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It has become customary for the escflashmalta.com editorial board to engage professional individuals from the music industry to assess the songs competing in the Eurovision Song Contest as presented to the European Broadcasting Union during the Heads of Delegation Meeting. Martin Isherwood, Deo Grech, Stano Simor and Matt Mercieca from the United Kingdom, Malta and the Czech Republic have been entrusted with the first semi-final, comprising of sixteen songs and set to take place on the 6th May 2014 at the B&W Hallerne in Copenhagen, Denmark. Making use of the running order and thus moving onto number #12, we catch up with San Marino (SMTV) who will be represented by Valentina Monetta and the song Maybe (Forse) composed by Ralph Siegel to the lyrics of Mauro Balestri.

In her childhood she discovered the love for music, listening in a tireless way to various musical styles, creating and forming over time a specific taste. Although she has not dealt with an academic background, she had studied piano and singing by herself, reaching the same professional high quality. Starting from 1995, she has been working with the best local musicians, becoming a versatile singer with a great talent for improvisation; her voice is both colorful and versatile, ranging from jazz to melodic Italian, from soul to R&B and pop. 

Valentina's artistic versatility has allowed her to deal with varied work experience as a singer, actor and presenter, and she had even composed the music and written the lyrics to her first solo album, a celebratory work of personal and professional balance, releasing the CD, Il Mio Gioco Preferito, recorded with the trio My Funky Valentine (Simone Migani on piano, Massimiliano Castri on drums, Alex Gorbi on bass). In 1995 Valentina started an adventure with her first band Tiberio, and soon thereafter formed the Parafunky. She was also part of the group 2Black, as well as forming the female vocal duo Harem'B. 

In 2012 she took part in the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest in Baku, Azerbaijan, on behalf of San Marino. In March of 2012 she has worked with Fabrizio Raggi staging the show Ma Che Differenza Fa, a tribute to Ornella Vanoni in which Valentina shows her singing and acting talent. In August 2012, still directed by Raggi, she was the protagonist of Camelia, a musical commissioned by UNICEF, in which Valentina presented her songs together with covers of some great Italian singers and songwriters. Her most recent experiences are all with her live band My Funky Valentine. Performing live for Valentina is crucial.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YirZIBi2vnY

Valentina Monetta, a star in San Marino following her experiences on behalf of the microstate at the Eurovision Song Contest, noting that she is trying to prove herself the third time lucky, having finished in fourteenth place during her first participation in 2012 with The Social Network Song and in eleventh place in 2013 with Crisalide (Vola). Prior to Valentina, San Marino did have other representatives, one of them being Senit back in 2011 as well as the group Miodio. It is worth pointing out that all of the artists have been from the microstate, something that might have not been the case with Luxembourg back in the day.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 56%

Martin Isherwood: Ok voice, flat in places. Keeps moving, hard to get hold of what it is as it keeps changing and morphing.   This is also a bit Bond theme like in places, starts of all moody and ends up like a 70s disco track with ABBA and Evita, flavours.  Then it just stops - leaving you wondering if she's finished. Not a great song.

Deo Grech: Three times in a row....One must give it to Valentina that she is trying her very best to achieve one of the best results ever not only for herself but also for her beloved San Marino.  Will she make it to the finals?  Maybe!

Stano Simor: One of the few songs that retain the typical ESC style and that's good. Chorus is not strong enough and Valentina rescues this chorus with her brilliant voice. Title MAYBE clearly gets under your skin after the first listening.

Matt Mercieca: hahahaha I don’t know why but I find this song  REALLY funny! I start doing this little dance to it! The backing vocals just kicked in (no comment), it sounds very out dated oh wow now she’s talking to us, nah not for me.

