August 26, 2019

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The Public Broadcasting Services are highlighting every inch of detail to make sure that this years' edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest is even better than the past two years in which the current administration decided to revamp the process by virtue of bringing in a more professional setup. Guests have always been an intriguing element of the showcase and there are rumours floating about with regards to who will ultimately becoming a part of the show but the focus here is with the participants themselves noting that the twenty four semi-finals will be having a number of additional individuals in the wings, taking care of vocal roles within the respective tracks. We have been in touch with a number of performers and their respective managements and learned some intriguing names will ultimately be seen despite not entering the semi-final stage of this years' competition. escflashmalta.com is exclusively bringing you a list of the names unveiled.

Kicking off things with the respective announcements was none other than Davinia who will be closing the semi-final at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with her entry Betrayed composed by Elton Zarb and penned by Muxu. She will be joined on stage by three backing vocalists which include; Rachael Tedesco Triccas and Jade Cini from the hit series D.R.E.A.M.S who will also be opening the showcase as well as former Junior Eurovision Song Contest representative; Nicole Azzopardi who is seemingly eyeing a possible entry in the next couple of years. The second performer is none other than Danica Muscat who will be performing the song Fantasy composed by Paul Abela and penned by Joe Julian Farrugia and will be joined by a fleet of people which feature Claire Mercieca, Chrissy Warrington, Jody Magri, as well as former Malta Eurovision Song Contest finalists; Dario Mifsud Bonnici and Benjamin Darmanin.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xq5sBvjedr4

It was revealed yesterday that a request had also been made by Kevin Borg to have former Eurovision Song Contest representative; Glen Vella join the backing vocalists but due to his recent participation, this was not accepted and thus Glen will be taking care of a team of unknown backing vocalists which is rumoured to have several members of the Animae Gospel Choir which Glen and Pamela created a couple of years back. In an exclusive announcement, we are proud to reveal that former Malta Song for Europe finalist; Fiona Cauchi will be present within the team of Claudia Faniello who will be presenting the track When It's Time co-written between the performer and Errol Sammut, lead vocalist of Airport Impressions. The full team of this entry will be unveiled in due course on her Official Facebook Page. In a revelation made today on social networking website; Facebook it seems that Dorothy Bezzina of the song Starting from the End written by Magnus Kaxe and Gerard James Borg will be joined by upcoming artist; Martina Farrugia.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zIh0gcPh8A

Two of the most intriguing performers in this years' Malta Eurovision Song Contest are definitely Chris Grech with the track Never Walk Away co-written by Matthew James Borg, Peter Borg and David Cassar Torreggiani and Melanie Zammit with the song Loverdose co-written between Maria & Niclas Lundin and Gerard James Borg. They have both spoken to us and told us of the people that will be joining them on stage with the male artist bringing about one of his composers; Matthew James Borg of Red Electrick fame on stage alongside the upcoming Cheryl Balzan with the female on the other hand bringing two newcomers in the vein of Ann Gauci and Gabriella Azzopardi alongside Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza and Malta Hit Song Contest finalist; Talitha Dimech. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the exclusive news as soon as it becomes available for publishing.

Source: escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2hZKpIxULrQ

The Maltese Islands are found in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea just below Italy and have become somewhat well regarded through the beautiful voices that it has honed throughout the years. Several people denote that the inspiration must have come from the love towards the Italian language but nevertheless, genres have become varied with pop being the most predominant along with rock and dance. One of the main showcases in the country is surely the Malta Eurovision Song Contest which is organised under the scrutiny of the Public Broadcasting Services and acts as a preselection method in which an act is selected through jury and public votes to represent the country in a foreign nation amongst key nations in the European continent. The opportunity to meet major producers and songwriters along with performers comes into existence and with the growing popularity of the event, this will surely not prove futile. Malta has a history of twenty-five years with our last participation seeing us manage to reach the final following a stunning performance of This Is The Night by Kurt Calleja and his team. This years' competition is said to be quite close and escflashmalta.com has called upon five critics to help divulge the competition with an award set to be given the week following the competition on the programme Sas-Sitta. The ninth performer is Corazon and she will be performing the song My Stranger Love composed by Paul Giordimaina and penned by Fleur Balzan. 

Corazon is neither a newcomer nor a veteran to the local music scene noting that she had a habit of entering competitions which were rather oriented with the national language of the country for the very reason that her compositions were set to achieve a goal and that is to send a message to the audience with regards to a number of social issues. In fact, the Għanja tal-Poplu Festival is known to be a second home to the performer having triumphed in three of the past five editions including in 2007 with Hawn Jien, in 2009 with another song entitled Tal-Aħħar and last but not least in 2010 with the track Mill-Għajnejn ta' Tifla alongside a group of friends. In 2012, she was also a part of the proceedings but only as a host alongside Alfred Zammit, giving rise to a secondary career which she is gladly carrying out at the moment holding a presenting role on the programme TVPM which airs daily on Television Malta, the main broadcasting channel of the Public Broadcasting Services. During the 2009 edition of the Malta Eurosong, Corazon had made the television stages with the song Another Side of Me written by Philip Vella but it did not make it through to the final competition stage unfortunately. She indeed returned last year with the beautiful Mystifying Eyes composed by Paul Giordimaina and penned by Fleur Balzan. Following this came two singles, one entitled Looking For You and the other being just weeks old bearing the name Save Your Smile.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tdKP2gg4bXU

