Albania is mostly the first country to pick its Eurovision candidate in the national final called “Festivali i Këngës” in December 2020. The Albanian broadcaster RTVSH is always producing a big gala show including two semi-finals with orchestra and live singing. This year the choice of the jury felt to Anxhela Peristeri with the song “Karma”.
Like every year the song will be shortened, revamped and a professional video-clip is being produced, as the original Albanian version can be longer than three minutes, according to the rules of the EBU.
Due to the cancellation of the ESC last year, not every selected singer has the chance to perform in 2021, so Arelina Ara has not been nominated again and a new singer and song has been chosen.
Anxhela Peristeri, better known as Anxhela was born in Korçë in 1986, close to the Greek border. Her father has Greek heritage. So it’s no wonder that there is a close connection to Greece. After finishing her studies in Tirana, Anxhela moved to Greece and took part in the X-Factor show. In 2001 she participated in the Festivali i Këngës for the very first time with “Vetëm ty të” . Three years later she published her first album “Anxhela për ju”. Anxhela took part in several festivals and even won the “Kënga Magjike” with “E Çmëndu” and released various singles. She is singer, songwriter and model, very well-known in Albania.
The song “Karma” will be sung in the Albanian language and it’s about loneliness:
God doesn't forgive me The world fell on me You ran away from me, my friends ran away There is no light
There are strong folkloristic elements in this song, combined with a fervently singing it’s not an easy-listening song and it takes time to experience the beauty of it. There is a certain remoteness which will make it difficult to like it by first hearing. At Eurovision it’s important that a song clicks and fascinates by first hearing in the very first minute.
Top 10: 2
Chances for Top 10: 12%
Chances for Final: 53%
This year it has been the 59th time of the Festivali i Këngës - the Albanian music festival. Since 2004, this event is also taken as national final to determine the Albanian representative for the Eurovision Song Contest. In that year Albania joined the ESC with a respectable 7th place in Istanbul with “The image of you” by Anjeza Shahini. A very good start for a newcomer country.
Last time in Tel Aviv, Jonida Maliqi could reach the Grand Final, but only reached the 17th place with the song “Ktheju tokës”. Due to the fact that the 2020 ESC has been cancelled, it will the 17th time for Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest in Rotterdam. So far out of 16 participations for Albania, the Grand Final has been reached nine times and a Top10 placing for 2 times, the chance for a Top10 position is around 12%. The chances for reaching the Grand Final is about 53%.
Albanian music is not that well known across the European continent and beyond, therefore the Eurovision Song Contest is a great opportunity to get a worldwide audience with approximately 200 million TV spectators. 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.
Editor in Chief of eurovisionlive.com
About me: Due to the fact that my parents are musicians, I have a gained a great enthusiasm for music. Since 1979 my interest in the Eurovision Song Contest has grown enormously. My first ESC I joined was in Dublin 1995. Six years later I founded the website eurovisionlive.com in the year 2001. The most fascinating part for me is the original idea of the Eurovision Song Contest – the peaceful contest of the European countries. I am very happy that I have the chance to contribute my little part for the greatest music show in the world.