Tornike Kipiani was due to represent Georgia at the 2020 Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam with his song “Take Me As I Am”, a tribute to being proud of your own culture.
Tornike won Georgian Idol and the ticket to representing Georgia at Eurovision 2020 in Rotterdam. His song was later internally selected, with Tornike co-writing the song himself.
And now we’ve compiled 10 facts you need to know about Tornike Kipiani. Let’s do this!
Georgia at Eurovision 2020: Facts about Tornike Kipiani
1. He had a bumpy beginning to his musical journey
Tornike got started with music at an early age. His parents encouraged him to take piano and violin lessons, but Tornike wasn’t all that interested — at that age, his passions lay with hip hop artists like Eminem and Dr Dre. But eventually inspired by his dad’s Jimi Hendrix records, Tornike decided to learn the guitar — and he soon found his calling.
2. He formed his first band at the age of 19
At the age of 19, Tornike founded the rock group წრიული კუთხე (The Circular Corner). The band takes it name from “the spiritual state of a person who rotates in a circle”. Tornike had originally joined the band on guitar, but stepped up to the mic when the band needed a vocalist.
3. He accidentally got his start on the talent show Magtifan
In 2012, Tornike accompanied a friend who was auditioning for the talent show Magtifan, intending to play guitar at his pal’s audition. After being urged to try out too, Tornike impressed the panel enough that he made it to the show. He ultimately finished in the final five of the competition.
4. He won the X Factor Georgia…
In 2014, Tornike competed in the X Factor Georgia. He delivered his power rock vocals and effortlessly handled song from artists like Muse, Leonard Cohen as well as Georgian classics. Tornike also gave a unique take on Kylie Minogue’s “Can’t Get You Out Of My Head”. All up, it was enough for him to win the series.
5. …where he was coached by Tamta
Tonrike’s category on the X Factor was coached by the Georgian-Greek pop icon — and future Eurovision star — Tamta. She gave her support to Tornike after he won Georgian Idol and secured his ticket to Eurovision. In an Instagram post, Tamta wrote “I’m just very proud of you and happy to be a small part of your beautiful journey.”
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6. He brought “Sunshine” to Georgia’s 2017 national final
In 2017, perhaps as an audition for hosting Junior Eurovision, the Georgian Public Broadcaster held a mammoth 25-song national final. The show attracted artists from all over Georgia’s music scene, including Tornike. He collaborated with producer Giorgi Bolotashvili on the industrial techno song “You Are My Sunshine”. Despite Tornike delivering his trademark vocal power, the song only placed 23rd.
7. He’s a father of three
8. He got to Eurovision by winning Georgian Idol
For the second year in a row, Georgia chose its Eurovision representative with the Georgian edition of the popular international talent show franchise. Tornike was a popular contestant and won six of the seven live shows — including, of course, the grand final. Unlike in the previous year, Tornike’s Eurovision entry was written and internally selected at a later time.
9. He’s a self-taught music producer
While Georgia perhaps doesn’t have as many opportunities for musical education that other countries might, Tornike didn’t let that stop him. He used online courses to teach himself music production techniques. The results can be heard on Tornike’s YouTube channel, which is full of his musical creations.
10. He’s an architect
Tornike says his parents wanted the best for him and urged him to study architecture. While architecture is his day job, Tornike has also followed his passion for music. He explained, “Architecture is also a beautiful art, but music is more mine.”
Eurovision 2021 update
The Georgia Public Broadcaster has confirmed that Tornike will return as Georgia’s act in the next edition of Eurovision. No further details of his song selection have been confirmed yet, but it’s safe to assume that Tornike will deliver another memorable entry.
Can Tornike get Georgia back into the Eurovision grand final? What would you like to hear him sing next year? Tell us your thoughts below!