Festivali i Këngës 56

It’s time to deck the halls and warm-up your live stream: Albania’s Festivali i Këngës 56 is back just before Christmas!

Yes, December is here and with it Albania’s national selection for Eurovision 2018. Expect four (or more) hours of good old Albanian guitar solos, endless commercials wishing us ‘Gezuar festet’ and a full display of portentous voices singing with an orchestra. Part old-school, part new — and a rite of passage for every hardcore Eurofan.

This year Albania’s RTSH has decided to release the competing songs in advance so that we can have a listen and, more importantly, compile tops lists for YouTube.

The songs were debuted on the radio show of Albania’s regular points spokesperson Andri Xhahu. They are now available to listen in full on RTSH’s YouTube channel.

One of these 22 songs will become the first Eurovision 2018 entry you’ll hear. Amid all the excitement and anticipation, let’s pause and learn how to cope with pressure in style from former FiK winner Eneda Tarifa.

The song titles suggest plenty of diversity — and more than a bit of melodrama.

“Divorce”, “Pedestal”, “Why would I love you?” — we want to know what all of them sound like (and now we can by scrolling down).

Many familiar names are returning to the competition.

2006 entrant Luiz Ejili, FiK 1993 winner Manjola Nallbani and Bojken Lako — a.k.a., the man who beat Lindita’s “S’të fal” and surprisingly finished second behind Elhaida Dani in 2014.

Courtesy of RTSH, here’s the playlist with all 22 entries. Let’s do this!

Festivali i Këngës 56 entrants

  • AKULLTHYESIT – “Divorci” (Divorce)
  • Artemisa Mithi – “E dua botën” (I love the world)
  • Bojken Lako – “Sytë e shpirtit” (The eyes of the soul)
  • David & Genc Tukiqi – “Të pandarë” (Inseperable)
  • Denisa Gjezo – “Zemër ku je” (Dear heart, where you are)
  • Elton Deda – “Fjalët” – (Words)
  • Ergi Bregu-Latifllari – “Bum Bum”
  • Eugent Bushpepa “Mall” (Yearning)
  • Evans Rama – “Gjurmët” (Traces)
  • Inis Neziri – “Piedestal” – (Pedestal)
  • LORELA – “Pritem edhe pak” (Wait a little longer)
  • LYNX – “Vonë” (Late)
  • Manjola Nallbani – “I njejti qiell” (The same sky)
  • Mariza Ikonomi – “Unë” (Me)
  • NA & Festina Mezini – “Tjetër jetë” (Another life)
  • Orgesa Zaimi – “Ngrije zërin” (Speak up)
  • Redon Makashi – “Ekzistoj” (I exist)
  • Rezarta Samja & Luis Ejlli – “Ra një yll” (A star fell)
  • Stefi & Endri Prifti – “Mesazh” (Message)
  • Tahir Gjoci – “Orë e ndaluar” (Stopped clock)
  • Voltan Prodani – “Pse të desha” (Why would I love you?)
  • Xhesika Polo – “Përjetë” (Forever)

Who are these singers?

One of the hot favourites going into the contest is Artemisa Mithi who will make her FiK debut. She was previously a contestant on The Voice Kids. Earlier this year she competed on The Voice of Albania, where she made it to the live shows but was eliminated in week one.

Also debuting is Inest Neziri, who previously won the TV talent show Gjeniu i Vogël 5 and Lorela Sejdini (now known as LORELA) who competed on The Voice of AlbaniaXhesika Polo, who was third on X Factor 2012, made her FiK debut last year and competed on Kenga Magijke 2017, will also return.

Returning to the line-up is Bojken Lako. The Albanian rock legend is a four-time FiK veteran, who placed second in 2014 with “Të ndjej”.

Elton Deda was a coach on the first three series of The Voice of Albania. He also completed in FiK in 2011, where he was runner-up to Rona Nishliu with “Kristal”.

Well-known Albanian singer Eugent Bushpepa returns to Festivali i Këngës after almost a decade. Other iconic Albanian performers to return include Manjola NallbaniMariza IkonomiRedon Makashi and brotherly duo Stefi & Endri Prifti.

Rock bands NA and LYNX are back, while the group AKULLTHYESIT makes their FiK debut.

Other FiK returning artists include Rezarta Samja & Luis Ejlli who will be performing as a duo this time, as well as Evans Rama and  Voltan Prodani.

Who’s your favourite? Which songs slay? And who do you expect to rock Tirana’s Palace of Congresses on December 23? Let us know down below.

READ MORE ALBANIA EUROVISION NEWS

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Mario
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Mario

Orgesa Zaimi-Ngrije Zerin is amazing! Modern and catchy, Albania could easily reach top10 with it!

dj johnson
Guest
dj johnson

1. Piedestal – Inis Neziri ( she is the BEST !!!)

2. Ngrije zerin – Orgesa

David
Guest
David
jeff
Guest
jeff

his year go for Albanien….Inis Neziri with “Piedestal ” is one Masterpiece
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=75sEdGED920
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Guy5k8moUBE?
BEANTWOORDEN

thespb01
Guest
thespb01

Does Festivali I Kenges ever have anything apart from diva ballads or rubbish rock? My favourite is Orgesa (as it sounds like it’s from the 21st century), though I think Inis is most likely to win.

