You are currently viewing 🇦🇱 Sneak Peek – Festivali i Këngës 62 – Night 2

It’s time for the second night of Albania‘s song competition Festivali i Këngës, which will use televoting to determine their Eurovision representative for the second year running.

Once again, we will not hear the songs of tonight’s performers until this evening. However, we’re here to bring you everything you need to know about the artists and their previous efforts so you have an idea of what to expect. Keep reading to find out more!

Big Basta and Vesa Luma – Mbinatyrale

Both Big Basta and Vesa Luma have released music separately, with the latter having competed in FiK in both 2004 and 2012 with the songs ‘Flakareshë’ (‘Strong Blow’) and ‘S’jam perfekt’ (‘I’m Not Perfect’) respectively. However, having been married since 2015, the pair have also released a number of songs together, their most recent effort being ‘Nuk Do Flejme’ (‘We Will Not Sleep’) in 2017. You can listen to it below:

Only time will tell how the couple will fare onstage together at FiK but we can’t wait to hear their song ‘Mbinatyrale’ (‘Supernatural).

Elsa Lila – Mars

FiK’s reigning champion is back and it wouldn’t be the first time she came for a double win: a stalwart of the contest, Elsa Lila won twice in a row in 1996 and 1997. However, it is her 2022 win with ‘Evita’ that will be fresh in the minds of eurofans. You can listen to it below:

Last year, changes to the voting system saw Elsa just miss out on the chance to represent Albania at Eurovision. While she won the jury vote and therefore FiK overall, she placed second with the televote, meaning ‘Duje’ by Albina and Familija Kelmendi went to Liverpool instead. However, if there’s one thing Elsa nails, it’s FiK. Could her song ‘Mars’ be her ticket to Malmö, as well as a staggering fourth win?

Jasmina Hako – Ti

At just 18-years-old, Jasmina Hako has mainly been seen at the Albanian youth music festivals, including the Bulza JUTH Festival in 2023 with her song ‘Sikur’ (‘Like’). You can listen to it below:

Looking to make her mark on FiK as a new artist with the song ‘Ti’ (‘It’), we certainly wish Jasmina the best of luck!

Michela Paluca – Për veten

Michela Paluca was born and raised in Italy, where she began taking music lessons from the age of 6 and also discovered a passion for blues, soul and rock & roll music. In 2021, she won the TV talent show Mom, Po Ti!? which then led to her gaining a spot in the Albanian music competition Kënga Magjike with the song ‘Nje Perqafim’ (‘A Hug’). She ultimately placed second in the competition. You can listen to this song below:

Michela has also taken singing lessons from Albania’s 2010 Eurovision representative Juliana Pasha (who performed in Oslo with the song ‘It’s All About You’) and performs alongside her at her club Lala Land. Could having a former Eurovision contestant as her mentor work in Juliana’s favour? We’ll have to wait to hear her performance of ‘Për veten’ (‘For Myself’) to find out!

Anduel Kovaci – Nan

Returning for the second year running, Anduel Kovaci made his FiK debut last year with the song ‘Malli’ (‘Longing’) which you can listen to below:

While many FiK fans were impressed by the newcomer’s vocals, Anduel unfortunately did not progress to the final. Perhaps with his new song ‘Nan’ he will be more successful!

Irma Lepuri – Me prit

Making her FiK debut this year is Irma Lepuri, who was brought in as a replacement when Kejsi Tola and Samanta Karavella withdrew from the competition. Irma released the single ‘Duart, Buzët, Fjalë’ (‘Hands, Lips, Words’) last year, which you can listen to below:

Having nearly missed out on the chance to perform at FiK, Irma will be doing everything she can to make her mark with the song ‘Me prit’ (‘Wait For Me’).

Eden Baja – Ajër

Up next is another replacement act, this time filling the boots of Sardi Strugaj, who announced his withdrawal from the contest at the start of the month. Eden Baja is a young performer who has been noted for her striking vocal resemblance to Billie Eilish. You can listen to her 2020 single, ‘Running From Myself’, below:

Can Eden impress juries and televoters with her song ‘Ajër’ (‘Air’)?

