Marc Calleja Bayliss
Kelly Schembri, a finalist in the 2011 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest which took place at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta has somewhat been busy in recent months with both modelling and vocal performing. Apart from being part of the girl-group Monroe who performed in Malta during the recent Malta Music Awards broadcasted on Television Malta, she has also collaborated with Stephen Davids and Honorebel on another track entitled Strip Search which has received positive acclaim upon it's release.
Honorebel is a well known recording artist hailing from Jamaica and has worked with the likes of Pitbull, Akon, Flo-Rida, Sean Kingston, Shaggy and Afrojack. Strip Search which was released late in 2012 is an electro-pop track which a number of interludes which feature the hip/hop genre. A catchy beat and a thumping bass line is surely enough to get the crowd going and it seems that the people behind the song are trying to create a true summer hit considering the fact that the release of the official video took place in the past couple of hours. One of the co-writers of the track is also Gerard James Borg, a leading lyricist in the industry who has worked on a number of successful chart successes in Belgium, Iceland, Sweden and Malta. He was also the man behind five entries at the Eurovision Song Contest, including 2002 first runner-up 7th Wonder performed by Ira Losco. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news and enjoy the official video of Strip Search performed by Honorebel and featuring Stephen Davids and Kelly Schembri.
Alyona Lanskaya, the third female to represent Belarus at the Eurovision Song Contest in ten participations noting that male soloists have somewhat dominated the music scene. It is worth noting that in ten participations, only Dmitry Koldun and Work Your Magic achieved a respectable sixth place within the final with a mixed-gender group managing to make the final a couple of years later with the song Butterfly. escflashmalta.com with the help of Olivier Vanhoutte, part of the Belarussian Delegation this year has managed to get in touch with the female artist and speak to her about a variety of things including last years' attempt, this years' entry and what lies ahead in the future as a vocalist.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane to last year, when you were initially selected by the public and a professional jury to represent Belarus in the Eurovision Song Contest with the song All My Life, a beautiful ballad which would have truly stood out. Nevertheless, there were a number of complications and you were subsequently disqualified. What was the whole reasoning behind the affair and what gave you the courage to return after what had happened?
Well I loved All My Life in last years Eurofest but I believe that everything that happens is happening for a reason. It didn’t break at all my wish to return to national selection and I’m very happy of course to represent now Belarus in the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest.
The return of the Eurofest competition has somewhat proven to be quite successful into acquiring a brand new audience for the Eurovision Song Contest with the general aim rather being at selecting the artist rather than a whole package. In the selection process, you performed the original track entitled Rhythm of Love which won over the public and a professional jury. Did you believe that it was required to select a different song despite the positive comments it was receiving from the fans of the international showcase?
I was obviously very happy to win National Selection last December with the song Rhythm of love penned by belarussian composer Leonid Shirin. I like to perform the song a lot but we had made always made it clear from the start that if we found a more appropriate song for the European audience we would change it. When Solayoh was proposed by Belgian composer Marc Paelinck along with several other songs, a special committee decided with a big majority that this was it, this should be the song to be sung in Malmö.
A thumping beat, shirtless dancers and a flamenco infused genre could somewhat be the best idea of describing the chosen track Solayoh to the audience who will be watching you closely as you represent Belarus in this years’ edition of the competition. The track which has been written by Marc Paelinck and Martin King is quite visual in terms of sound and as a matter of fact, people have compared it to past entries from Turkey. What was your initial idea when you heard the track and what are your plans for the performance?
When I heard the song for the first time, I loved it a lot and knew this was a song with a big potential for the Eurovision. I was very happy that Marc Paelinck and Martin King proposed it to me to be sung at Eurovision. It has indeed these oriental influences and I’m honoured that its put along to many other successful entries from Turkey and others. About the stage act I promise you a great show on stage which is currently being preparing by Serbian choreographer ‘Zile’ Aleksa Raifovic from the Zilenium group in Belgrade. But to know all details you’ll have to wait for Sweden as otherwise it wouldn’t be a surprise anymore! (laughing)
Marc Paelinck is a seasoned songwriter in the music industry having written tracks for Sonny O’Brien, Dana Winner, Xandee, Sergio & The Ladies as well as Maltese songstress, Chiara. It is somewhat pivotal for a composer to have been within the competition beforehand and this is one who boasts not one or two participations by three in total, having always been in the final despite achieving mid-table results. What went through your mind when knowing that you would be working with Marc Paelinck and are you planning any future collaboration?
