November 18, 2019

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Fire, co-written by Lauren White, Niall Mooney and Willie Weeks with vocals provided by Zoe Alexis was not appreciated during the Irish Eurosong held on the 22nd February 2013 languishing in a penultimate position on the leaderboard. One of the songwriters, Lauren White spoke to the Irish Daily Star about how a producer in Los Angeles heard the song and wanted to pitch it to a couple of artists. Ultimately, it was Nicole Scherzinger who thought that the song was genius and indeed, she will be recording it within the next couple of months.

Zoe Alexis, the original artist of the track was endorsed by a series of celebrities in the lead up to the Irish Eurosong including none other than singer/songwriters Bressie and Brian Kennedy, both of which were coaches on the first edition of The Voice of Ireland as well as Michelle Heaton from Atomic Kitten and Niall Horan from One Direction. Ultimately though, the public and the jury disagreed in their decision to send Ryan Dolan with the track Only Love Survives which he co-wrote alongside Wez Devine. The song did not fare well, obtaining only five (5) points in the final to see Ireland succumb to another last place finish, something that they had also experienced at the 2007 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the song They Can't Stop The Spring performed by Dervish. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: The Irish Daily Star

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKbVhUuaD4k

Thursday, 21 February 2013 03:07

Exclusive: Zoe Alexis speaks to escflashmalta

One of the most anticipated national finals this season seems to be the one taking place in Ireland and this is due to the fact that it is somewhat wide open with the artists gathering endorsements from renowned personalities in the entertainment industry to garner public acknowledgment and indeed, support. Zoe Alexis is one of the five artists competing for the right to represent the country in the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest having been selected by mentor and songwriter; Niall Mooney to perform the song Fire which he co-wrote alongside Lauren White and Willie Weeks. escflashmalta.com had the opportunity to have a chat with her prior to the actual final which is taking place tomorrow evening.

Ireland has managed to come out on top at the Eurovision Song Contest on an astonishing seven occasions, but nevertheless, the last time that this happened was way back in 1996 with Eimear Quinn and her track The Voice which had followed the success achieved by Dana, Johnny Logan, Linda Martin, Niamh Kavanagh, Charlie McGettigan and Paul Harrington. Looking back at what each of the winning entries presented to the competition, do you think that you can bring something different and which of the artists mentioned above do you most admire?

I definitely feel I can bring something different to the Eurovision. I love to give my audience a real show and I want to give Ireland a pop star; everything from my song and style is exciting, young and different. The Irish Eurovision entry I admire the most has to be Niamh Kavanagh. I love her voice and her performance still to this day is one of my favourites.

As per the selection process established by the Irish broadcaster, RTE in recent years, you were sought by a mentor, in the form of Niall Mooney. Now, this songwriter has been to the Eurovision Song Contest on two occasions already whilst he has made it through to selections in Europe as well, so his experience might have swayed you to take up this showcase. What was the initial idea behind competing in the Late Late Show Eurosong and what could you tell us about your entry The Fire which is co-written by Niall Mooney, Lauren White and Willie Weeks?

I was very excited and humbled when I was first approached. It’s been an amazing experience so far and I can only imagine what it would be like to go to Sweden if selected. Fire is an all-round great pop track. It is something the younger and older audience will like. I believe this this song has the ability to do well in Ireland and across the world. Not one person I’ve meet has been able to get the song out of their heads. It is everything and more I could have hoped for in a song!

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

For the past two years, Ireland has received a lot of international attention from the media due to the fact that Jedward had taken the role of representatives but nevertheless, this proved to be quite a positive element with a younger demographic somewhat intrigued about the growth in popularity with regards to the Eurovision Song Contest. What did you make of the performances of Lipstick and Waterline and did you believe that it was the right choice for the jury and the public to select them on two consecutive years?

I think Jedward were great. They really opened the door to the pop world in Ireland. Although I think it would have been nice to have another act given a shot the second time round they still performed well and gave it everything.