Corazon is seemingly ecstatic to have managed to make it through to the semi-final stage of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest for the second time especially just a couple of months after managing to make the cut the first time round. The concept of the track that she is presenting entitled My Stranger Love is quite similar to the track presented last year but there has been a little bit of an emergence of a rock sound, only if just slightly. As a matter of fact, the charming opening notes are almost identical to Mystifying Eyes but it does indeed play out different. The track in itself had to be somewhat similar because it might indeed be coined as a formula for success and bringing the songwriters from the previous year on board is surely an added positive with Paul Giordimaina returning as composer and Fleur Balzan as lyricist. They bring about experience of the kind that many wish to have in the competition especially considering that the composer also was the Eurovision Song Contest as both an artist and a songwriter in 1991 and 2011 respectively with the tracks Could It Be and One Life. Experimentation will be the key to success for Corazon and she might need to go a bit out of her comfort zone in order to achieve greatness in the local music industry. She needs to delve deeper to make sure that her crystal cut vocals are presented well to the audience as seen in some of her recently released material including those previously mentioned.

The Critics Speak Out

Rating: 42%

Sharon Vaughn: I don't understand what this song is trying to say. The text is very contradictory… a lot of pretty words that don't fit the title or the rest of the song. A nice pure voice, too bad on the song selection.

Martin Isherwood: Trips clumsily into the chorus. As with many of the songs the lyrics seem very personal with the meaning only relevant to the writer / singer. Nice voice but quite thin. Uses standard musical tricks and turns but nothing that makes the song stand out. Interesting 80s style solo! Rock pop ballad but not really suitable for the competition.

Stano Simor: Love song. Type of music that can help or hurt the performer. One needs to listen to the lyrics before going into the general track. Very nice, sensual vocal lines. Corazon is a singer who has good voice technique most probably through studying classical music. Color of voice is not so distinctive. Particularly in the first part of the song where it would be necessary to adopt a listener. The music production would also help fill the whole atmosphere of the song which is basically excellent.

Roberto Meloni: Such a great and gentle voice, very beautiful and charming. If only her song would be as good as she is…pity…But Corazon is an amazing performer.

Lina Eriksson: These kind of songs seldom work that well in the Eurovision Song Contest. I start to feel like I’m repeating myself in my reviews now but this is yet another song that doesn't feel like 2013, neither song nor production-wise.  Sorry!

Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tKUA8IAa-Wo

Published in Editorials
Monday, 14 January 2013 03:00

MESC 2013: Reviewing the track 'Loverdose'

The inclination of foreign success has somewhat triggered the improvement of the local music scene noting that the new direction being taken up is somewhat impressive especially when a local product is somewhat being worked upon in unison by experienced people in the field from both the country and beyond. Artists are thinking outside the box whilst remaining true to their initial concepts. One of the key factors of getting their tracks promotion is through the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, an even organised by the Public Broadcasting Services in which the winning entry would ultimately represent the country at the prestigious continental event which is shown all over the world and garners millions of viewers. The nation is proud to boast a twenty-five years history in the event including a number of consecutive top ten finishes including two first runner-up finishes achieved in 2002 and 2005 respectively thanks to 7th Wonder performed by Ira Losco, and in 2005 by virtue of Angel sung by Chiara. Investment is the key to improvement and as a matter of fact, the broadcaster has been doing a lot of changes to the selection process and it has reached a higher standard. escflashmalta.com is promoting this years' entries with an award set to be given on the programme Sas-Sitta as assessed by critics. The eight track to be presented entitled Loverdose is performed by Melanie Zammit with the composers being Maria and Niclas Lundin and the lyricist being Gerard James Borg.

The arts have somewhat been kind to this performer noting that Melanie Zammit is what many would denote a triple threat noting that she is somewhat fluent in all of the major three fields which makes her an extremely suitable candidate for musical theatre. One of the main reasons for success has surely been to the fact that Melanie took everything up at a relatively early age starting with classical ballet at just five (5) years old before moving onto singing at the beginning of the years in which people had been calling her a teenager, that being thirteen (13). Education was important, but nevertheless, as soon as the ordinary levels came to an end, she moved to the United Kingdom as she wanted to pursue the arts as something more than a hobby. She studied at some of the most prestigious schools in the country including the Central School of Ballet followed by the Leicester College of Performing Arts, each time with a scholarship respectively. She knew that the choice was sublime but nevertheless, she missed contemporary music and in 2010 returned to Malta in order to work on her vocals as well as some original material and despite having been back to the United Kingdom later on that year to obtain a diploma, she has been around since and her also released two singles on the local radio scene including Electric Sound and Insomnia. It is important to point out that the former also managed to make the cut of the top ten on the same radio station and therefore was the beginning of her career.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_9c4-4aaY8

