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Festivali i Këngës

Besa

© EBU/Alma Bengtsson About Quick Facts NameBesa Kokëdhima Born29 May 1987 Nationality🇦🇱 Albanian National SelectionFestivali i Këngës 2024Festivali i Këngës 2011Selecţia Naţională 2009Festivali i Këngës 2009 In Eurovision2024 Malmö SongTitan (2024) Biography Besa Kokëdhima is an Albanian singer. She was born 29 May 1986 and known simply as Besa, is a renowned Albanian vocalist. Born into an Albanian family in Fier, Albania, Besa moved to the United Kingdom at 15 for her education. Her musical journey began in 2003 with her debut track “Më Beso,” a collaboration with Florian Mumajesi and Albanian group Produkt 28, earning her the Mikrofoni I Artë award. In 2006, she released her self-titled debut album, a result of collaborations with notable figures in the Albanian music industry. Besa’s musical career includes victories and notable participations in various contests. She won the R&B category at “Notafest” for her single “Lëshoje Hapin.” In december 2008, she participated in Festivali i Këngës. She reached the semi-finals of Romania’s Selecţia Naţională for the Eurovision Song Contest with “Nothin’ Gonna Change.” She was honored as the Best Female Singer at Top Fest 2010 with her single “Kalorësi i Natës.” In December 2010 she participated again in Festivali i Këngës. Besa has released several successful singles, including “Fishekzjarre,” “Burning,” and “Zemrën Dot Nuk ta Lexoj.” In addition to her music, Besa has served as a judge on The Voice of Albania and released two acclaimed albums, “Besa për Festat” and “Ti Je Festa Ime,” featuring collaborations with the National Orchestra. Her French ballad “En Equilibre” marked her entry into the French music scene in 2022. Her selection for Festivali i Këngës 62 with “Zemrën n’dorë” and her subsequent televoting victory to represent Albania in Eurovision 2024 are recent highlights of her career. For the Eurovision Song Contest, Besa changed the song into English language, now entitled “Titan”. Unfortunately, Besa did not manage to make it to the final. Entries Titan Country🇦🇱 Albania Year2024 LanguageEnglish LyricsGia Koka MusicBesa KokëdhimaKledi BahitiFabrice ‘Alias LJ.’ Grandjean BackingsKevonSofia Mountassir DancersRiina HarjuSofia RuijaYasmin Janatuinen Results Semi Points: 14Position: 15Running order: 2 Results Finals Points: –Position: –Running order: – https://youtu.be/aQG22XJIdWw?si=wxdieI4JethPQPMZ

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🇦🇱 Albania: second night Festivali i Këngës

Tonight is the second night of Festivali i Këngës, the Albanian national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest.  The second semifinal will be held tonight, 21.00 CET. You can watch it here and on YouTube. The show will be aired from the Palace of Congress in Tirana and will be hosted by Adriana Matoshi, Kledi Kadiu, Xhuliano Dule & Krisa Çaushi. Full results are not expected tonight. These are the songs: Big Basta & Vesa Luma sing “Mbinatyrale” Elsa Lila sings “Mars” Jasmina Hako sings “Ti” Michela Paluca sings “Për veten” Anduel Kovaci sings “Nan’” Irma Lepuri sings “Me prit” Eden Baja sings “Ajër” Erina & The Elementals sing “Jetën n’Skaj” Kleansa Susaj sings “Pikturë” Arsi Bako sings “Zgjohu” Tiri Gjoci sings “Në ëndërr” Besa Krasniqi sings “Esenciale” Bledi Kaso sings “Çdo gjë mbaroi” Troy Band sing “Horizonti i ëndrrave” Martina Serreqi sings “Vetëm ty”   Vesa Luma took part in 2005 (final), 2008 (semifinal) and 2013 (15th).Elsa Lila won Festivali i Këngës last year, but the choice of the televoters went to Eurovision.Arsi Bako took part in the 2023 semifinal.Tiri Gjoci participated in 2018 (final) and 2020 (final).Besa Krasniqi took part in 2016 (final).

