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Malmö messages: from rainbows to proud Eurovision fans

Azerbaijan: Fahree and Ilkin Dovlatov represent Azerbaijan. In the photos that have been released, it becomes even clearer that hands play a leading role in “Özünlə Apar”, the song Azerbaijan is sending. For the first time, the Azerbaijani language can be heard at the song contest, albeit in a few lines. The entry doesn’t impress much; bookmakers place it in 34th position. Australia: Many people were curious about how Electric Fields would perform their song “One Milkali (One Blood).” Lots of color, lots of instruments including a didgeridoo, and Zaachariaha wearing a white dress on which a rainbow is projected. Since the first rehearsal, Australia has been climbing in the bookmakers’ rankings. They now predict a 25th place for the country. Portugal: We’ve seen masked men before today. The Portuguese singer Iolanda is surrounded by them. Although these gentlemen bear a striking resemblance to beekeepers in their attire. But in Portugal, of course, it’s about the song and the music, as Salvador Sobral intended. Iolanda is unlikely to match Salvador’s success. Currently, bookmakers even predict her to reach 33rd place. Luxembourg: How proud Eric LeMan must be! This Luxembourgish Eurovision fan has hoped for years that his country would return to the festival, and his wish has come true. Of course, he was involved in the auditions himself. Tali represents Luxembourg with an energetic entry. It’s all about dance with “Fighter.” Tali is getting warm from it. Who knows, Luxembourg might make it to the final. However, the bookmakers are skeptical and place the country in 30th position. And in the end, we have a small update from Finland. We spoke to windows95man. “We’re still figuring out what we want to do with the pyro, as last rehearsal we used too much, but this time we used too little” We think he doesn’t want to burn his socks again.

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🇦🇿 Road to Malmö: Azerbaijan

photo: EBU We can not wait for the Eurovision Song Contest in Malmö. Therefore, we have a closer look at one of the contestants every day. Today: Azerbaijan. Fahree Fahree, an emerging Azerbaijani musician, was born into a culturally rich family in Baku, 1995. With a jazz drummer father and an esteemed actor grandfather, the arts were deeply ingrained in his upbringing. Despite a diligent academic pursuit resulting in law degrees, the 2020 pandemic rekindled his inherent musical inclination. Forsaking law for his true calling, Fahree launched his music career with the 2022 hit “Dance.” Further success came with “Apardı uzağlara,” a collaboration with Mila Miles. His track “Yollar” solidified his rising fame in February 2023. Come March 2024, Fahree’s artistic journey ascended as he was chosen to represent Azerbaijan at the Eurovision Song Contest. Ilkin Dovlatov Ilkin Dovlatov, a distinguished Azerbaijani mugham vocalist, was born into a musical family on June 16, 1990, in Baku. His talent emerged early with a debut performance at age four. Recognized by his school music teacher, Dovlatov pursued his musical aspirations, leading to his acclaim as the runner-up on The Voice of Azerbaijan in 2023, guided by mentor Ilqar Khayal. He further showcased his abilities in the Azəri Star contest. In October 2023, he joined the final contenders for Azerbaijan’s Eurovision entry, eventually teaming up with Fahree to perform “Özünlə apar” on the Eurovision stage, representing their cultural heritage with pride. Mugham Mugham is an intricate form of traditional Azerbaijani music, renowned for its rich improvisational character. It intertwines passionate singing with the complex modal structure of the “mugham” modes, often accompanied by the tar (a long-necked lute), the kamancheh (a bowed string instrument), and the daf (a type of frame drum). Rooted in the cultural intersections of the Silk Road, mugham is more than music; it’s a spiritual journey that narrates stories of love, loss, and the divine through its deeply emotional and philosophical performances. This UNESCO-recognized art form is a cornerstone of Azerbaijani culture, reflecting the nation’s soul and historic ethos. It is the third time (after 2008 and 2012) that a mugham singer can be heard at Eurovision. Seyid Sushinski Ansambl, Mugham, photo: Wikimedia Commons Azerbaijan in the Eurovision Song Contest Elnur & Samir represented Azerbaijan in the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest with the song “Day after day”. It meant the debut of the country in the contest. With an 8th place, it was an immediate succes. So far the first and only victory came already in 2011, when Ell & Nikki won the contest with “Running scared”. But let’s not forget AySel & Arash (3rd in 2009), Safura (5th in 2010), Sabina Babayeva (5th in 2012) and Farid Mammadov (2nd in 2013). Last year, the twins TuralTuranX didn’t make it to the final. Ell & Nikki The Bookmakers Currently, Azerbaijan has a 30th place in the odds to win the contest. If we look at that, it might be a tough job for Azerbaijan to reach the final. However, stage performance and act might lift the country up in the ranking. The song And this is the song:  