Without any previous experience in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest, as is the case for quite a couple of this years' semi-finalists, Melanie is set to prove herself with a track which is receiving a lot of traction and which has managed to hold onto a top five place on the escflashmalta.com public poll since the very beginning around two weeks ago. It seems that the pulsing, catchy mixture of pop and dance music has really gone well with the public and might prove to be enticing with the right staging on the night of the semi-final which is set to take place on the 1st February at the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre in Ta' Qali. The credit of songwriting in this song is split between Swedish and Maltese musicians noting that the composers are none other than Maria Lundin, also known as Maria Marcus along with Niclas Lundin whose entries have managed to qualify to the selection process of the Scandinavian country in 2010, 2011 and 2012 with a number of well known performers including; Sara Lumholdt who was a part of the group A*Teens and Andreas Lundstedt who was a part of the group Alcazar amongst others. In the meantime, the lyricist is Gerard James Borg who has penned the lyrics of five Maltese Eurovision entries including a number of runner-ups in the local competition such as Pure performed by Claudia Faniello last year. This collaboration is somewhat new but could definitely prove to be successful considering the pedigree that the team is bringing to the table.

The Critics Speak Out

Rating: 71%

Sharon Vaughn: Love this! She is confident and accomplished. The song itself has a hook and the true feeling of a hit.

Martin Isherwood: Good title and strong chorus although the idea of a Loverdose could be used more effectively playing on the overdose rather than I need my dose which is less dramatic. Good voice. Very strong musical hooks. I must say, this is a well put together dance pop track.

Stano Simor: Melanie brings to the national competition as one of the few modern current trends. Example that Eurovision Song Contest still attracts the young generation. Loverdose is example of this. Song does not have enough hit factor, but definitely has my support.

Roberto MeloniThis is the perfect song to empty the dance-floor at 5 in the morning in the disco. I’ll suggest it to all the Maltese DJs. Sorry Melanie, don’t take it personally, but this song is bad. 

Lina Eriksson: My other candidate for 1st place following Richard Edwards. Great hook and title. I like it even before I start to listen. This song is gonna do great on the dance floors and radio all around Europe. It feels more modern than most of the songs in the competition. I like it a lot.

Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PnT3TgeyQLA

Published in Editorials

The Public Broadcasting Services are proud members of the European Broadcasting Union and thus have the possibility of competing in a number of events including the Eurovision Song Contest, which has been found to be the most watched non-sporting event in several countries and having an audience which reached to four corners of the globe. Malta has been competing for twenty-five years with the initial participation coming in 1971, followed by another in 1972, then three years later in 1975, followed by a sixteen year period before participating in every other edition since then. Gaining the responsibility of representing a country is not an easy feat and some artists including Chiara and Fabrizio Faniello had the opportunity to do so on three and two occasions respectively. Exposure is the key to success and when it comes to the national selection stage, the broadcaster has really been working on improving the showcase and this has been seen in the past three years as both the show and the song quality have somewhat peaked this time round. escflashmalta.com is also doing a round of promotions through reviews, with the final winner to be revealed on NET Television within the programme Sas-Sitta days after the competition. The seventh entry to be reviewed is Love-O-Holic performed by Deborah C, composed by Johan Bejerholm and penned by Gerard James Borg.

Deborah C is a relatively young performer at just twenty-two years of age but nevertheless, it is worth noting that she has become somewhat renowned through her participation in the leading competitions in the country starting at a very young age through the Junior Malta Eurosong competition in 2005 with the track Closer which had finished in tenth place at the end of the evening with 69 points. The following year, the upcoming performer decided to compete in the Malta International Television Song Festival which aired on ONE Television under the scrutiny of Norman Hamilton and ultimately qualified with the track Hemm Int composed by Mark Debono and penned by Doris Chetcuti. She continued to develop her genre even further and then took the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza by storm having managed to qualify to the event on three occasions; the first time in 2008 with Pandora composed by Philip Vella and penned by Gerard James Borg, the second time in 2011 with Fjamma composed by Philip Vella and penned by Gerard James Borg and last year having made it through with the track Jekk Nużaw Moħħna composed by Mark Spiteri Lucas and penned by Joe Chircop. All of the three tracks won the tele-voting portion of the competition whilst the latter was also the winner of the jury voting. 2012 will always be an important year for Deborah C because alongside Leila J, she also made the finals of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest.
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=363VFdq33Mw
 
The renowned performer will be making her solo debut in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest 2013 because she will be taking to the main stage being credited with the main vocals on her own although backing vocalists are definitely expected within the track Love-O-Holic which has been branded as a typical Eurovision Song Contest entry by numbers which needs that specific oomph for it to come through. It will definitely be a demanding entry where the vocals are important and therefore, with the right stunts could be well performed. Credibility has been key and Deborah C has been earning herself quite the fan-base by virtue of appearing on the weekly popular programme Ħadd Għalik which airs on Television Malta, is hosted by Angie Laus and produced by Where's Everybody as was the case with the previous performer presented, that being Franklin. The songwriting credit in this song has a lot of weight noting that the composer is none other than Johan Bejerholm who has already been a runner-up at the Eurovision Song Contest with this entry Always presented for Azerbaijan in 2009 respectively whilst the lyrics is Gerard James Borg who has been to international showcase on five occasions, with a first runner-up finished coming in 2002 thanks to 7th Wonder performed by Ira Losco. It is quite intriguing to denote that the local songwriter has worked with a number of artists from all across the world and indeed has been a stunning portfolio throughout the years. 
The Critics Speak Out
 
Rating: 57%
 
Sharon Vaughn: Unfortunately, there is absolutely nothing I have to say about this track which is complimentary. Cliche after cliche.
 
