December 06, 2019

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Firelight are currently planning to jet off to the Eurovision Song Contest and represent Malta with the song Coming Home written by Richard Edwards Micallef. Opening the second semi-final will be no easy feat but nevertheless, the group seem ready to take Europe by storm following their short promotional tour in The Netherlands, Russia and the United Kingdom. Garnering support from music professionals all around, it comes as no surprise that the Norwegian Jury on ESC+PLUS have voiced their support for the entry.

Christine Guldbrandsen who represented Norway in the 2006 with the song Alvedansen and Dina Mislund who tried her luck at representing her home country in this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest with the song Needs both agreed that Malta should come out on top in the international competition voting with Something Better performed by Softengine on behalf of Finland finishing in second place and Calm After the Storm sung by The Common Linnets for The Netherlands in third place. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news.

Source: ESC+PLUS

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qxi5C-lGX2Y

Saturday, 12 April 2014 16:15

Norway: Interview with Carl Espen (ESC 14)

In recent years, escflashmalta.com has been on the forefront in chatting to artists who would be heading to the Eurovision Song Contest and hopefully representing their country and achieving a positive result. Next up is Carl Espen who will be representing Norway with the song Silent Storm written by Josefin Winther, who happens to be his cousin. He speaks of the opportunity at representing his country in such an international event.

Silent Storm written by Josefin Winther is a true gem, a classic ballad which requires a heartfelt rendition in order to reach the masses. What are you currently doing to ensure that the message of the song comes across during the competition and what do the lyrics mean to you on a personal level?

I know that the most important thing in my performance is to be in touch with my emotions when singing it. It is difficult, but important. There’s no actual way to «rehearse» that part, but I try to connect with my inner feeling every single time I sing it. Also I think it’s important to not forget why I’m doing this, and that my dream is to sing for people. Nothing more, nothing less. The lyrics are very personal to me, and Josefin really hit the nail on it’s head when she wrote it to me. The lyrics express the feelings whirling inside me, that often feel like I have a silent storm inside. It also carries a growing hope, that someday I’ll be calm. The song has grown more and more important to me on a personal level. 

Norway has been drawn to compete in the first half of the second semi-final, with the European Broadcasting Union as well as Danmarks Radio allocating slot number #3 for the performance. Have you heard any of the other competing entries and how would you rate the Malta's chances?

Yes, I have heard many of the other contestants, and I’m so impressed by the level of music and artists. I’m very humbled by the fact that I’m in this competition. I just love the vocal harmonies in Malta’s contribution. Firelight is also close to genres I personally like. 

In 2009, it was all about Alexander Rybak and the song Fairytale, garnering a significant lead over the first runner-up to win the Eurovision Song Contest. In the years following that, Norway has only come close to winning once more last year with Margaret Berger finishing in fourth place with her entry I Feed You My Love. What expectations do you have prior to arriving at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark?

I have been an artist for four months now, and I have learned so much. From the day it became official that I was participating in the Norwegian pre-selections, I have received so much positive attention, support, love, fan mail and good reviews, and every day has felt like a new milestone for me. So even to be in the ESC finals is a great honor, and try to focus on preparing as much as I can. I don’t think so much about my chances of winning, etc, but just to focus on really putting my heart and soul into everything I do on stage. My expectations are to meet fantastic people, make new friends, get inspired by all the love for music, and to be blown away by the biggest experience in my life; singing «Silent Storm» for over 100 million people live.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4iHG9-AJSEA

Spotify, a music resource which is vital in the industry, being used to stream songs which are successful at the moment whilst also offering an astonishing back catalogue of albums from all across the world. Your entry, Silent Storm has topped the most listened to track in Norway but has failed to trouble the official music chart. Do you believe that the artist will find it difficult to make an honest career in music with such mechanisms?

To see that my song has been listened to several hundred thousand times, and that it’s the 6th most played song on radios in Norway, is for me just unbelievable. We all know that the industry and the way we listen to music is changing, and I think it has pros and cons. I think the best thing to do as an artist, is to focus on making good and genuine music, and to team up with people who know the industry well, and who are interested in always being one step ahead.  

Whenever nerves creep into a performance, that is where the criticism is known to commence and despite the overwhelmingly positive reviews from a local audience during the Melodi Grand Prix, several people on forums pointed out that you were nervous. Will you be alone on stage come May, or will you have someone to share the nerves with moments prior to the performance and whilst on the actual stage? 

