Salam Azerbaycan! Yesterday the Wiwi Jury – our in-house panel of music unprofessionals – arrived in Baku. We chowed down on baklava, made a quick trip to Baku Crystal Hall and after walking all day, took in the views of the Caspian sea from the Flame Towers. With a cocktail in hand, we turned our attentions to Dihaj and her song “Skeletons”. Was it love at first listen or did it leave us running scared? Read on to find out!
Dihaj – “Skeletons”
Dihaj is an electronic music collective fronted by Diana Hajiyeva, a singer-songwriter from Azerbaijan. She previously competed in Azerbaijan’s Eurovision 2011 selection, but placed only fourth in heat six. Dihaj was internally selected by broadcaster ITV. “Skeletons” was written by some of the team behind Azerbaijan’s 2011 winning song “Running Scared”.
Antranig: “Skeletons” won’t have the widest appeal at Eurovision but it’s exactly my cup of tea. This is the only song of the contest that is absolutely perfect. This is the Margaret Berger of 2017 in the sense that it’s the best song and will do really well but is a bit too alternative to actually win. Azerbaijan will likely stage this superbly and should return to the top ten with ease. Dihaj is light years ahead of the competition and this is easily the best song of 2017.
Chris: “Skeletons” perhaps isn’t the most immediate song in the contest: it took a good couple of listens before I fell for it. That’s a potential flaw, but one that the song should push through. The layered vocals in the chorus works a treat in the studio — if Dihaj pulls this off live, then Azerbaijan could well be back in the game. This could be the dark horse of the year.
Deban: “Skeletons” is a metaphorical left-field poptune at its most accessible. Dihaj, an emerging artist who packs in a ton of urban swag, is the epitome of cool. This Rihanna-esque belter of a chorus makes up for its lack of immediacy with authenticity. Azerbaijan won’t be fighting for a spot in the final this year. They’re sailing right through.
William: Dihaj draws the listener into her world of dark pop with intoxicating sounds and on-point production. Her sexy voice oozes mystery and fits well with the song’s theme of secrets revealed in the name of love. The breathy sections could be tough to pull off live, but it seems Dihaj has the ambition and resolve to make it work. A great addition to the contest.
Robyn: I like skeletons and I like altpop so this is my dream song. Dihaj is the cool girl and gives a confident performance. She totally sells those weird lyrics (“Fuss and fight won’t get you tons, bad boy!”) If Azerbaijan’s track record is anything to go by, they’ll give good staging and “Skeletons” will be a total highlight of ESC 2017. Possibly a bit too alt to secure Azerbaijan its second victory, but it’ll be a grand performance, nonetheless.
Anthony: Dark and current-sounding whilst sticking to Dihaj’s experimental style, “Skeletons” is an entry worth ending the country’s top-ten drought. Putting Azerbaijan back into title contention might be a tall order, but stranger things have happened at Eurovision.
Mikhail: This track is fuelled with atmosphere. Dihaj perfectly manipulates her voice showing off every emotion. You can feel fear, then you can feel her embracing that fear, empowering it and transforming it into power. Maybe I would have added a little bit more drama to the chorus, but I am just nitpicking. This is modern, this is interesting, this is captivating. Thank you Azerbaijan!
Josh: “Skeletons” is moody and dark, but still a memorable and catchy pop song. It wasn’t quite what I was expecting from Dihaj, as I got the sense she was a little more experimental with the style of music she makes, but this is the furthest thing from a disappointment. I love how edgy the entire feel of the song is. Dihaj’s voice is angelic and gritty at the same time. It’s quite different from what Azerbaijan has sent in the past, but I’m a big fan of this.
In the Wiwi Jury we have 38 jurors but only have room for 8 reviews. The remaining 30 scores are below:
The highest and lowest scores are We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 2 and a high of 10.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 7.83/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!