Martin Isherwood: Interesting title. Some dubious lyrics. Great voice. Got the right energy but I'm not sure it's convincing enough. 
 
Stano Simor: Deborah is very natural on stage. The chorus is very catchy. On the other hand, chorus reminds me the German schlager charts. It definitely has a great chance to get into the final though. 
 
Roberto Meloni: This is quite bad actually, and it does indeed get worse when it goes into the refrain from the verse and let's just not mention that bridge because it is truly horrendous. Mamma Mia!

Lina Eriksson: Another hooky title.  Modern and with good lyrics this song is really hooky.I believe it can make it really far in this competition. Great singer. I’m not crazy about the mid-eight part though. 
 
Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ul0N272lbY4
Published in Editorials
Saturday, 12 January 2013 01:45

MESC 2013: A Review of 'Let Your Heart Talk'

Malta will be taking part in the Eurovision Song Contest for the twenty-sixth year according to the record books and the results have been rather varied during this period noting that there have been first and second runner-up finishes along with a number of top ten placings but non-qualification has also been on the cards as of late even at times when the nation had been tipped of making it through only to be disappointed on the evening by a dismal performance. The Maltese preselection which has been coined as the Malta Eurovision Song Contest has always been really intriguing and some of the best talent turns up to try their aim to represent the nation and indeed, promotion is key, hence the investment of the Public Broadcasting Services in radio and television exposure. IN the meantime, escflashmalta.com is carrying out a set of professional reviews with the points awarded through a Eurovision system seemingly unveiled a winner through the programme Sas-Sitta on NET Television just days after the competition comes to an end. The sixth entry to be reviewed is Let Your Heart Talk performed by Franklin, composed by Ray Agius and penned by Alfred C Sant.

Franklin is a relatively up and coming performer in the local music scene noting that his fame came about throughout the summer months by virtue of competing in the reality talent show known as Don't Stop Me Now hosted by Eileen Montesin on NET Television with one of the four resident judges being none other than 1994 Eurovision Song Contest representative; Moira Stafrace. At the end of the series, the male performer had been dubbed as one of the artists to watch out for in the future especially having had the opportunity to performer a duet with another former representative in the form of Ludwig Galea during the final. He was revealed as the winner and that was just the beginning of the fan craze behind the performer that has become Franklin. It is important to denote that despite not taking up singing in recent years in favour of other skills such as modelling, Franklin was one of the finalists in the Malta Junior Eurosong competition a couple of years back, with the track Give Me Time which had only managed to finish in fifteenth position out of the sixteen that were eventually competing during the evening. Nevertheless, Franklin then and now is completely different and this shows through his extremely wide vocal range performing on the weekly show Ħadd Għalik which is produced by Where's Everybody and hosted by Angie Laus.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqpVglE8Z8k

Franklin had originally spoke of his intentions to participate in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest to escflashmalta.com before it was revealed that he had indeed submitted two entries to the competition and was somewhat blessed to have been selected as one of the semi-finalists that will be competing at the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre in Ta' Qali on the 1st February. The entry that he will be presenting entitled Let Your Heart Talk is well written to show off his vocals and somewhat reminiscent to some of the best songs released by Leona Lewis as heard above in the form of Here I Am but it is more a case of staying true to his main genre. Songwriting credit in this entry goes to Maestro Ray Agius who is responsible for the music and Alfred C Sant who took care of the lyrics. Both individuals have been to the Eurovision Song Contest on two occasions, the latter having penned the track Keep Me In Mind (1995) and In a Woman's Heart (1996) and the former having been the composer of Let Me Fly (1997) and Keep Me In Mind (1995). They have worked with a number of artists through the years as a team including Amber, Claudia Faniello and Lawrence Gray amongst others with a number of runner-up finishes in the local competition, the most recent being last year with the track Answer With Your Eyes performed by the aforementioned Amber who has decided to work with a new team in 2013.

The Critics Speak Out

Rating: 64%

Sharon Vaughn: Impressive song … really impressive singer. Well done.

Martin Isherwood: Chorus pretty but unremarkable. Nice voice with a good range although tuning wobbles in a couple of places. Nice overall but not really special enough to win.

Stano Simor: Franklin has charisma and good voice. This is a good song within it's genre, but a bit old-fashioned. The song is unnecessarily difficult. Falsetto is still not strong enough. Definitely looks good on stage, and that is quite important.

Roberto Meloni: This is the type of song that would suit a musical but I am not sure about it competing in the Eurovision Song Contest. His vocal skills are unremarkable, although the end looks like a tribute to Whitney.

