September 23, 2019

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Tonight, the biggest music festival in the country will take place - with the aim of choosing Malta's 31st entry to the Eurovision Song Contest. Over the course of the last quarter of 2017, the one hundred and twenty nine songs submitted for the competition were whittled down to just sixteen - which will all be performed live tonight from the Malta Fairs and Convention Centre in Ta' Qali.

The show will begin at 21:00 and will be broadcast live on TVM / TVM HD. The compère of this year's show will be Colin Fitz. Opening this year's show will be last year's winner, Claudia Faniello - who will reprise her winning song from last year, "Breathlessly". The sixteen acts taking part in this year's festival will take to the stage in the following order as seen below; in addition, they will be seen in postcards before their performances at various local heritage sites across the island.

1. AIDAN - "Dai Laga" (Aidan Cassar)
2. Miriana Conte - "Rocket" (Cyprian Cassar, Muxu)
3. Jasmine Abela - "Supernovas" (Charlie Mason, Jonas Thander)
4. Matthew Anthony - "Call 2morrow" (Jonas Gladnikoff, Tom Wiklund, Peder Eriksson)
5. Danica Muscat - "One Step at a Time" (John Ballard, Ruth Mussie, Jerusalem Yemane, Irena Krstva, Kian Fakhary)
6. Dwett - "Breaking Point" (Elton Zarb, Muxu)
7. Lawrence Gray - "Love Renegade" (Cyprian Cassar, Muxu)
8. Richard & Joe Micallef - "Song for Dad" (Cyprian Cassar, Richard Micallef)
9. Tiziana Calleja - "First Time" (Tina Stenberg)
10. Eleanor Cassar - "Back to Life" (Jonas Gladnikoff, Michael James Down)
11. Rhiannon - "Beyond Blue Horizons" (Rhiannon Micallef, Cyprian Cassar)
12. Brooke - "Heart of Gold" (Borislav Milanov, Dag Lundberg, Niklas Lif, Brooke Borg)
13. Christabelle - "Taboo" (Johnny Sanchez, Thomas G:son, Christabelle Borg, Muxu)
14. Deborah C - "Turn It Up" (Christian Schneider, Aidan O'Connor, Sara Biglert, Erik Grönwall)
15. Avenue Sky - "We Can Run" (Jonas Gladnikoff, Matthew Ker, Glen Vella)
16. Petra - "Evolution" (Elton Zarb, Muxu)

Alongside the main attration of the festival, there will be a number of interval acts. Claudia Faniello will take to the stage during the voting with her band, whilst last year's Maltese entrant at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest, Gianluca Cilia, will reprise his song "Dawra Tond", followed by a brand new song in a similar style - "Wam Bam". Performances by Analise Dance Company will also feature in the show throughout.
The result of this year's contest will be determined by a jury and a televote, each having a 50% share in the result. The jury - whose names will be announced during the show, compromises of five members. The public will be able to vote by calling 5230 21XX (the last two numbers being the singers' number in the running order). Only one vote per phone will be accepted.

In addition to the main show on TV, Public Broadcasting Services will also offer a backstage glimse to the proceedings online - TVM's presenters will be live giving the immediate reactions of the participants backstage, whilst other cameras will offer views of what is happening behind the scenes. The "second screen" footage can be accessed at https://www.tvm.com.mt/mt/secondscreen/.

ESCFlashmalta would like to wish all of the performers tonight the best of luck.

Source: tvm.com.mt

Saturday, 03 February 2018 00:15

MESC 2018: Speaking with Lawrence Gray

Eurovision fever is slowly gripping Malta - the nation's national selection for the world's most watched music contest is coming to it's climax this weekend. Of the one hundred and twenty-nine entries submitted for contention in this year's local festival, just sixteen made it to the televised selection. We had the chance to catch up with some of the competitors of this year's show during their preperations. Next up is Lawrence Gray, an artist who has been taking part in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest since 1997, with the song "Love Renegade".

Hi Lawrence, thanks for taking the time out for this interview! How does it feel to be part of the sixteen finalists for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest?

First and foremost, I am honoured to be part of this journey with my fifteen other colleagues – I’m really looking forward for the day to finally arrive.

Tell us more about your song, "Love Renegade”. What is it about? In your opinion, what makes your song an ideal candidate for Eurovision?

