Sunday, December 24, 2017

Albania 2018: Eugent Bushpepa

Photo: DigitAlb
Last night we got our first entry for Eurovision 2018, Eugent Bushpepa was the winner of Festivali I Këngës 56 and here the song that got him the right to represent Albania in Lisbon:
I'll start by saying that I really like Eugent, he and Rovena were my favorites in my first FiK experience back them in 2008 and I fell in love with his voice once again this year when I heard "Mall" for the first time. Everything about this entry is pretty good and I hope he gets to be the 1st Albanian male artist to qualify to the final. Go Eugent.

Shout out to my other FiK 56 favorites:
Orgesa Zaimi
She came back with a banger and she did a phenomenal performance!

Mariza Ikonomi
Mariza has such an special voice and the song grew on me so much that I think it might end up as my fav from this years FiK.

Inis Neziri
Woah! What a talented girl, Im sure we will see her back in FiK for a revenge!

Monday, December 18, 2017

Orgesa Zaimi: "Singing is something I do by heart"

Hello everybody, the 2018 NF season will officially start this week with the Albanian "Festivali I Këngës" and what better way to celebrate this than by posting an interview with one of its participants. Here are Orgesa's answers:
Name: Orgesa Zaimi
Birthday: 25 July 1985
Height: 1.56 m
Favorite color: Blue
Favorite food: Sushi
Where are you right now? I am on the studio, ready to go on air on my radio show.
3 things that make you happy: My kids, My Parents and My Husband
What’s your strangest talent? My strangest talent is my laugh; it’s so different and weird that all the time I laugh by heart people only by hearing it they laugh too.
What is the strangest thing you have in your room? In a little jar I have my teeth, the ones my dentist took from 9 years old to 14 years old, I used to keep them since I was a kid, it was fun for me having them in a jar, now I think is pretty weird….
What are you really good at? I think that I am able to know that I have the gift to perform and sing. I can recognize this to myself; I am good at what I do
What are you really bad at? I am bad at painting or drawing, kids ask me all the time to draw something but I can’t… this is a talent I don’t have
Childhood idol: Elvis Presley
Childhood memory: I was 6 years old and I won the first prize award for the song “Little ballerina” in the kids festival.
Celebrity crush: Leonardo Di Caprio (And still is as a grown up too ha ha ha)
Tell me something no one knows about you: I am afraid, really afraid of snakes
What would you do if you were invisible? I would listen to people I know to hear what they think about me…
Favorite movie: I have a loooot of favorite movies, but I’ll choose “Shindler’s list” cause it makes me sad and think about humanity.
Favorite TV series: Game Of Thrones
What is your guilty pleasure? Ice Cream
If you were a boy for a day, what would you do? I’d play soccer
Name a song that never fails to make you happy: Bohemian Rhapsody from QUEEN
Can you teach me some interesting words in Albanian?
TE DUA means I love You
SHQIPERI means Albania,
MIRESEVINI means welcome,
Also I can teach you: DASHURI which means Love
Hello Orgesa! Welcome back to FiK! How are you?
HELLO, I’m feeling excited this year.

How would you describe yourself as an artist?
The last 11 years I’ve been in the Albanian scene, with my own vision of me as an artist, I have done a lot of music, singles, festivals, competitions and one album in English produced in Switzerland, also I have made my own vision of videos, I have brought some social themes in my songs too, and all of this makes me happy and passionate, cause singing is something I do by heart, I see myself grown and very focused after 11 years, I know exactly what I am, what I want and I have so much more to give.

This is your second time participating in FiK, what did you learn from your experience in 2015?
I enjoyed it cause it was my first time in the FIK, a very memorable experience, the song was about all the people who died all around Europe as immigrants, trying to escape for a better life in Europe, so it was pretty big in emotions and interpretation, I learned and grown with that song.
You went to Eurovision with the Albanian delegation in 2009, how was it and what do you remember the most from that journey?
I was the backing vocalist for Kejsi Tola back in 2009 in Moscow, it was great, I learned so much from that, I made a lot of friends, I was on that big stage representing Albania, so it was something to remember, my very great memory was meeting Patricia Kaas in person, it was such a joy, cause I love her.

Now let’s talk about your participation in FiK 56. How did it all begin?
It was something very spontaneous, the song came 3 or 4 hours later in the studio, after I met with this amazing and talented producer, we thought about something new, fresh and modern, drum n bass UK inspired.
“Ngrije zërin” is the title of your song, what’s the story behind it?
It’s a powerful message from Olti Curri who wrote the lyrics, people should speak up and raise their voice every day for their needs and rights. Cause we only got one life, embrace it and never let fear rule.
Describe the song with 4 words:
Energetic, powerful, driving and unique.

