11 December 2016
Friday, 01 January 2016 15:02

2015: Reviewing a Successful Year in Music

Every year brings with it a number of events, festivals and lots of new material that many appreciate and play over and over throughout the year. The editorial board of escflashmalta.com decided to have a look back at the main highlights of 2015, the year in which no Malta Eurovision festival was held because it was held back in late 2014 but other annual competitions keeping the singers busy such as; l-Għanja Tal-Poplu, Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza, the Summer Hit Song Contest and for the very first time a singers competition for the Junior Eurovision Song Contest.  There were quite a number of events that kept our site busy and also our readers on the lookout for the next event.

The year surely started in full swing for Amber who after winning the right to represent Malta in November of 2014, a lot of work was done to ensure that the song is given the right boost and everything would be ready for the big night in Vienna. Sadly, Malta finished in 11th place in the semi-final and missed out on a chance to compete in the grand final in Vienna but this whole experience was surely one to treasure for the Maltese ‘Warrior’ and as we head into 2016, Amber is ready to release her first singe ‘What They Say’ by the same team behind ‘Warrior’, Elton Zarb and Matthew Mercieca. 

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The first local festival of the year, happened to be one in Maltese in 2015 in the name of ‘L-Għanja Tal-Poplu’, a festival that has been going for a number of years and has a good following thanks to the importance it gives to the themes of the songs. The winner of the festival was the song ‘Ġismi’ interpreted by newcomer Ecca Muscat. Mark and Matthew Pellicano’s composition attracted a lot of attention from the beginning, thanks to its graphic theme which deals with sexual abuse in fact, Mark Pellicano, the author behind this number won the prestigious  award for the best social theme in the festival. Raquel Galdes finished as the first runner up with the song ‘Ċans Ieħor’ which was penned by Daniel Paul Farrugia and Norbert Borg, whilst Rita Pace ended in third place with ‘Battibekk’ she wrote along side Emil Calleja Bayliss and Paul Attard. 

Following this event, the finalists of other competition were announced but the attention turned to towards the Junior Malta Eurovision Song Contest, where for the very first time 20 singers competed for the right to represent Malta in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Bulgaria. The three favourites from the get go where, Christina Magrin, Veronica Rotin and Destiny Chukunyere, and these three super talented girls surely did not disappoint as they belted out their number and managed to finish in the top three positions. Destiny Chukunyere was the one who ended up on top. After consultation with her team, PBS selected the song that Destiny was going to sing in Bulgaria which was composed by Elton Zarb and penned by Matthew Mercieca, the team behind Malta’s last two Junior Eurovision entries and Malta’s 2015 Eurovision entry.

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Destiny gave her input in the song to both in the composition and also with the lyrics, these prooved to be vital in coming up with a number that suits Destiny’s voice and personality. The creation of a memorable, catchy number in terms of ‘Not My Soul’ was surely a successful formula – Destiny arrived in Bulgaria as one of the top favourites to win the Junior Eurovision for the second time for Malta and she did not let anyone down. She delivered the performance of a lifetime and won the competition with the biggest score to date – managing the rare feat of winning both the public vote and the jury vote. The win was well merited, throughout that week in Bulgaria, Destiny was nicknamed mini Aretha Franklin and we’re sure we will be hearing more of her in the years to come.

The annual Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza saw a number of new names in the competition, mixed with others who were no strangers to this festival. The result was slightly unexpected as Analise Mifsud’s self penned ‘Kuraġġ’ won the judges hearts with her simple yet very well sung number, a song that speaks about finding the inner strength to fight when you hit an all time low. This was Annalise’s second participation in this event and one can say she went by unnoticed until the final night where she emerged victorious over Dorcas Debono’s ‘Ma Ninsa Qatt’ written by Dominic Cini and Rita Pace which finished in second place and Dario Bezzina’s ‘Dment Li Malti Ħaj’ written by Ray Agius, which was seen as one of the top contenders from the beginning.

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Two other winners who emerged in the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza were Mikaela Bajada who won the New Talent Section and Paolo Micallef who triumphed in the second edition of Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza Junior. Mikaela Bajada reached the finals of the prestigious event and went on to win this section with the song ‘Għandi Ħolma’, a composition of Mark Spiteri Lucas & Francesco Pio Attard.

On the other hand, Paolo Micallef won the judges with his quirky number ‘Maġija B’Tekonloġija’ a composition of Augusto Cardinali and Etienne Micallef – he gave a very intriguing performance as through it he gave the song life. This was Paolo’s second participation in the event and surely celebrated his lucky birthday on the day of the festival. In second place was Nicole Falzon with the beautiful ballad 'Ngħix Ħolma', a composition of Mark Spiteri Lucas and Emil Calleja Bayliss, and in third place, another ballad, this time with a social theme in the form of "Inħobbkom It-Tnejn", a composition of Dominic Cini and Chris Azzopardi, with vocals provided by Rutger Scicluna Galea.

