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Wednesday 1 December 2010

Exclusive Interview with Ilira Gashi

Ilira Gashi
It's December, the traditional month of the Albanian National Final for the Eurovision Songcontest. But this year another National Final is going to kick off in December. Switzerland will choose its representant for Düsseldorf 2011 already on 11th December and in their line up of the finalists appears one Albanian singer. Ilira Gashi is competing together with "The Colours" against 12 other contestants for the ticket to the ESC. They and their song "Home" already enjoy a great feedback of fans in Switzerland and beyond. We are glad that we had the possibility for this interview, with Ilira in which we talk about her participation in the Swiss' NF and much more.

Ilira, could you first briefly introduce yourself to our readers?
I was born and grew up in Switzerland. My mother's family lives in Tirana and my father's family in Prishtina. I discovered my passion for music when I was very young. My father has always been a music freak and plays the Çifteli. I sing a lot at home and when I visit my family in Prishtina, I find Albanian music inspiring. That was where my family came up with the idea to participate in Top Fest. It was my first performance and I was 15 at the time.
I have very varied tastes in music, I listen to everything: Reggae, HipHop, Rn'B, Rock, Pop, Metal, House, Folk music. For me it's important to get to know every musical genre.

Let's come to your participation in the Swiss' National Final for the ESC 2010. Congratulations on making it into the final. How did you come to collaborate with "The Colours" and when did you decide to take part at the Swiss National Final?
Thank you! The Colours searched for a singer for the song. By coincidence they discovered my video and music teacher. They then contacted me on Facebook and I agreed immediately with their idea to take part in the Swiss National Final. The inspiration and idea for the song came from all of us.

What is the song "Home" about and where did you take the inspiration from? (Listen to the song on dow below at the end of the article)
The song is about people who are homesick and who have hard times starting a new life in another country. In the end those people find a second home and the help from the habitants of that country. We want the people out there to know that they are not alone. For us it was important to have this topic illustrated in a song once. The inspiration and experience come especially from my family.

You were successful in making it to the final of the Swiss preselection, however another Albanian singer who has a base from the start failed to. Why do you think “Home” was chosen above Genta's song?
To be honest, I don't know why she did not make the final. Personally I liked the song.

Have you listened to the other songs in the Swiss preselection? What are your hopes for the 11th December and how big do you see your winning chances?
Ilira & The Colours
Of course I've listened to all the songs and I have to say that there are many good musicians participating. The group CH is my personal favourite. I am not stressing out much at all. It was a major achievement to make it to the top 12 and we feel honoured to be able to perform in Kreuzlingen. It is a great experience for me which I will take with me into the future. What's most important now is to deliver a good performance. We are prepared for any result in the end.

To get a bit away from the National Final questions:
-Do you have a favourite Eurovision song?
-And which Albanian entry has been your favourite?
I liked Lordi the most. They managed to win even though no one believed it. I liked Lena a lot too; she has a strong character and lots of charisma.
From Albanian my favourite was Olta Boka in 2008.

In this year’s "Kënga Magjike" you were originally to take part, but later you were not part of the Festival. Was that connected to your participation in the Swiss National Final?
I was quite busy with the ESC, yes; however it's not only because of that. The producer of the song signed the contract for the song too late and I didn’t have any chances to contact anyone by phone or mail.

Would you like to represent Albania, or potentially Kosovo at Eurovision? 
After your recent participations at the Top Fest and the Kënga Magjike we are already hoping to see you at the Festivali i këngës.
For sure I want to participate one day in the National Finals of Albania and Kosovo. One day, you'll see me at the Festivali i këngës, definitely.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I haven't thought so far, because I'm not the type to plan too far ahead. However, I feel it’s important for me to continue making music.

At last, do you have anything to say to your fans on
I would like to thank everyone who has supported The Colours and me and shared our thrill. You just are the best.

Good luck on 11th December, Ilira.
Thanks for your support. :D
Best regards 
 An interview by Arben Bacaj, translated from German into English

Ilira & the Colours - Home 

1 comment:

  1. Great interview. I like her song and I'm Swiss so she can expect a vote from me. But I also love Sarah's song and if either of these girls won I would be so happy.. but unfortunately Switzerland have a bad reputation choosing good winners .