Yes
Guest
Yes

Because the decision is totally jury, only divas or rockers stand a chance with live singing. You can see in Kenga Magjike this week, the commercial singers will not be able to sing live, but they will get points because singers vote for each other. Voting method determines types of songs and singers in a competition.

TimUSA
Guest
TimUSA

Most of the songs by solo men sound the same, not all though.
A few standout.
INIS NEZIRI – PIEDESTAL
ORGESA ZAIMI – NGRIJE ZËRIN
GRUPI NA & FESTINA MEJZINI – TJETËR JETË
LORELA SEJDINI – PRITËM EDHE PAK
LUIZ EJLLI & REZARTA SMAJA – RA NJË YLL
TIRI – ORË E NDALUR
LYNX – VONË
EUGENT BUSHPEPA – MALL
XHESIKA POLO – PËRJETË – winner!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
MARIZA IKONOMI – UNË
GENC & DAVID TUKICI – TË PANDARË

Ibb
Guest
Ibb

Mall is by far the best song out of this rather mediocre bunch of songs – soaring, powerful vocals (does he sound anything like this live?) – there’s almost a euphoric quality to it.

I’d really like to see how this plays out live.

Robby
Guest
Robby

Yes he does. His voice is better live. But I doubt he will win. As an albanian I can tell you that we are tired of RTSH song style, everyone tries to sing high notes to win, its like the festival of 1985, singing about world, peace… Mall has the best lyrics

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

An impressive list of singers and some good songs. Not really going to matter if they butcher the song again before Eurovision though.

EscAU
Guest
EscAU

not qualifying againnnn would it kill them to try something that isn’t a screaming ballad or bad version of rock?

Sadoc Lightfoot
Guest
Sadoc Lightfoot

EUGENT BUSHPEPA – MALL has already won the contest ?

Sadoc Lightfoot
Guest
Sadoc Lightfoot

Fun fact: the composer of LORELA SEJDINI – PRITËM EDHE PAK is the one who composed Suus, by Rona Nishliu.

eurovision6
Guest
eurovision6

The only good one for me is “Piedestal” by Inis Neziri, unless she is chosen I can see non qualification this year for Albania.

D
Guest
D

“Mall” and “Ngrije zërin” are by far my favorites. “E dua botën” isn’t bad either.

mocosuburbian
Guest
mocosuburbian

oh myyyy many of these start out so promising and then take a nosedive a third of the way through 🙁 those overly dramatic choruses -I don’t actually mind the annual bojken lako song this time around -Divorc is ridiculous in the best way -Zemër ku je is STUNNING (better keep it in Albanian if it wins) -Orë e ndaluar is very twee but listenable -Unë is so gorgeous! This is the type of ballad that makes me excited for FiK every year. I value its presence but I want it to stay far away from Eurovision with the many… Read more »

esc freak
Guest
esc freak

I like these:
– Mall
– Tjeter jete
– Une
– Bum bum
– Perjete
– E dua boten
– Piedestal

I did not get to listen to Manjola’s song though, it’s not there.

Robby
Guest
Robby

Check the link below, RTSH made it private, dunno why.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjQsrvPN8VQ

Christian
Guest
Christian

Vonë 8 ***
Ra një yll 7,333333333
Piedestal 7 ***
Zemër ku je 6,666666667
Orë e ndalur 6,666666667
Unë 6,666666667 ***
Bum bum 6,333333333
Fjalët 6
Pritëm edhe pak 6
E pamundur 6
Tjetër jetë 5,666666667
Përjetë 5,666666667 ***
Sytë e shpirtit 5,333333333
Mall 5,333333333
E dua botën 5
Të pandarë 5
Divorc 3,666666667
Gjurmët 3,666666667
Mesazh 3
Egziston 2,666666667

It’s just a rating based on a quick listen through. I guess, there will be some songs that grow on me but it’s hard to find good Eurovision material.

Chance
Guest
Chance

Divorc is the only song that really jumps out at me as both an enjoyable a listen and something that could qualify for the final in Lisbon. I really like Xhesika’s voice, but the song this year feels a little paint by numbers. It’s a shame Eva Ja Une didn’t perform better last year because, for me, it was the best part of FiK. She easily sings circles around everyone else this year, I just wish it was a stronger song. I also enjoyed SYTË E SHPIRTIT, but I don’t think it would perform well at ESC. PRITËM EDHE PAK really… Read more »

zheng
Guest
zheng

MY FOVORITES
Denisa Gjezo – “Zemër ku je, Artemisa Mithi – “E dua botën, Inest Neziri – “Piedestal” – (Pedestal), LORELA – “Pritem edhe pak, NA & Festina Mezini – “Tjetër jetë, Eugent Bushpepa “Mall, Mariza Ikonomi – “Unë. MARIZA IKONOMI MY WINNER

