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Monday, 31 December 2012 04:15

ESCflashmalta: The Sun Sets on 2012, A Review

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2013 is officially just a couple of hours away and several people are already gearing up to pop the corks off their champagne bottles but nevertheless, there is still one more day to go through and hopefully, that will also be one to remember in a positive manner. It has been an endearing year, with several positive aspects. As a matter of fact, we have been through the major news items for both the general Eurovision Song Contest as well as the local music scene and one could easily denote the progress that has been made on both a national and a foreign level of vocal talent and songs in general. Kicking off things in January, one has to remember that the announcement of the semi-finalists of the 2012 Malta Eurovision Song Contest took place on the programme Xarabank preceding a number of promotional activities which took place across the national broadcasters' frequencies including Television Malta, Radju Malta and Maltin Biss.

That is just the beginning noting that when the showcase actually came about as held in the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre at the end of February, several people were shocked to see that Eleanor Cassar with the song I Want to Runaway and Annalise Ellul with Whoop It Up! were eliminated at the first hurdle. The final also opened up a number of questions due to the fact that Kurt Calleja with the track This Is The Night managed to beat the favourite Claudia Faniello with Pure despite not managing to win the full approval of the jury. According to unconfirmed statistics, he won the tele-voting by a large margin which secured his representation of the country. At this same time that the event was being staged, organisers of the Għanja tal-Poplu were gearing up for the return of the competition and indeed, they managed to garner forty two (42) entries in total, including from Malta Eurovision Song Contest semi-finalist; Janice Mangion, Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza finalist; Grecia Bezzina and escflashmalta.com contributor; Clive Muscat. February was proving to be a month of competitions and in fact, our portal covered the Sanremo showcase extensively through Elaine Camilleri, seeing to the victory of Emma Marrone with favourite Arisa languishing in second place. In the meantime, Kurt Calleja had begun his promotional tour in the same month heading to the artist selection in Azerbaijan, strengthening the bond created between the two countries in the previous year. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJSkfmXGIG4

In just a couple of weeks, the fever of the Eurovision Song Contest was sweeping the continent and it was revealed that the British Broadcasting Corporation had chosen a legend in the form of Engelbert Humperdinck to represent the United Kingdom. The announcement was met with mixed criticism noting that ultimately his entry Love Will Set You Free did not really achieve the expected result but nevertheless in Malta, there were other elements at hand noting that the original backing vocalist with the track This Is The Night being Ylenia Vella was sacked by the Public Broadcasting Services and replaced by Amber who had in February obviously finished in third place with her entry Answers With Your Eyes without any public support. Kurt Calleja did not answer any questions about the change and continued his promotion in Bulgaria and Lithuania whilst also filming the promotional video of the track on his return to the country. In Malta, on a private television station known as NET Television, preparations for the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza had begun and Simone Gauci was announced as the first finalist following her victory on Passport 2 Indifest having beaten former finalist; Marie Claire Attard Bason in the process. Her entry bearing the name Id F'Id was specifically written for her by Renato Briffa and Keith Zammit.

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

In April, it was all about Kurt Calleja and Malta's participation in the Eurovision Song Contest noting that he had managed to top the local iTunes chart with his entry whilst also visiting another set of countries; Turkey, Georgia and The Netherlands bringing his promotional tour to an end in a major party which included several major interviews. One of the male stars of the local music industry, Fabrizio Faniello continued to rebuild his image and the release of his album Kasmaran in Indonesia proved to be a massive success denoting the artist as a star in the Asian country. escflashmalta.com continued to work extremely close with a number of sources and uncovered that Elaine Saliba was set to be the commentator for Malta at the international competition, although it was then revealed at a later stage that Ronald Briffa would be aiding her analysis providing some comic relief.  The impressive younger generation of musical prodigies never cease to amaze and Gaia Cauchi won the right to represent the country in Sanremo Junior 2012, ultimately becoming the winner a couple of months later. The month came to an end with one of the artists of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, being Wayne releasing the official video clip for his self penned track entitled Time with which he had competed a couple of months earlier.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmxAJv9dd6I

The month of the Eurovision Song Contest quickly came about and May seemed to be quite intriguing in the local music market with the return of Christabelle with the track Say as well as Brooke with Fairytale but the media was somewhat enthralled at the single release of Miss You with main vocals by Wintermoods featuring the renowned international tenor; Joseph Calleja. It was also a month in which the finalists for the 2012 edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza were revealed, quickly noting that this had to be one of the fields which was missing a lot of the more predominant names yet nevertheless featuring the upcoming generation of artists such as Domenique, and Danica Muscat amongst others. Performing at the Eurovision Song Contest, Kurt Calleja made the country proud on the night of the semi-final achieving seventh place but it seems that nerves got the best of him on a Saturday night with his performance dropping in quality although this did not hurt his success charting on the iTunes top 100 in Austria, Greece, Norway, Sweden and of course, Malta. escflashmalta.com kept their annual coverage with guest commentators including Simon CaseyRaquelaClaudia FanielloSophieMagnus Kaxe and Christabelle. Thousands of people viewed the respective reports and with the aid of the team of Radio International and Eurovision Ireland, the competition was analysed and covered in the most profound and detailed way possible. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cjhBsCop3Ys

