The list of Festivali i Këngës 2020 singers is finally and officially out. Prior to the Thursday evening confirmation — which occurred on the RTSH evening news — Albanian web site Class Lifestyle published the list, sending Albanian media into a frenzy. Class Lifestyle is the web site owned by FiK 58 host Alketa Vejsiu and the show’s director Vera Grabocka. Both figures shared the link on their personal Facebook pages and we were all left to wonder: Could it really be true? Thankfully the hype was well-placed and FiK 58 is going to be fire.

The list of participants includes some very heavy hitters like Elvana Gjata. She’s an Albanian megastar with 1.4 million Instagram followers. In 2001 she was dubbed the Albanian Diva after finishing third at the Festival of Young Voices of Albania.

She’s lived up to the hype, becoming one of the most popular singers in the country and broader Balkan region. Among her many honours are a Balkan Music Award for Best Albanian Song of the Year and Best Music Video of the Year for “Afër dhe Larg”.

Her song “Mike” has around 73 million YouTube views.

 

Another big name is Arilena Ara.

Arilena won the second season of Albanian X Factor. Her first video single “Aeroplan” topped the charts and racked up around two million views in half a day. She followed that up with “Business Class”, which broke a million views in just nine hours. Her songs have also been played on radio stations in Romania and Russia, suggesting she’s got cross-border appeal.

Also on the list are two of Jonida Maliqi’s backing vocalists from Tel Aviv, Tiri Gjoci and Wendy Mancaku.

Festivali i Këngës 46 winner Olta Boka will be making her first return to the contest since her 2007 win. She went on to represent Albania at Eurovision 2008, where her song “Zemrën e lamë peng” placed 17th in the grand final.

FiK veteran Bojken Lako makes his seventh appearance in the contest, while Era Rusi and Kamela Islamaj each celebrate their fourth time.

Class Lifestyle reports that the songs were selected by a three-person jury consisting of: conductor Zani Ciko, singer Soni Malaj and Dorian Chene, head of the composition department at the Academy of Fine Arts.

FiK 58 singers

  • Albërije Hadërgjonaj
  • Aldo Bardhi
  • Arilena Ara
  • Bojken Lako
  • Devis Xherahu
  • Eli Fara & Stresi
  • Elvana Gjata
  • Era Rusi
  • Gena
  • Genc Tukiçi & Nadia Tukiçi
  • Kamela Islamaj
  • Kanita
  • Kastro Zizo
  • Olta Boka
  • Renis Gjoka
  • Robert Berisha
  • Sara Bajraktari
  • Tiri Gjoci
  • Uendi Mancaku
  • Valon Shehu

What do you think? Are you excited for the FiK 58 lineup? Who would you like to see represent Albania in Rotterdam? Tell us your thoughts below!

Read more Albania Eurovision news here

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Anita
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Anita

Maybe this is the hint that 2020 will be the Eurovision year of Barbies and Mike’s. They sing the kind of music I can’t hear any more. There is too much of it everywhere. But I confess I am over 30 😉

Julius Caesar
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Julius Caesar

I agree Elvana is absolutely entering to win ESC. And the fact that she did apply, makes me think she has the right song. Think of Elena Paparisou with My Number One. Unless Arilena brings another Nentori, Elvana is already the winner.

blaster
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blaster

both Elvana, Arilena and Kanita are the best , i think Kanita will be the winner, she is perfectly beautiful, fresh, super nice voice and i think will be the winner.

Julius Caesar
Guest
Julius Caesar

Too bad Kanita can’t sing live. She had an amazing song for Kenga Magjike last year, but couldn’t deliver it and didn’t even qualify. Unless she has improved dramatically, she will be killed in this kind of contest where vocals are not to be questioned.

Bram Wammes
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Bram Wammes

I really wanted to see Inis Neziri and Soni Malaj return…

Christian
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Christian

It’s getting close already. Can’t wait for the National final season! And Albania’s selection is perfect for my Christmas party.

Apple
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Apple

So when Albania wins will every country need to bring an orchestral arrangement of their songs?

Christian
Guest
Christian

Hopefully ??

Christian
Guest
Christian

Oh I put two tongue out emojis. They were replaced by question marks lol

Loin dici
Guest

Well… probably yes.
Here are some Eurovision trends over the years.
2016-Sweden: giant Melfest.
2017-Ukraine: a lot of minimal sounding entries.
2018-Portugal: language boomm
2019-Israel: quirky electro entries + bunch of Mediterranean pop.
2020-Netherlands: a lot of urban and acoustic sounds?

Ton
Guest
Ton

Guys, Arilena, Olta and so on are amazing, but you are missing the point on how HUGE Elvana is. She is uncontestedly the biggest Albanian pop singer. She stands to Albania what Beyonce stands to U.S for example, but bigger ?? She is not entering to participate, she is not entering to win FIK, but she is entering to win Eurovision.

Mina
Guest
Mina

well, hopefully she has the song that can win the eurovision – the songs she has sang until now are good only for the balcans.

Liljana
Guest

Very excited about Elvana & Arilena. This will be their first FIK participation. Apparently this Festival might be fire considering that Alketa Vejsiu will be the host voluntarily without any payment. Vera Grabocka is a big and respected name as the director of FIK.

Mina
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Mina

Arilena is far more interesting than Elvana – I really don’t understand the hype on Elvana, she is beautiful, can sing but I don’t like any of her songs. I hope it for Arilena to have a good song, smthing even better than Nentori.

Khan
Guest
Khan

A m’don, Lejla and Njesoj are amazing songs. Way better than boring Nentori.

????????
Guest
????????

my country (albania) really wants to win or top rona ???