Héctor
Guest
Héctor

Too much drama and electric guitars in the line-up, but this is Albanian FiK, right? As always, I miss some modern style songs like “I’m Alive”, most of the songs are rock or ballads sung by either young woman Lindita alike or old man with deep voices. I don’t know if the music industry in Albania is like that or just RTSH’s expert panel loves it. At first listen, there are some good entries that I wouldn’t mind seeing in Lisbon and that will probably grow on me (about the order, the first songs are the ones I like the… Read more »

Cobra863
Guest
Cobra863

Lots of boring ballads and a few interesting songs which aren’t strong enough to qualify in my opinion. My personal favourite is Vonë because of its energy and the fact that Albania usually doesn’t send that type of music. To me it’s the only song that stands a chance.

Tobias Gemini
Guest
Tobias Gemini

I really like Orgesa Zaimi’s “Ngrije zërin”, Xhesika Polo’s “Përjetë” also is pretty decent. I’m begging RTSH not to revamp the song this year!

cool
Guest
cool

Not all of these versions are orchestra/live so it’s kind of difficult to predict anything. They almost sound like KM songs in studio version, but RTSH orchestra versions generally sound very different. Jury will likely decide on what they hear on stage and they might also be biased towards big names. So far I see Bojken, NA/Festina, Endri/Stefi, Eugent in good shape based on songs/lyrics, with Redon, Elton and Mariza as wild cards. My favorite: Eugent. Lyrics very strong here, apart from vocals and music which he is known for being good at. By the way, Endri/Stefi Prifti’s song lyrics:… Read more »

Jo
Guest
Jo

Ok, I rated all the songs 0-10, based on quality material and ESC potential, but I don’t speak Albanian. “Divorci” (Divorce): 3 “E dua botën” (I love the world): 6 “Sytë e shpirtit” (The eyes of the soul): 4 “Të pandarë” (Inseperable): 4 “Zemër ku je” (Dear heart, where you are): 6 “Fjalët” – (Words): 6 “Bum Bum”: 4 “Mall” (Yearning): 9 “Gjurmët” (Traces): 6 “Piedestal” – (Pedestal): 7 “Pritem edhe pak” (Wait a little longer): 8 “Vonë” (Late): 8 “I njejti qiell” (The same sky): *? “Unë” (Me): 8 “Tjetër jetë” (Another life): 7 “Ngrije zërin” (Speak up): *?… Read more »

Chance
Guest
Chance

The video playlist seems to have originally had 23 videos, 2 have been deleted, and 1 is private. So we are definitely still missing 2 songs it seems like.
Manjola Nallbani – “I njejti qiell” (The same sky)
Orgesa Zaimi – “Ngrije zërin” (Speak up)
are the two missing songs from the playlist.

Robyn Gallagher
Editor

Here’s Orgesa. I think this one is online but not in the playlist:
https://youtu.be/-HdLSfQLe2A

I don’t know what happened to Manjola, but the video was there this morning. It’s ’90s style dance pop.

Rui Craveiro
Guest

The songs that got my attention after a couple of hearings were those from Lynx, Xhesika Polo, Manjola Nallbani, Mariza Ikonomi, Orgesa Zaimi and Lorela Sejdini

As for Inis Neziri: it’s not a bad song, but it doesn’t touch me the slightest

Erasmus
Guest
Erasmus

I think that none of these songs could qualify… Shame. Some of them are decent, but that’s not enough.

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

E Dua Boten is so boring, and it would never qualify. Piedestal is decent, but wouldn’t qualify. Those are the only ones I’ve listened to.

ESCHK
Guest
ESCHK

E DUA BOTËN
My favourite entries among all 20:
PIEDESTAL
I NJËJTI QIELL
BUM BUM
PRITËM EDHE PAK
UNË

ESCHK
Guest
ESCHK

Minor mistake: The order of the first two sentences should be swapped

ORE92
Guest
ORE92

Mall rises far above the others! It would be a lovely change of pace for Albania to send them. 10 out of 10 for me.

Falcón J
Guest
Falcón J

Artemisa Mithi – “E dua botën” is my favorite I hope she win

ImpressiveInstants
Guest
ImpressiveInstants

It seems another woman will represent Albania this year.

There are six very decent entries IMO.

NGRIJE ZERIN
E DUA BOTEN
PERJETE
PIEDESTAL
UNE
ZENER KU JE

Louis
Guest
Louis

Xhesika Polo by far the best. This could easily qualify in finale.

ImFromRomania
Guest
ImFromRomania

INIS NEZIRI – PIEDESTAL and ARTEMISA MITHI – E DUA BOTËN , the only good songs from my first listening of all songs.

Louis
Guest
Louis

Come on, these two are just Böte 2.0

ImFromRomania
Guest
ImFromRomania

for you maybe, for me is not :).

James
Guest
James

I’ve listened to a couple of songs and so far, one of my stand-outs is ” Një Tjetër jetë”.