Let’s do this! Albania’s Festivali i Këngës 60 takes place at the end of the month. And on Friday producers dropped the 20 songs in the running to represent the Land of Eagles at Eurovision 2022 in Torino. Fly, our darlings, fly!

From power ballads to ethno-bops to undefinable other-worldly pop, Tirana is bringing all of it and we need to know what you think. You can listen to all of the songs below. Consider this a warm-up so you can gather your thoughts for our poll, which we’ll publish in the coming days. 

Festivali i Kenges 60: All 20 songs

Fourteen of the songs are being performed by established artists, including massive names like Alban Ramosaj and Ronela Hajati, and FiK veterans like MIRUD, Evi Reci and Kastro Zizo. The remaining six songs come from younger artists making their first mark on the Albanian music scene. They are: Eldis Arrnjeti, Ester Zahiri, Kesjti Rrusta, Olimpia Smajlaj, Viola Xhemali and Xhuliana Pjetri.

Eurovision 2019 star Jonida Maliqi will host the show. Ardit Gjebrea, the mastermind behind rival song contest show Kenga Magjike, is in charge of this year’s festival. He himself has won Festivali i Këngës as a singer, writer or producer on four occasions (1991, 1995, 2000 and 2009). Eurofans will definitely remember “It’s All About You”, which he wrote for Juliana Pasha for Eurovision 2010. 

Alban Ramosaj — “Theje”

Alban Ramosaj is a 25-year old Albanian singer-singwriter, director and fashion model. He’s known for his participation on The Voice of Albania and his chart-topping dance hits in the Balkan region. In 2018, he was featured in the Dolce & Gabanna spring/summer fashion campaign. Last year he won the 22nd edition of Kenga Magjike with the song “Thikat e mia”.

Denis Skura — “Pse nuk flet, mama?”

Denis Skura is a famous Albanian tenor, who has given numerous performances and shows at The National Theatre of Opera and Ballet of Albania. This is his first time competing in the festival.

Eldis Arrnjeti — “Refuzoj”

Ester Zahiri — “Hijena”

Evi Reci — “Me duaj”

It’s the second participation for Evi Reci, the famous Albanian TV presenter and singer. Last year she participated in the festival with the song “Tjerr”, where she was awarded a special prize called the “City of Tirana”, showing the respect and love held for her by municipal officials. Evi started her musical career in 2004 with Top Fest, while she has also been part of Kenga Magjike.

Gjergj Kacinari — “Në ënërr mbete ti”

Gjergj Kacinari, known by his stage name Kachinari, will participate for the second time in row. Last year he took part in the festival with his song “Me jepe jete” and made the final. Kachinari has also made a name for himself at Top Fest and Kenga Magjike.

JANEX — “Deluzional”

Xhejn Kumrija (JANEX) — another famed singer and composer — lives in New York. She began her musical career together with her sister, Enxhi Kumrija, and took part in Albanian Festivals like Kenga Magjike, Top Fest and Festivali I Kenges. This is going to be the fourth appearance at FiK, having competing at FiK 51, 52 and 53. In March 2018, she was awarded the “Best Dance Electronica” prize at the Independent Music Awards in United States.

Kastro Zizo — “Kujë”

Kastro Zizo will be a familiar name for most of you. In a career spanning more than 15 years, Kastro Zizo has published four albums and made numerous videoclips. This marks his third time in Festivali I Kenges. He took part in 58th and 59th editions of the festival.

Kelly — “Meteor”

Like so many others on this list, Albanian singer Kelly started her career in Albanian festivals like Kenga Magjike and Mikrofoni I arte. This is going to be the fifth time he attempts to represent Albania at the Eurovision Song Contest. He was part of Festivali I Kenges 46, 51, 53 and 57.

Kesjti Rrusta — “Vallëzoj me ty”

Olimpia Smajlaj — “Dua”

Mirud — “Për dreq”

Kosovar pop star, Mirud, is another returning artist. This will be his third appearance in the festival, after competing as a huge fan favourite in both FiK 57 and 59 with “Nene” and “Nese Vdes”. Even though he was not crowned as the winner, Mirud’s “Nese Vdes” reached more than 1 million views on YouTube, which makes him the second artist after Elvana Gjata with “Me Tana” to achieve that.  His first album “Treason” was released in February 2021 and has over 5 million streams across all platforms to date.