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Ilkin Dovlatov

@EBU/Sarah Louise Bennett About Quick Facts Nameİlkin Dövlətov Born16 June 1990 Nationality🇦🇿 Azerbaijani National SelectionInternal selection 2024 In Eurovision2024 Malmö SongÖzünlə apar (& Fahree, 2024) Biography Ilkin Dovlatov (Azerbaijani: İlkin Dövlətov), born on June 16, 1990, is renowned for his contributions to Azerbaijani music as a mugham vocalist. Born into a musically inclined family in Baku in 1990, Dovlatov was greatly influenced by his father, sparking his interest in music from a young age. At just four years old, he performed “Qəlbimdə qaldı,” marking the beginning of his musical journey. His exceptional singing talent was recognized by a school music teacher who encouraged him to showcase his musical talents. Dovlatov’s career saw a significant milestone in 2023 when he participated in The Voice of Azerbaijan, specializing in native songs, under the mentorship of Ilqar Khayal. He secured the runner-up position in the competition and has also been a contestant in the Azəri Star song contest. In the latter part of October 2023, İctimai Television announced a group comprising Ilkin Dovlatov, Mila Miles, and Etibar Asadli as contenders in the 2024 Eurovision Song Contest selection process for Azerbaijan. They progressed to the final six candidates the following week, performing the song “İnsanlar.” Although Fahree was initially chosen for the Eurovision representation on March 7, 2024, a subsequent announcement on March 13 revealed that Dovlatov would join Fahree on stage, presenting the song “Özünlə apar.” Unfortunately, the two didn’t reach the final. Entries Özünlə apar (& Fahree) Country🇦🇿 Azerbaijan Year2024 LanguageEnglishAzerbaijani LyricsFahreeMado Salikh MusicFahreeEdgar RavinHasan HaydarMila Miles Backings– Results Semi Points: 11Position: 14Running order: 12 Results Finals Points: –Position: –Running order: – https://youtu.be/QhN9r8TH2Hw?si=GOjsQd0BfXoI7M94

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🇦🇿 The last entry of this year, Azerbaijan: Fahree & Ilkin Dövlatov with “Özünlə apar”

“Özünlə apar” is the song Azerbaijani Fahree will sing to represent his country during the Eurovision Song Contest 2024. All other countries had already announced their artist and song but Azerbaijan waited a while to release their song “Özünlə apar” on March 15th. And thus concluded the 37 act announcements. Fahree will perform the song together with singer Ilkin Dövlətov. Ilkin is known for his participation in the Azerbaijani version of “The Voice”. The song is a mix of pop and traditional elements. The music styles of the two artists will compliment each other. Fahree is considered a primarily pop artist while Dövlətov is known for incorporating more traditional and folk elements into his music. Additionally, Fahree stated: “We have already started preparations, our stage choreography will be really different and spectacular. Since the stage structure is very big and difficult, I will start acting lessons.” Moreover, a very interesting message was conveyed by “The Azeri Times” about Armenia’s participation in the Eurovision Song Contest, “Jako” by Ladaniva. More specifically, the following text was posted on the official Twitter/X account of “The Azeri Times”: “Lovely music accompanied by a beautiful theme. The day we exchange 12 points between Azerbaijan and Armenia will be a beautiful symbol of true peace. Here’s to hoping for that day!”  

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Fahree

© EBU/Sarah Louise Bennett About Quick Facts NameFahree Maisan Born10 April 1995 Nationality🇦🇿 Azerbaijani National SelectionInternal selection 2024 In Eurovision2024 Malmö SongÖzünlə apar (ft. Ilkin Dovlatov, 2024) Biography Born in Baku in 1995, Fahree grew up surrounded by the arts, with a father who was an avid jazz drummer and a grandfather renowned as an actor. Throughout his university years, Fahree diligently pursued a career in law, earning both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree over six years. Yet, during the 2020 global pandemic, Fahree experienced a revival of his early passion for music, deciding to fully embrace it. Emboldened to leave behind his potential career in law, Fahree pursued his true passion.  In June 2022, he released the track “Dance”, which was his first breakthrough. A collaboration with Mila Miles, “Apardı uzağlara”, followed in October of the same year. In February 2023, he released the song “Yollar”. On March 7th, 2024, it was announced that Fahree will represent Azerbaijan in the Eurovision Song Contest. Unfortunately, he and his duo partner Ilkin Dovlatov didn’t manage to reach the final. Entries Özünlə apar (feat. Ilkin Dovlatov) Country🇦🇿 Azerbaijan Year2024 LanguageEnglishAzerbaijani LyricsFahreeMado Salikh MusicFahreeEdgar RavinHasan HaydarMila Miles Backings– Results Semi Points: 11Position: 14Running order: 12 Results Finals Points: –Position: –Running order: – https://youtu.be/QhN9r8TH2Hw?si=nuqKU-3xDYlpkHrJ

