PRESS RELEASE – For this year’s Malta Pride 2018 March & Concert we will be joined by Claudia Faniello & Fabrizio Faniello as they will surprise us with a duet medley! Now that’s how we like our Tuesday morning news! #MaltaPride18: Pride in the Heart of the Mediterranean. See all the events taking place on www.maltapride.org
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Malta 🇲🇹 For this year's Malta Pride 2018 March & Concert we will be joined by Claudia Faniello & Fabrizio Faniello as they will surprise us with a duet medley! Now that's how we like our Tuesday morning news! @oikotimes @claudiafaniello @faniellofabrizio #eurovision #oikotimes #MaltaPride18: Pride in the Heart of the Mediterranean See all the events taking place on www.maltapride.org
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MALTA – Marking this year as her 15 years of Music, Ira Losco hosted a unique concert celebrating Women In Music. Joined on stage by her amazing live band and several special guests the concert included her well known hits, new songs from the recently released double album ‘No Sinner No Saint’ as well as some Iconic songs celebrating well known female artists who have shaped the music landscape thought out the past years. Special Guests included one of the finalists from THE VOICE and many other surprises.
MALTATODAY.COM REPORTS / MALTA – The producers of X Factor Malta have been inundated by video submissions of singers – and aspiring singers – who believe they have what it takes to win the first ever edition of the popular television talent show. Producers were surprised at the feedback by the public, following news that the show would be aired on TVM from October and that actor and model Ben Camille had been chosen as host of the popular show. News of the winner of the show representing Malta at the Eurovision was met with delight by many but others expressed an equal dose of dismay, saying the TV show tends to focus solely on the artist. And many have argued that this will lead to many of the contestants on the show being the “same old faces” that the Maltese audience is used to.
The show is open to everyone, with the judging process expected to start in the coming weeks with what is referred to as production auditions. During these auditions, applicants sing live before a team selected by the producers, tasked with whittling down the number of contestants that would make it through to the judges’ auditions, that would be recorded and televised as part of the show. But composer Elton Zarb said that since original songs are not frequently showcased on X Factor – with many contestants choosing to cover popular songs – it would be very difficult for an up-and-coming singer or songwriter to showcase their individual style, unless they go down the risky path less travelled and choose to sing an original song when they appear before the judges. “I love the X Factor as a format but I feel it should serve as a means for discovering talent and not as a platform to fund established artists,” he said.
Singer Amber, who represented Malta at the Eurovision in 2015, welcomed news of the X Factor coming to Malta, believing it might be a perfect tool to attract young artists to the music industry. “Many artists aspire to become known by contesting in the Malta Eurovision Song Contest but the truth is that participating requires a considerable budget to produce and submit a song,” she said. “X Factor is now facilitating the way for anyone to take part in a large-scale competition.” Amber says she will focus on her own music, which she has been pursuing full-time since representing Malta in the Eurovision in 2015. As to whether established artists should be allowed to take part, Amber was quite adamant. “The music market in Malta is very tight and Maltese artists must compete, not only with each other, but with foreign singers and producers as well,” she said. “We don’t have a selection of opportunities available locally, so that is why an X Factor opportunity is a great deal for Malta.”
Kurt Calleja, who also represented Malta at the Eurovision in 2012, said that with the local market being already as limited as it is, an established artist had more to lose than a new face if they appeared on the show and did not deliver a good performance. “Truth be told, it only takes one below standard performance to change the whole result,” he said. “However, for singers with incredible voices who never had strong original songs, perhaps due to lack of contacts or songwriting not being their forte, this presents a massive opportunity to showcase their skills, make a name for themselves and eventually work with relevant-to-the-industry songwriters who can write a song that is tailor-made for the winner’s voice.”
Local rap artist Hooli said X Factor could tap into undiscovered talent but he sounded a serious note of caution on the judging process. “I think everyone has got the right to participate so the best singer is chosen,” he said. “If the producers intend to use televoting and local judges, I don’t think it will be fair for the newcomers since established artists already have their fans and would get their votes. I think it would be best if the producers secured foreign judges for the show.”
The judging panel for X Factor Malta has yet to be announced, although insiders say it will likely feature a popular singer, a successful composer and musician and possibly, a foreigner. The prize is usually a recording contract, in addition to the publicity that appearance in the later stages of the show itself generates, not only for the winner but also for other highly-ranked contestants. On 20 June, Public Broadcasting Services announced that the winner of X Factor Malta would go on to represent Malta at next year’s ESS in Israel as well as securing for themselves a record deal with Sony Music Italy. The idea of mixing the X Factor with the Eurovision seems not to have gone down well with many local artists.
