She’s a veteran of international jazz festivals and is known for her smooth, sexy voice. And in May AISEL will put that voice to good use as Azerbaijan’s act at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018.

Ictimai TV revealed the news on Wednesday, following an intense internal selection that saw it evaluate a number of talented performers. But in the end AISEL — a pianist, vocalist and composer — won the day, owing to her sultry voice, obvious poise and fluent English.

As in recent years, Azerbaijan will wait to reveal her song. But you can already get a sense of AISEL’s voice by visiting her YouTube channel. This woman from the Land of Fire is definitely smouldering — her jazzy, melodic voice reminds us of a young Norah Jones.

Her live session of “My Only” shows off her skill. But it also depicts a woman in total control of herself and at ease while performing in an intimate setting. She loves the camera and it’s clear the camera loves her.

It would be easy to put her in the “jazz” box. But AISEL is also a fan of soul, lounge, minimal and progressive genres, suggesting she could very well surprise us at Eurovision.

Eurovision fans love of a diva, and AISEL has demonstrated she is very comfortable in that role, too. In September she performed at Zhara Fest — the star-studded festival in Baku that welcomed the likes of Sergey Lazarev and LOBODA — and more than held her own.

As you can see below, she’s able to serve drama and pain while controlling her vocals and showing off her endless beauty, which she frequently puts on show on her Instagram account.

Zhara Fest isn’t her only big stage experience.

Born into a family of musicians, she’s been performing much of her life, starting at the Special Secondary Musical School before attending the Azerbaijan State Conservatory in Baku.

Since then she’s left fans begging for more at the Caspian Jazz & Blues Festival (2002), the Baku International Jazz Festival (2005/2006), the MuzEnergo Festival of Music Improvisation (2007) and, perhaps most spectacularly, the world famous Montreux Jazz Festival (2009) in Switzerland, as part of the band of Emil Ibrahim.

She’s also performed in Russia, Georgia, Turkey, Ukraine, Israel, Switzerland, The Nederlands and Italy. Given that impressive travel log, we suspect she’ll be a staple of the Eurovision 2018 pre-party circuit.

There’s more to her than music though. AISEL is an active member of the Baku Animal Rescue Society and a lover of dogs.

Read more Azerbaijan Eurovision news

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79 Comments on "Azerbaijan: AISEL will sing at the Eurovision Song Contest 2018"

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onyx
Guest

A sequel of “When the music dies” and “Start A Fire” please??

Étoile
Guest

Good luck Aisel, (though without the song we’re still in the dark), many news this week with 3 artists revealed, that’s cool, Yeah! 🙂

Carmen
Guest

@Jo : ”I wonder which countries will bring copies of Despacito. I’m thinking about Denmark, Sweden and Estonia. Perhaps some Baltic nation. Just wondering really.”

I have the feeling that my country Romania can’t wait to send again something like Mandinga 2012. For some people is scary, but this is my guess for Romania.

Hebbuzz
Guest
“There’s more to her than music though. AISEL is an active member of the Baku Animal Rescue Society ” LOL The only thing that sprung to mind when in Baku back in 2012 was that in the streets there were NO handicapped people, NO elderly people, NO stray cats nor stray dogs. Asked where they were as I smelled there had been cats in my buildingblock and presumed there are handicapped and old people in Baku as well as everywhere in the world. I got the answer, “they are not here this month” ” But they’ll all be back?” Yes,… Read more »
David S
Guest

Maybe the Baku dog and cat massacre of April 2012 is the reason she joined Baku Animal rescue in the first place ?

Music Is the Key
Guest

Promissing choice 🙂 Some jazz would be lovely to hear next year. Or lounge / soul…whatever of her styles she will choices. Anyway – they are all music styles I love.

Way better choice – on paper – than the Finnish singer. But of course, it remains to be seen. And even more importantly. To be HEARD 🙂

PS: The article claims “eurofans love divas”. Many of us don’t. Including myself. But maybe it was a kind of play on those “eurofantaste stereotypes”

Jo
Guest

gosh people, the song isn’t out yet!!

Pablo
Guest

I mean, the last quiet song Azerbaijan sent was in 2014 and we all know the result. All since that one have been pretty animated/big sounds. So like 2017 was an Eurovisionized Dihaj, 2018 could very well be an Eurovisionized Aisel.

Jo
Guest

Last Azeri jazzy entry was in 2012 and we all know the result.

Jo
Guest

…as well

Sasha
Guest

I bet the song will reference fire at some point ?