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🇦🇿 Fahree represents Azerbaijan

photo: EBU/İctimai Today, the announcement came that Fahree will be the representative of Azerbaijan in the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest. Born in Baku in 1995, Fahree grew up surrounded by the arts, with a father who was an avid jazz drummer and a grandfather renowned as an actor. Throughout his university years, Fahree diligently pursued a career in law, earning both a Bachelor’s and a Master’s degree over six years. Yet, during the 2020 global pandemic, Fahree experienced a revival of his early passion for music, deciding to fully embrace it. Emboldened to leave behind his potential career in law, Fahree pursued his true passion. Participating in the Eurovision Song Contest represents the fulfillment of his dream. The song he will perform in Malmö will be announced shortly. Fahree will perform in the 2nd half of the first semifinal. This Fahree song is NOT the Eurovision entry!

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Nigar Jamal

About Quick Facts NameNigar Aydın qızı Camal Born07 September 1980 Nationality🇦🇿 Azerbaijani National SelectionMilli Seçim Turu 2011 In Eurovision2011 Düsseldorf SongRunning Scared (with Ell, 2011) Biography Nigar “Nikki” Aydin qizi Jamal, born Nigar Mutallibzadeh on September 7, 1980, in Baku, is a celebrated Azerbaijani singer. Before embarking on her singing career, Jamal spent five years as a housewife. She attended Khazar University from 1997, studying economics and management for three years.  Her journey in the Azerbaijani music scene began in December 2010 with her participation in Milli Seçim Turu 2011, the national selection for Eurovision. Jamal’s initial performance in Heat 7 led to a joint first-place finish and advancement to the semi-finals. Ultimately, she and Eldar Gasimov triumphed in the final on February 11, 2011, earning the privilege to represent Azerbaijan at the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 in Düsseldorf, Germany. Performing as Ell & Nikki, their song “Running Scared,” penned by international songwriters, secured victory with 221 points. Following their Eurovision win, Jamal and Gasimov toured various countries to perform their winning song. Azerbaijan honored their achievement by issuing 15,000 commemorative postage stamps. In September 2011, Jamal made a guest appearance in the Turkish comedy series Yahşi Cazibe. In 2012, Jamal was selected as one of the five Azerbaijani jury members for Denmark’s Eurovision contestant selection. On December 1, 2011, she debuted her post-Eurovision solo track “Crush on You,” along with its music video. Subsequent releases included collaborations with Miri Yusif on “Qal” (“Stay”) and Eurovision 2008 winner Dima Bilan on “Come Into My World.” August 11, 2012, marked the release of her debut album “Play With Me,” featuring work with Danish songwriter Boe Larsen.  In early 2014, Jamal served as a judge on the Turkish edition of X Factor, where she played a pivotal role in producing the show’s winner. In 2015, she reached the no. 1 spot in the Turkish charts with the song “Broken dreams”. She teamed up with Berksan for the song “Herhalde”. A year later, she released the single “Çağıran da ürəkdi” and in 2017 she came up with “Sus”.  In 2023, she recorded several songs with Ell. Entries Running Scared (Ell & Nikki) Country🇦🇿 Azerbaijan Year2011 LanguageEnglish LyricsSandra BjurmanStefan Örn MusicSandra BjurmanStefan ÖrnIain James Farquharson BackingsLisa StadellVera PradaJessica MarbergerÅsa Engman Results Semi Points: 122Position: 2Running order: 18 Results Finals Points: 221Position: 1Running order: 19 https://youtu.be/_0tlQUW5X0U?si=zWTMOFFGj20ZpRnk