We started first collaborations shortly after last years Eurofest and have recorded some songs that will also be featured on my upcoming international album. Of course future collaborations are definitely considered. Marc is such a good composer and I’m sure we can reach a good result. Every year is different so I am looking only at myself and our performance, we are working very hard to give Belarus again a place in the final and then who knows what can happen!
One of the obstacles that Belarus has come to encounter throughout the years is surely the semi-final portion having only managed to qualify on two (2) out of nine (9) occasions thus far making is one of the most unsuccessful countries to participate. Nevertheless, according to the fans and the bookmakers, it seems that all that might soon be coming to an end with this particular entry for the simple reason that people have fallen heads over heels for it. Why do you think that the nation has not done well on a consistent basis and how do you view perception on your entry?
I have always supported the previous entries for Belarus and even went to Baku last year to cheer for Litesound, I’m very patriotic so it’s normal to do that. Why Belarus didn’t qualify many times till now I don’t know really. As I told before every Eurovision is different with other conditions and other competition. So I am mostly concentrating on the current moment and working hard to get back to the final on 18th May.
You will be taking part in the first semi-final of this years’ Eurovision Song Contest which ultimately comprises of sixteen (16) entries in total, one less than the second semi-final due to what was coined by the international media as a massive pull out. Nevertheless, the competition is still strong and one of your main exponents is surely Anouk with Birds on behalf of The Netherlands. Have you heard any of the other competing entries, even the Maltese one, Tomorrow which is taking part in the second semi-final and how do you view their chances of success?
To be honest I didn’t really have the time yet to listen carefully to all the other songs as my schedule is so tight with preparations and promotion for the ESC. I have indeed heard that Anouk who seems to be a big name in western Europe will represent Netherlands and looking forward to hear the song shortly. Unfortunately I didn’t hear Gianluca’s song ‘Tomorrow’, but you have made me curious so I’ll be doing this as soon as possible.
Prior to the official announcement of Solayoh as to being your entry for this years’ international spectacle, there were a lot of rumours going about with regards to songs received from foreign songwriters, all of which would have done Belarus proud. This is definitely a vote of confidence in your vocal capabilities. What are your plans following the Eurovision Song Contest and do you intend to continue building your relationship with the German based record label, CAP-Sounds?
Yes true we got several proposals from both belarussian as well as foreign composers, but in the end there was a very large majority to chose Solayoh! As you likely know the international album is almost ready and will be released the coming months, without a specific date set yet. I was very happy that for the very first in Belarussian participation the song was signed to the german record label Cap-Sounds who has already experience on Eurovision with several maltese entries amonst but you surely know.
Would you like to say anything to your fans and our readers on escflashmalta.com?
Hello my dear Maltese fans and readers of escflashmalta.com! I hope that you will enjoy the upcoming Eurovision to the fullest! Be happy also in your daily life, make the most out of it. And in case you have a less good day, then one advice: listen to my song Solayoh, I’m sure you will be in a good mood again! Big kisses from Minsk and hope to see you all soon! Grazzi Hafna for this interview!
Yesterday, we were proud to announce that Martin Isherwood from the United Kingdom, Sharon Vaughn from the United States and Stano Simor from Slovakia have been relatively busy in these past couple of weeks listening to the tracks competing in the second semi-final of this years' Eurovision Song Contest. The show which will comprise of seventeen (17) tracks in total is set to be quite intriguing and thus we move on to the slot number two (2) which will be featuring San Marino whose entry entitled Crisalide (Vola) composed by Ralph Siegel to the lyrics of Mauro Balestri, is vocally performed by Valentina Monetta. SMRTV, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of San Marino in the esteemed music competition is hoping to qualify for the very first time.
Valentina Monetta is representing the republic of San Marino for the second year in succession, after having just missed out on qualification for the Grand Final in Baku last year. Valentina Monetta was born on the 1st of March,1975 in the Republic of San Marino. She is the second of two children, her father is from Calabria and her mother is San Marinese. Monetta spent her childhood in San Marino where she attended primary and secondary schools. She then graduated from the high school for arts “Giovanni da Rimini” in Rimini. In her childhood she discovered the love for music, listening tirelessly to various musical styles, creating and forming over time a specific taste. Although she has not dealt with an academic background, she had studied piano and singing by herself, reaching the same professional high quality.
Starting from 1995, she has been working with the best local musicians, becoming a versatile singer with a great talent for improvisation; her voice is both colorful and versatile, ranging from jazz to melodic Italian, from soul to R&B and pop. Monetta's artistic versatility has allowed her to deal with varied work experience as a singer, actress and presenter, and she even composed the music and written the lyrics to her first solo album, a celebratory work of personal and professional balance, releasing the CD Il Mio Gioco Preferito recorded with the trio My Funky Valentine. In 1995, Monetta started an adventure with her first band Tiberio, and soon thereafter formed the Parafunky. She was also part of the group 2Black, as well as forming the female vocal duo Harem'B. In 2002, with the project Charme, she released the single Sharp, and collaborated with the band Bluesmobile.
In March 2012 she worked with Fabrizio Raggi staging the show Ma Che Differenza Fa, a tribute to Ornella Vanoni in which Monetta shows her singing and acting talent. In August 2012, still directed by Raggi, she was the protagonist of Camelia, a musical commissioned by UNICEF, in which Valentina presented her songs together with covers of some great Italian singers and songwriters. Her most recent experiences are all with her live band My Funky Valentine. Performing live for Monetta is crucial, as she really loves the stage and having contact with the public.She is influenced by her musical idols Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Joni Mitchell, Whitney Houston, Mary J. Blige, Erika Badu, Caterina Valente and Ornella Vanoni. It is important to note that San Marino have once more opted for an internal selection and one which was made very carefully it seems noting that vocalists presented several bids to represent the micro-state.
This will be the fourth participation of San Marino at the Eurovision Song Contest and the third in succession noting that their debut came back in 2008 when the group, Miodio took to the stage for a performance of the song Complice which only managed five (5) points, finishing in a disappointing nineteenth position. They disappeared, withdrawing due to the negative outcome, only to return three years later with Senit whose entry Stand By was predicted to fair well and possibly even qualify. The juries beleived in the song and ultimately gave it a boost but the public did not agree and thus the track finished in sixteenth place with thirty-four (34) points. Last years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest almost saw to the qualification of the country with Valentina Monetta and her entry known as The Social Network Song. The track managed thirty-one (31) points and a fourteenth place but received massive exposure in the lead up to the international spectacle.
Professional Critics Voice their Opinion
Martin Isherwood: Chrysalis - Fly Nice idea. Lovely voice. Unusual shift from 3 to 4 and from ballad to dance track. Typical of many ESC songs in its use of harmony, but also flavours of 'the day before you came'.
Sharon Vaughn: Lovely energy and clever mid-section composition. I believe this artist when she performs and that is a very important aspect within the performance.
Stano Simor: The genre of this particular type of track has already been presented at the Eurovision Song Contest and therefore, nothing new or revolutionary. Valentina Monetta is a strong vocalist and something positive about this song is that the shift from a ballad to an uptempo is done well and this could very much impress the public and the jury.
Maltese, the national and co-official language of Malta and somewhat the most popular in terms of daily communication noting that English plays a major role within several roles of the work place and education amongst other things. Last night, this language was given utmost importance through the medium of song noting that nineteen (19) original tracks were presented to an audience to highlight the respective use in a competition known as L-Għanja tal-Poplu. This annual showcase will soon be turning forty and therefore has a vast heritage with ample followers, both from a musical and a lyrical point of view. The evening was conducted by Frank O'Neill, a former finalist as well as Valerie Vella, former host of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. The event will be shown on ONE Television next Saturday but in the meantime, we can let you know the results of the evening nevertheless.