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🇦🇱 Albania: Festivali i Këngës, first evening tonight

Tonight is the first night of Festivali i Këngës, the Albanian national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest. Normally, this marks the start of the national final season. However, this year everything is different. We already know two songs for Eurovision. The first semifinal will be held tonight, 20.00 CET. You can watch it here on YouTube and on Facebook. The show will be aired from the Palace of Congress in Tirana and will be hosted by Adriana Matoshi, Kledi Kadiu, Xhuliano Dule & Krisa Çaushi. Full results are not expected tonight. These are the songs: Stivi Ushe sings “Askush si ty” Besa Kokëdhima sings “Zemrën n’dorë” Mal Retkorceri sings “Çmendur” Eldis Arrnjeti sings “Nje kujtim” Shpat Deda sings “S’mund t’fitoj pa ty” Jehona Ponari sings “Evol” PeterPan Quartet sings “Edhe nje here” Festina Mejzini sings “Melos” Kastro Zizo sings “2073” Luan Durmishi sings “Përsëritja” Melodajn Mancaku sings “Nuk jemi ne” Olsi Ballta sings “Unë” Andi Tanko sings “Herë pas here” Sergio Hajdini sings “Uragan” Santino de Bartolo sings “Dua të rry me ty” Olimpia Smajlaj sings “Asaj”   Besa Kokëdhima already took part in 2009 (4th) and 2011 (8th).Festina Mejzini was present in 2017 (semifinal), 2018 (final) and 2021 (3rd).Kastro Zizo participated in 2020 (semifinal), 2021 (final) and 2022 (semifinal).Melodajna Mancaku and Sergio Hajdini both reached the final in 2023.Andi Tanko took part in the 2016 semifinal.Olimpia Smajlaj reached the final in 2022.  

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Albina Kelmendi

© EBU/Chloe Hashemi About Quick Facts NameAlbina Kelmendi Born27 January 1998 Nationality🇦🇱 Albanian National SelectionFestivali i Këngës 2022 In Eurovision2023 Liverpool SongDuje (2023) Biography Albina Kelmendi is an Albanian singer and songwriter from Kosovo. She was born in Peja, Kosovo (then part of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia). She studied clarinet and piano at a music school in her hometown and began performing with her family under the name Family Band. She became famous in 2014, when she was runner-up in the fourth season of The Voice of Albania. A year later, she took part in the twelfth edition of Top Fest, where she presented the song “Nuk ka ma mirle”. In June 2022, Albina Kelmendi released her debut album, “Nana loke”. In December of the same year, she participated in the 61st Song Festival, where she presented the song “Duje”, during the performance of which she was accompanied by five members of her family named the Familja Kelmendi. Despite being ranked second in the final night, the result of which was decided by a jury, the public vote chose her as the Albanian representative at the 2023 Eurovision Song Contest in Liverpool, United Kingdom. They reached the final and became 22nd there. Entries Duje Country🇦🇱 Albania Year2023 LanguageAlbanian LyricsEriona Rushiti MusicEnis Mullaj BackingsBujar KelmendiAlbana KelmendiAlbin KelmendiVesa KelmendiSidorela Gashi – Kelmendi Results Semi Points: 83Position: 9Running order: 14 Results Finals Points: 76Position: 22Running order: 10 https://youtu.be/TI9rSDhXwyc

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Albania: Festivali i Këngës 61, final

