November 17, 2019

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The 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest is months away but several countries have either confirmed their participation or released their regulations for national selection processes. Apart from the means of FM Radio in the Netherlands on FM 106.8 and the audio stream from the studio via and on Digital Cable 781 & Cable 8.1Mhz in the Netherlands, the show will also be web-televised via the Radio International TV Channel from the studio and linking up the many international Eurovision fans and friends and play your requests and read your messages out on air. The simulcast will be from 2000 – 2300 hours CET when fans can join in and chat amongst each other via the Chat Room and request their favourite Eurovision entry.

Gaia Cauchi, the recent winner of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest with the song The Start co-written alongside Matt Mercieca, Elton Zarb and Gillian Attard will be sharing her experience in Kiev, Ukraine in a phone-in interview that will take place during the course of the show. Gaia will surely explain how much this victory means to her personally and to the country on an international level. Her recognition in Malta has sky rocketed in recent days and it seems that reaching for the stars will not be difficult for the young songstress. Other interviews which will be airing on this evenings' show are with the second runner-up of the Eurovision Song Contest, Zlata Ogvevich as well as Timur Miroshnychenko who co-hsoted the Junior Eurovision Song Contest alongside her.

As the dawn of a brand new season approaches, Radio International will be hosting a brand new feature, one entitled Denmark's Eurovision Song Contest History which will be reflecting on the entries that the Scandinavian nation sent to the annual music competition. David Mann will continue to look at cover versions from the event whilst the latest news from escXtra and will be read out. In the meantime, former representatives of the Eurovision Song Contest are always looking for ways to please their fans and thus new music is being recorded and published throughout the year. Radio International will be playing the most recent singles as sent in by several record labels. We urge you to tune into Radio International this evening at 20:00 CET in order to request your favourite entry from the Eurovision Song Contest and listen to the special features.

Source: Press Release

On the 30th November 2013, the European Broadcasting Union will be hosting the tenth edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, which is being staged in Kiev, Ukraine. As part of the rebranding of the event, a certain co-relation is being created between the senior and the junior events of the Eurovision Song Contest, so much so that two former winners of the senior event; Ruslana and Emmelie de Forest have both been invited to perform as special guests during the course of the evening.

It is also worth noting that the one of the hosts of the evening is Zlata Ognevich, the female artist who represented Ukraine at this years’ edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Gravity, finishing in second place. This is a similar system to the one used by NTU, the national broadcaster of Ukraine when they hosted the Junior Eurovision Song Contest a couple of years back by getting Ani Lorak to co-host. Malta is returning to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest with Gaia Cauchi and her entry The Start which she co-wrote with Elton Zarb, Matt Mercieca and Gillian Attard  of La Voix Academy. It is always important to denote that the Mediterranean Country had been absent from the event for the past two (2) years. Stay tuned to for the latest news.

Source: Junior Eurovision (Official Website)

Monday, 30 September 2013 17:15

JESC 2013: Zlata Ognevich Chosen as Co-Hostess

Timur Miroshnychenko, a commentator for the Eurovision Song Contest in his native Ukraine has been responsible for hosting the preselection in the lead up to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest on a series of occasions, something that he had done alongside Ani Lorak, a former first runner-up within the international competition with the song Shady Lady. NTU, the broadcaster responsible for this years' international spectacle have selected Timur and Zlata as co-hosts with the second runner-up at the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest garnering a major hosting gig for the very first time. This years' edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest is taking place on the 30th November in Kiev, Ukraine.

Ukraine are making a lot of effort to ensure that the 2013 edition of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest is a major success with the motto being simple, and spelling out Be Creative! The country has also denoted 2013 as the year of children's creative. Timur on the other hand has spoken in favour of the official team saying 'it means being state-of-the-art and knowing how to see beauty in everything. As co-host of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, I want to show the world that the new generation of Ukrainians have a brand new way of thinking'. Zlata wasn't too far off in her way of thinking, adding that 'Ukraine has so many gifted children and people who are always willing to show the beauty and richness of Ukrainian culture through their dances, songs, paintings. What we can show our guests is our big heart, our hospitality and our talent.' Stay tuned to for all of the latest news.

Source: Official Website

The Eurovision In Concert held a couple of weeks back within The Netherlands is known to be the premier dress rehearsal for the competing countires at the Eurovision Song Contest and the team of Radio International had the pleasure of speaking to all of the artists present, amongst them Gianluca who will represent Malta with the song Tomorrow co-written by Dean Muscat and Boris Cezek. We would like to invite you to the weekly Ultimate Eurovision Experience. Apart from the means of FM Radio in the Netherlands on FM 106.8 and the audio stream from the studio via and on Digital Cable 781 & Cable 8.1Mhz in the Netherlands, the show will also be web-televised via the Radio International TV Channel from the studio and linking up the many international Eurovision fans and friends and play your requests and read your messages out on air. The simulcast will be from 2000 – 2300 hours CET when fans can join in and chat amongst each other via the Chat Room and request their favourite Eurovision entry.

Denmark is the outright favourite in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with Emmelie de Forest and her entry Only Teardrops co-written by Lise Cable, Julia Fabrin Jakobsen and Thomas Stengaard. As a matter of fact, there is always a favourite which does well, along with another who will fall flat when it comes to the live performance. This is yet to be seen. In the meantime, Emmelie who is an extremely nice individual speaks to team of Radio International about competing in such a major showcase, her ancestral background and what she makes of the current situation in the polls, bookmakers and fan clubs. Moving onto another entry competing in the first semi-final, there is Zlata Ognevich who will be representing Ukraine with the song Gravity and according to the bookmakers, this currently ranks second behind Denmark. Zlata who has slight difficulty to speak in English is nevertheless a great performer and she speaks to Radio International and about her upcoming surprises, without revealing too much.

Apart from focusing on the first semi-final, it is always important to note that there is a second show and one which also includes a number of great songs including some fan favourites in the form of Greece whose entry Alcohol is Free performed by Koza Mostra featuring Agathonas has been setting the dancefloors alight. The team who have a great spirit speak about the song, the meaning behind it and what their expectations in Sweden during the Eurovision Song Contest are, especially considering that Greece has a reputation to uphold. One final interview from this semi-final is with PeR from Latvia whose entry bears the name Here We Go. It will be the opening act of the show but has not been receiving a lot of promotion as of late whilst somewhat destined to be another disappointment for the Baltic nation. The duo are great fun though and this adds to the spectacle of the Eurovision Song Contest.

The final nation in the spotlight for this evenings' programme will be Amandine Bourgeois who will be representing France with L'Enfer et Moi. She has received great comments since her performance at the Eurovision in Concert and could surprise. There will also be a number of new releases played throughout the three hours, including Żarbun by Chiara which has already racked up more then 80,000 views in less than a week. In the meantime, there will also be a number of cover versions as recorded throughout the year, a feature which will be returning at the hands of David Mann. All of the latest news is also covered during the weekly broadcast noting resources from and escXtra where Luke Fisher, the Editor makes a weekly round-up. A spotlight on the Eurovision Song Contest will be switched on metaphorically of course by Dermot Manning as he chooses a topic for the week. Follow the show through the official website and also send your requests through the contact link which is found on the aforementioned website.

Source: Team of Radio International

Ukraine has participated in the Eurovision Song Contest ten times. Infact, their first entry goes back to 2003 with a 14th place finish for Oleksandr Ponomaryov. The country won in 2004 when famous singer Ruslana turned wild with her strong entry Wild Dances. Ukraine finished in joint 19th place in the 2005 contest, for which Kiev, was the host. Ukraine has a remarkable record in the contest. It has never been eliminated in the semifinals, and has therefore never missed a final. And they will probably make the finals this year too with the soundtrack song Gravity sang by the beautiful Zlata Ognevich.

