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Wednesday, 30 January 2013 06:08

MESC 2013: Tonight on Radio International

In just a few days time, the 2013 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest will be taking place and it seems that preparations are well in place for another spectacular showcase by the looks of the staging. This weeks' edition of Radio International will be especially dedicated to the competition in itself due to the fact that the team will be on location and thus, will be giving the listeners a chance to listen to the tracks for the first time unless, they have already heard them through the official website of the broadcaster. As always, the show will be aired on FM 106.8 as well as Digital Cable 781 and Cable 88.1 Mhz in The Netherlands with a weblink through the official website of the show for international viewers. The pre-recorded show will unfortunately not include any phone-ins or music requests this week.

The running order of the songs which was established earlier this week won't be the order in which they will be played throughout the programme noting that they have been put in alphabetical order according to the song titles. The normal format of the show with interviews and usual features will be returning in the following week, so we urge you to hang tight. Malta will be competing in the second semi-final in Malmö, Sweden and many have commented on having being given a tough draw, so it is important that the jury and the public, vote for the song which they believe would give them the best result as per the voting countries in the semi-final. Indeed, Malta will be hosting it's national selection but nevertheless, news is coming in from other countries and through escXtra and escflashmalta, we will be keeping you posted with all of the latest.

Source: Press Release

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

Euphoria performed by Loreen at last years’ edition of the Eurovision Song Contest set a high standard for the competing entries of this years’ showcase especially having achieved success all over the continent including in major music markets such as Germany and the United Kingdom. Record Labels have somewhat started to endorse the competition in the past couple of years due to the fact that millions of viewers are watching an artist perform a track, which could make it a potential hit and as a matter of fact, it has to be noted that Alexander Rybak, Lena Meyer-Landrut and Loreen have all succeeded in their respective music careers. In Malta, the success of artists has somewhat been noted with Kurt Calleja who is working on a number of new tracks with foreign songwriters whilst being represented by a British manager. This years’ Malta Eurovision Song Contest is somewhat an intriguing affair and twenty-entries will be competing to represent the nation abroad. Promotion has been key and escflashmalta.com has taken each entry and presented it through a series of professional critiques. The penultimate entry is entitled When It’s Time and is performed by Claudia Faniello who also penned the lyrics to the music of Errol Sammut.

This will be the eighth entry that Claudia Faniello will be presenting for the Malta Eurovision Song Contest having come extremely close to first place in the past, most recently in 2012 when her entry Pure composed by Philip Vella and penned by Gerard James Borg won the jury but failed to garner the tele-voting portion. It is important to denote that other entries she presented which stood out were definitely Caravaggio composed by Ray Agius and penned by Godwin Sant, Sunrise written by Ray Agius and Movie In My Mind composed by Philip Vella and penned by Gerard James Borg in 2008 and 2010 respectively. Claudia has become somewhat of a veteran an extremely young age having won the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza back in 2006, just months after having come out of the reality television series Hotspot which aired on NET Television with a performance at the then Malta Song for Europe as an experience boost. Her debut album entitled Convincingly Better was well received by local and foreign critics and was distributed by Universal Music Germany under the sub-division known as CAP-Sounds. Claudia is also one of the few artists to have tried for the Giovani section of Sanremo, having entered the track Guardami which she co-wrote.

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

In recent months, Claudia started a professional and personal relationship with Errol Sammut, lead performer and songwriter of the group Airport Impressions whose debut album Minutes of a Lifetime has been extremely well received by critics and has won several awards, both at the Malta Music Awards and the Bay Music Awards respectively. This collaboration is bearing its first fruit with the track When It’s Time which was not intended for the competition due to the fact that it has a radio sound, which was somewhat unexpected. The renowned female performer states that this is the beginning of a new chapter for her musically and that she will be working with Errol on a series of tracks which she hopes to release as a sophomore album. The reception to the pop/rock/acoustic entry has been quite positive although people were set to compare it to last years’ glowing masterpiece which in the eyes of many is still a winner. The songwriters are Claudia and Errol Sammut as already mentioned and it is to be noted that the performer is not penning lyrics for the first time having written L-Imħabba Għamja in 2007 whilst working with both Janvil and Christian Arding on entries for the competition in 2009. Airport Impressions will be heading back into the recording studio to work on new material soon.

The Critics Speak Out

Rating: 56%

Sharon Vaughn: Too many moving parts in this song. She is a very emotional singer and the song needs to land so she can deliver the message without working so hard.

Martin Isherwood: Strong chorus but what it means I don't know. Lyrics don't really allow the listener to engage. Good voice and a good performance. Interesting snare sounds. Despite being musical, not a good Eurovision song.

Stano Simor: Big Rock singer of Malta with years of experience. All of this is being felt at the first tones. Performance of the singer is one level higher as the feeling of the power of the song. Very unusual "omission" with regards to the last guitar chord at the end of the song. Should it be under 3min :-)? Chorus is very catchy and recognizable which is important.

Roberto Meloni: Claudia is definitely a professional and high quality performer. I loved her ballad “Pure”, and I m not the only who thinks she should have represented Malta in 2012… Her “rocky raspy” voice fits this song very well, and she will do very well this year too.

Lina Eriksson: Both song and production feels a few years late to be honest. I do like her rock-voice but this song doesn’t really do her justice. It feels like we’ve heard this song oh so many times before.

Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com

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

Published in Editorials
Tuesday, 29 January 2013 00:05

MESC 2013: Initial Rehearsals Commence Today

The final preparations are now going at a steady pace, the stage is set and today the singers will take the stage for their very first technical rehearsal. This is when the excitement starts and builds up throughout the week with the actual showcase taking shape as the days go by. The Public Broadcasting Services has released the stage design for this weekend’s Malta Eurovision Song Contest in which, twenty-four entries will be competing with the hope of representing the country in this years' Eurovision Song Contest set to take place in Malmo, Sweden.

The stage design is once again designed by the talented Carlo Schembri who has been entrusted in carrying out this job for the past number of years. His precision, creativity and flare of imagination leaves us guessing till the very ending but the final result is always spectacular to say the least. The stage is particularly designed for a television spectacle which allows numerous possibilities in terms of different shots the viewers will be able to see during the show this weekend. The director of photography is surely not new to the scene having been Stage Graphics Co-Ordinator at the Isle of MTV – Johnny MC will work closely with Nick Malbon, the Lightning Director for the festival who has also worked with MTV as an architectural lightning programmer.

Having such an experienced team is surely the key for success; they will be aided by Front of House Engineer, Arturo Pellegrini who has collaborated on various projects with Mediaset. The monitor engineer for the festival is also world class like the former names; Filippo Zecchini’s portfolio includes the likes of Andrea Bocelli, Zucchero, Riccardo Cocciante and Pavarotti. The overall set and lightning are going to be some spectacular and PBS described this as a ‘first for Malta’. That is no easy task to live up and expectations are running high but with the first preview image of the design and the stage lit up things look more than promising. Getting the feel and slowly start getting accustomed to the stage, with the positioning and the shots is surely a challenging task which the singers will have to surpass.

The rehearsals are there to make sure that by Friday night everything will be top-notch with everyone ready to rock the arena and rise to the occasion; with a mix of new comers and experienced contestants, it is going to be interesting to see who ready to shine brighter than the others and snatch the golden ticket to Malmo. In the meantime, apart from guest performances from the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest representative, Kurt Calleja and the cast of the hit musical dream series; D.R.E.A.M.S, there will be a special performance of Hot and Famous by the comic duo Gorg & Pawlu as well as Heilsarmee who will be representing Switzerland with the track You and Me. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: Public Broadcasting Services

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FKbzOIab0yM

Published in Local Music News

The European Broadcasting Union in conjunction with SVT, the broadcaster responsible for hosting this years’ edition of the Eurovision Song Contest unveiled their theme art along with their slogan, We Are One a couple of days back and the artists of the national final, here in Malta had a number of promotional activities where they enjoyed the company of each other on television, by virtue of playing games which required teamwork and even performing medleys. It is important that apart from individual promotion, there are such group affairs because otherwise, the experience would not be maximized in the best possible way. The editorial board of escflashmalta.com nevertheless, has mentioned the contestants together on various occasions but our professional panel of critics evaluated each track individually before ultimately selected their most favourite entries in a typical Eurovision Song Contest vote. The final result will ultimately be revealed on the programme Sas-Sitta produced by Spiteri Lucas Entertainment and aired on NET Television where someone will be taking home a trophy. The twenty-second entry is entitled Us Against the World, composed by Boris Cezek to the lyrics of Dean Muscat with vocals provided by Gianni.

Gianni, noted in the competition as the oldest competitor but nevertheless, with a fresh outlook and somewhat of a young attitude. His experience in the local music scene is vast and once more, he is a veteran in his own right, having started playing in a band in 1987, when he was just fifteen. As a matter of fact, it was none other than Filletti and Friends whose lead vocalist is one of the most notable names in the country. In 1992, Gianni formed the band rug which involved Gilly on drums, Eric on bass and Anthony on Keyboard and suddenly, they were touring all over the islands in venues which were somewhat unimaginable at times. The idea of starting a band was met with huge success, pointing out that Rug still have a sizeable following especially due to their realistically explicit tracks, some of which have also been banned from radio. In 2000, as a soloist, Gianni submitted an entry in the Malta Song for Europe competition entitled My Friends which managed to find its way into the final round and finish in thirteenth place. After that, he only decided to return to the competition last year with the song Petals on a Rose co-written between Trevor Fenech, Robin Abrahamsson, Amir Aly and Maciel Numhauser finishing in a sublime fourth place, whilst obtaining the second highest amount of votes from the public.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vganFwSeTH0

The pop/rock genre has become somewhat increasingly popular at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and considering that this is the style that has reflected Gianni’s character for a very long time, it is definitely not amiss for another performance. The entry entitled Us Against The World speaks about the individual who has to live up to the actions that he does in everything life and must join forces with someone else, and take on the world together. It is quite intriguing to note that there is a romantic story behind the heroic effort but the preview video stands out from the rest just for the simple reason of having a giant planet earth in the middle of the setup. The songwriters of this entry are newcomers to the local competition but nevertheless, have worked in the music scene for quite some time. The composer is none other than Boris Cezek whilst the lyricist is Dean Muscat. Their other entries entitled Tomorrow and Perfect Day performed by Gianluca Bezzina and Janice DeBattista have already been presented. Boris is a stunning producer and has worked with the likes of Miriam Christine, Kristina Casolani, Ivan Filletti and Thomas Hedley amongst others whilst Dean has also worked with former Eurovision Song Contest representative; Thea Garrett, Raquela and the Big Band Brothers amongst others.

The Critics Speak Out

Rating: 56%

Sharon Vaughn: This sounds like an extremely commercial track by a indie band from the United Kingdom!

Martin Isherwood: Strong title. Good chorus. Lyrics are strong. Nice to see McFly senior having another crack at it, although it feels like a song for a younger performer.

Stano Simor: Another song that is very melodic, but not completely sits in Eurovision genre. Anyways it’s a one of the few presentations, where is the whole band on stage. Harmonies in the bridge are very specific and have a positive impact on the final chorus. Gianni and his team need to work on their stage image. 

Roberto Meloni: I have the feeling, that he tries to look younger than he actually is and that is not fine for my taste. One Direction style in terms of presentation and in my opinion, this should not get through to the final.

Lina Eriksson: I like this, especially the lyrics. I don’t know how good a chance it will stand in the ESC though. Production wise the pre-chorus ruins it a bit for me. Could work on the radio.

Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rsUU5QDtNJ8

Published in Editorials
Monday, 28 January 2013 05:15

MESC 2013: More Backing Vocalists Revealed

The Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre will once more be playing host to this years’ edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and with the event taking place in less than a week, preparations within the venue have well been underway for the past couple of days. The competing artists will start their initial rehearsals on Tuesday and will continue perfecting their act until Friday morning when a full run through takes place prior to the evening show. The editorial board of escflashmalta.com will keep you posted with all of the latest details from the event as it has been doing for the past couple of weeks. As a matter of fact, the teams of the respective entries are being revealed simultaneously and some names have clearly gained our attention especially due to their vast experience in the industry.

