Friday, October 31, 2014

ESC 2015 SWITZERLAND: 2/3 OF THE SONGS OUT

Switzerland is a complicated country with four languages, all cantons and cows in the alps. So their Eurovision selection is also one of the most complicated ones as usual. 
Three different language tv-stations having their own selections (where's the fourth btw? Isn't it time for another one like this?)
Anyways, the German language SRF has its about 200 songs here. The voting there starts next Monday.
The French speaking RTS has shortlisted 26 songs from submitted entries (something I would suggest to SRF as well before putting them online as about 90% of them are pure crap!). Now a special jury will first cut them to 12 and then to six. 
These six will go battle against the nine entries chosen by SRF and the three chosen by the Italian speaking RSI, that have not been revealed yet.
December 7, 2014 there will be live audition with all these selected songs (9+6+3) and a jury will choose six of them for the national final on January 31, 2015. Complicated? Maybe not so after all.....

Anyways, here are the French Swiss candidates:


Matthieu Blanchette – Bring back the moon

Celia – Letter to myself
Licia Chery – Fly
Claudia – Can’t you let me go
Electrum&Elisir – My muse
Michael James – Boom!
Jyaleen – Say hello
Gisel de Marco – Teasing you
Emannuel Leman – Silence
Lorenzo Marra – Life is about moments
Ricky Novak – Un drôle de rêve
Angie Ott – Libre comme l’air
Mélanie René – Time to shine
Sajadi – Après la pluie
Sajadi – Dis-moi quand
Shana P. – Kevlar heart
Veronica Singh – Sparks of sun
Sosofluo – Wedding rain
Taken By Storm – Moonless night
Tosca – Water in the desert
Roman Veda et Dan Sign Sing – Signe-moi
Zéphyr Combo – Avide du soleil
Alenko – Même si tout s’en va
Anach Cuan – Hurdy gurdy girls
Ascomusic – Le monde d’après
Bastoun – Le jour se lève



ESC 2015 MONTENEGRO: IT'S KNEZ!

And here we have it, the very first artist for the Eurovision 2015 in Vienna and it's Nenad "Knez" Knežević for Montenegro. The song will be revealed later.
This 48-year-old (when in Vienna) singer is as usual, well known and popular in the ex-Yogoslavian countries. After makng his debut as a singer at tender age of six he later joined and formed several bands before going solo in 1992. Since then he has released several albums and participated in many local festivals winning some. He has also been active in producing and writing for other singers. Last year he ventured into TV when taking part in local "Your face sounds familiar". Step from that to Eurovision is short. His latest songs seems to be Znam da nisi ona and  Donna

Thursday, October 30, 2014

ESC 2015 ALBANIA: THE VOICE OF ITALY ELHAIDA DANI IS IN

Albania confirmed some time ago finally that they will be present in Vienna 2015 Eurovision and that their very own traditional Sanremo-like Festivali i Këngës would be used as the national final as always. The winner will be selected among the 28 artists that were revealed today. There will be two semifinal before the grand final on December 28, 2014 when the three day festival is over.
Several singers from last year's edition, won by Hersi Matmuja, are trying their luck again: Beslana, Skhodran, Resarta, Salmir, Venera, Xhjen, Enxhi... Other familiar names are in the cast, one in particular. Elhaida Dani returns after 3 years and meanwhile she has been building a career in Italy after winning The Voice of Italy last year. She starts the race as a front runner and the favorite before one note has been sung.....

Jozefina Simoni - Mendje trazi
Gjergj Leka - Himn
Marsela Cibukaj- Smuj
Lindita Halimi - S'te fal
Rezarta Smaja - Vetem ti
Mjellma Berisha - Sot jetoj
Revolt Klan - Me mungon
Julian Gjojdeshi - Himn jetes
Erga Halilaj - Ti sme njeh
Kozma Dushi - Kenga jete jone
Xhejn & Enhxi Kumrija - Njeri
Ana Gramo - Ne koma
Agim Poshka - Ne rrugen tone
Florent Abrashi & Sigi Bastri - Eklips mbi oqean
Bojken Lako - Te ndjej
Kelly - Nese ti do
Venera Lumani - Dua te jetoj
Emi Bogdo - Nje femer
Klajdi Musabelliu - Vetem te ti besoj
Besiana Mehmeti & Shkodran Tolaj - Kesthjella
Andos Sinani - Me shiko drejt ne sy
Offchestra - Bajram
Elhaida Dani - Te kerkoj
Altin Goci - Rock dhe per gijthe jeten
Saimir Braho - Kristal
Gr Aurora - Maria
Besa Krasniqi - Koha kalon
Enver Petrovci - Te vrane bukuri

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

ESC 2015: BEARFORCE 1 IS BACK IN ACTION!

Eurovision has seen monsters, drag acts, bearded ladies, Salvation army and with the current invasion of singing nuns there's something missing: bears. Don't worry, Bearforce 1 is back in action with Action man in the Swiss selection!
The Dutch-Irish band was formed in 2006 and enjoyed fame with their songs like Bearforce 1, Christmas is here, Shake that thing and live performances until 2009 when they broke up after they were apparently brutally dismissed to represent UK in the Eurovision. Revenge is sweet.... maybe? Who wouldn't love grown up hairy men giving a run of their money for today's boybands with a song that screams eurohit and fun? 

Monday, October 27, 2014

BLOGILKAR EXCLUSIVE: KATERINA INTERVIEW

Katerina is another British based artist trying her luck in the Swiss selection and being a multitalented all around artist of Greek Cypriot background she would fit nicely in the long string of foreign artists who have represented the multicultural Switzerland. She's a girl with a motto, an ex-footballer, practical joker and big Eurovision fan. Her entry is  Love tonight She was kind enough to have a little chat with your truly. Here:

Singer, dancer, actress, choreographer... what else is Katerina?
Clever question! I sometimes like to think I am great cook, if that counts!

Tell us a bit about the private Katerina, your background etc.
I come from a Greek Cypriot background of two brothers and a sister, born and raised in Tottenham, north London. That being said, I have seven nieces and a nephew which keep me on my toes. I am a very creative person that enjoys fashion, music as well as history. My cheeky side enjoys making practical jokes. I used to play football at a very young age but chose the performing arts career instead. I enjoy the balance of teaching as well as performing, which is great knowing I inspire my students.

Are you now aiming for a career as a singer or is this just a project among others?
Being a singer and performing has always been my main career goal to achieve, ever since I was a little girl, growing up watching Micheal Jackson, Britney Spears and Celine Dion. I believe that waiting for when you are ready is the best thing to do. I have been fortunate enough to have experienced all aspects of performing to a certain degree.

How did you get involved with this Eurovision Switzerland affair?
Singer/Songwriter/Producer Ramzi, who is just a sheer musical genius wrote and produced the song ’Love Tonight’ had a vision for Eurovision to create something, and it all started from there really.

Tell us about your song Love tonight
When Ramzi came up with ’Love Tonight’ he wanted to create something that I could relate to. With the upbeat dance pop sound, It’s close to home to dance away and enjoy the lyrical content of just celebrating, letting go, enjoying life and love.

Let's talk about Eurovision a little. Do you have previous experience and do you know what you are getting into?
Ah! This is my first time so I am new to this however I have watched the Eurovision growing up, so I am excited. I keep saying ’wow! It could be me!’

Are you a fan?
Big fan! I like watching different countries within Europe uniting to enjoy the power of music. And what these countries have to offer musically.

What is your all time favorite Eurovision song?
I have two all time favorite Eurovision songs. However I have to hand it to, Olsen Brothers ’Fly on the wings of love’ I was only 10, but it stayed with me throughout!

And the most memorable Eurovision performance?
Wow, tough question! There have been quite a few performances that have been so memorable. Hard to pick one.

An Eurovision song from previous years you would have wanted to sing yourself?
Loreen's ’Euphoria’. Stunning song and performance! To me it was sheer perfection!

Have you been to Vienna before?
Never been to Vienna before, so I hope next time I get asked this question I can turn around and say ’Yes, for the Eurovision!’

Your motto is ”Don't fit in, stand out!”. What are you going to do to stand out in Vienna should you get that far?
I would like to think my strength in choreography can play a part into standing out as it will not be just me singing and dancing but it will also be my choreography. My motto was a key thing in growing up and what I went through, so I try to keep that a constant reminder to myself in all I do.


Last but not least, do you like Sachertorte?
I love anything that involves Chocolate! I have a very bad sweet tooth!

The submission period in Switzerland has now ended. The online voting starts next week. 
(From next Monday, November 3, that is!)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

ALICE: WHILE WAITING FOR WEEKEND, LET'S RELISTEN SAMSARA

Alice released her Samsara album two years ago, her first album with original songs in 14 years and to the immense joy of her fans she's not taking another 14 years but the follow up Weekend will be released in a couple of weeks! Even Samsara included a cover and hommages to late Lucio Dalla and late Giuni Russo, while Tiziano Ferro and Franco Battiato among others wrote new songs especially for her. Alice herself also returned as an author (something she should do much more, if you ask this blogger as her self written songs are usually fantastic). 
We know about the new album that it includes two songs by Franco Battiato - the big question is are the songs the ones she proposed to Sanremo 2014 and was not accepted? (And did she really propose after all?) The first single is out and it's another cover that fits her like a glove, almost like if it was written for her, Tante belle cose, originally by Francoise Hardy (more about that later when the video is released). 
Between the albums she has dueted with Luca Carboni (Farfalla) and Mario Venuti (Tutto appare) and it would be nice if the songs are included but I doubt it. She was also a guest in Franco Battiato's concerts and live album with Antony & The Johnsons (La realtà non esiste and I treni di Tozeur). 
While waiting let's enjoy once again this magnificient album Samsara. Original or covers, Alice has the capacity of making them Alice songs giving them a different air. Listen to all songs and versions below:


Morire d'Amore (Di Martino)
Nata ieri (Ferro)
Orientamento (Alice)
Eri con me (Battiato-Sgalambro)*
Un mondo a parte (Di Martino)
Come il mare feat. Mino Di Martino (Di Benedetto-Di Martino)
Cambio casa (Ferro-Iorfida)**
Il cielo (Bardotti-Baldazzi-Reververi-Dalla)***
Sui giardini del mondo (Alice-Pancaldi)
Autunno già (Di Benedetto-Di Martino)
'A cchiù bella (De Curtis-Russo-Sisini)****
Al mattino (Boldrini-Francesio)*****

*Eri con me - Franco Battiato's own version released later
**Tiziano Ferro has recorded his version of the song in his worthcoming greatest hits
***Lucio Dalla's original 
****Giuni Russo's original 
*****I Califfi's original

Saturday, October 25, 2014

ESC 2015 FINLAND: ELIAS KOSKIMIES IN THE UMK HOUSE

YLE might keep tightlipped about the songs and artists but has revealed the production team for the shows and it looks very, very promising. This time there won't be judges but YLE has hired some major names for the show. And two of them come from Krista Siegfrid's winning team, Elias Koskimies and Reija Wäre.

Artistic producer Elias Koskimies, where to start? He's a director, script writer, author. He has been behind some major TV success stories over the years from satire series to movies and hit productions like Dancing with stars, Robinson, Queer eye for a straight guy, Popstars. Päivät kuin unta film got Prix Europa nomination. His shortfilm I've only just begun got the attention of Madonna besides winning several awards in the US, Finland and Serbia in film festivals being a major Youtube sensation. He was also voted Homo of the year in 2014 QX Gay Gala. For Eurovision people he's best known for directing the Krista Siegfrids videos Marry me, Amen and Can you see me.
This year he also published a partly autobiological book Ihmepoika (Wonderboy) (which this blogger hasn't yet read and makes a mental note to get it asap!)

Show director Reija Wäre is a dancer, director and choreographer who brought us the Eurovision lesbian kiss in Krista Siegfrids'a act. She has been directing and choreographing for theater, television and films and will be in charge directing the artists and the presenters. 

Director Juha-Matti Valtonen is a multicamera wizard. He has been directing Idols, Top Model, Dancing on Ice just a name some "minor" shows. His aim is to use the cameras the best possible way getting all the show elements on screen. 

YLE has been promising a great shows and with this team how could they go wrong? The artists will be presented in January live online and the shows start in February heading for a March final where the Finnish represent for Vienna 2015 Eurovision will be selected with televote only. 

EMMA MARRONE: EUROVISION WAS A MISTAKE

Emma admits in an interview with La Stampa she has committed mistakes in her career, including Eurovision:

"I think I held my head high, both in English and in the environment, and I have respect for all technicians. The dress you can like it or not but I wanted to provoke, I like to stand out. Eurovision is a very political program. I realized that I still have time to make it abroad, I have to prepare myself, I have made ​​mistakes of valutation and fatigue. I have so much to learn. It 's easy to act cool at home. But no skirts anymore, I'm better with pants and now I go every day to the gym."

In the rest of ot he interview she talks about her career, being 30 and having no life outside work and thinking at 30 she can't say "no" yet to many things careerwise. 
She has many haters and many people don't like her, thinking she is a wannabe and opportunist. She says she's humble, but knows what she's worth and works hard. She buys and listen albums of all the others to hear what they are doing. Without ambitions there's no stimulation.
She's also asked how come the other reality and Sanremo winners haven't managed to keep their career going she says winning Sanremo for example isn't a passepartout for eternity. Your team is also very important: manager, producers, record company and most of all destiny. 
She has surely kept her career going: a live CD/DVD is being released shortly and she's about to kick off her third tour in 2014 next month! And here's a teaser of her new single. 

Friday, October 24, 2014

ESC 2015 FINLAND: SOME UMK NEWS....

... or should I say non-news. YLE is keeping more tight lipped than ever. No news have left the headquarters until today when they simply state that the songs and artists have now been selected and informed. They didn't tell us how many songs were sent in. Also those who didn't make it have been informed, thank you all for taking part and the selected names will be revealed in January! The live broadcasts start in February. That's all!
Meantime maybe we can entertain ourselves with the drop outs if they come out....

