Efendi Mata Hari

Efendi will represent Azerbaijan at Eurovision 2021 with her song “Mata Hari”.

Efendi was originally due to sing “Cleopatra” at Eurovision 2020. However, the contest was cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. But, just like several other countries, Azerbaijan opted to stick with its singer for Eurovision 2021.

Now, we’ve compiled 10 facts you need to know about Efendi. Let’s do this!

Azerbaijan at Eurovision 2021: Facts about Efendi

1. She found fame through reality singing competitions

Samira Efendi set her heart on becoming a performer from a young age and has participated in a number of Azeri singing competitions to help hone her craft. The star has appeared on Yeni Ulduz (2009), Böyük Səhnə (2014) and The Voice of Azerbaijan (2015-16).

Samira has had increasing success on the shows. On Böyük Səhnə, which was used as Azerbaijan’s national final to select their artist for Eurovision 2014, Efendi made it to the third heat, where she was eliminated just before the grand final. She went one better on The Voice of Azerbaijan. After turning all four chairs with her audition of Beyoncé’s “Listen”, Efendi made it all the way to the grand final of the show, but just missed out on victory.

2. She’s already represented Azerbaijan on the international stage

Following her success in national singing competitions, Efendi started representing her country in international events. So far this includes appearing on Silk Way Star (2017), Star of Asia (2019) and Voice of Nur-Sultan (2019), all of which included artists from across a number of CIS/Turkic countries and were held in Kazakhstan.

3. She has a third-place streak

Over the course of her various appearances on televised singing competitions, Efendi has built up a streak of finishing in third place. After reaching the grand final of The Voice of Azerbaijan under the supervision of Azeri singer Tünzala, Samira eventually took home the bronze medal. She later earned another podium finish on Silk Way Star, again finishing in third place.

If you want to take the series of threes further, Efendi was eliminated in heat three of Böyük Səhnə. We’ll have to wait and see if the Azerbaijani star’s third-place streak continues at Eurovision 2021, or if she can go home with a different coloured medal. Perhaps three is just Efendi’s lucky number.

4. She’s attempted to represent Azerbaijan on five previous occasions

Efendi has been determined to represent Azerbaijan at Eurovision for a number of years now. In addition to competing in the 2014 national selection Böyük Səhnə, the star has regularly been involved in the country’s internal selection processes since 2015. Two years ago, Samira was confirmed as one of the final four acts being considered to wave the Azerbaijani flag at Eurovision 2019. The 2020 selection was the fifth time Efendi had put her name forward. That makes 2021 her sixth attempt. Hopefully, the sixth time is the charm.

In an interview on late-night talk show Fatehin divanı (Fateh’s couch) after the release of her Eurovision 2020 entry “Cleopatra”, the star said she initially didn’t believe the delegation when they told her the good news. But, she says she never gave up on her dream to eventually perform on the Eurovision stage and has been putting in the hard work over the last five years to make it a reality.

5. She’s experienced at singing in multiple languages

In addition to her native Azeri, Efendi has become well versed in singing songs in a number of other languages. Naturally, this includes English, which is the primary language of her Eurovision 2020 song “Cleopatra”. In addition, her travels to fellow CIS countries to perform have seen her wrapping her tongue around the local dialects. For instance, on Silk Way Star Efendi performed a variety of songs, including ones in Kazakh and Uzbek.

Not just limiting herself to Turkic languages, Efendi has also dabbled in Spanish. The Azerbaijani star released the single “Tocame” (“Touch Me”) in 2017 alongside Romanian singer Seeya, which they sing entirely in Spanish.

6. She’s an animal lover

Efendi loves animals, writing that “since childhood, I have had a great love for animals, so pets have always lived in our house”. She also wants to open a shelter someday. For now, she’s the proud owner of a Maltese dog, Mini, and two (very ill-mannered) parrots Chip and Dale.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by EFENDI (@efendi_music)

7. She’s a European tourism guru

Efendi may have never been to Rotterdam before, but she certainly knows a thing or two about a plethora of other European destinations. In 2019, the star was a guest presenter on Azerbaijani travel show Oralar. If you ever need advice on what to do when you’re planning a trip to BelgradeSarajevo, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Geneva or Paris, then Samira is the person to ask.