KulTural, winners of L-Għanja tal-Poplu in 2012 were the opening act last night as they reminded people what their entry Malta Tiegħi sounded like but nevertheless, the idea of having them open was well respected by the audience present as they joined the long list of winners to have graced the stage along the years. The organisation was spectacular and the respective committee alongside Robert Cefai and Norman Hamilton as representatives of the World Association for Festivals and Artists deserve all of the possible praise. The interval act as people awaited the final results was offered by a flamenco dance group known as Alegria and the finalists themselves who performed a medley of well known songs.
The committee has always been proud to recognise the talent of local artists and therefore, a special award was given to Sunny Aquilina, lyricist of The One That I Love and My Dream for his contribution to the local music scene. The committee have always put a lot of emphasis on the language and therefore, lyrics are always of the essence in this competition and this was seen within the choice of the jury for the evening, composed of scholars within the linguistics and literary field. Nevertheless, other individuals from the music and television industry who were present were none other than Joe Vella, the Radio 101 Disc Jockey and former Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza judge along with Tony Cassar Darien, a brilliant actor known for several roles on television and the stage.
- Best New Talent: Taħnina - Fiona Camilleri (Robert Carbonaro)
- Best Singer/Songwriter - Sylvan Borg for Il-Maltin Bil-Politika Mehdijin
- Best Social Theme: Virtwali - Estelle Fenech Imbroll (Paul Attard / Mark Scicluna)
- Best Interpretation Award: Kuluri, Lwien - X-Tend (Charles Dalli)
- Third Place: Pupazz - Rita Pace (Rita Pace / Emil Calleja Bayliss)
- Second Place: Signor Si - Dorothy Muscat (Sammy Galea / Joe Julian Farrugia)
- First Place: Hawn Siġġu Nieqes - Cherise Attard (Mark Spiteri Lucas / Paul Ellul)
Congratulations to all of the winners of the awards on Saturday evening but also to the other competitors. The editorial team at escflashmalta.com would like to send their special wishes to none other than Emil Calleja Bayliss who wrote the lyrics to two entries performed during the evening, one being Għal Dejjem performed by Marie Claire Attard Bason to the tune of Mark Scicluna and the other one being Pupazz performed by Rita Pace who also composed the music. The latter was the recipient of the second runner-up position. It is surely another stepping stone.
escflashmalta.com has been relatively busy in these past couple of days finalising details of the coverage in relation to the Eurovision Song Contest whilst planning more interviews for the coming days in the actual lead up. We would like to thank Matt Mercieca, Lina Eriksson and Magnus Kaxe for their help in analysing the first semi-final and we would like to welcome Martin Isherwood, Sharon Vaughn and Stano Simor as we take a look at the acts competing in the second semi-final. 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, Latvia will be performing in slot number one (1) from the seventeen (17) entries competing in this second show. LTV, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of Latvia in the Eurovision Song Contest will be represented by the group, PeR with the track Here We Go co-written between Ralfs Eilands and Arturas Burke.
Both of the biggest Latvian festivals - the Baltic Beach Party and Positivus have shared their stages with PeR in 2009. In the summer of 2010 beatbox band PeR was one of the many contestants in festival New Wave, but before that they visited Estonia to perform in the Reiu Rock festival. PeR have been the warm-up guys before Dub FX in three of his concerts. The feedback from PeR’s performance before Dub FX in Lithuania in November 2011 was amazing. Music critics, bloggers and fans were surprised by PeR’s ability to electrify the entire crowd with their songs and pure energy that never stops! 2011 was successful for PeR not only in Lithuania, their single Go Get Up peaked no. 2 in Denmark’s Chart Base TOP 100 and PeR were also nominated in this independent music chart as ‘Best New Artists’ and the video of the song was nominated in the category of ‘Best European Alternative Video’ and they won in both categories.