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vt_3yms1PcM

Published in Editorials

Valentina Monetta, known to be the most notable export of San Marino, and representative of the microstate in the past two editions of the Eurovision Song Contest is currently preparing for her third outing at the international event, but prior to that, she has decided to release a brand new track. The song, entitled A Kiss, is a duet with renowned vocal coach, Joshua de Cadenex (aka Alamu). It is part of her sophomore studio album, due in 2014, where all of the songs are written by herself in collaboration with Ralph Siegel, writer of the winning entry of the Eurovision Song Contest in 1982.

The music video is set in a studio, which has in turn been given a retro, black and white feel which fits both the genre and the personalities of the performers. It is directed by Alessandro Capicchioni and Fabrizio Raggi and has been duly produced in San Marino. On the other hand, the song was recorded and produced in San Marino, Italy and the United Kingdom. To the local readers of escflashmalta.com, Joshua is known as a vocal coach to a number of upcoming stars including; Maxine Pace, Nobert Bondin and Brooke amongst others. He has worked on various television shows such as; The Voice and Pop Idol as well as a number of renowned artists such as Daniel Bedingfield, Joss Stone, Westlife, Will Young and All Saints.

Valentina Monetta is currently busy preparing for a third straight participation at the Eurovision Song Contest, joining only a list of three other artists who had done the same for their respective countries; Lys Assia (56-58), Corry Brokken (56-58) and Udo Jurgens (64-66). On at least one occasion, they also managed to finish at the top of the score board. Thus, no pressure on Valentina but technically, a victory should be on the cards, despite her yet getting through the semi-final. We urge you to listen to the brand new duet below, and stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: Press Release

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqKGTH2_W88

In 2005, Aldo Busuttil reached the finals of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest with the track Addio Ciao composed by Ralph Siegel to the lyrics of John O’Flynn, finishing in a successful fifth place, managing to garner more than 3500 votes. Whilst that experience was enriching and saw Aldo garner a reputable image within the local music scene, his love towards classical music has always shined through, hence the organisation of a special festival concert entitled The Prayer which is taking place on Wednesday, 18th December at Dar Ċentrali Hall, Triq Ħerbert Ganado, Pieta.

The event will also feature the vocal stylings of Laura Bruno, a three time finalist in the Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza and harpist, Lydia Buttigieg whose talent does not know any boundaries. In order to enquire for more information and booking, make sure to call 79451948 or send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. whilst keeping in mind that this will be your last chance to make up your minds. escflashmalta.com is proud to support this event, especially in light of the beautiful songs that make up the festive repertoire. It is also stunning to see so much effort being put in with the former Malta Eurovision Song Contest finalist spending several hours on rehearsals. Stay tuned for more of the latest news.

Source: Press Release

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_5b84mqDCI

Published in Local Music News

Two time San Marino representative and also the 2014 representative for the same country, Valentina Monetta has just released a new song and video clip. The song is titled L'Amore Verra and was taken from her debut album La Storia di Valentina Monetta released following her experience in Sweden.

The 2014 San Marino entry is also expected to be included in her upcoming collection set to be put forward to the public for consumption in January. SMTV, the broadcasters hopes that Valentina will manage to have her way and get through to the final on her third time. Her sophomore album will consist of twelve (12) songs which were penned by Ralph Siegel and Valentina herself.

Valentina represented San Marino in 2012 with the song Social Network Song which had failed to qualify for the grand final and returned once again to the Eurovision Stage the following year with the song Crisalide which suffered the same fate but this time with just a small margin. She was selected internally on both occasions and was lucky enough to be chosen once again for Copenhagen. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news as soon as it becomes available.

Source: Official Facebook Page

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=etBal0iG9nM

Despite a series of non-qualification attempts, San Marino was one of the first countries to confirm their presence in the upcoming edition of the Eurovision Song Contest set to take place in Denmark. Earlier this year, Valentina Monetta took to the stage with the track Crisalide (Vola) composed by Ralph Siegel and penned by Mauro Balestri, finishing in eleventh place, the best result by the micro-state. This was the second time that Valentina had taken on the role of representative having performed The Social Network Song composed by Ralph Siegel and penned by Timothy Touchton, Jose Santana Rodriguez finishing in fourtheenth place the preceding year.