The singer is busy preparing her final touches for the stage performance of the Avatarish song. Four backing vocals are expected to be on stage to sing along with her but the sixth member of the performance is yet to be unveil. One of the backing vocals is Cleveland Watkiss, a Jazz icon. He was the winner of the London Jazz Awards for Best Vocalist in 2010 and was voted Wire/Guardian Jazz Awards top vocalist for three uninterrupted years. The 3 minute stage show is directed by Maxim Litvinov a prominent Ukrainian director, who designs shows for the Ukrainian version of X-Factor and Ukraine’s Got Talent. The director wants to surprise the European spectators with a  show which Europe has never seen at the Eurovision stage before. Zlata Ognevich will sing her song Gravity in the First Semi Final on 14th May 2013. The atmospheric song was written by Mikhail Nekrasov, who was responsible for arranging Ruslana’s winning entry in 2004.

Lyrics to Gravity were written by Karen Kavaleryan, author of Ani Lorak’s Shady Lady and Dima Bilan’s Never Let You Go. The singer that Gravity says matches with the theme art of this year’s Eurovision. The intercultural sound of music in Gravity reflects the big idea of cultural variety behind Eurovision. In the meantime, the delegation has also decided to make the song available for people to download as a ringtone. 'People who support Ukraine in Eurovision want to listen to Gravity when they receive phone calls. They also want to let other fans know who they will vote for in the contest', explains Mikhail Nekrasov, Zlata’s producer. Currently, the Ukrainian entry is doing very well in the bettings. Gravity is in the 3rd place out of 39 countries. We wish Zlata a successful performance on the first semi final. Stay tuned to for all of the latest news.

Source: Press Release

Robin Stjernberg and Despina Olympiou will both be hoping to achieve success at this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest and it is intriguing to note that their selection was quite different with the lady from Cyprus chosen internally as opposed to the man from Sweden who had to go through several phases within the annual Melodifestivalen. Both artists have had the chance to speak to the editorial board of with interviews being conducted by Marc Calleja Bayliss and Antoine Farrugia. As a matter of fact, our third interview in the build up towards the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest in Sweden is with Zlata Ognevich who will be representing Ukraine with Gravity composed by Mikhail Nekrasov to the lyrics of Karen Kavaleryan.

2003 was the year in which Ukraine joined the family of the Eurovision Song Contest with this year marking the eleventh participation. The nation has been quite successful having managed to finish in the top ten on six occasions including a win back in 2004 thanks to Wild Dances performed by Ruslana and two runner-up finishes in 2007 with Verka Serduchka and her flamboyant entry Dancing Lasha Tumbai and the following year in 2008 with Shady Lady sung by Ani Lorak. Do you feel like you have a successful record to protect as you take on the role of representative and how do you perceive such history?

It’s an honor for me to have been selected to represent Ukraine. And yes, it’s a big responsibility. I feel confident though. I very much believe in my song which was written by Mikhail Nekrasov. Mikhail was the co-author of Ruslana’s song. Karen Kavaleryan wrote the lyrics for Gravity. He was also the author of Ani Lorak’s Shady lady lyrics. 4 powerful backing vocals will add value to my live performance. One of the backing vocalists has been acknowledged as one of the world’s best male jazz voices. So I am placing high hopes on my entry.

Gravity, the track that you will be performing during the first semi-final of the Eurovision Song Contest is composed by Mikhael Nekrasov and penned by Karen Kaveleryan who have worked on a number of successful songs in the past including Never Let You Go by Dima Bilan and Shady Lady by Ani Lorak. What kind of advice and support have they given you as you prepare to take on millions of viewers across the continent?

Mikhail is not only the author of my song, he is also my producer and author of all my songs. Mikhail has always been a great support and I fully trust him and his music. Every day we rehearse together trying to make the song absolutely perfect.

Between 2010 and 2011, you were given the ‘Person of the Year’ accolade in Ukraine and then in the middle of the latter you, the Embassy for Argentina also bestowed on you the title of ‘Best Voice of Ukraine’. You have had a number of successes in this manner apart from several more within the music field by virtue of competing in local and foreign competitions. How do such prestigious moments in your career help you plan for this upcoming adventure as well as the future?

Experience in competitions gives a good practice of taking control over emotions. My main rivals are not other contenders for the win, but my own worries and emotions. Confidence is what an artist gains when performs on a big stage. Then comes pleasure. My main goal is to get pleasure from my performance.

According to several sources, your father is a military doctor whilst your mother is a teacher of literature and language inRussia and nevertheless, their daughter is a vocal performer which is definitely different from their occupations. Your passion for music is believed to have emerged when you moved to Ukraine, a nation which has become not only the place where you live but also your home. Do you still perceive your move to Ukraine was positive and do you have the support of your family in music?

Yes, my move to Ukraine predicted my future life. Crimean peninsula where I grew up taught me to reconcile with nature. I learnt to imitate the sounds of animals, practiced swimming and diving. All of these activities helped me a lot in my vocal career. In Ukraine I met with Mikhail Nekrasov, my producer and my coach. Although I am mixed-blood, Ukraine is my motherland.

Following the allocation draw held by the European Broadcasting Union last year, it became public knowledge that Ukraine would be competing in the first semi-final and just a couple of days ago it was revealed that you would be performing in slot number #7 during the show. You will be preceding Russia who will be represented by Dina Garipova and her entryWhat If as well as Anouk from The Netherlands with the song Birds. These are two ballads with you have a mid-tempo track. Do you think that the outcome of the semi-final will be decided on the draw and what is your opinion on the tracks mentioned?

I think Gravity really stands out from other entries. Its musical performance is different and new to the Eurovision Song Contest. At the same time, I am sure the production team of the show is very professional and their choice of the running order was not occasional. The main goal is to make the show interesting for TV viewers.

During the national selection which was organised way back in December, you were wearing a long white dress with your backing vocalists donning black all behind you. The use of props was not prohibited by the broadcaster but nevertheless you sought to make use of your vocal range and let nothing else distract you. What will you be changing for the live performance during the Eurovision Song Contest and what message do you wish to convey?

I didn’t want to reveal all the details at the National Final. At the same time, my performance in Malmo will be a big surprise. I can guarantee a grandiose show created by the top class director Maxim Litvinov. The main goal is to plunge into the atmosphere of a fairytale and to create a special world on stage.

Throughout the years, you have attended several music institutions and therefore have amassed a lot of knowledge on vocals techniques and so forth, clearly shown within each respective performance. In the Eurovision Song Contest, many people believe that whilst the focus of the juries will be on the voice, one agrees that the song along with the whole package has to be perfect. You are working hard and have engaged the public to help you out with the staging but nevertheless, the decisions will ultimately be yours. Whatever the result at the event is, what should one expect out of Zlata in the next couple of months?

I do have big plans for the after-Eurovision times. But still have to keep the intrigue. But watch out for updates in social networks. Friend me on Facebook and read my tweets!

Would you like to say anything to our readers at

I am very excited to get to know you all in person. Please, do not hesitate to come say hi, take pictures together and enjoy the show!

Published in Interviews
Tuesday, 09 April 2013 03:45

Ukraine: Reviewing the track 'Gravity'

A professional panel of experts from the local and the foreign music industry have been summoned to listen to all of the competing entries in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. The tracks are supported by biographies, other music from the respective performers involved along with a background on the participating country. The formal introduction of each entry continues. All of the information is obtained from the official website of the international spectacle and indeed, pertaining to the running order as decided by the producers, Ukraine will be performing in slot number seven (7) from the sixteen (16) entries which will be competing during the first semi-final. NTU, the broadcaster resposible for the participation of Ukraine in the Eurovision Song Contest will be represented by the song Gravity composed by Mikhail Nekrasov, penned by Karen Kavaleryan with vocals provided by Zlata Ognevich.

The elements of water and rock attracted Zlata from an her early age. She likes to swim and dive while storms rage at the sea. Being a kid, she frequently ran away from home, spending hours in the rocky cliffs in order to sing, keenly listening to the mountains echoing her voice. Zlata liked the extreme from the childhood: diving into water, she vanished there for a long time; developing the ability to hold her breath that, however, became very useful for her: now she can sing in one breath 5-6 high notes of maximum length. After finishing two schools, comprehensive and music ones, at the age of 18, Zlata went to Kyiv, where her professional singing career started. Here, at the R.M. Glier Kyiv State Higher Music College, she refined her pop vocal skills. Then she continued her studying in the Kyiv Institute of Music, but that time at the department of jazz. In the race for success, Zlata gained an invaluable experience in The State Song and Dance Ensemble of the Armed Forces of Ukraine where she is still a solist.

To be a singer in Ukraine is not a unique profession. Without exaggeration you can say that almost everyone sings there. To become famous and show your talent is a very difficult task. But in Zlata’s occasion, the "blood code" worked: parental Serbian and maternal Italian roots. This "cocktail" showed the best merits of the singer: the Balkan unrestraint and sense of freedom, the Italian affectivity and beauty, the Ukrainian heartiness and tunefulness. And the severe northern land reflected in Zlata as an indomitable will and pursuit of goals. Zlata has already five videos in her creative baggage. The numerous wins that she has received in a remarkably short period, say a lot about the incredible talent of the young singer. Zlata has a special message for all her fans: “Love more, laugh more, open your heart and have no fears!” About her personal relationship to Eurovision Song Contest, the Ukrainian representative says: “For me the contest associates with an enormous job, not only of the artist, but also of hundreds of people off screen.

About the specialty of her entry Gravity, Zlata says: “The most special is the song itself. We’d like to bring the idea that life is fragile and there’re a lot of things making us feel the weight of responsibilities. But one should always find strength in oneself to open the wings and soar, overcoming the difficulties. We’d like not to disclose the performance, it is under a painstaking work process now, but the efforts of the team are being made to make it interesting." Zlata gets her inspiration in travelling, in human spirit, in interesting acquaintances. She adores nature. At her leisure she cycles, jogs in her favorite park with a small lake, sit with her friends on the highest bridge and lights sky lanterns. This track was not selected internally but had to get through a national selection, one of the first organised in preparation for this years' edition of the international spectacle but nevertheless, according to pundits they did get it right.

Ukraine is one of the most successful countries to compete at the Eurovision Song Contest noting that they first entered in 2003 and managed to garner their first and thus far only victory within the following year as Ruslana and Wild Dances rose to the occasion. Nevertheless, this is an Eastern country which has never failed to get through to the final even when at times people thought that their record might have been in jeapordy. It is quite interesting to see that both countries which have a sterling record in semi-finals have been put back to back in terms of performances with Russia performed straight before. In 2011, Mika Newton and her song Angel was the surprise of many when she finished in fourth place but the disappointment of last year with Be My Guest was clearly felt at least from Gaitana who had received positive response throughout. The jury managed to lift it up to fifteenth position, the second worst result for Ukraine.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 53%

Magnus Kaxe: If Eurovision would be all about having the most key modulations in a song this one would win, easily. Great chorus and good production. But I'm afraid the corny structure and arrangement is too complicated for the average listener. One's losing interest after a while. However - it will make it through to the final.

Lina Eriksson: Zlata's an amazing singer but I got dissapointed when the verse was over and the chorus started. And why that ending?