Hazar
Guest

She is so beautiful. I think she needs a good song because she has very strong and sexy voice

NodikoGEO
Guest

Beautiful girl + strong voice; now who wouldn’t be happy with this entry?! 😀 Now she just needs a good song (which is the most important part). Good luck to Azerbaijan and Aisel.

Anabela
Guest

Wow. She is so beautiful and her voice is too good. Can’t wait to listen to her song. Azerbaijan doesn’t cease to mesmerize, seriously. Best of luck

stojko
Guest

Isell representing Ibuyvotes

She is interesting. I lurve her?

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

I hope they bring another bop. I usually love Azerbaijan’s entries, but I’m here for something less generic this time. Skeletons was a step in the right direction.

catriona colville
Guest

I’m not up on the youth vernacular. What is a “bop”?

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

A song that snatches your wig.

Roelof Meesters
Guest

Great that we’re hering about al these singers 😀 makes me really excited.

Jerusalem 2019
Guest

That was so unexpected. She’s really beautiful as some other guys already mentioned. Her voice is also strong. I am sure Azerbaijan is gonna deliver another beautiful entry next year. But I hope that they will finally send a song in Azerbaijani, that’s a really beautiful language which we never had a chance to hear at Eurovision before. Good luck.

Sabrina
Guest

Wow! She’s beautiful and she can SING! I wouldn’t mind if she does a jazz song. Actually, I would love it.

Amor
Guest

I like her and she has a beautiful voice. The only thing Azerbaijan can do to screw this up is to make her sing a cheap pop song. She should either sing something that is in her genre like a really interesting jazz song or a trip hop, minimalist type song. She can sing in English or Azeri it really wouldn’t matter to me. Don’t do to her what you did to Dihaj! Take a wonderful artist and giver her an average song!

Vlad
Guest

Skeletons was a great song.

Gorilla716
Guest

I really hope that she doesn’t do a jazz song at Eurovision mainly because I hate the genre but also because I’m worried that 2018 will be full of dull and boring ballads similar to Salvador Sobral. She’s certainly not gonna do an upbeat pop song, so I hope that maybe she could a modern and powerful ballad like Undo by Sanna Nielsen.

Alexis
Guest

She can do so much better than Undo, something far less stereotyped.

No Name
Guest

Agreed with you @Alexis

Music Is the Key
Guest

Jazz dull? Amar pelos dois dull? I must say I don’t agree. For me very a very classy and innoavtive ballad. And 100 % un-contrived. Like he said “music from the heart”. it showed. One of the most deservering winners ever

Jo
Guest

So far it’s been very positive. Belgium and Azerbaijan will likely send good songs. Hope for Esamiba to win in Latvia, and Saara will come with something pop I guess.

Vanuatu
Guest

and lisbon 2018 will be a jazz festival… so far Belgium and Azerbayán. 2 out of 3… Thanks Salvador, for making eurovision a boring place.

Alexis
Guest

Who said Belgium and Azerbaijan would be jazz entries? Just check the two artists songs on Youtube, they can do other things than jazz.

James
Guest

Jamala has also sang jazz songs and a bunch of songs deriving from different genres.

Jo
Guest

2 out of 42.

Mark
Guest

I agree, so far it’s not looking good.

Denis
Guest

Just because she is a jazz singer doesn’t mean the entry will be a jazz song. Valentina is a jazz singer, did she sing jazz?

umerkim
Guest

GURL it is the beginning of NOVEMBER we dont get all the songs till MARCH we dont even have a single damn song yet like are u really basing the ENTIRE contest off of 2 singers out of the FORTY TWO participating?? we still have about 25 national selections to go & who df knows Azerbaijan might give her an upbeat song!

Hada
Guest

Jazz is b t boring, unless you’re really close-minded and can’t enjoy two things at the same time. Also, any genre is boring if everyone does it, and every year there are countries trying to emulate the previous winner. Take as old as time.

But don’t worry, there will be Despacito rip-offs to keep you entertained.

Jo
Guest

Interesting. I wonder which countries will bring copies of Despacito. I’m thinking about Denmark, Sweden and Estonia. Perhaps some Baltic nation. Just wondering really.

Hada
Guest

I’ve seen Despacito contestants in Latvia, Sweden, and Israel so far. I wonder how many in total will pass to Eurovision.

Denis
Guest

None of them. It’s more likely Romania will send it than any of these countries. Israel could be possible to.

Eurovision Junior (NL)
Guest
Eurovision Junior (NL)

GOOOOOOD LUCK AZERBAIJAN!! I’M ALWAYS FAN OF THE ENTRY FROM AZERBAIJAN

Alexis
Guest

Wow she sounds promising, I love absolutely every song on her Youtube channel. “Dilb?rin ariyas?” is particularly beautiful. Great choice Azerbaijan!

