As in the previous years Albania selected its Eurovision  representative through the countr’s national music festival  Festivali i Këngës. After three nights  and among 22 candidates Jonida Maliqi won the national final with her song Ktheju tokës and will represent Albania in Eurovision 2019.

A few words about Jonida Maliqi

Jonida Maliqi is 36 years old and comes from the city of Tirana. She has studied violin and guitar and attended significant studies on classic music in the University of  Arts in the Albanian capital city. She has won several prizes in national music festivals for underaged acts and in the country’s music event of  Kënga Magjike. Jonida had competed in the televised music competitions of  Top Fest and Festivali i Këngës, and in other international festivals in Europe as well.  Apart from being a solo artist she has participated in musicals and has hosted several music and dance tv programms on Albanian television.

The entry “Ktheju tokës”

The person behind  Ktheju tokës is Eriona Rushiti. All lyrics are exclusively  in Albanian while Jonida herself has stated that the song talks about the Albanian people, the immigrants and people of the whole world. The lyrics refer to the topic of albanian immigration and especially the one related to the war in Kosovo.

Here are the lyrics of the Albanian entry translated in English:

You sing and cry

In hands, tears are gathered

You hold them
One day you live,The next you die

So much nostalgia, so little hope

Alone, no identity
Return to your land

Oh man that let the heart hostage

Return to your land

You know there is a heart waiting for you
One day you live

The next you die

So much nostalgia, so little hope

Alone, no identity
Return to your land

Oh man that let the heart hostage

Return to your land

You know there is a heart waiting for you

 

Albania will compete in the second half of the 2nd semi final on May 16 2019. Below you can watch the country’s official music video of  Ktheju tokës.

The Eurovision Story so far

Jonida Maliqi will be the 16th Albanian representative in Eurovision.  In 2004 Albania debuted in the contest  with Anjeza Shahini with the entry “The Image of You”, which came 7th . The country hasn’t scored a victory yet in its 15 participations up to date. Its best result was achieved in 2012 with Rona Nishliu and her 5th placing in Baku with her song “Suus”. In 2018 Eugent Bushpepa won the Festival i Këngës 2017 with his entry Mall and represented the country in Lisbon, where he finished in the 11th place in the Grand Final.