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The Summer Hit Song Contest returned for the second consecutive after having a break of nearly three years. The winner of this edition was the song ‘Tabula Rasa’ sung by the bubbly Julie Pomorksi who won her second festival, ten years after triumphing in L-Għanja Tal-Poplu as a young teenager. Her number was composed by Augusto Cardinali and Giovann Attard, she also had her input in both the composition and the lyrics. It was the first time for Julie, giving a go at songwriting and with the help of Augusto and Giovann, she wrote the beautiful and intriguing ‘Tabula Rasa’. The runner up of the competition was Michela Galea, who also managed to win two awards which are unique to local competitions, she won the best duet with ‘Bounce Back’ singing alongside Janvil and also the best Maltese Cover with ‘Għanja’, an original of Nadine Axisa. This composition was by Renato Briffa and Emil Calleja Bayliss. The second runner up of the competition was Danica Muscat with ‘Amour’, a song composed and penned by Philip Vella. 

2015 year finished off with the announcement of the 20 finalists of the Malta Eurovision, all fighting for a chance to represent Malta in Stockholm, Sweden among the competitors there’s the return of former Eurovision runner-up Ira Losco, who made her return to the local competition with two numbers after months of speculation of whether she will participate or not. Yet, the race is surely still wide open, with 20 strong numbers and varies styles which appeal to different people – in fact both locals and foreigners discussed how this could be one of the best Maltese national selections in a while. The competition will in fact open the festival season in the fourth weekend of January, with the semi-finals on the 22nd of January and the finals the next day.

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One rumour which went round during 2015 was the possible return of  the ‘Festival Internazzjonali Tal-Kanzunetta Maltija’ but unfortunately it was not the case, seems that it was put aside for 2015 for some reason or another. A real pity because it gave light to a number of new Maltese songs in the last edition and gave the enthusiasts another festival to look forward to on a national scale. Yet, so far it was not meant to be. Let’s hope that 2015 would be a year were one gets to celebrate through more competitions and more songs to feast the keen Maltese music lover. 

On behalf of the editorial team of escflashmalta.com, we would like to wish you a Happy New Year filled with joy, health and success in whatever your heart desires. We urge you to keep following escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the local music scene in 2016. All the best! 

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Published in Opinions
Wednesday, 02 December 2015 18:02

Malta: Talented Youngsters Perform Weekly on La5

Normally, Sundays are sought to sit down and relax with family, and with “Tra Sogno e Realta” airing on La5, entertainment is also being provided, courtesy of young and upcoming talent, from Italy and Malta. As a matter of fact, the episodes which have aired thus far have seen no less than three (3) students of La Voix Music Academy reach the next stage of the competition.

These are none other than; Kassidy Calleja and Krista Sujak, relative newcomers to the music scene, as well as Veronica Rotin, whose name and reputation precede her, having previously taken part in “Io Canto” on Italia Uno, “Next Star” on Antena 1 and most recently the Malta Junior Eurovision Song Contest, finishing in 2nd place. 

On behalf of escflashmalta.com, we would like to wish all these youngsters the very best of luck in the next round, as well as their future whilst hoping that you tune into La5 every Sunday at 1:30 pm. We urge you to stay tuned to this portal even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about anything in relation to the local music scene, and success in foreign territories.

Source: La Voix Music Academy

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It was truly a night to remember, as the Public Broadcasting Services put up an extremely professional competition for a group of extremely talented young singers under the banner, Malta Junior Eurovision Song Contest. At the close of the evening, following 20 sublime performances but what has been said to be the next generation of artists to take over the local music scene, it was Destiny Chukunyere who emerged triumphant. Her version of "Think", originally sung by powerhouse Aretha Franklin sent the audience on their feet, as they clapped, danced and sang along.

Taught by Maria Abdilla, a certified IVA instructor, Destiny Chukunyere has been a prominent force on both the local and international festival circuit, with her most gratifying success being Sanremo Junior 2014, having been crowned as the overall winner in the prestigious event. The result was selected by a four (4) member panel, three (3) being international jurors; Christer Bjorkman, Olga Salamakha and Carlo Ori and the other one (1) being the public vote. Veronica Rotin was the first runner-up, whilst Christina Magrin was the second runner-up. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: PBS / JuniorEurovision

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Malta, one of the smallest member states of the European Broadcasting Union and host country of the 2014 Junior Eurovision Song Contest has just released the 20 names through to the final of the 2015 Junior Malta Eurovision Song Contest. This announcement was made public through tvm.com.mt, the official website of the Public Broadcasting Services.

