Lindita halimi interview revamp

At Albania’s Festivali i Këngës 53, she wowed fans with her powerful voice, sexy see-through leotard and daring song “S’të fal” — ultimately finishing third.

Fast-forward two years to FiK 55 last December and Lindita was still doing her thing, but with the much more classical song “Botë”, which she’ll now sing at Eurovision 2017.

“I had to play it safe considering the songs they’ve sent so far,” she told wiwibloggs in a Skype interview on January 2. “Albania is mostly focused on the big voices, the big grand orchestra ballads. I wanted to come with something like ‘S’të fal’ and come crazy. But at the same time I was like, ‘I can’t do this to myself again.'”

Her victory proves she was wise to play it safe and secure her place at Eurovision. But she ain’t resting on her laurels. Instead she and her team are already busy working on the revamp for Eurovision 2017.

“We will definitely make it more ‘Eurovision-like,'” she says. “It’s not going to be as ‘orchestra’ as it was because honestly you can’t really do but so much with an orchestra. You can’t put in electronic sounds and stuff. Even though it’s a grand ballad, we’re definitely going to make it a bit more today, because the song is a bit too classical for the young ears.”

“People want to enjoy the music, people don’t want to suffer too much. That’s been my pet peeve in a way. I had to do it with orchestra for FiK, but we’re going to work on it now. Not maybe revamp the whole song. We’re going to retain the message and the sound behind it. But it’s definitely going to have some elements that might be more catchy for the ears.”

And what is that message?

“It’s about all the wars worldwide and all the things people are going through. It says, ‘How many tears? How much pain in this world? I can’t take it any more and I wish I was stronger.’ That’s basically a cry out for help. But at the same time there is positivity. We can do better.”

Lindita’s journey to Eurovision includes one very big experience: competing on American Idol last year.

What did she learn from working with J.Lo, Keith Urban and Harry Connick, Jr?

“Work ethic,” she says. “We’ve been constantly working. We only had, during rehearsals, like one hour or two hours to sleep. We basically slept on the floor. People were treating us so amazingly, but at the same time we had to work hard. It was like The Hunger Games. Who wants it the most? Because we all wanted it we were fighting.”

“I definitely learned a lot about work ethic, how professional you need to be. It’s about making connections. It helped me learn it is so hard to make it. But if you can handle the pressures you can get there.”

Read more Albania Eurovision news

newest oldest most voted
Notify of
Lili
Guest
Lili

@Nitzan But honestly those who are unique never win

Purple Mask
Guest
Purple Mask

But, there was a time when ALL Eurovision entries had to be arranged for Orchestra!! (Sigh.)
On the positive side, I admire her determination and work ethic. I think she might place well in ESC, just through sheer inner strength! 🙂

an esc fan
Guest
an esc fan

Hope that she will keep the song in albanian, and add only the important lyrics, in english, in the background, like Michal Szpak.

Riva
Guest
Riva

I personally find this song good as it is already. If they wanna make revamp so badly, they should have change core genre but not reduce the quality of the song like they did last year.

Nitzan
Guest
Nitzan

“More Eurovision” = Less unique.

Also, winning the young ears might mean losing the older ones, including the judges. I think this should take the old school niche rather than try becoming what it’s not.

Official Månsters Association
Guest
Official Månsters Association

I know I’m asking a lot Lindita, but please don’t make a lot of the same mistakes as 2014 and 2016. It sounds like I’m begging a lot, but I really don’t want to hear any more cheesy lyrics at Eurovision coming from Albania again.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

My bad. Eneda’s song was at last year’s ESC, not 2015.

CookyMonzta
Guest
CookyMonzta

@Juuseven: I got a feeling we’re heading down the same road that Hersi’s “Zemërimi I Një Natë (One Night’s Anger)” (Albania 2014), Amber’s “Warrior” (Malta 2015) and Eneda’s “Përrallë” (Fairytale)” (Albania 2015) went.

If the revamped version sounds anything like another potential non-qualifier (either watered-down, like the 2 ALB songs mentioned here; or overdone, like MLT did in 2015), they’re likely to do what Elhaida Dani and her team did; replace the song.

Juuseven
Guest
Juuseven

She’s Wrong, cause she’s repeating what Hersi and Eneda had done with their “Eurovison-like song”. And she’s wrong too when she stated that the you cannot play electronic sound with the orchestra.. Well, we remember at least Flaka Krelani with her electropop entry at FIK 54. It ounded terrific with the live orchestra. So, Stop making excuses that the orchestral version is not appealing anymore!!

“People want to enjoy the music, people don’t want to suffer too much!!” What a lame saying!! If you really care then stop ruining your song with the stupid revamping plan.

Rita
Guest
Rita

She wasn’t my favorite to begin with but…hopefully she won’t pull an Eneda 2016 who had an awesome dramatic song and then killed it to be more “Eurovision”. As a musician, when you audition for a band or orchestra or something the number one tip older musicians give us is to never perform pieces that you think the panel might want to hear. Same with Eurovision. There have been quite a bit of songs (one of them won last year!) that weren’t mainstream that did well (Il Volo, Lordi, etc). Albania JESC 2016 entry has shown that you can definitely… Read more »

an esc fan
Guest
an esc fan

Ha, ha, when I hear the word ”alert” I remember that Graham Norton said about Jon Ola Sand : ”charisma alert”.

esc1234
Guest
esc1234

flop alert

Mathew
Guest
Mathew

The problem is that FiK is a dated way of selecting a song for a Eurovision which in recent years has made leaps and strides with it’s modern sound. The two contests simply don’t match up to each other any more, unlike Melodifestivalen and Eurovision. We’ve seen the same problems in former Eurovision powerhouses like Ireland where the broadcaster is still playing by the rules *they* think will garner a win. Play the game Albania, and update your selection first and foremost, rather than trying to fit ready-made songs into a Eurovision mould. It rarely works.

(J)ESC Fanatic
Guest
(J)ESC Fanatic

Oh… I’m not being too optimistic… Eneda said the same last year and we all know how the epic “Përrallë” ended up sounding like…

Stephen Colville
Guest
Stephen Colville

She is obviously a smart person with her head screwed on right, but I don’t even know what “more Eurovision” means. If it means just adding a cheesy synth drum beat in the background, then that would kill this song stone dead. Keep the orchestral elements, I would say add real drums to the last minute of the song to build to that crescendo that the current version is missing. But the core of the song is a great as is. Please don’t do another horrible Albanian revamp, because this song doesn’t need it.

Robbert
Guest
Robbert

We know what happened with the revamp in 2016. It became a colourless nothing without any flavour left. Hope this won’t happen with the Albanian entry 2017. It seems some Albanians feel ashamed for their own sound.

cheesecake
Guest
cheesecake

Loved this interview.
Can’t wait to hear the revamped version of “Botë”, although I hope they won’t change it too much.

an esc fan
Guest
an esc fan

” … if you can handle the pressures you can get there.”
Totally agree with her, the pressure is the worst part, and the winner is the one that has family and friends. I guess her husband was moral support.

MoreMusicLessGlamourPlease
Guest
MoreMusicLessGlamourPlease

I hope it won’t sound like one of those (too many) OTT diva ballads in ESC