On Monday night she unleashed a wall of sound at Festivali i Këngës 60 — proving that you can do fierce hairography and helicopter twirls while staying in tune. And while she most definitely proved her superstar status, Ronela Hajati says she’s less interested in the hype and buzz than she is in touching people’s hearts.
“I want to be a singer for the people,” she told me backstage, just moments before taking the stage on Night One. “I don’t want to be a superstar.”
But she’s grateful for all of the love — and thinks that it’s helping push her forward.
“I think artists live for that. We do everything for the love of the people. If we don’t have that, we have nothing. That’s the thing that makes me so happy.”
Her song “Sekret” is difficult to define. It brings together traditional sounds and instrumentation, but amps it all up with her unique brand of in-your-face. So what’s the message?
“The message is a little bit, ‘We all have our secrets and we all have our love secrets.’ That’s what I’m going to do tonight — I’m going to show him my secret and his. He doesn’t know….”
Well, whoever he is, he will have learned that Ronela plays the part of sensual warrior princess very well. Her black and gold costume featured bold epaulettes and a tight corset, meant to convey her strength. She jokes that it’s also meant to keep everything looking taut.
“It’s something that defends me,” she says. “I’m a little bit fat for the moment, so this corset doesn’t show everything bad about my body.”
Ronela’s emotional postcard segment conveyed the close relationship she had with her father. He actually led state broadcaster RTSH for many years, and oversaw the construction of some of its main buildings.
“He was a great man. He has the respect of everyone that worked here for years and he loved this institution so much. He gave it all his best years, and he taught me love. So I grew up having this big love about the festival and this institution before I knew what it’s about, for real.
“Being part of the festival for the first time — it’s brought up a different emotion than other people here. I’m singing for my father tonight.”
Ronela Hajati may add English lyrics to “Sekret” if she goes to Eurovision
A true polyglot, Ronela could sing the song in Albanian, English, French, Spanish or Italian.
“I love Spanish a lot. I learned Spanish from telenovelas. I really wanna add some words if I win. I want to do something in English too.”
“I know people are really sceptical about the song being revamped in English, because sometimes words are only translated. I don’t want to translate. I want to do other lyrics that have the same meaning, but other lyrics.”
She isn’t, however, getting ahead of herself. She fully understands that FiK60 is no cake walk and that several artists could snatch the crown.
“This thing has to finish first. I have so many plans. But I think every other singer here has plans and dreams.”
“I want to keep it in Albanian — a lot of parts — but I want to add some English too if it goes well.”
“I really want to make it a global song, for real, if there’s the opportunity. Why not?”
What do you think of Ronela’s song and performance? What secrets do you have to share? Let us know in the comments section down below.
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