Saimir Çili — “Nën maskë”

Saimir Çili is a well-known Albanian singer and composer and also a familiar name among Eurovision fans. His daughter Isea Çili represented Albania at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2019 with the song “Mikja Ime, Fëmijëri”, which was composed by Saimir Çili himself.

Rezarta Smaja — “E jemja nuse”

Long-time Festivali I Kenges fans should know Rezarta Smaja. She started her musical career in “Ethet e se Premtes” in 2008 and continued with many Festival appearances in Albania, including at Top Fest and Kenga Magjike. She was part of Festivali I Kenges six times in the row from the 51st to 56th editions of the festival.

Ronela Hajati — “Sekret”

Ronela Hajati is one of the biggest Albanian pop stars. Her long-waited Festival appearance already has heads spinning. She started her musical career in the talent show “Ethet e se Premtes” and continued with numerous appearances at festivals across the country and videoclips that have amassed millions of views on digital platforms.

Stefi & Endri Prifti — “Triumfi i jetës”

Stefi and Endri Prifti, also known as the Prifti Borthers, are one of the biggest duos in the Albanian Music Industry. With a career of more than 25 years, the Prifti Brothers have already published one album and more than 65 songs. They have also made numerous appearances in Albanian festivals. This is going to be their sixth time at Festivali I Kenges as a duo.

Shega — “Një”

Shega, a young band from Italy, combine the Arbëreshe language with contemporary indie-pop music.  Born as “The Daggs” in 2014, they started writing songs in their native language and then evolved into SHEGA. They have taken part in different festivals around Europe such as SUNS Europe and the OPP! Festival. During their concerts, in addition to their unpublished efforts, they also perform covers of traditional arbëreshë songs, rearranged according to their own feelings.

Urban Band — “Padrejtësi”

This rock band formed in June 2016. It consists of Andi Tanko (vocals), Jurgen Cara (guitar), Dritan Hekurani (bass guitar), and Sajmir Tatushi (drums). While their singer Andi took part in 54th edition of the Festival, this is going to be their first appearance in the Festival as a group.

Viola Xhemali — “Eja si erë”

Xhuliana Pjetri — Baladë

This year Festivali i Kenges will take place between 26-29 December. For the first time ever, Festivali i Kenges will have a Gala Night on the opening night of the Festival.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
94 Comments
Newest
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Marshmelly
Marshmelly
7 months ago

Even though I don’t think it is going to win, I have to give a very honorable mention to Kelly’s Meteor. It gives me goosebumps every time I listen to it!

Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
8 months ago

Sekret > Theje

Rashad
Rashad
8 months ago

The contrast between the lyric videos and all those songs is really high, videos are well made but the songs lack that beat that would make them more modern. Very likely that the winner will just make a new song like in 2015.

Colin
Colin
8 months ago
Reply to  Rashad

The situation in 2015 came about because the songwriter refused to compete at ESC, not because Elhaida thought that Diell wasn’t strong enough. We’ll see…

I like the comic-book style covers a lot as well, but I feel like some of them look disconnected from the content of the song. They could have at least made a match between the singer’s expression and the background to what each song is singing about. Some of them look well matched, but some do not.

Jessica Folcker
Jessica Folcker
8 months ago

There’s a few good songs in this bunch. Is it just me that hears Nassi’s Revés De Gamin verses in the chorus of Refuzoj, melody-wise?

Martin
Martin
8 months ago

Instrumental music in Sekret is amazing…

Im so fab
Im so fab
8 months ago

Another screaming diva for Albania, I guess. A male one this time.

Ieva
Ieva
8 months ago

Alban has to win!

Chris
Chris
8 months ago

If i can add something… The eurofans were excited most about Alban and Ronela from the moment they announced their names. I think they are famous or something. They were equally excited about these two when they anounced their songs.
I mean all cool, but i am thinking eurovision community is a bit biased towards these two so i will say that i am gonna focus more on the mentions about the non-known artists, who are more objective. I think Mirud receives a lot of appreciation and i am happy for that…

Nikko
Nikko
8 months ago

The artist with the most money wins. Anxhela and her team paid the most to the corrupt jurors, that’s why she won.

Whisker
Whisker
8 months ago
Reply to  Nikko

EBU leadership should be proud.

