Welcome to our series of posts – “The Looker” where we will share our wish list of artists participating in Eurovision.
This is the second year in a row that we are running the project.
But before we start, let us remark that our recommendations will not necessarily come true (as for example some countries select their artists by reality shows)
Chapter 1 (Belgium, Israel, The Netherlands) can be found here
Chapter 2 (Denmark, Iceland, North Macedonia) can be found here
Chapter 3 (Finland, Norway, Sweden) can be found here
Chapter 4 (Austria, Germany, Switzerland) can be found here
#1. Shkodra Elektronike
Shkodra Elektronike is an Albanian music duo based in Italy. Their music is an electronic reinterpretation of the “traditional music” of their hometown – Shkoder.
The duo consists of Kole Laca and Beatriçe Gjergji.
They formed the duo in 2019.
They performed in many – both Italian and Albanian – important events: the opening of the Albania/Kosovo Pavilion at the 2019 Venice Biennale, the opening of the personal exhibition in Tirana of the contemporary artist Adrian Paci, Zā Fest IV and more.
In December 2021, they were involved in “Festivali i Këngës 60“, the duo composed the song “E jemja nuse“, performed by Rezarta Smaja. The song ended in the 3rd place in the final:
The duo started releasing singles in 2020.
In 2022, they released their debut EP – “Live @ Uzina”.
Let’s listen to 3 of their songs:
In 2020, they released the single “Ku e Gjeta Vedin” (Eng: Where would I find Vedin?):
In 2020, they released the song “Synin si qershia” (Eng: They looked like cherries)
In 2022, they released the song “Turtulleshë” (Eng: turtledove):
Shkodra Elektronike is a unique group that can bring experimental music to Eurovision.
They will stand out among others, and will also take Albania in a different direction in the contest.
#2. Marsela Cibukaj
Marsela Çibukaj is a 38 year-old Albanian singer.
She emigrated with her family in the 1990’s to Rome, where she had the opportunity to study with Italian music masters such as Fulvio Tomaino, Emma Re and Beppe Vesicchio techniques in styles such as rythm & blues / blues and jazz.
In 2008, Marsela was awarded in Rome with the award “Best Young Singer“.
In 2009-2010 Marsela together with the band performed a series of concerts throughout Italy and Europe (Poland, London, Germany, Norway).
In 2011, she returned to Albania and competed in “The Voice of Albania” where she finished in 2nd place.
Just after the final, she signed a contract with Top Channel where she was involved in the shows “Top Show”, “E diell” and “Soiree”.
In 2013, she participated in the “Top Fest” with the song “Ndjenjë pa kohë” (Eng: Feeling Timeless) and grabbed the internet award.
In 2013, Marsela participated in “The voice of Italy” from which she managed to have collaborations and tours with famous Italian singers like Noemi in many places in Italy and for the most prestigious Italian stages.
In December 2014, she participated in “Festivali i Këngës” (national selection for Eurovision 2015) and ended in 5th place with the song “S’muj”
In 2019, she participated in ”Kënga Magjike”, performing the song ”Thërrime dashurie” (Eng: “Love Crumbs) which later on became the best song of the year 2020. She ended up in 5th place in ”Kënga Magjike 2019”.
In May 2021 she received an invitation from the the producer Ardit Gjebrea to be with him in the presentation of the 22nd edition of the Festival “MKënga Magjike 2021“.
She presented the show “4 stinët” (Eng: “4 Seasons”) each Saturday on Albanian TV.
Let’s listen to 3 of her songs:
In 2013, she released the song “Ndjenjë pa kohë” (Eng: Feeling Timeless):
In 2019, she perfroemed the song ”Thërrime dashurie” (Eng: “Love Crumbs) in ”Kënga Magjike 2019”:
In 2020, she released the cover of “Jon” (Ardit Gjebrea Cover):
Marsela Çibukaj is an experienced and talented artist that combines traditional quality with dark anthems.
Might it create the right song for Albania?
#1. Alex Robov
Alexander Robov is a Bulgarian pop singer.
He started releasing songs in 2020.
In June 2021, he went on a live tour over Bulgaria.
One of his songs peaked at nubmer 1st in the Bulgarian charts, and stayed in the charts for 39 weeks.
Let’s listen to 3 of his songs:
In 2021, he collaborated with on the song “Нежно” / “Nezhno” (Eng: Gently)
In May 2022, he released the song “Забравен” / “Zabraven” (Eng: Locked):
In June 2022, he collaborated with Danna on the song “Бях с теб” (Eng: I was with you):
#2. Maria Ilieva
Maria Ilieva is a 44 year-old Bulgarian singer-songwriter and producer.
Maria Ilieva is recognized as the most successful female vocal artist of the contemporary Bulgarian music scene.
Her debut album was released in 2006.
In 2018,she gave th birth of her son Alexander and the release of her first best of album – “Vsichko – The Best of Maria Ilieva”. Featuring 16 of her original songs and four remixes, the greatest hits were highly acclaimed by critics, media and fans.
Maria was a judge and mentor on the first 3 Bulgarian seasons of the “The X Factor Bulgaria“.
She is currently part of the judging panel on the first Bulgarian season of The Masked Singer.
Forbes Bulgaria ranked her as the most influential female celebrity on their annual list for three consecutive years – 2013, 2014 and 2015.
GRAZIA magazine has awarded her five times as a Woman of the Year – in 2006, 2009, 2011, 2013 and 2018. Maria has received over 40 awards for music and style, including 10 awards for “Best female artist”.
