will also make an appearance at the London Preview Party. Stay tuned to www.escflashmalta.com as we keep you posted on the latest happenings.

Source: Facebook

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hASd_cMBJO0

Promise is the first word that springs to mind when noting the announcement a couple of months back that the Public Broadcasting Services was set to take over the full extent of the participation in the Eurovision Song Contest especially with a competent person such as Anton Attard at the helm noting the success that many people can vouch for when it comes to his role within N'N'G Promotions, a private company which puts up concerts in the Maltese Islands. Despite appointing a number of personnel by his side, it seems that they have all withered away behind the public eye but then again, it seems that it is all being blown out in public now especially with the loss of Norman Hamilton who has decided to quit his Position as a Consultant from the supposed team due to the 'lack of respect' as mentioned on The Times of Malta and as featured on ONE Television.

Norman Hamilton had worked extremely well last year with Anton Attard and that is why he took up the position once more, always noting without any remunaration for his work. It is to be remembered that Norman was one of the most successful Heads of Delegation to represent Malta taking us to tenth position in 1996 with Miriam Christine, ninth position in 1997 with Debbie Scerri and a third place in 1998 with Chiara. This time round though it seems that Mr.Attard has somewhat been keeping the matters to himself, closing down any other opinions, something that Mr.Hamilton was been called upon to give. The issues that have been pointed out in recent weeks include the removal of Ylenia Vella from the team, replaced by Amber who has been commented as having nothing to do with the winning song. He also commented on the disappointment that ONE Television could not feature anything on the Eurovision Song Contest. On a much more personal note, Norman Hamilton also passed forth his idea of Juries but the names were not included for any phase with Mr.Attard including individuals whom he had decided himself.

In the long run, the saga of the juries continues noting disgruntlement how newscasters had actually become prolific professionals in music to decide on the winner. In another blow, this year, Norman Hamilton will not be giving any coverage on ONE Television and may not even watch the semi-finals as he will be away and might not have any media access. Another reason for this decision is the way that Malta did not protest over the shooting of stray dogs in Baku, Azerbaijan. This disappointing resignation comes to be known as the major one in recent months but Anton Attard has long decided to change the strategy by opting to not allow local media to attend this years' Malta Eurovision Song Contest rehearsals. Nevertheless, despite all of this, the numbers of our coverage were on par with those of the Public Broadcasting Services in some areas and even better in other areas, which is very much a win for us in this situation. 

In a interesting reply made by Anton Attard, it was stated that the word Consultant did not mean Dictate and well this kind of response was to be expected from a seasoned man in the entertainment and business industry. He has also gone on record to state 'Unfortunately partisan politics has clouded Mr Hamilton's judgment in a number of ways'. We would like to wish Norman Hamilton, the very best of luck with the rest of his career as a host on ONE Television of the popular show 'Bla Agenda'. Honestly, we hope in the future that people like Norman are given better treatment as they work for the best interests of the country. Kurt Calleja will ultimately represent Malta with the song This Is The Night in the second semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan.

Source: Times of Malta, ONE Television

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IC2L6EQanM8

Published in Local Music News
Wednesday, 04 April 2012 02:07

Malta: Kurt Calleja Tops Local iTunes Chart

It has now been two months since the Malta Eurovision Song Contest came to an end with the winner being none other than Kurt Calleja with the song This Is The Night the performer who had paved the way for victory since the previous year when he had finished third with the extremely catchy song entitled Over and Over also a co-write between the artist and Johan Jämtberg. The overwhelming success of the performer continues to surprise the general public who grabbed their phones and voted in their masses during the final night of the local national final. A couple of days ago, it was revealed that the record label, BFM Digital is distributing the track as a general release. The renowned company has worked with the likes of Brian Lopez, Paulini, James Morisson and Da Professor amongst others. In recent years, CAP Sounds had been the company which took up the track apart from Chiara who worked with a distributor of EMI Music due to the her international songwriting collaboration. 

The song has only been available for a couple of days and quickly climbed up to number #3 initially before succumbing to a number of brand new tracks which had just become available through the popular digital sales company. It is quite impressive that following the downfall, the sales picked up once more and in just two days and a couple of hours, the song sky rocketed to number #1 therefore recording yet another successful attempt by a Maltese artist on the chart. The time span in which he kept the position was a couple of hours, but anytime spent at the top is a great achievement. You can help him climb once more by buying the song here. iTunes in Malta has not been open for a long time but it seems that the local crowd enjoys making purchases noting the recent charting success of Fabrizio Faniello, Wintermoods, Claudia Faniello and Airport Impressions amongst others. 

Source: iTunes

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjhBsCop3Ys

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