Tonight is the night: Albania will select it’s Eurovision entry. After two semifinals and a night with duets, the country will make a final decision. The show can be watched at 21.00 CET here and here and on Youtube. 21 songs are left. These are the titles: Enxhi Nasufi sings “Burrë” Erma Mici sings “Kozmosi i dashurisë” Fabian Basha sings “Një gotë” Fifi sings “Stop” Urban Band sings “Në çdo hap” 2 Farm sing “Atornike” Rezarta Smaja sings “N’Eden” Albina & Familja Kelmendi sing “Duje” Sergio Hajdini sings “Vështirë” Rovena Dilo sings “Motit” Melodajna Mancaku sings “Gjysma e zemrës sime” Gjergj Kaçinari sings “Dje” Franc Koruni sings “Në pritje” Petrit Çarkaxhiu sings “Emri yt mirësi” Elsa Lila sings “Evita” Genti Hoxha sings “Ajër” Evi Reçi sings “Ma khte” Manjola Nalbani sings “Dua” LYNX sings “Nëse ke besim” Alban Kondi & Lorela Karoshi sing “Melodi” Vanessa Sono sings “Aroma jonë”   Enxhi Nasufi took part in the 2016 final and became 6th.Fabian Basha took part in 2008 and became 15th in the final as a member of the group Produkt 28.The Urban Band reached the final last year.Rezarta Smaja took part in 2013 (7th), in 2014 (7th), in 2015 (7th), in 2016 (with Klodian Kaçani, 4th), in 2017 (7th), in 2018 (with Luiz Ejlli, final), and in 2022 (final).Rovena Dilo took part in 2004 (final), in 2008 (semifinal), in 2009 (with Eugent Bushpepa, 12th) and in 2010 (10th).Gjergj Kaçinari took part last year and reached the final.Franc Koruni took part in 2017 (11th) and 2021 (semifinal).Evi Reçi participated in 2021 and 2022, both times finalist.Manjola Nalbani took part in 2006 (final), 2008 (6th), 2018 (final). Due to a positive Corona test, she had to withdraw in 2021.LYNX took part in 2013 (14th), 2014 (15th), 2017 (10th) and 2018 (semifinal).Alban Kondi took part in 2008 as a member of Produkt 28 (15th).Lorela Karoshi took part in 2017 (12th). 

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Hersi Matmuja

© Albin Olsson About Quick Facts NameHersjana Matmuja Born01 February 1990 Nationality🇦🇱 Albanian National SelectionFestivali i Këngës 2014Festivali i Këngës 2013Festivali i Këngës 2012Festivali i Këngës 2011Festivali i Këngës 2007 In Eurovision2014 Copenhagen SongOne Night’s Anger (2014) Biography Hersi Matmuja is an Albanian singer. Born on February 1, 1990, in Kukës, Albania, Hersi displayed an early interest in music. She began her professional music career when she was quite young and by her teens had already gained considerable recognition in the music industry in Albania. She studied at the Artistic Lyceum Jordan Misja in Tirana, after which she went to Italy to study at the Santa Cecilia conservatory in Rome, pursuing a degree in music and specializing in canto. This further honed her musical skills, and she was able to blend her knowledge of classical and popular music in her performances. Hersi Matmuja is most recognized for her participation in Festivali i Këngës, an annual music competition in Albania and one of the longest-running musical events in the country. She participated in this competition several times, first in 2007. Participations followed in 2011, 2012 and 2013. In 2014, she won the competition with the song “Zemërimi i një nate,” which gave her the opportunity to represent Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest that year. The song was translated into English for the Eurovision Song Contest and performed as “One Night’s Anger.” Beginning in 2015, she started a collaboration with the Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio, contributing to multiple of their productions. Her outstanding performance in the orchestra’s version of Carmen earned her the role of Donna Elvira in Mozart’s Don Giovanni, reimagined by the Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio. For two consecutive years, this interpretation of Don Giovanni was performed. In 2018, she voiced the Credo, a religious piece from the Orchestra di Piazza Vittorio, performed at the Panteão Nacional in Lisbon.  On the experimental music front, she delved into the contemporary repertoire, particularly the pieces composed by Albanian artist Admir Shkurtaj. In 2016, she was featured in his opera Katër i Radës. Il Naufragio, a chamber opera produced by the Koreja Theater in Lecce. In 2018, she gave a live performance with the Mesimèr Ensemble of music. In 2020, she was part of the inaugural performance of the opera-concert KA. She also took part in the finale of the 40th Valentino Bucchi Composition Competition, performing three of the six final compositions. In 2019, Hersi Matmuja collaborated with Ilaria Fantin. They formed the duo Hana. The duo published their live videos on YouTube. In 2021 they did a tour through Italy. Also in 2021, Hersi released a new song and video, “Kënga çobanit”, which was inspired on the Luma folk tradition. In the same year, she co-organized the Gjallica International Festival, a festival with live music, poetry, workshops and the possibility to buy local products and see something of the area.   Entries One Night’s Anger Country🇦🇱 Albania Year2014 LanguageEnglish LyricsJorgo Papingji MusicGenti Lako BackingsErga HalilajDorian MetohuOlsa PapandiliEdris Kraja Results Semi Points: 22Position: 15Running order: 6 Results Finals Points: –Position: –Running order: – https://youtu.be/Ahu_K_Jh2vc