This time things are different – the song is very personal to me. It’s in a different style of music to what I usually perform. This is a big challenge to me that I am embracing with open arms in every sense. At the same time, I am taking things very personally as my beloved country Malta is involved, with my great team behind me, I feel like I can make a difference and help Malta to be victorious.

Your song takes a very different direction to the music we’ve heard from you in the past. What inspired you to make this change?

As I said, it’s a different style to what I usually perform. But that being said, a true artist has to reinvent himself over the years in order to keep going strong. Never give up!

How are your preparations going so far? Are there any surprises that you can tell us about?

Preparations are going very well – there are good vibes all around and myself and everyone else in my team are very focused on what you are going to see on Saturday. “Less is more”!

 

Are you following the Eurovision Song Contest in general? If so, are there any stand-out entries for you from the past?

Love it or hate it, the Eurovision Song Contest is a show that is very hard not to follow. The popularity in the show is growing more and more each year. For me, the most stand out entry of all time would be from Mr. Eurovision himself – Johnny Logan’s “Hold me now”. I still love that song to bits.

Do you have a personal goal for the competition?

This experience as a whole is very personal and important for me. I am not here for the experience or to be more notorious than I may be in any other platform, but my goal is of course to make Malta victorious. It’s time for our country to shine, for our name to be up in the lights – I feel that we deserve it and that is what I am working for.

What styles of music are you usually listening to these days? Is there anything you look for in a song that makes you enjoy it?

Being a songwriter myself, I like to listen to all sorts of music – but deep inside I am a glam rock lover. In a song I like to look for all of the emotions that a human can undergo in his life – be it true life, true experience, true stories. Only the magic of great music, and great lyrics which make perfect sense can make you feel that. Music is alive – it’s got to breathe, it’s got to live – I only listen to those artists that sing with their heart and soul.

When you’re not singing – what can you usually be found doing?

When you’re working in the entertainment business – a day off is something that is unfortunately very rare… sometimes it’s like your voice is the thing possessing you, and you have to go wherever it takes you! Nevertheless, I am the proud father of my son (Liam), and I am definitely trying my best to spend as much time as I can with him. I believe that our children will not remember how many toys their parents gave them, but the amount of quality time they have with them.

What can we expect from you once the MESC-madness is over?

Whatever happens at the end of this experience, whether I am the lucky one or not, I’m sure that my career will not stop there. I will still be going strong in the entertainment business and I will be ready to accept whatever comes my way. I’ll surely never give up to see Malta victorious one day!

Thanks for your time Lawrence, and best of luck at this year’s Malta Eurovision Song Contest!

Much love, and God bless!

After 129 entries were submitted and two elimination phases, the finalists for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest has been announced. The reveal was shown this evening during the evening news on TVM - where the shortlisted artists were seen at the Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta, learning their fate as the competition progresses to the next stage.

Since the first eliminatory phase which was announced on September 15th, the thirty shortlisted entries were filmed while performing their entries live. This footage was then reviewed by a number of local and international expert juries in order to establish sixteen finalists. These finalists will take to the stage at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest in a live show at the beginning of next year. 

Aidan - Dai Laga (Aidan Cassar)

Avenue Sky - We Can Run (Jonas Gladnikoff, Matthew Ker, Glen Vella)

Brooke Borg - Heart of Gold (Christian Schneider, Aidan O’Connor, Sara Biglert, Brooke Borg)

Christabelle Borg - Taboo (Thomas G:son, Christabelle Borg, Muxu)

Danica Muscat - One Step At A Time (John Ballard, Ruth Mussie, Jerusalem Yemane, Irena Krstva, Kian Fakhar)

Deborah C - Turn It Up (Christian Schneider, Aidan O’Connor, Sara Biglert)

Dwett - Breaking Point (Elton Zarb, Muxu)

Eleanor Cassar - Back To Life (Jonas Gladnikoff, Michael James Down)

Jasmine Abela - Supernovas (Charlie Mason, Jonas Thander)

Lawrence Gray - Love Renegade (Cyprian Cassar, Muxu)

Matthew Anthony - Call 2morrow (Jonas Gladnikoff, Tom Wiklund, Peder Eriksson)

Miriana Conte - Rocket (Cyprian Cassar, Muxu)

