Hello everyone! I’m Zach, and this is the first of my possible artist profiles. In these profiles, I will highlight an artist that I believe should represent their country at the Eurovision Song Contest 2014. It could be someone new, or maybe even someone who’s competed before. I will also highlight the recent selection processes from each country, and include a few more artists in the “honorable mentions” category. I will go in alphabetical order, and currently I’m only profiling the countries that participated in the 2013 contest. If new or returning countries confirm 2014 participation, I will add them in accordingly. Now, first up is Albania!
Albania first entered the Eurovision Song Contest in 2004, coming in 7th place on their first attempt. Since 2008, Albania has qualified for the final four out of six times, missing out in 2011 and 2013. Their highest placing since 2008 was in 2012 with Rona Nishliu and “Suus”, which came 5th in the final. Their lowest placing since 2008 was in 2013 with Adrian & Bledar with “Identitet”, which came 15th in the semi-final.
Albania has chosen every one of their entries through their national competition Festivali i Këngës. It is a very popular competition in Albania, and first began in 1962. It faced harsh censorship in the 1970’s when Albania was ruled by the dictator Enver Hoxha, but rebounded after his death and diversified into a colorful collection of musical talent.
Possible 2014 Entrant
After doing some digging into the Albanian music scene, I believe that Albania should send Samanta Karavello as their 2014 representative. Samanta hails from Tirana and was first discovered when she entered a show similar to the Idol series in Albania. She did not win the show, but she continued to enter more musical contests, eventually winning the “Top Fest” contest just this year. Her style is a blend of electric and sometimes ethnic pop with R&B infused into it, which makes for a very interesting listen. Albania has never really sent a “techno” like dance song, so it would be a cool new side of them to see. More importantly, her songs, at least in my opinion, have lasting appeal that would help get votes at the end of the show.
One of the more interesting pieces I found. I don’t have a clue what she’s saying but I can dance to this! And the fact that it has over a million views suggests she has a following, something that can be beneficial at Eurovision.
Vesa Luma-Another pop singer from Albania/Kosovo. Entered Festivali i Këngës in 2004 with Rona Nishliu and Tetua Kurti but did not win, also entered the 2012 edition but did not win. Served as a judge alongside Juliana Pasha for the first season of The X-Factor Albania. Catchy songs with a good voice to match.
Aurela Gaçe-Aurela represented Albania at the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest and was robbed in the semi-final, placing 14th. She had an amazing voice and basically sounded the same live as on the studio version. I loved that she included a bit of Albanian in her English rendition of “Feel the Passion”. I’d love for her to come back again.
What do you think? Who could bring glory to Albania at Eurovision? Let us know with a comment below!
Photo: eurovision.tv (EBU)
Zachary Thomas is Wisconsin-based correspondent for WiwiBloggs.com. Follow him on Twitter @CheerZach. Then follow the team from wiwibloggs.com on Twitter at @wiwibloggs to keep up with the latest Eurovision news and gossip!