interview with Ledina Celo

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Ledina Celo to bring an Albanian wedding in Ukraine

By Ardi Pulaj

As she is at the top of her career, more mature, with a provocative look and with a song dedicated to a traditional Albanian wedding ceremony, Ledina Celo now is preparing to represent her country in the Eurovision Song Contest in Ukraine. In 2003, Celo as a host of National Song Contest (Festivali I Kenges) proclaimed Anjeza Shahini as the first representative of Albania to Eurovision. But this year was lucky for Ledina Celo as one of the contestants of the Festival and then the winner. She now has a �ticket� to go to Ukraine and represent the red and black colours of her flag. Ledina Celo is a consolidated singer with a lot of songs and cover stories of the Albanian magazines and newspapers. She thinks that the success will help her to go further in her career. In this interview she uncovers the surprises for the Eurovision Song Contest.

Last year you hosted Festivali i Kenges, this year you participated in this contest. Why did you decide to participate as a singer?
I did not ask to be a host, but it was a proposal of the director. It was a strange proposal, but it made me try it. Why not trying something different, besides singing? It was interesting introducing your colleagues, it was a special emotion. But this year, the Eurovision Song Contest was a reason why I decided to participate in �Festivali I Kenges�. I have passed the emotions of winning prizes in the local activities, so now my dream and aim was: Eurovision Song Contest.

What is the strongest point of your success?
I think it is the rhythm of my songs. I remember my first performance in a song with Luan Zhegu �E doni dashurine� (Do you love love). The rhythm fits me and my character and I think that public likes it. Albania has great singers, but not a lot of rhythm in their songs. It is normal that in a national event like the �Festivali I Kenges� will be included r�n�b, dance or ballads, but the rhythm is essential. This was shown in the last festival, were performance and rhythm reined.

Your song is about the wedding and Albanian traditions. Was the song composed on purpose for the Eurovision Song Contest?

The idea of the composer Adrian Hila and lyricist Pandi Laco was to create a traditional Albanian song. At the end, we are Albanians, and in a European Festival we cannot represent ourselves as English or French. Through this song we can bring to the public, the culture of Albania. �Neser shkoj� (I�ll go tomorrow) is a song dedicated to the wedding, an important moment for everybody�s life. The song describes the girl who is talking with her mother a day before wedding, the drums forewarning the wedding and then the beautiful atmosphere of the Albanian wedding ceremonies. We would like to bring to the European public, this part of our tradition. Every detail is well thought: not only drums, but also the ballet, the costumes. All the components fit to the song. The atmosphere brought in the stage: girls dancing and a boy performing with a drum create the idea of the Albanian wedding, while my dress belongs to a modern bride.

Are you going to sing the song in Albanian or in English at the Eurovision Song Contest?
It will be in English, so the public can perceive it easily. The composer Adrian Hila is working on the remix, while differently from �Festivali I Kenges� we are thinking that I will be more involved in choreography. I hope it is going to be a special performance.

Do you think your song and performance were the best at the Festivali i Kenges?
I think that it was not only me in the Festival. There have been very beautiful songs with traditional elements, like the song of Luiz Ejlli. I would like to remind the song composed by Flamur Shehu, three girls from Kosovo or Edmond Zhulali. They were very good performances. The jury chose my song and I am happy with the decision. But I also think that my other colleagues, who made a wonderful presentation, have to be congratulated.

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