This year at the Eurovision Song Contest 2023, Georgia have gone down ‘The Voice’ route of selecting their artist. On 2nd February 2023, that winner was realised with Iru Khechanovi winning the fifth season of the show, meaning she’ll head to Liverpool to represent her country in May. Iru however is no stranger to not only the music industry but also Eurovision. Want to find out more about her career so far? We take a look at Iru’s already impressive accolades also look forward to her participation at Eurovision 2023!
Who is Iru Khechanovi?
Irina ‘Iru’ Khechanovi was born in Tbilisi and has always shown a keen interest in music even from an early age. As child, she took part in various singing competitions and even won the ‘Best Singer’ prize at the Tbilisi Olympic Song Contest in 2009. Her biggest achievement so far would come on her eleventh birthday, where she won the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in Yerevan as part of the girlgroup ‘Candy’, bringing home Georgia’s second win in the contest.
Since then, she has continued to persue her musical passion and under the name ‘IRU’ she has been releasing her own music since 2021. Her most notable hit so far a Georgian language dark pop track titled ‘იდეა’ (Idea). Her sound is very pop and instant, singing in both Georgian and English. Even when her releases are packed with a contemporary beat she’s always given the opportunity to show off her vocals. This allowed her to rule the stage on ‘The Voice Georgia’ and ultimately win the competition.
Junior Eurovision 2011
Many eleven year olds don’t get the opportunity to showcase their talents on the world stage, but that is exactly what happened to Iru as part of the group ‘Candy’. Irina Kovalenko, Ana Khanchalyan, Mariam Gvaladze and Gvantsa Saneblidze made up the rest of the group who were managed by Georgian composer and Junior Eurovision powerhouse writer Giga Kukhianidze (three wins, two second places and a third place under his belt). Candy won the competition with 108 points with the song ‘Candy Music’ and it really gave Iru a taste for stardom.
The Voice Georgia 2023
After building up her career on her own, Iru decided to head back into prime-time television spotlight by taking part in ‘The Voice Georgia’ – knowing that a win would see her represent her country at Eurovision once more. She joined Team Dato Porchkhidze (who has the most wins of any judge on The Voice Georgia) and continued to gain mometum throughout the show, winning every single public vote round she was put in. The week she sang Eurovision winner ‘Rise Like a Phoenix’ she won 44.52% of the public vote. In the final she showed her Eurovision love once more by performing a stripped back version of ‘Euphoria’ with strings and a contemporary dance routine.
On Thursday 16th March, Georgia’s Eurovision entry for 2023 was released. Iru will sing ‘Echo‘ in Liverpool, a track that takes influence from many genres including pop, drum and bass and traditional sounds. If you love Giga Kukhianidze‘s writing in Junior Eurovision you’ll love his first attempt at the adult contest!
Georgia will perform in the second semi-final on 11th May 2023, in the second half of the show. Georgia have not qualified for the grand final since 2016 – and Iru will be looking to change their fortunes in 2023. Will she be able to bring their Junior Eurovision success to the main contest? We’ll have to wait until May to find out!