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Eldar Gasimov

About Quick Facts NameEldar Pərviz oğlu Qasımov Born04 June 1989 Nationality🇦🇿 Azerbaijani National SelectionMilli Seçim Turu 2011 In Eurovision2011 Düsseldorf SongRunning Scared (2011, & Nikki) Biography Eldar “Ell” Parviz oglu Gasimov, born on June 4, 1989, is a renowned Azerbaijani singer. Eldar Gasimov hails from a distinguished artistic lineage, being the great-grandson of celebrated Azerbaijani actors Abbas Mirza Sharifzadeh and Marziyya Davudova, and grandson of actress Firangiz Sharifova. His musical journey began in early childhood, leading to numerous performances across Azerbaijan and Russia. Between 2001 and 2005, he honed his skills in music and piano. Gasimov is an alumnus of Baku Slavic University, where he double-majored in international relations and regional geography. He pursued postgraduate studies in international relations at the same institution since 2010. Fluent in Russian and German, he also possesses proficiency in English. Gasimov’s Eurovision journey commenced with the Azerbaijani national selection, Milli Seçim Turu 2011. His initial performance in Heat 6 earned him second place, leading to the semi-finals and eventually the final on February 11, 2011. Teaming up with Nigar Jamal as Ell & Nikki, they represented Azerbaijan at the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 in Düsseldorf, Germany. Their song “Running Scared,” composed by international artists, clinched victory with 221 points. Post-Eurovision, Gasimov, alongside Jamal, toured various countries to perform their winning song. Azerbaijan commemorated their victory with 15,000 postage stamps featuring the duo. In 2012, Gasimov was a jury member for Denmark’s selection of its Eurovision contestant.  His first single post-Eurovision, “Birlikda nahayat” (“At last together”), was released in January 2012. Gasimov also co-hosted the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku. July 17, 2012, marked the release of his acoustic single “I’m Free,” with its official video following in September. The track, a collaboration with Azerbaijani DJ/producer ALIGEE, was produced by Farid Mammadov and Ali Abasbeili. In the academic sphere, Gasimov joined Baku Slavic University as a lecturer in international relations in October 2012. Eldar released a lot of singles, in English, Azerbaijani and Russian. He teamed up with Nikki again in 2013 for the single “Music’s Still Alive”. In 2014 he recorded “Ice On Fire”, a duet with Zlata Ognevich. In 2015 he teamed up with Rustam for the song “Gülümse”. In 2019, Eldar expressed support for the LGBT community through a post on his personal Instagram account. In 2020, he and VoColor released the song “Until The end”. From 2021 to 2022, Gasimov was a coach on The Voice of Azerbaijan‘s second season. His protégé, Nadir Rustamli, won and represented Azerbaijan in the Eurovision Song Contest 2022, achieving 16th place. In 2023, he released a new single and video, “Break Free”, and recorded several songs with Nikki. Entries Running Scared (Ell & Nikki) Country🇦🇿 Azerbaijan Year2011 LanguageEnglish LyricsSandra BjurmanStefan Örn MusicSandra BjurmanStefan ÖrnIain James Farquharson BackingsLisa StadellVera PradaJessica MarbergerÅsa Engman Results Semi Points: 122Position: 2Running order: 18 Results Finals Points: 221Position: 1Running order: 19 https://youtu.be/_0tlQUW5X0U?si=7_mUm-omYWujabhE

