Nadir Rustamli has been chosen to represent Azerbaijan in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest in Turin, Italy. He has been directly chosen by the Azeri broadcaster iTV, without a national final. Instead Nadir was able to take part and win “The Voice Azerbaijan”. With 42% of the votes he was the declared winner. During the show he has also performed several Eurovision songs:
Nadir Rashid oghlu Rustamli was born in Salyan (Southern Azerbaijan) in 1999. When he was a child he received a piano training at the Gulu Asgarov Music School in his hometown. Later he studied Tourism and Management at the Azerbaijan University and got a degree in business administration.
“Fade To Black” is a quiet and subtle song about the difficulties in a relationship, when everything fades to black:
You back off slowly through the door You always go and blame the weather The weather It hurts so fast When love goes bad Until at last We fade to black
The stroke of luck for entries seems to decrease lately. It cannot be taken for granted that songs from Azerbaijan always shape up well, like in the first years.
Top 10: 7
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 on stage and unbelievable high notes. That’s a debut entry for a newcomer which will be remembered very well.
In the short history – 14 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 50% 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 86%, 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 in Rotterdam, the outstanding song and performance from Efendi with “Mata Hari” made a 20th rank in the final.
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 always 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.