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. We can find many familiar names in the participant list who will fight for the opportunity to represent Albania in Stockholm next year. There are also a few newcomers to this festival, coming from talent-shows such as “The Voice”, one of whom is Nilsa Hysi who will perform the song titled “Asaj” in first semifinal. Nilsa spoke to ESCBubble about her forthcoming participation.
What was your first reaction when you discovered that you will take part in the Festivali i Kenges?
I’m honored to be in this festival. I used to watch Festivali I Kenges since I was a little kid but I never imagined I would be a participant. So, it was kind of a surprise to me. A lot of great Albanian singers perform there and it feels great to be part of it.
As it’s your first time in this festival, Eurovision fans don’t know you very well. Can you tell us more about your career, music and “The Voice” adventure?
Well… I started singing when I was 4 years old. I used to sing around the house and then at concerts in my hometown. A year ago I went to the audition at “The Voice of Albania” and even though I wasn’t sure they would call me back and say I was accepted, they did! Crazy, huh? “The Voice” was a great experience. I learned a lot – how to sing better, how to believe in myself, how to not fear the stage, the lights and the public, but to enjoy them. Also, I got some new friends and I had a lot of fun.
Why did you decide to submit “Asaj” to Festivali i Kenges? Who composed this entry and what we can expect from your song?
A couple months ago I had a melody in my head and I really liked it. I showed it to my friend, Indri. So, he asked me if I wanted to be part of Festivali I Kenges and I immediately said “yes”. We went to the studio, where I met Brizi and together we worked with “the melody inside my head”. “Asaj” is a song that everyone can enjoy. All you can expect from it, are some nice chords to hear and emotions to feel.
How are the preparations for Festivali i Kenges going? Do you have any ideas about stage performance, outfits etc.?
I’m working really hard. Also, I have an idea about the dress and the look. Stage performance is not something that I’m good at, but I’ll try to do my best.
If you win Festivali i Kenges, would you like to sing your song in Albanian or English during Eurovision Song Contest?
I think “Asaj” would sound very good in English.
Are you a Eurovision fan? What’s your favorite Eurovision song and why?
I have watched Eurovision every year, so yes… I am a fan. Even though it was years ago, my favorite song is “Wild Dance” by Ruslana. She did a great performance.
What do you think about previous Albanian Eurovision participants?
All the performances were wonderful and they represented Albania so well, they make us feel proud.
Finally, do you have any message for Eurovision fans who will watch Festivali i Kenges online?
Enjoy the show and I hope you start listening Albanian songs because they are awesome.