SMTV, broadcaster responsible for the participation of San Marino has signed a pre-agreement which sees Valentina Monetta represent the micro-state for the third time. The artistic director will be none other than Fabrizio Raggi whilst Ralph Siegel will once more pen the entry as has been touted for the past couple of weeks. The announcement will not come as a surpsrise after the Director of the broadcasting house of San Marino had stated that he would be happy to see Valentina give it another shot in 2014. Valentina is the fourth artist ever to represent her country three times in a row following in the footsteps of Lys Assia (Switzerland), Corry Brokken (The Netherlands) and Udo Jurgens (Austria). Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news about the 2014 Eurovision Song Contest taking place in Denmark.

Source: SMTV

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YirZIBi2vnY

Valentina Monetta, a young artist from San Marino who will always be known in the history books for having represented the micro-state on two occasions having donned the same honour last year with her entry The Social Network Song which was also composed by Ralph Siegel. San Marino is one of the few nations which is yet to make it through to the final of the Eurovision Song Contest unfortunately and it seems that they have their best shot ahead of them. escflashmalta.com with the help of Fernando Mercieca, part of the Delegation of San Marino this year has managed to get in touch with the female artist and speak to her about a variety of things including last years' representation, her career in San Marino and what she expects out of this years' competition.

This will be the fourth participation of San Marino in the Eurovision Song Contest with all of the previous attempts proving to be somewhat futile unfortunately despite the variety of genres put forward by the broadcaster whose internal panel always had a successful strategy in place. As a former representative, what do you believe was the element behind the negative results and what do you plan to do later on this year when you take on the stage of the event once more?

I think that when an artist has to substitute another artist at the last minute , like what happened to me last year, its not a good start to have success. This year I feel more strong and thanks to the collaboration with Ralph Seigel finally I can propose my self and I believe that this is the secret , believing in your self and you respect your art. On the park in Malmo you will see a different Valentina but still authentic who will sing my story with my favourite colour red.

You are the first solo artist from San Marino to try and get your nation into the finals of the Eurovision Song Contest, having already taken up the position last year with the track The Social Networking Song co-written by Timothy Touchton, Jose Santana Rodriguez and Ralph Siegel. The final individual mentioned in the list is a veteran of the spectacle and has come up with a second song for you to perform, one which seems to merge together two genres, which are stunning separately yet fuse in wonderfully together. What could you tell us about the song Crisalide (Vola) and the lyrics in Italian which have been written by Mauro Balestri?

Mauro Balestri is a poet 'Crisalide' is like a breath of life, an awareness of a new truth to help us face courage, a positive message to recover our selves.... destroying all the walls that doesn’t let us to believe in ourselves. The Beatles used to say “Let it be” and I say “Fly”.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1fxmHt9DTD8

One of the most positive elements within the Eurovision Song Contest is the number of healthy relationships between competing nations and indeed, Malta and San Marino have grown to enjoy each other’s music through this spectacle. Earlier this year, Gianluca was selected to competing in this years’ edition with the song Tomorrow co-written by Dean Muscat and Boris Cezek and as a matter of fact, will be taking part in the same semi- final. What are your thoughts about the Maltese entry and do you think that you’ll both be smiling towards the end of the semi-final?

Volaaaaaaa (Fly) … Gianluca, I hope that we will both go to the final :)

Versatility is the key to every artist and indeed, through the songs that you have presented within the Eurovision Song Contest, you have shown your fans and the general audience that you can perform roughly anything. As a matter of fact, you have already released a solo album which mainly features the jazz genre under the title Il Mio Gioco Preferito (My Preferred Favourite Game) with a trio known as My Funky Valentine. What could you tell us about this studio album and what did it mean to record it?

