Interviews with Festivali i Kenges 53: Linda Halimi

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If you were a regular follower of the Albanian music scene about 5 years ago there is no way you have missed Linda Halimi. Winner of Top Fest with Dallendyshe and successful contender of many song contest in Albania, Linda Halimi was filled with praise by the Albanian media about her vocal abilities and her extrovert performances. Linda took the time from her busy life in the United States where she has been living these past few years for an interview with esctoday.com. She talked to us on her decision to move to the United States, her musical activity, her participation in Festivali i Kenges and her feelings on Conchita Wurst.

Hello Linda, this is esctoday.com calling! We hope you are having a good day today and we wanted to ask you some questions about your recent activity and your participation in Festivali I Kenges. Firstly, we would like to know what has been going on in your professional life lately? Have you been working on new music?

Hi, actually yes I have. I have done about 30 songs in the past 2 years and I will soon be releasing new material, with a lot of surprises too.

Why is it that you took such a long break from the Albanian music scene? Is there any factor that affected or was it a personal decision?

I do miss the live stage period. I did take some time off to focus mostly in making my ideas that I’ve had in my head for years, as songs. I wanted to bring something special the next time I came back on live performing scene. I haven’t been present in Albania for 2 years myself but soon I promise to justify my absence.

After some successful participation in Top Fest and Kenga Magjike you decide to make your comeback in Festivali I Kenges. How did this decision come about and why was it Festivali I Kenges?

As I said previously, I miss the live scene, and I miss my audience back home, and I wanted to bring something new to them after 2 years of not being there, and I saw it reasonable to do that in Festivali i Kenges since it is one of the most prestigious festivals in Albania. I want to first promote my new song 100% live, as the festival itself!

Festivali I Kenges is a very respected music competition in Albania but the songs that participate don’t have a big commercial success afterwards. Do you think that your song has the quality to stand out?

Honestly, that is for the audience to decide if that song will survive. I personally am happy with the work that me and the producers have done, with the hopes that the audience will like it just as much! Fingers crossed!

Your song’s title is S’te fal (I don’t forgive you). The title is very suggestive itself but is it a personal experience or are the lyrics general?

It is just lyrics in general. Nothing personal! The beat itself required a theme like “I won’t forgive you”. Sad song turned wild!

Your song was produced by Zapp & Chriss, two famous producers from Kosovo known for their many hits in Albania and Kosovo. Do you think this will add more points to your song or was it just a random choice? What more can you tell us about the song?

Honestly our collaboration was done all jokingly, we were on the phone one day like: Hey, let’s do a song…, -Yeah, let’s totally do it! They sent me a beat, I created the lyrics and melody and it just worked all like magic and then our first idea was Festivali i Kenges just because we wanted to hear our work being played by such a grand orchestra like the RTSH orchestra. We didn’t let thoughts about points and all that extra stuff interfere in our creativity, we just want it all to go well what ever happens, we want to enjoy every moment at the festival and enjoy being artists first and foremost!

Your musical style has been varied as you have come to the public with rock music as well as with pop. How would you define your type of music and is this new song a new experimenting genre?

I first started with rock music because the opportunity had presented itself, I was 16, happy go lucky kid, after “Ethet” the famous 7me7 band asked me to join them and we created some great songs and just toured all over different towns and cities. Music period is my love, I felt good doing rock, but I also feel great doing Pop, Jazz, Blues, Rnb, Soul, etc. I would define myself mostly as a Pop Soul singer. I am willing to sing anything that comes from deep inside the SOUL, and that’s why I love, love ballads! This new song starts as a ballad…that’s all I can say for now! 

Linda, you know that the winner of Festivali I Kenges has the honor of representing Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest, which will be held in Vienna next year. How do you feel about that? Is Eurovision your goal?

It would be an honor for me to represent my people in a big stage such as Eurovision. Of course I would love to, but that all depends on the song and the performance that we as artists will give in the festival nights, so may the best win! I will do my best to represent my song in the best way possible.

The last question would of course have to be about the current Eurovision winner, Conchita Wurst. Reactions in Albania haven’t been so overwhelming, what are your thoughts about her?

I adore Conchita Wurst. I love people that stand out, are bold and daring to do what they like and feel and be who they wish to be. We only live once, Let’s live it our way! Now let’s talk about her talent: Out of this world! Ahh~Mazing!!! I love Conchita Wurst! 

Linda thank you for your time! esctoday.com would like to wish you the best of luck in this year’s edition of Festivali I Kenges and we wish to see you in Vienna in May!

Thank you very much. I will be publishing all my experience at the festival on my personal Instagram page @iamlindita so make sure to follow me. Love you guys! Let’s hope for the best

Below you can find some of Linda’s biggest songs:

Stay tuned to esctoday.com for more interviews with Festivali i Kenges 53 participants.

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