In the end of 2012 PeR released their self-titled debut album which was nominated as the ‘Album of the Year’ in Latvia. PeR have three main objectives for Malmö. Firstly to qualify for the Grand Final. Secondly to win the Eurovision Song Contest and thirdly to hopefully, get to know some producers and other musicians so they could expand the PeR movement, and get to perform in more countries. “It would be amazing if we could establish some contacts in Sweden.” In the semi-finals of the Latvian selection this year, Ralph was ill and had a 38 degrees temperature. However, that wasn’t a big problem for him and most of the people didn’t even notice that he was feeling sick. “That’s the magic about music – on stage, no matter what has happened to you, you become a complete different person. You just have to hide all your problems, because nobody cares."
The millennium provided Latvia with the opportunity to take part in the Eurovision Song Contest for the very first time and indeed, Brainstorm did their utmost to garner notice, eventually finishing in third place with the song My Star. Two years later, the country would succeed in winning the international spectacle with the track I Wanna performed by Marie N. It just managed to trounce Ira Losco and her entry 7th Wonder on behalf of Malta. In the years ahead, the country had only failed to make the final once but a streak of bad luck seems to have hit the nation since 2009 noting that they have failed to make it through to the final round for four consecutive occasions and if betting odds and polls are anything to go by, this will be the case once more. Last year, Latvia were represented by a Beautiful Song performed by Anmary finishing in sixteenth position.
Latvia has always managed to keep their national selection to a minimum in terms of organisation and as a matter of fact, with two semi-finals and a final, it was quite straightforward. For the very first time in years, the broadcaster decided to let foreign songwriters return to the selection process and this was definitely a positive sign considering that results have not been optimal. It seems that the general public in Europe needs a fresh sound from the country and when the top three were presented within the super-final, we thought that it was a done deal with Samanta Tina and her track I Need a Hero co-written by Johnny Sanchez, Michael James Down, Marcus Fernell and Beatrice Eriksson but full marks of the jury and second place in tele-voting just wasn't enough. One has to see how the performance of Here We Go comes across but things look rather bleak.
Professional Critics Voice their Opinion
Martin Isherwood: The title 'Here we go' will resonate with a zillion football fans but the tune doesn't live up to the Sousa march 'stars and stripes forever' version sung at footy stadia. Having said that about the footy chant - the singing isn't much better than your average football fans and the accents are very stars and stripes. Judging by the stage performance it was produced on a couple of i pads and an oversized kazoo. Very close to George Michael's 'Freedom' Not very nice unfortunately.
Sharon Vaughn: Whoa! This is one particular song which has left me speechless. Could you please work on your pitch? Please!
Stano Simor: Mostly what Latvia brings into the Eurovision Song Contest is that every year comes with something “progressive”,and colorful. Performances and energy which 'PeR' presents on the stage unfortunately outpacing the quality of music and vocals. Maybe it would be better if they not sing the chorus in unison, but rather, in harmony, because almost all of the chorus sounds out of tune and it's ptty .. But Latvia have my sympathy.
escflashmalta.com has engaged a panel of music industry professionals to assess the entries competing in all of the entries in this years' Eurovision Song Contest. The sixteen (16) competing in the first semi-final are ready but nevertheless, there are another three (3) countries voting during the evening, being the United Kingdom, Sweden and Italy. RAI, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of Italy have internally selected Marco Mengoni to do the honours with the song L'Essenziale which he co-wrote with Roberto Casalino and Francesco De Benedettis.
December 25th, 1988. Marco was born on Christmas Day in Ronciglione (Viterbo, Italy). He became interested in music from an early age: “As a little kid, I used to listen to a little bit of everything, from pop to r&b, from rock to soul music. I discovered karaoke and I would sing when nobody was looking, as I was pretty shy. One day my parents heard me singing and decided to send me to singing lessons. Soon I found out that music was not as easy as I thought, I had a lot to learn…breathing techniques, facial exercises, musical scales, vocalisations of every kind to improve my voice.”
