The Albanian national final “Festival I Këngës” took place for the 55th in December 2016, where the Albanian entry for the ESC has been determined. There is always a big concert orchestra and the songs are not limited to three minutes. The winning entry will be shortened, revamped and translated into English. The lucky winner was Lindita Halimi with the spherical entry “Botë” which can be translated as “World”.
Lindita Halimi was born in Viti, Kosovo in 1989. At the age of 14 she started to study the piano and singing. In 2004 she participated in The Voice and in the Top Fest, which she could win in 2006. In 2007 she was a finalist in the Albanian Idol. Lindita has joined the band Ngroba and also started her solo career. In 2013 she moved to the USA and continued her music career, participating in the American Idol. Lindita sang with Stevie Wonder, Valerie Simpson, opened for The Backstreet Boys in Las Vegas. She always wanted to represent Albania at Eurovision. In her second attempt she could finally made it and hopefully her music career takes another turn now.
The Albanian song “Botë” has been composed by Gerald Xhari and Klodian Qafoku, who has already composed the Albanian song 2006 “Zjarr E Ftohtë”, which was sung by Luiz Ejlli and made a 15th place in the Semi Final. The song is quite a special one, which could not be put in the “easy listening” corner. The song is about love, which unites us all, in a difficult time nowadays with war. Lindita also reflects her personal story in this entry as she grew up in the civil war in Kosovo faced hunger and terror. The beautiful singer with a great charisma singing a demanding song. This might not be easy to get people’s attention who want to listen to something happy and positive. So it won’t be easy for Lindita to shine through the competitors.
Top 10: 2
Chances for Top 10: 15 %
Chances for Final: 54 %
This year it has been the 55th time of the Festivali i Këngës - the Albanian music festival. This event is also taken as national final to determine the Albanian representative for the Eurovision Song Contest. Albania joined the ESC in 2004 with a respectable 7th rank in Istanbul with “The image of you” by Anjeza Shahini.
Last year in Stockholm, Eneda Tarifa Dani could not reach the Grand Final with “Fairytale”. So this year it’s the 14th time for Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest in Stockholm. So far out of 13 participations for Albania, the Grand Final has been reached seven times and a Top10 placing for 2 times, the chance for a Top10 position is approximately 15%. The chances for reaching the Grand Final is about 54%.
Albanian music is not that well known across the European continent, therefore the Eurovision Song Contest is a great opportunity to get a worldwide audience. The songs from Albania in the ESC have always preserved the traditional roots with folkloristic elements, even in modern songs there is a traditional part that gives the special Albanian touch. The difficulty is to make popular Albanian music accessible for European ears. In the Albanian pre selection the songs are normally longer than three minutes, therefore the entries are shortened, revamped and translated into English to match the European taste even more.