Alo
Alo
8 months ago
Reply to  Nikko

Sad reality:/

Mr X
Mr X
8 months ago
Reply to  Nikko

I like Anzhela´s song. Where is the problem ?

Mr X
Mr X
8 months ago
Reply to  Nikko

I liked Anzhela´s song. Where is the problem ?

Mr X
Mr X
8 months ago
Reply to  Nikko

Who is under this circumstance the winner this time? What do you mean ?

Colin
Colin
8 months ago

I have heard most of the songs by now. Apparently, there is already an expected favorite, as there often is in Albania. Well, Alban, Ronela, and Mirud all have good songs, so there’s that. While some others are rather nice, but I still don’t have a huge underdog favorite in the way that I had Klinti or Wendi in the last two years. A lot of songs are either too typical for FiK, too low-key, or both. I appreciate Kastro being different again, but there’s being amazing and different, and then there’s this. I have to emphasize how I still… Read more »

Sabrina
Sabrina
8 months ago
Reply to  Colin

Well, at least between the 5 songs I mentioned (I haven’t searched for the lyrics for the rest of them), no sign of weeping fetuses or similar things! Pretty normal lyrics for all of them, nothing outstanding, but nothing bad either. Google Translator haven’t found a translation for “Theje” or the first verse of Ester’s chrous though. If anybody that speaks Albanian can help, I would appreciate!

Colin
Colin
8 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

Thank you, Sabrina. 🙂 I am totally okay with standard lyrics, as long as the melody and singer’s emotion can make me feel them. Some topics are just universal, and thus, more frequently mentioned. It would be cool to eventually find translations for all of them. I’ve found only translation of titles. I also found a translation of Theje, because someone has posted below the You Tube video in a comment.

ESCfan
ESCfan
8 months ago
Reply to  Sabrina

The first verse of Ester’s chorus is: “Us like two hyenas, don’t have feelings anymore”

Whisker
Whisker
8 months ago

Oh well, I have a love list and a meh list. I’m adding a barf list for countries with broadcasters that rig the “contest”.

Aure
Aure
8 months ago

What an embarrassing compilation of songs.

Max
Max
8 months ago

I love Ronela’s entry – the moody changes in pace and vocals are a journey. The drums. Her commands. Love it.

Mr X
Mr X
8 months ago
Reply to  Max

Counting in Albanese and also “Shpiperia” is mentioned in the lyrics. But I`m not sure if “Avion” means “Airplane” just like in Spanish.

Ryan
Ryan
8 months ago
Reply to  Mr X

It does.

Azaad
Azaad
8 months ago

Also, it looks like we’ll be getting a man singing a ballad, which is a bit different from what Albania usually serves.

Jacob S
Jacob S
8 months ago

okay…listen, the selection isn’t as good as in recent years, yes we know that, but cmon there shouldn’t be any room for hate. i do prefer ballads sung by women, but albans is really something different. it’s amazing and i feel everything he has to say. ronela is my #1, but sadly i know how fik is, so i’m not pouring my heart and soul to pray that she wins. and even if it is rigged for alban. when was the last male power ballad for albania? i think it’s something different than we usually have. be thankful, and once… Read more »

Frisian esc
Frisian esc
8 months ago

Btw off topic: dutch media are reporting pop noir artist lakshmi has been chosen to represent the netherlands in turin. Armin van Buren ft jaap reesema apparently send in a song but got rejected.

BadWoolfGirl
BadWoolfGirl
8 months ago
Reply to  Frisian esc

I read about that in another year was a new site. If true, what is Lakshmi like as an artist? Is She could choice for the Netherlands?

Ashton
Ashton
8 months ago

I’m glad that Theje is actually a really good song since we know the jurors have basically rigged it for alban to win

Eurovision fan
Eurovision fan
8 months ago
Reply to  Ashton

Why do you think so? Songwise, I think Mirud’s song appeals more to FiK juries, but we all know their juries are corrupted so…

Last edited 8 months ago by Eurovision fan
Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
8 months ago

i talked to my albanian friend today and he was like, fik’s winner is decided one month in advance and of course it’ll be alban bc of his connection in the industry. his song is good enough to give albania its typical lower top 20 result but i stay convinced the country can do so much better.

Azaad
Azaad
8 months ago

I’d say one good thing about FiK being early and kind of rigged is that it gives Alban plenty of time to revamp. Last year proved that Albania can actually do a good revamp so this could be a possibility.

