Albania, Albania, Albania. What are we going to do with you? The country has rich musical heritage and actually puts effort into its Eurovision selection (unlike certain former heavyweights *cough Ireland cough United Kingdom*).
However, Albania’s Eurovision results have been largely poor. Some say that Festivali i Kenges is outdated. Others feel that the country’s tendency to completely revamp entries is damaging. So what about shaking things up entirely for 2017 and selecting this year’s breakout musical star, Era Istrefi?
Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the best part of a year, you will likely have heard “Bonbon”. This unequivocal musical
orgasm masterpiece is the song that launched Era’s international career, got her signed to Sony Music and led to comparisons to the likes of Rihanna and Sia. Take a look and you’ll see why.
But who is Era Istrefi, and where has she been? The 22-year-old Kosovar hails from Pristina, and her musical influences include Eminem and Britney Spears. She has in fact been making music since 2013, it just was not until “Bonbon” that international attention came her way. She has won numerous awards in her home country and her videos (which are super current, even the older ones) all have millions of YouTube views. Case in point: 2014’s “E dehun”.
So why do we think she would be Albania’s saviour? This girl is fresh. Albania’s entries tend to be stale. Can you see where this is going? With a style similar to Zara Larsson, Margaret and, undeniably, Rihanna, Era has positioned herself firmly in the midst of pop’s current reggae- and R&B-influenced leading ladies. What Albania needs is modernity, stat!
Era is also a social media queen, which is also real important at modern ESC. She regularly posts musical updates. However she most often she treats her fans to shots of her looking flawless (with insightful captions) — which, with a face and body as on point as hers, is to be expected.
— Era Istrefi (@strefie) October 5, 2016
If you would like to know more about our dream Albanian Eurovision entrant, why not check out the (super mini) documentary on Era Istrefi? Skip to 1:40 for the most philosophical documentary quote of the year.
What do you think? Could Era Istrefi drag Albania into the 21st century at Eurovision? As you know, we value your opinions. Share them in the comments below.