During her time on the show, the Azeri singer sampled a number of local delicacies. This includes snails, which Samira was given a plate of whilst exploring Paris. Skip to 36:30 in the video below to see her reaction to eating escargots for the first time – let’s just say, we don’t think she’s eaten them again since.

8. She owns a cake house

Outside of her music career, Efendi has a bit of a sweet tooth. The star has set up Efendi Sweet Boutique, which is an online cake house in Baku. The site’s Instagram page shows that they make a variety of sweet treats, from cakes to eclairs.

Next time you’re in the land of fire and in need of a sugar rush, then you know where to look.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by ⚜ Efendi.Sweet ⚜ (@efendi.sweet)

9. She’s performed on a Formula 1 race track

Throughout the past few years of her music career, Efendi has had the opportunity to perform in a number of interesting locations, both nationally and internationally. One of the more unusual ones was on a Formula 1 race track.

Samira performed Azerbaijan’s national anthem at the closing ceremony of the Azerbaijan Grand Prix in 2018. The star performed on a podium in the middle of the racecourse as a number of the drivers looked on. We’re thankful to report that none of the cars were actually racing around the track while Efendi was singing – the only thing she had to battle with was the wind.

10. She’s a pole dancing fan

Efendi revealed in an interview with our William that she has been doing pole dancing for about three years. She approaches the activity like a sport, building her strength and stability. You can see her in action at about nine minutes into the interview. She also shared some bonus trivia with us. During the filming of the music video for “Mata Hari”, the corset she wore was so tight that she scratched her entire back (2:45 in the interview). Thankfully, they were only temporary and have now cleared up. Something that’s a bit more permanent is her tattoo. It’s a star and stands for luck. Her team tells us that she can’t show a photo as it is in a very intimate place. In fact, Efendi really believes in signs and claims that things she sees in her dreams often come true.

Will Efendi break her third-place streak with “Mata Hari”? Are you excited to see her in Rotterdam? Let us know in the comments below.

Read more Eurovision 2021 artist facts here

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The truth
The truth
1 month ago

What should have been added as well is what a xenophobe she is, what hate she writes about on her FB wall and what a supporter she is of the corrupt regime of Azerbaijan. We have to have the bad with the good.

Marion
1 month ago

There’s so much hate and racism in the comments here, it’s absolutely pathetic. What China style propaganda have you been brainwashed by? A part of her country has been invaded by foreign terrorists and you crazies expect them to give up their land to the invaders? Have you even seen the region on the map? Are they supposed to give up and split their country up because it’s been invaded by a hostile force? To put it lightly, it’s not okay to steal someone else’s land, we have evolved a bit, I hope, since settlers stole the Natives’ land and… Read more »

yeahyeahfire
yeahyeahfire
1 month ago
Reply to  Marion

Yeah but that isn’t a reason to call every Armenian a terrorist….everything that happened in the war was the goverments fault…..And please just stop saying you were attacked, how can little Armenia attack you when Karabakh was in armenian control, what could they possibly earn from a 2nd war?….You started the war and later you won….And we all saw how civilized some of your people are with the museum that Aliyev opened (little kids strangling armenian mannequins)….

Last edited 1 month ago by yeahyeahfire
ROXELANA
ROXELANA
1 month ago
Reply to  yeahyeahfire

It’s not even about attacking. Imagine part of your country is under occupation.. what would you do? Simply leave it the way it is?

And do you have any proof that she called every single Armenian terrorist? She used the hashtag #stoparmenianoccupation and/or #stoparmenianterrorism, but that’s also what the Armenian representatives did

I don’t really understand why people are not objective in this conflict. You may not a like a leader of a country or whatever, but that doesn’t mean that you can not be objective in a conflict where we’re talking about occupation.

A R
A R
1 month ago
Reply to  ROXELANA

You’re really brainwashed. Armenia was focused to its internal problems during past years. No doubt, that the Armenian side was not interested in the conflict at all. The country spent lots of money to struggle with the economic situation. I can surely say that Azerbaijan got prepared to it, and with the support of Turkey attacked.
For your information, I am not Armenian and I don’t have even a little link to Armenia. I just have sober understanding.