Singer Kurt Calleja said the producers should have left the X Factor as a contest in its own right with prizes such as record deals, studio time and scholarships, while keeping the MESC in its original and traditional format. “But I respect PBS for taking such a courageous, risky, decision.”
Amber agreed. “I am a bit confused about mixing these two events; for me they are different platforms,” she said. “The ESC is a ‘song contest’ while X Factor goes beyond just singing, it is about finding someone with a twist, it is more of a reality show in search for talent.”
And singer Ludwig Galea, who has also represented Malta at Eurovision, was equally blunt. “I have nothing against X Factor per se but I’m against the fact it’s amalgamated with the ESC,” he told MaltaToday.
Hooli, Amber, and Galea told MaltaToday said they don’t intend participating. “I will be thinking about participating the minute our national football team qualifies for the World Cup,” Galea said.
Calleja was a tad more tactful. “Whilst wishing all the very best to all contestants, newbies and established, after careful consideration my team and I have decided to skip this edition of X Factor.”
And as one established singer after another bows out of participating in the X Factor, the prospect of having a TV show that showcases new talent looms larger and becomes more palatable.
MALTA – “The Maltese Ira Losco – two times contester at the Eurovision Song Contest in 2002 and 2016 – has been involved in international productions several times. This time she is singing with the Hungarian singer, Flora Tandi about a love triangle which misteriously ends in the videoclip.
Gabor Molnar, the songwriter shared the exact same stage of the Eurovision in Stockholm with Losco, as Gabor was part of the Hungarian contester, Freddie’s group.
The music video for the song “What if” was shot in Malta while the song itself has been released on Flora’s most recent album, “Flow” in 2017.”
MALTA – Francesca Mifsud, 22, was crowned Miss Universe Malta following a contest on Friday night. Ms Mifsud, from Żejtun, who was up against 24 other contestants, also won the Best Physique award. A law student, Ms Mifsud had placed fourth in the 2016 contest. Lyann Iles from placed second, while Marilena Gauci from Mellieħa placed third. The winner will now represent Malta in the Miss Universe contest in New York. The contest organised by Glow Promotions was presented by Ben Camille (who will host thE x-fACTOR Malta through which. the country will decide its participation for the 2019 Eurovision Song Contest) and Sarah Zerafa. Christabelle, the 2018 Maltese representatives was member of the jury.
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🇲🇹 Last night Christabelle was a jury member as Miss Universe Malta . Francesca Mifsud, 22, was crowned Miss Universe Malta following a contest on Friday night. – #eurovision #oikotimes #allaboard #melfest #umk #DestinationEurovision #eestilaul #eestilaul2018 #srfesc #eurovisiongr
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MALTA – Ira Losco had the privilege of being chosen to collaborate with international superstar Jason Derulo for his World Cup anthem Colours, ironically a song with a message to unite people from across the world. What she and her management did not expect is that some Maltese people would actually object to the fact that Losco was singing with a black man.
“We’re talking of an international superstar and people are asking why I’m singing with a person of colour. It’s ridiculous, it’s really stupid. Why should I not collaborate with someone because they have a different religion, culture or skin?”
Losco, who recently released her double album called No Sinner, No Saint, believes Malta has a problem with racism. As the migration issue once again dominates the news agenda, she expressed shock at the video footage of a mother urging her child to hurl insults at exhausted migrants arriving in Malta.
“Why would you drive to a place, take your child with you, to hurl insults at a person who is fighting for his life? I understand our island is small, but I don’t understand the lack of empathy,” she said, though she pointed out she understood the problems migration could pose on a small island like Malta.
Touching on other social issues, she expresses disappointment at the disrespect shown by the younger, so-called social media generation. “They wants stuff done now and they want it easy. It’s about instant gratification. There’s a general lack of empathy in my opinion,” she says.
Ultimately, she says the longevity of those who want to thrive in the arts scene depends on what she terms as USP – their unique selling point. The award-winning singer also speaks about the gender disparities in the industry and the way she had to ward off the sexual advances of men. However, she says it is very positive that women’s movements are coming to the fore and creating a seismic shift in society.
SOURCE: TIMES OF MALTA
LOVINMALTA.COM REPORTS / MALTA – One of Malta’s successful Eurovision composers has warned that the country’s plans to choose its next representative to the festival through the X Factor are “a guarantee for failure”.
“I think the X Factor would be a good opportunity for Maltese singers but I have a problem with the winner going to the Eurovision,” said Philip Vella – who composed five winning Maltese Eurovision songs, including Ira Losco’s 7th Wonder throughout his career.
“The Eurovision was turned from a song selection into a singer selection when PBS started organising it 10 years ago, and changing the format into the X Factor will only cement that. You cannot just rely on the singer’s voice though; after all they’ll be competing against 42 other good singers at the Eurovision.”
