Interviews with Festivali i Kenges 53: Marsela Cibukaj

by Helio Qendro 977 views

Marsela Cibukaj is the full package when it comes to music; she can sing, she has the personality, charisma and that unique captivating voice. She participated in the Voice of Albania and came second despite being one of the public’s favorite. However, to this day Marsela is one of the past participants with the most active musical productivity and participation. This year she return to the Festivali i Kenges 53 stage to present her latest creation and even win this edition of the fesitval. Her song is called Smuj, composed by Olsa Toqi and penned by Gert Druga.

Hello Marsela, this is calling! We hope you are having a good day and thank you for agreeing on this interview! We would like to start the interview by knowing what has been going on in your professional life lately and what is new in your musical activity?

I am currently working for Top Channel, and I am part of the wonderful team of Top Show where I have the pleasure to perform every week with a band. Besides this I am as well performing live in Tirana and outside Albania in several prestigious events. I am continuing to write for my first album in English in close collaboration with Italian and Albanian artists.

Marsela, you were one of the most critically acclaimed participants in the Voice of Albania, one of the few who established a strong base in the Albanian music scene. How does that make you feel?

I feel great of course because this means that my sacrifices and determination to achieve the highest goals in the framework of music it is well rewarded from the public which follows me on my performances and supports me in every step. I am very extremely grateful to every single person who has believed in me and continues to believe in what I do.

This is not the first time you participate in Festivali I Kenges. You have also participated back in 2012 with Mijera Nete. Even though Eurovision fans liked your song a lot it didn’t manage to score well in the festival. What made you return for this year?

Participating in such event it is very meaningful to me, for the historical importance that such event has in the Albanian music history, for the pleasure and luck that is given to the artist to be accompanied from such a big and professional orchestra, which has for many years accompanied many legendary famous Albanian artists. Based on this and taking into account that I had a song which fully represented my spiritual and artistic world I could not say no to the chance of presenting it exclusively for this festival.

Your participating song is called Smuj. While translating it I took it as I can’t. Is that what it actually mean? What is the story behind the song and what can you reveal for us?

Without spoiling the curiosity, what I can say is that this song speaks about love, about that kind of love which is not taken seriously, or which is taken for granted and which with the time passing by gets you restless. It talks about a spoiled boy who cheats without thinking twice, and for a girl (which in this case is me) that he hurts, till she surrenders and pushes him away from her life. This is an issue that the composer Olsa Toqi, the orchestral Gerti Druga and me have presented with irony and self irony by giving to the story the softness and the right meaning.

Marsela your voice goes good with almost every song you choose to sing and so far you have treated the public with some soft-rock-pop-ballads. Is this song another genre or will it be your usual sound?

I can say that the song Smuj is absolutely one of the songs that fits best to my vocal, my musical style, and my personality. I can easily classify it as a Jazz/Pop style song, with a vintage touch which goes very well with the wonderful orchestration of Gerti Druga. I think that the public will have the chance to be transported in a different epoch, somewhere in Paris during the ’40s-‘50s, in those small streets full of cafes, bohemians and dreamers.

The winner of FiK has the honor of representing Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest. Did you take that into consideration when you submitted your entry? Are you aiming for Eurovision?

Well everything is taking into consideration of course, but this is not the main reason why I decided to present my song in this festival. So far I have been part of various competitions, which have made me face many challenges, and now I have learned to keep my feet on the ground and take things not so seriously which is also part of my personality, of who I am out of the competition, the real me.

The current winner Conchita Wurst caused quite the controversy with her win and Albania did not receive her victory with positive tones. How do you feel about her?

I think that the Albanian team performed well but they could have done a better job. We should aim more from ourselves by taking into account that we represent our country in such events. Hersi Matmuja, who I sincerely would like to compliment for her great voice and technique, has competed with a song which I really liked, especially in the original version, in the Albanian language. But on the other hand I believe that Eurosong is a competition where a big emphasis is given to the authenticity and performance and to the person performing of course. I still believe that in life it’s important to be at the right moment, with the right people and with the right thing to present. Sometimes it happens that it is our turn, and sometimes it is somebody’s else turn. This for me is called luck.

Marsela gave an exclusive photo from her shoot for her participating song in Festivali i Kenges 53:

You can listen to some of Marsela’s music below:

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