Albania has kicked off th Junior Eurovision 2015 season by choosing their entrant last night live on RTSH through Festivali i 51-të I Kënges për Fëmije. 14 songs took part and the winner is Mishela Rapo with her song Dambaje. The music was done by Adrian Hila while the lyrics were written by Mishela herself with help from Pandi Laco. Unlike in 2012, the kids did not decide the winner, but a 5 person jury did (amongst which sat Olta Boka and Juliana Pasha, ESC 2008/2010 entrants). They weren't the only ESC entrants there either - Kejsi Tola from ESC 2009 performed Carry me in Your Dreams! Wendi Mancaku and Vanessa Sono's 'Jeto' finished 2nd while Dario Zela's 'Hëna – çapkënia' came 3rd.
Mishela is 14 years old, born on 15th December 2000. She participated in the Albanian national final in 2012 with "Mama Mia Te Amo" (one of the best from that year!), so is very happy to have won on her 2nd try! Click here for the song!
Last night a press conference was held in Vienna regarding the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2015. "PBS really set the bar high in 2014," said Executive Supervisor Vladislav Yakovlev, as he opened the press conference by thanking to the 2014 hosts. "We are looking forward to a great event in Bulgaria this year as well."
What we found out is that the slogan for 2015 will be #discover.. discover Bulgaria, discover the music, discover the world, discover yourself. Sounds like it could be nice! As Joana Levieva Sawyer (Executive Producer 2015 said) "Young people discover the world and their dreams every day, and with our show we want to create a new world for them that they can discover". BNT will also invite both Krisia (with Hasan and Ibrahim) and Vincenzo to be a part of the show in Sofia. The venue will seat about 8000 people and they feel confident it will sell out! JESC stars Michele Perniola, Anita Simonchini, Arianna Ulivi and Vincenzo Cantiello were all present at the conference, sadly Ula Lozar was not there despite being in Vienna.
So, bring on Sofia 2015! See their 1st promo video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PYI18wMdPc and see the press conference here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EIM5gVx5Km4
Cast your mind back 10 years ago, to a cold winter and a lovely city called Hasselt. One decade ago, Belgium hosted the Junior Eurovision Song Contest 2005. In 5th place was Alina Eremia, representing Romania with her Wild Dances inspired song "Turai!". As well as having some of the best costumes ever in JESC, she also had some powerful lungs on her.
She has done quite a lot since JESC. She is in a TV show called "Pariu cu viața" where she plays a character called Ioana. She's also currently appearing on Te cunosc de undeva (Your Face Sounds Familiar). She is also a member of Lala band which is a 12-member pop-rock group which launched in 2011 and is very succesful with 150+ hours of live performances under their belt and five studio albums (including the best selling album in Romania of 2012). Liviu from JESC 2006 (New Star Music), Andrada from JESC 2008 and Bubu from JESC 2003 were all also in this group.
She's also been on the Romanian version of "Dancing with the Stars" and has worked on Disney movies, dubbing the voice of Pocahontas in Pocahontas and Pocahontas II: Journey to a New World and both speaking and singing voices of Belle in Beauty and the Beast, Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas and Belle's Magical World.
Now, she has just released a new single called "Played You", kind of a club music style, so check it out, it has 342,767 views in 3 days!
Exciting news for one of our JESC alumni. Sophie Debattista, who sang her self-written song "Extra Cute" for Malta in 2006 (and was extremely underrated I might add!), has been voted one of the top buskers in the world. Yes, I said world.
Now 20 years old, she has been living in London for the past two years and studying at The Institute of Contemporary Music Performance. When she was busking last summer while taking part in the "Mayor of London's Big Busk", she was noticed and invited to enter the Toyoya sponsored contest to find the world's best buskers, with organisors choosing people from over 50 different countries. So far she has made it into the top 50, and if she makes the final 12, she will be flown to New Zealand in June to perform at the Queenstown Winter Festival. The final six will form a new band made up of the ultimate street musicians.
Do you remember Dalita Avanessian who represented Armenia in 2011 with the very apt tune "Welcome to Armenia"? She has been pretty busy since her success in her home country, releasing many music videos and acting as a jury voter in JESC 2014. Most recently, she released the music video for her new song "It is Armenia". The video was filmed in Lebanon and was sponsored by the Holy Cross Harboyan High School. The song is sort of an ethnic ballad with lovely lyrics. Listen below: