17 December 2017

The running order of this year’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest has been determined this evening, during the event’s official opening ceremony – held at the regal Georgian national library in Tbilisi. In addition to seeing this year’s participants on the red carpet, viewers and guests of the opening ceremony were treated to performances by Georgian national ballet, Sukhishvili – alongside previous entrants of Georgia at Junior Eurovision.

The countries performing in the first and last position were chosen by random draw, along with the running position of the host country. The draw was also carried out by the hosts of the opening ceremony, which included last year’s winner Mariam Mamadashvili. The remainder of the running order was chosen by the contest producers to ensure an entertaining show. This was announced by the European Broadcasting Union later in the evening.  

01. Cyprus

02. Poland

03. The Netherlands

04. Armenia

05. Belarus

06. Portugal

07. Ireland

08. F.Y.R. Macedonia

09. Georgia

10. Albania

11. Ukraine

12. Malta

13. Russia

14. Serbia

15. Australia

16. Italy

As you may have noticed, our very own Gianluca Cilia, and his entry ‘Dawra Tond’, penned by Emil Calleja Bayliss with music by Dominic Cini will be performed towards the latter part of the show. Over the next few days, each country be rehearsing on the stage at the Olympic Palace in Tbilisi. The live show will be airing at 16:00 CET, and Maltese viewers will be able to follow all the latest on Television Malta (TVM). In the meantime, for all the updates throughout the week, we urge you to follow escflashmalta.com even on Facebook and Twitter.

Source: junioreurovision.tv, tvm.com.mt

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Wednesday, 08 November 2017 08:58

JESC 2017: Speaking to Malta's Gianluca Cilia

This year, for the very first time since 2008, Malta is represented by a male soloist at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. He will be performing the infectious "Dawra Tond", an original song composed by Dominic Cini with lyrics by Emil Calleja Bayliss. We have recently caught up with the 9 year old and had a chat about his upcoming experience in Georgia along with what he hopes to achieve in music, and life.

 

Hi Gianluca! Congratulations on being chosen by the public to represent Malta at this year’s Junior Eurovision! How did you feel when you realised that you would be flying the Maltese flag in Georgia? 

Thank you :) This was a big surprise for me.  This was my 1st experience competing to represent Malta in JESC and I wasn’t expecting to get such a result!

Can you tell us a bit more about your song – what is the message behind it? 

'Dawra Tond' is a very happy and positive song.  It is about life seen in a spinning motion, full of fun and games and which unites everyone together. 

You sing part of your song in the Maltese language – for those who do not understand Maltese, what are you singing about? 

The Maltese parts are 2 chants of  traditional Maltese games which also feature a circular motion. 

Your music video is very colourful and lively – it has received a lot of positive comments online. How did you find the whole experience of filming it?

The music video was one of my best experiences ever!! They were 3 full days of so much FUN! Most of the people in the video are my friends and the elderly man dancing is my grand great father! It was really funny seeing him bust a move to my song! That was a special moment.  My most favourite part was when I was riding the car.  I also got the chance to go on a long ride in between filming. 

How are the preparations for Tbilisi going? Are there any surprises that you can tell us about your performance?

We have a lot going on at the moment!  Daily rehearsals, shoots, interviews.  Everyone is taking really good care of me and I feel special J

A small surprise is that I will have 5 dancers accompanying me on stage. Our choreographer, Annalise, is making sure that we are super fun to watch!

My vocal coach Ms Pamela is also doing an amazing job and working magic on my voice and performance.  

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When it comes to getting ready for the competition, what aspect you finding the most challenging?

The most challenging part is keeping up with both school and JESC related preparations. I can’t neglect school work because it is very important. I have less free time because I want to make sure to do well in both school related work and JESC preparations!

Did you manage to hear any of the other songs from this year’s contest? Which did you like so far?  

Yes I have heard all released songs so far.  They are all different and each has a great potential. Thanks to Social Media I have managed to make friends with all the other singers representing their country in JESC. Can’t wait to meet them all! 

What do you know about Georgia so far? What are you most excited to see in Tbilisi? 

I have heard a lot of positive things about Georgia and how beautiful its capital city is. Georgia like Malta has its own language, Georgian. Something you don’t find in Malta are the mountains and I’m really looking forward to see the beautiful sceneries in Georgia

Have you been part of any international competitions before? And if so, what are your best memories from them? 

I have competed in several competitions in Italy and Romania.  My best memories were meeting new friends from different countries.  Sometimes some did not speak English but we still managed to make friends and have LOADS of fun!

Where are your three favourite places to visit in Malta – and why? 

1. Gozo – Gozo is Malta’s sister Island.  I was born on this beautiful island which I really enjoy visiting from time to time.  I enjoy the countryside in winter and its beautiful beaches in summer.

2. Paradise Bay – This is a beautiful small sandy beach. 

3. Blue Lagoon – The Sea again!  The blue lagoon is famous of its crystal clear waters! 

I am so proud and lucky to live on such a beautiful island.  I LOVE swimming and living on a small island like Malta makes it easier to enjoy different beaches and make the most of my summer holidays.

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When you’re not at school or rehearsals, what other things do you like to do in your free time?

I have different hobbies and at every change I get I am writing a story (I love writing adventure stories), drawing or reading a book. I’m a BIG fan of Lego and love creating my own things. I also enjoy chatting with friends.

Who are your favourite singers at the moment? If you could do a duet with anybody, who would it be and why?

I love Michael Buble and Italian singers Massimo Ranieri and Il Volo. My dream would be to perform with all of them!! I hope this dream comes true.  I love Buble’s swing music.  Massimo Ranieri is an Italian versatile amazing singer whose songs I love and Il Volo started off at my same age.  Their songs vary from modern to classic and I simply love listening and watch them perform live!

Do you have a personal goal for the competition? 

Definitely meeting new friends and have loads and loads of fun! This is a once in a lifetime opportunity for a boy my age :)

Thanks for your time Gianluca, and best of luck at this year’s Junior Eurovision!

Thank you so much for this lovely interview. I can’t wait to perform live in Georgia and make you sing and dance along to Dawra Tond!

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Janice Mangion, one of Malta’s leading vocalists, a solo singer in her own right, and also a member of the Animae Gospel Choir has recently launched her debut single, an r’n’b soul ballad with a pulsing beat entitled “Burnin”, composed by Elton Zarb and penned by Emil Calleja Bayliss.

In the initial stages of the creative process, Janice sought a meaningful message, one which helps those who find themselves in moments of despair, thinking that their faith has abandoned them completely. This, accompanied by her soulful voice creates an exceptionally beautiful song. Aiding in the recorded was the talented Angela Spiteri who provided a strong backing vocal.

“Burnin”, which is available from streaming and purchase on all major digital platforms has been released through CAP Sounds, a record label based in Germany with full distribution handled by Universal Music Germany. Manfred Holz of the aforementioned company stated ‘Janice has an incredible vocal range which we are proud to represent, and we believe that “Burnin” showcases her talent in the best possible way’. 

In support of the single, which was officially released on Friday 23rd September, Janice Mangion and her team, led by Marc Calleja Bayliss of Ironic PR & Artist Management thought it best to work on a lyric video, commissioning visionaries Angie and Duane Laus, with the result officially made public on Thursday 29th September.

You can steam or purchase the song, or else view the lyric video through either Janice Mangion’s Official Facebook or Twitter pages or else on: http://janicemangion.believeband.com.

Janice Mangion would like to thank everyone who has supported the release of this song from day one, and would like to thank her team of sponsors, and also the media outlets who have been in touch to help in any way. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the local music scene.

Source: Press Release

"Burnin" - Lyric Video

Whoa! :O HERE it is ♡ Months of hard #work and labour is now #online ♫ "Burnin", composed by Elton Zarb and penned by Emil Calleja Bayliss

Published in Latest News - Local
Raquel, has decided to release her brand new single ‘Signs’ on local airwaves. Her brand new track is penned by Emil Calleja Bayliss and composed, as well as produced by Andrew Zammit of Tone Studios. It is a slightly different style to what one is used to seeing Raquel singing but nonetheless, it is a style that suited the young artist. She keeps going from strength to strength and showing her versatility in different numbers, as one can ultimately hear in this acoustic track.
 
The lyrics compliment the easy going melody, yet reflect the basic reality that in life one always has to keep moving whatever happens, there are always signs around us that lead us to the right path. If something goes wrong, just like in a game, there’s always time to find your way back on track. This sweet, yet catchy number should easily tick all the boxes for the listener to take an instant liking to the song and Raquel’s voice gives it the edge the number needs.
 
Raquel is surely not a stranger to the local scene as she has reached the finals of the last three Malta Eurovision Song Contest with ‘Invisible’, ‘Stop Haunting Me’ & ‘Flashing Lights’. She also had the privilege to perform during Rockestra last year, in aid of the Malta Community Chest Fund. Last year, she also managed a runner-up finish in the prestigious L-Għanja Tal-Poplu - Festival tal-Kanzunetta Maltija with the track ‘Ċans Ieħor’.
 
We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about local musicians, and their release as soon as it becomes available.
 
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Published in Latest News - Local
Wednesday, 04 November 2015 01:35

MESC 2016: Karen DeBattista Will Not Participate

"I would like to announce that I have not submitted any entries for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2016, focusing on my studies above anything else", announced Karen DeBattista through her official social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter.

Emerging on the local music scene as a finalist in the Summer Hit Song Contest 2011, the young versatile female vocalist made headlines winning L-Għanja tal-Poplu 2014 with "Jien Ma Naħdimx", an original song composed by Mark Scicluna with lyrics by Rita Pace. She quickly anticipated the possibility of partaking in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and enlisted lyricist Emil Calleja Bayliss, and composer Jan Van Dijck to work on something different. 

The result of this collaboration was "12, Baker Street", one of the songs which made it through to the final phase of the competition, eventually also making the iTunes chart. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about Malta's participation in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016.

Source: escflashmalta.com, Karen DeBattista (Facebook, Twitter)

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On Saturday 26th September, the 6th edition of the Summer Hit Song Contest took place at the City Theatre in Valletta, signalling the beginning of a new trend for the European Capital City of Culture 2018, with two (2) events in a short space of three (3) weeks occurring just a couple of metres away from one another.

The local competition, featuring a total of 20 participating entries, 19 of which qualified on merit, and 1 which won the right to compete following the triumph in last years' tele-voting, all competed for six (6) different trophies; 1st, 2nd, 3rd as chosen by the professional jury, 1st in the Duet Phase, first 1st in the Maltese Song Phase, and 1st in tele-voting.

Hosted by Deo Grech, under the hospices of F Living Channel, who will be airing the competition on Saturday 3rd October at 8:30 pm, the event went without a hitch, noting that each participant gave his utmost on the stage, rewarding the audience present with an eventful evening. The professional members of the jury was made up of; Norman Cristina, Josephine Ebejer Grech, Natasha Turner, and Rosman Pace, all of whom have a background in music, whether in composition or lyrics.

Televoting Award: "Dangerous" (Elton Zarb / Matt 'Muxu' Mercieca) - Jillianne Camilleri

Best Duet: "Bounce Back" (Renato Briffa / Emil Calleja Bayliss) - Michela Galea & Janvil

Best Maltese Song: "Għanja" (Walter Vella / Mark Attard / Joe Julian Farrugia) - Michela Galea

3rd Place: "Amour" (Philip Vella) - Danica Muscat

2nd Place: "Bounce Back" (Renato Briffa / Emil Calleja Bayliss) - Michela Galea

1st Place: "Tabula Rasa" (Augusto Cardinali / Julie Pomorski / Giovann Attard) - Julie Pomorski

On behalf of the editorial team at escflashmalta.com, we would like to congratulate the winners circle, as well as the other 16 participants who made this year's edition of the Summer Hit Song Contest a memorable one. A round of applause also for the organising committee, led by Deo Grech, as well as F Living Channel namely, Karl and Romina Bonaci for their continuous support. Stay tuned to this portal even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the local music scene.

Source: F Living, escflashmalta.com

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Published in Latest News - Local

Lynn Chircop, a successful female vocalist and musician, who had the immense opportunity to represent Malta at the 2003 Eurovision Song Contest with “To Dream Again”, was recently one of the special guests on “The Celebrity Night”, a Saturday night chat show hosted by Deo Grech on F Living.

In a short interview, she revealed that she had thought twice about going to the international music competition, due to many reasons I had wished I could postpone my opportunity to represent Malta after winning but considering the odds the experience turned out to be fruitful for my career and a person with other dreams to follow.

Asked by Deo Grech about the possibility of a return to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, Lynn stated that she has written a song for every edition of the event since then, meaning that she has written no less than 12 possible entries, but never submit any of them. As many beforehand have stated, ‘never say never’.

In a second question, asked by lyricist Emil Calleja Bayliss, about whether she has ever thought of partaking in a competition with an original entry in Maltese, Lynn was even more positive noting that it is something she would like to do in the future, if time permits. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest in Vienna, Austria.

Source: F Living, The Celebrity Night

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Published in Latest News - Local

'The Celebrity Night' is a weekly television programme which has become somewhat synonymous with Saturday evening, is broadcast on F Living Channel. The series which officially kicked off at the beginning of October revolves around the one-to-one interviews, which speak of class, decadence and wit, and have become synonymous with Deo Grech's presenting style. Since the Eurovision Song Contest is now just a month away, the programme has taken a different twist, as entries competing in this year's musical extravaganza in Vienna, Austria are being reviewed by some of the most recognisable faces in the local music industry.

Tonight! The positive memories of 2003 will be rekindled as the star of the show, female singer/songwriter Lynn Chircop will be on hand to recount her experience with "To Dream Again", the entry written by Alfred Zammit and Cynthia Sammut, which had the opportunity to represent Malta. She will not be alone, as talented lyricist Emil Calleja Bayliss, responsible for 3 entries in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest in 2014 and 2015; "Safe", "Close Your Eyes" and "12, Baker Street", Editor-In-Chief of escflashmalta.com as well as Managing Director of Ironic PR & Artist Management, Marc Calleja Bayliss and Natius Farrugia, one of the biggest fans of the Eurovision Song Contest and supporter of the local music industry will also be on hand to discuss this year's entries. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the local music scene.

Source: F Living

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Published in Latest News - Local

'The Celebrity Night' is a weekly television programme which has become somewhat synonymous with Saturday evening, is broadcast on F Living Channel. The series which officially kicked off at the beginning of October revolves around the one-to-one interviews, which speak of class, decadence and wit, and have become synonymous with Deo Grech's presenting style.

On the 21st March, Sir Temi Żammit Hall at the University of Malta was the backdrop for this year's edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu, a local music competition with 16 talented acts, whose lyrics inspired those present in the hall, and those who will be watching on television in a couple of days, noting that the event will be airing on TVM2 on the 31st March.

This week, Deo Grech is welcoming the artists who finished in the top positions; Ecca Muscat, who was the winner with the song "Ġismi" written by Mark & Matthew Pellicano; Raquel, the first runner-up with "Ċans Ieħor", written by Norbert Borg & Daniel Paul Farrugia as well as Rita Pace, the second runner-up with "Battibekk", written by Emil Calleja Bayliss, Paul Attard and Rita Pace.

