Last year she served as a backing vocalist during the Eurovision 2016 rehearsals, helping Samra get ready for her stage show.
But on Monday it was clear that Diana Hajiyeva — the aspiring pop star better known as Dihaj — is ready for her moment in the spotlight, as Azerbaijani broadcaster ITV announced that she’ll sing at Eurovision 2017 in Kyiv.
The Baku-based beauty definitely beats to her own drum, dropping other-worldly experimental pop.
You can see that most clearly in “I Break Again” — her first single, which hit YouTube in December 2014.
Her voice has a rich, haunting quality that carries emotion well. It works well with jazz, soul and funk — genres that have mixed to great effect in recent chart-toppers around the world.
The experimental sound gives way to avant-garde styling, and Miss Hajiyeva has at times worked glorious acid-blonde dreadlocks. Very Rona Nishliu!
She’s been on our radar for a very long time.
Diana previously competed in Azerbaijan’s Eurovision 2011 selection, coming fourth in Heat Six behind Eldar Gasimov, who eventually made it to Eurovision alongside Nigar Jamal.
In June we selected her as the Azeri representative in wiwivision, our alternative Eurovision Song Contest.
Btw, DIHAJ came 4th in the Eurovision Times Song Contest last summer. The song was submitted by Elmar. I guess that he is the Elmar who was all over the moon above.
Rauf for Eurovision Azerbaijan 2018.
Some of you still expecting them to choose their own production over melfest rejects? Ain’t going to happen, because Azeri’s have discovered something they are not going give up.. They are exploiting Eurovision as a platform for relatively cheap advertisement of ‘their’ culture.. ‘the Land of Fire’.., remember?
So be sure that this weird girl with a tuned voice will be singing another Swedish (perhaps) ballad with some of the eastern folklore sounds in it.. which will be mixed by the Swedish record producer.. as always.
Mark my words.
Again, don’t expect her song to sound anything like her usual style. It will be fitted and patted into a more mainstream Azeri ESC entry. Most likely a MF reject who will get a “make-over” to sound more up-to-date
Wow, she’s been my favorite for the last couple of years. To be speaking frankly, I didn’t think ITV would brave enough to send her. I really hope they’ll let her produce her own song. She’s got a unique style and it’s exactly what could impress the Eurovision audience. Eurovision definitely needs some fresh blood.
@Lanti, it’s the first one. Diana is not pronounced as the English version in Azeri. It’s Dee-ana Hadzhieva.
Probs a really stupid question, but…
Dee- hadzh? (How I’m pronouncing it in my head)
Yo…. This is really good. I didn’t realise Azerbaijan had such great artists because they always send cheap pop crap. Thank you for this!
Ooh, an automatic place to the grand final.
Wow, she sounds amazing. I’ve listened to a couple more of her songs and I think her unique style is something that Eurovision needs more and more. Great choice Azerbaijan!
Congratulations to Diana (or Dihaj) – it’s about time!!
This is now the most excited I have been about Azerbaijan’s entry since 2012. 🙂
She wasn’t her backup singer. She refused to do it and was replaced with Anna Engh.
So, when everyone was saying the backup singers for Samra were sounding better than she was….one of the backup singers was selected internally to represent the next year? Oh that is hilariously ironic.
Still, I’ve got high hopes for her! Ive seen her name float around recently for her previous songs, and I’ve been impressed with them. If the Azeri producers let her develop her song and do it her way, I see it doing super well at Eurovision!
Obviously no one is expecting her ESC song to sound anything like her regular material. That’s asking for to much.
They will do the usual Azeri thing: Pick a reject MF song, and revamp it to fit the formula.
WOW! That’s an interesting choice from Azerbaijan. Good luck to Diana and Azerbaijan. BTW, I like the 2 songs posted in here.
@Robyn – I think that was the idea behind selecting her because knowing Azerbaijan, they will probably ask the Swedes to send them yet another Melfest reject. I really hope she puts her foot down and chooses a song that best represents her!
Let’s hope they’ll let her sing something like the two songs here.
LMAO that people think her voice sounds like the main one they were hearing on “Miracle”. Y’all so silly.
Love the choice, Azerbaijan. DIE, boring corporate styropop in Eurovision, DIE!
Send her with her band and their music OMG!