Erina & the Elementals – Jetën n’skaj

So-called because they have, according to their YouTube, “all the elements of rock in one band”, Erina & the Elementals largely serve covers of rock songs with a powerful female vocalist. You can listen to their original song, ‘Back Home’, below:

FiK could be a great opportunity for this relatively unknown band to make their mark on the Albanian music scene. Will their song ‘Jetën n’skaj’ (‘Life on the Edge’) put them on the map?

Kleansa Susaj – Pikturë

Our youngest FiK contestant is 16-year-old Kleansa Susaj. She has won a number of prizes in youth arts contests, with the most recent being the award for Best Debut Singer at the Tirana Art Fest in 2022. Some may also recognise Kleansa from the 2018 edition of The Voice Kids Albania. You can watch her blind audition to Ellie Goulding‘s ‘Love Me Like You Do’ below:

In 2017, Kleansa attempted to represent Albania at the Junior Eurovision Song Contest with her song ‘Melodi’, finishing third place. Could her song ‘Pikturë’ allow her to finally grace the Eurovision stage?

Arsi Bako – Zgjohu

From a newcomer to a FiK returnee, Arsi Bako, entered the competition last year with her song ‘Sonte dua të jem me ty’ (‘Tonight I Want to Be With You’) although unfortunately she did not progress to the final. You can remind yourself of her entry below:

Will Arsi fare better this year with ‘Zgjohu’ (‘Rouse’)? We’ll have to wait and see!

Tiri Gjoci – Në ëndërr

Having been performing since he was 14-years-old, Tiri Gjoci is no stranger to the Albanian music scene, nor to FiK, having performed in the 2019 edition with the song ‘Me gotën bosh’ (‘With an Empty Glass’). You can listen to this below:

Despite having missed out on the FiK win, Tiri has performed at Eurovision before, having been Jonida Maliqi‘s backing vocalist for her 2019 entry ‘Ktheju Tokës’. Could his 2023 FiK entry, ‘Në ëndërr’ (‘In Dreams’), give Tiri the chance to perform on a Eurovision stage once again?

Besa Krasniqi – Esenciale

Yet another FiK returnee is Albanian-Swedish singer Besa Krasniqi, who previously attempted to represent Albania at Eurovision 2016 with her song ‘Liroje zemrën’ (‘Free Your Heart’). She failed to make the top 10 of FiK but you can still familiarise yourself with the song below:

Working as a music teacher in Gothenburg, could Besa be making the short trip to Malmö very soon with her song ‘Esenciale’ (‘Essential’)?

Bledi Kaso – Cdo gjë mbaroi

Although he is making his FiK debut, Bledi Kaso is familiar with a song contest, having competed in Top Fest in 2012 and in Kënga Magjike last year, duetting with Gresa Gjorcera to perform the song ‘Zemer per zemer’ (‘Heart For Heart’) which you can watch below:

Will Bledi’s FiK entry ‘Cdo gjë mbaroi’ (‘Everything is Over’) mark his first song contest win?

Troy Band – Horizonti i ëndrrave

Little is known about Troy Band, other than that they are a four-piece Albanian band, most commonly associated with the rock genre. However, the songwriters behind their entry ‘Horizonti i ëndrrave’ (‘The Horizon of Dreams’) are band members Anton Lakuriqi and Alda Çuka, the latter of whom is a promising young vocalist who has performed on The Voice Kids and other Albanian TV shows. You can hear her cover of Lewis Capaldi‘s ‘Somebody You Loved’ below:

If Alda’s voice is at the helm of Troy Band, can we expect big things from them at FiK?

Martina Serreqi – Vetëm ty

Closing the show is another The Voice Kids Albania alumni, 17-year-old Martina Serreqi. She has previously participated in Luleborë and Kënga Magjike. You can watch her 2022 Luleborë performance of her song ‘Zen Mend’ (‘Zen Mind’) below:

Martina will be making her FiK debut with the song ‘Vetëm ty’ (‘Only You’). How will she fare?

So there you have the 15 artists performing in the second night of FiK! Whose song are you most excited to hear tonight? Let us know in the comments below and don’t forget to follow us on all our socials to keep up to date with the latest Eurovision news.

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