Thursday, October 23, 2014

BLOGILKAR EXCLUSIVE: KIRSTEN JOY INTERVIEW

Kirsten Joy has submitted a song - clearly the best one so far if you ask this blogger! - to the Swiss selection, One life. Born in South Africa to missionary parents she describes herself today "culturally confused", thus being a perfect represent for Switzerland! Her name might ring a bell to some of you and yes, she's no stranger to television nor competitions. But now it's all about Eurovision and she sat down to tell a bit more about herself to all of you. Here goes: 

Kirsten, from South Africa via UK to Vienna 2015? 
Yeah...long story, lol!
Describe Kirsten in five words: 
Culturally confused, singing, pink* lover.
(*as in the colour although I do like Pink the artist...OK way too many words!)
How about your professional CV. You have a lot of experience of various kind, don't you? From backing some major names to singing demos and releasing your first EP. What's next?
Yes, I've been very fortunate to have some pretty cool opportunies over the past few years, including releasing my own EP 'Written in the Sky' and that's what it's all about for me – doing my own music. What's next? An album!!
And how did you get involved with this Eurovision project?
Through vocal coach/songwriter/author (I've probably missed out something there!) and all round talented guy – Joshua Alamu.
Tell us about your song One life
It's a song that really resonates with me and my journey so far. There are always so many ups and downs, but it's finding it in you to keep believing you can achieve your dreams in life.
Have you heard any of the other songs sent in for Switzerland? There are quite a few songs from UK (and countless other countries, too). What makes the British songwriters turn into other countries?
I haven't heard any of the other songs...one track mind! I suppose in general the British public aren't as 'into' Eurovision as a lot of Europe is. Boooo!
Let's talk about Eurovision a little. Do you know what you are getting into?
Haha (nervous laughter...)
Are you a fan?
It's gone full circle for me. I loved it as a child, went off it as a teen and now I'm back to where I started....loving it!
What is your all time favorite Eurovision song?
Euphoria - Loreen
And the most memorable Eurovision performance?
The old Russian ladies? I don't think I'll ever forget that haha!
An Eurovision song from previous years you would have wanted to sing yourself?
Probably Euphoria again...love that tune!
Have you been to Vienna before?
No...
Last but not least, do you like Sachertorte?
Definitely just had to google what that is....OMG it looks amazing!! I can't see what's not to like about it! Take me to Vienna...
How would you convince Blogilkar readers to vote for you?
Pretty please, with a big fat cherry on top?
Thank you Kirsten for this interview and best of luck!
No, thank YOU :) x.

The submission of songs in Switzerland ends October 27, and the voting starts on November 3, 2014. 
Vote One life, vote Kirsten Joy!
You can also like her on Facebook

MARCO MENGONI: JOURNEY CONTINUES IN JANUARY 2015

Marco Mengoni is not standing still. His recently launched application for Apple and Android users has already over 20.000 downloads and right there in that platform he has announced a new release for January 2015 making #quellochesarà (#whatwillbe) a top trend in Italy within minutes. What it is remains yet a secret, or rather Marco himself isn't yet quite sure what or how it will be:
"How it will be I don't know exactly yet" he says in his statement. "But I can tell it's one project in two parts, the journey continues. Today more than ever an album seems like a playlist of situations."
The new project will be highly innovative and differs from anything proposed so far. "The playlist is still in the writing and in continuous evolution and will be in two parts that will presented to the public with a time interval," he concludes. 
Time will tell what it is, maybe an album that includes a code to download new songs to it in the future one by one as Mengoni gets them recorded, or...? Or simply a double album? Or a triple? Or... (the fans speculate) maybe a total of 24 songs divided on three albums as new songs, covers, live versions. Or... the same album in Italian, Spanish and English versions considering the previous  #8suoniper3colori..... 
Meanwhile the presales for his #MengoniLive2015 tour in May are proceeding well and there's no sign of his success and following calming down. And that's essential. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

ESC 2015 MALTA: RUSH TO THE ONE YOU LOVE WHILE CHASING A DREAM

I have been following the Maltese selection closely for years now and generally liked it quite a lot but this year seems to be the weakest effort so far. I mean, the songs aren't bad but they are very even, bland. No particular highlights - except a couple that stood out with the first snippet hearing -  nor lows. It feels like these are mostly songs that didn't make the selection this spring considering these exceptional circumstances this time. I may be wrong but that's my impression. At this point every song could make the final and any song can drop out. Propably it all comes to the staging, live performance and shining on stage when it matters come semifinal time.
And talking about nuns. Sister Cristina in Italy is from another planet compared to these Maltese sisters. The whole affair is lacking the heavenly inspiration of any kind. If the song was sung by anyone else it would have never made the cut, I think. I wasn't a fan of Bezzina's last effort and nor this new one makes me feel nothing but irritation. Previous entrant Glen Vella is also rather forgettable and Rybak's penned song for Franklin is so anonymous I can't remember a thing. But the boy can sing, that's for sure! Amber seems to be the front runner by fans but isn't it just a better version of Moldova's entry this year? And we all know how that ended.... could it do any better?
So, when listening the songs in the end my favorites ended up being mostly ballads with good voices instead of cheap bubble gum pop, that is almost missing this year anyways. And ballads burn or shine with the live performance.... We will see.