Petra Whiteford - Evolution (Elton Zarb, Muxu)

Rhiannon Micallef - Beyond Blue Horizons (Cyprian Cassar, Rhiannon Micallef)

Richard & Joe Micallef - Song For Dad (Cyprian Cassar, Richard Micallef)

Tiziana Calleja - First Time (Tina Stenberg)

From the list of sixteen finalists, twelve of them have reached the finals of the Malta Eurovision selection in the past - five of them featuring in last year's final. Around half of the songs have been produced locally - whilst the others are by international teams based in the United Kingdom and Sweden - some of them also being behind songs of finalists and winners in the Eurovision Song Contest previously. Richard Micallef, who will perform his entry with his father, was of course part of the group "Firelight", who reached the final for Malta back in 2014.

The newcomers to the festival are 18 year old Matthew Anthony, Aidan, Avenue Sky (which Aidan is also a member of) and Dwett - consisting of Mikhail & Cherylis. Last year, Mikhail was seen auditioning in Romania with his song "Sail Back" for their national selection process. 

More details about the 2018 Malta Eurovision Song Contest are expected to be announced by Public Broadcasting Services in due course. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: tvm.com.mt

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OXn-Ettr7yk

Friday, 29 September 2017 19:35

MESC 2018: Shortlist of 30 Entries Made Public

Public Broadcasting Services Malta (PBS) have announced a shortlist which made it through the first eliminatory phase of the 2018 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, the island's well followed selection process for the Eurovision Song Contest. The news was revealed online at tvm.com.mt after the TVM evening news on Friday, September 15.

A total of 129 entries were submitted to PBS, twenty-seven less than the year before. From these, the broadcaster has shortlisted thirty, which will be further shortened to sixteen within the next month. The list of names announced features a feast of seasoned professionals on the Malta Eurovision scene, along with a number of new names. No details of songwriters have been announced, but it is expected that songs are by a mix of local and international composers. 

Abire Sekkaki - Casablanca Love

Aidan - Dai Laga

Aidan - See You

Avenue Sky - We Can Run

Brooke Borg - Heart of Gold

Christabelle Borg - Taboo

Dan - If Only

Danica Muscat - One Step At A Time

Deborah C - Turn It Up

Deborah C & Josef Tabone - Human

Dominic Cini - Pictures

Eleanor Cassar - Back To Life

Ishmael Grech - Good Times

Jasmine Abela - Supernovas

Kelsey Bellante - Super Woman

Kevin Paul Calleja - Great Adventure

Kimberley Curtis - Monsters

Kurt Anthony Cassar - You Will Find Me

Lawrence Gray - Love Renegade

Malcolm Pisani - Kiss

Matthew Caruana - Call 2morrow

Mikhail Attard & Cherylis Camileri - Breaking Point

Miriana Conte - Rocket

Nicole Azzopardi - Mixed Feelings

Petra Whiteford - Evolution

Raquel Galdes - In My Mind

Rhiannon Micallef - Beyond Blue Horizons

Richard & Joe Micallef - Song For Dad

Stefan Galea - Closer

Tiziana Calleja - First Time

International fans will surely recognise the names of Richard Micallef and Nicole Azzopardi - the former representing Malta in 2014 as part of "Firelight", and the latter taking part for Malta in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest back in 2010. Other notable mentions can be made to Eleanor Cassar - returning after a number of years away from the local festival scene, in addition to Christabelle Borg - re-entering the festival after working on her first EP with international producers. 

It has been said that during these past couple of days, singers have been invited to a live audition phase in order to hear how their songs sounded when interpreted live. During this elimination phase, a number of local and international expert juries will be involved to choose the top sixteen finalists which will then compete during the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2018. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: TVM, PBS

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=POwL37CIZTg

Following the semi-final stage of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2016, where 19 artists and 20 entries were presented, 14 entries made the final cut, all of which will be presented in a brand new running order later on this evening, during the grand final, hosted by Ben Camille.

The entries were chosen by a five-member professional jury comprising of; Nick Clark-Lowes, Vyara Ankova, Sabrija Vulic, Luke Fisher, and Quinton Scerri, with the public vote acting as another juror. Below, you may find the running order of this evenings' proceedings. Preceding the show, on Television Malta (TVM), all the acts will be welcomed on the Red Carpet with hosts Daniel Chircop and Rodney Gauci. 

