TIRANA, ALBANIA – Kejsi Tola is back under the spotlights. Back in 2008, when she was only 17, she won the 47th Festivali I Këngës with her song “Më Merr Në Ëndërr”, a track that was later translated into “Carry Me In Your Dreams” for her participation to the 2009 Eurovision Song Contest in Moscow. With that uptempo ethnic song, she even managed to qualify for the Grand Final. After her Eurovision experience, Kejsi released several singles and took part to FiK again in 2009 and 2012. Since then, the singer has been quite discreet.

This year, the 22 year old artist, has decided to try her luck to another famous Albanian song festival, “Kënga Magjike” (Magical Song) to be held from December 11th to 13th in Tirana. Her entry is called “Iceberg (Ajsberg)” and was composed by Darko Dimitrov, a famous producer and songwriter from FYR Macedonia who is no stranger to Eurovision since he composed last year’s FYR Macedonia’s entry “To The Sky”.

“Iceberg (Ajsberg)” is a great modern pop song (something we’re not used to from Albania), that really suits grown up Kejsi Tola, and should do well in “Kënga Magjike 2014”, amongst the 40 other competing songs.

EDITOR’S VIEW

One question remains… Why didn’t Kejsi Tola decide to enter FiK 2014 with “Iceberg (Ajsberg)”? That modern pop song could have done very well and Kejsi could have represented her country again in Vienna. I think it’s time for RTSH to either choose “Kënga Magjike” as the national selection, or mix FiK and KM together for a great, varied cometition!

DID YOU KNOW?

Most countries don’t have a national song festival. Well, Albania has 3! The most famous of them all, is ‘Festivali i Këngës në RTSH” (RTSH Song Festival) created back in 1962 by the national broadcaster. Since 2003, FiK has also been the Albanian selection show for Eurovision. All FiK winners have been sent to the Contest with highly revamped (and sometimes translated) versions of their winning entries. This year, from December 26th to 28th, the 53rd edition will be held! In 1999, singer Ardit Gjebrea created a new competiton “Kënga Magjike” (Magical Song), also broadcast on RTSH (in late November or early December). The differences with FiK is the type of songs (far less classical and old fashionned, much more pop tunes), the fact that songs are premiered a month before the festival in a special show, and of course the use of playback for most performances. The latest festival (established by Top Channel in 2005) is called TopFest and is dedicated to rock and alternative tunes.

Written by Olivier Rocher (France)

Salut! Born just a few days after Marie Myriam's last victory for my homeland (that's a sign), I've been an ESC fan since Zagreb 1990. In late 2013, I was lucky enough to join the Oikotimes team and even attended my very first contest in situ in Wonderful Copenhagen. Then it was Vienna, Sofia, Stockholm and soon it will be Valletta and Kiev. More to come...