August 24, 2019

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Philippa & Bettina Cassar, Kurt Vella, Sean Borg, Pete Farrugia and Ryan Paul Abela are collectively known as The New Victorians, a new age project managed by Howard Keith of Jagged House Studios, the same individual responsible for acts such as Airport Impressions, Tribali, The Rifffs and Ira Losco. In releasing their first original single, The New Victorians have gone for a quirky sound, an equally intriguing music video and lyrics which at first might not make sense, but the whole package is one which brings up a sense of professionalism, awaiting for comes next.

"Dustpile" was officially launched during the Farsons Great Beer Festival where The New Victorians were the supporting act of international singing sensation Lauren Aquilina, who has recently signed with a major record label in the United Kingdom, following the success of her three extended-plays. Howard Keith has gone on to state on several occassions that The New Victorians are a professional bunch to work with and people will enjoy listening to the sound they create once the debut album is released. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: The New Victorians (Facebook)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xD9dphLV21E

Published in Local Music News

Since her return to the local music scene, Ira Losco has been nothing short of excellent, performing to sold out crowds and organising quite a handful or media related activities with meet and greets, interviews and also special appearances. As summer strikes midpoint, the female singer/songwriter, currently touted as a possible participant in the 2015 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest has just released a music video, one in support of her latest single "Shouldn't Have to Bother".

Produced by The Bigger Picture and directed by David Serge, the music video is extremely seasonal with no real premise or story, except that one should enjoy life without a care or worry in the world. In less than 24 hours, it has already amassed more than 7,000 views on viral website, YouTube showing the level of support that the female singer/songwriter commands in Malta. 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: Ira Losco (FacebookTwitterYouTube)Allen Venables (Photography)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KaqAmhKqDw

Published in Local Music News

It was just a couple of days ago that newsbook.com published an article pertaining to the possibility of a duet between Ira Losco and Gianluca, one which would then be submit to the 2015 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest which will be taking place at the Marsa Shipbuilding on the 21st and the 22nd November 2014.

In an interview with Paul and Trudy on "The Thursday Night Project", Ira Losco categorically denied a possible duet, stating that whilst there is a lot of chemistry when performing with Gianluca, this was not something on the table. Very close sources to escflashmalta.com have confirmed that Ira is extremely tempted to submit an entry for the 2015 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, as a soloist.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3YL6FUsh-lI

This would not come as a surprise to many, considering that in recent years, most of the songs that were sent to the international competition ended up entering the charts in several countries. Both "Coming Home" and "Tomorrow" were commercial successes in the international market and that could very much tempt Ira to return to the event which had once brought her a second place finish and a name of repute in Malta.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-o9sgAHsTN4

The female singer/songwriter does not have anything else to prove in the small Mediterranean country with her most recent studio album "The Fire" maintaining a number #1 position on iTunes for more than two months. 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 Malta's participation in the Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: ONE Television

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQdofwG7KO4

Published in Local Music News

Rumours are spreading like a wild fire that Ira Losco and Gianluca Bezzina would be submitting an entry into the next edition of the Malta Eurovision. Both singers were contacted by newsbook.com.mt about these rumours but they did not answer the big question but one would say that both their answers will give way for even more speculation. Ira Losco answered that she always thought that as long as she has a song she believes in and reflects her as an artist, she would not refuse to take part but whether this will happen is another story. On the other hand, Gianluca refused to comment for the time being.

It is important to note, that rumours have been circulating after they both hosted the Malta Eurovision successfully earlier this year and there they presented a number of duets that left the audience in awe. A number of Maltese enthusiasts and also foreign enthusiasts could not help but suggest that the duo should join forces and try representing Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest. The idea in itself is genial both artists are popular in Malta and they are also well know with the Eurovision crowd with Ira Losco securing second place in 2002 and Gianluca securing eighth place in 2013. 