Lina Eriksson: A really beautiful ballad with lovely lyrics. Franklin is a great technical singer. I think this song can sure appeal to Europe. 

Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9R0yBr4538c

Published in Editorials

The European Broadcasting Union created the Eurovision Song Contest with the sole aim of uniting the country of one continent through the medium of song and Malta through the Public Broadcasting Services has been present for twenty five years noting twenty one appearances in the final stage of the competition with three qualifications and four non-qualifications from the semi-final system. The selection process used to search for the artist and the entry that will ultimately honour the colours of the flag is always one of the most predominant music showcases of the year with followers being both local and foreign hence the major investment. This year, as twenty four semi-finalists compete to represent Malta, exposure is key and escflashmalta.com is carrying out a set of professional reviews with the points awarded through a Eurovision system seemingly unveiled a winner through the programme Sas-Sitta on NET Television just days after the competition comes to an end. The fifth entry to be reviewed is Keep Believing performed, composed and penned by Raquela.

Entering the Malta Eurosong competition back in 2009 proved to be the beginning of an extremely successful career for Raquela noting that her entry Crossroads composed by Philip Vella and penned by Gerard James Borg had received the newcomer entry and was praised by the international media for discovering new talent. At the end of the evening, a mid-table placing was all she had to show despite the stunning performance but having had the opportunity to take part in a talent show in the preceding months and also perform with former Eurovision Song Contest representative was enough to get her going. Raquela reached the finals of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest in 2011 with a similar type of entry entitled If I Could Do It All Again composed by Marc Paelinck and penned by Matthias Strasser but this time was rather appreciated finishing in fifth place according to both the jury and the tele-voting. She decided to give the festival a miss for a year in which she took some time off before ultimately returning with a radio single bearing the name Entertain Me co-written between Boris Cezek and Dean Muscat. It reached the charts on 89.7 Bay and led to a number of events throughout the rest of the year. Doing the commentary for escflashmalta.com during the Eurovision Song Contest semi-finals must have given her the push she needed to return.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tCNb8tDp8R4

When the list of the qualifiers of the second phase had been published, it was revealed that the duo that make up the renowned Tenishia had been the songwriters of the track but this was only a mis-understanding noting that the entry Keep Believing was written by the performer herself but had been produced in the dance prodigies' studio. This is a completely different style for Raquela whose main audience is seemingly inclined to liking her charming ballads in which she could showcase her power vocals in the best possible way. Unfortunately for the people, this is not the genre she has taken up this time round with dance music becoming more of an intriguing asset for her to explore. It is quite intriguing that she is the songwriter of this song considering that she has never written her own material before but most likely, she did go with the idea of the melody to her production team and they created it together. There has actually been a lot of talk with regards to this entry which somewhat suits the vein of the winning entry of the 2012 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, Euphoria as many songs being presented in foreign national finals seemingly denote. Feedback has been mixed but with the right draw, this could actually be one of those dark horses on the night, supposing that the jury sees that there is an image and a voice behind this package.

The Critics Speak Out 

Rating: 43%

Sharon Vaughn: Technically speaking, this track sounds like a medley of songs which I would not want to hear once more.

Martin Isherwood: A good voice. Takes forever to get to somewhere that feels like a Drop or Chorus. Unusual song structure and odd mix of folky melodies and dance beats. Got some of the elements required but doesn't feel enough like a song 

Stano Simor: Choosing dance music for Eurosong 2013 is definitely right. Gimmick at the end of the song is also good. I think the voice of Raquela does not fit with her color. The first half of the song part is not strong enough. It is extremely important that the song garners an audience. 

Roberto Meloni: Well, the exact contrary of the title of the song. She looks so insecure, not believing in what she is doing at all! On the other hand, I would feel the same on that stage trying to figure out the meaning of all those messy vowels sung in a row!

Lina Eriksson: Singer/songwriter Raquela. In the beginning I really like this hybrid of song and remix. But like most remixes it gets a bit boring with all the repetition and I find myself still waiting for the big chorus when the song has ended. 

Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com

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

Published in Editorials
Wednesday, 09 January 2013 23:00

MESC 2013: Reviewing the track 'In Control'

The spectacle that has been coined as the Malta Eurovision Song Contest has undergone tremendous change in the past couple of years both in song and visual quality noting that there has been major effort put forward by songwriters, producers, and artists a like with the hope of presenting a show that is worthy for the local and international public to enjoy. This years' edition of the showcase is being highly promoted through various means which the Public Broadcasting Services can offer, both on television and radio. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that escflashmalta.com is giving all of the artists the maximum exposure possible by virtue of daily reviews about each of the participants and this is done in order to bring in an international perspective to each song noting that renowned songwriters, producers and musicians speak their mind about each of the possible representatives with the eventual winner given an award on the programme Sas-Sitta on NET Television on the 9th February. The fourth performer is Amber with the track In Control composed by Paul Giordimaina and penned by Fleur Balzan.

