Over the past couple of months, one could easily note that we have been in direct contact with a number of performers in this years' Eurovision Song Contest to bring you all of the latest updates prior to the competition itself which will be taking place in the next couple of weeks. The next artist to have found the time to speak to our team is none other than Sabina Babayeva who will be representing the host country of Azerbaijan and will also be coming over to Malta in the next couple of days in order to promote her entry entitled When the Music Dies which we will be reading about into more detail. Within this interview, she speaks about the choice of the Azeri people in terms of artist and then also the song which was put forth by a panel of professional people.
One of the most interesting points about the Eurovision Song Contest is that it brings about the interest of well known performers along with those who are yet to commence their career in the industry. The possibility of success following the event is very much still existant noting that massive positive accalim that Lena still receives after winning the music showcase back in 2010 with the song 'Satellite'. You come into this competition with a backdrop of interesting performances, but one has to note that you did try to represent Azerbaijan last year eventually finishing in third place though and thus missing out on the ticket. What do you recall of the experience and would you have done anything different today?
I believe that everything happens for a reason. The competition is never easy. Every year lots of talented people try their best to win. And the only thing you can do is to work hard and give it a hundred percent. I think I was ready this year. It is unbelievable how happy I am right now to have this opportunity. I’ve still got a lot of work ahead of me. But I am indeed enjoying it.
Looking back at the history of Azerbaijan at the Eurovision Song Contest, one would see that the relatively new country has made strides of positive acclaim in recent years with their debut back in 2008 with the song ‘Day After Day’ performed by Elnur & Samir holding the record for achieving the worst placing for the nation thus far but then again, it was still an extraordinary start by virtue of finishing in eight place. In the next couple of years, the country would be close to victory with the likes of Aysel & Arash as well as Safura but it was down to the duet between Ell & Nikki with the song ‘Running Scared’ to achieve victory. When you look at such history, does it put a lot of pressure on you personally to follow in their footsteps and achieve another positive result? You see how we climbed our way to the top?
It is because we all come from the Land of Fire. We are all passionate about what we do and we never give up. I feel that I have a huge responsibility on me. And it’s definitely going to be tough to top Ell/Nikki’s success, because I think they both were just perfect together. I’ll be different. Our songs are different. They were romantic. And I will be alone on the stage (of course, together with my performance team). I have absolutely different song and story! Music is my love. I thank God that I’ll be performing in my home city – Baku. So I am sure that the pressure of great results will be compensated with the fact that I perform at my home soil. Anyway for me the most important thing is to give a great performance for the audience.
The song that you will be presenting in the finals of this years' Eurovision Song Contest is entitled 'When the Music Dies' and it is quite different to what has been presented by Azerbaijan in the past though what is intriguing is that you are working with Anders Bagge, Sandra Bjurman, Stefan Örn and Johan Kronlund who have between them also written the songs 'Drip Drop' for Safura in 2010 and 'Running Scared' for Ell & Nikki in 2011. The choice of the song was mostly an internal issue with Ictimai being at the forefront of the decision but then again, did you have a say when it came to the final choice and do you believe that the song itself speaks the message that you would like to send across with your vocals?
I think a lot of people in the world had this struggle to keep their relationships alive. And this song is about that. We are afraid that the music might die with these relationships. But it won’t, because our love doesn’t go away. Our love is like music. It never dies. People might come and go, but the music is going to stay with us. The music is what keeping us alive. It’s an ultimate power to keep going. That’s the message I would like to share. It was written for me and I feel this song with every bit of my heart.
Following the Azeri victory last year, it was somewhat apparent that Ictimai would be re-launching their artist selection show to make sure that the chosen name represented the best interests of the country through a weekly system of voting. You managed to get through your heat which took place in the seventh week of the proceedings and then also from within the semi-final stage of the competition. During the grand final which only comprised of five performers, you came out on top. Such an event was surely one which you will never forget as it will keep to mind especially when getting the opportunity to represent your country on home soil. There were some exceptional performances which the competing acts gave yet did you believe that you could actually finish at the winner at the end of the final itself and from within the final, what were your thoughts on the Maltese representative?
The whole process of the competition was overwhelming. So the only thing I could do is to stay true to myself and do my best. I had a dream to get to Eurovision Song Contest and I won. It’s an awesome feeling. I think it is great. And I think that Kurt Kalleja is beyond great. He is so handsome and I would be happy to perform with him on one stage. Our songs are so much different. My song is very sensitive and emotional. And “This is the Night” is very positive and make you want to dance. I love the fact how different they are. So we’ll see how it goes.
