Albania’s 58th edition of Festivali I Kenges kicks off tonight with the first semi-final! We got the chance to catch up with Albanian musical legend Genc Tukiçi and his daughter Nadia who will open the show with their beautiful ballad “Ju flet Tirana”.
Hey Genc! First of all welcome back to FIK, what made you want to come back again and participate in 2019?
“Hi, One of the reasons that made me decide to go back to FiK is the inspiration I had while reading Agim Xheka’s poem. The second reason is the desire to sing with my daughter Nadia. She sings very well and plays the piano, she is very smart and very pretty, she’s everything to me.“
You are dueting with Nadia this year, what made you decide to enter together? You are a very talented family!
“It would be a fantastic thing to believe that talent is heritable… in this case it is : Nadia is very talented. We are coming together because emotionally and musically, we are a great combination!”
Nadia – This is your first time at FiK, it has such a huge history, what are you looking forward to most?
“Hi! Indeed Festivali I Këngës means a lot to me as I followed the other editions and as my uncle David Tukiçi participated and won the first time many times as a singer and composer. It is very natural to follow this family tradition. I do not expect anything but have pleasure singing with my father — it will be such a great memory for us in ten, twenty years !— and share with others this beautiful song.”
Whats it like performing with your father on stage?!
“Being on stage with my father is something very beautiful. Every musician, or interpreter is looking for somebody with whom he feels really good on stage. I already have this person, and it’s my father.”
Can you tell us a bit about your song “Ju Flet Tirana” and the story behind it?
“The text of JFT was written by Agim Xheka. He sent the poem to my father who was immediately charmed by the text and composed the song. The song tells about Radio Tirana which is the first radio that was broadcast in Albania. Albanians have a nostalgic link with this radio. But symbolically, this song tells about the Albanian language and its beauty, it’s a lyrical and maybe melancholic poem on Albania and its old history.”
How are preparations going for FiK?
“The preparations for FiK need a lot of concentration, work and musicality. The relations with the orchestra are very important too. There is much of good excitation as it will be the first time for Nadia on stage. We repeated three or four times with the orchestra, every time was going better.”
Going forwards from FiK, Albania has had a wonderful couple of years at the Eurovision Song Contest with entries in the Albanian language. How important do you feel this platform is in promoting Albanian language music and the talent there is?
“It is very important for this song at least to be in Albanian as its signification is more understandable in Albanian and touches more directly in Albanian. But this does not exclude another language. The most important is to transmit a message, and if the message is transmitted, whether it is in Albanian or English or whatever, this is not so important.”
Thanks to you both and best of luck for Festivali I Kenges!
“Thank you for this interview.”
You can take a listen to Genc and Nadia’s entry below
Don’t forget to vote in our poll below with who you want to win FiK!