As expected, Kevin Borg who will be presenting the track Needing You has went for a number of renowned performers including the likes of Josef Tabone, Dominic Cini, Janice Mangion and Nadine Axisa. The latter is certainly the most intriguing having joined Thea Garrett at the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2010 whilst also being a veteran in the local competition, with many past participations. Both Janice and Josef on the other hand managed to make it through to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest on one occasion each in 2006 and 2012 respectively. Another individual who has been rather well noted is Dario Bezzina who will be the backing vocal for Let Your Heart Talk performed by Franklin. The track features predominant male vocals and it is expected that more soloists will be on this respective team.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=swPbRG3GuxU

Klinsmann is the third individual to have had his on stage team revealed noting that he will be joined by two female vocalists in the form of Bay Awards Nominee; Lyndsay as well as Kylie Coleiro, who was a finalist in the 2009 edition of the Malta Eurosong competition. Nevertheless, as has been the case in recent years, Klinsmann will also have a guitarist for his rendition of The Remedy and joining him will be Ben who will also provide male backing vocals. That leaves the last two females to make revelations; the first being, Domenique and her entry Too Little Too Late requiring that extra additional aid to make it sound more atmospheric. The team will comprise of the aforementioned, Kylie Coleiro as well as Sarah Crystal and Christine Haber, who is the daughter of former commentator Eileen Montesin. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fZvpUmTnw9w

The second artist to reveal the team that will be joining her on stage is none other than Dorothy Bezzina who will be singing Starting from the End in the semi-final. She will be joined by a team of upcoming artists such as Martina Farrugia, and Nathalie Pace who performed with her during Voices as well as former Sfida contestants; Talitha Dimech, Samaria Bezzina and Tezara Camilleri. Honestly speaking, the amount of remarkable vocals backing the artists is just sublime. Rumour has it that Pamela will also make a welcome return with Amber and her entry In Control but this has not been confirmed. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news from the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2013.

Source: escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWB-fIeiQp0

Published in Local Music News

Throughout the years, people have had a tendency to look at something from the outside but nevertheless, appearances could be deceiving and that is why, behind every track presented in the industry, there is a team of songwriters who came up with the concept and the lyrics along with a producer who made the final adjustments prior to the recording of the vocals. At the last stage, a vocalist comes in and the people get to listen to the song by virtue of that individual. It has become somewhat rare for a singer to be a songwriter as well and that is why, the team behind the scenes bear importance. In the 2013 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, there are thirty six different songwriters involved and they each have a contribution of at least one entry, with some having as much as three in the shortlist that will be performing in the semi-final stage of the competition. Promotion is key and whilst the Public Broadcasting Services has noted the songwriters, we are offering a short recollection of each. A set of critics have listened to the competing entries and their favourite will be getting an award on the show Sas-Sitta. The twenty-first entry from the competition to be presented is Ultraviolet performed by Jessika to the music of Philip Vella & Thomas G:son with lyrics by Gerard James Borg. 

Precious Time has to be the first original song that Jessika had presented in a major competition, noting that she had competed in the 2004 edition of the Malta Junior Eurosong competition. It would be the beginning of a career though, because in just a matter of three years, the artist grew up to have stunning looks and a strong voice, taking to the stage of the Malta International Television Song Festival with the song Nistennik composed by Philip Vella and penned by Doris Chetcuti which was then followed by an even more notable appearance at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest in 2008 with the track Tangled composed by Philip Vella and penned by Gerard James Borg. Later on that year, she entered another local competition known as the Malta Hit Song Competition with the song Sweet Temptation written by the same songwriters, finishing in second place. She would ultimately return with the track Smokescreen also written by the same duo in 2009 but did not finish in the top three positions this time.  Her experience in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest grew in 2011 and 2012 having made the cut with the songs entitled Down Down Down and Dance Romance, both composed by Philip Vella to self-penned lyrics by Jessika. Her most recent experience in the industry though has come with the track Golden Ways which has been play listed on 89.7 Bay in the past couple of days.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6yBFjrQFd-0