01. "All Around the World" - Deborah C (M Ker - J Gladnikoff - Michael J Down - P Poglajen - Angie Laus)

02. "Little Love" - Franklin (Cyprian Cassar / Matt 'Muxu' Mercieca)

03. "Under the Sun" - Daniel Testa (Elton Zarb - Daniel Testa / Matt 'Muxu' Mercieca)

04. "Golden" - Brooke (Christian Schneider - Aidan O'Connor - Sara Biglert - Brooke Borg)

05. "Flashing Lights" - Raquel (Elton Zarb / Matt 'Muxu' Mercieca)

06. "Kingdom" - Christabelle (Elton Zarb / Matt 'Muxu' Mercieca)

07. "Falling Glass" - Corazon (Sara Ljunggren - Jonas Gladnikoff - Gorgi)

08. "Fire Burn" - Dominic (Natasha Turner - Jonas Gladnikoff - Will Taylor)

09. "The Flame" - Jessika (Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg)

10. "Alive" - Jasmine Abela (Paul Abela - Michael James Down - Marie Petersson - Filip Lindfors)

11. "You're Beautiful" - Lawrence Gray (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

12. "Young Love" - Maxine Pace (Elton Zarb / Matt 'Muxu' Mercieca)

13. "Chameleon" - Ira Losco (Ira Losco / Talkback)

14. "Lighthouse" - Kim (Cyprian Cassar / Matt 'Muxu' Mercieca)

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. On behalf of the whole editorial team, we would like to wish all the acts the very best of luck, and may the best entry triumph and represent Malta well.

Source: PBS / TVM

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n4FMB_iVoe4

Wednesday, 13 January 2016 19:32

MESC 2016: Semi-Final Running Order Published

The Public Broadcasting Services has just released the running order of the semi-final of the 2016 Malta Eurovision Song Contest, which is taking place on the 22nd January at the Mediterranean Conference Centre in Valletta.

Hosted by Ben Camille, the show will feature 20 original entries, sung by 19 participants, all vying to represent the Mediterranean country of Malta in the next edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, taking place in Stockholm, Sweden.

01. "Chameleon" - Ira Losco (Ira Losco / Talkback)

02. "Falling Glass" - Corazon (Sara Ljunggren - Jonas Gladnikoff - Gorgi)

03. "Light Up My Life" - Stefan Galea (Ylva Persson / Linda Persson)

04. "Empty Hearted" - Domenique (Linda Persson - Ylva Persson - Dimitri Stassos)

05. "I Love You" - Dario (Henric Pierroff / Sandra Nordstrom)

06. "Under the Sun" - Daniel Testa (Elton Zarb - Daniel Testa / Matt 'Muxu' Mercieca)

07. "The Flame" - Jessika (Philip Vella / Gerard James Borg)

08. "Alive" - Jasmine Abela (Paul Abela - Michael James Down - Marie Petersson - Filip Lindfors)

09. "Flashing Lights" - Raquel (Elton Zarb / Matt 'Muxu' Mercieca)

10. "Golden" - Brooke (Christian Schneider - Aidan O'Connor - Sara Biglert - Brooke Borg)

11. "Lighthouse" - Kim (Cyprian Cassar / Matt 'Muxu' Mercieca)

12. "Right Here With You" - Sarah Crystal (Toby Farrugia - Pamela Bezzina / Sarah Crystal)

13. "Frontline" - Danica (Philip Vella / Emil Calleja Bayliss)

14. "Kingdom" - Christabelle (Elton Zarb / Matt 'Muxu' Mercieca)

15. "Little Love" - Franklin (Cyprian Cassar / Matt 'Muxu' Mercieca)

16. "Fire Burn" - Dominic (Natasha Turner - Jonas Gladnikoff - Will Taylor)

17. "That's Why I Love You" - Ira Losco (Ira Losco - Howard Keith - Stefan Moessle - Matthias Strasser)

18. "You're Beautiful" - Lawrence Gray (Paul Giordimaina / Fleur Balzan)

19. "Young Love" - Maxine Pace (Elton Zarb / Matt 'Muxu' Mercieca)

20. "All Around the World" - Deborah C (M Ker - J Gladnikoff - Michael J Down - P Poglajen - Angie Laus)

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=SaJxu3vorLc

Saturday, 12 December 2015 02:55

MESC 2016: Revelation of the 20 Semi-Finalists

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

Stunning! One word, commonly used as a phrase to describe perfection. Somewhat rare that I use such language, for those who have come to know me, believe that I am difficult to please.