Age normally comes before beauty yet one has to note that you manage to encompass, the best of both worlds as they would say by looking gorgeous and still quite young. Nevertheless, you are not new to the music industry and looking through what you have achieved thus far is quite incredible with a host of international opportunties. There have been a number of competitions which you have fronted throughout the years including ones in Russia and Latvia amongst others. When taking part in such an international forum, what do you believe is one thing that the jury will be on the look out for and do you believe that such experiences help the artist develop better or do they give no general support to the growth of one’s up and coming career?
I think it all depends on the song itself and the fact how the performer delivers it on stage. And Eurovision Song Contest’s history is the best proof to that. It is always surprising and unpredictable. I think there is no formula. You just have to do your best. And your age has no advantage or disadvantage whatsoever. It’s all about you and your song.
The preparations for the Eurovision Song Contest commenced quite a hefty amount of time ago yet the interest stars growing at this point in time now that the draw of the running order is held during the Heads of Delegation Meeting which also marks the fact that all of the respective song choices have been presented to the European Broadcasting Union. In the past, the event had been touted to be the one based on the song and despite this status weakening at some points, due to the importance of the visual presentation but it seems that it is gaining such credibility once more. Have you thought about the way that you will be presenting the song to the millions of people watching from all of the world or are certain things still up in the air?
We are working on that right now. So I will not give you any details about my performance so far. The only thing I can say is that you’ll see some sensual material on stage. I feel really connected to that song.
As just pointed out, the draw for the running order has already been organized and one of the key elements of the Eurovision Song Contest is the placing of where the song is performed due to the fact that it might stand out either on it's own merit or even so benefit from the songs that are performed either before it or after it. When it comes to the finalists, this is only known following the respective semi-finals when the representatives f the countries, draw their own starting positions from a respective pot. You will be performing in thirteenth position in the final, a number which is considered unlucky or lucky. What do you think of the draw and do you think it will have an impact on the result?
I would probably freak out if I were superstitious. But I am not. In fact 13 is my lucky number! I have performed of few festivals under 13 tag and won them! (Smiles) So you never know! It really doesn’t matter if you are number two or twenty two. It’s a song contest. So the only thing that matters here is how you perform. If the audience will like your song you win. It’s that simple.
Would you like to say anything to your fans and our readers at escflashmalta.com?
I’d like to say thank you to my fans for their love and support. I know that Malta has become a great friend of Azerbaijan. It means a lot for me. It’ gives me extra strength to do my best. And I’d like to invite all of your readers from Malta to come to Baku for Eurovision 2012. Our city is incredibly beautiful and full of history. The main thing about Azerbaijan an Azeri people is our hospitality. You’ll feel yourself like home. See you soon!
Sabina Babayeva, this year's Azeri representative has planned to visit Malta so to carry on promoting her Eurovision entry When The Music Dies around Europe. It is important to note Maltese representative Kurt Calleja took part of Azerbaijan's National Selection show one week after he was chosen to fly the island's flag in the European contest. The relations between Azerbaijan and Malta have always been strong and this was further echoed earlier this year actually when the national selection coined as the Malta Eurovision Song Contest was transmitted on Ictimai Television, the host broadcasters of this years' music showcase.
There have been a number of Azeri personnel in Malta in the past couple of months noting that in the past four years, we have built a strong bond. Last week, Sabina was part of the Eurovision In Concert event held in Amsterdam within The Netherlands and will not continue her tour as the contest draws closer. In Malta, there are already a number of local television appearances scheduled such as those on the Friday night discussion programme; Xarabank and also the entertaining programme on Sunday afternoon; Ħadd Għalik both produced by the company, Where's Everybody. The song that she will be presenting entitled When the Music Dies will be the 13th entry in the running order of the final to take in the newly built Crystal Hall on the 26th May 2012.
Source: Ictimai Television, Euromedia
Proud-to-be-Malta’s representative in this year’s Eurovision Song Contest, Kurt Calleja, has lately been touring around Europe promoting his song. On the 25th April was infact his very last day of this tour which took him around most part of Eastern Europe. His last stop was Amsterdam, in Netherlands, where he took part in the event called “Eurovision in Concert” last Sunday, 21st April, where not less than 24 countries promoted their entry. Before returning to Malta on the 26th April, Kurt made a stop in Milan where he will be appearing on a show aired on RAI Due.