Jessika is moving forward musically, both in her career and within this competition noting that she has escaped the typical pop/dance sound for a variant of pop, and one which is somewhat being enjoyed by the public. In the preview video shot by the Public Broadcasting Services, Jessika is seen enjoying herself whilst performing the track on her own in a short cream dress with stunning blue, yellow and red lighting surrounding her throughout. There is a thumping beat in the background which is very reminiscent of the type of music being released by Emeli Sande at the moment and this shows that there is significance in the line of though, and that is to succeed. The catchy bridge featuring a male vocal is somewhat outstanding and gives the track the fresh edge that it requires it to stand out. There is a lot of backing required in the vocals and one has to hope that competency will be the key to success. The songwriters behind this track are Philip Vella and Gerard James Borg with the addition of Thomas G:son. The first two have written a number of entries throughout the years together and have also represented Malta in the international showcase on five occasions, the last time coming in 2008 with Vodka performed by Morena. In the meantime though, G:son is a well recognised figure having written the Spanish and Swedish tracks in the last Eurovision Song Contest whilst working on another five, totalling his number to seven.

The Critics Speak Out 

Rating: 55%

Sharon Vaughn: I am very disappointed to say that this is nothing compelling about the song or the performance which Jessika gives, which is rather unfortunate.

Martin Isherwood: Good title although it's hard to hear the title words when sung. Good chorus. Nice unusual voice, strong vocal hooks. Good energetic production. Good track that has a good strong impact. It does bear a certain resemblance to ‘Next to Me’ by Emeli Sande though doesn’t it?' 

Stano Simor: Jessika could clearly interest the European audience. Interesting murmur in her voice is giving special feeling into the song. Gimmick at the end of the song is clearly that the Swedish composers know that it works. The author's and the composers´s intention to retain main melody is very important, on the other hand the song is loosing variability between Chorus and Verse. Sound very similar and the whole composition is cast into one block. May by it can change by music production updating.

Roberto Meloni: OK, I believe that she should start by re-inventing her look because I just cannot really understand what she would like to say with that hair, make-up and well everything to do with the image. The recorded backing vocals are not a help to the live performance. Sorry, not my taste at all!

Lina Eriksson: Nice with an artist who stands out a bit from the rest. Jessicas voice does a lot for the over-all impression of this song. Like in your average G:son song the chorus sticks in your head.

Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2vO8vxYFjk

Published in Editorials
Saturday, 26 January 2013 15:38

MESC 2013: A Review of 'Too Little Too Late'

A national selection needs to encompass the best elements of a particular music scene in order for the chosen entry to make an effect and represent the identity of the nation abroad. It is highly imperative that despite having foreign songwriters, the performers are still local and this has become a successful formula for Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest. The re-introduction of foreign songwriters has given the local songwriters a taste of what they would face abroad and therefore, entries have become stronger making the competition more intriguing. The Eurovision Song Contest is a showcase in which several countries in Europe come together for a couple of evenings to compete through the medium of song but nevertheless, behind the scenes, one could denote that artists along with their respective delegations become friends with others and thus the aim is reached. Promotion for this years’ edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest has been well aligned through a schedule put forward by the Public Broadcasting Services. In the meantime, escflashmalta.com in collaboration with Spiteri Lucas Entertainment is hosting a number of awards, among them, one being given by a set of critics. The twentieth entry entitled Too Little Too Late composed by Marc Paelinck to the lyrics of Matthias Strasser is set to be performed by Domenique.

