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 Some say that Festivali i Kenges is outdated.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.

You change colors so often.. It confuses me

A post shared by Era Istrefi (@strefie) on

Back in the summer, we named Era as our fantasy pick for Albania. She also stormed into fourth place in this year’s Wiwivision. Team Wiwi is behind you girl!

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.

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Thomas
Thomas
3 years ago

WE WANT KOSOVO ON EUROVISION WITH ERA ISTREFI

She is from Kosovo not from Albania, same for Dua Lipa and Rita Ora they are all from Kosovo 😀

mocosuburbian
mocosuburbian
3 years ago

there’s always good songs in FiK (Nilsa Hysi, Lindita Halimi, etc.) but Albanian voters don’t go for current soooo not the fault of the festival

EnjaESC
EnjaESC
3 years ago

I honestly don’t think Albania entries are THIS outdated(take Elhaida for instance),but surely they need some change of style.Era isn’t the only girl to do this kind of music…we have Ronela Hajati,Kaltrina Selimi,Leonora Jakupi,also Era’s older sister,Nora,is pretty good.In Albania we have two different kind of music,I think:the melodic”classical” one and the rhytmic,R’n’B one…we need more of the latter in the ESC! 🙂

anonymouse
anonymouse
3 years ago

This would be a dream for all Albanians…but she is known for not having an amazing live vocal. If you want to combine vocals, performance, song and style, the best entry Albania could have is from Elvana Gjata…

no one
no one
3 years ago

well you guys must represent the queen DUA LIPA too.

KennyESC
KennyESC
3 years ago

I’m still hoping for Elvana Gjata to be selected internally instead. Era Istrefi will never do ESC. :/ (but I’m worried about Elvana live)

Thomasfan22
Thomasfan22
3 years ago

Even if she does enter FiK, I think we will have a similiar situation as to Margaret. She has an amazing song, but loses to another fan favourite instead.

DR
DR
3 years ago

I think that maybe Albania should step away from the festival. It’s not been great for them. And it’s not a national selection. It’s more like San Remo that it predates each countries respective entry into the contest. Do they can kick it to one side. I think maybe going in to an internal selection. I always think that actively sorting out talent whether for a national or internal selection is generally better than letting people submit entries. While I don’t agree that Era should enter Albania does have good enough talent to get a great song for Eurovision.

D
D
3 years ago

I absolutely love Era, but I don’t think she’d do Eurovision. Ever since “Bonbon” blew up, she’s been working with Sony in the U.S. on more global stuff.

Lianne
Lianne
3 years ago

Typical white girl trashy music.

MirkoJoshua
MirkoJoshua
3 years ago

As soon as I heard Bonbon, I thought she would have tried (at least) to do Eurovision. I’ve seen some live performances of her and weren’t actually bad, with some improvement she can take Albania back to the top 5 (or even victory, who knows?). Plus Albania seems to get good results with Kosovar singers (Rona). I really hope she and RTSH consider this idea

Steven
Steven
3 years ago

Her Bon Bon song went stale after 2 listens, nothing really memorable about it tbh. Good voice nevertheless but I don’t see a change from FiK

Sparrow
Sparrow
3 years ago

I feel this would be a wise move for Albania but I really don’t see it happening. Fingers crossed tho..

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
3 years ago

Albania should definitely take this chance and select her internally.

oooops
oooops
3 years ago

What if Czech Republic debuted in JESC 2017 and selected Misha Silenosti as their representative… https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=vfc42Pb5RA8 .

But I think it is time for Albania to stop using FiK. In recent years (2013, ’14, ’16) when they have used FiK, they failed to qualify. But in 2015, when they switched the song, it came 6th in televote. Isn’t it time to take a risk, to use Kenga magjike or internal selection, like for example: Era Istrefi