During the performance of your entry Fire, you will be joined on stage by two experienced performers, in the form of Donna McCaul who was the Eurovision Song Contest back in 2004 alongside her brother Joe as well as Nikki Kavanagh who was the first-runner up of the Eurosong competition with the song Falling, two years ago despite having won the support of the regional jury. I have no doubts that the presentation will be of the highest standard with such professionals around but what advice have they given you in the lead up to the evening?

Yes I will be accompanied by Donna and Nikki. It’s a pleasure and honour to have the support of the ladies. They have helped and given me such great advice, I feel very lucky to have them on my team this year.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UV4rQSS2K4I

There has been a lot of talk with regards to the entries competing to represent Ireland at the next edition of the Eurovision Song Contest and whilst it has been mixed, one could denote that there has been a somewhat positive perception. The interest in the competition seems to be growing and the mentors are taking it extremely serious. Name one of the other four entries competing against you on which would not only secure qualification for Ireland but achieve the potentially best result in years, even better than the recent eighth place achieved by Jedward?

As much as I would love to name just the one, I find it nearly impossible. The acts this year in my opinion would all qualify. Every song and act have a certain something that could be brought to the table. I think Ireland is tired of last few unsuccessful wins and this year’s contestants really show how serious we are taking it.

In recent days, it seems that you have been quite busy with rehearsals of the performance of Fire whilst in the meantime, artists from all around the country and beyond have come to your aid endorsing your participation and granting you the possibility of gaining momentum. Amongst the acts who have come to your aid, there have been Michelle Heaton from Liberty X, Niall Horan from One Direction and Niall Breslin. What can we expect out of the performance on Friday night and what does such support mean to you personally?

You can definitely expect a show and it’ll be something you won’t forget! The support means everything to me. From growing up listening to some of these artist and admiring them to now having their support is beyond anything I could ever think of and having Bressie and Niall show their support is so appreciated. I really respect these guys. 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKbVhUuaD4k

One of the key moments in history for Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest was the noteworthy twelve points given back in 1993 which lead to the victory of Niamh Kavanagh with the track In Your Eyes with the nations having a successful relationship since then. This year, the country has selected a newcomer by tha name of Gianluca Bezzina to head to the competition with the track Tomorrow co-written by Dean Muscat and Boris Cezek. What do you make of it's chance to succeed within the second semi-final?

I think Gianluca has as much of a great chance of winning as everyone else. It really depends on what the people genuinely like but as we know all will be revealed on the night.

Would you like to say anything to your fans and our readers at escflashmalta.com?

That I’m so thankful for all the support you have given me and I will do everything to make you all proud.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1UyFaCS6OU

Published in Interviews

The Late Late Show Eurosong 2013 will be taking place in a couple of weeks and preparations are well underway at RTÉ who revealed the competing entries in the past couple of hours. Critics have commented extremely positively with regards to the presented material and believe that Ireland could get into the final for the fourth consecutive year following the success achieved by Niamh Kavanagh with It's For You in 2010, and Jedward with Lipstick and Waterline in 2011 and 2012 respectively. One of the entries in the selection process entitled Fire performed by Zoe Alexis will have quite the team around her, as revealed to the Irish media earlier today.

Former Eurovision Song Contest representative; Donna McCaul who just happens to be the partner of songwriter; Lauren White, and last years' second runner-up in the Eurosong competition with the track Mercy will be one of the three female backing vocalists on the team alongside Nikki Kavanagh who competed to represent the country back in 2011 finishing in the first runner-up position with Falling. It is also worth pointing out that in 2011, Donna McCaul was a backing vocalist for Janvil in his performance of Topsy Turvy with the track being co-written by Niall Mooney, the composer of the track Fire and mentor of Zoe Bohorquez. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about Ireland in the 2013 Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: Eurovision Ireland

