Malta loves the Eurovision Song Contest. You might even say the island lives for Eurovision.
Men talk about Ira Losco and her good looks, while old ladies reminisce about the olden days and the amazing Mary Spiteri. Basically, the people of Malta praise every song the island has ever sent, even the duds.
To paraphrase a certain Eurovision star from another small nation, they’re “a-ddicted”. And with the next edition of Malta Eurovision Song Contest just around the corner, the islanders are nearing peak addiction.
Tradition dictates that the longlist for the 2017 selection should drop any day now. But who might be on the list? And who would we like to see make the cut? We’ve reviewed the countries artists from A to Z, and found 12 acts that could match or better the success of Ira Losco in 2016.
Wishlist: 12 potential Malta Eurovision 2017 acts
Unless you were fast asleep during this year’s Malta Eurovision and the whole selection process, you should know this girl. Seventeen year-old Maxine Pace made her MESC debut in 2016.
Oozing some Meghan Trainor style realnesss, she placed fifth with “Young Love”.
Maxine has remained active since January’s final, appearing on lots of Maltese TV shows and charity telethons. You can also see her beautiful face plastered across the island’s billboards and she is regularly the main VIP at entertainment events.
A woman of her talents is bound to be working on new music, so maybe she might try her luck again at MESC 2017.
Malta is home to many vocal academies, so unsurprisingly there’s no shortage of vocal coaches. Lyndsay Pace is one of the best, famed for both her vocal and teaching skills.
She’s by no means a newcomer to Malta Eurovision, or indeed Malta’s music scene in general. Lyndsay took part in the 2015 pre-selection, reaching the semi-final with “Home”.
Outside of Eurovision, the 26 year old artist is probably best known for her 2013 hit “Daphne“. The song charted highly in Malta and helped her become an established name within the island’s music industry.
And she’s been everywhere since then. From gigs to TV shows, Lyndsay is there and knows what to do.
Most recently, she collaborated with Dasha Britan on the dance song “All The Way“. Might she also be preparing another Eurovision bid?
Kevin Paul Calleja
Malta is known for big female voices and beautiful girls. But, obviously, the island has plenty of talented guys too.
Kevin Paul Calleja is one of the country’s many rising stars. Not only has he a sweet voice, he is also a brother of Malta’s 2012 singer Kurt Calleja. In fact, he provided backing vocals for Kurt in Baku, so he already knows how it feels to perform on the Eurovision stage.
The younger Calleja brother has become a relatively established name, appearing on several TV shows. One of our favourite performances is his duet with Maxine Pace on Hadd Ghalik.
His pleasent voice, good looks and charm would work perfectly at Eurovision.
Ask a Maltese person if they know of Lauren Aquilina, and you’ll see them glow with pride. The young artist is loved by the island and for good reason.
The 21 year old British-Maltese singer possesses a remarkable voice, which she shows off to brilliant effect on all her self-written tracks. She started playing the piano at a young age, before attempting her first open mic night at just 13.
The superstar-in-the-making opened for Taylor Swift during her UK tour and has performed at several Maltese festivals. Her debut album Isn’t it Strange? dropped over the summer to rave reviews.
Sadly, Lauren’s already announced that her first LP will also be her last. Surely a participation in MESC would make for the perfect last hurrah before she calls it quits.
What would music be without fresh unknown talents bringing new vibes into our daily lives? Siblings Katia and Kurt Abela must have pondered this question too on their way to creating Oxygyn.
The young duo are still studying, but they also know what the people want.
Their Hozier and Ed Sheeran influenced sound is edgy, cool and very popular. Best of all, the pair write all their own songs.
As they state on Facebook, their dream is to share their experiences and emotions through song. Oxygyn is the medium through which this process will occur.
Anyone who watched this year’s Maltese selection will remember the close voting between Ira Losco and this beautiful artist. Ultimately, Brooke Borg finished second with “Golden”.