I think it would have been strange if I hadn’t been nervous, whilst making my debut as an artist life in front of the Norwegian people. I am constantly working to develop as a singer and as an artist, and I know I will be able to sing «Silent Storm» even better when I come to Copenhagen. I will have musicians with me on stage, and will also have my singing teacher for last preparations before entering the stage. It is going to be an unforgettable night for me. I am very much looking forward to it. 

Would you like to say anything to the readers of escflashmalta.com?

I would like to send out a warm greeting to the readers of escflashmalta.com, and thank you for the attention and for reading my interview. I am so grateful for all the support and love I receive, and I want you all to know that it means a lot to me. Thank you! All the best, Carl.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2LBOjxBty8U

Published in Interviews

Danmarks Radio, host broadcaster of the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest has just revealed the running order for the international competition taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark. Represented by Firelight and the song Coming Home, written by Richard Edwards Micallef, Malta will be opening the second semi-final on the 8th May 2014.

Prior to the announcement of the draw for the running order, Malta had never been given the opportunity to open the semi-final of such an illustrious show. At first glance, one might be shocked but personally I had a strong feeling that this could happen given the diversity of the genres that make up the first half of the second semi-final. Seventh in qualification with the bookies, Coming Home is facing a fate bestowed to the likes of Nije Ljubav Stvar, This is My Life, Run Away and Love In Rewind, all of which have successfully qualified to the final of the continental competition. 

01) Malta: Coming Home - Firelight

02) Israel: Same Heart - Mei Finegold

03) Norway: Silent Storm - Carl Espen

04) Georgia: Three Minutes to Earth - The Shin & Mariko

05) Poland: My Slowanie - Donatan & Cleo

06) Austria: Rise Like a Phoenix - Conchita Wurst

07) Lithuania: Attention - Vilija Mataciunaite

08) Finland: Something Better - Softengine

09) Ireland: Heartbeat - Can-Linn ft. Kasey Smith

10) Belarus: Cheesecake - Teo

11) FYR Macedonia: To The Sky - Tijana

12) Switzerland: Hunter of Stars - Sebalter

13) Greece: Rise Up - Freaky Fortune ft. RiskyKidd

14) Slovenia: Round and Round - Tinkara Kovac

15) Romania: Miracle - Paula & Ovi

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6QJFYvoYZ-s

It is quite interesting to denote that those entries which opened the second semi-final have proven to be much more successful than those opening the first semi-final. In the meantime, the situation in the first semi-final is even moreso intriguing especially with the first half of the show induated with ballads, despite that they try and preserve themselves as individualistic. Favourite to win the Eurovision Song Contest with odds shortening by the second, Armenia is set to open the first semi-final in a bizarre twist.

01) Armenia: You're Not Alone - Aram MP3

02) Latvia: Cake to Bake - Aarzemnieki

03) Estonia: Amazing - Tanja

04) Sweden: Undo - Sanna Nielsen

05) Iceland: No Prejudice - Pollaponk

06) Albania: One Night's Anger - Hersi

07) Russia: Shine - Tolmachevy Sisters

08) Azerbaijan: Start a Fire - Dilara Kazimova

09) Ukraine: Tick-Tock - Mariya Yaremchuk

10) Belgium: Mother - Axel Hirsoux

11) Moldova: Wild Soul - Cristina Scarlat

12) San Marino: Maybe (Forse) - Valentina Monetta

13) Portugal: Quero Ser Tua - Suzy

14) The Netherlands: Calm After the Storm - The Common Linnets

15) Montenegro: Moj Svijet - Sergej Cetkovic

16) Hungary: Running - Andras Kallay-Saunders

One has to remember that ten countries per semi-final will get through to the final show set for the 10th May 2014 at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark meaning that nine nations will be left out in the cold having not been selected amongst the best that the continent has to offer. In the final, the qualifiers will join entries from Spain, France, Germany, United Kingdom and host country Denmark who have already been given an extremely late draw following a random draw. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Ggv4LApQcY

Now that the National Final season is over, we can officially say that it’s time for the chosen artists to promote and try their hardest to showcase their entry and make their country proud. During the National Final season many fans had different opinions about the song that should of been chosen. Fan favorites sometimes triumphs the Juries perspective of which entry should be in Copenhagen and vice versa. With this said everyone has their own opinion, likes and dislikes but we are going to review three scandinavian gems which shone during their national finals but ultimately placed as the first runner up of the competition.