So, my top favorites are:
Lawrence Gray - The one that you love. Piano driven ballad with so much emotion and pain, Less is more. And it would be time Lawrence win after his zillion attempts with this one that is his best effort so far. This would stick out in Vienna in the line up for sure, I doubt there will be many simple and powerful effective ballads like this. Remember Kuula?
Christabelle Borg - Rush. I liked he last time, now I like her even more. The only uptempo with a lot of possibilities for great remixes and stage choreography. She's pretty, fits the song and clearly enjoys performing it. Sunny and summery, would fit nicely to a late may night in Vienna....
Trilogy - Chasing a dream. Beautiful melody, well sung. Once they get Ludwig not over acting and their act polished and together this could be an elegant entry fishing out Il Divo fans' votes all over Europe.
Raquel - Stop haunting me. Another ballad with pretty face and great voice. Her voice totally carries this song, without it woudn't just be the same I guess. But is this a bit fishing from the same pool as Undo
Bubbling under for me are in no particular order Amber, Danica Muscat, Lyndsay, Corazon, Karen DeBattista, Deborah C, Jessika, Chris Grech and Domenique. But I always get it all wrong in Malta so let's wait and see.....

Listen to all songs for example here


TIM SCHOU IS NAKED. AND MAN OF HIS WORDS

Just when you thought those Ice Bucket challenge videos had disappeared from Facebook and other social medias here comes one more from a friend in London, or Denmark really. Tim Schou. A naked one even. Let him explain himself why in this video

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

ALICE: MANY GOOD THINGS OVER THE WEEKEND

Now it's official. Alice will release a new album titled Weekend on November 11, 2014 that follows Samsara that was released only two years ago. The album will be also released as limited edition vinyl later. She's back, back, back!
Before the album, on October 24 or this Friday the new single Tante belle cose will be released digitally.  It features longtime collaborator Paolo Fresu.
She has also finally joined Facebook and her official page is here. Join in!

Monday, October 20, 2014

ESC 2015 CYPRUS - HERE ARE THE 60 HOPEFULS

Cyprus is back in Eurovision and back with a national final for the first time since 2011. In 2012 Ivi Adamou was internally selected but people had a say on the song and she La la laed her way to Baku. Despite being a hot favorite she only managed 16th place. The year after Despina Olympiou was graceful and elegant, internally selected both song and artist, but failed to make the final and Cyprus stayed home from Copenhagen.
But now folks, it all changes: 60 songs and semifinals and who knows what before we get to know the Cypriot entrant in Vienna. Judging the number of Swedish-Cypriot collaborations among the songs it's going to be more la la la oriented stuff. Maybe. Among the composers we have also previous glories Mike Connaris, Zinon Zintilis and Constantinos and among the singers a finalist from The Voice of Greece. Previous Eurovision entrants Elena Patraklou, Alex Panayi and beforementioned Despina Olympiou will be in the special jury that will sort out the finalists. Televised audition shows will kick off December 7, 2014.... And yes, it's good to see so many songs in Greek in the list :-)