With the months leading up to the competition behind everyone, the summer was set to kick in and in fact, June was a relatively quiet month with the Public Broadcasting Services confirming their intentions to not return to the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. On the other hand, Sophie was representing the country in the United Kingdom during the celebrations of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, undergoing a cross-country tour which saw her perform with the likes of X Factor runner-up, Marcus Collins whilst Kevin Borg was being wooed by the local public who wanted to see him represent the country in Sweden, the winning nation of the Eurovision Song Contest. The annual award for the worst dressed artist at the Eurovision Song Contest was decided with Rona Nishliu on behalf of Albania finishing on top. July proved to be less quiet and somewhat more eventful with Sweden deciding on Malmo as host city of the Eurovision Song Contest with the winner also coming to Malta to give a concert. In fact, on the Islands, things were becoming quite interesting with the Joseph Calleja concert featuring Ronan Keating, Gigi D'Alessio and Amber taking place on the Floriana Granaries, days before the official single release of What I'd Give by Ira Losco, her first track taken off the 2013 yet untitled album.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3kw7rby8Zuk

August came about but was quiet uneventful once more with Ira Losco releasing the official video for her new single and Kurt Calleja working on new material off a yet untitled album slated for release in 2013. In fact, Boomerang was picked up on 89.7 Bay and also made the charts by virtue of the amount of airplay received. As autumn and September drew in, the Public Broadcasting Services released the regulations for the 2013 Malta Eurovision Song Contest whilst other sectors of the scene were showing their strengths as new singles were also released by Janvil entitled Make My Day, Muxu bearing the name Pour Down on Me and last but not least a young girl brand coined as Cryptic Street with Indecisive. The second major music competition in Malta known as the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza was won by Deborah C with the track Jekk Nużaw Moħħna written by Mark Spiteri Lucas and Joe Chircop. Success was a thing of the month noting that the popular pop/rock band known as Airport Impressions went on tour in Sweden, headlining three major events and garnering international recognition. escflashmalta.com continued to air the local music scene by virtue of releasing a number of videos exclusively including the one of Muxu which you could also view just below.

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

It seemed like winter would not be setting foot on the country this year with October coming in full swing and the music scene bringing things up to speed in an excruciatingly busy ratio with exclusive video releases by Cryptic Street and Fabrizio Faniello along with new singles released by the group Cruz; Good On You, Chiara; Forget Forgetting Me, Dimal & Lyndsay; Let's Make It Happen. During this time, one of the singles was also picked up by a record label and as a matter of fact, Chiara is now a true recording artist with the backing of an Icelandic record label which also takes care of former Eurovision Song Contest representative; Hera Bjork. Whilst pop and rock are seemingly the two most popular genre in the country, the duo known as Tenishia received an accolade of which the whole country should be proud of with the official DJ Mag putting them as the fiftieth best in the world ahead of renowned musicians like Benny Benassi. The Public Broadcasting Services revealed that they received a total of 182 submissions for the 2013 Malta Eurovision Song Contest from a variety of countries and a matter of fact, submissions were sent in from four former representatives including; Fabrizio Faniello, Miriam Christine, William Mangion and Ludwig Galea but none of them would make the cut in the long run. The collaboration between this portal and the series D.R.E.A.M.S continued as a second season written by the talent Vella Haber and Saliba La Rosa returned featuring two main new actresses being Michela Dalli and Kristen Camilleri.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hchM2x458X0

The month of November, was finally starting to show signs that the weather would be cooling down and in fact, the revelation of the twenty-four semi-finalists of the 2013 Malta Eurovision Song Contest seemed to be the only heated moment with a host of newcomers revealed in the list especially artists who have garnered attention through radio such as the likes of Gianluca Bezzina, and Davinia with others coming from notable national showcases including Chris Grech. December was relatively quiet noting that in the beginning, the Junior Eurovision Song Contest took place with Ukraine finishing on top with the track Nebo but the focus of the local music scene was surely on the Bay Music Awards which saw Red Electrick walk away with a total of two awards in total, the most of the night which also saw success going in the way of JJoy, Kelly StellfoxIra Losco, Carlo Gerada, Jan Cortez, Christabelle, and Cryptic Street. The Malta Eurovision Song Contest also hit a bump on the head with the withdrawal of Saska Hunt and the track Dress Rehearsal who was replaced by the first alternate on the list; Marilena Gauci with the track Overrated. We indeed hope that this year in fact wasn't just that and that it was ideal for each and every one of you. We look forward to serving you for another eventful year, as 2013 dawns in a couple of hours.

Source: escflashmalta.com, Kris Micallef (image)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-iYfY-q2_8o

Last modified on Monday, 31 December 2012 04:15