Let’s listen to 3 of her songs:
In 2014, she collaborated with КРИСКО (Cricso) on the song “ВИДИМО ДОВОЛНИ” (Eng: See you satisfied):
In 2021, she released the song “Остани тази нощ” (Eng: Stay Tonight)
In 2022, she released the song “Любов” (Eng: Love):
Maria Ilieva is an experienced and talented artist that has got love and appreciation from the Bulgarian people. She has shown veratile abilities during her career, from pop hits, balkan balldas and R&B songs.
#1. Anna Argyrou
Anna Argyrou is a 17 year-old Greek-Cypriot singer.
She rose to fame in 2021, when she won the 8th season of “The Voice of Greece”.
Her mentor was the Greek singer Sakis Rouvas.
Anna plays piano and guitar and writes her own songs.
Listen to 3 of her songs/ performances:
In 2021, she performed a cover of “Easy On Me” on “The Voice of Greece“:
In May 2022, she released the song “Λογική” (Eng: Music)
And here is the same song in the English version “Give Me Love“:
Anna Argyrou is a young singer that will be a rising star in the Greek-Cypriot music industry.
It looks like she can appeal to the young voters at Eurovision.
#2. Christiana Loizu
Christiana Hadjiiordanous (better known as Christiana Loizu) is a 32 year-old Cypriot singer.
She began singing at the age of 12 at Silva Makamian’s local private singing school. During her childhood, she competed at local and national competitions in Cyprus and Bulgaria, where she won several awards.
In 2005, she competed in a musical contest that was held in Veliko Tarnovo (North central Bulgaria) and won first place.
In 2007, she moved to Bulgaria where she graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Opera Singing and a Master’s degree in Vocal Coaching.
In 2010, she won a talent show in Cyprus, where she got a scholarship to studies in Leeds, the UK.
In 2015, she collaborated with Mariana Moskofian to participate in the Cypriot selection for Eurovision 2015 with the song “Sailing Ships, Pirates and Dragons“, but they failed to qualify for the semi-finals of the selection.
At the end of 2015, she entered the “X Factor Bulgaria” and ended as the winner of the season.
It led her to sign a contract with one of the big labels in Bulgaria – “Virginia Records“.
In 2018, she was selected by the jury of the Musical Theatre “Stefan Makedonski” in Sofia to play the leading role of Christine Dae from the “Phantom of the Opera” as well as Hava from “Fiddler on the Roof” in 2019.
In 2020, she participated in “The Masked Singer Bulgaria“, where she finished in the 3rd place.
In 2016, she released the song “Phoenix“:
In 2017, she released the song “Edno v edno” (From Bulgarian: One by one):
In 2021, she released the single “Queen of The Night”:
Christiana Loizu is a great singer with diverse abilities, from opera and ballads to pop songs.
She took part in several competitions, which might make her stronger to compete at Eurovision.
#1. Leon of Athens
Leon of Athens (real name Leon Veremis) is a 35 year-old Greek-American singer-songwriter.
He was born in London and grew up in Athens.
At the age of 6, he started studying guitar, piano and music theory. In high school, he formed his first band. Later on, se studies music theory in the university.
In 2010, he formed the name “Leon of Athens“.
Leon started releasing music in 2012. He worked on his debut album at Tarbox Road Studios in the woods in Buffalo, New York.
His debut album, “Future”, was released in 2012.
In 2012, he performed songs from his album in Athens, and was noticed by “The New York Times“.
In 2015, he released his second album, “Global“.
In 2017-2018, he released several singles.
His third album, “Xenos“, was released in 2018.
Since 2019, he kept releasing new singles, including collaborations.
In 2019, he was one of the composers of the song “Better Love” by Katerine Duska.
The song was the Greek entry for Eurovision 2019.
Katerine Duska is also Leon’s girlfriend and together they went on tour in 2022.
He mentioned the following artists as the biggest influencers in his music: Brian Eno, Talking Heads, Nick Drake, Neil Young, The Cure, Fugazi, Love, The Doors, Pink Floyd, Sufjan Stevens, Steve Reich, Aphex Twin.
Let’s listen to 3 of his songs:
In 2017, he released the single “Aeroplane”:
In 2021, he released the song “Κύματα” (Eng: Waves)
In 2021, he released the song “Mad Into You“:
Leon of Athens suggests an interesting combination of Indie rock-pop music, with folk and electronic elements.
In my opinion, he can take Greece to a high score achievement at Eurovision.
#2. Barbara Argyrou
Barbara Argyrou is a 19 year-old Greek singer.
At 13, she competed in a Greek talent show called “Junior Music Stars“.
In 2019, she took part in the Greek version of “The Four“, where she reached the finals.
In 2020, she auditioned for “America’s Got Talent“. She received 3 “yeses” but wasn’t able to participate in the show due to Covid-19 restricitons.
Barbara signed a contract with Minos EMI, a Universal Music Company.
She started releasing original songs in 2019.
Let’s listen to 3 of her songs:
In 2021, she released the song “Ukelele“:
In 2021, she released the single “Insane“:
In 2022, she collaborated with Player1 on the song “Lies“:
Barbara is a young artist who has already released some hits.
She combines alternative music with main-stream pop, and still has her own stamp.
What do you think about the recommended artists?
Stay tuned for more recommendations to come, next time we will travel to other countries