01. Yuri Melikov – Victorious 

02. Anastasia Liberow – Unicorn 
03. Lucy Sofroniou – Lonely
04. Olivia Sofocli – Miracle
05. Nelena Paparisva – Run Run Run
06. Valence – Scared
07. Flirt – Let Your Mind Free
08. Nicolas Leventis – Chlomi Selini (Pale Moon)
09. Yannis Karayannis – One thing I should have done 
10. Kostas Karaiskos – Rainbow
11. Minus One – Shine
12. Hovig – Stone in a river
13. Eva Diva – Come and fight for freedom
14. ApolloNia – Don’t Give Up On Me (Just Yet)
15. Yorgos Kyriakos – Shake Dat
16. Christina Papaioannou – You can’t stop love
17. Emily Charalampous – Right In
18. Nicolas Mavromichalis – Ena Kafe Mazi (A coffee together)
19. Panagiotis Koufogiannis (Without Your Love)
20. Doody – Magic
21. Myria Pampori – Find Me
22. Elena Panayi – No money No honey
23. Kostas archontous – Steko Akoma (Still standing)
24. Maria Evangelou – Still
25. Maria Evangelou – Play me like a pop song
26. Chrystalla Patsia feat. DJ Cyprus Karaviotis – My aura is bright
27. Pieros Kezou - Said it all before
28. Adrenaline by Kristi Koupatos – Live your myth
29. Stephano Prunabelli – Call on love
30. Stephano Prunabelli – March to doubt
31. Ioanna Protopapa – Beat of my heart
32. Stella Esmeralda Konstantinou – World One
33. Eleni Heracleous – Dawn
34. Evagoras Evagorou – Chorevo Mambo (Dancing Mambo)
35. Maria Pavlou – Tha sou tragoudiso (I will sing for you)
36. Lady Ava – Until the end of time
37. Nikos Trikki – Eimai edo (I’m here)
38. Gore Melian – Your Love
39. Konstantinos Michaeloudis – Stand Up
40. Christos Rialas – Meine (Stay)
41. Charis Savva & Nearchos Evangelou – Deila den agapo
42. Lady Ava – The key is love
43. Eleni Savva – Real You
44. Eleonora – Heaven on earth
45. Lefki Stylianou – All in love
46. Stella Stylianou – Tha gino ouranos
47. Stella Stylianou – Thelo na chatho
48. Christodoula Tsaggara – Kori tis mesogeiou
49. Lefki Stylianou – Lonely nights
50. Christina Matsa – I don’t know
51. Dimitris Iakovou – When I look at you
52. Josef Charalampous – Call for me
53. Josef Charalampous – I wanna dance (I say tempo)
54. Groove Therapy – #Is this real life
55. Yorgos Moesis, Maria Moskofian, Christiana H”Ioordanous
 - Sailing ships, pirates and dragons
56. Christina Tselepou – In these arms
57. Konstantina Georgiou – When we used to be
58. Ifigeneia Loukaedou feat. Lyrical Eye – Remember my love
59. Marios Liasides – Just another guy
60. Neofytos Stratis – Rebound


There will be seven audition shows for the 60 hopefuls and the 60 will become 20 for two more shows and finally only six will make the final on February 1, 2015 where the winner will be chosen with 50/50 televoty/jury voting.








Sunday, October 19, 2014

FREAKY FORTUNE AND SOFTENGINE JOIN FORCES

Eurovision collaborations are always happening - sometimes after years as you can see from the previous post, sometimes right away and among the artists that met during the Eurovision weeks. Already back in may it was revealed Austria's Conchita Wurst and Spain's Ruth Lorenzo hit it off and were planning a duet but here comes maybe a little bit more surprising one: Finland's Softengine and Greece's Freaky Fortune. First of all the Greek guys have remixes Softengine's Yellow House that is yet to be released but the ead singer Topi Latukka is also working with Nick Raptakis and Teofilos Pouzbouris on another track, maybe to be included on Freaky Fortune's next album. Long live Eurovison and its collaborations!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

ZELJKO JOKSIMOVIC MAKES BLUNDERS WITH TONI CETINSKI IN ZABLUDA

Let's stay in the region with another new video. Zabluda. Blunders. That's the title of the duet of two Eurovision veterans and local superstars. Zeljko Joksimovic has done it all in Eurovision for Serbia except winning: 2nd place (Lane moje), third place (Nije ljubav stvar) and even hosting (Belgrade 2008) and Toni Cetinski (Nek'ti bude ljubav sva) did the honors for Croatia already 20 years ago. 
This video is clearly sponsored by bottled water but the song isn't watered down at all. It's Zeljko at his best: beautiful melody, slightly ethnic arrangement and a lot of Slavic pathos. I have no idea what they are singing about but when Toni enters I'm sold. Fabulous.

IGOR CUKROV'S ONE SOUL & FLESH IN ABU DHABI

Igor Cukrov has released a new video and song titled Jedna duša jedno tilo (One soul one flesh) full of Slavic pathos and melancholy. The video was shot in Abu Dhabi and Dubai and gives us a hint what an United Arab Emirates preview video would look like if they were to enter Eurovision song contest one day. But back to Igor. After representing Croatia in Eurovision 2009 with Lijepa tena he has released a string of singles like Prolij vino po meniMjesečar, Fali mi and Treba li mi netko kao ti and didn't he even win some other festival if my memory serves me right? Anyways, this blogger has a soft spot for this now 30-year-old singer with deep voice and old soul. Nice to have news from him! And it would be great to have him back in Eurovision as well one day. 

LILI & SUSIE AIMING FOR VIENNA 2015?