My album is a celebration of my dream that i had since i was a child, of my work and my passion towards music.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7IoR_5HPQ0

In recent years, several broadcasters across Europe have chosen to select their entries for the Eurovision Song Contest in an internal manner with a panel of judges or even through the delegation responsible for the actual participation. The public is generally appalled by not having a choice with the selection process unfortunately. What is your opinion about this matter and do you believe that the public should start having a say in the selection of representation of San Marino?

Unfortunately there wasn’t enough time to do a public selection like other countries do and I do feel sorry about this as it is a very good method to choose the right song ... My colleagues within the Delegation of San Marino know about the possibility how to visualise the material whilst keeping in mind that this is for the Eurovision Song Contest, an event which costs a lot of money. I feel quite fortunate knowing that I have a production team which acknowledges this, whilst keeping in line with the elements of music and professionality. 

Prior to your selection as the representative of San Marino at last years' Eurovision Song Contest, it was quite a stellar year already having had the opportunity to participate within the show Ma Che Differenza Fa, a tribute to the stunning Ornella Vanoni. During the showcase you had the opportunity to show more than your vocal abilities, taking up an acting role as well. Then following your performance at the international spectacle, finishing in fourteenth place, you were selected for a lead role in the music Camelia commission by UNICEF. Such projects are a hallmark in one's musical career and how did you perceive them?

Its a great confimation that I had when I started to choose the patt of what to do... in both shows they did not celebrate my maturity and growth... In Camelia that Crisalide was born.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlShLbD6-wo

One of the positive elements which many had foreseen with the entry of San Marino into the Eurovision Song Contest is surely the return of the Italian language as a matter of fact, you will be taking up this idea and executing it during the second semi-final. Italian had not been seen in the event on a consistent basis because of the free language rule and also because Italy had stopped participating. Of course, this changed on their return as they have presented songs partly in English and Italian. What is your opinion on the language choice?

I think that it would be more interesting and authentic to listen to the songs in their own native language, even thought the English version would be potentially great from a commercial aspect.

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

Thanks … my love and my breath is for all of you :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xi8mZ2ejLcE

Published in Interviews

Yesterday, we were proud to announce that Martin Isherwood from the United Kingdom, Sharon Vaughn from the United States and Stano Simor from Slovakia have been relatively busy in these past couple of weeks listening to the tracks competing in the second semi-final of this years' Eurovision Song Contest. The show which will comprise of seventeen (17) tracks in total is set to be quite intriguing and thus we move on to the slot number two (2) which will be featuring San Marino whose entry entitled Crisalide (Vola) composed by Ralph Siegel to the lyrics of Mauro Balestri, is vocally performed by Valentina Monetta. SMRTV, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of San Marino in the esteemed music competition is hoping to qualify for the very first time.

Valentina Monetta is representing the republic of San Marino for the second year in succession, after having just missed out on qualification for the Grand Final in Baku last year. Valentina Monetta was born on the 1st of March,1975 in the Republic of San Marino. She is the second of two children, her father is from Calabria and her mother is San Marinese. Monetta spent her childhood in San Marino where she attended primary and secondary schools. She then graduated from the high school for arts “Giovanni da Rimini” in Rimini. In her childhood she discovered the love for music, listening tirelessly to various musical styles, creating and forming over time a specific taste. Although she has not dealt with an academic background, she had studied piano and singing by herself, reaching the same professional high quality. 