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gKbVhUuaD4k

Wednesday, 12 December 2012 14:45

Ireland: RTÉ Setting the Scene for Eurosong 2013

As national broadcasters around Europe unveil the entries for the 2013 Eurovision selections, there is likely to be little or no news from the contest’s most successful country until early in the new year.  At the start of November, Irish broadcaster RTÉ confirmed its intention to be in Malmo and that it would use the same selection process as it has used in the last two years. Once again five mentors will seek out songs and performers to compete in a Eurosong special edition of “The Late Late Show”, Ireland’s most successful chat show. On Friday February 22nd, the Irish Eurovision entry will be chosen by a 50/50 mix of regional juries and a public tele-vote. 

With former Eurovision reference group member Julian Vignoles leaving RTÉ after being Ireland’s Mr.Eurovision for ten years. The Irish campaign for 2013 will be headed by Michael Kealy, who was previously the Irish Head of Delegation for the ill-fated entry in Belgrade in 2008.  The decision to stick with the same selection formula has received a mixed reaction with Irish fans as many question whether the Eurosong show would be better taken away from “The Late Late Show” audience and given its own earlier slot in the schedule, with a potentially younger audience. One thing that is likely to be different about this year’s Irish selection is that it is unlikely to feature Jedward.

While many may have questioned if the popular duo would be suitable for Eurovision, back in 2011, there is little doubt that the twins have brought a new generation of Irish music fans to the contest and the television ratings in Ireland for the last two years have been amongst the highest ever achieved by the contest, since Ireland first entered the event back in 1965. Higher ratings have also resulted in more chart success, with Jedward’s Irish entry “Lipstick” reaching #1 in 2011 and following its victory in Baku, “Euphoria” by Loreen repeated the feat in May 2012, making it the first non-Irish Eurovision chart-topper for 30 years.

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

Despite the high profile that has returned to the contest in Ireland, RTÉ struggled to find five suitable mentors for 2013. Two mentors who were originally on RTÉ’s shortlist withdrew, with 1993 Eurovision winner Niamh Kavanagh and Riverdance producer John McColgan not being able to give sufficient time to the process. Nevertheless, the five people who have now accepted the challenge and they offer an interesting and varied view of the contest.

Mairead Farrell is a well-known television and radio personality and a self-confessed longterm Eurovision fan and she is the only female mentor. She has attended several contests as part of the Today FM team, headed by Ray D’Arcy and was part of “The Late Late Show” Eurosong panel in 2011, where she was openly hostile to the prospects of Jedward at Eurovision. Without a demonstrated musical pedigree, it is believed that Mairead is working with a non-Irish songwriting team, but the performer of her song is likely to be Irish.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2huxEkE1GD4

Shay Healy by contrast is an old style singer, songwriter and journalist.  Originally Shay gained attention for writing mainly comedy material, but it was the deeply personal song “What Another Year” that he is best known. The song sung by Johnny Logan, won the 1980 Eurovision Song Contest and became a Worldwide hit, still earning Shay significant royalties.  Shay is a well known face on Irish television, most famously for the “Nighthawks” show, but music remains his first love and it is believed that Shay , who has been fighting Parkinson’s Disease for several years, will write his own song for the Eurosong selection.

Mark McCabe is another mentor with a background in music and broadcasting. Mark who first came to national attention over twenty years ago has at various times been a radio station manager, music producer, DJ, singer and songwriter. Mark’s famous cover version of “Maniac” from “Footloose” is one of the most successful records in the history of the Irish chart, spending ten weeks at number one in 2000. With a background in songwriting and dance music, the expectation is of an uptempo song.

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

Niall Mooney is no stranger to Eurovision fans, having co-written “Et Cetera” and “It’s For You”, the Irish entries in 2009 and 2010. Niall has worked with several Irish and Swedish songwriters and has also reached the national finals in places like Malta and Lithuania. It is believed that the Galway based songwriter is working with young Irish songwriting and singing talent for his 2013 entry and rumours suggest a contemporary uptempo song with a female vocalist.