What fuelled the rumours even more was the change in the regulations which stated that the only artist who cannot represent Malta in next year’s contest is the band Firelight, all the others can try their luck once more. This regulation has been amended as up until last year it stated that the artists who represented Malta in the last five years cannot represent the country. So, with this change, the dream of many can actually be realized but one may say that if this happens, the dream of all the other artists who can actually represent the country will be put on hold for at least another year as no one sees the duo missing out.

With all this said, one would ask one simple question. If both artists are interested why is PBS holding a selection? Well this is a song competition and no matter who sings it, the best song should win. If this principal is applied than there would be no problems in terms of the popularity of the artists, especially baring in mind that the public say is rather limited and in any case of ties, they will be resolved by the jurors’ votes. So even, if Gianluca and Ira Losco go in for the competition they need to present a strong entry and compete with all the others artists who have the same exact goal. Their popularity would help them sweep the public vote, but as we saw in 2014, it was not enough for Jessika’s entry ‘Hypnotica’ or Kevin Borg’s entry “Needing You” the year before.

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

Yet, the regulations also state that the winning song can actually change and the winning team can be asked to write a different song. This might question the validity of the contest as a number of people commented whether this will be a song festival or a singer’s festival but one must note that since they are all competing with original song, the best song should triumph at the end. PBS put that clause to make sure that the country is represented in the best way possible abroad and hopefully we will slowly work towards achieving a win at this prestigious event which is followed by millions around the world! 

In Malta, this is the biggest platform for all local artists and stopping the selection would mean you are not giving a chance for new talent to brew and showcase itself. On the other hand, all the artists and teams behind the respective songs pay a lot of money to even submit a song, and continue spending more money if they reach the finals so one expects everyone to have the same chance to win the contest. So it is very important to remember that this is not a popularity contest but a SONG contest. The public response and feedback for all the artists is more than enough to be part of the showcase but ultimately winning would surely be rewarding.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqAnvUIM7t8

The applications for the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest will close on the 29th of August and the competition will take place in November, two months earlier to what the Maltese crowd is used to. In fact this was a bit of a shock for all the people interested in participating because this meant they needed to start working and finding studios which are available surely proved to be a nightmare for all those interested as no one had foreseen such an eventuality. 

The editorial team of escflashmalta.com would like to wish the best of luck to all the artists, composers and authors interested in submitting a song. May the best product triumph and represent Malta successfully at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest updates.

Source: NewsBook

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N2d4dCYLNUQ

Published in Editorials

Welcome to a new initiative by escflashmalta.com. Given that a lot of our readers are not Maltese, on a monthly basis, we will be reviewing two songs in Maltese so as to encourage more and more of our foreign readers to listen to them and still understand the meaning behind them. We believe that language should not act as a barrier when it comes to music, hence, our reviews in English for songs in Maltese ought to facilitate one’s encounter with such songs. The choice of such songs is purely personal and any opinions expressed do not necessarily resonate with those of the editorial team. Also, do not bother to suggest any songs you deem fit to be dealt with in future posts.

Tema  ̓79: Composer Mro Paul Abela, Writer, Ray Mahoney 

Its first debut was in the 70s, in the rock opera Ġensna (literal translation: Our Nation), first held at Ħaġar Qim, one of the megalithic temples still standing in Malta. The number, 79 refers to the historic date of 1979, when the British military base left Maltese shores and following whole centuries of colonisation Malta finally conquered freedom.

The children, dressed in white and red represent a symbol of a resurging Malta, the old lady crippled by centuries of foreign rule now experiencing rejuvenation under a local ruling. Previous rulers are seen nodding at the audience, following one another in sequential order, hinting that the musical is reaching an end now that Malta is free. The song may be interpreted as a medley for it is delivered by all main singers, including Renato, Chaterine Vigar, Mary Rose Mallia,  Paul Giordimania, Bayzo and John Cutajar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xa6Ur_z3rE0

The introductory lyrics give way to a whole series of vocabulary that derives from the natural world. The Rose (il-warda) is seen sprouting from the bramble (għollieq) and thirsty dry thorns (xewk għatxan), symbolising the revival of Malta, represented by the flower. Even the clouds (is-sħab)  seem saddened by the bitter fate of Malta, an evident use of the technique known as pathetic fallacy, whereby the weather conditions are influenced by the mood of the protagonists, in this case a whole nation. 

