It’s the land of fire and played host to Eurovision in 2012.
And this week, all eyes turned to Azerbaijan as rumours began to emerge that Chingiz Mustafayev would be the nation’s act for Eurovision 2019.
But now it seems rumours were not unfounded, as Azeri Head of Delegation Husniye Maharramova confirmed that four artists, including Chingiz, are under consideration.
Alongside Chingiz, the Azeri broadcaster Ictimai TV is still considering three other singers Tofiq Haciyev, Leman Dadasheva and Samira Efendi.
The artists Azerbaijan is looking at
Chingiz Mustafayev is not shy of a music competition, as he first won the seventh series of popular talent show Yeni Ulduz in 2007 at the age of sixteen. Afterwards, he went on to participate in both The Voice of Ukraine and New Wave, in which he duetted with Polina Gagarina. As he has been inspired by Spanish music since his childhood, the guitar is a key instrument you will hear in his music, such as his latest release “Tenha Gezen”.
Tofiq Haciyev has also been performing from a young age, starting his musical career in a school ensemble. He participated in the Azeri preselections in both 2011 and 2012, but was not successful either time. He was however more successful in the first season of The Voice of Azerbaijan, reaching the quarterfinals. His solo career has been fruitful and he seems to go for that classic Azeri ethnopop sound.
Leman Dadasheva, also known as simply Leman, delivers us some more alternative music compared to the other artists. Like Tofiq, she participated in The Voice of Azerbaijan and reached the semis. After that, she released one single, “Tek Deliyem”, which combines alternative pop sounds and Azeri traditional music.
Although born in a family of military officers, Samira Efendi has shown that through ambition, you can become anything. Her CV is impressive and lists many international singing competitions, with multiple wins to her name. Her repertoire is versatile and she sings in many genres, including dance, pop and jazz. Her most successful song is “Tocama”, a summery dance song with the singer Seeya, while her latest release “Falshivaya lyubov” shows a complete different side of her artistry.
The internal selection process continued
As the Azeri HoD told OGAE AZ:
“Ictimai TV Channel and the national jury continues to work on the artist’s selection and the contest song’s selection as well. Now we are waiting for the end of the competition for composers and are planning to record the best demos with the finalists. The best performer and the best song will be chosen with consideration of these materials to represent our country at Eurovision Song Contest 2019 in Tel Aviv.”
Ms Maharramova confirmed that the broadcaster had already received a great number of songs, both domestically and from foreign composers all over the world.
That last fact may not come to surprise to many, as most of Azerbaijan’s entries were written by foreign composers, especially Stefan Örn, featuring lyrics by Sandra Bjurman. Last year’s text was also penned by Bjurman, while Greek producer god Dimitris Kontopoulos composed and produced the entry.
The next step in the internal selection process will be matching the received songs with the four finalists. The winner of this selection is likely to be announced in March and not earlier.
Though we know basically nothing about the eventual entry yet, Azerbaijan’s HoD promises that the stage concept will “show something new and trending”. This leaves us wondering with which technological miracles Azerbaijan will surprise us in Tel Aviv.
Who do you want to represent Azerbaijan at Eurovision 2019? Chingiz Mustafayev? Tofiq Haciyev? Leman? Samira Efendi? Let us know in the comments below!