A red carpet. A packed crowd. And glorious voices with eye-catching staging. That was all on show in Kosovo’s capital Prishtina on Saturday during the Grand Final of Festivali i Këngës në RTK, the inaugural song festival that will serve as the country’s national final for Eurovision if it’s ever admitted to the contest.
The winner of FiKRTK has been crowned and it’s La Fazani with the song “Oj Kosovë.” The energetic number is all about the singer’s love for Kosovo and its people.
It was a historic win — and one marked at the highest level. The Prime Minister of the Republic of Kosovo, Albin Kurti awarded the trophy to La Fazani — also known as Arbër Salihu.
Even though he will not be able to represent Kosovo at the Eurovision Song Contest, since it’s not yet allowed to compete, he still loves his country — in fact, that’s exactly what he says in the lyrics of the song: “I know I cannot go to Eurovision, but I love you Kosovo.”
La Fazani was also the winner of Prishtina Award, an award given by the Municipality of Kosovo.
Second place went to Angus Dei with “Një zemër për dy” (One heart for two). Director-General of RTK, Shkumbin Ahmetxhekaj, awarded Angus the prize.
“This is an award – debt repayment for all those artists who have received awards from Radio Television of Albania,” Ahmetxhekaj said, a reference to the fact that so many Kosovar artists — like Rona Nishliu — have competed and won at big festivals in Albania like FiK.
Albin Nikprelaj received third place in FiKRTK with the song “Ajo”, a song composed by Eriona Rushiti and Enis Mullaj, who composed Albania’s 2019 and 2023 Eurovision Song Contest entries.
Earlier this week, Noel Curran — the Director-General of the European Broadcasting Union — sent a video congratulation RTK on “the cultural revival” that the competition marks. The video message gave many Eurovision fans in the country hope that they will one day be welcome at Eurovision.
The Director-General of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU) l, Noel Curran congrats Kosovo (RTK) for the first edition of FESTIVALI I KENGES, hope #Kosovo will invite soon at #Eurovision @EBU_HQ @Eurovision pic.twitter.com/E8A807wquI— Eurovision Kosovo (@ESCKOSOVO) October 26, 2023