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Eurovision 2023 Malta profile: 'Dance (Our Own Party)' by The Busker

Photo credit: Daryl Cauchi

Malta in the Eurovision Song Contest

One of Eurovision's smaller participating countries, Malta has been a mainstay at the Eurovision Song Contest since the 1990s, after a couple of false starts in the 1970s when they came last two years in a row. During the 1990s, they become something of a powerhouse (partially because they were one of three countries permitted to sing in English, along with the UK and Ireland), notching up eight top 10s in a row, including two third places!

In recent years, Malta's record has been more mixed, with a 60% qualification rate over the last ten contests. The country has, however, been something of a powerhouse at the Junior Eurovision Contest, which they have won twice, most recently thanks to Destiny Chukunyere in 2015. Destiny also provided Malta's best result of recent years in 2021 in Eurovision itself, coming seventh with her electro-swing banger 'Je me casse'.

While Malta is still yet to win the Eurovision Song Contest, it has come second twice, in 2002 with Ira Losco and 'Seventh Wonder' and again in 2005 with Chiara's 'Angel'. One of the Contest's most passionate participants, with massive viewing figures year after year, Malta will surely be hoping to get their first win in the not-too-distant future!

2023 Entry: The Busker - 'Dance (Our Own Party)'

  • The Busker will perform in 2nd slot in semi-final 1

  • My Eurovision Scoreboard ranking: 30th

  • Odds to win ranking: 33rd

(Rankings as of 12 April 2023)

About the artists

The Busker is a three-piece indie pop band based in Malta, currently consisting of Dav Jr. (vocals and guitar), Sean (saxophone) and Jean Paul (drums). Originally coming together in 2012, the group has released two albums, an EP and a string of singles.

Appropriately, given this year's Eurovision host city, the group is heavily influenced by pop music groups of the 1960s such as The Beatles and The Beach Boys. In 2018, drummer Jean Paul even stated that Beatles frontman Paul McCartney was the person who inspired him to first write his own songs! The group also makes use of jazz and funk sounds in its music, due particularly to the contribution of saxophonist Sean.

The Busker originally considered entering the Maltese national final in 2022, but ultimately decided to wait a year before participating. Even so, their participation proved to be a somewhat last-minute affair when the submission deadline was brought forward by a couple of months. Their entry for Eurovision 2023 ultimately came together in just under 30 days!

About the song

"Dance (Our Own Party)" is a quirky indie-pop dance track, driven by catchy vocal and saxophone riffs that repeat throughout. Thematically, the song is about dealing with social awkwardness and the feeling of wanting to party at home rather than going out all the time.

A key motif in the song is Dav's large stripy jumper, which symbolises the comforting feeling that comes from having fun from the comfort of your own couch - as Dav sings in the song, "I feel better on my sweater" (see below for a visual!).

The song is the first Maltese Eurovision entry to be written and performed entirely by Maltese artists since 2017, when Claudia Faniello took to the stage with her ballad 'Breathlessly'. In interviews, the boys from The Busker have explained that the song started with Sean's saxophone riff, with the rest of the song growing organically around that element.

How was The Busker chosen for Eurovision?

Malta elected to choose its song for this year's Contest through its much-loved national final process the "Malta Eurovision Song Contest", better known as "MESC". This year the competition was larger than ever, with 40 acts competing over six weeks involving live auditions, a semi-final and a live grand final.

The Busker ultimately took the MESC crown in a landslide, beating X Factor Malta winner Ryan Hili by 35 points to claim the ticket to Liverpool. The group proved to be a particular favourite with television audiences watching from home, with whom they won by a huge margin.

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Malta will compete in semi-final 1 of Eurovision 2023 on May 9 (European time) in Liverpool.

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