Nicolas
Guest
Nicolas

No Inis Neziri 🙁

Kredential
Guest
Kredential

Apparently the song she’s competing with in Kenga Magjike (another song competition) was originally intended for FiK; so she either chose not to submit it or wasn’t chosen.

Inis is still very young though, she should spend a few years gaining some more experience (like she did this year with all those European song competitions) and find her identity as a musician, so that she comes back with a killer perfect song because she has soooo much potential, it would be a shame for her to waste it with a less-than-perfect song (like Lindita back in 2017)

Biyonse
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Biyonse

Arilena >>>>>>>> Elvana

misse
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misse

guys, im a elvana gjata fan since day one andi‘ve noticed that she is following AlexP (fuego composer) since few months …. ?????

Jessey
Guest
Jessey

Elvana is going to slayy

srulik
Guest
srulik

Albania kicks the eurovision season strong! can’t wait to hear the songs.

Briekimchi
Guest
Briekimchi

No Elton Deda? Does this mean he is solely producing or is Genc Tukiçi likely to be doing it?
Also, good to see Soni Malaj on the selection panel. Hopefully, the songs will be a bit more contemporary as a selection because of it.

Kredential
Guest
Kredential

Wow, what a STACKED lineup Elvana Gjata is arguably Albania’s biggest pop singer this century (not counting people like Rita Ora and Dua Lipa obvs), Arilena is well known and has some fantastic songs, Alberie Hadergjonaj’s voice is past its prime but she has some amazing songs, Olta Boka of course and Era Rusi also has some gems. I really hope that these favourites have some great songs because I wouldn’t be surprised if we have a winner this year based on the name alone, so I hope there are some good songs to back the names up. I am… Read more »

Londoner
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Londoner

What!!! What does Dua n Rita got to do woth this? Although, they have Albanian (Kosovon) back ground, that doesn’t mean anything!!! They are British Artists with a western influence and mentality. Nothing to do with their origins. Stop mentioning people born n bread abroad as they have nothing to do do with the Albanian reality! Their art/music is produced by british/American’s musicians!

Toffeenix
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Toffeenix

Little disappointed that the only returnee from FiK 57 is Bojken Lako, when Jeto jeten was my least favourite entry at that competition. Still, this is a pretty solid list. I’m listening through the artists’ prior music now and I’m looking forward for FiK 58.

LILJANA SUFAJ
Guest

Who cares about Bojken Lako? The biggest anticipation is about Elvana Gjata dhe Arilena Ara. This is the first time for them to be a part of FIK , but I guess the big name of Vera Grabocka as a director has made it possible for it.

Julius Caesar
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Julius Caesar

Bojken Lako can really surprise with good songs.

Mr. Vanilla Bean
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Mr. Vanilla Bean

This seems rather promising. Arilena in particular.

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Ugna
Guest
Ugna

SOOO EXCITED ABOUT ELVANA‘S AND ARILENA‘S SONGS OMGG CAN‘T WAIT

Roy Moreno
Guest
Roy Moreno

Wasn’t a huge fan of Olta’s vocals in 2008 (I think she should have had backing vocals) but the song was nice
Don’t quite know the others (well, Bojken I know xD)
Can’t wait to hear the songs! Love Albania and FiK!
Good luck

Nikki
Guest
Nikki

I loved Olta’s song back on her ESC year. I’m glad to see her trying again.

olvrfin
Guest
olvrfin

Albania has improved so much. I have never been a fan of FiK or anything but the previous edition was very strong and much more modern and that trend seems to continue. I honestly wpuldn’t see it impossible if Albania won in the next couple of years, and I’d really like that for sure! It’s always nice when a new country wins and gets the right to host. Is there a suitable arena in Albania?

Toffeenix
Guest
Toffeenix

Their largest arena seats only 4k, so they’d probably have to stick a temporary roof on top of one of their seven stadiums with a capacity over 10k. Their national final venue, Pallati i Kongreseve, barely scrapes 2k.

Tom
Guest
Tom

Whats the name of Jonida’s backing vocalists ?

Ugna
Guest
Ugna

Tiri gjoci and wendi mancaku, artemisa mithi isn‘t competing this year though(the third bv)

Tom
Guest
Tom

Thanks, I love Artemisa she was my crush last year in national selection, at least she was in ESC with Jonida, and i think Albania need to change the theme of the songs, its always rock or ballad even i loved Jonida 🙂 ….maybe they should sand normal pop song like Sweden or some rap …

Mark
Guest
Mark

I really want Albania to win ESC.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Really wished the other backing singer for Jonida had participated again. She’s so good. Instead of boring repeats like Bjoken Lako.

Alex
Guest
Alex

Omg Olta Boka is back!!! She’s or Tiri have to win it

Roelof Meesters
Guest
Roelof Meesters

Y’all ignoring Olta Boka- who KILLED IT in 2008 for Albania. This is such a great line- up, Albania is honestly becoming an ESC powerhouse with their strong entries in Albanian. Tirana 2021?

Aris Odi
Guest
Aris Odi

OMG ELVANA YASSSSS

Alex
Guest
Alex

Albania has step up their game recently. After Jonida’s impressive ethnic number in Tel Aviv, I hope they would slay their way in top 10 next year!

Hrvatska
Guest
Hrvatska

Arilena Ara Rotterdam coming soon

Erdi
Guest
Erdi

ALBANIA 2021?

Ani
Guest

I’m not sure if it’s real because they never mentioned Yll limani who is participating?

Zheng
Guest
Zheng

OMG!! Elvana and Arilena, I’m so excited!!

Eurovisionfan12
Guest
Eurovisionfan12

Kanita is also well known among the Balkan region (She’s Macedonian-Albanian btw)