Starting from 1995, she has been working with the best local musicians, becoming a versatile singer with a great talent for improvisation; her voice is both colorful and versatile, ranging from jazz to melodic Italian, from soul to R&B and pop. Monetta's artistic versatility has allowed her to deal with varied work experience as a singer, actress and presenter, and she even composed the music and written the lyrics to her first solo album, a celebratory work of personal and professional balance, releasing the CD Il Mio Gioco Preferito recorded with the trio My Funky Valentine. In 1995, Monetta started an adventure with her first band Tiberio, and soon thereafter formed the Parafunky. She was also part of the group 2Black, as well as forming the female vocal duo Harem'B. In 2002, with the project Charme, she released the single Sharp, and collaborated with the band Bluesmobile.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7IoR_5HPQ0

In March 2012 she worked with Fabrizio Raggi staging the show Ma Che Differenza Fa, a tribute to Ornella Vanoni in which Monetta shows her singing and acting talent. In August 2012, still directed by Raggi, she was the protagonist of Camelia, a musical commissioned by UNICEF, in which Valentina presented her songs together with covers of some great Italian singers and songwriters. Her most recent experiences are all with her live band My Funky Valentine. Performing live for Monetta is crucial, as she really loves the stage and having contact with the public.She is influenced by her musical idols Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday, Joni Mitchell, Whitney Houston, Mary J. Blige, Erika Badu, Caterina Valente and Ornella Vanoni. It is important to note that San Marino have once more opted for an internal selection and one which was made very carefully it seems noting that vocalists presented several bids to represent the micro-state.

This will be the fourth participation of San Marino at the Eurovision Song Contest and the third in succession noting that their debut came back in 2008 when the group, Miodio took to the stage for a performance of the song Complice which only managed five (5) points, finishing in a disappointing nineteenth position. They disappeared, withdrawing due to the negative outcome, only to return three years later with Senit whose entry Stand By was predicted to fair well and possibly even qualify. The juries beleived in the song and ultimately gave it a boost but the public did not agree and thus the track finished in sixteenth place with thirty-four (34) points. Last years' edition of the Eurovision Song Contest almost saw to the qualification of the country with Valentina Monetta and her entry known as The Social Network Song. The track managed thirty-one (31) points and a fourteenth place but received massive exposure in the lead up to the international spectacle.

Professional Critics Voice their Opinion

Rating: 63%

Martin Isherwood: Chrysalis - Fly Nice idea. Lovely voice. Unusual shift from 3 to 4 and from ballad to dance track. Typical of many ESC songs in its use of harmony, but also flavours of 'the day before you came'.

Sharon Vaughn: Lovely energy and clever mid-section composition. I believe this artist when she performs and that is a very important aspect within the performance.

Stano Simor: The genre of this particular type of track has already been presented at the Eurovision Song Contest and therefore, nothing new or revolutionary. Valentina Monetta is a strong vocalist and something positive about this song is that the shift from a ballad to an uptempo is done well and this could very much impress the public and the jury.

Source: eurovision.tv

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xi8mZ2ejLcE

Published in Editorials
Saturday, 09 March 2013 02:40

San Marino: 'Crisalide' to Debut next Week

Whilst rehearsals for this years' edition of the Malta Eurovision Song Contest were taking place, the broadcaster responsible for the participation of San Marino in the esteemed event announced that Valentina Monetta would be carrying the baton for a second consecutive year. The track that she will be performing bears the title Crisalide and is composed by the legendary Ralph Siegel with lyrics provided by Mauro Balestri. There has been a lot of speculation over the type of entry that they have gone for this time round considering that The Social Network Song did not manage to garner a qualification spot albeit finishing in a positive fourteenth place with 31 points.

Valentina Monetta is from San Marino and therefore, it is an honour for a local to be representing the microstate within such an international spectacle. SMRTV in collaboration with Euro Song Records will be officially unveiling the track on the 15th March at 20:25 CET on three websites; the first being that of the broadcaster, the second being the official website of the Eurovision Song Contest and last but not least, esctoday.com which is one of the most popular fansites. The song will also be released on iTunes on the same day at 21:00 CET, around the same time that a brand new official website will be launched, which could be accessed here. Stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news.