This blogger has had a soft spot for the Swedish Päivärinta sisters of Finnish origin, Lili and Susie since they sung about summer nights 30 years ago and they provided soundtrack to my life for many years to come. The Swedish rumor mill is suggesting they are aiming for Melodifestivalen and then Vienna in 2015. Now, wouldn't that be fabulous? 
They made it big with Oh mama in 1987 and then their string of hits crossed borders to Finland and Scandinavia and even elsewhere in Europe and all the way to Japan. Bara du och jag, We were only dancing, Robert and Marie, What's the color of love, Nothing could be better, Something in your eyes, Evelyn.... hits after hits from 1987-1992. Then things slowed down and No sugar added (1992) remains their latest studio album. They did solo projects and other things until comeback in Melodifestivalen 2009 with Show me heaven (following 1989's Okej, okej!). This year they have released already Fly, fly little bird and Would you be mine - is there maybe an album in the making? And perhaps they will be third time lucky in 2015? While waiting for that here's a Megamix!

Friday, October 17, 2014

SOFTENGINE - THE SIRENS, THE VIDEO

Softengine's third video is here for The Sirens and it's a very industrial chick black and white affair showcasing some fabulous run down architecture. And yes, their debut album We created the world is out today, too! Get it from the usual platforms or order from here

Thursday, October 16, 2014

SANREMO 2015: WILL IT BE DOLCENERA'S YEAR?

The Sanremo gossiping and rumoring is at full forse less than two months before the names will be out. This week, to the horror of most Italian Eurovision fans, rather reliable source TV Sorrisi e Canzoni magazine revealed a list of names, most of them from various reality shows and appealing to the youngters: Valerio Scanu, Marco Carta, Clementino, Dear Jack, Alessandra Amoroso, Kekko Silvestre (of Modà) as a singer or writer for Dear Jack or/and Amoroso, Annalisa Scarrone.... but also old glories Marco Masini, Irene Grandi and most of all Dolcenera - that most seem to think very suitable for Eurovision, too, including this blogger. She won Sanremo newcomers back in 2003 with Siamo tutti lá fuori and has since matured a very strong and interesting artist. 
We can't forget Marco Carta already won in 2009 with La forza mia fresh from Amici reality success, idem for Valerio Scanu and Per tutte le volte che the year after. All these youngsters have a very active fan base that can have a significant weight in televoting. 
It is good to keep in mind these names come up every year in rumors and then usually the final list is very different from what we have expected - at least at this point....
Giusy Ferreri instead seems to have declined the offer of a song written for her by Christiano Malgioglio and it remains to be seen if she will propose something else to the jury. 
Two names outside the box are Alice and Paola Turci, both real veterans and working on a new albums. Turci has been trying to get back to Sanremo the past years without luck, maybe this time it will work out? Alice was heavily rumoured to have applied last year with a song written by Franco Battiato and was not accepted by Fazio's team. Will Conti makes it up for her this time? After all, she hasn't been so keen on going to Sanremo so once she is willing.... 
Anyways, the songs will be hand picked by a jury made of host Carlo Conti, composer Giovanni Allievi, musician Sergio Conforti (aka Rocco Tanica of Elio e Le storie tese who then won't be in Sanremo 2015, phew), presenter and actress Caroline Di Domenico, conductor Pinuccio Pierazzoli, author Ivana Sabatini and Rai1's head of entertainment Claudio Fasulo. Most likely they will be also in charge of choosing the Italian entrant for Eurovision in case the eventual winner declines the offer to go to Vienna. The artists and the song titles will be announced on December 16, 2014. 
But one thing is sure; singing nun Suor Cristina won't be in Sanremo nor Eurovision. Amen.

KRISTA'S BOYFRIEND FINALLY ASKED: MARRY ME?!

Krista Siegrids and her boyfriend of ten years Janne Grönroos were holidaying in Maldives when he finally popped the well prepaired question on a paradise beach and in the end of a dock on his knee.
He managed to invite her to that dock by leaving a letter in their hotel room and it seems it really worked the way it was supposed to be: super romantic and memorable. As a proper gentlemen he had asked permission from her parents and her sister had helped picking up the perfect ring. She didn't need time to think but answered "Hell, yeah!" immediately while wiping off tears of joy. The night of October 13 continued with a dinner by the sea under the starry sky. 
The couple was supposed to be on this holiday to celebrate their 10th anniversary but later Janne told he had finally managed to gather enough money to buy the ring after he wasted all his money on voting Krista to win first UMK and then in the Eurovision .... Ding dong and congrats Krista and Janne!!!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

EMMA STAYS A LITTLE BIT LONGER WITH NEW RELEASES

Emma Marrone has released a new (old) track as a single, Resta ancora un po´, ahead of the release of her first live album E Live to be released on November 11, 2014. The live album was recorded during her concert in Arena di Verona this summer and includes all her hits over the years, and of course also La mia cittá. It comes as a CD (15 tracks + studio version of Resta ancora un po') and a DVD (20 tracks including the two duests with David Bisbal, Hombre de tu vida and Amame)
Resta ancora un po' is actually a Antonino Spadacchino cover Emma has been performing for a few years now. 

Sunday, October 05, 2014

SOFTENGINE RELEASES THE SIRENS - ARE YOU SEDUCED?

