Kamela Islamaj: “I believe in ‘Love is Love’ and I wanted to give a voice to this community”

Kamela Islamaj is a jazz singer. She started her television journey after participating in a talent show, but her path with music started much earlier. Since she was 5 she learned to play the piano and at the same time she attended music events in her hometown. The power and uniqueness of her vocal managed to mesmerize the audience of many festivals in Albania.

Hello Kamela, you are back at Festival i këngës 59 for the fifth time what made you decide to apply once again?
Festivali I këngës is the oldest and most important festival in Albania so, one always considers participating. I am always happy to be there, show my art, push myself to be bold and original at the same time.

You participated at a lot of festivals and musical competitions in Albania which one is your favourite or has a special place in your heart?

Of course one of my favorites is Festivali I këngës. It gives you the opportunity to play with a symphonic live magnificent orchestra (except for this strange year), and it takes a lot of preparations to get on stage. Comptetitions always help you improve your performance vocally and visually.

How did the music you create change since your first participation at Festival i këngës 48 to this one and how do you feel about it?
Well, first of all I’m 10 years older. My first time at Festivali I këngës was with a song that Kristi Popa wrote for me and now I’m finally writing my own music. I’m less frightened of the big stage and I enjoy more the experience without getting influenced of what others may think or if I’m being liked.

What inspired you to compose music for “Kujtimet s’kanë formëcan” you tell us what’s the idea behind the song and what does it mean for you?

Actually, this year, in difference from last year, I created the music in one of those days when you feel down and showed it to Megi Hasani, who got inspired by the music and wrote the lyrics. We bonded since the beginning. As you can see it’s a moody song. It narrates the story of a break up, but gives a positive message to keep going and never look back.

Can you reveal us something about your performance?

Well, Festivali I këngës as you know will be on open air this year. Sure as hell there won’t be any body painting 😀 It’s going to be simple but magical, this I can say!

The competition of this year’s Festival i këngës is so tough, which act do you see as the biggest competitor/like the most?
There are a lot of amazing songs. The competition is very hard and I don’t really know which one to pick. Between the singers I have a lot of friends. One thing is sure, we’re gonna have a lot of fun.

What is your first memory related to Eurovision? Do you watch the show regularly and which song is your favorite?
I started to watch Eurovision song contest when Albania was first accepted to the competition and seeing Anjeza Shahini performing her song on an International competition it was something beautiful! I try to watch it every year. My favorite song of all is Salvador Sobral’s “Amar pelos dois” (yeah, I’m romantic)

Through your work as a musician you were very involved in support and promotion of many social causes such as “Down Syndrome Albania” and the LGBT + community in Albania can you tell us more about how did those cooperations start, how do they make you feel and if you have any other similar projects which you are working on?
Everything came very natural. I sang for down syndrome Albania on a charity concert 9 years ago and I became part of it since then, supporting these marvelous people. The collaboration with LGBTIQ started some years later. I wanted to be on the side of people who were supporting this community where, let’s face it, they have not had a simple life in Albania, so aside from the fact that I believe in Love is Love i wanted to also be somebody who gave a voice to this community.

What do you do when you are not creating music and singing?
Music is a big part of my life. When I’m not creating music, I am learning the ukulele.I teach piano and vocals in a private music school in Tirana. I do voice over and jingles for some local radio stations. A lot of gym. And try to enjoy the company of a book when I can.

What are your plans after Festival i këngës?
After festivali I kenges I am gonna lock myself up in the studio to finish some projects I already started. Hope to conclude 2021 with an album. Fingers crossed for a better 2021 and stay positive!

Do you want to share something else or you maybe have a message for followers of escbubble?
We are living in strange times. Check on your friends, give them a call. It doesn’t cost anything to you. Try to stay positive and try to stay mentally sane. Eventually we should try to enjoy the holidays and all this nightmare will come to an end. Love, love, love and only love!

You can listen to “Kujtimet s’kanë formë” below:

Don’t forget to vote for your favourite at Festival i këngës 59!

Vote for YOUR favorites in the 59th Festivali i Kenges! (vote for up to five songs)
  • Rosela Gjylbegu - Vashëzo 16%, 473 votes
    473 votes 16%
    473 votes - 16% of all votes
  • Anxhela Peristeri - Karma 14%, 397 votes
    397 votes 14%
    397 votes - 14% of all votes
  • Inis Neziri - Pendesë 12%, 359 votes
    359 votes 12%
    359 votes - 12% of all votes
  • Era Rusi - Zjarri im 11%, 315 votes
    315 votes 11%
    315 votes - 11% of all votes
  • Mirud - Nëse vdes 8%, 232 votes
    232 votes 8%
    232 votes - 8% of all votes
  • Kastro Zizo - Vallja e jetës 8%, 229 votes
    229 votes 8%
    229 votes - 8% of all votes
  • Orgesa Zaimi - Valixhja e kujtimeve 6%, 172 votes
    172 votes 6%
    172 votes - 6% of all votes
  • Gigliola Haveriku - E lirë 5%, 160 votes
    160 votes 5%
    160 votes - 5% of all votes
  • Xhesika Polo - Më mbron 5%, 138 votes
    138 votes 5%
    138 votes - 5% of all votes
  • Gjergj Kaçinari - Më jep jetë 5%, 133 votes
    133 votes 5%
    133 votes - 5% of all votes
  • Kamela Islamaj - Kujtimet s'kanë formë 2%, 69 votes
    69 votes 2%
    69 votes - 2% of all votes
  • Evi Reçi - Tjerr 2%, 63 votes
    63 votes 2%
    63 votes - 2% of all votes
  • Viktor Tahiraj - Nënë 2%, 53 votes
    53 votes 2%
    53 votes - 2% of all votes
  • Wendi Mancaku - Vesi i shpirti tim 2%, 49 votes
    49 votes 2%
    49 votes - 2% of all votes
  • Florent Abrashi - Vajzë 1%, 36 votes
    36 votes 1%
    36 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Festina Mejzini - Kush je ti dashuri 1%, 22 votes
    22 votes 1%
    22 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Sardi Strugaj - Kam me t'ba me kajt 1%, 22 votes
    22 votes 1%
    22 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Devis Xherahu - Peng 0%, 11 votes
    11 votes
    11 votes - 0% of all votes
Total Votes: 2933
Voters: 1286
November 19, 2020 - December 23, 2020
Voting is closed

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