Matt Mercieca (Muxu): The way the song starts is good, but then it suddenly changes and I'm not so in love with it anymore, this also reminds me of a movie soundtrack, like a children's movie. but every time i think I'm about to start liking it, it changes, and i have to get used to something else. it changes way to much, and doesn't let you just enjoy the song


Published in Editorials

One of the first entries to be selected fir the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest is the one coming from Ukraine. The eastern country is one of the most successful in the competition having always managed to qualify for the final stages but nevertheless, did not do as well as expected last year with their entry Be My Guest performed by Gaitana. This time round, the public and a professional jury have once more selected a female by the name of Zlata Ognevich who does not need a lot of introduction in the surrounding area where she has got strong credentials. She will be performing the song Gravity.

NTU, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of the nation in the Eurovision Song Contest has worked closely with the production team to make sure that the final version of the song is the very best possible and whilst working on that, an official music video to be used by the participating countries in their respective preview shows was also completed. Zlata Ognevich is set to compete within the first semi-final of this years' international competition taking place in Malmo, Sweden and will hope to improve on last years' showing, which was statistically, the second worst result for the country since participation began. Stay tuned to for all of the latest news.

Source: NTU

Saturday, 23 February 2013 12:10

Ukraine: 'Gravity' Receives Massive Revamp

Zlata Ognevich, one of the most respected artists in Ukraine will be representing the nation in the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Gravity which was selected through a multi-entry national selection. The successful history of the country in the showcase is somewhat a positive indication of how professional they are in the preparation of the entry and indeed, this is yet another song which has not received just a face-lift but has somewhat been transformed completely in particular instances. The final presentation of the song will be taking to the stage during the first part of the first semi-final on the 14th May 2013.

Due to the fact that Zlata is a renowned performer, she also brings about her personal producer who has helped her since the beginning of her career and indeed, Mykhailo Nekrasov decided to bring in a fan perspective to the overall outcome of the song through social networking website, Facebook. He asked several questions regarding the structure and whatever the outcome of these polls, will result in the final version of Gravity. In fact, it has been decided that the song will be getting a completely new introduction, a slightly revised tempo as well as a brand new chorus which will differ from the rest in terms of sound. In the meantime, many have sent in letters to propose ideas from the music video and Zlata stated 'We were incredibly pleased to get so many letters, comments and feedbacks. They showed one more time how talented and open for creativity Ukraine is. Such energy exceeded our expectations. People will get to hear the final version of Gravity in the beginning of March. Stay tuned to for all of the latest news.

Source: Marina Levchenko (Showbizer)

Wednesday, 26 December 2012 06:57

Ukraine: 'Gravity' Receiving Positive Response

Six entries have been selected for the 2013 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest although it is widely reported that Belarus will be looking at their possible options of changing the track due to the mixed response received thus far with regards to the song Rhythm of Love but nevertheless the performer will not be altered with Alyona Lanskaya heading to Sweden following last years' voting fixing debacle. The entry that has been receiving a lot of attention though in the past couple of days is none other than Gravity by Zlata Ognevich which was selected to represent the Eastern country of Ukraine, winner of the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2004 with the song Wild Dances performed by Ruslana. The production of the song has not even been recorded in entirety and many is expected to be arranged but criticism has ranged from mixed to purely positive.

Zlata Ognevich is one of the most popular artists in Ukraine never to represent the nation at the Eurovision Song Contest and this was her third attempt and the second with a ballad noting that her original pop/dance entry known as The Kukushka was the favourite in 2011 but once more, there was an apparent voting scandal involved. This time round things were different because Zlata received the full backing of the public at large, obtaining more than eight thousand votes as well as the full support of the jury making her the undeniable winner with a maximum forty points. This is touted to be a possible top ten and even top five at the end of the scoreboard in May because despite being early to say at this point in time, the producer has worked with the likes of Ruslana and was also the songwriter/producer behind Show Me Your Love by Tina Karol who many will remember winning the national selection with an almost completely different entry known as Queen of Your Heart. Stay tuned to as we follow the proceedings in the lead up to the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: NTU, ESCKaz

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