August 24, 2019

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Between Friday 8th and Sunday 10th January 2016, at the St Vincent de Paul Theatre, the 4th edition of the Singer Stage International Festival, organised by Kaya (Priscilla Giordano Psaila) took place. This year's edition was divided into no less than five (5) different categories, with a total of thirty five (35) participants from Malta, and another ten (10) participants from Estonia, Slovenia, Turkey, Italy, Spain, and Poland.

All the participants had the opportunity to sing two (2) songs, one during the 1st two nights, and the other during the 2nd night, with a panel of international judges passing their verdict. Making up this aforementioned panel of international judges were; Tolga Gurdil, Irina Stamenovski, Stanislaw Zielinski, Sandi Vovk and Guillermo Albelo.

Category A: 5 to 8 years 

1st Place - Rihana Azzopardi - 266.90 points

2nd Place - Amy Pace - 265.60 points

3rd Place - Valery Savchuk (Estonia) - 255.70 points

Best Future Singer - Krista Sujak

 

Category B: 9 to 10 years 

1st Place - Martina Cutajar - 244.91 points

2nd Place - Martina Abela - 236.82 points

3rd Place - Elisa Muscat - 207.72 points 

Best Simpathy - Luana Schembri

 

Category C: 11 to 12 years

1st Place - Kayley Cuschieri - 269.70 points

2nd Place - Christina Magrin - 269 points

3rd Place - Polina Davydova (Russia) - 265.70 points 

Best Promising Singer - Shania Borg Lebrun

 

Category D: 13 to 15 years 

1st Place - Titti Girardi (Italy) - 259.40 points 

2nd Place - Aleksandra Vovk (Slovenia) - 258.20 points 

3rd Place - Bradley Debono - 248 points

Best Interpretation - Stamenovski Radica (Turkey)

 

Category E: 16 years over 

1st Place - Laura Gonzalez (Spain) - 243.20 points 

2nd Place - Wiktoria Sikorska (Poland) - 227.30 points

3rd Place - Bradley Gomez - 225.50 points

Best Technique - Luana Ciantar

 

Grand Prix Winner of Singer Stage 2015

Magdalena Chołuj (Poland) - 277.20 points 

All the winners of each respective category were given a free recording session by Dominic Cini at D Studios, whilst the winner of the Grand Prix was given a free set of song lyrics by Emil Calleja Bayliss. Previous Grand Prix Winners of the Singer Stage International Festival have included; Shieradye Micallef (2012), Destiny Chukunyere (2013) and Aidan Jay Drakard (2014). We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the local music scene, and aspiring young artists

Source: Press Release

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AjuLd6718EU

The Travellers, a new, young and energetic band, will be releasing their debut single, "Sempliċità" on the 12th of this month, followed by another single and the launch of their first 5 track Extended Play (EP) later on in 2016.

The band got together in 2013, with one aim in mind, that of trying to create something different in the already wide diversified local music scene. 

Clayton (Bassist), Joseph (Trumpet), Chris (Main Vocals) and Andrew (Guitarist), have been in the music scene from a very young age and their love for Music grew fonder as they grew older. On the other hand, Sylvano (saxophone) and Michael (drummer) joined the rest of the band later on in 2013. This marked the inception of The Travellers.

All the members of The Travellers hail from Gozo and are very frequent commuters, crossing the channel to and from Malta regularly, hence the name of the band seemed the most appropriate and was an obvious choice.

In the past year, the band has been working on a mix of contemporary music incorporating brass and Maltese lyrics. This had originally started more of a curiosity and the band started experimenting with how their melodious tunes would sound when combined with the Maltese language on contemporary rhythms.  The aim behind this was to change the concept of Maltese diction in music on the islands.  

This does not mean that the band is restricting their music to Maltese, but are leaving all their options open and are excited to see what the future holds. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest about the local music scene.

Source: Press Release

Spiteri Lucas Entertainment, stalwarts in finding and promoting talent, is proud to launch a new opportunity in 2016, "The Entertainers Singing Challenge", open for solo singers between 11 and 15 years. This will be airing during “The Entertainers”, a Saturday night variety show on NET Television, hosted by former Malta Eurovision Song Contest runner-up, Janvil.

As per the rules and regulations, the 1st phase will be a ‘behind-closed-doors’ audition with playback music and LIVE vocals which will be entirely judged by a professional panel of judges. They will be assessing technique, musicality, confidence, interpretation, confidence and originality.

From then onwards, 18 will reach the televised portion of the competition, with 3 soloists presenting their songs, this time with LIVE music and LIVE vocals, noting that the band during ‘The Entertainers’ will be provided to support the competing artists. 

In a result decided through 80% jury and 20% tele-voting, 10 artists will make it through to the final stage of the competition, where they will perform twice, once in a celebrity duet meant to act as a showcase, and the second time in a competition, in a result decided entirely through a professional panel of judges.