Great choice Azerbaijan. Hopefully there’s a chance for not typical Swedish-Eurovision-pop song from Land of Fire. I like. Can’t wait to hear their entry
So her experimental music is thanks to her colleagues Anar and Ali. If she will go solo (we must hope, it will not happen), she will sing an international Swedish song (typical for AZE). I dont understand, why they dont want to send the whole band with their fresh music and they will use only her voice. Pity.
Dihaj is not stage name of Diana, but name of her band (Diana, Anar and Ali).
You mean the only one who could sing? The one who was completely covering Samra’s dreadful vocals? That one?
@ MoreMusicLessGlamourPlease – you’d better spill that piping hot tea. Artists should always stay true to their distinctive style (if they have one, like Diana) and they should compete for the music and not for the charts. Certain national finals – and by certain national finals I mean the Eesti Laul – are stuffed with quality music, often self-written and self-composed, resulting in a varied selection of stunning songs. The Swedes should take notes, I don’t want to hear another badly-written, basic and predictable pop song from them. I need Jon Henrik to save us and bring something different to… Read more »
The thing is, no-one performing Miracle could sing…
It also doesn’t matter what she does in her career because ITV will give her a Melodifestivalen reject like they do with everyone.
She looks and sounds edgy, great choice Azerbaijan! Hope you don’t send a swedish mainstream song
This is very very good. Don’t be bad because is different. It’s as different and as good as Loic Nottet 2015. And I’m tired of see swedes / por all over it… I wanna see difference. Good Choice Azerbaijan . Go alternative.
It shows a new side form Azerbaijan.
They always send cheesy and mainstream pop but this time I think they’re going for something indie and alternative.
I haven’t heard her singing but I have a feeling her voice is good on studio and stage, unlike Samra 😛
What’s so wrong with MF and mainstream pop?
Yes there many NF finals but not many are as big as MF.
The reason rock isn’t there any more is because rock isn’t that big in Sweden any more. Up to maybe 2012 it was still a big deal and you could find rock songs in the mix. But since then it has fallen out of fashion. The big thing now is dance music, “emotional art pop” and acoustic folk pop inspired music. like Ed Sheeran.
i love her! can’t wait to listen to the song.
Out of all chosen acts, this is by far the most Jamala inspired: Indie, arty, doing her own thing. Expect few more of these.
I doubt very much her entry will sound like the song above, it will be more ESC patted for sure.
@ Polengend – Yep, of course MF is overrated compared to many other NFs….too much glamour, and not so much diversity. It’s unfair. Many NFs are much better
But still…fortunately, days of schlagers in MF are gone. OK – there is a lot “Mainstream pop” (which doesn’t have to be bad though), and maybe not enough musical diversity. But at least, I think they do have different music. Not just commerical pop. In the years 207-14 they were at the best enough. But I miss more rock, more indie etc in MF. And the really big names
She has a very “individual” music style it seems! Not an ordinary pop singer (that can be OK too though). But an innovative style.
IN ESC – it is very important that the singers / bands stay “Honest” to their own style. That they really do something wich is right for them musically, their regular style. NOT try to fit into ESC stereotypes…S I hope she stays like that….Just being herself musically. We have had enough of dull unsipored contrived songs from Azerbaijan
@ Lex – if you want to hear a bunch of basic, uninspired pop songs, the Mediocrityfestivalen starts in February 🙂
She’s a very talented vocalist and music producer. I hope they’ll let her have a part in the composition and production of her song, which I’m praying won’t be written by Swedes.
I like her but I feel like Azerbaijan is starting to care less and less every year. The worse they do the less interested they are in the contest.
ok… How many Jamalas will we get? Next please… Tired of this completely non-main-stream crap.
Great choice! Very promising
I like her voice and style. Come on, give her props. She was the REAL SINGER in Miracle.
Best decision Azerbaijan’s ever made regarding ESC
Different choice for Azerbaijan. For me not in a positive way, but I am looking forward to hearing the song.
I hope….NO SWEDES involved! Often their entries are so contrived and cheesy.
Heard her song….And I like it a lot. I hope she keeps the alternative / indie style. Would be very fresh and good for ESC. I like indie, and nice to hear such music in ESC!
Her song which I heard sounds very good! Something like that in ESC would indeed stand out. Kind of electronica / chill out Very calm, relaxed and nice on the ear 🙂