Whilst being one of the youngest participants in this years’ edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, Domenique is definitely experienced in the music scene noting that she took up the profession when she was just four years old and working with a number of renowned vocal coaches including the likes of Phyllisienne Brincat and Priscilla Psaila, otherwise known as Kaya amongst others. The Junior Eurovision Song Contest was a stunning platform for artists growing up within the world of music and Domenique did try her luck to represent Malta on a number of occasions but unfortunately, despite stunning performances, was not given the chance. In the meantime, the timbre in her voice suddenly became an element to look forward to following her vocal development and competing in the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza last year, where she managed to finish in third place with her entry Tama u Kuraġġ composed by Philip Vella and penned by Cher Vella. This will be her second experience in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest having made the cut for the very first time back in 2011 with the song I’ll Follow the Sunshine written by the winning songwriters of the 1982 Eurovision Song Contest.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Se36WIRukH8

Following an absence of one year, Domenique returns to the competition with the track Too Little Too Late which had also made it through to the second phase of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest last year before being discarded as per the qualifiers list which had been published. The genre of the entry is a ballad, one which the local public should very much enjoy because it is heartfelt and works its’ way to represent the vocals of Domenique in the best possible manner. The songwriters seemingly worked to make this song as personal to the artist as possible so that she could relate to the lyrics and ultimately, this would show in the vocal and visual performance. Speaking of the songwriters, Domenique brings internationally acclaimed composer Marc Paelinck into the fray noting that he has been the brains behind three entries in the Eurovision Song Contest, the first being Sister interpreted by Sergio & the Ladies for Belgium in 2002, then came 1 Life sung by Xandee for Belgium in 2004 and last but not least, What If We performed by Chiara on behalf of Malta in 2009. The lyricist is Matthias Strasser who has already competed in the Irish selection a couple of years back with the track Fashion Queen sung by Monika Ivkic which finished in third place out of five contestants. 

The Critics Speak Out 

Rating: 56%

Sharon Vaughn: This is a sweet song and the vocalist is just brilliant but nevertheless, the song is somewhat pretty much inexistent and that is quite disappointing.

Martin Isherwood: Great chorus musically, although title placement feels rushed. Not sure what the meaning of the song is from the lyrics or title. Very nice voice. Strong meloldies. Bit frilly on keys. Key change to second verse feels a little too soon, contrived and twee. Production style is very safe and a little too safe given the simplicity of the song it could use an edge somewhere. Nice song overall just a little too pretty. Reminiscent of fields of Gold & Sally Oldfield Mirrors.

Stano Simor: East of the European audience will love her. Melancholic song in conjunction with a beautiful voice and look  is literally a weapon that has Domenique in her hands. Transpose in the middle of songs is very natural and creates enough update of song without pompous arrangements.

Roberto Meloni: She works very well with cameras. The song is kind of gentle ballad, being honest…a little boring in the end..but still better than many others here.

Lina Eriksson: Yet another ballad. I’m sorry to say that it doesn’t do it for me. I feel like nothing really happens. It’s too little, too late for my taste.

Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYH6lfokn20

Published in Editorials

With this years’ edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest just a couple of days away, the final days of promotion have commenced with the final leg of the schedule put forth for a number of artists. Nevertheless, appearances as a group are rare especially when taking into consideration that this is a competition in which someone will come out as the winner, leaving the others all in runner-up slots. Eight particular entries will fall at the first hurdle following a jury and public vote on Friday evening and that is what will prove interesting. When the time comes, it will indeed come but until then the Public Broadcasting Services continues preparations and this evening, all of the acts will be present on the programme Xarabank as the final pre-show takes place with lighthearted moments, medleys and more.

Peppi Azzopardi, the host will be on hand to host the programme produced by Where’s Everybody and will definitely keep everyone entertained whilst calling out the names of the participants, in a manner which could be termed as funny. There are twenty-four entries competing to represent the country in the Eurovision Song Contest and two in particular have somewhat been running away with our public poll for ages as you could denote on the right hand side. Chris Grech and Kevin Borg have distinctly different entries and their own legion of fans but the jury will decide. In the meantime, tonight after the eight o’clock news bulletin at 20:45 CET, it is imperative to switch on Television Malta which is also offered through a webcast and follow the proceedings live. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: Television Malta

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

Published in Local Music News
Friday, 25 January 2013 04:40

MESC 2013: Reviewing the track 'Tomorrow'

