She’s a singer, songwriter, fashionista and Albania’s Eurovision 2019 contestant.
And today Jonida Maliqi showed the world she’s also an emotional woman who really connects with her fans as she appeared on the popular Albanian chat show ‘Trokit’ hosted by Ermal Peci.
The “Ktheju tokës” singer draws strength from her fans, and partly credits the guys at Eurovision Kosovo with helping her reach the decision to keep her song in Albanian for Eurovision.
In fact, she told Ermal that it’s her fans who reminded her a song about immigration makes the most sense in her native tongue.
“We’ve had a meeting with our team, and actually I decided to sing the song in Albanian because of the Eurovision fans that kept sending me messages on social media,” she says. “My song would not have meaning in English when the message is ‘return to the land.'”
“The guys from Eurovision Kosovo are actually the real reason why I decided to keep it in Albanian — they had a great argument.”
Scroll down to watch the full interview
Her #Eurovision song centres on immigration, but Jonida Maliqi speaks to the world ?? So happy Albania’s @intvalbania shared my love for the queen with the queen on today’s episode of the chat show “Trokit” ? @wiwibloggs ?? you https://t.co/GzFM5r6uZQ pic.twitter.com/flWIRX0cSu
— William Lee Adams (@willyleeadams) December 28, 2018
Our own William also surprised Jonida with a message, saying that an Albanian-language song will help her retain the mystery that made her so magical during FiK 57.
Ermal introduced William as “the craziest Eurovision fan from Wiwibloggs,” and explained the popularity of the site to his daytime viewers. Jonida then chimed in with such kind words.
“They have been so supportive during [FiK]. I care about their criticism — they do great analysis, their comments are so important for me.”
Jonida, if you didn’t guess, isn’t new to Eurovision. She’s a real fan who has been following it for a while.
“I’ve always been a Eurovision fan,” she says. “It’s a dream come true for me, as a person related to music I always followed Albanian appearances in Eurovision.”
The singer — who also hosted the fourth series of Albania’s Dancing with the Stars — said she was resistant to entering the competition, but that the song changed her mind.
“I felt the song so much. When the composer sent it to me and asked me to be part of FiK I said no at first because I’ve always been part of competitions. I was afraid to feel those old emotions again. For me it was ok to release a song in two or three years.”
“I accepted to be part of FiK because of composer Eriona Rushiti — she composed the song just for FiK. I did not go to FiK with ‘I have to win.'”
Her sister also played a role in convincing her this song is special.
“When I first had the demo of the song I sent it to my sister in Cyprus, cause she is my biggest critic. She never likes my songs, never, never….and this time when she listened to it for first time, she said, ‘Yes I really liked it, it’s awesome, I listened to it five times.’ That is an unusual thing ’cause she usually listens just once and always says, ‘nah it’s not good, and when I won FiK she called me and said, ‘Look when I say it’s good, it really is.”
And who would Jonida have crowned as the winner if she wasn’t in the competition? “I would have awarded it to Lidia Lufi and Eranda Libohova — their songs were great.”
Eurovision 2019 plans
“We had a meeting yesterday with our team to talk about what we will do in 2019. In January we will record the song abroad, and we’re looking for a studio, and then we will record the video clip of the song.”
Apparently Albania’s Eurovision royalty have been sending her messages and offering advice.
“They said, ‘don’t stress, take it easy,’ and they’ve said that in Eurovision there is a great energy that connects and embraces everyone.”
“I am not a person to say, ‘Yeah, we will be in the grand final 100%.’ I will do my best there, just like the others did and how others will do in the future. Not everything is related to us.”
“I call on Albanians abroad to support us. Music is all about feeling, and this is the only song where I didn’t care about my image, my looks, cause this time my soul spoke. As at FiK, I hope Eurovision viewers will connect with song.”