Last edited 1 month ago by A R
ROXELANA
ROXELANA
1 month ago
Reply to  Marion

Instead of insulting, you can give adequate opinion as well..

destiny stan account
destiny stan account
1 month ago
Reply to  Marion

you’re brainwashed. are u trying to say that karabakh was invaded by armenia? u think armenia started this war? and u think azerbaijan handled this commendably? they literally used syrian mercenaries to do their dirty work. also this is also coming from a country that denies the genocide of 1 million+ people and just recently opened a museum of dead armenian helmets and caricatures!!! you know who else did that? saddam hussein! keep defending your blood thirsty dictators, the world knows the truth xoxo

Marion
1 month ago

You mean, you are.

Maartijn
Maartijn
1 month ago

First I want to point out that I highly dislike the dictatorship and the overall toxic masculine culture in Azerbaijan, homophobia etc. But I also want to make something clear, Qarabag had been occupied by Armenia since the dissolution of USSR. Armenians massacred many Azerbaijanis in the area and forced the alive ones to leave. The massacre is also recognized by many western countries as well as UN. Last year Armenia started to attack literally other cities of Azerbaijan, so Azerbaijan planned a big operation to save their people and get their lands back from Armenia. Once again I want… Read more »

Maartijn
Maartijn
1 month ago
Reply to  Maartijn

Ah I forgot to mention the most important thing, her song is an absolute mess y’all. So many people are going crazy for the ethnic parts but those parts are giving me a headache.

yeahyeahfire
yeahyeahfire
1 month ago
Reply to  Maartijn

Well no… I am not an Armenian or Azerbaijani, but Karabakh was populated by Armenians for a lot of years, then Stallin decided to give it to Azerbaijan. After Karabakh was given to Azerbaijan a lot of Azeris moved there….When Armenia and Azerbaijan split from USSR, armenians wanted their ancient lands back….So they made a war and took it back (killing and forcing thousands of Azeris to leave their homes, that moved there in the Stallin times). And in November Azerbaijan wanted to retake Karabakh so they made the war and won…Basically Karabakh is now split between Armenia and Azerbaijan…but… Read more »

Last edited 1 month ago by yeahyeahfire
Maartijn
Maartijn
1 month ago
Reply to  yeahyeahfire

Well there are so many resources, history is generally written by the one who wins the war at the end. For thousands of years people have been migrating and settling in different places and as result they have been killing each other to defend their lands. So many countries claim lands from each other. The whole situation is very complex. Like John Lennon said, imagine there’s no religion, no countries….

Kas
Kas
1 month ago
Reply to  Maartijn

Mercy…please, I’ve to sleep without imagining chaos…

Last edited 1 month ago by Kas
Kas
Kas
1 month ago
Reply to  yeahyeahfire

Exactly the opposite has happened…Russia aggreed with Turks to win in Karabakh…so that to remove easily- with the charge of a “traitor”- the annoying “west friendly” priminister of Armenia. A small new world order…in this sensitive area.

Kas
Kas
1 month ago
Reply to  Maartijn

Lol…propaganda from the lidl. Where did you find all these craps in ” erdogan news today” ?

Last edited 1 month ago by Kas
Maartijn
Maartijn
1 month ago
Reply to  Kas

I hate Erdogan and all other Islamist dictators. I’m just being objective about a specific incident. You guys are so biased and brainwashed.

yeahyeahfire
yeahyeahfire
1 month ago

Her song-Nice and enjoyable

But her character is just ?
Sorry but i can’t support someone that her instagram feed is full of propaganda and calls a whole nation ”terrorists”. Also because she supported all this violence and all the death and pain that this war caused (on both sides). I hope she doesn’t qualify just because she inspires HATE (something that ESC is against)

Marion
1 month ago
Reply to  yeahyeahfire

What is she supposed to call them? Insurrectionists, criminals?

Billkmc
Billkmc
1 month ago

Love the song and with good staging it will easily qualify for the final. Hopefully it will finish high, I think it will make the top 10 this year.

Roodi
Roodi
1 month ago
Reply to  Billkmc

She can not dance also is her singing average.

Alex
Alex
1 month ago

11.She supported passionately the invasion in Armenia and the killings of innocent people, which makes her a nationalist.

Joking 🙂

Doing pole dancing in a muslim conservative country must be interesting, i wonder if she does it on Eurovision stage?

It’s interesting that all of the recent ESC artists from Azerbaijan have previously tried to represent Azerbaijan in Eurovision (Chingiz did it too!)

noone
noone
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex

Ever heard of belly dancing? Like the one that Sertab did and won for Turkey? All sexy dancing including pole dancing is based on Turkish/Arabic dance.

