The Scoop

Eurovision songwriter criticises ‘X Factor Malta’ as country’s selection method

New selection method is 'a guarantee for failure' claims veteren

Philip Vella, one of Malta’s leading songwriters, has criticised TVM’s decision in using The X Factor as the country’s Eurovision selection method.

“Eurovision is not only about the singer”

When speaking to Maltese news website Lovin Malta, the composer expressed his concerns with the country’s new selection format, following TVM’s recent confirmation that The X Factor would replace the much loved Malta Eurovision Song Contest.

“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.”

Philip adds that whilst The X Factor is a great platform for new artists, the song is the most important aspect in a selection.  Using Ira Losco’s ‘Walk on Water‘ as a prime example, he claims that many composers try to send ‘ready made songs’  in the hope that the singer’s voice is enough.

“I used to work with singers for years before we got the style and song right, including Ira Losco. We have a limited number of singers, composers and resources in Malta so we need to invest time in refining the product.”

The songwriter has a sting of Maltese Eurovision songs under his belt, including Ira Losco’s 7th Wonder and Vertigo by Olivia Lewis.  His most recent composition to reach the Eurovision stage was last year’s entry,  ‘Breathlessly’, performed by Claudia Faniello.

‘New format will limit songwriters’

Philip’s concerns were backed up by fellow composer Gerard James Borg, who worked alongside Vella on several Eurovision compositions.   He feels the new format could potentionally put a block on revenue for interested 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. This format will limit songwriters, unless there is an open call for songwriters to write songs for the winning artist

Applications for X Factor close on Thursday

Applications for the first season of X Factor Malta are open until Thursday.  Interested artists must send in a short video application via the show’s website.
The show is scheduled to begin in October and run for 3 months, with live shows expected to take place throughout December.
TVM are yet to reveal who is on the show’s judging panel although revealed this weekend that the show is to be hosted by Ben Camille.

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