The Wiwi Jury — our in-house panel of music unprofessionals — continues to rank and review the 43 songs competing in Eurovision 2018. Next we head to Armenia to listen to Depi Evratesil winner Sevak Khanagyan and his song “Qami” (Wind). Were we blown away by his song? Read on to find out!
Sevak Khanagyan – “Qami”
Jovana: I am pretty excited to hear Armenian on the Eurovision stage again, after almost ten years, I believe. Knowing how rich and old Armenian culture is kind of gives “Qami” a spiritual note it would not have had had it been translated into English. All that paired with Sevak’s powerful vocals makes a secure qualification for the final and a lot of points from the juries. With a good staging, it could easily appeal to the audience as well.
Luis: “Qami” is a power ballad which fits perfectly with Sevak’s voice. It’s perfectly fine in the studio version, but the live staging in Depi Evratesil let it down a lot. Maybe it was the exuberant masculinity of Sevak’s outfit, the fact that he was twice as big as his supposed love interest in the background or maybe it was that he was just there standing. Armenia’s entry ticks a lot of boxes to make it a qualifier, however, unless they give the performance the right edge, this could struggle either to make it to the final or to get a decent placing,
Antranig: It is so delightful to hear a song entirely in Armenian at Eurovision. I’ve been waiting for one and “Qami” is well worth the wait. It has to be noted that Sevak’s vocals are clearly the selling point of this song because on its own, “Qami” is just a run of the mill non-English Eurovision ballad. But since the juries were introduced, this might be Armenia’s first song that could appeal highly to both juries and televoters. However, he needs to ditch that ridiculous gladiatorial getup and fix the staging — “Qami” is beautiful on its own and doesn’t need the bells and whistles.
Bogdan: As power ballads go, “Qami” is alright, but it doesn’t have anything special to separate it from the typical made-for-Eurovision songs. It won’t stand the test of time like Aram MP3’s 2014 song, for instance. While I do appreciate the fact that it’s in Armenian, I simply can’t feel a connection with the singer in his live performance. Hopefully he will elevate “Qami” in Lisbon through staging because the national final show was underwhelming.
William: Sevak commands attention with his beard, his stature and most of all that voice. It carries mystery and soul, and pain and longing, helping elevate a pop ballad into something that feels more spiritual and meditative than easy and disposable. And while it plays to this year’s trend of being authentic, it doesn’t feel alien or alienating. Despite the obvious strength of his voice — and the body behind that breastplate — there is a gentleness within. With the right staging, this could tug on heartstrings and surprise.
Steinunn: I would also like to put emphasis on how happy I am to finally hear a whole song in Armenian. On top of the beauty (and mystery) of the Armenian language, we have Sevak‘s very good vocals and a fairly good power ballad. All together this makes a pretty good package that’s captivating and makes me want to listen to it over and over. There is an element of darkness and melancholia found in the song, but without making it depressing. I like that.
In the Wiwi Jury we have 20 jurors but only have room for six reviews. The remaining scores are below:
We have removed the highest and lowest scores prior to calculating the average. This is to remove outliers and potential bias. We have removed a low of 2 and a high of 8.5.
Wiwi Jury verdict: 6.39/10
What do you think of this song? Share your own score and review below!