The 54th Festivali i Kenges, the long-running Albanian music competition which has served as the country’s national selection method since their debut at Eurovision in 2004 will take place in late December. Last week, the participants were revealed and on the list we can find many familiar names who will fight for the opportunity to represent Albania in Stockholm next year. One of them is Erga Halilaj who actually represented Albania twice as a backing singer for Hersi Matmuja (Copenhagen 2014) and Elhaida Dani (Vienna 2015). This year she will perform the entry called “Muza” in first semifinal of Festivali i Kenges. Erga spoke to ESCBubble about her forthcoming participation and Eurovision memories.
What was your first reaction when you discovered that you will take part in the Festivali i Kenges once again?
In fact it’s always a pleasure hearing that you are going to participate in a competicion such as Festivali i Kenges because it’s the most serious competicion here in Albania where all parts of the song are played live.
You are well-known by Eurovision fans as you participated in the contest twice already as backing singer for Hersi (2014) and Elhaida (2015). Tell us more about this ESC experience.
Being a part of the Albanian team in Eurovision twice was a wonderful experience and I would love to go there again even if I wouldn’t be the first vocalist.
Can you compare Eurovision in Denmark to Eurovision in Austria? Which one was better and more interesting for you?
Both of them were great but I have to say that I enjoy myself more in Denmark maybe because of people in general. And talking about the city, it was warmer than in Vienna.
You took part in Festivali i Kenges three times before, always in the Grand Final. Can you tell us more about “Monolog”? If you win Festivali i Kenges, would you like to sing your song in Albanian or English during Eurovision Song Contest?
My song this year is in R’n’B style and I think that English language would suit it perfectly.
Can you tell us a little about your career and music?
I have studied piano. I’m a concert maestro at the Filharmonic Orchestra of Albania plus I’m a piano teacher at the University but I love to sing the most and I have to sing because I can’t live without doing it.
What’s your favorite Eurovision song and why?
Definitely Ruslana’s “Wild Dances”. I love her song and here performance.
Finally, do you have any message for Eurovision fans who will watch Festivali i Kenges online?
I hope you will like my song and support me this year 🙂