It’s traditionally the first national final of the Eurovision season. And just ahead of its 60th edition, Albania’s Festivali i Kenges has the rumour mill spitting out names of potential artists. The names on the tips of so many lips include much-anticipated comebacks and long-waited debutants. With a bit more than one week to go, let’s take a look at some of the potential competitors of FiK 60.
Let’s start with the comebacks. As we previously reported, Elhaida Dani is the most talked-about of possible returnees. Speculation reached peak levels following her appearance on “ABC e Pasdites” hosted by Ermal Peci, where she teased that she will be back in Tirana for an undisclosed project in December. And since we all know FiK happens in December, fans have wondered aloud if she’ll be taking another spin on the Festivali i Kenges stage. Another hint? Elhaida still has one unpublished song produced by Kledi Bahiti, which she decided to keep off her EP last minute.
Mirud is another possible returnee. Our sources close to the artist have already teased to us that he is strongly considering a comeback. On top of that, he recently shared a tweet that added fuel to the fuego. Mirud has already participated twice in Festivali i Kenges with “Nene” and “Nese Vdes”, and both of his songs had huge support among Eurovision fans. Regardless of whether he competes or not, we know his forthcoming music will only get bigger and bolder.
Yll Limani is one of the biggest stars in the Albanian music industry, pumping out songs that become hits in his native Kosovo and beyond. He’s a familiar face to diehard Euofans: he debuted in Festivali i Kenges 55 with “Shiu”, which went on to become a major hit after the festival. Our sources in Albania have been whispering for some time that he looked very kindly on RTSH’s invitation to participate in FiK 60. We’ve heard he’s leaning toward a no, but in Albania everything can change last minute.
Besa Kokedhima could mount a return after 11 years. Besa participated in Festivali i Kenges 47 and 49, and just like most of the top Albanian artists it really helped launch her career. Besa’s competitive history isn’t limited only to FiK. In 2009 she took her song “Nothin’ Gonna Change” to the Romanian National Final, Selectia Nationala, where she reached in semi-finals. She also won the storied competition Kenga Magjike in 2013 with the song “Tatuazh ne zemer”. Since that moment Albanian Eurovision fans have been looking forward to seeing her on stage at Festivali i Kenges and the Eurovision Song Contest.
And let’s continue with the possible newcomers at the Festival. Ronela Hajati is one of the biggest pop music stars in Albania. She’s never taken part in the Festival as singer, but she did write the lyrics for Erga Halilaj’s “Ti s’me njeh” in FiK 53. Over the years interviewers have always asked her if she’d take part, but she was always wary of this idea — even though she has expressed her interest to be part of the Eurovision Song Contest. Even though she would be debuting in the contest, she would no doubt be a major contender to snatch the trophy. Sources close to the artist have told us that she’s been considering a debut with a strong dance song.
Since his recent victory in Kenga Magjike with “Thikat e mia”, Alban Ramosaj has become the name on the top of wishlists for Festivali i Kenges. In his interview with our Deban Aderemi right after he’d taken hold of that trophy, he proved his knowledge of the Eurovision Song Contest and expressed his enthusiasm to be part of it. He even flew to Rotterdam to enjoy the show and support Anxhela Peristeri. Again, our sources in Albania have told us that Alban has been working on more than one song for Festivali i Kenges. But it’s still not clear if he’s decided if any are strong enough to mark his entry.
Beatrix Ramosaj, or, as European media like to say, the “Albanian Rihanna”, has been part of the music and modelling industries for years now. She competed in Kenga Magjike and Top Fest earlier in her career, but since then she’s steered clear of all festivals in Albania. According to our sources, Beatrix may make her Festivali i Kenges debut this year with a song composed by someone really close to her. She’ll have to balance this with her ongoing focus on developing her career in Europe, where she continues to make music and model in The Netherlands.
With just days before the final list of participants is revealed, the rumour mill is still hotting up. Among other artists said to be in the mix in recent days are: Bojken Lako, Lorela Sejdini, Mentor Haziri and Xhesika Polo.
Which of these artists you would like to see at the stage of Festivali i Kenges 60? Let us know in the comments box down below.