2018 is the new 2000's
Guest
2018 is the new 2000's

@Bring DENISE Back NOW – ‘Too much fast food and fireworks’

I don’t know if I remember well, but few months ago you were NOT happy Salvador won, so I guess your rant about ‘fast food and fireworks’ is just the speech of an agitator.

Bring DENISE Back NOW
Guest
Bring DENISE Back NOW

Thats a LIE. I liked Salvador and I hope he will live

Mark
Guest

Everyone hopes he lives, but that doesn’t make you a fan

Ian Gallagher
Guest

I am actually gay, but she just made me question my sexuality. lol She looks gorgeous. Looking forward to her song. 🙂

sam
Guest

same

blondboybc
Guest

Closet bi? 😉

Bring DENISE Back NOW
Guest
Bring DENISE Back NOW

Dihaj is so much more pretty doe

sam
Guest

i’m gay as heck, but girl’s from azerbaijan are so hot

sam
Guest

girls*

Ronda
Guest

She’s so beautiful. 😮

2018 is the new 2000's
Guest
2018 is the new 2000's

Loved the article about the name Laura, and now we have three names
– Laura = laurel
– Saara (Sarah) = princess
– Aisel = moonlike

KESC
Guest

Wow! That’s a great decision. A jazz singer, and the most important with a strong voice. Can’t wait for her song.
I really really hope it will contain even a bit of Azeri.
Really like it how Azerbaijan surprises us, since the past 2 years.

Nikki
Guest

I like her. She sounds good

Bring DENISE Back NOW
Guest
Bring DENISE Back NOW

Thats just your opinion. She could be turrible and not pretty at all

Tania
Guest

Of course it’s her opinion. This is the point of writing comments. ?

Bring DENISE Back NOW
Guest
Bring DENISE Back NOW

Too much fast food and fireworks

My Name
Guest

A jazz song in Azerbaijani would be cool! Like her, seems like Azerbaijan is trying out new things, I like that

Bring DENISE Back NOW
Guest
Bring DENISE Back NOW

If she wants to qualify to a final she must stop singing jazz unless she wants to end up like Blackbird. The voters said “Blackbird, Blackbird dont sing”

12 points to Ravenclaw
Guest
12 points to Ravenclaw

You do realise that the winning song this year was jazz!

Frisian esc
Guest

Actually if it was up to the voters blackbird would have qualified back in may. It’s the jury who ruined them. Also blackbird wasn’t jazz…

Denis
Guest

Interesting choice, could work!
Obviously it’s not going to be entirely a jazz song, most likely a genre that fits her. And of course English, Why else would they point out she’s fluent in English?
Now question is which MF reject song will they choose?

Tania
Guest

Last year they had a great song and the author was Azerbaijani

Denis
Guest

Written by Sandra Bjurman. A Swedish writer. Though not very known.

olvr20
Guest

The song was composed by Isa Melikov, who is Azerbaijani. Sandra Bjurman only wrote th lyrics.

Bring DENISE Back NOW
Guest
Bring DENISE Back NOW

Dihaj is fast food and fireworks

Paul D.
Guest

Not really

Christian
Guest

So there are two questions:
1. In what language will she sing?
2. Who will be the *cough* Swedish *cough* composers?

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Perhaps they’ll surprise us this year and go elsewhere for their song.

thespb01
Guest

Skeletons was actually Azeri-written – only the lyrics were Swedish.

2018 is the new 2000's
Guest
2018 is the new 2000's

So this is it, a jazz singer for Azerbaijan 2018? Wiwibloggs can make an article about jazz singers at esc. I only know Aisel, Salvador, Roger Cicero, Raphael Gualazzi.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Martina Barta! That’s probably enough to do an article – but more suggestions are welcome 🙂

2018 is the new 2000's
Guest
2018 is the new 2000's
Gino
Guest

Valentina monetta aka kween of the universe

Geo
Guest

Rona Nishliu (Albania 2012) – Genres: Jazz pop soul
Valentina Monetta (San Marino 2012, 2013, 2014, 2017) – Genres: Jazz, Pop

Bring DENISE Back NOW
Guest
Bring DENISE Back NOW

Laura from Estonia, also known as Paula Mustikas, is one of the greatest jazz performers in the world. She is incredibly talented and versatile, also able to sing in fast food and fireworks song like Supersonic.

Paul D.
Guest

Great voice, well done!

ninasublatti
Guest

please please do not sing in english!