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Samir Javadzadeh

About Quick Facts NameSamir Cavadzadə Born16 April 1980 Nationality🇦🇿 Azerbaijani National SelectionLand Of Fire 2008 In Eurovision2008 Belgrade SongDay After Day (with Elnur Hüseynov 2008) Biography Samir Javadzadeh (born April 16, 1980, Baku) is an Azerbaijani singer. He started his musical education at a young age. In 1992, he began studying at Music School No. 9. He is considered a performer of Azerbaijani folk music. In 1997, he enrolled in the “Foreign Relations” faculty of the Business University. After graduating from the institute, he studied mugham (traditional Azerbaijani music) for 5 years. After one year of military service, he joined the group Sheron. In 2006, he left the group and started his solo career. In 2008, Samir Javadzadeh participated in the national selection to represent Azerbaijan for the first time in the Eurovision Song Contest. In the national final he performed the song “Day After Day” as a duet with Elnur Hüseynov. After the jury’s vote, they won. At the Eurovision Song Contest itself, Elnur and Samir reached the 8th place in the Grand Final. The single “Day After Day” gained popularity in many foreign countries, and the music video remained at the top of the charts in Azerbaijan for a long time. In July, Samir appeared in a commercial for the Neolit restaurant alongside Elnur and other singers. Later, he performed the legendary “Cheri Cheri Lady” song of Modern Talking together with Elnur Huseynov. However, due to rumors circulating about him, he took a long break from the spotlight and rested. His first songs as a solo singer were with the songs “Bəlkə” (mən bəlkə sən) and “Mənim üçün yox” .His performance of the song “Deyin ona” with Röya became a hit in Azerbaijan for a long time. After his participation in the 2008 Eurovision Song Contest, Samir Javadzadeh took a break from the spotlight. In 2010, Samir wrote and returned to the stage with the songs “Səninlə Birlikdə” (Quci, quci), “İnsafsızlar” (composed by Ramal Israfilov), “Təkcə Sənə Bağlanıb Qəlbim (Son görüş),” and “Bu da Son.” In January 2011, it was announced that his producer planned his first solo concert, but it was later announced that the concert would take place at the end of the year. In November 2017, he released a new single, with the title “Şəhər darıxır bizsiz.” After a long hiatus, on February 13, 2019, he released the music video for the song “Sev Məni,” which quickly surpassed 2 million views. The song reached the no.1 spot in the MTV Azerbaijan charts. On 19 February 2022, he released the song “Son görüş”, a song of Ranar Musayev. Entries Day After Day (Elnur & Samir) Country🇦🇿 Azerbaijani Year2008 LanguageEnglish LyricsZahra Bədəlbəyli MusicGovher Hasanzadə BackingsNames of the 2 dancers and 2 backing singers are unknown. Results Semi Points: 96Position: 6Running order: 7 Results Finals Points: 132Position: 8Running order: 20 https://youtu.be/6OGVL_9P5fw

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Liverpool Live: something is happening at the betting odds

The day with the most rehearsals continue. Eight more countries rehearsed today, only 20 minutes each. That means we can inform you if there were major changes in the act. photo credits: EBU/Chloe Hashemi/Sarah Louise Bennett Switzerland Remo Forrer performs in his black jacket and black plastic pants again. It seems there are not many changes since the last performance: Remo with his four dancers, who at a moment wrap him in long ribbons. It is something that reminds us of Sertab (2003) and the late Toše Proeski (2004). Switzerland is currently number 13 in the betting odds, so the final doesn’t seem far away for Remo. Israel The Israeli act is one where a lot happens. She and her dancers are standing in front of a bunch of squares. The dancers bring their hands to their heads, to depict the horn of a unicorn. And of course there is a lot of fireworks in this performance. Israel is currently number 7 at the betting odds. Definitely an entry to look up to, Noa can do very well. Moldova There seem to be no changes in the Moldovan entry: Pasha Parfeni is, in his second Eurovision performance, still surrounded by two backing vocals with a horn, made out of their hair. Two guys accompany them playing the drums. Moldova is currently number 20 at the betting odds. But with a 6th place in the odds for the first semifinal it feels pretty safe for Pasha. Sweden And than there is the other returning participant from 2012, Loreen. Of course there are no changes in the performance, as everything was already there way before the rehearsals… as always in Sweden. All the eyes are at Sweden at this moment, as she leads at the bookmakers. But note that there is something going on: she has now 42% chance of winning, while the runner up has 23%. They are coming closer to eachother. Azerbaijan What we didn’t hear from the first rehearsals but what we know now: the performance of Azerbaijan on screen starts in black and white. Later it fades to colour. It seems to fit to the combination of sixties-like music and rap. However, Azerbaijan is at this moment number 32 at the betting odds. So far that doesn’t give the twins much hope for a place in the final. Czechia Finally a country were there have been some changes: Czechia. The Vesna ladies have altered their hairstyle. During the opening verse, there is some intricate hair choreography, and their braids have become notably longer and weightier than they were on Monday. At this moment Czechia is number 11 at the bookies. The Netherlands We don’t know if there are any changes in the performance of The Netherlands. The people of eurovision.tv say they got goosebumps of the intimate performance Mia and Dion gave. When they are singing the camera turns around them. That seems to work. The bookmakers seem to be more positive about The Netherlands than they were, with currently an 18th place. However, they are 11th at the specified list for the 1st semifinal. Finland The last one is Finland with the same energetic performance we saw Monday. Today a video went viral where Käärijä dances on the music of “Tattoo”, Loreen’s song. At the betting odds something is happening. Finland is coming closer and closer to the first place. Yesterday they had 18% winning chance, now it is already 24%. That might make Finland a serious contender for the victory. in collaboration with Eurovision Artists

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