ALBANIA : “I see Eurovision not as a competition, but as a concert where I can sing my music and enjoy the big stage,” – Elhaida Dani

Elhaida Dani - Photos courtesy of Orsola Mema by Class Photography

Elhaida Dani – Photos courtesy of Orsola Mema by Class Photography

ALBANIA : “I see Eurovision not as a competition, but as concert where I can sing my music and enjoy the big stage,” – Elhaida Dani

Mirëmbrëma Evropë, Shqipëria duke bërë thirrje! Or in English, Good evening Europe, Albania calling! This week at Eurovision Ireland, we caught up with the lovely Elhaida Dani, who is busy getting ready to sing for Albania in Vienna next month. Want to know what she thinks about her massive recent international success, taking part at Eurovision and getting almost 1 million YouTube hits in just one week? Read on!


Hello there Elhaida! It’s been quite a busy year for you! Did you ever imagine after winning The Voice of Italy that you’d get the chance to sing for Albania at Eurovision?

This is true, I feel very lucky. All of my dreams are becoming reality lately and I could not be happier about this. I have always worked hard to achieve my goals because I know that if you want to make your dreams come true, you should never take anything for granted. But being the winner of The Voice of Italy and participating for Albania at Eurovision is something really important for my career.

How did it feel to when you won Festivali i Këngës 53 in December?

Being the winner of this festival has been an honour for me. After being announced the winner, I immediately started thinking about the Eurovision performance in Vienna and since then I didn’t have time to enjoy that beautiful moment anymore! 🙂


Great to hear you started preparing for Vienna immediately! What was it that inspired you to start singing in the first place?

My passion for music grew thanks to my mother. I used to sing when I was very little, and started studying piano since the age of 6. My biggest music influences have been singers like Whitney Houston and Etta James.


Some great influences there! Has anything really embarrassing ever happened to you while singing live on stage?

Well it’s true things don’t always go according to plan. Normally I have never had problems when singing live, but I remember New Year’s Eve this year I was so sick that I could barely speak, and that night I had to sing in a very important stage, well I ended up by cancelling it.


Oh dear, that’s a real shame. Hope you felt better quickly! Can you tell us if there is a song you wished you had written?

I would say one of my favourite songs ever, Adagio. This is a composition of Albinoni and lately has been sung by Lara Fabian, and is also one of the songs who made me become famous in Italy.


Well we can see why, it is a very beautiful song. Now, your Eurovision entry is called “I’m Alive”. Can you tell us what the song is about?

After the withdrawal of the first song ‘Diell’ I had very little time left to create and find another song for Eurovision. So I contacted the composers of the song ‘Zzapn’ and ‘Chriss’ while I was in Kosovo and the very next day we started working for the new song. We had no idea what the song would be like, but we stayed closed in the studio for days until “I’m Alive” was created.


The music video for “I’m Alive” shows young woman doing various different jobs, each shedding a single tear. How did the idea for this come about?


I met with the director of the video just two days before recording and in that day we decided everything about the story board. I knew I wanted this video to be about strong women who even though they have very important professions, like doctors and police women, they still fall in love and have their hearts broken. But also that they are still strong and don’t give up on life, their dreams or anything. That’s why the tear at the end of the video never falls but goes in reverse.


That’s a very powerful message, no wonder the video got almost 1 million views in just one week on YouTube. How did that make you feel?

Well this is one of the most beautiful feelings ever. 1 million in a week is a lot, and I can see here the support of the public which I really appreciate!


Originally, you were going to sing “Diell” in Albanian, now you’re singing “I’m Alive” in English. Do you think singing in English will help Albania reach a wider audience?


I think that singing in English makes it easier for the song to be understood and appreciated more for the international public. I wanted everybody to hear this song, and singing it in English can make this happen. But of course, an Albanian version is going to be released soon too.


Well we look forward to hearing that! Speaking of Eurovision songs, do you have a favourite winning song from Eurovision?

Maybe Loreen, with ‘Euphoria’ for Sweden in 2012.


An excellent choice! How do you think it would make you feel if you won the Eurovision Song Contest?

I don’t want to think about that. I like to see the Eurovision Song Contest not as a competition, but as concert where I can sing my music and enjoy the big stage.

Albania. Photo : James Scanlan

Albania. Photo : James Scanlan


That’s a very refreshing point of view Elhaida! The true spirit of Eurovision! Now, here at Eurovision Ireland, we’ve been to Albania and know what a beautiful country it is. If you won Eurovision and could choose, where would you host Eurovision in Albania?

I’m so happy to know that you’ve been in my country! The capital Tirana would be a good place I guess 😛


We agree, Tirana is a lovely and vibrant city. Lastly, do you have a message for your fans in Ireland and across Europe?

I want to thank you all for the support and the messages I get every day. I hope to see you soon. Much Love 🙂

Awww… well thank you Elhaida! E Faleminderit shumë for taking the time to answer our questions, best of luck with your preparations and see you in Vienna!! 😀


Author : James Scanlan

Source : Eurovision Ireland

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