This and much more during this week's episode of 'The Celebrity Night' which airs on Saturday night at 20:30 on F Living Channel. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the local music scene.

Source: F Living

Published in Latest News - Local
Wednesday, 11 March 2015 20:00

GħTP 2015: Interview with Rita Pace

On the 21st March 2015, L-Għanja tal-Poplu, a local music competition known to breathe life into the music industry, will be turning thirty-nine. Following the huge success of "Jien Ma Naħdimx", composed by Mark Scicluna to the lyrics of Rita Pace, with vocals provided by Karen DeBattista, a surge of interest was reported, as a record number of 105 submissions were received.

escflashmalta.com in partnership with the organising committee has been given the opportunity to have a chat with the sixteen competing acts, whilst also presenting an exclusive 30 second snippet of each respective entry in contention. Act number seven is Rita Pace, and her entry is entitled "Battibekk", penned by Emil Calleja Bayliss and Paul Attard

During the years, this particular competition has been extremely kind to your work, having been rewarded with various successes both as a songwriter, and a vocalist. How difficult is it to separate the roles from one another, and have you opted to perform lyrics written by others because you feel intimidated to perform your own work?

Being a singer helps me understand what singers go through and this helps me adapt my lyrics to different personalities and voices. I can empathise with other singers and write something that is suitable for them. It also helps to be a composer because when I work with other composers I can understand them better. So even when the roles of singer and songwriter are separated, they are still symbiotic and help each other. I am not intimidated by singing my own lyrics and I do it most of the time. 

It helps me to express my moods, opinions and feelings more directly, but that doesn't mean that I shouldn't work with other people too because I am also a performer and I accept to perform anything which I think could be fun. When Emil asked to work with me on this song I thought the outcome could be interesting so I accepted. I havewon numerous awards as an author, composer and also as a performer in this festival but composing was something I enjoyed doing because I don't get to do it very often. 

“Battibekk’, which you composed to the lyrics of Emil Calleja Bayliss and Paul Attard is the song that you will be presenting in this years’ edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu. Would you care to explain the meaning behind the lyrics and the genre that the song encompasses?

It's a long story :) Emil started this off as a quarrel arising from someone being the victim of malicious rumours in a traditional Maltese village. Then my husband Paul made changes to it and added more lyrics and transposed the situation into a modern setting, so there is the juxtaposition of the traditional and modern contexts of mud-slinging. The modern context, internet, as the substitute evolved from the traditional pjazza has made rumours more devastating as one can destroy a person effectively with the touch of a button. Melodically, it is cheeky and dramatic and explores a range of vocal styles.

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Although the music and lyrics have a mischievous quality, the song is also tragic because it shows that people haven't changed and they are as cruel and alienated as ever, maybe even more alienated because people can hurt each other without having to see the distress they are causing. They find it easier to spread sordid details about other people's lives than live their own lives. So in a way, the song makes you smile but then you realize that you may be laughing at the yourself because everyone can identify with this experience.

In 2015, L-Għanja tal-Poplu is turning thirty-nine (39), and during the years, it has earned a positive reputation, by virtue of breathing life into the music industry. It is no secret that the lyrics of each entry could cause controversy amongst the public. What is your view with regards to this statement, and do you believe that your entry challenges public perception?

I believe that a song must cause a reaction to be effective. I didn't expect Jien Ma Nahdimx to cause such an uproar though. It was a theme I felt strongly about and my  intuition led me to go for it. Sometimes a songwriter cannot predict whether a song will fuel controversy or  not because different people think differently about different things. I guess the best option is to write about what matters to you because if you don't believe in what you write nobody else will. Battibekk is a song that can challenge the audience lyrically and musically on many levels so I'm curious to see how they will respond to it.

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

Please support Maltese music and follow this year's edition of Għanja tal-Poplu. It is not just an opportunity to listen to new material but also a means of discovering how versatile and beautiful our language can be while spending a pleasant evening out with your friends. 

Published in Interviews
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