If you would like to put your name forward, make sure to send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or else send a private message on “The Entertainers Facebook Page” to acquire a full copy of the rules and regulations as well as the application form. All the requested material should be submit against a fee of €50 by Friday 14th January 2016. 

A cash prize is to be won by the final winner, whilst the winner of the tele-vote in the 1st televised portion of the competition will also get an original song, music and lyrics. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: Spiteri Lucas Entertainment

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N9n8UWxJMLA

Maltese singer and artist Amber is thrilled to announce the launch of her single called "What They Say". The song forms part of Amber's upcoming debut album which will be released later this year in Europe and the United States of America.

“What They Say” is composed with Amber in mind. It is a pop song with a dash of jazz, a characteristic that distinguishes Amber from many other pop artists. What makes this song special for Amber is the fact that she took an active role from the initial concept to production. The song is a rhythm and blues (R'n'B) song mixed with Amber’s jazzy and bluesy voice, which makes a unique and interesting blend. Amber’s vocal uniqueness is highlighted in this song to offer the listener a very pleasant texture.

“What They Say” is the creation of Matt Muxu Mercieca, an established singer and song writer and Elton Zarb, an accomplished musician who has scored for movies released by Universal and eOne, with the participation of Amber. “What They Say” is available for download from iTunes, Spotify, Amazon, Google Play and other online digital stores. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about Amber, Malta's participant in the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: Press Release

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8QGdQ7n4nWk

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. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b4v0dPFgrFM

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=85Sxw9asfX0

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.

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

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1j4K_7r_TvU

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.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N807KIBQaDI

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! 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=epazt4ltsUg

Ho-Ho-Ho! Merry Christmas, from all the team at escflashmalta.com! As an early present, the Public Broadcasting Services has released the full 3 minute versions of the competing entries in the 2016 Malta Eurovision Song Contest, which is taking place on the 22nd and 23rd January at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta.

In light of recent developments in the international music industry, the clips are accompanied by a postcard photo of each of the participants rather than a music video. This adds to the professional quality that the Public Broadcasting Services has been known to adopt in recent years. We would like to wish all the acts the very best of luck.

"Golden" - Brooke

"Kingdom" - Christabelle

"Falling Glass" - Corazon

"Frontline" - Danica

"Under the Sun" - Daniel Testa

"I Love You" - Dario Mifsud Bonnici

"All Around the World" - Deborah C

"Empty Hearted" - Domenique

"Fire Burn" - Dominic

"Little Love" - Franklin

"Chameleon" - Ira Losco

"That's Why I Love You" - Ira Losco

"Alive" - Jasmine Abela

"The Flame" - Jessika

"Lighthouse" - Kim

"You're Beautiful" - Lawrence Gray

"Young Love" - Maxine Pace

"Flashing Lights" - Raquel Galdes

"Right Here With You" - Sarah Crystal

"Light Up My Life" - Stefan Galea

On the 1st evening, all the above acts will get the opportunity to perform LIVE in front of a professional panel of judges, and the general public who will be applauding from the venue, and at home. Together, they will select 14 artists, those who stand a very good chance of representing Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the 2016 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: PBS / TVM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wevxW3l_tkg

Ira Losco has just released 'Haunted by Love' as the first single off her much anticipated album, due to be released in 2016. The album will be her fifth studio release and 10th music publication to date.

The 'drum and bass' track, which was produced by Howard Keith at Jagged House Studios, is very fitting to the pop sound currently dominating the charts and airwaves. Ira Losco has been working in the studio since last August and is set to return with a very fresh sound following her previous album "The Fire”.  Awarded best album at the Malta Music Awards, “The Fire” is still in the Top 10 iTunes charts unrivaled by any other local release for the past three years. 

Ira’s manager said “So many songs, so many years have passed and yet I can never foresee what Ira is going to come up with next. We try our best to keep it fresh, exciting ,challenging and above all fun. It’s very easy to fall into the ‘predictable and safe’ pattern but Ira has always managed to re-invent herself and out do what she’s done in the past and that doesn’t come by very often.’

Different to previous releases, which were preceded by a radio release, 'Haunted by Love' has been simultaneously released with the music video which was directed by the talented James Vernon. 

Also featured in the video is local boxing champion and sports icon Bertu Camilleri playing a cameo role as Ira’s mentor and trainer where she plays the part of a struggling boxer.

"I'm glad to be ending 2015 with the release of the first single from a new body of work we’ve been working very hard on. Although there’s still lots of work to do, we already have 18 tracks A-listed from around 40 tracks and I’m looking forward to release the album in 2016. 