After seven years of musical formation which includes not only singing but also working as a sound technician, Marco wins the third series of X Factor in 2009 and his first EP Dove Si Vola becomes his first success. Only months later he participates in the 60th edition of Sanremo with the song Credimi Ancora and finishes third. His “Re Matto” EP is released. After a successful tour launch Marco wins the TRL Award in the category “Man of the Year”, the Wind Music Awards and his debut releases are certified Platinum. He then releases the Re Matto live album hitting #1 in Italy. In November 2010 Marco Mengoni wins the “Best Italian Act” Award at the MTV European Music Awards and he also gets the “Best European Act”, as the first Italian in 17 editions to win the award.
In September 2011 he releases a new single Solo and the concept album Solo 2.0. The Solo Tour previews in Milan and Rome are both sold-out. In 2012 he embarks on a theatre tour created by Marco Mengoni, Elisa and Andrea Rigonat. Marco is also the special guest of the event “Premio Leggio d’Oro”, where he gets an award for his dubbing of Onceler, a cartoon character from the movie The Lorax. Earlier this year Marco wins the 63rd Sanremo Music Festival with his song L'Essenziale and a month later the new album #PRONTOACORRERE is out on Sony Music.
Now, besides his new tour, his next challenge is in Malmö: representing Italy at the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest! Italy returned to the Eurovision Song Contest in 2011 having been out since 1997 on the basis that the competition lost a lot of it's identity due to the tele-voting leading to the wrong songs being selected as winners with the issue of politics coming in. Upon their return, Italy was granted a direct qualification into the final with RAI, the broadcaster being one of the highest financial contributors. Their entries, Follia D'Amore and L'Amore e Femmina finished in second and ninth place respectively.
Professional Critics Voice their Opinion
Magnus Kaxe: Traditional but strong Italian Eurovision ballad. Marco has a great voice and the Italian language fits the track greatly. People love these kind of songs and I think it will finish in the Top 5.
Lina Eriksson: Actually almost anything sounds good when sang in italian. A beautiful ballad. Doesn't sweep me of my feet though. Overall an ok, nice song.
Matt Mercieca (Muxu): This is when I wish I knew how to speak italian because this is beautiful, and even though there is a language barrier i still feel somehow connected, this is how powerful music is he has a brilliant voice, and tone! and the song is so nice, gives me a good feeling.
Three of the voting countries in the first semi-final of this years' Eurovision Song Contest have already qualified to the final of the esteemed event owing to their reputable status in terms of financial contribution. Sweden will be hosting for the fifth time and our set of music industry professionals are analysing the track that will represent them entitled You co-written by Joy Deb, Linnea Deb, Joakim Harestad Haukaas and Robin Stjernberg, the latter of which will also be providing the vocals. SVT have an intriguing job on their hands in terms of this years' production because they have always stated that their aim is to be different and with a smaller Eurovision Song Contest planned, the challenges they face are endless.
22-year-old Robin Stjernberg has quickly written Swedish television history twice.The first time in 2011 when he came in second in the Idol final with 48% of the votes, the smallest margin in the programme's history. The second time in March 2013 when he was the first artist ever who went through the "Second Chance" to win the Swedish final in Melodifestivalen. Yes, Robin Stjernberg is undoubtedly something extraordinary. Robin Stjernberg took home the historic win in the 2013 Melodifestivalen with You, a song that he himself have been involved in writing. Never before has an artist from the "Second Chance" round taken home the victory in the competition. But Robin managed the impossible on paper and went straight through the screen and into the TV sofas with his charisma, authenticity and ability to move people.
"It's true feelings, I do not go in and just put on a show. The text is about my family and my friends, how it all started, how we rigged a scene in the basement and how my dad and my aunt looked at when I was singing." Robin was a performer already in kindergarten and loved to entertain his friends dressed up in different outfits. While growing up in Hässleholm he listened to music like AC / DC, Stevie Wonder and the Backstreet Boys and participated in countless talent competitions. But despite that it's just music for Robin today, it wasn't always clear that it would be so. As a teenager, he was a promising wrestler but was forced to choose a path. It became music. In ninth grade, he was handpicked to become a member of the boyband What's Up? (which even Eric Saade was in).