Polegend Godgarina
Polegend Godgarina
8 months ago
Reply to  Azaad

how about they submit a song that is already in its final version and not half-assed to start with

Azaad
Azaad
8 months ago

Usually FiK has an orchestra (maybe not this year because of Covid concerns) and looser time limits so you need to revamp because a 3:30 song meant to be played live with an orchestra may work well in Tirana but less so in May.

Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
8 months ago

Alban will win, meaning we will have another screaming diva from Albania 😉

Lele
Lele
8 months ago

I’ve listened to Alban’s song at least 30 times today and I can confirm I’ve never been as excited for a FiK entry before it has even been sung live.
Alban, give your all to the song, bring all the pain in and create a moment. You can do it (and please never change it to English if you win, please – Rona, Anxhela, Eugent, Jonida all had success without English)

Mr X
Mr X
8 months ago
Reply to  Lele

Absolutely !

Jo.
Jo.
8 months ago

Overall, average quality not as high as in 2018/2019, but still a good selection.
Sekret is the strongest song and also has a strong staging potential. I don’t like how it builds up but the chorus is a wig snatcher!
Alban’s song sounds oversung to me. I do think he will win tho, and he probably has a version in English ready pop out.

Julius Caesar
Julius Caesar
8 months ago
Reply to  Jo.

Alban is the lord of oversinging, it’s his thing. Just listen to his other song “Thikat e mia”

Bart
Bart
8 months ago
Reply to  Julius Caesar

I agree he screams too much

vess
8 months ago

goooo Mirud!

Nikko
Nikko
8 months ago

Can we also appreciate the design of the videos. Each year they come up with something nice to watch. Last year it was photos in colourful lights with geometric figures. Arilena and Elvana’s year it was artsy black & white photos.

Mr X
Mr X
8 months ago

Hiena is very sweet and could be a surprise…

Philip Holmgren
Philip Holmgren
8 months ago

For real.

When I heard Alban’s song for the first time I genuinly thought to myself, “This might be the year when Albania has a chance of winning it all!” :-O

It goes from the first half of being just a “Modern Pop Song” good, into being this magnificent display over the power in his voice.

I bet seeing him doing it live will become completely breathtaken. 🙂

Mr X
Mr X
8 months ago

I´m totally agree with the mayority of the comments. Ronela and Alban are the favourites but Mirud is strong too.

Purple Mask
Purple Mask
8 months ago

There’s a cool relaxed vibe for the Fest this year. I just hope they have some exciting stage performances (otherwise some viewers might fall asleep). Too chilled perhaps? 🙂
Good luck to all.

James
James
7 months ago
Reply to  Purple Mask

And improved production values i.e. not switch cameras every 3 seconds at the control room.

Rick
Rick
8 months ago

Only Ronela.

Sabrina
Sabrina
8 months ago

My highlights: Alban, “Theje” – Right up FiK’s alley: power ballad, strong vocals, dramatic lyrics. It causes a good first impression and knowing how popular he is, feels like the frontrunner. Ronela, “Sekret” – The non-ballad alternative of the year. I like it and see great staging possibilities. Sounds like what “Cleopatra/Mata Hari” could be in a more sophisticated package. (I guess I’m not the only one sensing a “Shaj” x “Me tana” situation all over again) Ester, “Hiena” – If the jury isn’t biased against the newcomers, this one can be a dark horse. Beautiful voice, well constructed ballad… Read more »

Last edited 8 months ago by Sabrina
Alex
Alex
8 months ago

I think it will be between Alban and Ronela. I personally hope Ronela takes it as her song is a bit more exciting to me and has broader appeal. I think with a revamp like last year, it will be killer on stage if it has the right staging. Alban’s song is also good, I’m just worried if it does win, will it be a bit lost in all the other music at Eurovision since it isn’t the “loudest”

Héctor
Héctor
8 months ago

Weak year. Alban Ramosaj would be a contender in a normal year but this year he is the obvious winner. This entry, both singer and song, is miles ahead the other contestants. And I’m also liking it. I’d say “Theje” is the best song revealed so far during the 2022 NF season.

Last edited 8 months ago by Héctor
GojoSatoru
GojoSatoru
8 months ago

Honestly, with a good revamp, Alban Ramosaj could potentially get a similar result as Eugent Bushpeppa.

