Eldar Qasimov has watched his solo career take off since he won Eurovision 2011 as one-half of the Azerbaijani duo Ell & Nikki. This Sunday the two singers will reunite for a performance at the 2014 European Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships, which are currently taking place in Baku. Wiwiblogger Sopon caught up with Ell ahead of the action to talk about his anti-smoking campaign, his forthcoming album and much more…
First of all, happy birthday! It’s so hard to believe you’re 25, you still look so young! How have you celebrated? What do you plan to do with the rest of your twenties?
Thank you! Can you imagine how hard it is for me to believe I’m 25? Just kidding! Age is just a number for me. At least people get smarter at this age, so no worries. Even my beard can’t hide my eternal youth!
On my birthday, one of my friends brought me out of town. While we were gone, my friends prepared lots of food, and bought a lot of drinks. We couldn’t sleep all night!
I’m planning on spending the next few years spending time with and enjoying my parents, friends, and fans. I hope to share my new songs and ideas with you. It means so much for me!
You recently participated in a film festival against smoking. Why was that important to you?
This might sound strange, but I do smoke occasionally, although not usually in the presence of others. But I’m lucky because I’m not addicted to smoking, and I believe we need to get as many people as we can to kick this habit. If you don’t smoke, you’re not only prolonging your own life, but you aren’t ruining it for people around you either. I have a youth organization called “Addim” in Azerbaijan, we use it to promote such messages. I’m happy when I can help someone!
Two of your newer songs, “The One” and “I’m Free,” build on electronica. Is this the true Eldar, or is it an experiment?
I love to experiment, and we will have even more surprises on my next CD.
Great! You have a new album coming out soon. Will there be any English-language songs? Will the songs be more ballad-like, like “Running Scared”, or in more of a house-style, like “I’m Free”? Any prospective release date?
It will be in both English and Azeri. It will also have a lot of the “new me” on it. I love ballads, since they’re about love, so I will do some strong ballad songs. We hope to release it in the fall, maybe September, but no set date yet.
How has Nikki been? Will there be any future collaborations between you two?
Nikki is doing well as far as I know. We will meet up on June 15th and perform at the Gymnastic Championship in Baku! As far as future collaborations, we both have to feel the music between us, but as of now, all we feel is a good friendship. We’re both pursuing solo careers and releasing new tracks.
Thank you so much for your time! I look forward to listening to your new album!
Thank you! You can follow me on Twitter at @eldar_music for more news!