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Juliana Pasha

About Quick Facts NameJuliana Pasha Born20 May 1980 Nationality🇦🇱 Albanian National SelectionFestivali i Këngës 2010Festivali i Këngës 2009Festivali i Këngës 2008 In Eurovision2010 Oslo SongIt’s All About You (2010) Biography Juliana Pasha, born on May 20, 1980, is a prominent Albanian singer who has significantly influenced the music scene in her home country. Juliana’s journey into music began at a young age, paving her way to national recognition and international platforms. Juliana’s career took a notable turn when she participated in Albania’s national selections for the Eurovision Song Contest. Her early attempts in 2007 with “Qielli i ri” and in 2008 with “Një jetë,” a duet with Luiz Ejlli, saw her finishing 3rd and 2nd, respectively. These performances built a solid foundation for her musical career and increased her visibility in the Albanian music industry. The pinnacle of Juliana’s early career came in 2009 when she won the national final to represent Albania at the Eurovision Song Contest 2010 with her song “It’s All About You.” Performing in Bærum, Juliana showcased her vocal prowess on a grand stage. She successfully advanced to the finals, performed fifteenth, and ultimately placed 16th out of 25 contestants, receiving 62 points, including a high score of 12 points from Macedonia. Following her Eurovision appearance, Juliana continued to garner acclaim. In 2010, she won the prestigious “Kënga Magjike” festival with “Sa e shite zemren,” a collaboration with Luiz Ejlli.  In 2016, she performed at the Te Stela resort along with, a.o. Olta Boka and Kejsi Tola. A year later, with the same team she performed at Hotel Kalaja in Gjakovë, Kosovo. In March 2017 she released a new single, “Jeto!”, to get attention for human trafficking. In January 2018 this was followed by a benefit concert for the victims of human trafficking. In July 2018 she had a summer hit: “Në më jë”. In August 2019 she did the job again with the song “Yll i rralle”.  In early 2020, she became part of the La La Land music shows in Tirana. In November and December of the same year, she participated in the show Këngë Moj. In December she released the new single “Më e bukura mbi dhe!”. Beyond singing, Juliana expanded her influence by taking on the role of a mentor and judge in the first series of the Albanian and Kosovo version of “The X Factor.” Her expertise and experience brought valuable insights to the show, helping to guide and inspire a new generation of artists. Juliana’s contributions to music have been recognized with multiple awards. Notably, she received the Honorary Citizen Award of Burrel in 2010. Her other accolades include winning the Çesk Zadeja Prize at “Kënga Magjike” in 2005, the Critic Prize in 2008, and she won the third prize in 2012 and 2015. She also took part in the 2019 contest. In 2016, she won the Vulkan Award. Outside of her musical endeavors, Juliana is known for her deep faith and philanthropic efforts, particularly in combating the blood feud tradition in Albania through her involvement in the Hanna project. Her personal beliefs and humanitarian efforts have played a significant role in shaping her public persona and her approach to her career and life. Entries It’s All About You Country🇦🇱 Albania Year2010 LanguageEnglish LyricsArdit GjebreaPirro Çako MusicArdit Gjebrea BackingsGlenys VargasOlen CesariJoy GarrisonDesiree Kedjour Results Semi Points: 76Position: 6Running order: 12 Results Finals Points: 62Position: 16Running order: 15 https://youtu.be/idE_32NUJbo?si=Gqf82Iz2PO_y5yW0