I believe that using every possible vehicle to bring across one’s music is of utmost importance in today's industry, where it can easily get lost in all the noise. I pour my heart and soul into what seems to me the best way of bringing my music to my audience in the most creative way possible" said Ira Losco. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: Press Release (Jagged House), Tonio Lombardi (Image)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fTl4gMnokRs

On the 22nd and 23rd January 2015, the Public Broadcasting Services (PBS) will be hosting the 2016 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest at the Mediterranean Conference Centre (MCC) in Valletta, the capital city of the smallest nation in the European Union.

'Xarabank', synonomous with the revelation of the 20 finalists, took place a couple of hours ago, laying down this years' crop of participants, a perfect mixture of newcomers, and veterans. At first listen, off the 1 minute snippets, it seems that the standard of songs is relatively high, not too mention that the genres are quite varied, laying down the foundations for an exciting semi-final stage.

"Young Love" - Maxine Pace

"All Around the World" - Deborah C

"You're Beautiful" - Lawrence Gray

"Golden" - Brooke

"Flashing Lights" - Raquel Galdes

"Falling Glass" - Corazon

"Lighthouse" - Kimberley Cortis

"Alive" - Jasmine Abela

"Empty Hearted" - Domenique

"The Flame" - Jessika

"Under the Sun" - Daniel Testa

"That's Why I Love You" - Ira Losco

"Little Love" - Franklin Calleja

"I Love You" - Dario Mifsud Bonnici

"Fire Burn" - Dominic

"Frontline" - Danica Muscat

"Chameleon (Invincible)" - Ira Losco

"Kingdom" - Christabelle

"Right Here With You" - Sarah Crystal

"Light Up My Life" - Stefan Galea

An interesting fact about the 19 participants in this years' competition, is that 12 of them have either been to the national pre-selection on another occasion, or else been to the Eurovision Song Contest itself, meaning that the rest, a total of 7 are complete newcomers to the competition, despite most of them having already made other appearances in the local music scene. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the 2016 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: PBS / TVM, Mario Mintoff (Photo)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wevxW3l_tkg

On the 11th December, Xarabank will kick-off for another season, and it will do so with a bang, as the revelation of the acts through to the semi-final of the 2016 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest will be made public. Following the initial submission process, where the Public Broadcasting Services received 153 entries, a shortlist of 49 entries has now been published through the official website.

A quick glance at the list of shortlisted entries, one would realize that the list features a relative amount of established artists including; Ira Losco (ESC 2002), Lawrence Gray (MESC 98-99, 01-04, 10, 12, 15), Daniel Testa (JESC 08), Deborah C (MESC 12-15), Klinsmann Coleiro (MESC 07-13), Jessika (MESC 08, 11-15), Domenique (MESC 11, 13, 15), Kaya (MESC 00, 10, 12), Danica Muscat (MESC 12-13, 15), Christabelle (MESC 2014-2015) & Franklin Calleja (MESC 13-15).

96 - Francesca Bonanno

Alive - Jasmine Abela

All Around The World - Deborah C

Bare Your Soul - Chaya Fenech

Battle Zone - Kurt Cassar

Beautiful - Lyndsay

Brave - Andre Curmi (Dre)

Breaking Point - Cherylis & Mikhail (Dwett)

Breathe - Cherylis

Can't Let Go - Jessika

Castle - Danica Muscat

Chameleon (Invincible) - Ira Losco

Dancing In The Rain - Francesca Borg

Empty Hearted - Domenique

Exceptional - Jean Claude Azzopardi

Falling Glass - Corazon

Feeling Alive - Kelly Ann Mintoff

Fire Burn - Dominic

Fireworks - Iona

Flashing Lights - Raquel Galdes

Flawless - Franklin Calleja

Frontline - Danica Muscat

Go Beyond The Shore - Paul Cuschieri

Golden - Brooke

Gone - Nazio Rotin

Higher - Q

Hush Hush - Jessika

I Love You - Dario Mifsud Bonnici

I Won't Surrender - Franklin Calleja

Kingdom - Christabelle

Light Up My Life - Stefan Galea

Lighthouse - Kimberley Cortis

Little Love - Franklin Calleja

MI-MI-MIND - Neville Refalo

Paper Boats - Joseph Portelli

Reaching - Panama Band (Simaria)

Right Here With You - Sarah Crystal

Rule The World - Aidan Cassar

Someday - Klinsmann

Tell Me What You Wanna Do - Julienne Liberto

That's Why I Love You - Ira Losco

The Flame - Jessika

Tonight - Kyle Mangani & Maxine Pace

Under The Sun - Daniel Testa

Victory - Amy Agius

Without You - Kaya

Young Love - Maxine Pace

Your Kiss - Malcolm

You're Beautiful - Lawrence Gray

Apart from the established names, it seems that the line-up thus far comprises of several newcomers. Well, the journey to find Amber's successor has officially begun! We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the 2015 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: PBS / TVM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HdC4tNxqK88

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

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xt5Pr1ySEHY