Marion
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex

There are many countries with people of different religions. Some progressive, some oppressive. Like there are many of those in Christianity and Hinduism, there are in Islam. Where there’s conflict, there will be a dictatorial regime based on politics and religion, that’s the case everywhere. That doesn’t mean that people aren’t similar to us because they’re Muslim, for example. There are many places where the lifestyle is practically the same as here, it just depends on the region and the situation. I’d for example, much rather be in Singapore or Iceland than in Poland or India. I think there are… Read more »

Jenny
Jenny
1 month ago

11. Clear NQ

Darren
1 month ago

Everything about Efendi just screams fake and lazy. Sorry but I just can’t warm to her at all. She can’t sing, she can’t dance, the song is tacky, the whole war mongering on insta is a bit of a turn off too. Maybe she’s nice I dunno but from what I see I just…can’t.
Azerbaijan should NQ this year. Sorry.

Alex
Alex
1 month ago
Reply to  Darren

I agree with you that it looks very forced. I don’t think she’s 100% behind this, but she’s definitely enjoying the attention and the experience. I don’t think she’s a great performer either but i bet the Danish director will make sure she doesn’t look weird.

Whisker
Whisker
1 month ago

I think she’s talented, motivated and a hard-worker, but I don’t like her ESC songs at all. I’m sorry that must sing such awful lyrics – maybe she doesn’t care.

esc1234
esc1234
1 month ago

11 terrorfendi cant dance at all

Kas
Kas
1 month ago

Awful. All.

Stephanie
Stephanie
1 month ago

So Belarus is banished from the contest and she’s aloud…. Weird!!!!

Last edited 1 month ago by Stephanie
destiny stan account
destiny stan account
1 month ago
Reply to  Stephanie

so what? english may not be their first language. you still understood them. the spelling doesn’t take away from the fact that they bring up a good point.

Stephanie
Stephanie
1 month ago
Reply to  Stephanie

You know sweetie. You’re right, I made a mistake, it happens. Sorry for being human. And it’s what they say:it doesn’t mean that you can speak a language, that you can write it. So, how was your day?

Last edited 1 month ago by Stephanie
A R
A R
1 month ago

I like the song itself, but not the singer.

Last edited 1 month ago by A R
Marion
1 month ago
Reply to  A R

Wow, that’s so harsh. Were you the bully in your class?

Serg
Serg
1 month ago

Puppet and blind supporter of azeri government.
Her song – great, enjoyable
In contrast, can’t stand her
I will boycott her entry from now on. She is not part of the Eurovision family in my eyes

kir
kir
1 month ago

6. She’s an animal lover…
…but not an Armenian people lover

A R
A R
1 month ago
Reply to  kir

I wish her to not qualify!

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
1 month ago

By the way: wouldn’t they make a definite choice regarding audience at eurovision 2021 today?

Darren
1 month ago

I just…can’t

destiny stan account
destiny stan account
1 month ago

another fact: she called all armenians terrorists and she blindly supports her dictator. her dictator just opened up a museum installation of dead armenian soldier’s helmets btw.

A R
A R
1 month ago

How can anyone support the violence?

Alex
Alex
1 month ago
Reply to  A R

one word: brainwashed. the evil family that rules Azerbaijan for decades shall not be criticised by anyone so i guess it is a given that celebrities like her will idolise the dictator and his policies. Azerbaijan is actually at the same level of dictatorship like Libya, Syria, Turkey especially when it comes to human rights and freedom of speech. We bash Belarus but where are the critics for Azerbaijan>

A R
A R
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex

I respect those singers who are far away from politics, like Maruv in Ukraine, who didn’t want to scream political slogans, or just to keep silent, like Dihaj from same Azerbaijan. It is not a question only to Efendi. I liked the song of Jamala, but her stupid question “Crimea is Ukraine?” made me disappointed.

Darren
1 month ago
Reply to  Alex

Bring a “bop” and opinion changes it seems.

Safiya
Safiya
1 month ago

I’m glad that she got to represent her country because it seems that she really wants it!

Roodi
Roodi
1 month ago
Reply to  Safiya

does not mean she can call all Armenian people terrorists.

Alex
Alex
1 month ago
Reply to  Safiya

well… why wouldn’t she want it? she could have refused it but she tried many times to do it. Besides, an artist in Azerbaijan ofc would love to do Eurovision!