Norway: Linnea Dale - High Hopes

The last time norway won the Eurovision was back in 2009. In 2013 they made a huge stamp in the contest by placing in the top 5 but now Norway is buzzing being one of the big contenders to get the contest to Oslo. Silent Storm sung by Carl Espen won the nation’s trust but it was a huge challenge since Linnea Dale was another favourite to win MGP 2014. Carl’s entry is a great one but I prefer if Linnea was chosen. What can we say about her entry …. well! It’s so modern that  it would have shone in Copenhagen. One might say High Hopes resembles I feed You My Love because it is considered to be the same genre. 

Although she actually does nothing on stage except some hand movements, the song overpowers that fact and captures you in the moment. Dark sounds, vocally near perfect and simple staging …. elements that would do very well with the European audience. I am sure that this will be one of the summer hits over the Scandinavian region. On the night she dressed nothing to flashy. Linnea just showed off her vocal ability and her presence was enough to be one of the four super-finalists of the night. At the end Carl won the golden ticket but it wasn’t a landslide like last year’s winning national song. We still have yet to see Carl’s entry on the big stage and anything could actually happen but I would have predicted a close win or a top 3 with Linnea.   

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zvdaI_wE0ds

Sweden: Ace Wilder - Busy Doin’ Nothin

Well what can I say about Ace. She stormed into Melodifestivalen like there was no tomorrow and made a huge impact. During the month of November/December, when the names were announced for the 2014 edition of Melodifestivalen, the odds on Ace were pretty much horrible. This was understandable since the entry wasn’t out for the public and nobody exactly knew much about Ace since she is kinda new to the solo music scene. Once the snippets were published, odds were still not favourable, but once she hit that stage everything changed. Calm and relaxed she performed her entry like she didn’t even care if she qualified or not but made the audience warm and crazy for her. 

After making it through the final directly, she straight away because a hot favourite to take the crown and fly off to Copenhagen. But she had a very tough opponent, Sanna Nielsen, seven time participant and was another hot favourite to win. During the final Ace won her toughest challenge, getting the juries on her side. Yes, the juries chose a funky and modern song but ultimately Sanna won the nation’s heart and triumphed over Ace with a very close margin of 12 points. Don’t get me wrong, Sanna’s entry is just pure brilliance and in-fact she is one of the big contenders to win in Denmark but I also believe that if Ace was chosen she too will have a top 3 result on her hands.  

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nhi5lKqz1Wo

Denmark: Michael Rune feat. Natascha Bessez - Wanna Be Loved

Denmark is the host city of this year’s edition of the Eurovision Song Contest and obviously expectations are high especially when watching the quality of their National Final this year. Unlike other years, their national final was quite weak and you could have handpicked the entries which would of done great to represent their country on ground soil this year. The Danish have chosen Basim with his entry Cliche Love Song to be their ambassador after fan favorite Wanna Be Loved lost in the final hurdle. The entry from Michael Rune feat. Natascha Bessez was a bit similar to Europe’s smash hit Mr. Saxobeat but their live performance had that Umph that would have done great on the Copenhagen Stage especially in the Euroclub. 

True that she dressed a bit similar to Cascada but Natascha oozed brilliance and the segments with the saxaphone were pure genius in this upbeat anthem one might say. Vocally it was strong, their presence was absolutely brilliant and although we still have no idea how this year’s contest will shape and due to the mediocre quality, I would say that this entry would have made it in the top 10 to say the least. At least one can head over to iTunes, purchase this tune and listen to it over and over during the summer months.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jcOYN7kcxmY

Published in Editorials

NRK, the Norwegian public broadcaster is known to put ona good show and the 2014 edition of the Melodi Grand Prix was no exception. Four finalists qualified for the super final, where they each had the opportunity to perform for a second time. Carl Espen emerged victorious with his song Silent Storm written by his cousin Josefin Winther. The voting was incredibly tense with the public being responsible for the final outcome, and doing their duty, noting that over 100,000 votes were cast.

