The Eurovision entry from Azerbaijan has been selected by an expert jury which consisted of music producers, composers, television industry professionals and journalists, as there is no national final anymore. The choice felt to the beautiful singer Efendi, whose biggest dream was to represent her country in the Eurovision Song Contest. Unfortunately, this won’t happen this year due to the Corona pandemic, but she has already been confirmed by the Azeri broadcaster iTV, she just needs another song.
Samira Efendiyeva or just Efendi was born in Baku, in 1991 and learned to play the piano and studied at the Asəf Zeynallı conservatory. She took part in several contests such as Yeni Ulduz 09, Səs Azərbaycan (the Azeri Version of The Voice), Silk Way Star and Voice of Nur-Sultan in Kazakhstan. Efendi even sang the national anthem at the closing ceremony at the Formula 1 race in Baku 2018. Efendi has tried to compete four times in the previous national selection for the ESC, but this time she has become the one.
Have a look at the three singles Efendi released in 2019:
The song “Cleopatra” is an outstanding song in this year’s entries. The style of the song is not comparable with the oriental songs Efendi usually sings. No wonder the song has been composed by the international team of Luuk van Beers, Alan Roy Scott and Sarah Lake, and produced by the Dutchman Tony Cornelissen, who has also co-composed the German entry 2013 “Glorious” for Cascada (21st place). There is no live recording from the song “Cleopatra” yet. Judging by the high quality video clip, which was filmed in Qobustan, the stage performance would have been similar outstanding, like always in Azerbaijanis entries. The most remarkable element is the beseeched Asian monk singing and the oriental rhythm. The whole presentation appears a bit overloaded but is a unique work of art.
In the Azerbaijani song it’s about the tough times Cleopatra had to go through with fraud and sorrow, but she has shown strength with her feminine independence.
“Couldn't see the forest for the trees, Just like me, Oh, in too deep There was no intervention, I was lost, falling out with myself, I was so filled with tension, Getting mad was my cry for help, Now I'm back with a vengeance, I've found my inner voice again”
Top 10: 7
Chances for Top 10: 54%
Chances for Final: 85%
Since Azerbaijan joined the Eurovision Song Contest in 2008, a truly outstanding story of success has begun. The debut entry “Day After Day” by Elnur & Samir made a respectable 8th place in Belgrade, even if it was a very extraordinary song with a lot of drama and unbelievable high notes on stage. That’s a debut entry for a newcomer which will be remembered very well.
In the short history – 13 times - Azerbaijan has mostly made it into the Grand Final, and there were even seven Top10 places in that short period of time! Statistically there is a chance of 54% for Azerbaijan to have a place in the Top10. In the early years Azerbaijan made it almost every year into the Top10, but since 2014 this has not been the case anymore, that might be due to stricter voting controls. And the chances for reaching the Grand Final is at 85%, this is due to the fact that Azerbaijan mostly made it since the debut. And that’s really something special. Only one time Azerbaijan did not make it to the final was in 2018 Aisel Mammadova and “X My Heart”. Last year Chingiz could continue the successful way and made a fabulous 8th place in the Grand Final of Tel Aviv with “Truth”.
The Eurovision Song Contest has become very important in Azerbaijan and enjoys a huge interest in the entire country. For the Azerbaijani music industry the ESC is also one of the best platforms to show their music talents internationally.
Of course there were a lot of votes by the ex-Soviet countries. But beside of that the songs from Azerbaijan have shown a lot of modernity and the stage performances were always very special on a very high artistic level. The songs are mostly sung in English, but often have kept their cultural Azeri footprint. This is also due to the fact that Azerbaijan often invites international composers e.g. Stephan Örn, Sandra Bjuman, etc., which made the songs very international. In 2011, Azerbaijan could even win with “Running Scared” by Ell & Nikki. The ESC from Baku in 2012 was one of the most important events in Azerbaijan with the support of the highest government circles. This was the most south eastern ESC ever. The impressive Crystal Hall – which was extra built for this event – and the greatly illuminated city of Baku have surprised the visitors and watchers of the ESC, which will remain in good memories.
1x 1st place “Running Scared” |Ell & Nikki (Düsseldorf 2011)
1x 2nd place “Hold Me” |Farid Mammadov (Malmö 2013)
1x 3rd place “Always” |AySel & Arash (Moscow 2009)