Anton Attard, Chief Executive Officer of the Public Broadcasting Services and Head of Delegation for the country at the Eurovision Song Contest has rebranded the competition in a manner where professionalism is at the key of every decision and when one considers the vast improvements that the Malta Eurovision Song Contest has undergone in the past three years, the attribution would be somewhat extremely notable. The countries’ participation was somewhat in decline and since the rebranding exercise took place, there has been an almost qualification and a qualification including support of the home country in the past year. The artist and entry that will be selected by the international panel of judges along with the public at home need to make sure that the chosen track will indeed be the right one that could achieve prestige because it will be facing the obstacles of a larger semi-final. The 24 entries competing in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest have also received equal promotion including on escflashmalta.com where a panel of critics have been called upon to listen to the entries and let us know their thoughts. The eventual winner of the Critics Award will be given on Sas-Sitta to be aired on the 9th February. Featuring in the nineteenth entry is Gianluca Bezzina who will be performing the song Tomorrow composed by Boris Cezek and penned by Dean Muscat.

Whilst being a complete newcomer to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, the twenty-three year old Gianluca has been around within music for a couple of years, being the lead vocalist of the band known as Funk Initiative. The music project has somewhat been a success having been nominated at the Bay Music Awards and the Malta Music Awards for best newcomers back in 2011. Since coming onto the scene, they have released a number of singles with their most successful definitely being their debut entitled Paris but nevertheless have proved versatile in adapating to genres, making them different from the rest of the bands in the country. In the meantime, Gianluca himself has stood out by himself on a number of occasions including during the bi-annual concerts known as Voices where he has been selected to take part following auditions on three occasions; in 2008, 2010 and 2012 respectively. This charity event was followed by another coined as Rockestra were delivering is immensely gratifying due to the large audience present annually. Academically, and somewhat hard to beleive, Gianluca is a doctor having just graduated a couple of months back but he takes both sectors of his life extremely seriously noting that a balance is achievable for those who truly want it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_21g91h4sQ

Seeing his name in the shortlist of entrants that made it through to the second phase was already a shock in itself because this is an artist whose submission was unexpected but one that makes the competition more interesting and indeed, Tomorrow brings about a genre which has never been tackled during the Malta Eurovision Song Contest. Providing competition is intriguing and the judges surely had a difficult role in selecting this crop of tracks although there is variety and that is always key to a successful output. Fans of the Eurovision Song Contest who follow the selections across Europe have been extremely positive this year and that is a good omen. The track in question here seems to be a merge between Jason Mraz and Train with a feel good sound that many would enjoy listening to. Role expectations are clearly undefined this year in the competition with the songwriting credit once more going to Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat, an innovative duo who are competing with three entries despite having never submitted any tracks. They are known to be quite radio friendly although have both worked with former Eurovision Song Contest representative; Thea Garrett for example whilst also writing for some of the leading names in the local music industry including Kristina Casolani and Raquela.

The Critics Speak Out 

Rating: 70%

Sharon Vaughn: The perfect match! Music, lyrics and the artist! Spectacular, and nothing which I can criticise in a negative manner. This is highly crafted. Well done!

Martin Isherwood: Nice idea for the title but a bit clever and hard to grasp. Clever lyrics. Nice Christmas jumper. Unusual vocal sound which whilst tuneful is not particularly nice to listen to - very sibilant. Nice tunes. Pretty tune , clever lyrics but not really a EV contender. In the style of The Housemartin's? 

Stano Simor: Gianluca looks very sympathetic. Song is positive. I'm sure you already have your fans. Unfortunately, the track does not have anything new, but will still stand out. The Caribbean sound is something specific, what I like about.

Roberto Meloni: There are elements of this track which are very similar to others I have heard but nevertheless, the singer has a very nice tone and the sweater is somewhat reminding me of the Melodi Grand Prix. I feel like I would listen to this song, driving to the beach, a beautiful Maltese one.

