Only three days left till the Albanian national music festival, Festivali i Këngës 51, the show that selects the Albanian representative for Eurovision Song Contest. Rona Nishliu, the pop-jazz singer from Kosovo won the 50th edition of Festivali i Këngës and represented Albania at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest in Baku, where she finished 5th in the final with her ballad Suus. Who will follow her this year? Who are the favorites this year to win Festivali i Këngës 51 according to the Albanian media? We followed the reactions of the singers and the media in the past few days.
Vesa Luma, a popular singer is one of the Festivali i Këngës 51 participants who got much media attention this year. She will compete with an up-tempo song composed by Florent Boshnjaku, the man behind the Albanian entry Suus.
I’m going to participate at the festival with a dance song. It’s a strong entry and definitely the best song of my career and I’m ready to represent Albania at Eurovision, stated Vesa Luma in an interview with Orainfo.
Another strong participant this year is Marsela Cibukaj, runner-up in the first edition of ‘The Voice of Albania’. After her participation at ‘The Voice of Albania’ she became a big name in the Albanian music industry. It’s my first time at Festivali i Këngës and its special feeling to sing accompanied with such a huge orchestra.
I’m really enjoying the rehearsals and am ready for the festival where I’ll perform my special ballad. Asked if she would like to represent Albania at Eurovision, I think Eurovision is a dream of every singer, talked Marsela to the local media.
Flaka Krelani, a rock singer will make a comeback this year at Festivali i Këngës. She finished 2nd in 2007 and 5th in 2008. This year she is considering as one of the favorites, not only because she was successful during her previous participation but because she has a strong team behind.
In 2007 and 2008 I tried with up-tempo songs and now it’s time for a powerful ballad, Flaka Krelani has told the Albanian daily newspaper Koha Ditore.
The first Albanian representative at Eurovision Song Contest, Anjeza Shahini, seems to be very relaxed about her participation. I’m honored to to have again a song from the composer Edmond Zhulali, the man who composed my Eurovision entry ‘Image of you’.
The rehearsals went very well and I hope the public will enjoy my song. Taking part at Festivali i Këngës gives me very special feelings and I want to repeat this great experience time after time, stated Anjeza in an recent interview with Eurosong Shqipëria.
Rosela Gjylbegu, the singer who supported Anjeza Shahini as backing on stage of Eurovision 2004, will compete again at Festivali i Këngës. She finished third in 2003 and second in 2006. This year she is participating with a powerful ballad written by a young talented team.
I hope to share my passion and the emotions with audience, stated Rosela in an interview with daily Albanian newspaper Panorama.
Another Eurovision star who is going compete again at Festivali i Këngës, is Kejsi Tola. She won the festival in 2008 and represented Albania at the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest in Russia.
I’m glad that I will participate with such a beautiful song this year. My is song is a pop ballad with an touch of R&B, talked Kejsi to Radio Tirana.
The singer Hersi Matmuja who was part of Festivali i Këngës 50, is taking again part this year. This year I’m participating with an other style of music. It’s totally different from my previous Festivali i Këngës songs. Festivali i Këngës is great event, especially for new artists, stated Hersi in a video interview with RTSH.
A big surprise this year is the participation of the well-known pop singer in Germany and Albania, Ardian Bujupi. Several Albania media are seeing him as the biggest favorite to win Festivali i Këngës. He sees Festivali i Këngës as an huge event in Albania.
This is a big project for me. I don’t have to rehearse only with the dancers but also with big orchestra. I’m very emotional because this will be my first song in Albanian. Participating at Eurovision would open more doors for me, said Ardian Bujupi in an video interview to KTV.
In addition to previously announced Special guests, it was today announced that Compact Disco (Hungary 2012) will also perform during the Albanian festival.
Check the official website of Festivali i Këngës