What can we expect to see on stage for the performance?
I am more focused on my vocals, I don’t want to make a ballet show or something like that, I want to be the voice of all this project, hear me now.
Have you heard any of the other songs in the competition (FiK 56)? Anyfavorite?
I have a lot of friends and a lot of favorites.

Do you know what you are going to wear for the shows? Can you give me a hint?
The only hint is black and white.
What do you like about Eurovision?
I like the spirit of Eurovision, a lot of artists from all over Europe sharing their cultures and bringing joy and dynamics with their performances, a lot of colors or in one word a RAINBOW.

What do you dislike about Eurovision?
I don’t like the voting at all, why should we vote? Let a jury do that :D
Tell me the first thing that comes to your mind when you hear the word:
Orchestra: Actually my grandpa used to call me ORCHESTRA (Very near as word with ORGESA) and he really thought that was my real name.
Hair: I love the musical HAIR, I know all the songs, it’s pretty educational
Simply the best: Tina Turner is simply the best singer that’s all
Nightmare: Sometimes I have a lot of nightmares, I am human
Watermelon: I love it, one of my favorite fruits, I like the green one
Dreams: I am very dreamy
Is there anything you want to say to close the interview?
I loved this interview, now you know everything about me, but hey did you know that I am a mommy? I have a 5 year old daughter named BORA (It means Snow) and a nearly 3 year old son named KRONI (It means Source). I am a proud Mom or as I call myself a COOL MOM :D
Thanks to Orgesa for this lovely interview! Wish her all the best in FIK!


Sunday, May 14, 2017

Eurovision 2017: And the winner is...


The grand final of the Eurovision Song Contest was very special this year, I still cant believe that Portugal won both the Juries and the televoting but thats what happens when an entry is that magical. Im so happy for all the portuguese fans, they deserve this victory so much and I cannot wait to see what Portugal is going to prepare for next year.

Luisa and Salvador gave us another beautiful moment on stage, what a lovely way to close the show.

Im so proud of her! <3 Cannot wait to get more music from her!





I gotta say thanks to the escxtra team for giving me another amazing esc experience and thanks to Ukraine for those 3 good shows! Next stop: PORTUGAL!
Photos: Andres Putting

Friday, May 12, 2017

Eurovision 2017 - Semifinal 2: The Results

Here are my comments about the 2nd semifinal:

Lets start with a shout out to Jana Burčeska who is pregnant and got engaged last night!

10. Croatia: Jacques Houdek - My Friend
Im not a fan of this cheesefest but I gotta admit that they did a solid performance.

09. Israel: IMRI - I Feel Alive
What a lame choreo but he looks good so who cares, right? #ironic

08. Austria: Nathan Trent - Running On Air
He is so adorable and I think his performance was good.

07.The Netherlands: OG3NE - Lights and Shadows
They are such great singers, it's a shame the song and the performance are just okay.

06. Romania: Ilinca ft. Alex Florea - Yodel It!
I really dislike this entry but I get why some people like it and I am okay with that, would I like to see it in the top 5? Hell no! but I think that is where they are headed

05. Denmark: Anja - Where I Am
Nice performance!

04. Norway: JOWST - Grab The Moment
Not much to say here, I liked what they did on stage. (I hate the pre recorded sample though)

03. Bulgaria: Kristian Kostov - Beautiful Mess
He is a superstar and I wish he had a better song.

03. Belarus: Naviband - Story of My Life
I love them and Im so glad they qualified!

01. Hungary: Joci Pápai - Origo
Joci's stage presence really improved and I loved the atmosphere they created on stage.

Photos: Andres Putting

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Eurovision 2017 - Semifinal 1: The Results

Hello Europe! Here are my comments about the results from the 1st Semifinal:

Let's start with a shout out to one of the countries that didnt qualify:

Finland: Norma John - Blackbird

I dont get how this brilliant act didnt qualify, Leena & Lasse did a beautiful job on stage and they will be missed on saturday. 

10. Greece: Demy - This is love
She is beautiful but this is not love but just a mediocre entry, she deserved so much better than a 2006 Cascada wannabe song.

09. Australia: Isaiah - Dont come easy
I like Isaiah but last night wasnt his night and I dont get how this qualified.

08. Poland: Kasia Mós - Flashlight
Im not a fan of this song but I liked Kasia's performance.

07. Moldova: Sunstroke project - Hey mamma!
Fun performance!

06. Sweden: Robin Bengtsson - I cant go on
I still think this whole act is too stiff.

05. Belgium: Blanche - City lights
Love the song and Blanche, but I would have liked a better staging though.

04. Armenia
Lovely staging and she is a great singer but I still dont love the song.

03. Cyprus: Hovig - Gravity
Pretty nice performance.

02. Azerbaijan: DiHaj - Skeletons
I loved every single thing about this performance! BAD BOY! Go DiHaj! 

01. Portugal: Salvador Sobral - Amar pelos dois
One word: WINNER!
This was just magical and I really hope this song made you all feel the same things I felt during those 3 minutes he was on stage. GO PORTUGAL! GO SALVADOR!

Photos: Andres Putting

Monday, March 20, 2017

Armenia 2017: Artsvik

Here is the Armenian entry: Fly with me by Artsvik
Im not sure how I feel about this entry, it has some good parts but it never explodes. Maybe I'll like it more on stage. Good luck Armenia.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Bulgaria 2017: Kristian Kostov

Here is the song that is going to represent Bulgaria is Kyiv: Beautiful mess by Kristian Kostov
Pretty nice entry. Im not crazy about it though but it might grow on me with a good performance. Good luck Kristian!

Russia 2017: Julia Samoylova

Here is the russian entry: Flame is burning by Julia Samoylova.

Sweet little song, I think it would sound better in russian. Good luck, Julia!

San Marino 2017: Valentina Monetta & Jimmie Wilson

Here is the song that is going to represent San Marino this year: Spirit of the night by Valentina Monetta and Jimmie Wilson
We all love Valentina but NO! This is just bad. She deserves so much better than this.

Iceland 2017: Svala

The winner of Söngvakeppnin 2017 is... SVALA!
The Icelandic NF was one of the best ones this year, I really liked the 7 finalists, so good job to all the acts and everyone involved in Söngvakeppnin! I love Svala, she is such a passionate performer, I hope her team works hard on the esc performance cause she is in the hardest semifinal and the performance as it is right now is pretty good but Im not sure how votable it is. Wish her all the best in Eurovision!

Shout out to DADI and his team!
(I've written a letter to Dadi saying "I LOVE YOU") This was so cute! I loved the song since the first time I heard it but the performance made it even better. So glad the Icelandic audience voted for them, I would have loved to see this in Eurovision. Good job Dadi!

Norway 2017: JOWST

Here is the Melodi Grand Prix 2017 winner: JOWST with the song "Grab the moment"

I'll start by saying that I didnt like this years MGP (VIVI, COME BACK! WE NEED YOU!) but I think Norway made the right choice. This is a very solid entry and I can see it qualifying tbh.

Lithuania 2017: Fusedmarc

Here is the lithuanian entry: Rain of revolution by Fusedmarc
I dont like it

Sweden 2017: Robin Bengtsson

Sverige, vi har ett resultat. Vinnaren av Melodifestivalen 2017 är...

I didnt have a big favorite this year in Mello so  I guess Im happy with the winner. I like Robin and I think this was the most complete act in the final (Nice song, vocals on point and a fantastic staging). I still think he needs to relax on stage and enjoy the performance more. Good luck in Eurovision, Robin!

Shout out to Ace & Mariette, they were the ones I liked the most in the final:

Photos: Sven Lindwall/Expressen

Serbia 2017: Tijana Bogićević

Photo: Rale Radovic
Here is the serbian entry: In too deep by Tijana Bogićević
I like it but there's something missing, it sounds a bit plastic. Maybe her live performance will make me like it more.

Azerbaijan 2017: DiHaj

Here is the song that is going to represent Azerbaijan in may: Skeletons by Dihaj

I really like this song, I think Dihaj is probably one of the most interesting acts that Azerbaijan have chosen to represent them and I cant wait to see her on stage. Good luck!

Friday, March 10, 2017

Macedonia 2017: Jana Burčeska

Photo: AD Photography
Here is the Macedonian entry for ESC 17: Dance alone by Jana Burčeska.

This is definitely a very surprising entry from Macedonia, Im impressed! I can see it doing pretty well with a great visual performance. Good luck Jana!

Ireland 2017: Brendan Murray

Here is the song that is going to represent Ireland this year: Dying to try by Brendan Murray.

This is better than what I was expecting from Ireland but I dont think this will be one of my favs. Good luck Brendan!