Minn bejn l-għollieq musfara

minn bejn ix-xewk għatxan

il-warda l-għajn li tara

lewn ħamran fl-għelieqi u l-qigħan.

Minn bejn is-sħab imnikket

Minn bejn iċ-ċparijiet

The birds (għasfur, singular) are now singing with joy and their song (il-għanja) will be everlasting, now that their country is free. Moreover, the wings (il-ġwienaħ) of the free (meħlusa) Maltese are now seen reaching the skies, heading towards the sun (ix-xemx), which could also be understood as a reference to all Maltese who died as martyrs, who can rest for real now that Malta is free. The Maltese flag (il-bajda u ħamra) is implied by the mention of the its two colours, the white (abjad) and the red (aħmar) respectively, and just like the cheerful bird song, it never ends (ma tintemmx), indicating a persistent nation that keeps on fighting till the end., whatever the hurdles along the way. 

Il-għanja qatt ma jsikket mis-smewwiet

l-għasfur sajjied

[...]

u l-ġwienaħ tal-meħlusa

jittajru lejn ix-xemx

[...]

Il-bajda u ħamra nbusha

bħalha m’hemmx li ma tintemmx

Such a patrotihic theme can never feel complete without a reference to God (Alla), which follows at the very end of the song, in a prayer-like manner, implied by the address from all Maltese encouraging Him to have a look upon (ħares fuqna) a nation that is finally free (qed jgħix mill-ġdid).  

O Alla ħares fuqna

dal-ġens qed jgħix mill-ġdid

The song is extremely synonymous with Mary Spiteri (Malta Eurovision singer in 1992 with Little Child) due to an immaculate cover version of the song. In fact she also delivered Tema  ̓79 during Ġensna in Concert in 2009 (http://youtu.be/-S0vdSBfGPg).  However, very recently, in 2014, Ira Losco has also given a flawless cover version of the song during the second concert version organised by Fondazzjoni Ċelebrazzjoni Nazzjonali (FĊN).

Source: escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R6QDCSjdDQ0

Published in Editorials

Karen DeBattista, winner of the 2014 edition of L-Għanja tal-Poplu with "Jien Ma Naħdimx", composed by Mark Scicluna to the lyrics of Rita Pace first emerged onto the scene by making the finals of the Summer Hit Song Contest back in 2011, an experience which she holds close to heart. She has well and truly won several fans since then with her Official Facebook Page obtaining more than 600 followers in about 4 months.

In a concert organised by the Band Club of Balzan in recognition of the feast "Annunciation of Our Lady", Karen DeBattista was invited to perform two songs; "Fejn Staħbejtli" composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas to the lyrics of Paul Ellul as well as the "Ave Maria" which brought an end to the proceedings. The former is a song which has barely been touched upon since Ira Losco triumphed in the 2001 edition of the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza but nevertheless, this mysterious gem was polished with a LIVE band under the direction of Maestro Ray Cremona. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: YouTube

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bLtjKeP0djE

Published in Local Music News

"The World is Ours", Coca-Cola's World Cup song for this year's edition, has just been localised with a version sung by David Correy and featuring singer/songwriter Ira Losco. It is important to note that this is the very first time that any Maltese artist has been incorporated with one of the official tracks accompanying the biggest event in Football.