The Malta Junior Eurovision Song Contest will be taking place on the 11th July at the Mediterranean Conference Centre with tickets available from €10 for the Balcony, €15 for the Stalls, and €20 for the Dress Circle only from the official website of the venue. The show will be shown LIVE on TVM at 20:30 CET.

Thea Aquilina

Haley Azzopardi

Amy Marie Borg

Ilenia Camilleri

Aidan Cassar

Destiny Chukunyere

Francesca Dimech

Kelsey Farrugia

Sarah Farrugia

Nicole Frendo

Christina Magrin

Isaac Mercieca

Raisa Marie Micallef

Sarah Micallef

Gabrielle Portelli

Veronica Rotin

Nicole Sciberras

Victoria Sciberras

Rebecca Scicluna Rizzo

Andy Shaw

In 2015, the event will be moving to Sofia, Bulgaria and Malta will be taking part in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest for the 11th non-consecutive time, noting that the Mediterranean Country took part every year between 2003 and 2010, before stopping for a two-year hiatus, and returning in 2013, obtaining victory with "The Start" sung by Gaia Cauchi, and taking part once more in 2014 with "Diamonds" performed by Federica Falzon. 

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 2015 Junior Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: tvm.com.mt

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Tuesday, 30 December 2014 17:04

Malta: Young Starlets Set on Conquering Europe

Erseb Productions, a renowned company in the local festival circuit with well over thirty years of experience, has given rise to several talents along the years, including artists such as former Eurovision Song Contest representatives; Fabrizio Faniello (2001, 2006) and Miriam Christine (1996). With a spectacular range of promising talent, the local music scene in Malta continues to evolve, and there is a general feeling that talent is to be promoted on the international circuit.

During the end-of-year competition, aptly titled "Erseb Goes Christmas", the organisers revealed that a number of all-rounders would be given the opportunity to represent Malta in various international competitions. La Voix Academy under the tutelage of  vocal director, Gillian Attard was the most successful in terms of students who acquired these tickets, managing 16 out of the 18 possible slots. The other 2 students are successfully taught by Glen Vella, a former Eurovision Song Contest representative, and Audrey Marie Bartolo, a finalist in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2010.

Ti Amo Onesti (Romania)

Gianluca Cilia (La Voix Academy)

Naolene Borg (La Voix Academy)

 

Lake Pearls (Macedonia)

Mariah Nicola Vella (La Voix Academy)

Jahel Cardona (La Voix Academy)

Riona Degorgio (La Voix Academy)

Kelsie Borg (La Voix Academy)

Shania St John (La Voix Academy)

 

Baltic Voices (Lithuania) 

Michela Pace (Audrey Marie Bartolo)

Eila Mangion (La Voix Academy)

Kylie Meilak (La Voix Academy)

Kelsey Farrugia (La Voix Academy)

Kelsey Bellante (La Voix Academy)

 

Aire Nuevo (Spain)

Sarah Farrugia (La Voix Academy)

Danika Cutajar (Glen Vella)

Jilliane Camilleri (La Voix Academy)

 

Star Dest (Czech Republic)

Christina Magrin (La Voix Academy)

Rachel Lowell (La Voix Academy)

Veronica Rotin (La Voix Academy)

On behalf of the escflashmalta.com editorial team, we would like to wish all the 18 participants, the very best of luck in their endeavours abroad, hoping that they will not only shine as artists, but bring back trophies to Malta, ensuring that the talent which is being cultivated continues to grow. A round of applause goes to Erseb Productions, and the Vocal Directors for ensuring that such opportunities are available for the personnel who will make up the future local music scene. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: Erseb Productions

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Published in Latest News - Local

In just a couple of days, various areas of the world will be celebrating Christmas, a joyous holiday which commemorates the birth of Jesus Christ. An original song with the title "Milied ta' Tama", composed by Philip Vella to the lyrics of Peppi Azzopardi, was originally published in 2011 featuring the vocals of Petra (MESC 08, 11, 13), Mikaela, Mike Spiteri (ESC 1995), Pamela (MESC 05-09, 14), Neville Refalo (MESC 05) and Vince Fabri, but now been re-recorded.

In this new version, one could note the Ekklesia Sisters (MESC 15), Gaia Cauchi (JESC 13), Federica Falzon (JESC 14) and two upcoming stars in the form of Destiny Chukunyere and Veronica Rotin. With a fresh new coat of paint, the song is very much relatable to the season, whilst acknowleding a local element. 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: XarabankMario Mintoff (Photo)

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Published in Latest News - Local

Veronica, a ten year old female vocalist, who was also a finalist in the 4th edition of the hit television programme Io Canto, has been busy in the recording studio in the past couple of months, putting together the finishing touch on her debut album, Veronica Rotin, a compilation of cover versions.