During his promotional tour, Kurt met with other Eurovision contenders including Sabina Babayeva who will be representing the host country Azerbaijan, Can Bonomo representing Turkey, Sofi Marinova of Bulgaria, Ivi Adamou of Cyprus, Soluna Samay of Denmark, Donny Montell of Lithuania and Anggun who will be representing France. Kurt Calleja made various appearances in TV shows and performances in nightclubs and also in some National Selections, including Lithuania’s National Selection. Kurt described this promotional tour as “a great adventure” and he surely made a good name for our country, thanks also to his bubbly and super out-going character.
Now, the emphasis of Kurt’s work will surely be on those important 3 minutes on the stage on the 24th May, that is, the second semifinal. Maybe odds will treat us bad once again, but everyone is more than sure that Kurt and his team will do not only their very best, but their utmost to assure a great performance on that night … and hopefully ‘that would be the night’. In an interview done by escflashmalta.com, Kurt said that the performance will be as simple as possible, nearing very much the performance which led him to the victory last February.
Source: Facebook, escflashmalta
The Team of Radio International would like to invite to join the weekly Ultimate Eurovision Experience. The Show is broadcast on 106.8FM and Digital Cabel 41 in the Netherlands and also via the internet via www.radiointernational.tv and will also be web-televised via the show's own Live Video Channel via the website. The simulcast will be from 2000 – 2300 hours CET this Wednesday.
Interview with Jedward (Ireland 2011 and 2012):
Lilian, Eric and JP had the big pleasure to interview Jedward at the recent Eurovision in Concert event in Amsterdam. Jeward already competed at the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 reaching 8th place with "Lipstick" and in a national selection earlier on this year the Irish Nation selected Jedward again to represent Ireland again at the upcoming Eurovision Song Contest in Baku, Azerbaijan with the song "Waterline". Last week Radio International aired the interview with Jedward's Mentor and 1992 Eurovision Song Contest Winner - Linda Martin who will be accompanying Jedward also to Baku. But this week on Radio International enjoy the crazy twins in interview.
Eurovision in Concert 2012:
Last Saturday, 21 April 2012, the annual Eurovision Music extravaganza took place in Amsterdam for the fourth time where this year is a record of 24 countries' representatives performed their entry to the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 which will come from Baku, Azerbaijan on May 22, 24 and 26. The event was a full success with an early start for the artists and journalists meeting in the delegation hotel in Amsterdam for the first session of interviews. After a Word of Welcome from EBU's Sietse Bakker the artists were taken by boat to the centre of Amsterdam for their soundcheck in the venue for the evening - The Melkweg. That also included the second session of interviews with the many international media that was accredited. The Team of Radio International in combination with Poplight from Sweden were also present to conduct as many interviews as possible with the 2012 Hopefulls. This week on Radio International listen to interviews with the representatives of Azerbaijan, Ireland, Latvia, Moldova and Slovenia.
Interview with Sabina Babayeva (Azerbaijan 2012):
The host country Azerbaijan where the 57th Eurovision Song Contest takes place will be represented by Sabina Babayeva. In 2011 Eldar & Nigar won the Eurovision Song Contest with "Running Scared" with this victory taking the contest to Baku, Azerbaijan. Following in the footsteps is now the song "When the music dies" which is already qualified and competes in the Grand Final on Saturday, 26 May 2012 on lucky Number 13. Listen to a short interview with the singer which was done last weekend in Amsterdam at Eurovision in Concert.
Eurovision Song Contest Sportlight - Eurovision in Concert 2012 Recap:
The Radio International Irish Voice will be returning on this week's edition of Radio International - Dermot Manning who will be taking a look back at Europe's biggest promotion event that happened last weekend in Amsterdam - Eurovision in Concert 2012 with 24 artists performing their country's entry to the Eurovision Song Contest 2012. Dermot will be chatting about the most memorable moments on the show this week.
Interview with Anmary (Latvia 2012):
Number 4 in Semi Final 1 of the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 is the starting position for this year's entry from Latvia - Anmary who will be performing "Beautiful Song" on Tuesday, 22 May 2012. Anmary was also part of the line-up of Eurovision in Concert last weekend in Amsterdam. Lilian and JP interviewed the singer which you can hear during this week's edition of the show.