Lina Eriksson: Sweet Gianluca. This Jason Mraz kind of song makes me smile. I really like these lyrics. Melody, lyrics, production and artist fit great together. One of my favorites

Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=io9GNF5IJ2Y

Published in Editorials

Politics has played an extremely important role in several industries and the real reason behind the Eurovision Song Contest was to unite the continent through the power of song. The idea was well respected and in a matter o years, there were more countries intrigued by the concept and wanting to compete against their continental neighbours. Artists have gained recognition from the event whilst others who had already been popular have also sought to compete in recent years, giving the event more credibility. In Malta, venturing into the unknown is not easy and therefore artists are going to take up the event which gives them the most exposure and that is certainly the Malta Eurovision Song Contest which received major publicity on television and radio broadcasters under the cap of the Public Broadcasting Services. The programme Sas-Sitta on NET Television on the other hand is working closely with escflashmalta.com as a number of awards will be presented to commemorate the competition. One of the aforementioned prizes will be a critic award based on professional reviews and points given by international members of the music business, ones which have worked with some of the most astonishing names in the industry. The eighteenth review is of Tides of Illusion composed by Jason Paul Cassar, penned by Mario Farrugia and performed by Ylenia. It will be performed in slot number 2.

Ylenia, one of the youngest people in this years’ edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest has a wealth of experience behind her most notably at the Malta Junior Eurosong on three consecutive occasions, starting in 2008 with I Can’t Live Without It finishing in fourth place, in 2009 with My One True Passion managing the first runner-up position and last but not least in 2010 where she competed with the track Shout It Out! reaching third place. The following year, Ylenia decided to put her name forward for another competition, this time entitled ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’, hosted by former Eurovision Song Contest commentator, Eileen Montesin on Television Malta. Despite the tough competition she faced, she was the clear favourite from day one and emerged as the winner at the end of the series. Last year, she had the opportunity to perform as a backing vocalist during the Malta Eurovision Song Contest to none other than Kurt Calleja and his winning entry This Is the Night. Unfortunately, due to performance restrictions, she was replaced at the very end by Amber who is also competing in this years’ competition with another entry. Ylenia is never too far away from music considering that she is reading for a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Music and History of Art at the University of Malta, keeping her in line with everything. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wOBvTUT07Jg

Tides of Illusion is definitely not the type of entry that I was expecting from Ylenia as she debuts in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest but it seems that this genre fits in appropriately and thus gives her that added edge which is needed to stand out in the competition. It is important to denote that there have been several comparisons to the winning entry of Euphoria but then again, it is quite irresponsible and thoughtless when keeping in mind that dance tracks have been around for quite some time with the eighties and the nineties somewhat booming. Indeed, they have become popular once more these past few years but that doesn’t make each entry in the national selections based on that particular entry. The songwriters for this entry are Jason Cassar and Mario Farrugia and this is their third entry together in the competition following the 2009 song Where Was I? performed by Jamie Tonna and the 2010 entry Once In a Lifetime sung by Nadine & Clifford. On the other hand, Jason Paul Cassar was the brains behind two entries which represented Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest including The One That I Love sung by Chiara in 1998 and My Dream performed by Thea Garrett in 2010 alongside lyricist, Sunny Aquilina.

The Critics Speak Out

Rating: 61%

Sharon Vaughn: Very obviously in the vein of Euphoria. She is a wonderful singer with a great falsetto vocal ability. I would love to hear her on another type of song other than this style. It really throws me that this is so close to Sweden's winning song.

Martin Isherwood: Not sure what a tide of illusion is or that it works as an image. Lots of words but little said. Nice voice although feels auto-tuned. Strong melodies. Takes time to get going as a dance track. Production feels a little dated. Could stand a chance overall but the competition tends to move on from previous years and this doesn't. Emulates last year's overall winner.

Stano Simor: Young, friendly, talented and full of energy. This is a necessary ingredient for the type of competition that is Eurovision. Ylenia works very well with the camera, too. She has a very good voice. Chorus vocal line is just not strong enough. It’s like a pre-chorus after which I am waiting a chorus, which does not come. General as a package though, I evaluate this very positively .

Roberto Meloni: This song clearly sounds Maltese in terms of production. On the other hand, this is an artist who performs well but this track is too far from being another exceptional entry that was indeed, 'Euphoria'.

Lina Eriksson: I like Ylenia's voice which reminds me a bit of Agnes (Release me).  I like this song. Still, melody and lyrics are better than the actual production. 

Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hGaIkMhK9Q4

Published in Editorials