By Kamila Aliyeva
Azerbaijani representative for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018 Aysel Mammadova (AISEL) held the first rehearsal on the Altice Arena in Lisbon (Portugal), the website of the contest reported.
“I feel great and I'm very impressed with the stage. I'm excited, but at the same time very calm because we worked hard and we're very proud to be here. It's all good emotions for me,” Aisel told Eurovision.tv right after her performance.
Aysel Mammadova will open the Eurovision 2018 Semi-Final 1.
The four backing singers who will be joining her in Lisbon are Rui Andrade, Salome Caldeira, Hugo Baptista and Sandra D’Adreade, as well as Greece singer Stefania Rizou, who will take part at the stage performance.
The song is written by the famous Greek composer/producer Dimitris Kontopoulos and Swedish songwriter Sandra Bjurman.
Both authors have had a victory at the Eurovision Song Contest: Dimitris Kontopoulos won the viewers vote in 2016 with 'You are the only one' and Sandra Bjurman won the Eurovision song contest in 2011 with 'Running scared'.
The song has been arranged by Dimitris Kontopoulos and Tim Bran, the man behind the production of City lights, the Belgian entry back in 2017, who has also worked with several well-known artists such as, The Verve, London Grammar, Birdy, Halsey, Bloc Party and others.
X my heart has been recorded in London and the mix of the song belongs to Ash Howes, internationally recognized for his mix work for One Direction, Dido, The Corrs, Ellie Goulding and many others. The singer filmed the official videoclip of her song in Athens, Greece.
Forty two countries will take part in the Eurovision Song Contest 2018. The logo and motto of the next song contest – All Aboard! – are related to the marine theme and underscore the main values of the Eurovision, including diversity. The creative theme and logo of the competition are closely linked to the history of Lisbon and the special location of Portugal, which connects the Atlantic Ocean with the rest of Europe.
Portugal won the right to host the Eurovision 2018 after the triumph of Salvador Sobral at the contest in Kiev this year. The Semi-finals of the Eurovision 2018 will be held on May 8 and May 10. The Grand Final will take place on May 12 in Lisbon.
Notably, the country's rivals at the first half of the semifinal 1 will be Belarus, Bulgaria, Lithuania, Albania, Czech Republic, Belgium, Iceland, Israel and Estonia.
Representatives of Switzerland, Finland, Austria, Ireland, Armenia, Cyprus, Croatia, Greece, FYR Macedonia have been included in the second half of semifinal 1.
Russia, Serbia, Denmark, Romania, Australia, Norway, Moldova, San Marino, and the Netherlands will compete in first half of semifinal 2.
Representatives of Montenegro, Sweden, Hungary, Malta, Latvia, Georgia, Poland, Slovenia, and Ukraine will perform in the second half of semi final 2. Ten countries from each semifinal will qualify for the final.
Aysel Mammadova, known under her stage name AISEL is a pianist, vocalist, composer and arranger. Between 1995 and 2006, she studied at the Bulbul secondary vocational music school. At the age of 16, Aysel entered the Azerbaijan State Conservatory, classic piano department.
Her vast experience in jazz festivals reaches far across the Azerbaijani borders. The singer has participated in music events held in Russia, Georgia, Turkey, Ukraine, Israel, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Italy.
She has also performed at festivals such as the Caspian Jazz & Blues Festival (2002), the Baku International Jazz festival (2005 & 2006), the MuzEnergo Festival of Music Improvisation (2007), Montreux Jazz Festival (2009), and the Caucasus Jazz Festival (2012).
Aysel has received special lessons from eminent musicians, including Alexander Coppaloni and Deborah J. Carter.
Her debut single “So Magical” was released in 2013, followed by “You are in me” in 2014. The singer’s repertoire includes such self-written works as Gravity”, “9 Moons Of Saturn”, “Dream On” and other songs.
Aysel is a member of the Baku Jazz Centre and works on a project combining classics, jazz and electronic music with English lyrics.
Kamila Aliyeva is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @Kami_Aliyeva
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz