She’s the shining star of the island of Malta whose talents seem to have no end. And for Eurovision 2002 and 2016 singer Ira Losco things have been rather busy over the past few months.
From judging contestants on X Factor Malta, to the release of her latest album, to collaborations with numerous other artists, we’ve barely been able to keep up with the star’s recent endeavours.
Therefore, here’s a little round-up of all her recent releases, plus the all important behind the scenes info from X Factor Malta — the island’s latest attempt to find a Eurovision winner.
X Factor Malta premiere set for 7th October
Get those diaries out, note down the date and tell your friends you’re busy. X Factor Malta is officially set to kick off this Sunday 7th October, with a chance to represent the island nation at Eurovision 2019 in Tel Aviv on the line.
Ira has been posting behind the scenes snaps on social media, which indicate the bootcamp section of the show was filmed over three days at the start of September in the Hilton Malta.
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Day 3 bootcamp @xfactormalta yesterday was a super tough day! The back end of this show is truly hard work. Yesterday quite a few contestants walked away disappointed some walked away with a completely different approach towards the way they have to view the competition. One thing is certain, we only want the best! We have a vision for many of the contestants. And ultimately we want true stars to be in the live shows! I can’t wait for you guys to see what we are talking about. @xfactormalta @nikolicdiane @make_up_factory @mariellecalleja @this_is_rob_earth @riverisland @hudson_malta @lucies_sliema
She notes that things have been tough, but they’re looking for true star potential in those competing:
Quite a few contestants walked away disappointed some walked away with a completely different approach towards the way they have to view the competition. One thing is certain, we only want the best! We have a vision for many of the contestants. And ultimately we want true stars to be in the live shows!
The Chair Challenge is the next stage of the competition and will be filmed on the 11th and 12th October at the Malta Fairs & Conventions Centre. Tickets for audience members are currently on sale.
But with only a few days to go until the premiere, we’ll soon be on our way to finding out who will be representing Malta at Eurovision next year and how far in the competition former MESC contestants Franklin Calleja, Janice Mangion, Petra, Miriana Conte and Matthew Anthony have progressed.
No Sinner No Saint double album
Outside of her X Factor Malta commitments, Ira has been hard at work releasing her latest and sixth studio album, No Sinner No Saint. While we may have been waiting a while since her last album in 2013, the Maltese singer has rewarded our patience with not just a standard release, but by providing us with a double album that celebrates her 15 years in the music industry. That’s 22 songs for our listening pleasure!
The album includes previous singles “Haunted By Love”, “We Are The Soldiers”, “OMG” and “One in a Million”. But there are plenty of new tracks to explore as well, including “Holy Water”, a gospel-tinged track that features Junior Eurovision 2015 winner Destiny Chukunyere.
Ira Losco – No Sinner No Saint
Subtly winding it’s way though a variety of genres, including pop, reggae, plus drum and bass, the album has some diversity to it (which is very much needed when you’ve got 22 songs to listen through). However, by the time you get towards the end of the track list there are definitely still moments when you feel a sense of déjà vu as all the songs begin to merge together slightly, and you forget what the tunes that played 45/60 minutes ago sounded like.
Nevertheless, there are still some bangers and standout tracks in the mix. A particular favourite is “Down the Wire”, which has nice pace and drive to it and also boasts a danceable beat sure to get you moving.
Not just focusing on her own solo material though, Ira has also found the time to feature in a number of recent collaborations with artists from across Europe. Not afraid of sharing the spotlight, this star knows that sometimes two voices are better than one (just ask her pal Jason Derulo).
“What If” with Flora Tandi
One of these is “What If” with Hungarian singer Flora Tandi. Full of drama and suspense, the song features on Flora’s 2017 album Flow, but the music video for the track came out this July. Filmed in Malta, the video sees one man leading both Flora and Ira on. However, when the two women work out what’s happening they team up to sort things out, singing together: “What if we make you choose / When to stay or let us go / With your borders too loose / None of us can ease or glow”. Let’s just say things don’t end up well for the man involved…
“Top Of The World” with GARABATTO
Back in May Ira also lent her vocals to “Top Of The World” by Spanish music producer GARABATTO. There’s very little to comment on in regards to Ira’s involvement here. The track is a club/dance anthem that sees the Maltese singer chiefly repeating the line “On top of the world” with digital voice effects thrown in for good measure. Ira does have a rap verse towards the end of the song; but regardless, we know that her excellent vocals can (and should) be put towards better things with more substance that let her shine a bit more.
“Xemx” with Cliff Zammit Stevens
Most recently Ira has teamed up with tenor singer Cliff Zammit Stevens on a cover of 1970’s Maltese-language track “Xemx” (“Sun”), originally performed by The Tramps. It’s a beautiful and touching song that speaks of unending love: “So beautiful sun / I love you / Gem of my heart / I want you”. The song reached the number one spot on the Maltese iTunes chart, staying there for several weeks. But this doesn’t mean that the two singers are raking in the cash.
The song was produced for charity, with all proceeds going to The Marcy Foundation, a new charity set up by Cliff to honour his mother, Marcelline, who passed away last November. The Marcy Foundation “aims to create awareness regarding domestic violence, mental health, drug abuse, child abuse and HIV which are still very much considered ‘taboo’ in Malta and consequently not often spoken about”.
These ‘five pillars’ of the foundation are seen represented in the music video for the song, which also features members of Cliff’s family. Meanwhile, both Cliff and Ira will perform the song at the Cliff Zammit Stevens 10th Anniversary Concert with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra on 3rd October.
So, after all that, are you loving Ira Losco’s latest work? Are you excited to see her on X Factor Malta? And which is your favourite track from her latest double album? Sound off in the comments below!