Hot off the success of "The Fire", her sixth studio album and first in about three years, Ira has been catapulted to the top of the local music industry, having had the opportunity to co-host the 2014 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with Gianluca and Moira Delia, apart from headlining major events around the country. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: Ira Losco on Facebook

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unsf-dCk4Ng

Published in Local Music News

Ira Losco is back and she is back to stay – she took a substantial break from releasing anything new but around a year and a half ago she returned to the scene with the hit single ‘What I’d Give’ which released tones of airplay and occupied the top spot in the Bay Charts for a very long time – the rest was history. After lots of determination and hard work, Ira Losco set her sights on rewarding the public with their support through a concert something which she had not done in a long while; the public had plenty of opportunities to catch the star at of the gigs she gave in the past months but your own concert is always special.

The concert sold out in four days, quite impressive although admittedly Ira Losco is riding a wave of success and this was undoubtedly no big surprise. The venue chosen for the concert was ‘Pjazza Teatru Rjal’ which has been hosting some of the best concert on the island – the history of the place, along with the set up give the venue an intimate feel which electrifies the positive vibe. Ira Losco along with Jagged House Management used this to their full advantage and created which was undoubtedly one of the best concerts of the year. The playlist was well thought out and the artists chosen to join our local star could not have been better. 

Some might think I am patronizing but from the get go the venue was buzzing with positive energy and the audience surely felt the vibe as they were mesmerized by the whole thing. The set up was truly idyllic – with a perfect combination of lights and projections that changed according to the mood and theme of the song. This was surely something which aided and enhanced the whole spectacle. Ira’s set list was mixed with the right combination of popular songs from her repertoire, a few covers and some duets with her guest stars which included Sanremo runner-up Irene Fargo, up and coming local starlet Alex Alden, well renowned Maltese beat boxer Dana McKean and the popular Ivan Grech and Gianluca Bezzina. 

It is not an easy feat to hand pick a few stand out moments from the concert as each song proved to be special on its own merits but there were some songs that they surely a bit more magical then the others. For starters, the duet Ira Losco sang with Dana McKean was breathtaking – I could only watch and listen carefully in awe at how talented Dana is. I have watched her before but I had never watch her perform live and when she hit the stage with Ira Losco it left me yearning for more but that was just the beginning as more surprises were in store for the crowd who were all listening attentively.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=99ehXl7z_D0

The crowd did get over excited when it was Gianluca’s turn to hit the stage – the guy oozes charisma and his sympathetic smile makes you fall in love with him instantly. He has reached new heights after his Eurovision success and when he duets with Ira, you can almost feel the sparks in the air. They are special and insanely talented in their own merit but when they came together to do ‘Let Her Go’ and ‘Say Something’ the venue was in complete utter silence – listening attentively to each and every word! At the end of their performances, some parts of the crowd even rewarded them with a standing ovation but the others I guess were still in awe stuck to their seats, that is the only viable explanation I can think of for not standing up to salute these two great artists. 

Ivan Grech joined Ira to sing her hit song ‘Waking up to the Light’ and then she reciprocated with singing along one of Winter Moods’ hits but the special moment came when Ivan joined Ira and Gianluca on stage to perform the Maltese hit ‘Xemx’ – a song where the audience sang their heart out along with the main stars. Another highlight was when Ira sung the Italian classic ‘Almeno tu nell’universo’ with Sanremo star Irene Fargo – Ira’s and Irene’s vocals were a perfect match on this number in particular and unquestionably it went down well with those present. Italian is a language enjoyed by many locals and Ira’s raspy touch when singing in Italian works wonders. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkPJW488IB4

Apart from the duets, Ira Losco’s solo performances were equally strong and entertaining and the crowd got going from the get go. The only negative thing about this amazing concert was that since everyone was seated one could not loosen up and enjoy the great vibes Ira was passing. Everyone was tapping away, yearning to stand up at the edge of their seats. Something the audience did on Ira’s last number of the night – when she sang her hit single ‘What I’d Give’. Thankfully the roof was brought down a number of years ago because with so many strong and breathtaking performances, Ira would have brought the roof down over and over again during this astounding concert. 