Euro Friends Song Contest 2012 with Andy Simon:
Continuing with the Euro Friends Song Contest in search for the ultimate Eurovision song as voted for by the many fans around the world. Andy Simon joins us every week to reveal the qualifiers for the next round. The website of the Euro Friends Song Contest www.euro-friends.com where you can easily vote for your favourite Eurovision song per country and also see The Euro-Friends TV Show as hosted by Andy Simon. You can also join the Facebook Group. This week Andy looks at the next qualifiers from Heat 46 (Netherlands).
Interview with Eva Boto (Slovenia 2012):
This year's entry from Slovenia is performed by Eva Boto who will be competing in Semi FInal 2 at Number 9 with the song "Verjamem" with this following in the footsteps of Maya Keuc who reached Number 13 in the Grand Final in 2011 with the song "No One". Let's see if this year Eva can top that result for Slovenia. Eva was also part of Eurovision in Concert in Amsterdam last weekend where the Team of Radio International met the very young singer for a brief interviews which you can hear during this week's edition of Radio International.
Eurovision Song Contest News with Luke Fisher from escXtra.com:
Check out the latest developments connected to the Eurovision Song Contest. Whether it is music releases of Eurovision performers, appearances, special concerts, gossip, news, etc. Luke will have the latest updates during this week's edition of the show.
Interview with Pasha Parfeny (Moldova 2012):
Moldova this year will be represented by Pasha Parfeny whose entry to the 2012 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest is called "Lautar" and will bein Semi Final 1 on Tuesday, 22 May 2012 at Number 17. Pasha was also in the line-up of Eurovision in Concert 2012 in Amsterdam last weekend and also became an "interview victim" when Lilian Brunell caught up with the singer awaiting his soundcheck. Listen to this interview with week on Radio International.
Eurovision Music Requests/Eurovision Quiz:
Join Radio International on Wednesday, 25 April 2012 from 2000 - 2300 hours CET, via the website or on FM. Radio International is available live via www.radiointernational.tv and on FM 106.8 and Digital Cabel Channel 41 in parts of the Netherlands. Should you not be able to listen live, the show will appear in the Programme’s Show Archive a few hours after it’s airing on the radio.
Source: Team of Radio International
This years' Eurovision Song Contest is taking place within Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan but apart from getting the attention that is normally given to the host country, it seems that their representative is almost making headlines in a number of countries as her promotional tour around the continent picks up the pace. The lady who goes by the name of Sabina Babayeva will be taking on the role of the Azeri ambassador with the track 'When the Music Dies' written by the same songwriters behind last years' winning entry meaning Anders Bagge, Sandra Bjurman, Stefan Örn and Johan Kronlund and she has just garnered the support of the renowned Italian artist, Zucchero.
The famed Italian does not require a lot of introduction with our local readers having been in the country late last year where he gave a stunning concert with some of his most well known hits such as 'Diavolo In Me' and 'Baila Morena' amongst others. In an interesting situation, the Maltese representative at the 2012 Eurovision Song Contest, Kurt Calleja was the opening act during the same concert alongside Tiziana Calleja, the second runner-up of the Malta Eurosong in 2010. Apart from having the opportunity to meet up with him, Sabina also got the chance to perform her track 'When the Music Dies' live to the audience as a guest slot. You can view an excerpt from the performance below. Stay tuned to www.escflashmalta.com for all of the latest news from this years' musical events.
Source: Euromedia Company
February proved to be one of the most entertaining months in the lead up to the annual Eurovision Song Contest with a number of choices made by the competing countries but despite not choosing an entry, the same could be set for Azerbaijan who held an artist selection going for none other than the beautiful and talented Sabina Babayeva who will be the second female soloist to represent the nation. The promotional tour for her has somewhat been limited due to the fact that Azerbaijan is the host nation. She is currently on a long weekend tour in Hungary and is expected to be heading to The Netherlands for the Eurovision In Concert amongst a number of participants including Kurt Calleja.
Sabina Babayeva has quite the schedule prepared in Hungary due to the fact that yesterday, she made appearances on Petőfi Rádió, MTV and Duna TV whilst she also got to meet Compact Disco with whom she also performed at an Azerbaijan music event which was being held in Budapest. The group will be representing Hungary with the song The Sound of Our Hearts. On Saturday she is also set to make a number of appearances including on a morning talk show, aired on the national channels being m1, m2 and then also Duna World before going onto shoot a special guest role within a daily series entitled Marslakók (Martians). Later on in the day, she will be performing a live rendition the song she will be presenting at the Eurovision Song Contest; When the Music Dies in another show entitled Kívánságkosár. Stay tuned to www.escflashmalta.com for more information about the 2012 edition of the Eurovision Song Contest