Bridge Productions has secured a record deal for Lynn Chircop, Malta's ambassador to the Eurovision Song Contest, with one of Europe's best independent record labels, ZYX Music GmbH.

Founded in 1971, ZYX Music has an impressive list of artistes on its label including Miles Davis, John Coltrane, Coolio, Gigi D'Agostino and Ella Fitzgerald among others.

The company has an annual turnover of over €120 million and manufactures over 30 million CDs each year. Based in Germany, ZYX Music employs 300 people and has branches in almost all European countries and the US.

Lynn was ecstatic that she had been offered a two-and-a-half-year contract by such an established record label to produce two singles and a CD.

"I think it's every musician's dream to land a record deal and I'm over the moon. I see this as climbing two rungs of the ladder to future international success," she said.

"I look forward to producing new material under the direction of Bridge Productions who I am sure will help me to develop my style," she enthused.

Though Lynn is a pianist and singer by profession, she admits she has various musical tastes: classical, pop, jazz and funk.

Maltasong chairman Charlò Bonnici said this was the first time that a local contestant representing Malta had been offered a record deal before the actual contest.

Mr Bonnici heaped praise on Bridge Productions partners Paul Zammit Cutajar and Howard Keith and said Maltasong's decision to sign up a local company was reaping its benefits.

This is the first year that a Maltese company was awarded a one-year contract to develop and promote the winner of the Malta Song for Europe festival.

Bridge Productions replaces the German record company Cap Sounds which has signed up Malta's entry since 1996.

Mr Zammit Cutajar said that the record deal was achieved with Lynn's winning song To Dream Again which was being promoted across Europe.

Plans are also underway to develop Lynn's skills as a songwriter with the ultimate aim of securing a publishing contract.

Mr Keith said Lynn's performance at the Eurovision in Latvia on May 24 would play an important part in furthering her international music career.

"We should keep our feet on the ground and realise this is not just a competition, but a contest that has its unique voting quirks," he said.

With this in mind, Maltasong has organised a promotional tour in a number of European countries for Lynn and today she flies to Cyprus where she will be taking part in a television programme.

After that she will be travelling to Spain, the UK, Poland and Austria. The dates for Ireland, Latvia and Ukraine still have to be confirmed.

"A lot of preparation is underway with a team of people to discuss Lynn's image, choreography and costumes among others," Mr Bonnici said.

Air Malta and Maltacom, two of the major sponsors, wished Lynn luck and augured that she would do Malta proud on May 24.

Meanwhile, go mobile has set up a specific mobile phone line for Lynn where fans can communicate with her via SMS on the number 5075555.

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