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Eneda Tarifa

© EBU/Thomas Hanses About Quick Facts NameEneda Tarifa Born30 March 1982 Nationality🇦🇱 Albanian National SelectionFestivali i Këngës 2016Festivali i Këngës 2008Festivali i Këngës 2004 In Eurovision2016 Stockholm SongFairytale (2016) Biography Eneda Tarifa was born in Tirana, Albania, on March 30, 1982. Her career began in 2001 when she participated in Kënga Magjike with the song “Ika larg” (I’m leaving). In 2003, she took part in Festivali i Këngës 42 with the song “Qëndroj” (I Stay), and successfully qualified for the final. In 2006, Tarifa participated in Kënga Magjike again, this time with the song “Rreth zjarrit tënd” (Around Your Fire), and achieved a respectable 4th place with 154 points. She also received the Çesk Zadeja Prize. The following year, she competed in Festivali i Këngës 46 with the song “E para letër” (The First Letter) and finished tenth out of seventeen, earning 11 points. In 2008, she returned to Kënga Magjike with the song “Zëri im” (My Voice). In 2010, Tarifa participated in Top Fest 2010 with the song “Me veten” (With Myself), winning the competition. Subsequently, she worked as a host on the television program “Portokalli” on Top Channel for several years. After a break, Tarifa made a comeback in Festivali i Këngës 53 with the song “Përrallë” (Fairytale) and emerged as the winner. This led to her representing Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest 2016 in Stockholm, Sweden. The song was sung in English as “Fairytale”. However she did not qualify for the final. In 2018, Tarifa served as a judge on The Voice Kids Albania. In 2019 and 2020 she hosted the show Top Talent on Top Channel.In 2019, she won Kënga Magjike with her song “Ma zgjat doren”. In January 2021, she released a single called “Dashuri siberiani. The follow up of this song, “Për ty” reached the no. 1 spot in the Albanian charts. In that year, she also took part in Kënga Magijike again. This time it was in duet with Walter Ricci. Their song “Udhëkryq” reached the 4th place in the contest. In June 2022 she released a new single, “Cep më cep”, featured by Renis Gjoka. A month later, the song “Kjani trima” came out. Entries Song Title Country🇦🇱 Albania Year2016 LanguageEnglish LyricsOlsa Toqi MusicOlsa Toqi BackingsXhoni JesquBesa KrasniqiVenera Lumani Results Semi Points: 45Position: 16Running order: 17 Results Finals Points: –Position: –Running order: – https://youtu.be/jdT5EGcTjYw

