It might feel like only yesterday, but we’ve been living with the names of all 20 Festivali i Këngës 58 acts for several weeks now. And one thing is for certain — the line-up for Albania’s Eurovision 2020 preselection is fire!
So while Tirana gears up to host the iconic national final for three nights on 19, 20 and 22 December, we want to know which of the artists you are most excited for. Yes, the songs are yet to be released but that hasn’t stopped us from checking out the vast back catalogues of all the competitors.
Here’s just three standouts to whet your appetite.
Festivali i Këngës 58 — Ones to watch
Elvana Gjata is huge. We’re talking almost half a billion views on YouTube and 1.4 million Instagram followers huge. In fact, the star is so big that when news of the line-up first broke, many thought it was fake.
Name a contest in Albania and the chances are Elvana has either won it or placed highly — Dancing With The Stars, Kënga Magjike Award and Top Fest Award. She even attempted FiK early in her career. However, that was in the days before the contest was used as a national selection for Eurovision. Some of her many hits include “Kuq e zi je ti”, “Love Me” and “Mike”.
Elvana may have the biggest following, but Arilena Ara is not far behind. Her Instagram fans number 1.1 million. She first rose to fame after winning The X Factor Albania in 2013. In the years since she’s racked up numerous chart smashes. And she’s even gone to the other side of the talent show table, acting as a coach on The Voice Kids Albania.
“Nëntori” is her best known single internationally. It enjoyed considerable airplay in Romania and Russia and has over 67 million YouTube views.
While consumers of Albanian pop are gagging on Gjata and Aja, there’s only one name on the lips of Eurovision fans of a certain vintage. Olta Boka won Festivali i Këngës 46 and represented Albania at the 2008 song contest in Belgrade. She placed 17th in the final with “Zemrën E Lamë Peng”.
Following her Eurovision stint, she’s won awards at both Kënga Magjike and Top Fest and released a slew of popular singles.
Poll: Which Festivali i Këngës 58 act are you the most excited for?
So who are you most excited for? Is it one of the three ladies showcased above? Perhaps it’s someone else?
Could it be Tiri Gjoci or Wendy Mancaku, two of Jonida Maliqi’s backing singers at Eurovision 2019? Or how about FiK veterans like Bojken Lako, Era Rusi and Kamela Islamaj? Up-and-coming popstar Kanita is also generating some buzz.
It’s time to vote in our poll! Choose wisely, you can only vote ONE time. Voting ends just before the 20 competing songs are released — the date is yet to be confirmed at the time of publication.
Who is your favourite? Who do you think will surprise us? Let us know in the comments.