The Albanian national final “Festival I Këngës” took place in December already. So Albania is almost every year the first country to announce the entry for Eurovision. This year it has been the 56th edition of the festival. There is always a big concert orchestra and the songs are not limited to three minutes is it is usual at the ESC. The winning entry will be shortened, revamped and translated into English. The lucky winner this time was Eugent Bushpepa with “Mall” which means yearning.
Already as young child Eugent discovered the world of music for himself. Born in Rrëshen, Albania in 1984 he immigrated to Italy right after school. He started his music career in 2006 and has been active in the Albanian music scene. He was a member of the houseband of the private TV channel Top channel. He appeared in a daily show. His first song ”Maska e madhështisë” Eurgent released in 2007. Eugent also took part in the Festival I Këngës already. But the most important role he could take was playing as preliminary band of Deep Purple in Tirana and Duff McKagan, where joined the band on tour. Now Eugent utilizes the chance of international awareness at the ESC in Lisbon.
The song “Mall” – yearning is rocky love song with a groovy rhythm and a good melody. Good to see that there are so many different music styles in this year’s ESC. It’s still open if Eugent is going to perform the song in English or in Albanian.
Top 10: 2
Chances for Top 10: 13%
Chances for Final: 47%
This year it has been the 56th 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 Kiev, Lindita Halimi could not reach the Grand Final with “Botë”. So this year it’s the 15th time for Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest in Lisbon. So far out of 14 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 13%. The chances for reaching the Grand Final is about 47%.
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 mostly 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 better.
1x 5th place
Rona Nishliu | Suus (2012)
1x 7th place
Anjeza Shahini | The Image Of You (2004)
“Hear My Plea” | Aida & Frederik Ndoci, Rank 17 (Semi Final) Helsinki 2007