In 2017 she placed third in Albania’s Festivali i Këngës 56. Last year she won Romania’s Golden Stag Festival. And this year Albanian songstress Inis Neziri has chalked up another win, taking out the top prize in the New Wave music competition.
The contest is held annually in Sochi, Russia and aims to showcase the best in upcoming talent from around the world. But it was Inis from Albania who made the biggest impression.
The 18-year-old songstress performed a number of songs over the week, including her FiK 56 entry “Piedestal”. She was soon established as a competition favourite, taking out the top spot with 281 points.
Azerbaijan’s Eurovision 2018 singer Aisel didn’t quite do as well. The “X My Heart” singer placed eighth overall, with 234 points. Twin sister act Anna Maria — who were last seen in the controversial 2019 Ukraine national final — placed fifth with 243 points.
Depi Evratesil 2018 act Tyom may have decided to “Follow the Ocean” to Sochi, but there he placed ninth with 230 points.
In second place was the Russian group Davinchi, while third place went to Iliana Sanchez of Cuba.
New Wave has a strong connection with Eurovision contestants, both past and future. The contest was previously won by Sergey Lazarev (as part of pop duo Smash!!!), Intars Busulis, Jamala, Natalia Gordienko and DoReDos. They all went on to represent their country at Eurovision — and in Jamala’s case, win it.
Inis Neziri became known in Albania for her participation in the children’s song contest Gjeniu i Vogël (Little Genius) and the song contest Kënga Magjike (Magic Song). She made her Festivali i Këngës debut in 2017 where she performed “Piedestal” (Pedastal) at FiK 56. There she placed third after Eugent Bushpepa and Redon Makashi.
Last year Inis travelled to Romania for the revamped Golden Stag contest. She took home the grand prize, which led to fans wanting to see her back at Festivali i Këngës. With Inis’ star shining brighter than ever, will 2020 be her year for Eurovision?
New Wave 2019 – full results
- Inis Neziri (Albania) – 281 points
- Davinchi (Russia) – 269 points
- Iliana Sanchez (Cuba) – 259 points
- Buranov (Russia) – 247 points
- Anna Maria (Ukraine) – 243 points
- Sandro Nicolas (United States) – 243 points
- Radio Trio (Latvia) – 241 points
- Aisel (Azerbaijan) – 234 points
- Tyom (Armenia) – 230 points
- Taras (Ukraine) – 230 points
- Thomas Grazioso (Italy) – 229 points
- Victor Balan (Moldova) – 224 points
- Juan Ricondo (Spain) – 223 points
What do you think? Should Inis return to Festivali i Këngës? Would you like to see Inis represent Albania at Eurovision 2020? Tell us your thoughts below!