Featuring a songbook of true musicianship, ranging from All by Myself to And I Am Telling You as well as the contemporary Domino and Thunder, originally by Celine Dion, Jennifer Holliday and Jessie J, the sky is the limit for Veronica, who showcases her full vocal range throughout the record.

Apart from her role as a vocalist, Veronica has recently taken on the challenge of hosting a radio programme, “Is-Sewwa Magħruf” alongside Gaia Cauchi, George Cremona and Martha Carabott on RTK, discussing issues of everyday life whilst looking at things from a different perspective.

Veronica Rotin, comprising of 14 tracks in total, was recorded by Elton Zarb at FreeTime Studios, and is available to obtain by sending an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or a message on the Official Facebook Page of Veronica Rotin, www.facebook.com/veronicarotin10.

Source: Press Release (Ironic PR & Artist Management), Kurt Paris (Photograph)
 
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Published in Latest News - Local

Gaia Cauchi and Veronica Rotin, both vocally trained by Gillian Attard at La Voix Academy and looked after by Ironic PR & Artist Management, will be part of an upcoming radio programme on RTK 103FM. “Is-Sewwa Magħruf” hosted by George Cremona and Martha Carabott will be featuring the prominent vocalists, one winner of the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2013 and the other, a finalist in the hit television programme “Io Canto”, as well as Dr Samuel Aquilina in answering questions about health, music, food, and more.

In comments made to escflashmalta.com, Gaia Cauchi and Veronica Rotin are “excited, and looking forward to sharing their opinion on the various topics which are brought up”. With the subjects set to focus more or less on the common knowledge in life, the listeners will enjoy having the girls around, getting to know them better away from their craft, that of performance. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news from the local music scene.

Source: RTK Radio 103FM, Marlon Polidano (Image), Missey & Bo (Clothing of Gaia & Veronica)

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Published in Latest News - Local
Wednesday, 13 August 2014 12:21

Malta: Remarkable Results in FYR Macedonia

Shauna Vassallo, Christina Magrin, Maxine Pace, Federica Falzon, and Gaia Cauchi are all success stories to emerge from La Voix Academy, a school for aspiring vocalists to hone their talent under the masterful gaze of singer/songwriter Gillian Attard. It seems that triumphant stories will continue to inspire for children to reach their dreams as a troupe of vocalists will be returning from the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia with their heads help up high, considering that they swooped the top places in every category.

Rachel Lowell & Jean Claude Azzopardi placed 2nd in their category, whilst Clarissa Cauchi placed 3rd in her category apart from being honoured with a diploma. All eyes were on Veronica Rotin, the artist who made it through to the finals of Io Canto during this past year, and has recently signed a management contract with Ironic PR & Artist Management, the same company which takes care of Malta Eurovision Song Contest participants; Danica Muscat and Davinia

Not only did she finish 1st in her category, but she was also crowned Grand Prix Winner hence giving Malta success all around with the four artists impressing the panel of professional judges. The “Lake Pearls” competition was brought to the attention of aspiring local vocalists thanks to Erseb Productions, who have organised several competitions in search of wonderful talent. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: Erseb Productions

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Published in Latest News - Local

Erseb Productions, a renowned company in the local festival circuit with well over thirty years of experience, has given rise to several talents along the years, including acts such as former Eurovision Song Contest representative; Miriam Christine. As days, weeks, months and years go by, the talent in Malta continues to evolve and we aim to promote that talent in the best possible way by offering international exposure.

During the course of the year, Erseb Productions will be visiting a total of 3 international competitions. Kicking off the proceedings is the "Voci dal Sud" festival in Italy between the 26th and the 28th July with 12 participants; Giulia Cilia, Jahel Cardona, Kelsey Bellante, Raisa Marie Micallef, Michela Pace, Althea Mifsud, Michela Dalli and Lindsay Mallia who have directly qualified to the final as well as Kayley Cuschieri, Mariah Nicola Vella, Emma Muscat and Danika Cutajar who have to pass the semi-final stage of the competition.

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In August, Erseb Productions will be heading to the Former Yugoslavian Republic of Macedonia with Jean-Claude Azzopardi, Veronica Rotin, Rachel Lowell and Clarissa Cauchi as part of the line-up in the 'Lake Pearls', a competition taking place between the 14th and 15th. Then between the 8th and 9th August, it will be time for Martina Cutajar, Riona DeGeorgio and Aidan Abela to do the honours for Malta as they partake in the "Oltreoceano" showcase in Italy. On behalf of escflashmalta.com, we wish all the participants the very best of luck.

Source: Press Release

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Published in Latest News - Local
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