Amber is definitely not a newcomer to the local music scene noting that her music portfolio has been on the increase following her first major break within the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza competition where her entry Trid Tapprezza co-written between Ray Agius and Alfred C Sant emerged as the winner despite an extremely tough field of entries. Suddenly, from an almost complete newcomer at the time, she managed to make it through to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest in 2011 with two entries, the first one being Touch Wood co-written between Ray Agius and Alfred C Sant and the second one being Catch 22 co-written by Ray Agius and Godwin Sant. She was the only artist to have two entries and on the final night, the latter was the one which made it through and exposed the voters to someone relatively different with a swing type of entry having made the cut. Ultimately though, her big break came at the same event within the following year noting that her entry Answer With Your Eyes co-written between Ray Agius and Alfred C Sant finished in third place despite the lack of support from the public which failed to award her any points. Nevertheless, she was chosen to replace Ylenia Vella as Kurt Calleja's backing vocalist in the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 and also performed with tenor Joseph Calleja during the summer.
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTstdRSgRZ0
 
2013 could definitely be the year that Amber could surprise and music critics are already some intrigued by the fact that whilst keeping into her typical genre, she has decided to work with new songwriters noting that In Control is co-written between Paul Giordimaina and Fleur Balzan who have been to the Eurovision Song Contest with the track One Life performed by Glen Vella in 2011. It was quite a disappointment to see them go to the actual event and rank in eleventh place within the semi-final, missing out by just one point but after all, it was indeed a competition. Their most successful year in Malta was in 2009 as their entries Someday performed by Eleanor Cassar and Before You Walk Away by Q finished in second and third place respectively. This time round, this is a song which is quite different from their usual area of expertise yet still feels like it has their touch, due to the songwriting credit. The surprising element in the track is surely the finger snapping which will surely be the gimmick of the performance and will most likely be made to full use by the apparent backing vocalists which if not toned down could also be the highlight of the track according to many. There are a number of tricks which have to be added to this performance in order to make it stand out and the running order of the evening will play a pivotal role.
 
The Critics Speak Out
 
Rating: 60%
 
Sharon Vaughn: I am quite disappointed to say that this is quite a weak song and the performance generally lacks strength. It seems that the artist might be inexperienced in this type of track.
 
Martin Isherwood: Chorus not very strong. Voice ok but derivative. Production feels dated. Not really a Eurovision song. Hints of ‘let me be the only one’ by Eternal but nowhere near as strong. 
 
Stano Simor: Amber has very good attitude. It is clear to me why Kurt chose her as vocalist in Baku :-). The song has a good flow and arrangements are very well executed. The color of her voice is not specific,but she is one of the best singers in the competition. 
 
Roberto Meloni: She is that kind of singer that definitely stays in mind. Very musical, professional, attractive and into the song. The song itself is not that special..If I was a Maltese songwriter I’d definitely try to collaborate with her in the competition. 
 
Lina Eriksson: At first I really like the retro feeling in the verse of this song. But then the chorus isn’t at all what I expected and I feel they don’t really fit together. I’m left disappointed. Good verse – but not such a good chorus. 
 
Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSREGNZ0lJk
Published in Editorials
Wednesday, 09 January 2013 02:28

MESC 2013: Reviewing the track 'Fantasy'

The Public Broadcasting Services has carefully plotted the promotional campaign for each of the competing entries in this years' edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest by virtue of guest appearances on a number of television and radio shows through several mediums such as Television Malta, Radju Malta and Magic Malta. Interest in the competition is peaking now that the competition is less than a month away with several people trying their best to find out every ounce of information possible about each of the tracks and the performers. The first two entries were given their running order positions because they were drawn first and last respectively but nevertheless, the rest of the field will be coordinated by virtue of song genres in order to avoid the possibility of having a section of the show with one type of music. escflashmalta.com is giving all the artists exposure by virtue of reviews by high profile critics which do not reflect the opinion of the editorial board and will ultimately lead to an award which will be given during the programme Sas-Sitta on NET Television on the 9th February. The third performer is Danica Muscat who will be performing the song Fantasy composed by Paul Abela and penned by Joe Julian Farrugia.

She Is a Diamond, the beautiful track found in Evita the Musical could gladly refer to the young talent that is Danica Muscat who has been somewhat going around the world competing in a number of showcases and coming away with several trophies including first place finishes in the Ti Amo Festival held in Romania as well as the Tralcio D'Oro which takes place in Italy. Nevertheless, it is worth noting that her local fame to existence following a stunning rendition of an original track entitled Stolen during the Malta Junior Eurosong competition in 2007, ultimately finishing in second place behind Cute and their entry Music which would only achieved a mid-table result at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest. Growing up, Danica had the opportunity to travel to Italy on countless occasions, after having been selected to take part in the show Io Canto on Canale 5 with the renowned Jerry Scott. She garnered experience and performed with the likes of Ornella Vanoni, Ron, Pierdavide Carone and Max Pezalli.  This experience also led to an official recording on the compilation of the second series of Io Canto performing the songs In Assenza Di Te, Sigla and Silent Night. In the past two years, she has been a finalist in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest and also the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza with 7 Days, Kliem Li M'Għidtlek Qatt and Indipendenti