I start finishing off by saying it was not an easy audience to please but Ira knows that whenever she performs, the expectations are high as she continues to raise the bar higher every time she performs but she did prove that she is undeniably one the very best artists ever to come out of this island.  Those who missed the concert should be on the lookout for Ira’s upcoming gigs and maybe a second run of this concert – rumour has it they might hold it again in September. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news on the local music scene and beyond. Surely this should be your one stop site to keep yourself updated with all the latest activities.

Source: Ira Losco (Facebook), CNG Photography

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CnUGnto9y-4

Published in Editorials
Saturday, 31 May 2014 18:16

ESC 2015: Match Made in Heaven for Malta

If Malta does truly want to succeed at the Eurovision Song Contest, I am going to make a suggestion, one which people seem to agree on. A duet featuring both Gianluca and Ira Losco. In reality, both are former representatives, both are talented and have versatility beyond compare. Whether performing on a national scale or during an intimate concert, the male and female combination have always drawn the crowds, getting applause beyond compare and even standing ovations.

The rumour around the music scene seems to be that the Public Broadcasting Services is re-thinking their strategy in support of the Eurovision Song Contest, and possibly opting for an internal choice of artists for 2015. I could imagine the duet between Gianluca and Ira having the same feel that the Dutch brought to the stage during their entry in 2014 'Calm After the Storm' which finished as the first runner-up, the first top three result for The Netherlands since their victory in 1975. Performing 'Let Her Go' by Passenger, 'Say Something' by A Great Big World featuring Christina Aguilera and 'Xemx' by The Tramps, they oozed charm, confidence and talent.

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

I say to the Public Broadcasting Services, if you are choosing the artists internally, this is the most likely combination that both the people and the rest of the industry would agree on. Fair reminder that Ira honoured Malta back in 2002 with the track '7th Wonder' finishing in second place whilst Gianluca represented Malta in 2013 with the infectious 'Tomorrow' managing eighth place. Whilst a victory would not be assured, the fact that Ira would be forming a duet, would ease expectations ever so slightly. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even on Facebook & Twitter for more of such editorials.

Source: escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqAnvUIM7t8

Published in Editorials

In the past couple of months, Ira Losco has been nothing short of unstoppable, having released a brand new studio album entitled 'The Fire' which peaked at number #1 for several weeks on iTunes as well as co-hosting the Malta Eurovision Song Contest alongside Gianluca Bezzina. Well, the tone has been set for her first concert of the year, that being on the 30th May. Ira Losco will be joined by a ten-piece band and several guests, performing some of her greatest hits under the name 'An Evening with Ira Losco and Friends'.

"I am excited about this concert, the best part about writing an album, is what follows...performing it. The beauty of being able to creatively direct my concert is that I see my body of work in a completely different light." said an enthusiastic Ira Losco.  Many will remember Ira Losco's sold out "Unplugged Concert” at the Hilton which was also captured in her DVD release. Numerous concerts, including those outside our shores, have confirmed Ira Losco’s strength within the realm of her Live performances and this event will promise nothing short of that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qQdofwG7KO4

Ira will not only be performing songs from 'The Fire' though with such an extensive repertoire at her disposal. In the meantime; Gianluca Bezzina, Ivan Grech of Winter Moods, Alex Alden, Dana McKeon and the internationally acclaimed Irene Fargo are amongst the guests confirmed for the show. The female singer/songwriter is ready to perform to the masses who will be present at this concert, aiming to promote upcoming local talent, succeeding abroad with the likes of Alex and Dana flying in specifically for this show from The Netherlands and the United Kingdom.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqAnvUIM7t8

“I wanted to have a mix of different guests where I can stretch my boundaries. Both Alex and Dana for example are 2 female artists whom I consider as hard working  artists. I’m also a fan of their work and I genuinely want to support what they do. Every performance with my guests is going to be special and a one-off experience.’ She added.  We hope that you purchased tickets to this event considering that Jagged House revealed that the show is sold out. In the meantime, we urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even on Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news.

Source: Press Release (Jagged House)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-o9sgAHsTN4

Published in Local Music News