Offchestra are one of the 26 participants in the Albanian Festivali i Kenges, which takes place this weekend in Tirana. Their music is rather unique, as they like to mix very different genres in their songs – “Bajram”, their entry in Festivali i Kenges being one of them.
We had a great pleasure to speak with Sezgin Curi, the front-man of this band, and ask him about their career, their song in Festivali i Kenges, as well as their views on the Eurovision Song Contest. Check out all of that and more in the following interview:
- Hello guys! Thank you very much for taking your time out for doing this interview. Can you tell us a little bit about your band for the start?
Hello ESCBubble, I am very thankful for your invitation too! So, “Offchestra” was formed in 2011 in Pristina / Kosovo by two musicians: myself – Sezgin Curi, and Ilir Livoreka. After a few changes within the group members, right now our group consists of seven members which include: (myself) Sezgin Curi (Vocal/Bass), Faruk Banjska (Guitar), Ilir Livoreka (trombone), Dukagjin Muhaxheri (Alt/tenor sax), Ardian Bytyqi (Clarinet), Granit Paçarada (Drums), Erol ‘Charlie’ Daka (Percussion). As well as the genre of the music we name it as the Offchestra’s music, is synthesis of different styles of musics such as: the Albanian/Balkan music, mainly combined with Ska, Reggae, Latin, Dub, D’n’B etc.
- How did you decide to send in a song, and take part in Festivali i Kenges?
We decided to take part in this festival very spontaneously. We discussed this issue all together with the members, so, we decided to go on, because this will be very helpful for our future, and it is a good opportunity for our carrier too.
- Can you tell us a little bit about your song, “Bajram”?
The song is written in Albanian. The word “Bajram”means “holiday, holidays, feast, festival, fete, fiesta”. The Kosovo society, I mean the Kosovans, mostly are very joyful people, and we celebrate each holiday no matter which religion we belong to. This song teases our society, in a comic, satire way, and shows how we forget all the problems when the holidays are, and we are just celebrating no matter the commitments or responsibilities we have. This song is understandable for Kosovans because the song has to do with our mentality, exclusively with our way of living. The song will be modified in English, but we will do it only if we win the festival and if WE are going to represent the Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest.
- Was this song written especially for Festivali i Kenges, and Eurovision?
Before we decided to take part in the festival, the song had a raw form. After the proposal to take part in the festival, we started to work much more on this song, to give our best to create the excellent song, and we all together believe that this it it, we got it!
Currently we are engaged in a few projects. But right now, most of the time we are engaged around our performance for the festival. Simply we think that everything must be wonderful and our aim is only and only to win the festival.
- What other projects are you currently engaged in?
Currently we work on other two new singles which will be released immediately after the festival. Meanwhile, next year in April we will work on our first album.
- Have you already had some thoughts about how your performance is going to be on stage?
Offchestra will perform together with the Albanian state television’s orchestra on stage. We think that it will be quite interesting for the public to see our joint performance. We will have some surprises as well, while performing the song the on stage.
- Who do you think is going to be your biggest competition to win?
I think that we have a particular style of performance, and this was one of the most positive motivations to participate. All participants have shown their quality with their own style. But honestly I think that there will be a big competition among the performances such as ballad/rock/pop in this festival, also I would like to mention that there is no competitor/contestant that cultivates music as we do!
Actually it would be a giant privilege for us to represent Albania in the Eurovision Song Contest. This is also a great reason to participate in Festivali i Kenges. As I said before, this will be an excellent opportunity for the future career of an artist/band!
- Are you guys Eurovision fans, and have you got an all time favourite Eurovision song (either Albanian, or from any other country)?
There are a lot of songs we are listening to even nowadays, which were part of Eurovision in the past. I can mention one of the songs that all the members of the band remember and like, and that is Athena – “For Real”. It’s important to mention the great performance of Rona Nishliu with the song “Suus”, who had success worldwide.
- Do you have a message for all your fans, and for all the readers of ESCBubble?
We would like to say hello to the all our fans who listened and/or supported our style, and people who like our genre we are doing. For those who would like to listen our genre and our songs for the first time, they can find us on our official website, as well through all social networks like facebook/youtube/instagram, or just by searching OFFCHESTRA.
- Thank you very much, and we wish you all the best in Festivali i Kenges!
Thank you very much interviewing us! We appreciate it!
Falemnderit shume.(Thanks a lot in Albanian)
Offchestra will be taking part in the first semi final of Festivali i Kenges, on the 26th of December. Until we’re waiting to hear “Bajram” for the very first time, give a listen to one of their most known songs – “A bon?”