Carl Espen will be representing Norway in Copenhagen, after getting support from the Western side of the country. Silent Storm is an emotional ballad with an effective piano melody throughout. This is a nice song, less if definitely more and given how thankful Carl appears to have won MGP, I do genuinely wish him well. As the Eurovision 2014 line-up nears completion, Norway has entered another good entry. Let’s see if they can do as well as they did in Malmö. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news.

Source: NRK, Eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1ttWnB-Yprw

Monday, 27 January 2014 14:30

Norway: NRK Publishes Names of Fifteen Acts

In a press conference held earlier this afternoon, the public broadcaster in Norway unveiled the fifteen (15) acts competing in this years’ edition of the Melodi Grand Prix. It is worth pointing out that the format has been shaped in a different manner to previous years noting that there will be three (3) semi-finals held on three (3) consecutive days between the 7th and 9th March 2014 at the Folk Theatre in Oslo, whilst the final is set to take place the following week on the 15th March 2014 at the Oslo Spektrum, home of the 1996 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest.

As opposed to previous years, NRK is very much concentrated on the quality rather than the quantity, an approach taken up by the Head of Delegation and Music Coordinator, Vivi Stenberg. Prior to the semi-finals, behind-the-scenes videos will be aired through the public broadcaster with comments from the initial jury, in order for the general viewers to garner feedback about each of the songs. Eventually, the act chosen to represent Norway will compete in the second semi-final alongside Malta whose choice of representative and entry will be made on the 7th and 8th February 2014.

Semi-Final 1 

Hilda & Thea Leora – Best Friend’s Boyfriend (Kleveland, Desmond Linder & Jakobsen)

Mo – Heal (Laila Samuelsen)

Dina Misund – Needs (Dina Misund, Bjørgmo Strømvik)

Linnea Dale – High Hopes (Linnea Dale & Kim Bergseth)

Timbre & Frikk Heide-Steen feat. Ida Stein – Frozen by Your Love (Anders Bratterud)

 

Semi-Final 2

Cir.Cuz – Hele Verden (Cir.Cuz)

Martine Marbel – Right Now (Martine Marbel, Goran Obad)

Oda & Wulff – Sing (Christer Wulff)

Knut Kippersund Nesdal – Taste of You (Magnus Hængsle, Jenny Moe)

Charlie – Hit Me Up (Melanie Fontana, John Asher, Lars Hustoft)

 

Semi-Final 3

Moi – Bensin (Ingjerd Østrem Omland)

El Cuero – Ain’t no Love in This City No More (Takle Ohr, B.L. Rolland, Blomstrøm, Takle Ohr)

Ilebek – Who Needs the Universe (Andreas Ihlebæk)

Elisabeth Carew – Sole Survivor (Elisabeth Carew, David Eriksen, Simon Climie, Mats Skåre Lie)

Carl Espen – Silent Storm (Josefin Winther)

At this point in time, the general public has the opportunity to listen to snippets of the songs competing in the Melodi Grand Prix through the official website of the broadcaster. The full versions will be made available at the end of February although one could easily denote an extremely high quality production in most of the songs. The official website of the Eurovision Song Contest will be publishing exclusive content about the artists in contention in the coming days. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for the latest news about the 2014 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest.

Source: NRK

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

In the 2013 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, Norway was represented by Margaret Berger with the track I Feed You My Love. This entry was a huge hit across the continent, finishing in fourth place during the final night, only ninety (90) points shy of the elite first place. In the lead up to the event, the Scandinavian country was one of the favourites to win the event, and will surely be in a similar position as new betting odds are presented in a couple of weeks time.

Since then, Margaret was given the opportunity to sign with Ultra Music, an Americal Music Label, giving her exposure worldwide. Her genre is considered current, and thus will surely be a hit. After signing with Ulta Music, she released a brand new song entitled Human Race, which is similar yet different from her entry at the Eurovision Song Contest. I Feed You My Love is also being released for the American market as previously expected and Ultra Music saw it fit to record a music video, in order to give it more of an American feeling. 

I Feed You My Love was written by Karin Parker, Robin Lynch and Niklas Olovson. The latter had success with the likes of P!nk and Justin Timberlake, two of the most popular artists in current times. Margaret is currently finalising her new studio album, which is set for release towards the first quarter of next year. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all the latest news about eurostars and the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest, taking place in Copenhagen, Denmark.