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0O-2Ofzi6x0

Still a teenager, reaching the live stage of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest was never going to be easy but Danica Muscat has managed for two consecutive years and this time round she is presenting a different type of entry in the form of Fantasy which many have seemed to dub as a rock ballad hence the look that she took up in the track which gladly suits the element of the track. Many people seem to comment on the sweet vocals that Danica adds to the performance along with a shimmer in the eye. The song is made special thanks to this element and might not have been carried out better if given to another performer. he guitars, drums and the slight electronic synthesizer create a full sound, one which is gladly required and somewhat readjusted from the original version of the track as heard during the announcement on the programme Xarabank. The songwriting duo behind this entry is made up of composer Paul Abela and lyricist Joe Julian Farrugia whose most predominant and successful entries have come forth with the group Trilogy who finished third in 2006 with This Heart of Mine, second in 2007 with Starlight and sixth in 2009 with The Song In Your Heart. It is important to denote that Paul Abela was the composer of Maltese Eurovision entries in 1991, 1996 and 2001 respectively whilst also conducting the 1992 entry.

The Critics Speak Out

Rating: 43%

Sharon Vaughn: I am quite disappointed to say that this is quite a weak song and the performance generally lacks strength. It seems that the artist might be inexperienced in this type of track.

Martin Isherwood: Strong melody but let down by unclear lyrics. Lyrics unclear as to meaning. Lovely voice. Nice key change out of the first chorus. Ill advised solo! Good musically, could be stronger lyrically but could do well 

Stano Simor: This is a performer who seems to depend on her image in the competition and feels very home on stage but nevertheless, the tracks feels like something coming out of the 80's with such an arrangement. Guitar solos are now longer the tend in the Eurovision Song Contest. This young singer should select a track for her age and has everything in her favour except the song.

Roberto Meloni: Young and talented girl, but my my, this is quite a boring song… After 30 seconds of listening to it, I felt they changed the rules of Eurovision, allowing songs which could last 10 minutes.

Lina Eriksson: This, for me, is an ok song. Not more, not less.  I think it will have a hard time making it in this competition though. The old-school guitar from the 90’s in the background is a big no-no if you ask me. 

Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com

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

Published in Editorials

The tickets are selling fast and that could only mean that the 2013 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest is not too far away and indeed, as in less than a month, a winner will be known and the preparations for the final product would have also begun. The Public Broadcasting Services have carefully planned a promotional strategy for each respective entry through Television Malta, Radju Malta and Magic Malta whilst our web portal escflashmalta.com initiated this feature yesterday with high profile critics introduced late last year having a say of each respective entry, with their compiled score ultimately listed as a percentage out of the total maximum points which could have been awarded, fifty but nevertheless, the result will be based on their top ten preferences, with a Eurovision styled voting pattern to decide the winning track which will be revealed during Sas-Sitta on the 9th February. The second act, is Richard Edwards who will be performing the song Fall Like Rome composed by Philip Vella and Magnus Kaxe with lyrics by Gerard James Borg. This will be the opening entry in the semi-final of the 2013 Malta Eurovision Song Contest.

Since 2010, Richard Edwards has picked up a number of accolades to his name and gained fame across the country for his performances at the Malta Eurovision Song Contest along with a couple of singles which have been released on the local airwaves. As a matter of fact, his entry Finally is still thought to be one of the most beautiful songs presented in the competition and to this day, many international critics still question the choice of the public over the one of the jury noting that he would have achieved a higher placing but nevertheless, it was just not meant to be. Ultimately though, Richard returned last year with another track entitled Look at Me Now and once more finished in third place with the public vote, yet failing to wrack up the support of the judges succumbing to a respectable sixth place finish. His single releases, have included You're Gonna Thank Me and My Mistake and it is still expected that an album will be following within the next couple of months considering that his material is becoming increasingly numerous. It is important to note that he also auditioned for the X Factor competition a couple of years back and unlucky for him, had to follow a tough act such as Leona Lewis but with his tracks played on 89.7 Bay and XFM, success is seemingly within reach.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GtM4sfopBnU

This time round, instead of presenting a solo entry on his own alongside the composition of renowned composer, Jan Van Dijck, he has teamed up with a set of new songwriters who might be familiar to the local public. Fall Like Rome, is a very intriguing type of entry because it features a mixture of genres but has a predominant country tinge surrounding pop and rock at the very same time. There is a certain uplifting element in the way that the backing vocals come together with the sound of the violins and that is what makes the whole track come together. Philip Vella and Gerard James Borg have worked together on numerous entries in the past with their most recent success coming last year with Pure performed by Claudia Faniello which finished in second place but they have been to the Eurovision Song Contest on five occasions, all in the past decade. Yet, joining their musical expertise in the composition is none other than the Swede, Magnus Kaxe whose first experience in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest came last year with Dorothy Bezzina and her entry Autobiography. This is not a man to be taken lightly in the industry having proudly worked with the international superstar; Celine Dion and recently disbanded Irish group; Westlife.

The Critics Speak Out

 Rating: 70%

Sharon Vaughn: Impressive singer, nevertheless, the mass mixing of metaphors, so the message ends up getting lost leaving the singer performing without having anything to believe in.