Roro31
8 months ago

For me :

  1. Ronela
  2. Alban
  3. Urban Band
  4. Mirud
  5. Kesjti Rrusta

But for the crown, I think Ronela is the better choice because it’s a pop song and would change from the ballad style that Albania keeps sending because of the old jury …
The live must be good too … We will hope !!
But I like Alban all the same.

Cristian Silviu Bucur
Cristian Silviu Bucur
8 months ago

Albania has to send Ronela.They will qualify with Sekret.

Whisker
Whisker
8 months ago

Ya, they can qualify AND get an epic staging made in Sweden – the staging that Cleopatra/Mata Hari never had.

Ukraine stan
Ukraine stan
8 months ago

Agreed, Deluzional feels like a possible fan favorite if it were to win FiK

Ukraine stan
Ukraine stan
8 months ago

Olimpia Smajlaj is by far the best, but it’s not a ballad so immediate disqualification for Dua 🙁

esc_fl
esc_fl
8 months ago

Can’t say it’s as comparable as the entries from last year, but maybe I just need to take a better listen. I loved Alban and Ronela’s entries, and Mirud is a close third. Viola, Ester, and Gjergj are up there as well.

ESCfan
ESCfan
8 months ago

To anyone wondering, this is Ronela’s song translated. If anyone wants another translation just ask me when I have the time I’ll do it. SECRET Hey Do you remember those nights? They remained only a secret (3x) The boy is coming from the mountains And to me he will pray I don’t know if he’ll be stopped Come oh come, I’ll forgive your sins For this girl you’ll come And even if the whole world you’ll leave I’m a sun, not a shadow You’re mine, albanian boy Hey Do you remember those nights? They remained only a secret Baby your… Read more »

Whisker
Whisker
8 months ago
Reply to  ESCfan

That’s so nice of you, thanks for the translation!

Will
Will
8 months ago

Alban’s song is even better the second time around. I hope he can pull off those strong raspy vocals live.

Ronela’s song is fun but clearly not something the FiK juries would ever crown as the winner.

Joe
Joe
8 months ago

Only one I’ve heard so far is Një cuz I love anything in a regional dialect or minority language, but I can’t wait to hear the rest!

Eurovision fan
Eurovision fan
8 months ago

When talking generally about songs in overall I’m not so pleased, but these the songs of these three stand out to me:

1. Ronela

2. Mirud

3. Alban

I like Mirud’s ballad more than Alban’s one tbh

Balint
Balint
8 months ago

I’m speechless, Alban’s song absolutely blew me away. I hope he wins.

raylee
raylee
8 months ago

It’s a week national final and Arilena should’ve submitted a song… Only rival for her would be Alban and it would be easier for her to win this than Fik58… She ruined her chance 🙁

Pineaple
Pineaple
8 months ago
Reply to  raylee

Maybe she just didn’t want to enter? There is more to music than divas you know…

Ria van de Velde
Ria van de Velde
8 months ago

I have heard all the songs, My favorite songs are:

1.Alban Ramosaj — “Theje”2.Mirud — “Për dreq”3.Stefi & Endri Prifti — “Triumfi i jetës”4.Saimir Çili — “Nën maskë”5.Gjergj Kacinari — “Në ënërr mbete ti”

Nathan
Nathan
8 months ago

Alban and Ronela do stand out from the crowd here. To each their own, but I really think Sekret is the better song. The interesting composition, the impactful lyrics, the passionate vocals, the dramatic ethnic sounds – it just draws me in.

Xxx
Xxx
8 months ago

Not gonna lie, all the songs are so-so.

Briekimchi
Briekimchi
8 months ago

Alban’s song is actually amazing.

Zheng
Zheng
8 months ago

My top 5
1. Alban
2. Hijena
3. Endri i Stefi
4. Ronela
5. Rezarta

Whisker
Whisker
8 months ago

“Me duaj”, “Hijena” and “Sekret” are the only songs I find kinda interesting. Overall I’m extremely disappointed.

impressiveinstants
impressiveinstants
8 months ago

The whole bunch sounds like 20 demos. Whatever wins would need a quality production revamp.

Anyway, Alban, Ronela and Mirud take the obvious lead. Rezarta´s sounds like a ¨could’ve, would´ve, should´ve¨.

Last edited 8 months ago by impressiveinstants