Source: Press Release, SMRTV, Euro Song Records

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y7IoR_5HPQ0

The 1956 winner of the Eurovision Song Contest, Lys Assia has been hoping for a return to the continental event since last year having tried her luck with the track C'Etait Ma Vie, a chanson in the true sense of the word which despite making it to the televised showcase, failed to get anywhere near the top three at the end finishing in eighth place with around 5% of the votes of the evening as opposed to the winners, Sinplus whose Unbreakable achieved around 18% of all of the respective phone calls with the result based only on tele-voting. It seems that the performer is not willing to give up at this point in time and stated that the song she presented last year was not current and that is why, she would like to give it another go to see how the people react with a song which is much more in the vein of the music released today.

The brand new track entitled All In Your Head has been written by Eurovision Song Contest winning composer; Ralph Siegel and features the group New Jack who could be described as typical rappers. Many people have already been passing their judgement on the song with a number of individuals pointing out that indeed this is a better effort whilst others fear that the legacy of the performer is under jeopardy due to the fact that she might not make it through to the televised final of the selection which will be taking place on the 15th December at the Bodensee Arena in Kreuzlingen. It will be quite interesting to see what the online voting will eventually bring out especially now that the total number of songs has risen around 117 as opposed to the just over 70 a couple of days ago. The extension of the deadline has somewhat been important and it seems that there are some really quality songs. You can hear the track Lys Assia and New Jack here and stay tuned to escflashmalta.com for more news in the coming days.

Source: SF

It is still the second day of the lead up to the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest and there are a host of countries which are taking to the stage in Baku, Azerbaijan for their very first rehearsal noting that today marks the end of the first semi-final leaving the acts in the second semi-final to take the role tomorrow and the following day. The second rehearsals are scheduled to commence on Thursday morning therefore, it will be quite an interesting set of days indeed. In the meantime, apart from the performances which are being re-worked to fit into the staging put forth by the European Broadcasting Union, the escflashmalta.com team of editors is excruciatingly busy taking images, reporting and also interviewing acts exclusively. In fact, once more, huge thanks to Juergen Boernig from The Netherlands and his team of people, Garrett Mulhall from Ireland and also Šira Carolyn Bezalel from Croatia who are giving us the exclusive content. Nevertheless, huge thanks to all of the escXtra team led by Luke Fisher from the United Kingdom who are doing a splendid job and giving us their support as well.

It seems that flying over between press conferences, and interviews, Juergen and his team have managed to share with us some of their exclusive content including interviews with none other than the Israeli group at this years' Eurovision Song Contest who just happen to be Izabo and also with the composer of the San Marino entry who is Ralph Siegel, one of the most popular songwriters at the Eurovision Song Contest who can definitely be coined to be a veteran at this point in time. The Israeli group were somewhat disappointed with the backdrop of their rehearsal this morning and one could expect a lot of changes come the second rehearsal which is scheduled for later in the week actually and they were so frustrated that they cancelled their very own press conference but still did not cancel the meetings they had with the press meaning that our team was still lucky to get the interview in and in fact, Lilian Brunell and Juergen Boernig spoke to the group about the lead up to the competition and also their first rehearsal which you can see below.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oW28bjZ0TQ0

The second interview of the day was one which actually has not yet been covered by anyone. Ralph Siegel has been in the business for a very long time and many people remember that he is actually a winner of the Eurovision Song Contest with the track Ein Bischen Frieden which he wrote for Nicole way back in 1982 which just happens to be thirty years ago this year. The song came into the mind of the songwriter just ten years after his first experience at the music competition and in fact, Lilian Brunell focused a lot on the history of the individual before then turning around the attention on the song for San Marino which he co-wrote with his typical writing partner. The song has received a lot of acclaim mostly negative but nevertheless, publicity which can be somewhat acknowledged in the best possible way. Many people have said that i might actually qualify because it is a hot mess and it might do well with the tele-voters. Many people are writing it off with the juries but I think San Marino know their tactics in that department actually. You can view the interview just below as well through our YouTube account.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=he1aGbPSsCw