Last year I wrote an article about why Elhaida Dani should represent Albania at the Eurovision Song Contest. I wrote it before FiK 53 had started — and before Elhaida had been announced as a contestant. I’m still shocked that she’s actually representing the Land of Eagles in Vienna. We recently learned that she will not sing her winning entry “Diell” at Eurovision. It’s left some fans shocked and others excited to see what she’ll do next…
I really loved “Diell”, but the switch is for the best. As soon as I heard Elhaida’s lovely voice, I got goosebumps. That hasn’t happened to me since Rona Nishliu took to the stage in Tirana. Judging from Twitter and various Eurovision forums, though, many Eurovision fans seemed to dislike “Diell” from the start.
The negative reviews didn’t really matter to me. It’s nice to see the diversity of opinion in the Eurovision world, and things would be very boring if we all loved every song. But odds play an important role in the Eurovision Song Contest. Even if the bookies often get things wrong, they do have a habit of signifying, or at least approximating, the winning song. The bookmakers placed “Diell” dead last, and that’s definitely something to be worried about. “Diell” would have struggled to qualify from its stacked semi-final.
Drama behind the song change
It’s sad that Aldo Shllaku had to withdraw from the Eurovision Song Contest just months before the competition. I remember Elhaida saying during an interview that she was “very scared” when her composer wouldn’t give RTSH the rights for the song to be used for the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest. With just two weeks until the HoD meeting in Vienna, where all broadcasters need to hand in their songs, who wouldn’t be scared?
After Aldo Shllaku withdrew, RTSH was left with no song for Vienna. After discussions between RTSH and the EBU, an agreement was made. Elhaida would still represent Albania in Eurovision 2015, but with another song. RTSH contacted several composers and ended up with Arbër Elshani and Christian Lekaj. They are known as Zzap & Chriss across the Albanian diaspora in Europe.
Elhaida’s new song “I’m Alive”
Elhaida Dani’s new song is titled “I’m Alive” and it will be a pop ballad. That marks a departure for Elhaida. “I’m Alive” is composed by Zzap & Chriss and the lyrics have been written by Sokol Marsi. Sokol is known for writing Albania’s 2011 entry. The song will be in English, but there are plans to do Albanian and Italian versions. I’m sure it’s going to be better than Diell.
Zzap & Chriss, who come from Kosovo, are very successful composers in the Albanian diaspora. They make songs for popular Albanian artists such as Besa Kokëdhima and Nora Istrefi. I really believe these boys will create a great modern ballad for Elhaida. She deserves an amazing song to showcase the lovely voice she has.
SONGS BY ZZAP & CHRISS
These are just a few songs that Zzap & Chriss have made, and are the ones that I most enjoy listening to. They come up with really modern, out-there songs. I really believe in Zzap & Chriss and hope for the best.
I know that Eurovision fans will go “we haven’t heard the song yet, what are you talking about?” But Zzap & Chriss are amazing composers, Sokol Marsi is a legend when it comes to writing and Elhaida Dani is one of a kind. Lately, Elhaida Dani has been using the hashtag #somethingdifferent. It’s a sign of what’s to come.
In the next couple of days, they’ll start filming the official video clip of “I’m Alive”. At the end of next week we’ll finally get to hear the song. There’s still no exact date when the song will be released, but it will be around March 13-15. Time will tell, but I think it’s going to be one fantastic song that fans will enjoy and that Albanians can be proud of!