He also studied music at Furuboda Folkhögskola, a coveted training with many applicants and few open spots. During his audition for Idol he completely blew the jury away and showed through the programme vocal abilities that stood in a class by itself. "I want to be a performer who affects people. One that is true to Robin, nothing artificial." When his debut album My Version was released in 2012, it went straight into number one on the album charts. Robin Stjernberg exudes something genuine. With his charisma and his voice, that sends shivers down your back, he has taken Sweden by storm. Now it's Europe's turn. One of the most prestigious national selections in Europe is definitely the Melodifestivalen because it tends to offer diversity and professionally produced tracks. Since the current format was introduced in the beginning of the noughties, the public have immersed into the system with millions tuning in to select their representative for the Eurovision Song Contest.
This year, people were somewhat disappointed with the quality and went as far too say that Sweden did not want to win for a second year running. Nevertheless, I believe that the quality of the final was actually quite strong especially compared to other nations. Sweden is surely one of the most successful countries at the Eurovision Song Contest having managed to finish in the top spot on five occasions, the last time prior to last year was back in 1999 with Take Me To Your Heaven by Charlotte Perelli. They have been in the final of the international event on every occasion, except in 2010 when their entry This Is My Life performed by Anna Bergendahl had finished in eleventh place failing to garner approval of the public despite receive support of the jury. With five victories to their name as already mentioned, they are tied in second place with Luxembourg as the most victorious country.
Professional Critics Voice their Opinion
Magnus Kaxe: Great chorus with an interesting twist in the melody. Robin sings well on the higher notes in the chorus but gets lost on the lower notes in the verses. The verse is too low for Robins vocal range. Despite this "You" will probably do well in the final and reach Top 10. But repeating Sweden's success in ESC from last year - not in a million years.
Lina Eriksson: Amazing song performed by talented Robin. It's modern and sticks in your head like bubblegum after just one listening.
Matt Mercieca (Muxu): He has a good voice, with a really cool tone. it goes a lil weak in his falsetto though. It does not even begin to compare to the incredible song that is Euphoria, but I like it, and the more I hear it the more I like it. another thing i noticed at the beginning of the song I wasn't that impressed but as the song continues it seems to get better and better. This should do well in my opinion.
First rehearsals for this years' edition of the L-Għanja tal-Poplu competition took place within the Sir Temi Żammit Hall on Thursday evening amidst tension surroundings noting that the University of Malta campus was going through council elections but nevertheless, the stage is seemingly set for another stunning showcase tomorrow night. The themes for this years' competing songs are extremely varied but it has to be noted that there are a couple of similarities in themes such as marriage and corruption for example. We do not intend to release any details of the genres or the performances themselves because the show will eventually be shown on television at a later date but we can indeed promise you that there will surely be a couple to your liking.
During the past weekend, Sir Temi Żammit Hall was filled with laughter as the Student's Fest took place under the hospice of the University of Malta Council. This weekend, it will be quite different with live music and original songs in Maltese taking centre stage. It is important to note that this years' quality is very much in the range of the previous year and given the mixture between newcomers and established performers, one could say that the first phase jury did a splendid job in their respective selection. They also noted that it was difficult to let some of the songs go especially because they felt like they had a special something in either the lyrics, the music or the vocals of a particular individual.
