The Malta Independent 28 July 2016, Thursday

Updated: Anything can happen - Ira Losco after winning Malta Song for Europe

Sunday, 24 January 2016, 00:09 Last update: about 6 months ago

Ira Losco said that anything can happen when she represents Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest for the second time.

Ira Losco returns to represent Malta at this year's Eurovision Song Contest with her winning song Chameleon (Invincible), 14 years after she first captivated the country with her historic second placing in the 2002  final in Estonia.

Ira topped the televote and won over 3 of the 5 jury members, defeating nearest rivals Brooke with "Golden" into second place, and Franklin with "Little Love" into third place.  

The song Chameleon (Invincible) is composed by Ira losco and Talkback. Ira Losco will represent Malta in one of the Semi-Finals of the 2016 Eurovision Song Contest to be held 10 May and 12 May.

The show was presented by actor and model Ben Camille. The winner of the 2015 Junior Eurovision Song Contest, Destiny Chukunyere opened the final.  She performed a number of cover versions during the interval. While the finalists were waiting impatiently for the results, last year's representative, Amber together with her dance troupe Southville Dancers, entertained the crowd with her latest pop jazz songs from her upcoming debut album.

Contacted by The Malta Independent today, and asked about the changes that she felt since her previous participations, Ira Losco said that her first band, which was an alternative band called Tiara, was still going on at the time of her first Eurovision appearance, however the band couldn't continue due to members not being able to give enough time for it.

In the meantime her solo career had taken off and she also got signed to an international label with plans for a tour in Europe. The idea was always to have a band to tour with. Initially it "started off as pop, to soft rock, to a more alternative touch in 'Fortune Teller'. When the FIRE came along 3 years ago [Ira] felt very comfortable in that pop genre and related to the current international pop sound, but [she] didn't want to impose any parameters." This is made apparent by the number of genre crossovers and "guest musicians on stage, a rapper, brass in reggae or Ska track, electronic" among others. Although, ultimately, "the music still falls under the pop umbrella" either performed live with a band or in the studio.

Ira said she had two submissions prepared for her return to the Eurovision stage. "'Chameleon' is a mix of both electronic and organic sounds.  It starts off dark and moody with a lot of drops and peaks whilst 'That's why I Love you' is a power ballad with a good feeling." This echoes the changes in genre that Ira is used now so she said she "felt no difficulty at all in dealing with both because that's what [she does] anyhow in the live shows." She also added that her live set is "normally varied and that makes it more entertaining both for the audience and artist" lending to the ease with which Ira is somewhat of a genre-Chameleon herself. In the end though, Ira added she will always be an artist with a live band, obviously depending on the needs and limitation of the performance.

Considering Malta's less than stellar performance in the Eurovision over the last few years, there is obviously a lot of hype surrounding Ira representing Malta again after her placing last time. Asked what she would say to the general public -most of whom are taking a high placing for granted - if for whatever reason, Malta does not get a top 10 place, Ira replied that she understands that "the last 10 years have not given the expected results Malta was hoping for and truthfully these things happen." But she saw no reason why this year we shouldn't try and get a better result because these things do happen. "You release a music video and it gets 400,000 views and another one which gets 150,000 views; an album which tops the download charts and an album which is out of the charts after 3 weeks.  It happens and this makes it a new challenge every time."

Ira finally added that she would always much rather be a "dark horse than a favourite any time" because the pressure is not easy to deal with.

Ira said that she will do her utmost, but "anything can happen." She said she hopes to have given enough effort in hercareer and shown her fans that she works very hard but ultimately whether a single does well, an album tops the charts, or she does well in Eurovision is ultimately not in her hands." She mentioned how she hopes the public can see this too and not take anything for granted, especially since "the last 10 years should be enough indication that the game in Eurovision has changed completely."

The Malta Independent also asked about the controversial regulation surrounding the contest that once a singer is chosen, the song might change completely. We asked whether there are plans to alter the song 'Chameleon', maybe change it entirely, or is Ira and her team going to stick to the song.

Ira replied that it is paramount for a country to always leave its options wide open and the possibility of tweaks and changes have been a possibility for a while now. The Eurovision is "a contest which deserves a good strategy and marketing, great stage visuals and the adequate song marrying the artist for this international TV occasion." As of yet, however, Ira has not had any time to meet anyone from her team to discuss the way forward, in fact she said she was still waiting for the whole thing to sink in as she went from interview to interview today.

Ira's final comment was that she is sure that the PBS will do everything possible to have the best presentation and together with her team they will do their utmost from their end.


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