From experience, Vella said the only way to tell whether a song is the right fit for a singer is through trial and error, after the singer actually performs on stage.
And while the X Factor Malta organisers have not yet confirmed how the winning song will be chosen, it will be decided behind closed doors if they decide to stick with the traditional X Factor format.
“I used to work with singers for years before we got the style and song right, including Ira Losco,” he said. “We have a limited number of singers, composers and resources in Malta so we need to invest time in refining the product.”
“Nowadays though, composers from all over the world send singers readymade songs in the belief that the singer’s voice is all that matters in the festival. As fantastic as their voices may be, I’ve heard amazing songs in studios that just didn’t work out on stage – Ira’s Walk on Water a case in point.”
“Also, you need originality to win the Eurovision. How, for example, will the X Factor allow us to send a gimmick or six singing nuns who will create a story at the festival?”
“The Eurovision is not only about the singer and making it so is a guarantee for failure.”
Moreover, he warned that the Eurovision is an extremely daunting experience and has proven too big of an occasion for some Maltese singers in the past.
“Some of the singers they’re up against, in particular the Eastern European ones, have studied at conservatories and are extremely professional. You need to be trained psychologically or the occasion will get to you and you might lose control of your voice without you even being aware of it. Plonking up and coming singers on the Eurovision stage is a recipe for disaster.”
Gerard James Borg, who has worked with Vella on several Eurovision songs, warned the new X Factor format risks closing off a major avenue for Maltese songwriters.
“I understand it’s an interesting idea but one should not forget that Malta is a very small market when it comes to songwriting – and the local contest is also a big launching pad for up and coming and established songwriters who want to write for other artists, new or established,” he said. “This format will limit songwriters, unless there is an open call for songwriters to write songs for the winning artist.”
“On the other hand, it can ignite songwriters and established artists to find other channels where to pitch their music. But the reality is this is Malta, and we do have our limitations, and a very small market, so I guess Eurovision is one of few opportunities. In the past, I have co-written with some foreign writers who live in bigger countries, and have also written for some known artists, who too see Eurovision as a channel where they can get their music heard by many just as artists use it to market their singing abilities.”
Other top composers contacted by Lovin Malta raised similar concerns; Paul Giordimaina warned the X Factor revamp has essentially put established composers and singers on hold, while Elton Zarb and Cyprian Cassar both said it will limit the market for Maltese composers
However, Zarb argued the main drawback for local composers is the lack of legislation on royalties, which would give them more finances to back up their projects. As for Cassar, he pointed out the shortage of Maltese music on local radio stations and called for a French-style law dictating minimum percentages for the broadcasting of Maltese talent on radio stations.
Meanwhile, Valletta 2018 chairman Jason Micallef hit out at the X Factor Malta from another angle, warning it is actually the brainchild of former PBS chief executive Anton Attard.
“PBS is publicly obliged to come clean on who is behind this contract, how much it is paying Anton Attard, who pressured the PBS Board to appease Attard, and how much money it will fork out for the X Factor license,” he said. “These are shameful manoeuvres from a circle of people with common commercial interests. Disgrace.”
Applications for the new X Factor are open until Thursday, and hopeful singers must send in a short video of themselves singing on this website or via WhatsApp on 77062018.
The competition will start in October and run for 12 weeks, with televoting only introduced towards the end of the show. Singers must hold Maltese citizenship, be it single nation or dual. In groups with more than two singers, only the lead singer must be Maltese, with a maximum of six performers joining him or her on stage. The judges have not yet been confirmed but Ben Camille was announced as the show’s presenter today.
MALTA – Ben Camille will be hosting the first edition of The X Factor Malta. Ben Camille is considered as Malta’s most loved TV personality. Since 2016 he broadened his career with the hosting of various TV programmes and other prestigious productions. Ben also took the international stage when PBS Ltd. and the European Broadcasting Union entrusted him to host the Junior Eurovision Song Contest Malta 2016.
Ben Camille shall pursue his career with yet another distinguished production, that of hosting the first ever edition of The X Factor Malta, as from October, on TVM. Speaking to tvm.com.mt Ben said: ‘This is a dream come true. The X factor is one of the most prestigious TV formats and I feel humbled with this great opportunity.’
You can now apply to take part in the first edition of The X Factor Malta. Applications can be found online on tvm.com.mt/xfactormalta. Applicants can also send a video clip using Whatsapp on 77062018. This call closes on Wednesday 4th July 2018.
In addition to representing Malta at the Eurovision Song Contest 2019, the winner of The X Factor Malta will also secure a record contract with Sony Music Italy.