01. Il-Gwardjan - Indri Attard (Kevin Tanti, Chan Vella)
02. Anġli Bla Ġwenħajn - Romina Mamo (Deo Grech, Heathcliff Balzan)
03. Ibni - Teddie Zammit (Paul Attard, Teddie Zammit)
04. Għal Dejjem - Marie Claire Attard Bason (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Mark Scicluna)
05. Bikja Mid-Deżert - Leanne Attard (Sylvia Caruana, Dario Bezzina)
06. Bit-Tof... Ma Tofx...? - Ta' Verna ( Rita Pace, George Bonello)
07. Nammetti Li Ma Naf Xejn - Mistura (Antonio Olivari)
08. Is-Sajjied Tax-Xatt Tax-Xlokk - Alwyn Borg Myatt (Alwyn Borg Myatt, Conrad Briffa)
09. Virtwali - Estelle Fenech Imbroll (Paul Attard, Mark Scicluna)
10. It-Tweġiba - Corazon (Corazon Mizzi)
11. Kuluri, Lwien - X-Tend (Charles Dalli)
12. Taħnina - Fiona Camilleri (Robert Carbonaro)
13. Il-Maltin Bil-Politka Medhijin - Justin Galea u Banda Briganti (Keith Muscat, Sylvan Borg)
14. Tinsinix - Maria Debono (Rita Pace)
15. Grajja ta' Kull Żmien - Corinne Caruana (Christopher Azzopardi, Maria Azzopardi)
16. Id-Dar Għal Bejgħ - Charles Dalli (Pawlu Zammit, Charles Dalli)
17. Hawn Siġġu Nieqes - Cherise Attard (Paul Ellul, Mark Spiteri Lucas)
18. Signor Si - Dorothy Muscat (Joe Julian Farrugia, Sammy Galea)
19. Pupazz - Rita Pace (Emil Calleja Bayliss, Rita Pace)
There will be a number of multiple winners tomorrow night considering that apart from the top three placings which will see to performances abroad, there will also be special award given to the Best Social Theme. The opening act for the evening will be none other than last years' winning group, Kultural with the interval act set to be conducted by Alegria, a dancing troupe known for their flamenco genre. The hosting duties have been allocated to Frank O'Neill, a former participant and Valerie Vella, known for hosting the Malta Eurovision Song Contest on three occasions and you may all attend by purchasing your tickets here. We would like to wish all of the participants the very best of luck, especially to the escflashmalta.com Head of Digital Media and Head of Press, Emil Calleja Bayliss who is the lyricist behind two entries this year.
Tomorrow, co-written by Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat with vocals provided by Gianluca will be representing Malta at upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest. Prior to leaving for the Scandinavian country of Sweden which will be hosting the international spectacle, the Public Broadcasting Services has sent the performer on a promotional tour which has already taken him to Armenia, The Netherlands, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary with a final visit to the United Kingdom planned over the course of the weekend. Every place which he has been invited has always led to a positive response thanks to a glowing smile and an always enthusiastic crowd which sings the song along with him.
Rehearsals in the forthnight leading up to the international spectacle are always essential to try and get the mood of the public, the journalists who will be covering the show, including those who will be collaborating with escflashmalta.com to bring you exclusive features, interviews and press conferences. Tomorrow was the first choice of the jury and the second choice of the public and it seems that this was indeed, the best possible choice for success abroad considering that the betting odds are the most favourable they have been in an extremely long time placing Malta in seventeenth (17th) place from a total of thirty-nine (39) countries competing. In the respective semi-final, Malta is touted to finish in an astonishing sixth (6th) place which is resoundingly a strong position. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about Gianluca and his participation on behalf of Malta.
Source: escflashmalta.com, esckaz.com
Krista Siegfrids will be representing Finland in the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the track Marry Me co-written alongside Erik Nyholm, Kristofer Karlsson, Jessika Lundström. It is important to note that the national selection in the Scandinavian country was actually quite stunning both in musical and visual quality and it is something which Finland required following the disappointment of the previous year which had seen Pernilla Karlsson take to the stage with the song När jag blundar written by Jonas Karlsson. In the second semi-final, she will be performing in slot number #6, just one before Malta whose Gianluca will be performing the track Tomorrow co-written by Dean Muscat and Boris Cezek.
In recent days, Krista Siegfrids had the opportunity to speak to our senior editor, Antoine Farrugia about her upcoming participation in the international spectacle but did not want to reveal what is going to happen during the stage performance although it is worth noting that heads did indeed roll around when she took to the stage during the Eurovision In Concert especially towards the end when she grabbed one of her female dancers and planted a kiss on her. Krista is fighting hard for marriage equality in Finland and that was the main reason why she put on that stunt. Nevertheless, what she did reveal in her interview is that she will be wearing 'a huge wedding dress'. The Finnish delegation in collaboration with Krista Siegfrids herself have recorded a special video message to all of her followers in Malta, urging them to join #Team DingDong. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.
Source: YLE, escflashmalta.com