Stuart O'Connor may be the least familiar name in the mentors list but he is the man with the most recent experience of the Eurovision Song Contest. Stuart has been working with Jedward for the past couple of years and he is the man behind their stage shows and choreography. Well none as something of a perfectionist, Stuart’s Eurosong entry is likely to be the most polished of the five Eurosong finalists and it is believed that Stuart has also been working with songwriters from several countries to choose the perfect song.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1cuimKLNpU

All of the mentors are playing their cards close to their chests on singers and it is known that some acts have been approached by at least two mentors. Two singers that many are hoping to see at Eurovision are Limerick’s Leanne Moore and Dubliner Rebecca Creighton.

Leanne Moore burst onto the Irish music scene in 2008, when she won the final series of “You’re A Star”. Since then, she has topped the Irish singles chart, become an entertainment columnist and provided backing vocals for Jedward in Dusseldorf and in Baku. Leanne previously competed in Eurosong in 2010 and is known to be very keen on representing Ireland at Eurovision, in her own right.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9jpp4DluZ_c

Rebecca Creighton also came to public attention through a television casting show, the U.K.’s “X Factor” where she was part of the all-girl group “Belle Amie” that reached the live shows in 2010. Rebecca left he group earlier this year, to pursue a solo career and she has been targeted by a couple of the Eurosong mentors.

Other much less likely names in the frame are former Eurosong finalists Nikki Kavanagh and Donna McCaul, Pat Byrne who won the Irish version of The Voice, Lucia Evans, another former You’re A Star winner and the Derry born Damian McGinty who has starred in the television series Glee. The singers and songs will be revealed in January, as Ireland hope to make it to the Eurovision final for the fourth time in a row in 2013. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about the 2013 edition of the competition which is taking place in Malmo, Sweden.

Source: Keith Mills

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6fXY6WelqiA

Wednesday, 07 November 2012 07:18

Ireland: RTÉ Reveals Eurosong 2013 Mentors

The nineties proved to be one of the most successful decades for the Republic of Ireland due to the fact that there were a number of positive results including a total of four victories and a first runner-up finish which would definitely not go unnoticed in the Eurovision Song Contest but as a new decade swept in, the millennium will be widely remembered as wiping the slate clean because there was a drastic change in the fortunes of the nation which was  hitting the mid to lower table every year from 2001 onwards apart from some exceptions brought about by an eleventh finish in 2003 thanks to the track We've Got the World performed by Mickey Harte and a tenth place result in 2006 with the aid of Brian Kennedy and his heartfelt performance of the song Every Song is a Cry for Love. For the past two years, Ireland has decided to change their system of selection or rather alter it by virtue of introducing five mentors who select the acts that would compete in the national selection and both years, the outcome has seen none other than the group Jedward winning the ticket.

Jedward have already ruled themselves out of the running following their appearance in the 2012 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest where their entry entitled Waterline finished in nineteenth place within the final. This time round, it seems that the Irish broadcaster; RTÉ have purposely chosen the mentors in a manner where there could also be a generation gap in terms of music. In fact, the chosen individuals are as follows; Mairéad Farrell (Television and Radio Presenter), Shay Healy (Songwriter of What's Another Year), Mark McCabe (Radio Disc Jockey and Producer), Niall Mooney (Songwriter of Et Cetera and It's for You) and Stuart O'Connor (Producer). This Late Late Show Eurosong 2013 special will be taking place on the 22nd February 2013 and it seems that there will be an intriguing set of acts hoping to represent the Emerald Isle in the Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Malmo, Sweden. There are a number of people who are being rumoured to be entering the selection process including former You're A Star winner; Leanne Moore as well as X Factor contestant; Melanie McCabe. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more news about the Irish selection in due course.

Source: RTÉ

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