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Aurela Gaçe

About Quick Facts NameAurela Gaçe Born16 October 1974 Nationality🇦🇱 Albanian National SelectionFestivali i Këngës 2011 In Eurovision2011 Düsseldorf SongFeel The Passion (2011) Biography Albanian vocalist Aurela Gaçe, born in the seaside city of Vlorë on October 16, 1974, first showcased her musical talent at the tender age of four and a half. Her debut performance at Vlorë’s Children’s Festival marked the beginning of a journey filled with numerous accolades. While Aurela viewed school primarily as a place for academic learning, her passion for singing often took center stage. Known for her spirited and rebellious demeanor, she was singularly focused on her musical aspirations. By 19, she had already made her mark at the national Radio Television Song Festival in Tirana with her stirring rendition of “Pegaso”, and shortly after, clinched a victory at the Spring Festival in 1994. Her ascent to stardom was catalyzed by her hit “Nata” at the RTSH Festivali i Këngës in 1995. In the ensuing years, Aurela bagged top prizes at the 1999 and 2001 Festivali i Këng:es with “S’jam tribu” and “Jetoj”, respectively. Her performance of “Fati ynë shpresë e marrëzi” also earned her second place in the 1998 festival. Not limited to musical prowess, Aurela’s early foray into acting brought her three special awards for her compelling interpretations of her songs, alongside a special accolade from Top Albania Radio. To further her musical career, she held two solo live concerts at the Palace of Congresses in Tirana in 1998 and 2000. Aurela’s educational journey culminated in 2000 when she graduated from the Academy of Arts in Drama, complementing her artistic portfolio which included two album releases in both 1998 and 2000. Her musical style, a fusion of pop and folk, has been a hallmark of her versatile career. In a bold move in 2002, Aurela relocated to America, seeking new challenges and adventures. Her exceptional vocal talent and electrifying stage presence quickly won her acclaim within the Albanian community in the US, spanning performances from local clubs to major concerts and private events. A highlight of her career was performing both the Albanian and American national anthems at an event attended by President Bill Clinton in 2004. She also starred in a special concert in 2007, organized by the famed photographer Fadil Berisha, paying tribute to legendary Albanian singers Vaçe Zela and Nexhmie Pagarusha. Aurela represented Albania in the 2011 Eurovision Song Contest with “Feel The Passion” and performed at the Fortuna Düsseldorf Arena in Germany. Marking a triumphant return to music in 2020, her single “Lento” quickly amassed over 1.2 million views on YouTube within a week, signaling a strong resurgence in her musical journey. Entries Feel The Passion Country🇦🇱 Albania Year2011 LanguageEnglish LyricsSokol Marsi MusicShpëtim Saraçi BackingsBledar SejkoEmiljano DhimoLamont Van HookMonetBeverly Results Semi Points: 47Position: 14Running order: 13 Results Finals Points: –Position: –Running order: – https://youtu.be/Mq0H6gY2jq4?si=BrMjGJ7hXUAY5E7r

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Lindita

© EBU/Thomas Hanses About Quick Facts NameLinda Halimi Born24 March 1989 Nationality🇦🇱 Albanian National SelectionFestivali i Këngës 2017Festivali i Këngës 2015Festivali i Këngës 2010 In Eurovision2017 Kyiv SongWorld (2017) Biography Lindita was born as Linda in 1989 in Pozharan, former Yugoslavia. Pozharan is currently part of Kosovo.monly known as simply Lindita, is a Kosovo-Albanian singer and songwriter. Lindita’s first succes came after winning the sixth edition of Top Fest with the song “Ëndërroja”  in 2009. She has released several singles, mostly ballads. In the same year, together with Erti Hizmo, she participated in Festivali i Këngës for the first time. In 2013 Lindita moved to the United States. She has had collaborations with Stevie Wonder and Valerie Simpson. She has also opened for the Backstreet Boys. In December 2014 she took part in the 53rd edition of Festivali i Këngës, where she finished third.  In 2016, she participated in  American Idol. In the same year, she won Festivali i Këngës with the song “Botë”. Sherepresented Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest with the English version of the song, “World”. The follow up of that song was “Rock whine”.  In 2018, she released the singles “Murday” and “Holiday”, followed in 2019 by “I betcha” and “Want my love”. In 2020, Lindita released four singles. A year later, she participated in Kënga Magjike with the song “Pa t’pa”, with which she reached a 7th place. In 2022 she released the singles “#GMFU”, “Love me like” and “Jealous”.   Entries World Country🇦🇱 Albania Year2017 LanguageEnglish LyricsLindita HalimiBig Basta MusicKlodian Qafoku BackingsGjergj KaçinariDenisa XhemnicaAnxhelo MihoGreta Radovani Results Semi Points: 76Position: 14Running order: 4 Results Finals Points: –Position: –Running order: – https://youtu.be/NyKOBMAXFFA

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