Chingiz Azerbaijan Eurovision 2019

Chingiz Mustafayev will represent Azerbaijan at this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Tel Aviv with his song “Truth”. It’s a dark pop number with ethnic flourishes.

Azeri broadcaster iTV chose Chingiz through an internal selection process, which the network hopes will take the country back to the final after its first ever non-qualification in Lisbon.

Rehearsals start tomorrow, so we’ve compiled 10 facts you need to know about Chingiz. Let’s do this!

1. He’s Russian born

Chingez was born in Moscow on 11 March 1991. However, he moved to Azerbaijan at six-years-old, settling in Qazax. The relatively small city — its population is approximately 20,000 people — is located in the north west of the country. His childhood was tough: “Living in the district was very difficult. There was no gas, no light, we were faced with everyday problems”. As a teen, along with his mother and brother, he relocated once more — this time to Baku, Azerbaijan’s capital.

2. He got his first big break on a TV talent show

In 2007, 16-year-old Chingiz appeared on season seven of Yeni ulduz, a hugely popular Azeri talent show similar to the Idol franchise. Despite his young age, Chingiz stormed to victory and became a household name: “The next day I could not go to the subway. Everybody was calling me that guy who played this guitar”. Other Eurovision stars to come through the format include Aysel (2009) and Safura (2010).

3. He could have won Eurovision

In the early years of its participation, Azerbaijan regularly held multi-week TV searches for its Eurovision acts. Chingiz entered the 2011 process. He won the first heat singing Israel’s 2010 entry “Milim”. But he was eliminated in the semi-final. Perhaps, in an alternate universe, it could have been Chingiz singing “Running Scared” with Nikki Jamal and taking the crystal microphone home to Baku.

 4. He entered New Wave 2013

Two years later, Chingiz finally got the chance to represent Azerbaijan internationally when he competed in the New Wave festival. The prestigious event for young talent counts many Eurovision stars amongst its roll call of winners, including Sergey Lazarev (Russia 2016), Jamala (Ukraine) and DoReDoS (Moldova 2018). Chingiz missed out on a podium finish, but he did get the opportunity to duet with Polina Gagarina (Russia 2015).

5. He overcame technical issues on The Voice Ukraine

At this stage, it should be clear that Chingiz is not one to shirk away from competition. And when he auditioned for Ukraine’s The Voice in 2016 not even technical issues could stand in his way. Despite the glitches, his cover of “Bamboleo” by the Gipsy Kings convinced all four coaches to turn, including Tina Karol (Ukraine 2006). Alas, he was eliminated in the battle round.

6. He performs with the Palmas band

Chingiz has fronted the Palmas band since 2012. The rest of the lineup is currently made up of Roya Miri, Masud Allahverdiyev, Rizvan Aliyev, Orxan Huseyn, and Vuqar İsgenderli. The group has a substantial following and their music videos have racked up millions of views. And they don’t confine their talents to Azerbaijan. They played in Moscow at the end of April.

7. His typical style is very different

As you can see from both his talent show appearances and tracks with Palmas, Chingiz’s typical sound is very different to his Eurovision entry. It blends Spanish flamenco sounds with jazz and traditional Azeri elements. And, initially, Borislav Milanov — one of the co-writers on “Truth” — was worried about the clash in styles: “I was a little nervous about how Chingiz would perform the song… But meeting him totally changed my mind. He’s so passionate about music and his own culture. We even added some unique elements of traditional Azerbaijani music… to make the song an authentic fusion of Azerbaijan and the West”.

8. He’s a multi-talented musician 

Chingiz can do more than just sing. He’s played the guitar since childhood, and the trusty instrument has accompanied him for much of his professional career. He’s not afraid to experiment with other sounds and instruments, as can be witnessed on the acoustic version of “Truth”.

9. He’s a kung fu fighter

Aside from singing, Chingiz professes to love yoga, meditation and spending time with his dog. So far, so peaceful. But he’s also a fan of kung fu. He learned from his older brother Seymur. The sport has brought him self-esteem, reduced fear and nourished his soul.

10. He’s used to performing with big names

Don’t expect Chingiz to be starry-eyed when Madonna rocks up for the grand final in Tel Aviv. He’s well used to sharing the bill with global stars. When Azerbaijan hosted its first Formula One Grand Prix in 2017, Chingiz was part of the festivities. As well as local stars like Dihaj  (Azerbaijan 2017), the line-up also featured The Black Eyed Peas, Mariah Carey and Nicole Scherzinger.

Can Chingiz restore Azerbaijan’s qualification record? Could “Truth” even be victory number two for the Land of Fire? Let us know in the comments.

Read more Eurovision 2019 artist facts here.

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[…] is a Russian-born artist who is pretty prolific in quite a few post-Soviet countries. This is one of those songs you don’t feel bad about […]

Jo.
Guest
Jo.

Pretty much agree with the guys on the reaction video: the song doesn’t match and is beneath the singer. Same case as Aisel’s, but this one will qualify and maybe make top 10 because it’s another of Milanov’s jury baits.

La Signora
Guest
La Signora

I hope him the best 🙂

EuroSluuutty
Guest
EuroSluuutty

His song is good but he’s pretty much thirst trapping for votes. That dancing video was mad cringy PERIODtttt

Kris
Guest
Kris

No comment on the uncomfortable(Ukraine , of course) expressions he makes when singing his song ? I get weirded a bit

He looked cute without the beard and all…

Polegend Godgarina
Guest

just another azerbaijani industry plant who’s been given a swedish reject and told to sing it. nothing new from the most uninspired and pointless eurovision country.

James
Guest
James

The song was written by a Bulgarian.

ShutUpAboutIt
Guest
ShutUpAboutIt

Ignore him/her. He’s(She’s) Always acting like that ^^

Princess Diana
Guest
Princess Diana

I remember 2017… How you were a fan of the most uninspired and pointless eurovision country (also 2012)

Kris
Guest
Kris

The 2017 song was actually good , and had Azerbaijani songwriters on board.

KESC
Guest
KESC

You know that Chingiz has been in the writing process as well? He wrote and composed the song together with Borislav Milanov and co.

Btw, there were also songs composed by Azeri composers in the selection process, but Ictimai and the jury chose this song.

Nicky91
Guest
Nicky91

exactly 🙂

Nikki
Guest
Nikki

Honestly, his stuff with Palmas is beautiful. I can’t stop listening to it on YouTube since I discovered it. And now I want Palmas lady Rota to go next, because she’s awesome too.

Also, the fact he might or might not speak Spanish makes feel wary of some things I might have said about him on tumblr.

Gagarina
Guest
Gagarina

Hottest guy of the year..Love his song too

Fatima
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Fatima

“Got his first big break on a TV talent show” – isn’t that now true for more or less everyone in the contest. And what’s more, that show is almost always “The Voice” Ukraine.

NickC
Guest
NickC

I love the song he sang for Yeni Ulduz. I wish you guys could understand the lyrics.

Nikki
Guest
Nikki

I love specially Tenha Gezen and Get Send in (hope I remember it correctly) And yes, I would love to know the lyrics

NickC
Guest
NickC

Not sure what you are talking about 🙂
Sen aglama, bir damla gozyasin yeter = don’t cry, only one of your teardrops is enough for me.

Khazar
Guest

He is so talanted…