The 23 year-old is certainly not a no-name in Malta.
Aged five, she would sing with a hairbrush in front of her mirror. Later, she progressed to dance troupes, school concerts and local TV appearances.
At 17, she left Malta for London, where her career began in earnest. There she worked with worldclass producers and shared a stage with mid-noughties superstar Taio Cruz.
Brooke would undoubtedly secure a fantastic result for Malta at Eurovision.
Malta might always sing in English at Eurovision, but the little Mediterranean island is very proud to its own native language. And Corazon is one singer who can almost always be relied on to present her mother tongue in the loveliest way possible.
The singer released an album of Maltese language songs last year, and recently won a big festival with her self composed song “X’se Jsir” (The Circle Of Life).
She’s tried to represent Malta at Eurovision several times. Her latest attempt was in January when she finished eight with “Broken Glass”, her best ever result.
But Corazon isn’t just a singer. She also hosts her own weekly TV talkshow. We can just imagine her winning in Kyiv and then hosting from Valetta in 2018.
We’ve mentioned many young talents in this list, but we can’t forget the diamond that is Michaela Galea.
This pretty lady is just 19, but she already has experience that some older artists can only dream of. It must be a family thing as both of her grandfathers were extremely popular musicians.
Under the mentorship of renowned singer and voal coach Pamela Bezzina, Michela has participated in several international festivals and made countless TV appearances. In 2014, she won Konkors Kanzunetta Indipendenza.
Famed for her stunning voice, people regularly compare her to Christina Aguilera or Beyoncé — we would have to agree. Michela is definitely Eurovision ready.
Fancy a break from the wavy haired powerhouse divas? Want something different? I give you The Travellers. These purveyors of indie pop are unavoidable at the moment in Malta.
The six person band doesn’t do genric music. They proudly sing in Maltese, awakening a sense of national pride in those that listen. Their easy playful sounds will enter your ears and remain lodged in your brain for a long time to come.
Their recent hit “Xemx u Xita” charted well and dominated the island’s airwaves.
Yes, bands often fail at Eurovision. But we’re sure that success would almost be guaranteed for this group.
By now, Christabelle Borg has established herself as a regular fan favourite in Malta’s Eurovision selection process. And she’s surely one of the best Malta has to offer.
Amazingly, she already boasts a singing career that spans almost two decades, despite being only 24 years old.
Over the years, the “Rush” singer has hosted TV shows on Maltese TV, taken part in local festivals, and even performed in Los Angeles and San Francisco. While in Hollywood, she atteneded the same vocal academy as American megastar Demi Lovato.
Lately, Christabelle has focused on Eurovision. In 2015 she came second to Amber at MESC and this year she finished 4th. She’s more than ready for the Kyiv stage. Douze points Christabelle!
As the list draws to a close, we bring you yet another teen with oodles of talent. It’s 17 year old Jasmine Abela.
Does the name ring a bell? If you reside within the Eurovision bubble, you’ll remeber her from Malta’s 2016 selection. She sang “Alive”, a song with some hilarious misheard lyrics, and placed sixth overall.
With regular gigs across the island and plenty of TV exposure, Jasmine is well on her way to becoming super successful.
Given how well she did on her first attempt, she’s definitely capable of winning MESC outright. Could 2017 be her year?
Last but not least, we had to include one of the biggest and most popular singers in Malta — Claudia Faniello.
She first came on our radar in 2006 with her debut MESC entry. And she’s been one of our favourites nearly every single year since, even though she’s yet to secure victory.
After a runner-up spot in 2012, she last participated in 2013. But we’re certain that the love affair between Claudia and Eurovision is far from over.
She’s spent recent months working on new material and performing at Eurovision events — including our own Wiwi Jam. We have an inkling that she might be considering a MESC 2017 return.
Of course there are dozens more singers who would do Malta proud at Eurovision, but sadly we can’t mention them all. Who would make your wishlist? And what do you think of ours? Let us know below.