Softengine has released their third single following Something better and Yellow House called The Sirens. Will this siren lure the fans and non fans to buy their debut album We created the world that is almost here? The song is kinda epic but then something happens at 2:58 - something that has made some people speculate that's the reason why Eero left the band as it was stated it had something to do with the musical direction of the album. Mind you, I like it! I think it's an awesome twist of sound! But it surely creates some question marks what the album will sound like..... 
Here's the tracklist for the album:
Our New Age - Broken Reflection - Yellow House - Phone Call from Unknown - The Sirens - 
What if I? - Narcissus - Something Better - In Disarray - Circle - Our Life, Our Love

JALISSE: WILL KNIGHTS COME TO THEIR RESCUE?

Jalisse is back. Or at least trying to be. Ever since they won Sanremo 1997 and for some reason the Italian media decided to put them down and snob them every possible way (There's even a book written about it, Valeria Ducato's I Jalisse, che fine hanno fatto? or Jalisse, whatever happened to them?). Over the years they have released songs following their excellent debut album including the Sanremo winner and Italy's Eurovision 1997 entry Fiumi di parole, but to be honest, the material they have released hasn't been up to the standard of the debut album that was indeed something unique; fresh and original topped with interesting arrangement and production topped with Alessandra's crystallic voice.
It's no secret they have tried to get back to Sanremo without luck, and even to Eurovision via San Marino's 2008 selection but nothing. The final slap in face must have been Alessandra's participation in The Voice where none of the judges wanted her.... And that happened this year! But it was all almost forgiven after their visible embarrassment when they realized who she was!
But Jalisse has continued to make music, worked in various projects with children and human rights and continue to enjoy fame abroad if not in Italy all these years. Besides getting married and having a couple of kids, that is. 
Their new song L'Alchimista, per sempre tuo Cavaliere was written for the World Day of the Knights on September 20, 2014 and winner of the Song of the Knight project competition for new authors. It recalls the themes of friendship, solidariety, gallantry, kindness, respect and love, values that often are neglegted by all of us. The song will have a worldwide promotion so let's hope Jalisse will finally strike back and show the Italian media they are/were not only one hit wonders, or even one-hit-copycats as it is claimed in Italy.... 

You can also show support in their new Facebook page here

Saturday, October 04, 2014

ESC 2015: MALTA - LISTEN TO THE SEMIFINALISTS

Here they are, the season's first semifinalist with their preview snippets. There is asual a little bit of everything from taylor made Eurovision pop to beautiful ballads, opera pop and even the nuns but mostly the middle of the road radio pop that is hard to say what kind of impact they do in 3 minute versions. Most of the acts have previous experience in the national final but there are some newcomers, too: Karen DeBattista, Lyndsay Pace, Iona Dalli and Minik plus of course the nuns. Nine of the acts competed also in the Februay selection for 2014.... Then we have the Eurovision veterans Glen Vella, Ludwig Galea (in Trilogy) and Gianluca Bezzina (in L'Ahwa), And Alexander Rybak has penned Franklin's song. As for the other songwriters it's quite remarkable there is only one Gerard James Borg-Philip Vella collaboration while Philip Vella has written solo two more songs. But then we have SEVEN Elton Zarb songs with varous co-writers. Malta's selection will take place already on November 21-22, 2014.

Glen Vella - Breakway
(Kevin Borg & Simon Gribbe)
Trilogy - Chasing a dream
(Paul Abela & Joe Julian Farrugia)
Karen DeBattista - 12, Baker Street
( Jan Van Duck & Emil Calleja Bayliss)
Franklin - Still here
(Alexander Rybak)
Deborah C - It's ok
(Elton Zarb & Matthew Mercieca)
Sisters (Ekklesia) - Love and let go 
(Philip Vella)
Lawrence Gray - The one that you love
(Elton Zarb & Lawrence Gray)
Amber - Warrior
(Elton Zarb & Matthew Mercieca)
Jessika - Fandango
(Philip Vella & Gerard James Borg)
Daniel Testa - Something in the way
(Minsek & Charlie Mason)
Christabelle - Rush
(Elton Zarb & Matthew Mercieca)
Chris Grech - Closed doors
(Chris Grech, Edward Mifsud & Peter Cassar Torregiani)
L-Ahwa - Beautiful to me
 (Erik & Anjou)
Raquel Galdes - Stop haunting me
(Elton Zarb & Matthew Mercieca)
Danica Muscat - Close your eyes
(Elton Zarb & Emil Calleja Bayliss)
Lyndsay Pace - Home
(Boris Cezek)
Corazon - Secretly
(Corazon)
Iona Dalli - Could have been me
(Philip Vella)
Domenique - Take me as I am
(Adrian O’Connor)
Minik - Once in awhile
(Elton Zarb & Rita Pace)

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