Last night at Rockestra, an annual event held under the auspices of the Office of the President of Malta in support of the Malta Community Chest Fund, I used this word a mere 3 times; for the collective Malta Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Maestro Sigmund Mifsud, and then for the powerhouse female vocals of Julie Zahra and Raquela.

Raquela, a stand-out artist, whose talent has been showcased time-and-time again on the national stage, having been in the finals of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest in 2009, 2011 and 2013 as well as Teatru Unplugged 2013, was the highlight of Rockestra in 2014, performing a duet of "Say Something" with Konrad Pule, originally by A Great Big World and Christina Aguilera. This year she took on, "A Thousand Years", originally by Christina Perri. Tried by several other local acts before her, all of whom were sub-standard, Raquela was in her element and zone, getting a rapturous applause mid-way through the performance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MI95hTcn8dg

Julie Zahra, one-half of Malta's representative duo at the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2004, recently back to Malta following a lengthy stay in the United Kingdom was absolutely flawless in both her numbers, starting out with a jaw-dropping performance of Queen's "Who Wants to Live Forever", where she swayed left to right in a beautiful white gown, before giving an impeccable performance of "The Phantom of the Opera" in a duet with Frank Cardassia.

The two ladies were truly in a league of their own, and gave performances which bring talented foreign acts to shame and ridicule. The evening, a positive celebration of talent, featured several well known artists, all of whom gave their absolute best. Notable mentions include Raquel Galdes, Ludwig Galea, Justin GaleaChris Grech, Brooke Borg, Lawrence Gray, and Victorio Gauci of The Crowns. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the local music scene.

Source: escflashmalta.com

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

Published in Editorials

'The Celebrity Night' is a weekly television programme which has become somewhat synonymous with Saturday evening, is broadcast on F Living Channel. The series which officially kicked off at the beginning of October revolves around the one-to-one interviews, which speak of class, decadence and wit, and have become synonymous with Deo Grech's presenting style. Since the Eurovision Song Contest is now just a month away, the programme has taken a different twist, as entries competing in this year's musical extravaganza in Vienna, Austria are being reviewed by some of the most recognisable faces in the local music industry.

Tonight! Georgina, a female artist, and veteran, who was the first to represent Malta in English at the Eurovision Song Contest, while performing "Could It Be" in a duet with Paul Giordimaina, will be joined by Lawrence Gray, the male singer/songwriter who loves the international music competition and came twice close to representing Malta, finishing in second place in 1999, and 2003. They will be joined by 'Eurovision Time' hosts; Roderick Azzopardi Custo and Andrew Zahra, whose show will be kicking off in a couple of days time, in anticipation for the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest set to take place in Vienna, Austria. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news about the local music scene.

Source: F Living

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsLoGrlt0kg

Published in Local Music News

Lawrence Gray, an accomplished male singer/songwriter, a three time runner-up in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, and also recent finalist with "The One That You Love", co-written with Elton Zarb recently gave an interview to Deo Grech on "The Celebrity Night" which airs on Saturday nights on F Living.

In light of his most recent participation, Lawrence felt 'disappointed' for the simple reason that the 'public reaction was extremely positive' and as a result did not expect to finish as lowly as 8th place. He went onto add, that without the support of Maronia, his wife, he would have long given up on the music scene, 'opting out of it', and vying for other strongholds in life. We do agree, as that position was definitely unwarranted, as were many others during the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2015.

Lawrence Gray, is a versatile male singer/songwriter who has twice been denied the right to represent Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest, in 1999 with "The Right Time" written by Philip Vella and Paul Abela and in 2003 with "Why Not?" written by Ray Agius. We urge you to stay tuned to escflashmalta.com even through Facebook and Twitter for all the latest news from the local music scene, and do not forget to view the New Year's Special of 'The Celebrity Night' which is airing tomorrow night.

Source: The Celebrity NightDaniel M Photography

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_aH4GVBwCX4

Published in Local Music News
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