Martin Isherwood: Good title and strong chorus. Clever lyric but not sure that the simile stands up. Strong engaging introduction bit the verse doesn't live up to the promise. Great track with good ideas. 

Stano Simor: One of the best songs of this year's Eurovision Song Contest in Malta. Catchy vocal line, arrangement, production. Composers and authors have done a good job. Richard is a good singer, but the colour of his voice doesn't fit with such a song in my opinion. Overall, with some aided visuals, this will get a strong result.

Roberto Meloni: I needed to put on the refrain for three times to get over the shock of the lyrics. Richard, Rome will NEVER fall! Sorry, but I can’t get the metaphor. Good melody though, and remarkable falsetto skills.

Lina Eriksson: Just when I’m about to give up my hope for Malta based on this running order, Richard Edwards appears and totally sweeps me off my feet. I love this! I've said it in other years and I’ll say it again; Richard has got it all. He’s got the voice, the looks, the charisma and this year his best song entry ever. Melody, lyrics, production… For me, this is the winner…perhaps of the whole Eurovision Song Contest. I simply fall like Rome.

Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_BJWjmpVqs4

Published in Editorials
Sunday, 06 January 2013 23:00

MESC 2013: Reviewing the track 'Betrayed'

The 2013 edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest is less than a month away and the Public Broadcasting Services is promoting each of the respective competing entries on Television Malta, Radju Malta and Magic Malta whilst our web portal escflashmalta.com will officially start tackling each of the tracks as of today, noting that a number of high profile critics as introduced late last year have had the opportunity to listen to the full versions of the tracks and thus comment on an individual basis on each whilst their compiled score will also be listed as a percentage out of the total maximum points which could have been awarded, fifty. Kicking off the proceedings with our annual feature which will see someone winning the Critics Choice Award on Sas-Sitta on the 9th February will be none other than festival newcomer Davinia Pace who will be performing the song Betrayed composed by Elton Zarb and penned by Matthew Mercieca, more commonly known as Muxu as the final track in the semi-final slated to take place on the 1st February at the Malta Fairs and Conventions Centre.

Davinia Pace is not only a completely newcomer to the Malta Eurovision Song Contest but is relatively new in the local music scene noting that she moved to Hertfordshire at the tender age of thirteen in order to follow her craft and learn the art of performance. As a matter of fact, music started becoming one of the main elements in her life and as she grew, she decided that becoming a singer would be possible with the right training and indeed, she enrolled into the musical college known as Vocal Tech, where she learned how to control her voice better and ultimately showing that blues and jazz had a predominant role in her outlook. In recent months, she has been quite busy recording brand new material with her good friend, Muxu and as a matter of fact came about the duet Feel Good Song as well as her number #1 hit single Bottled My Teardrops. These two songs reflected well upon Davinia garnering a nomination for Best Newcomer at the Bay Music Awards. She decided to continue working on the genre itself and thus came about another track entitled Sail Away which was released onto 89.7 Bay Radio very recently.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YD2nWSRgXgc

Betrayed is the focus of this review of course, and the focus seems to be with regards to the fact that it is somewhat similar in genre to a bond tune and more specifically Skyfall which was released by singer/songwriter Adele in recent weeks. It is coming across well on screen and Davinia seems to be very camera friendly noting that she manages to get the attention of the viewer instantly. Songwriting credit in music goes to Elton Zarb who despite having solo projects in this manner has become renowned for his work on the hit musical drama series D.R.E.A.M.S. amongst others. This will not be his first time competing with his most recent tracks in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest  being Whoop It Up! for Annalise Ellul and While My Eyes Still Glow for Janice Mangion in 2012. On the other hand, the lyrics by Matthew Mercieca known as Muxu come as a surprise for this particular competition noting that the singer/songwriter has never been keen into entering himself despite a number of hits including his recent single Pour Down On Me but his work with Davinia Pace is consistent and she clearly let him shine through from a lyrical point of view.

The Critics Speak Out

Rating: 56%

Sharon Vaughn: I really believe in Davinia as a performer and on this particular song, there seems to be that something special.

Martin Isherwood: Chorus melodically strong but lyric setting feels a little awkward. In fact, it becomes a very confusing lyric. Nice voice but derivative. Amy Winehouse seemingly meets Bond.

Stano Simor: Tina Turner’s Golden Eye or the Belgian group Hooverphonic? Yes I love this style of music. Anyways, I don't think is the right way to reach fans or to get enough points. Second Lena will not return anymore. There is nothing to disapprove off, at least with the song but it does fit with the other tracks. Davinia has a specifically nasal voice that sits in this style of music.

Roberto Meloni: Davinia has a very special vocal “material”, she is like a raw jewel. I like her attitude, not sure about her dress. About the song: what about more improvisation in the last part? It’s not a winning song, but I like the way she delivers it. 

Lina Eriksson: For me, this does not work at all. I’m really sorry Davinia but this a sleeping-pill from beginning to end.

Source: Public Broadcasting Services, escflashmalta.com

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tm9AMUD3oW8

Published in Editorials