Source: Ultra Music

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bn_hZBIk3Ik

Vivi Stenberg, project manager of the Melodi Grand Prix on behalf of NRK, the national broadcaster responsible for the participation of Norway at the Eurovision Song Contest just revealed that they received around six hundred (600) entries for the upcoming selection procedure. A high turn-out of submissions was expected following the fourth place finish achieved by Margaret Berger and her entry I Feed You My Love. It was Norway's first top five placing since their illustrious victory at the 2009 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest.

 

'There are quite a few names that I know nothing about and there are a lot of hopeful songwriters who have sent in entries who haven't previously participated. But in the addition to these, there are a substantial number of well established names, some of which have taken part in Melodi Grand Prix earlier'. Vivi Stenberg then went onto add that along with a selective committee of music experts, she is set to invite an additional number of singers and songwriters to submit their entries within the process. It gives them extra incentive to add quality to the field.

Margaret Berger and Adelén were two of the most successful artists in Norway throughout the year following their participation within the Melodi Grand Prix. The selective committee will start listening to the entries from the beginning of October with the process expected to last about a month. This years' edition of the Melodi Grand Prix will consist of three (3) semi-finals of five (5) entries with three (3) of each making it through to the final round. The selection process in 2014 is set to give exposure to both the songwriter and the artist equally in order to appreciate the way that songs are created. 

Libertea, a tabloid in Romania has gone on record stating that Ovi, who has twice participated in the Melodi Grand Prix is set to return should his entry make it through to the selection process. The male vocalist had co-written and performed the most successful Romanian entry at the Eurovision Song Contest, that being Playing With Fire, a duet with Paula Seling which finished in third place. escflashmalta.com was the first portal to report that Ovi was hoping to return to the Eurovision Song Contest, so we urge you to stay tuned for all of the latest news. 

Sources: NRK, VG, Libertea

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tc6a4EV63uM

Margaret Berger, and her entry I Feed You My Love finished in fourth place at this years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest seeing the Scandinavian country of Norway return to an elite position. The project manager of the Melodi Grand Prix, Vivi Stenberg spoke to tabloid, VG Lista with regards to the upcoming edition of the Melodi Grand Prix which will still have the traditional three semi-finals with the difference that they will be held in the same city. NRK, the broadcaster in Norway is moving away from the traditional selection process used by Sweden and will hope to stand on their own as they create this brand new format.

Usually, twenty-one (21) acts used to compete within the Melodi Grand Prix but it seems that the new system will incorporate fifteen (15) acts and thus will see to five (5) weekly performances with three (3) acts getting through to the final, most likely set to take place within the Oslo Spektrum. Vivi Stenberg has spoken in favour of the reduction of entries 'We now have to think, even moreso than before, that every song in the running has winning potential'. Some of the competing entries will be available online in order to get the fans interested in the selection procedure. The most popular songs will make it through to the Melodi Grand Prix but has not been decided whether they would be in the semi-final or the final. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about Norway and their participation within the Eurovision Song Contest 2014.

Source: VG

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyHMEUXf-9U

In 2009, Alexander Rybak secured the third victory for Norway at the Eurovision Song Contest with his song Fairytale and that has led to a rise in profile within the surrounding nations. Nevertheless, the Scandinavian country is not short of success within the annual competition having managed to win on three occasions including with the group Bobbysocks and Secret Garden in 1985 and 1995 respectively. Elisabeth Andreassen, who was part of the group Bobbysocks has joined Alexander Rybak and Didrik Solli-Tangen, representative at the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest for a setlist of concert dates.

The setlist of concerts which took place during the month of July and came to an end during this past week was met with great approval for the second year running with tickets selling out at an extremely quick pace. All of the performances were accompanied by a five-man orchestra under the leadership of Maestro Øystein Lund Olafsen. The director of the show was Tom Sterri. This was the second year in a row that Bettan, Alexander & Didrik joined forces during the summer within the city of Tønsberg and the public clearly can't get enough. Elisabeth Andreassen recently tried to represent Sweden as a lead vocalist whilst Alexander Rybak wrote the Melodi Grand Prix entry I'm With You by Annsofi. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: Official Website (Alexander Rybak)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mfYM7EAeIxM

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