Introducing 2013: Azerbaijan

by Edward Montebello 438 views

Thirty-nine countries are competing with the aim to lift the trophy in Malmö. The twenty-fifth to be introduced is Azerbaijan. The country won the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest and this year Farid Mammadov will fly the Azeri flag in Sweden

Basic information

Performer: Farid Mammadov
Song: Hold me
Language: English
Music: Dimitrios Kontopoulos
Lyrics: John Ballard & Ralph Charlie Al Fahel

The song

This year’s Azeri entry is a strong ballad about love. Farid Mammadov sings with great passion this touching song.

Should have seen it coming when I saw you
Should have had the sense to stop and walk away
It was gonna turn out complicated
We´ve hit overload about to explode

If love was a mountain
I´d climb up to the highest of them all
I´d swim across the ocean if you´d call
I´m lost in your smile
Freefalling for miles

Hold me
Just unfold me
Unchain my soul
Give me love make me whole
Hold me
If it´s only
For this moment in time
Now I´m yours and your mine
So Hold me

The performer

Farid Mammadov aged 21 was raised on Mugham, a form of traditional Azerbaijani folk music and very complex vocal art. Meanwhile, since the age of eight Farid got engaged to the soul and jazz music, in particular Stevie Wonder. At his very first concert he performed Wonder’s all-time-hit I just called to say I love you. By the age of 21 he has already got a considerable experience as a member of many Azerbaijani legendary music bands, such as Eastern Stars (Şərq ulduzları) and Nightingales (Bülbüllər). Farid was honoured to work with such outstanding mentors in his country as Vagif Gerayzade and Aybeniz Hashimova before he became a mature solo singer. Farid enjoys participating in freestyle wrestling, which is regarded as the Azerbaijan’s national sport, and Brazilian martial art capoeira.

The songwriters

This year’s Azeri song is written by Dimitrios Kontopoulos John Ballard and Ralph Charlie Al Fahel. Kontopoulos is not new to Eurovision as he produced Eurovision songs for Ani Lorak, Sakis Rouvas and had 27 number one hits in Greek national airplay charts. The lyrics are penned by John Ballard and Ralph Charlie Al Fahel who are new in the Eurovision scene.

The national selection

Ten acts competed in the final following a number of pre-selection shows. All participants sang a number of cover versions including Eurovision songs and in their native language. In the end Farid Mammadov won the right to represent Azerbaijan with the song Hold me.

Azerbaijan in the Eurovision Song Contest

Azerbaijan, along with San Marino, is the youngest member of the Eurovision Song Contest family as the country debuted in 2008. After an eighth place in Belgrade, Azerbaijan finished second in the second semi-final and third in the final in Moscow as well as second in the second semi-final and fifth in the final in Oslo. In 2011 the country won the contest and last year it hosted Europe’s favourite show in Baku.


This will be Azerbaijan’s sixth participation in the Eurovision Song Contest. It is the first time that the country is represented by a male solo performer and it will also be the sixth year in a row that their entry is performed entirely in English.

Azeri vote in Eurovision

Throughout its short history yet successful in the Eurovision Song Contest, Azerbaijan gave its most points to Ukraine while Turkey received most Azeri votes. However if the semi-final points are taken into account, Azerbaijan awarded its most points to Turkey.

The betting odds

According to, Azerbaijan is currently standing at number 10 to win the Eurovision Song Contest. According to the odds, Farid Mammadov is the third favourite to qualify from semi-final two.

Biz küsənmək Azərbaycan da Farid Mammadov yaxşı nəticəyə nail olmaq içəris Malmö!


Preview clip

Love is blind


Tomorrow another country will be introduced (hint – I wanna know which country is next!)

Have your say

You can rate the Azeri entry by voting in our poll

You can view previous parts of this series by clicking here